Over the next few weeks I am going to be reviewing all of my 30mm scale figures from the Shadows of Brimstone game by Flying Frog Productions. So, saddle up and let's head back in time to an alternative Wild West where the supernatural is very real and demons and monsters threaten to spill out into the world unless they can be stopped. I'm going to start by looking at the four heroes from each of the two big boxed starter sets - City of the Ancients and Swamps of Death.
The first thing you should note is that I have designed a new backdrop to photograph all of my Wild West figures against. My Victorian style cobbled street scene that I used before didn't feel right. Incidentally, I have re-shot the pictures of my Wild West figures that I had taken for my three previous figure review posts and they all feature this new backdrop now. It is made up of walls and ground tiles from a couple of the World Works Games TLX Deadfall sets - Building Essentials for the walls and Streets of Blood for the ground tiles.
Bandidos are truly a wild card in that they can be played in so many different ways. Their built-in ability to recover Grit mixed with a low Ranged To Hit value means that the Bandido tends to roll a lot of dice and then Re-roll a lot of dice just to blow things up. This gives them a lot of swing in luck but makes for a fun adventure! It also means that they rarely have a shortage of Grit for activating abilities or using more powerful Grit-based items they find along the way.
In the comic strips in the two starter set Adventure Books, the Bandido is one of the four heroes featured. He is called Rico and I kept the name but gave him the surname of Jimenez.
Perhaps the most classic Old West archetype is the Gunslinger. Fast on the draw and deadly with a pistol, Gunslingers are the best shots in the West, though often they are more frail and gaunt than the more hearty frontier folk. Living a fast life of drinking and gambling, a Gunslinger knows that life is short and unforgiving; the only way to survive is to kill them before they kill you.
Gunslingers are one of the best Classes for the sheer amount of Damage they can deal out. They are also the fastest Class in the game! Of course this comes at a price in that they do not have a lot of Health or defence, and even as they go up in Hero Level, they are slow to earn more Health. This can be compensated for a bit with Clothing Items that add Health.
I have named my Gunslinger as Jackson Krieger.
U.S. Marshals are one of the toughest Hero Classes in the game. With a defence of 3+, they can easily be a frontline fighter, blocking a hall or wading into groups of Enemies, shrugging off most incoming Attacks. With their Shotgun and Double Shot ability, a U.S. Marshal can also deal out large amounts of damage as a virtual one man army. The Marshal's Badge makes them a solid team player, waiting until just the right time to flash the Badge and give every Hero a boost to their next Attack.
The U.S. Marshal also appears in the two comic strips, where he is known as Kane. Again, I have kept this name but this time made it his surname and so I christened him Wilbur.
No nonsense Saloon Girls dance, sing and perform while in town, but use those same skills to dodge, leap and kick when it comes to fighting down in the mines. Sassy and full of moxy, a Saloon Girl is just as good at using her charms to keep the posse going as she is at fighting dirty.
Saloon Girls (and male Piano Players) are extremely agile and fast moving. This gives them the edge in dodging Enemy Attacks and getting where they need to go, but leaves them something to be desired when it comes to absorbing damage. Be careful to not get yourself surrounded, or you may find yourself on the wrong end of a tentacle1 With built-in Healing, Saloon Girls are good at moving amongst the group and reinvigorating the party, and their Hold Out Pistol is a solid Free Attack that can be used in every Fight.
I named my Saloon Girl as Holly Anne Mercy, after the character portrayed on p.41 of the Swamps of Death Adventure Book. She looks just like the figure does.
The Indian Scout is probably the most versatile Hero Class to play. He starts out with a solid Ranged Attack in the form of the Carbine as well as a sturdy Hatchet to do extra damage if you are up close. With a built-in ability to re-draw an Encounter or Exploration Token, the Indian Scout is great at helping the posse find objectives quickly.
In the comic strips of the two Adventure Books, the Indian Scout is known as White Crow. I have kept this name for my own character.
Next in line is the Lawman. Protecting and serving in the lawless towns of the South-west is just about the hardest job there is on the frontier. Small town lawmen need to have the diplomacy skills to settle down rowdy ranchers and saloon folk without it turning bloody, while having the cold nerve to stare down a group of ruthless outlaws threatening to roll over the town. On the frontier, justice is swift and unforgiving.
Lawmen are a fantastic choice for a leadership role in the posse. They are well-rounded, have good damage dealing potential and several options for healing and boosting the group as they go up in Hero Level. The Sheriff's Badge also gives the whole team a solid bonus once per adventure and can really save you when things look grim.
I gave my Lawman the name of Tom Morgan.
The Preacher has the powerful ability to cast Sermons (another name for spells) during the game, Blessing the Heroes in the posse and dealing out harsh Judgements to the wicked Enemies you find along the way. Though slow in Initiative and low in Defence, a Preacher has a high tolerance for sanity and can strike down foes up close with his trusty Holy Book.
My Preacher is called Father Marcus O'Sullivan.
Finally, here is the Rancher. Creating a life for yourself on the frontier is no small feat, and those who do are just about as tough as they come. On the open range, Ranchers favour long range rifles over smaller guns, allowing them to pick off their targets at a safe distance. They also tend to become adept at many different skills, as they do not have the support structure of living in a town.
Ranchers are a tough breed and tend to do well at a distance. Their ability to Rapid Fire with a Rifle can make them a killing machine if you get on a roll, and having a leg up can be a great advantage in a Fight. If they do get close up though, a Rancher has many options for frontier survival.
The fourth character to appear in the two comic strips was Annie the Rancher. No surprise that I kept the name Annie, but I have added the surname, Hatcher, to her.
Something else to note is that you can play male or female versions of the eight Hero Classes but figures are included for just one gender of each Class. This isn't that big a problem as alternative figures to represent the opposite sex can be found in the ranges of other companies. I may possibly find a female Bandido and start with an all female group of the Bandido, Rancher and Saloon Girl and a second all male group of the Gunslinger, Indian Scout, Lawman, Preacher and U.S. Marshal. These are just my initial thoughts and things may yet change once I start my campaign. I'm very much looking forward to getting started.