Monday, 25 August 2014

Gunfight at the OK Corral

Very little remains to be said about this iconic encounter in Tombstone, Arizona, on 26th October  1881. Or so i thought!

Having borrowed a book on the subject from a club member i have decided to reenact this on the nearest club date to the anniversary of the encounter. One of the first things i did on opening the book was to look at a map of the town. Typically it is laid out in the usual style of many American towns and cities in checkerboard fashion with the OK Corral located on Allen street. Now this street was clearly the centre of entertainment in Tombstone with a succession of restaurants, bars, hotels and other 'entertainment ' venues. Hell there's even a bowling alley!  A 19th century version of the Diamond strip here in Geordieland, the Big market's a bit 'old hat' these days!

Having only read about 40% of the book so far i have yet to find out why not much of the action takes place at the OK Corral! Morgan Earp was killed behind a couple of saloons in the next block along while Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton were killed on Fremont street which appears to be the real sight of the gunfight. Better get reading!

The plan

The Town
Well I'm going to need quite a few new buildings for this game as i will need to represent a couple of blocks of Tombstone. In order to get the OK Corral into the game i intend to do it Hollywood style and ignore the history!  In a  later post i will detail the buildings i have settled on and show a couple of pictures of some already constructed.

The figures
 We have enough club figures to make up the Clantons and McLaurys so that just leaves the Earps. As it happened Tom, the owner of the book fessed up to having partly painted figures of the Earps. He brought them round a couple of days later for me to finish off which means only Doc Holliday to source.

The Rules 
 We use Legends of the Old West for club games and these have the stats for several of the characters involved so we will use this set. As we haven't used character rules before the following game was a run through of using these.

The test game 
This was a simple game in which the Earps accompanied by Doc Holliday got wind that the Clanton gang were holed up in a small town several miles from Tombstone. They were wanted for questioning in connection with a stolen army mule so the lawmen set of to to apprehend the villains.

The Clantons are unaware of the Earps intention to arrest them and are spread out around town.

Now if anyone spots some dodgy figures in this game its because i picked up the wrong box! One of the Clantons is armed with a tankard instead of a six gun! Needless to say the rules lack the fighting qualities of such a weapon so we used the six gun stats instead.

The Earps win the Drop and make their way into town. 

The Clanton going about their business 

The Clantons are now aware that they are in a bi of a pickle when the presence of the Earps is revealed. 

The Earps find themselves in a target rich environment with Clantons all around.

The first one gets to eat dirt. 

Time to find another victim. 

Shots are exchanged but nobody gets it! 

The search continues. 

More shooting. 

Lets try the back door. 

One of the Clantons takes cover behind the waggon team but the Marshal missed both bandit and the horses.

The shootout continues without effect. 

Another victim of the lawmen  bites the dust.

The Clanton gang decide that enough is enough and figure its team to head for the hills.  

That easier said than done with the bloodthirsty lawmen determined to hunt down their quarry. 

Sixguns and tankards are notoriously ineffective even at close range!

An outlaw makes his way towards the stables attached to this house. 

The odds don't look good here. 

One of the Clantons is cornered in a building. 

A fight ensues. 

Another Clanton is cornered. 

Another outlaw vacates a building.

Safety is in sight and they head for the barn. 

An outlaw runs toward the barn saying goodbye to his lady friend as he goes.

The outlaws reach the barn. 

An Earp fires at an outlaw but misses this causes the outlaw to change direction and run into the open desert and escape.

He is shot dead before he can find a horse. 

The only horses to hand belong to the Undertakers team! 

 A second outlaw attempts to escape but is gunned down before he can get the chance.

The Marshall fails with his last chance to drop the desperate outlaw. 

This was a bad day for the Clantons. The Lawmen suffered no casualties but the Clanton gang are a few members short now. The Earps live to fight another day.

Quite a source for merriment this game so a good night despite the cock up with the figures.

Thanks for reading.



  1. I remember reading somewhere that the Star Trek episode 'Spectre of the Gun' is a pretty good representation of the actual gunfight :)

    1. Its my favourite anyway. Terrain would be much easier to replicate!