There's an Iron Creek in South Dakota and an Iron Creek in Alaska, there's an Iron Creek in Idaho and an Iron Creek in southwest Washington State.
This here is a different Iron Creek, an entirely fictitious Iron Creek that stakes its claim to being the wildest town in the Old West...

Monday, 1 August 2016

Shadows of Brimstone

In a shock move, two of the denizens of Iron Creek found themselves venturing beyond the confines of the town and into the cavernous mines in the nearby hills in search of Dark Stone. Yes, that's right, we put aside our favourite skirmish game for an evening of co-operative dungeon-crawl fun with our first game of Flying Frog Productions' Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients.

In this first excursion we headed deep into the mines, dealing deftly with the perils of a new ruleset and a bewildering number of cards. See them surrounding the table... 

More terrifying than the volume of cards was what happened to Bandido Pete and U.S Marshal Dave when they got to the end of the mine.

U.S. Marshal Dave was initially delighted that Pete had headed off on his own but this feeling didn't last long as the six betentacled Stranglers and the Night Terror (the big blue Fraggle at the back) soon saw them both off. 

As we'd later discover, we'd inadvertently selected the 'BRUTAL!' versions of the monsters so the early demise of our heroes was likely inevitable.

The verdict on Shadows of Brimstone? Well, after one game it's fair to say that we found it really enjoyable, the co-op element made for a relaxing game and the theme ticked the right boxes. Expect more on this game soon as we revisit the mines in search Dark Stone!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Black Scorpion's New Earps

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." - Wyatt Earp.

Tombstone film.

Iron Creek's lawmen have called in reinforcements in the shape of the Earps! These four are the new sculpts from Black Scorpion Miniatures that replace their long-serving originals. These guys look just that bit bigger and bolder than their forebears -- they've got bigger and fancier coats and their legs are spread just a little wider to accomodate the massive (historically appropriate) balls of these legends of the Old West.

Black Scorpion miniatures Tombstone Earps. Old West Gaming.

As you can see the models are resin. The moulds look good, nice and clean with little cleaning up to do before the paint goes on. Hopefully they'll  be painted up and on the blog in the next week or two.

Inside the package (which arrived very quickly and which included sweets from my local favourite, Swizzles of New Mills) was this flier for the the new game Tombstone, scheduled to hit Kickstarter this year.

I'm excited to see the game itself and even more so for the miniatures it promises, some of which can be seen on the other side of the flier....

Saturday, 2 July 2016

The Lawmen

“Move a little strange, you're gonna get a bullet. Not a warning, not a question... a bullet.” Major Marquis Warren – The Hateful Eight

Black Scorpion Tombstone Old West miniatures. 4Ground Old West buildings for Dead Man's Hand.
The Lawman. (L-R): Deputy Bobby Younger, Virgil Gunn, Vernon Devit III, Marshal Kincade, Sheriff McCallister, Deputy Hiram 'Red' Carter, Deputy Otis Brewer
The first bactch of Lawmen are done, all from the Tombstone range from Black Scorpion, and a mix of old metal and resin figures. Here are a few close-ups that reveal more than I'd like of the speedy nature of the paint jobs!

Sheriff McCallister

Marshal Kincade

Virgil Gunn
Vernon Devit III

Deputy Otis Brewer

Deputy Bobby Younger

Friday, 1 July 2016


There are many enjoyable things about playing Dead Man’s Hand, from the game itself to setting up your Wild West town just so. 

After the first few skirmishes on the dusty streets of Iron Creek, we decided there might be times when we'd want to toss a coin to decide matters as an alternative to cutting the deck. Trying to keep things suitably Western, we decided a silver dollar might be the ticket. But not just any old coin; we wanted a Morgan Silver Dollar.

Introduced in 1878, after a Bill was passed to restore silver as an official currency in the USA, the Government had a new coin designed, and what a lovely coin it is. With Lady Liberty on one side and the American Eagle, grasping what seems to be both the olive branch and arrows of war, on the other, it evokes an age where coins had heft as well as the intrinsic value of its precious metal that still endures to this day. That is, of course, if you manage to buy a real one…

Tasked with obtaining this precious piece of Americana and not being an expert on coins, my first attempt via eBay proved disastrous. Having bid and won a set of three coins, consecutive years from 1878 to 1880, for a very reasonable sum, I waited for them to arrive with anticipation. They came promptly and, inspired to write a blog post about them, I began looking deeper into the history of the coins. That’s when I discovered the three coins, clearly marked with the ‘O’ identifying them as being from the New Orleans Mint, were counterfeit. No 1878 coins had been produced at that Mint. I hung my head with eBay shame.

Further investigation showed that those three years, all with the ‘O’, are typical of Chinese replicas (I'm charitable with the terminology here; you’ll see why soon).


As luck would have it, I sourced a genuine 1880 coin from a reputable seller and obtained a full refund for the others which I was also able to keep. So, now we have a coin that may well have travelled the American West, been won and lost in saloon card games, or used to buy cigars and bullets at the local store. It makes a superb noise when flicked into the air; a sound only silver can make, and feels satisfying in the hand. 

In the spirit of paying it forward, the Iron Creek blog is having a giveaway this week for the three replicas, on a one-per-person basis. They may not be part of the Old West, but we reckon they're  an excellent addition to the game that'll look great on the games table. 

Simply comment on this blog post and follow us on here on Blogger or Twitter (@ironcreekblog) by Wednesday 6th July and we’ll enter you into the free prize draw.


Well, we used the coin on Friday night to settle any calls that had to be made, and it was a hoot. It's big, solid and fits the game nicely. My only regret is that now it lives with the counters, and not in my pocket. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A Desperate Street-Fight

As might be expected, our foray into Dead Man’s Hand began with ‘The Good, The Lead and The Ugly,’ a series of three games that chronicle the arrival of the Jackson Gang in Iron Creek. The once-peaceful town proved entirely unprepared for the violent entrance of Jackson’s desperados and the three games played in a quick and bloody fashion that seemed entirely fitting.
Main Street. Iron Creek.
In the first scene, ‘The Stranger,’ Deputy Carter was confronted by three of Jackson’s gang, his first shots sending Garrett 'The Killer' Cady running for cover before Theo Toland drew his rifle and brought him down with a single shot (rolling a 20). And that was that. We did wonder if the bad guys were allowed a rifle in this scene – if we replay it I think we’d stick to pistols.

Rogan's Bar. Iron Creek.
The second scene ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough’ saw the arrival of Jackson himself along with three of his men (armed with a rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol), facing off against Sheriff McCallister, U.S. Marshal Kincade, and their three deputies (armed identically to the desparados). Jackson spent much of the game drinking whiskey in just his boots, while the rest of his gang set to the business of killing. The game played out well, and we ended up with one query which was whether a cards that specify a range (in this case 'Long arm of the law' which can be played on a model withing 20cm) must be discarded if they’re declared and then found to be out of range. In the end we decided they were, it seemed more fun.

The final scene We Will Be Waitin’ saw the same cast return to Mainstreet. This time the Desperados outnumbered the lawmen, with three of the good guys waiting off-set ready to come to sweep in and save the day in a suitably cinematic style. At least that was the plan. As it was they didn't come on until the third turn, by which time it was too late for them to help their fellow lawmen who had made a bold, some might say foolhardy, decision to rush the desparados despite their lack of numbers. At the end of the day the lawmen were gunned down and run out of town...

Jackson (right) and his gang take hold of Iron Creek.
So, after a great first three games the Jackson Gang has managed to establish a firm grip on Iron Creek, making short work of the lawmen and bringing terror to the streets. Eagle-eyed readers will have realised the reason for this - while Jackson's gang is painted, the forces of the law remain bare resin, a situation that must be remedied if they're to stand a chance of bringing order back to the town...

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Jackson Gang - Dead Man's Hand Desperados

We are rough men and used to rough ways” - Bob Younger

Black Scorpion Tombstone Miniatures - Old West Outlaws
L-R: Harley Clemens, Theo Toland, Denis Redford, Jim 'Pretty Boy' Jackson, Garrett 'The Killer' Cady, Jeb L. Caroles, Felton Massey.

Here's the first gang I've painted up for Dead Man's Hand: The Jackson Gang. I'm using them as Desperados, though I guess they could also be used as Outlaws. They're all from Black Scorpion Miniatures' Tombstone range (the 'Outlaws' and 'Tombstone 2' packs). I'm a huge fan of the Adam Clarke's Black Scorpion sculpts, they're the perfect blend of the realistic and the cinematic. To me this lot look like they're straight out of Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider.

They're 32mm scale but they don't look too out of place alongside the 4Ground buildings and fit inside without problems (thought they'd have to duck to get through the doors). I've deviated slightly from the Pale Rider 'uniform' dusters to help distinguish between the Boss ('Pretty Boy' Jackson) and the Killer (Garrett Cady). All of them, bar Jackson, named courtesy of Mithril and Mage's Old West name generator.

Overall I'm pleased with the way they've come out, though I'm keen to find a decent method of painting faded denim and in retrospect I think it'd have been better to add some variety to the colours of their shirts and trousers. Here are a few close-ups to finish.

Denis Redford

Garrett 'The Killer' Cady
Theo Toland

Saturday, 4 June 2016

“The gold-digger in the ravines of the mountains is as much a gambler as his fellow in the saloons of San Francisco. What difference does it make, whether you shake dirt or shake dice?”
Henry David Thoreau, “Life without Principle” (1854)

While Thoreau disliked both gold diggers and gamblers, both are welcome in Iron Creek where fortunes are won and lost, along with lives, on games of dice. I  happen to rather like dice myself, and was delighted when this parcel from Q Workshop arrived.

What's inside? These beauties, that's what...

They're designed for use with Deadlands and look (and feel) great, just what's needed for Dead Man's Hand. This set of four D20s and two D10s came to £12.30 including postage from Poland and they got here in just eight days. They even included a bonus D6 and a free bookmark!

Both dice measure approximately 20mm which is a nice unobtrusive size but with all the fancy graphics the numbers themselves are pretty small. Once we've had a chance to roll them in anger we'll have a better sense of whether or not this is an issue but for now I'm delighted with the look and quality.

Let's end the post with a massive D20...