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Summer Playtest Delayed
Mitchell Recovering from Surgery

July 7, 2004
HOUSTON, Texas --
Originally scheduled for the month of July, the Gutshot Summer Playtest Campaign has been delayed until August or September. The delay was stems from Gutshot co-creator Mike Mitchell needing surgery on June 22.

"Historically, June has not been a good month for Gutshot," Mitchell said. "Back in 2001 my home was destroyed by Tropical Storm Allison, and this year I had to have surgery, which laid me up for two weeks."

Mitchell's surgery was not emergency (life threatening), but it was urgent, he said.

"My regular doctor looked at me on Saturday morning and told me I had to see a general surgeon, fast. He put me on pain medication for the weekend and the surgeon saw me Monday. He took one look at me and asked if I had eaten anything that day. I told him I'd had some toast for breakfast and he frowned, saying that if not for that he would have operated on me right then. As it was, I went under the knife on Tuesday."

The surgery was to remove an infect abscess of tissue. It went well and Mitchell is recovering as expected.

"For your sakes, I won't go into the details about where it is, how large it was, and the other gooey details about my recovery," he said with a pained grin. "Let's just say that I'm getting better and leave it at that."

He should be mostly recovered in six weeks, and completely recovered in three months.

Mitchell was out of work for two full weeks and is only now getting back to regular activity. During his convalescence, he reports that he did get some work done on Gutshot, including some writing and design work on key areas of the rules. Even though this progress was good, it does mean the Summer Playtest Campaign will be seriously delayed.

"Our Summer Playtest plans have been seriously hit," Mitchell said. "Originally, I was going to run 4-8 games at local game stores in July and August. I was going to focus on some outstanding details on horses, stagecoaches, and terrain. I also had a few details in the Victory Points system that I wanted to fine tune. Now I may have to push that back to August or even September, depending on my recovery."

Last year the Summer Playtest Campaign ran in June and July for nine games. The Midnight Riders games were instrumental in working out details in the combat system and were a huge hit with local gamers. Check out the Midnight Riders pages for details.

Sample artwork from the upcoming playtest edition of Gutshot.

Additionally, the Summer Playtests were also going to spread out of the Houston area.

"We're setting up playtests in other areas of the country," Mitchell said. "We've been contacted by lots of great people who are excited about Wild West miniatures gaming and they are chomping at the bit for us to get them a good draft of the rules so they can start putting Gutshot through its paces. My surgery has delayed that a bit, unfortunately."

Things are getting back on schedule, though. Mitchell reported that the playtest materials are being reviewed by members of the Gutshot Posse and that he hopes to have the playtest materials ready for early August. At that time, he'll announce some of the locations and gaming groups who have been selected to participate in the playtest program.

"We'll also put our requirements list and an info page online for other groups to look at and sign up with us to help playtest," he said. "But we'll talk more about that, later. First things first -- We've got to finish reviewing the playtest draft of the rules, get everything ready... and finish recovering. It's going to be a long, sore summer."

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