Hotter than the noonday sun!

This here's the stuff I'm watching, reading, and listening to for inspiration!
It moves me and guides me and shapes what I think and what I write.
I've also tossed in a few lists of stray thoughts and odd notions
that have invaded my mind while working on this here project.
-- Mike Mitchell

Hot List Archives:

  • Favorite Classic Westerns
  • Horses I'd Kiss
  • Favorite Western Comedies
  • Cool Cowboy Names (Fictional)
  • You Might be a Redneck Gamer (List 1)
  • You Might be a Redneck Gamer (List 2)
  • You Might be a Gutshot Gamer

May. 11, 2004
A Message from Mike Mitchell:

It's time to pay homage to the past.

I'm a Native Texan, born "out in the West Texas town of El Paso," and if that wasn't enough to make me crazy about the Wild West, I've been working on Gutshot for four years now. During that time, I've watched a lot of movies, read a lot of books, and whooped and hollered at a lot of rodeos. I even enjoy both kinds of music, "Country and Western!" (a special online Howdy will go to the first person who figures out what movie that line is from!).

For a while now I've been making mental lists of my favorite Gutshot stuff: movies, TV shows, comics, and music. The other day I wondered why I was keeping this stuff to myself. That's why I've created Marshal Mitchell's Hot List.

From now on, whenever I get a burr under my saddle, I'm gonna post my current Hot List here on the Gutshot Website. This is the stuff I watch, read, and listen to that is shaping the final Gutshot product line.

And just to let you know, these aren't Top-10 lists or the best or greatest of their type. This is just the stuff I've watched and enjoyed and is shaping things to come.

I hope you enjoy these lists. And feel free to send me things you think I would enjoy!

-- Mike Mitchell, Gutshot co-creator

Favorite Classic Westerns
(pre 1965)

“This isn’t civilized Pennsylvania. This is a raw frontier... This is a place where mayhem, theft, and murder are the commonplace and not the unusual.”
- Dr. Mangrum,
Angel and the Badman

  1. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
  2. High Noon (1952)
  3. Rio Bravo (1955)
  4. The Phantom Empire (serial version, 1935)
  5. Angel and the Badman (1947)
  6. Shane (1953)
  7. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  8. Stagecoach (1939)
  9. In Old Caliente (1939)
  10. My Pal Trigger (1946)



Horses I'd Kiss

“Hi-yo Silver, Away!”
- The Lone Ranger

  1. Silver (The Lone Ranger)
  2. Trigger (Roy Rogers)
  3. Banshee (The Night Rider / The Ghost Rider)
  4. Champion (Gene Autry)
  5. Steel (Kid Colt)
  6. Nightwind (Rawhide Kid)
  7. Lightning (Jane West)
  8. Skyrocket (Spin & Marty)
  9. Thunderbolt (Johnny West)
  10. Dan (from the song, "Cool Water.")
  11. Thunder (Outlaw Kid)
  12. Scout (Tonto)
  13. Thunder (Two-Gun Kid)
  14. Whirlwind (The Western Kid)
  15. Clover Fax (El Ravager)
  16. Aragorn (Valkyrie of the Defenders)
  17. A Horse with Name (from the song of the same name)
  18. Mr. Ed. (Wilbur)
  19. Whiskey (The Villain)


Well, I don't know that I'd actually kiss them all, but I'd buy 'em some beer while my men were drinking whiskey.

I chose these cayuses for this list based on their fame, importance to the stories, and the sound of their names.

Some of these ain't exactly Cowboy horses, but that don't mean they don't warrant a mention here.

Skyrocket made it so high only this list, for example, because that was my dad's horse and there are pictures of me'n my older brother and sister riding on him when we were just little shavers. I was too little to remember much about him in his prime, but I do recall feeding him apples in his declining years when he was too old to go carting a buncha young 'uns around the corral.

Now I ask ya, can ya blame me for putting Skyrocket so high on the list?

- Mike Mitchell

Favorite Western Comedies

"Be down at the old oak tree near Boot Hill at twelve o'clock sharp for your hanging. And bring your own rope."
-- Judge Homer McCoy
(Harry Morgan, in The Apple Dumpling Gang)

  1. Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969)
  2. Blazing Saddles (1974)
  3. Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
  4. City Slickers (1991)
  5. The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)
  6. The Villain (1979)
  7. Maverick (1994)
  8. Lust in the Dust (1985)
  9. Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985)
  10. The Shakiest Gun In The West (1968)
  11. The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979)
  12. They Call me Trinity (1971)
  13. Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978)
  14. The Paleface (1948)
  15. Son of Paleface (1952)
  16. Terror of Tiny Town (1938)


I suspect that some of these here films wouldn't be so high on my list (or at all) if I hadn't first seen 'em when I was just knee-high to a prairie dog.

But, movies like Hot Lead and Cold Feet and The Apple Dumpling Gang wormed into my psyche in my formative years. So there they stay, right next to classics like Blazing Saddles and Support Your Local Sheriff!

Now, I suspect that some of you cowpokes will get downright uppity because I put Sheriff above Saddles. Well, I ain't got no defense, and I don't owe ya one, neither. Even though Blazing Saddles is probably the best Western comedy of all time, this list is about my favorites... and James Garner splashing red paint on the floor and walls of a jail cell to scare a man into staying inside, well, that's just plum funny stuff!

Plus, I think Hot Lead and Cold Feet could make the list just on the theme song alone! And as for Lust in the Dust, well... it's probably best not to dwell on why I like that one!

- Mike Mitchell

What's in a name? Danged near everything, that's what! Would a certain masked man be quite as famous if he were called the Lonely Lizard? I don't think so, hombre!

When it comes to setting us up for action, nothing does it quite as fast as a good cowboy name. Honestly, Kid Colt is one of the best danged names for a cowboy that I can think of. It says it all: he's a kid who uses Colts. Can't fault Blaine Colt for not providing us with truth in advertising.

If you want to evoke a sense of menace, then a name like Jonah Hex is in order. That's a fitting name for the bounty hunter who started his career in Weird Western Tales.

Of course, if you really want to evoke mood and mystique, you can use one name, like Shane or Paladin. Or, you can avoid names altogether. But, if you're going to try pulling off being a Man With No Name, it helps if you're as cool as Clint Eastwood. In fact, I dare you to think of him and not start humming the classic opening by Ennio Morricone from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (taka taka taka -- waaaah waaaah waaaaah!)

As usual, these aren't the best cowboys or cowboy heroes on this list (otherwise I'd have included Captain Woodrow F. Call and Augustus McCrae). These are just names I've encountered that are just downright cool…

- Mike Mitchell

Cool Cowboy Names

“You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”
-- The Man With No Name
(The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)

  1. The Lone Ranger
    (Radio, TV, movies… he could do it all, and looked soooo cool in that mask)
  2. The Man With No Name
    (Definitely a "less is more" approach; character brought to life in several movies by Clint Eastwood)
  3. Kid Colt
    (Marvel Comics, quintessential Robin Hood of the West)
  4. Jonah Hex
    (DC Comics, notorious bounty hunter with a scared face)
  5. Rooster Cogburn
    (“One-eyed fat man” marshal played by John Wayne in True Grit and Rooster Cogburn)
  6. Rawhide Kid
    (Marvel Comics, another Robin Hood of the West)
  7. Maverick
    (TV show con-man and gambler played by James Garner)
  8. Shane
    (Outlaw trying to reform in the self-titled movie; with only one name, he's the Cher of the Wild West)
  9. Lady Rawhide
    (Topps Comics, Enemy, then ally of Zorro)
  10. Matt Dillon
    (Gunsmoke TV show; how he resisted Miss Kitty's charms is beyond me...)
  11. Bat Lash
    (DC Comics, gambler & ladies man)
  12. Cinnamon
    (DC Comics, bounty hunter)
  13. Cheyenne Kid
    (Charlton Comics, another do-gooder “outlaw”)
  14. Ghost Rider
    (Marvel Comics, and yup, he was a cowboy first!)
  15. Paladin
    (Star of radio and TV shows, "Have Gun, Will Travel")
  16. Two-Gun Kid
    (Marvel Comics, another lone rider)


You might be a redneck gamer if...
List 1

MM: "You might be a redneck gamer if you're mad as heck because you can't find a 25mm blue tick hound."
CG: "Dixon makes them."
MM: "You might be a redneck gamer if you know off the top of your head where to buy a 25mm blue tick hound!"
(An exchange between Mike Mitchell & Craig Griswold from forums)

  1. Your miniatures are painted the same color as your car... primer gray!
  2. You think Stargrunt is a collection of celebrity porn!
  3. You've ever played "strip Gutshot!
    You use tobacco juice to wash coat miniatures.
  4. Your dice have cigarette burns.
  5. You play Starship Troopers with real bugs.
  6. You have your favorite character's name tatooed on your body.
  7. You base your miniatures on bottle caps.
  8. You've ever 'executed' another player's miniature with a firecracker.
  9. You feel obligated to come to the table at least as well armed as any miniature you use.
  10. You've ever traded a firearm for gaming rules or miniatures.
  11. Most of your game nights end when two player's 'take it outside' to settle a rules question.
  12. Your collection of game models, minis, terrain and books cost are worth more than your car.
  13. You include Skoal on every character's equipment list, regardless of the game or era.
  14. You've ever gamed in your underwear.
  15. You've ever gamed in someone else's underwear!
  16. You've ever played Live Action Battle Cattle!
  17. You've ever forgotten where you were and accidentally spit in someone's dice cup.
  18. You consider cow patties a cheap alternative to foam hills. (Just pour some flock on it, who's gonna know?)
  19. You ever played Live Action Car Wars.



One Friday afternoon a few weeks ago, I was updating the Website and realized that I hadn't posted a new "Marshal Mitchell's Hot List" in quite a while. I have some partial notes around on several lists, but one in particular had been slow in coming. I'm not even gonna deny it -- I'm a big fan of Jeff Foxworthy, so I've been working on a list of "Redneck Gamer" jokes. Rather than slave over it any longer, I decided to post a thread at and see what the guys there could come up with.

I posted it before lunch and when I checked back that afternoon, there were about 80 replies! It turns out most of them were from one guy named Craig Griswold. Apparently he had a gluccose test earlier that day and he was still VERY wired from it and was being very, VERY prolific. In fact, he was so prolific that I decided to post a list of some of my favorite posts that he made over the weekend.

In a few days I'll post a second (and possibly third) list of the rest of the best from this thread (which, as I write this, has 186 posts and probably more than 300 redneck gamer jokes).

Right now, though, this is Craig's show -- thanks man!

- Mike Mitchell

You might be a redneck gamer if...
List 2

  1. You think "Necron" is a new kind of engine oil.
  2. Your local "opponent finder" is the bathroom wall down at the A&P.
  3. Your Space Marine heroes are all named Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, Hood, or Hill.
  4. Your children are all named Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, Hood, or Hill.
  5. Your chainmail hauberk has a special pocket for a chewing tobacco can.
  6. Your mother does better at renaissance faire tournaments than you do.
  7. Your terrain pieces are all either dripcans or spitoons.
  8. You're still searching for those minis of dogs playing poker.
  9. You and your minis have about the same level of formal education.
  10. You whistle the theme from Deliverance while your opponent's forces move towards your ambush.
  11. This evening's scenario was to save the king, and you figured it was about a trip to Graceland.
  12. You think every mini looks good painted plaid.
  13. You carry your vinyl gaming mat rolled up in the gun rack.
  14. You've ever driven a tractor to a hobby store.
  15. Your mom gives you tips on how to sneak booze into gaming conventions.
  16. You make your own paintbrushes using the bristles from the road kill your wife brought home to cook for dinner.
  17. Your FLGS has a beer cooler by the front door.
  18. You own the soundtracks to Braveheart, Conan the Barbarian, and Star Trek -- on 8-track.
  19. You paint your orks "John Deere green."
  20. You make little saddles for the cockroaches and use them as alien cavalry.
  21. You keep calling the Home Shopping Network to ask when the Battle for Maccrage set will be coming on.
  22. More than half your terrain pieces are made primarily of duct tape.
  23. You thought "Galadriel" was a kind of Scotch.
  24. You've ever referred to plastic minis as "new-fangled."
  25. You've ever asked the Warden if you can sculpt minis instead of stamping license plates.
  26. You ask the hobby store clerk how much that would be in Confederate banknotes.
  27. The first time you showed your wife a d20, she thought you'd taken up golf as a hobby.
  28. You and your kids all suffer from advanced lead poisoning, and nobody can tell the difference.



That Redneck Gamer list is still growing, folks!

As yuh may recall, a while back I started a topic at in honor of Jeff Foxworthy... A simple lil' thang called "You might be a redneck gamer."

Well, that has gotten bigger'n a tick that's hit an artery! It's got danged near 250 posts and about 500 redneck jokes!

I still haven't gone through and collected the best of the best, but in the meantime, a feller who goes by the handle of javelin98 came up with a very good list-within-the-list. Since I really enjoyed, I'm presenting most of it here with very little editing.

Thanks again, Jav!

- Mike Mitchell

For previous Hot Lists, visit
The Lone Star Saloon.



Last night I was watching a classic Western on TV, “Two Rode Together” with Jimmy Stewart, and I caught myself trying to figure out what year they were in based on the standard Army Pay for a scout in U.S. Army at a fort in North Texas. The amount was $80 per month, and I was thinking that had to make it in the 1880s… and then I realized that perhaps I was falling victim to Gamer Trivia Syndrome.

You know what this is. You can’t remember to pick up eggs at the grocery store, but you can remember 19th Century Army pay schedules from the American Western Frontier.

I won’t say it’s a sign that you’ve been gaming too long, but these are signs that you might wanna take a break for a week or two. You can do some yard work, soak in the pool, nibble on your wife’s neck… or paint that big stack of lead minis gather dust in the corner!

By the way, here’s my favorite quote from the movie:

Sergeant Posey: "You! You're supposed to be dead!"
Marshal McCabe: "I'm sorry, Slim. I didn't quite make it."
Two Rode Together (1961)

- Mike Mitchell

You might be a Gutshot gamer if...

  1. You’ve ever had to interrupt a cattle stampede to take out the trash for your mom.
  2. Someone asks you what you did over the weekend and you tell a 30-minute story about how you escaped from a Mexican prison, floated on a raft down the Rio Grande to fight a horde of banditos to rescue the Cattle Baron’s daughter, and then end the tale with, “and then we ordered out for pizza.”
  3. You have ever spent more on miniatures than you have on rent.
  4. You know where you can buy dice made of semi-precious stones like Amethyst or Tigers Eye.
  5. You actually OWN a set of dice made of semi-precious stones like Amethyst or Tigers Eye.
  6. You can quote long passages of rules about Cover, Line of Sight and Retaliation Fire… but you can’t remember your wife’s birthday.
  7. You keep hunting on ebay to see if you can find one of those really cool spring loaded derringer thingies that James West’s used to pop the gun into his hand on “The Wild Wild West.”
  8. You have ever had a long, serious discussion about whether or not Jesse James could have killed Superman with Kryptonite bullets.
  9. You have ever come to blows while arguing about whether Tonto was a better sidekick than Festus.
  10. You have ever complained about not getting enough lead in your diet.
    You have ever bet money on the outcome of a dice roll, and you weren’t in Las Vegas.
  11. You have ever shed real tears about the outcome of a dice roll, and you weren’t in Las Vegas.
  12. During a house fire, you don’t even hesitate before grabbing your game books and campaign notes instead of the family photo album.
  13. You have ever lost sleep trying to decide between white primer or black primer.
  14. You have ever agonized trying to choose between Caramel Tan and Hesitant Fawn when selecting the color for your gunfighter miniatures’ duster.
  15. You meet the new guy at work and ask him what his TN is.
  16. You’re watching the big game on TV with your buddies, your team scores, and you stand up shouting “Boxcars!”
  17. The total weight of all your miniatures is more than your body weight (and for most of us gamers, that’s a lot!).
  18. Your family has had an intervention about your “addiction” to miniatures.
  19. You easily escaped from the rehab center by using your gamer knowledge.
  20. You have ever paused a DVD to write up stats for Liberty Valance, Jimmy Stewart, and John Wayne.
  21. You know more about the shootout at the O.K. Corral than your junior college history professor.
  22. For extra credit in junior college history, you re-enacted a 25mm mock fight of the Shootout at the O.K. corral.
  23. You have ever gotten hoppin’ mad because you saw the hero in a Civil War movie used an 1872 Colt Army Revolver.


You know you have too many miniatures if ...

  1. The weight of your collection has actually cracked the foundation of your house.
  2. Your upstairs workshop is now in the basement.
  3. You have so much lead lining the walls of your house, that Superman's X-ray vision can't see through it.
  4. You save the filings and flash off your minis so you can melt it down to make new figures.
  5. You have so many unopened blister packs in your house that visitors just assume you've opened up your own shop.
  6. The last time you moved you had to rent a truck and hire three burly guys just to move your Warhammer armies.
  7. You have enough lead on hand to field a 1,000,000,000 point army.
  8. You're bidding against the Chinese on lead futures.
  9. The only spot in your house without a paint drop/stain is the part of your chair where your butt rests!
  10. Your house was hit by a tornado and the tornado bounced off.
  11. Light is starting to bend when it passes by your house.
  12. You win a great auction on eBay, get the figures and go to put them in store only to find out you already have 3 blisters of them unpainted.
  13. Iit is easier to buy new armies rather than move the mountain of boxes just to get to the ones you already have that are buried at the bottom of the pile.
  14. You actually own more models of a vehicle than were ever produced.
  15. You can pick any "historical" battle from your genre and recreate it in 1:1 scale.
  16. NASA is investigating a wobble of earth's rotation and discovers it's caused by your collection
  17. Traders chase away other customers when you arrive at their booth and prostrate themselves when you adress them
  18. You considered making the cealing magnetic to use it as more storage space
  19. The ceiling collapsed when you tried to use it as storage space
  20. Your miniatures are packed so tight they start to fight among themselves
  21. Much of your furniture is made out of storage boxes
  22. People have staked a minerals claim on your residence.
  23. Your house is listed on local tourist maps like the ball of twine and shopping bag collection
  24. Stearilite and Rubber Maid send you Christmas cards along with the latest product catalog.
  25. When you have enough stacks of lead lining the walls of your game room that it doubles for the family's radioactive-proof fallout shelter


Spring-cleaning hit with a vengeance, and this time it wasn’t my wife who persuaded me to do it! I was trying to find “the twins” on my workbench, and had to dig through about 50 pounds of unpainted lead to find them.

The twins, by the way, are a pair of matching female bounty hunter minis that I had recently stripped (of their PAINT, get yer minds out of the gutter) to repaint. These were some of the early figs I had painted and their quality is even worse than what I’m capable of today.  So, in a pique of madness, I decided to strip ‘em of their perfectly serviceable paint jobs and start fresh.

Now, I’ve never been a prolific painter to begin with, and the last thing I need is to start undoing old work so I can do it over.  To be blunt, if I do this, I will NEVER finish the miniatures I’ve already got.

Now, the sad thing is, compared to most gamers I know, I really don’t have that many figures.  I guess “50 pounds” is a bit of a tall tale… to tell the truth, I’ve got under 200 figures that need a paint job (not counting some old Ral Partha Fantasy minis and some “off topic” figs that I picked up when a game store closed its doors – realistically I’ll never paint those figs because I don’t have any use for them. I mean, a 15mm dwarf in a WWI German helmet?  Where the heck did that even come from?). So, the cleaning bug hit and, although I didn’t actually part with any minis, I did buy shelves, storage bins, and other organizers to help me find my stuff.

Yet, as I put away my “Duck Wader” mini (picture Darth Vader as Daffy Duck, just don’t ask why I bought it), I began to picture the theme for this particular Hot List.  Thanks once again to all the guys at who helped me flesh this out!

A few stray comments from the TMPers:

Dervel: "Ahhh, but you forget the all important question: Painted or Unpainted?"

Hundvig: "Too many miniatures? I don't speak your crazy moon language, sir!"

Dom Skelton : "Umm, I use the fridge door as temporary storage. Does this mean I have a problem…?"

Don Lowry: "When you've run out of wars???"

- Mike Mitchell

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