Wednesday, December 13, 2017


The trend in tabletop gaming is the use of finely-detailed printed mats instead of felt or flocked cloth. They're neater, they lay nice and flat, and if designed properly, the detail on the surface fools the eye into seeing texture. This characteristics of game mats has driven their popularity. And then there is the durability; no more problem with flock rubbing off your groundcloth!

The neoprene-backed printed cloth mats are the most popular of all. This is usually referred-to as "mousepad" material, since it is essentially the material used to make the old-fashioned mousepads we know so well. Using typical gamer ingenuity, somebody discovered several years ago how well this material looks when printed, and how nicely it flattens out on the table and voila, paradigm shift.

Here's a closeup (about 200% magnification--these tufts of yucca will print up about 1/4" wide) of the kind of results you can get with a printed game mat. The artist we're working with made this render so we could evaluate textures, and we were immediately blown-away.

Here's a mockup of the final mat in 3'x4' size. The artist is now working on applying that detail to the entire surface in a similar pattern to the one pictured. Each end has vegetation, and the sides are more clear in case you want to put several mats side-by-side to make a big town.

I'm really excited about this. If you've ever seen our game demo board at a show, you've seen the improvement that a nicely detailed surface can make over a plain tan groundcloth. This game mat gives you the advantages of a textured board with the convenience of rolling it up and putting in a tube for transport. And the material rolls out flat with enough weight to stay put.

If the campaign hits 28k, everybody who is eligible for stretch goals will receive on of these. If they are unlocked, they will also be available in the add-ons in case you want additional mats, or if you pledged below the level that receives stretch goals.

And don't forget, we have an interim stretch goal at 23.5k, which is a mounted version of Honest John the Sheriff!

Any questions can be directed to us through Kickstarter, or via email at

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pistoleer Cards

If you have perused the Greenhorn Download, you will have a good idea how the basics of Gunfighter's Ball work. To make the game more interesting, we incorporate special abilities using Pistoleer Cards.

This was something Desperado never had, and it was entirely up to players to role-play any quirks they had, or entirely up to Game Masters to design them into characters. This deck provides an easy and systematic way to spice up characters to take the game beyond a simple "move and shoot" to something with more depth.

There are 52 cards, comprising 52 skills, quirks, advantages, disadvantages, and special abilities. Each card has a detailed description of the characteristic with effects on play described in enough detail that a rulebook is not necessary.

Examples include:

River Rat . . . handy with a throwing knife.
Lunger . . . sickly, starting the game with fewer wound chips.
Nervy . . . cowardly and ap to run when the shots start flying.
Ambidextrous . . . no penalty for using non-dominant hand.
Sidekick . . . gives hero an advantage when nearby.
Rube . . . ill-equipped for combat.

The entire list:

Greased Lightning
Deliberate Shooter
Guerilla Horseman
City Slicker
Fleet Of Foot
Trick Rider
Clumsy Shooter
Thumb Buster
River Rat
Old Wound Acting Up
Spooks Horses
Old Nag
Hired Gun
Eagle Eye
Glutton For Punishment
Lucky Son Of A Gun
Raging Drunk
Code Against Killing


The number in the red circle is a relative weight so that a point system can be use to build characters. For instance, if a game allows for characters to come out at a net level of 1, then this ability would need to be balanced out by a disadvantage with a weight of -1.

We cut some of them and start another deck which will be called the "Dirty Tricks" deck. This will essentially be a weapons and special equipment deck with some special skills such as "menacing glare."

The mockups above are something I put together to illustrate how they might look. I incorporated images from a real antique card deck in order to give it a little period flavor. I'm still on the fence about some of the graphic design, but the content is finished.

Visit the Kickstarter and see how it's going!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rattlesnake Jack Unlocked! Next Up...

Rattlesnake Jack has been unlocked!
That didn't take long at all--thanks to everyone who participated.

Now we can move on to this critter--The Chaco Kid.
He's ambidextrous, quick as greased lightning, and awake: awake and very puzzled . . .

Considering the track record of this campaign, I'm sure we'll get there in no time.
Can't wait to show you what's next!


Sunday, November 19, 2017


Here's my second size comparison. You can see, Black Scorpion is just a tad larger. The male characters might be larger--I don't have any for comparison. Also note that the thickness of the Dead Man's Hand's integral base makes it artificially taller, when in fact it's just about the same as Gunfighter's Ball. I always planned to make my figures compatible with DMH--they are excellent figures and I will enjoy painting and using them in my collection alongside my sculpts.

The second photo is a style comparison between Black Scorpion and Gunfighter's Ball. The Dame With No Name (Gunfighter's Ball) is a bit of an Amazon, so she matches Black Scorpion very well.

I hope those photos help in the decision-making process. My competitors make a lot of very nice figures. We live in a truly magical time for gamers--all this stuff is available. My philosophy is to make my figures blend so customers can take advantage of it all.


Just had a question from a backer regarding the size of Gunfighter's Ball figures compared to Artizan. Here's a quick snapshot I took. I had some Artizan figures in my collection that I pried off their washers and re-mounted on our slotta bases. I do not have a Dead Man's Hand figure handy, but I created my figures with the measurements of DMH so I could match scale. If you have a photo of a matchup of the two, please send it my way.


 Gunfighter's Ball Kickstarter Launched!

We launched the Kickstarter Friday night as promised. We're closing in on our funding goal very quickly. Check it out HERE.
The exclusive figure for the campaign is The Drifter--when the campaign is over, he's gone forever.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


The Gunfighter's Ball Kickstarter kicks off at 6pm US Central Time on Friday. We're staying pretty tight-lipped about the details, but here are some teasers:

*We will be raising money for the Judge's Guide rulebook, which will be designed by respected veteran designer Dave Taylor. The book will be full color with lots of photos!

*For those of you who bought our old Desperado boxed set, take heart that a full set of character cards (which will be for all intents and purposes the same format) for Knuckleduster's GB minis will be in the Kickstarter.

*Almost all of the bling you've seen posted on Facebook in the past few months will make an appearance in some way, shape, or form. Some of the most frustratingly unreleased items of the past year will finally be released ;)

*Since this is our first Kickstarter, we're keeping it modest in scope--no injection-molded plastic items, for instance. Fulfillment time will not be horrendously long since we have a lot of production experience, manpower, and sources in the industry.

*There will be stretch goals. Boy howdy will there be stretch goals! In fact, you physical fitness types may want to start stretching now in preparation.

That's all for now. I'm off to the salt mines to do a ton of graphic arts work to tart up the Kickstarter page. See you on Friday at 6pm--mark your calendar and tell everyone you game with!

I'll leave you with a mystery; one that will be solved in a few days more.