Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wild West Rules - Fistful of Lead; Reloaded - Wiley Games

Jaye Wiley at Wily Games used Kickstarter to launch a new edition of Fistful of Lead. I believe the rewards for this were finished up in May of this year. I'm going to call this a 2nd edition of the rules, since its updated with a few new rules but primarily its the same game as the original with the campaign system added. If you missed the Kickstarter you may only be able to get these rules digitally now. If I see a website pop up for Wiley Games I'll update this post.

Fistful of Lead; Reloaded

Wiley Games, 2nd Edition
In Print (Digital only)(http://www.wargamedownloads.com/item.php?item=1436&Site=KS)
Comic Size, softcover, 41 pages 
Original Price $10 

Movement: This game uses a set movement rate depending on your action. Each character receives two actions which can be used for a variety of fun things including moving, aiming and shooting.

Combat: Shooting is simple. At close range you need a 5+ on a 1D10, at long range you need an 8+. Of course there are modifiers that are applied to this. You only get to shoot once per action you take, but its considered a volley of lead rather than a single shot. You are only out of ammo and need to reload on a 1. A hit forces a player to make a wound roll.

Hand to hand combat is deadly to say the least. Both characters roll 1D10, high die roll wins and the loser takes the difference in wounds. So if you lose by 2 you have to make 2 wound rolls.

Wounds:  Wounds are rolled on using 1D10 per wound inflicted. You can be pinned, wounded or dead (that should tell you just how deadly hand to hand fighting really is).

Weapon List: I guess I just have to be happy with small generic weapon lists because that's what's in FFoLR as well. You can have a derringer, pistol, rifle, shotgun, throwing axe, knife, spear or bow.

Campaign rules: The concept behind printing a new edition of Fistful of Lead was really to add the campaign system (and clear up the rules a bit). You start by building your "gang" (just a generic term, you could just as easily call it a "posse") similar to what we see in Legends of the Old West. But FfoL takes that a few steps farther along the trail and really lets you customize your "gang". Each member can have up to two positive traits and two negative traits. When you first start out only two members can have traits at all and traits are randomly drawn. Pull a card and look it up on either the positive or negative trait list. Then its off to the races to play a series of campaign scenarios and see how much renown you can earn for your gang. I think the replay value of the campaign is quite high as the scenarios are randomly determined by a card draw.

Rules Bling: This is a plain Jane style rule book which for the most part I prefer. It is printed in a comic book style format (6 3/4 x 10 1/4) with a full color cover made from a light card stock with heavyweight paper interior pages printed in B&W. It is in a two column format and for the most part charts and pictures are contained within the columns spilling over into the other column when necessary. I actually feel like everything is a bit crowded together. There is a table of contents and I think that its well organized. The Basic rules only take up the first 13 or so pages, its a quick game to get started with. There are markers, record sheets and a quick reference sheet in the back of the book (I would recommend scanning them rather than cutting them out, the comic book format makes scanning pretty easy). The quick reference sheet is on the inside of the back cover so its quite handy. I have a separate one that came as part of my Kickstarter rewards.

Unique: While the concept of using a playing card deck is certainly not unique, how FfoL does it is. The deck is primarily used for initiative but there is a bit of a twist here. At the beginning of each turn the player is dealt one card for each of his active characters. Once all the cards are dealt you work down from Kings (highest card) to Deuce (lowest card), Aces are wild cards and can be played at anytime although the "real" card takes precedence (i.e. If a player uses the King of Spades you can play an Ace as the King of Spades but the real King of Spades would still go first, an Ace does not trump but it does receive the special effect of a card if it has one). When a card is called that is in your hand you play it and determine which of your un-activated characters is going to use it. Characters can only be activated once per turn. If two players have the same card then order is determined by suit (Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs). But some of the cards have additional effects that can be used when they are played. This adds quite a bit of tension to the game.

Supplements: For a Fistful More: Scenarios fro Fistuful of Lead. I particularly like the "Revenge of Boothill", I'll let your mind work on that a bit. This was available as a hard copy in the comic book format as part of the Kickstarter and is now available as a download from wargamedownloads.com

My Thoughts:  I have played FfoL for 3 or 4 years now and the rules didn't need to change much, mostly just a little clean up. Its a fast and furious game an a lot of fun to play. I was really hoping for a bit of an expanded weapon list. I really enjoy the campaign system that has been added. I picked up mine through the Kickstarter mostly to be sure to get everything so I have laser cut wood game markers and printed versions of the the rule book and the scenario book as well as a custom deck of cards that includes the special effects listed when that card is used during the initiative phase. This one should definitely be in your rules library.

The scenario book. I believe this was only available in hard copy to the Kickstarter backers. It is available as a download at wargamedownloads as well.

The Kickstarer Quick Reference Sheet

The Kickstarter card deck. I don't know if these will be available in the future or not so I made sure to get the deck in my rewards.

You can see that the deuce is a special card with its effect printed right on it. This deck could certainly be used for other Wild West games as well.
Game markers and my Sheriff's badge from the Kickstarter. Again I wasn't sure if these were going to be available or not so I got them. They should be useful for other wild west games too.


  1. Thanks fro the review. Couple of minor points. In Close Combat the difference rolls is the number rolls on the wound chart. Not number of wounds. You could, in theory, roll a bunch of "pins".
    The turn sequence goes from Kings to 2s (Deuces) as Aces are a wild card that can be any card.
    I'm working on a web store to where the cards and other things will be available, but that's worked in between the Horse and Musket & Post Apocalyptic version of the rules, along with a Mexican Revolution and Swashbuckling supplement to the above.
    If you want a less brutal (but remember close combat is including close in shooting) you can borrow the rules from the Horse & Musket rules. Basically, look at the difference in rolls. 1-2 loser is pushed back and pinned. 3-4 loser knocked down and wounded. 5+ Dead.
    Thanks again,