The Curse of Dead Man’s Hand

I have really enjoyed playing Great Escape Games’ rules, Dead Man’s Hand. It is an enjoyable set of rules that allow for games in the Old West. I like the mechanics and the ease of playing.

Great Escape have taken their rules into 1920s prohibition with The Chicago Way and these rules allow you to recreate the Untouchables.

Their next set of rules look very interesting with the addition of what looks like the undead into the Old West, with their new set, The Curse of Dead Man’s Hand.

he Curse of Dead Man's Hand source book

The curse has finally come to Dead Man’s Hand.Get together anybody you can, time to put petty rivalries aside and stand together against an enemy who shows no mercy, who will take it all, and leave you with nothing, not even your soul.

You need a copy of the Dead Man’s Hand rule book to use the source book.

The Curse of Dead Man's Hand

As well as rules, there are going to be some new buildings from 4Ground, which you can see as background in these photographs from Great Escape Games.

The Curse of Dead Man's Hand

These buildings look like they will also be useful for “normal” games of Dead Man’s Hand.

4Ground Single Storey Small Building Under Construction

4Ground Single Storey Small Building Under Construction

This is a laser-cut mdf building from 4Ground for Great Escape Games’ Dead Man’s Hand set of rules.

When a camp town started becoming more prosperous the residents would start producing town buildings, these were often frame buildings in which the timber frame was built as a shell and then the rest of the building was built in and around it.

This was easiest to do in areas with large amounts of lumber (or easy access to it by railroad). Many towns would have this kind of building almost under constant construction at one location or another as the towns grew.

These buildings make great terrain pieces as they can provide cover without blocking line of sight.

This is just the skeleton of a house.

4Ground Single Storey Small Building Under Construction

You do need to take care pressing this out, as it is a little more delicate than those models with complete walls.

I would say the roof is very challenging, so take your time and it can’t be rushed.

Finished the 4Ground 15mm Corner Bakery

4Ground 15mm Corner Bakery

Finally finished one of my Christmas presents (from some time ago) was the 4Ground 15mm Shop 4: Corner Bakery. I already have a couple of the 4Ground 15mm buildings, a pair of semi-detached houses and one of the hotels.

The Corner Bakery is a great piece of terrain to enhance your battle board. It comes pre-painted with 4Ground Base paints with high levels of internal detail as well as shop specific signage and acetate shop windows.

Each floor is removable allowing access to each one and the different rooms usable doors. To keep the floors in place there are little locking lugs in each corner. The external walls are rendered with cracked detailing and acetate window.

The model comes as flat pieces of coloured MDF which has been laser cut. Having put most of it together, I went ahead and finished it.

There are lots of details and depth to the models. The instructions are clear and the model is easy to assemble.

The model has separate floors allowing models to be placed inside the building.

As you can see the model’s pre-coloured MDF does make these stand out and quick to put onto the table.

4Ground 15mm Corner Bakery

In the end I found the model challenging to keep together as separate floors so I removed the lugs and stuck the whole building together.

I have added glazing to the windows and used the included posters on the wall.

4Ground 15mm Corner Bakery

I quite liked how the signage which comes with the model includes English signs, Operational Sealion anyone? Or what about a 1930s VBCW scenario? Though of course the building is quite continental in appearance.

A&D Hardware Store

4Ground A&D Hardware Store

This is a laser-cut mdf building from 4Ground for Great Escape Games’ Dead Man’s Hand set of rules.

Andrew Dewey and Dave Annabelle met whilst they were serving as elected members of the Territorial Legislator of Montana and both living in Helena. They both had a firm interest in travelling to the Town of Dead Man’s Hand and joining the gold rush, after buying as much equipment as they could they set out on the road.

Along the way they found out about the boom town of Bitter Creek and the gold just being picked up from the ground. So after passing through Dead Man’s Hand the partners reached Bitter Creek, they quickly realised that the gold was not just waiting to be picked off the ground as they had been told, but the constant influx of new pioneers would pay handsomely for the abundance of equipment they had brought with them. Annabelle and Dewey quickly decided the best thing to do would be to set up the first hardware store in the town, ordering in all the goods they needed they quickly started earning a fair amount.

Now the A & D Hardware Store sells mining goods, tools, provisions and clothing to prospectors and pioneers. As their shipments have increased they have noticed a rise in the town of unsavoury types said by some to be under the payroll of S. L. Wheatley in nearby Dead Man’s Hand.

Like most of the newer 4Ground models, this is a well designed kit with lots of interior detail as well as on the outside. So there are inside walls as well as exterior walls.

4Ground A&D Hardware Store

Inside the building is the main retail area, time to add a counter and stock, whilst there is a rear storage area at the back of the building with a rear exit for a quick getaway if required.

4Ground A&D Hardware Store

The model goes together really easily, but as the instruction recommend you should use clamps (or pegs) when sticking the exterior walls onto the main frame to avoid unsightly gaps and a near fit.

4Ground A&D Hardware Store

4Ground A&D Hardware Store

I think the only challenge I can see is adding glazing to the windows.

Finishing the Shotgun House

Having being half completed for a while, I took the time to finish off my The Chicago Way Shotgun House from 4Ground.

In the mid C19th on the French island territory of Haiti a narrow gable fronted worker’s dwelling had developed with external door openings in the gable ends in alignment front and rear. Internal partition walls were used to divide living space, with internal partition doors in alignment with the external doors enabling good air circulation; often built with a high roof pitch and small windows below the gable peaks which contributed to the cooling environment created by the effect of drafting air through the dwelling.

By the late C19th these dwellings had spread across much of the USA and could be commonly found from Southern Texas all the way up to Chicago – North East Illinois. Better quality examples were sometimes called ‘Shotgun Houses’ rather than ‘Shotgun Shacks’ to distinguish them from those of a poorer quality. By the early to mid C20th almost all of these houses were considered old and dilapidated and both ‘Shotgun Shack’ and ‘Shotgun house’ implied a poor quality dwelling.

I found the model went together really easily.

However I did find the doors a little difficult and I constructed them back to front, so worth watching out for that if you are building one of these houses.

As with most 4Ground models there are the burn marks from the laser cutting. I think they add a certain weathered appearance to the building.

I am now thinking about getting the other two Shotgun Houses from this range.