FAQ / Help
Ole Doc Murphy ain't exactly noted fer his patience (well, he is... it's jest fer his lack of patience!). And he gets plum riled up answering the same questions over and over. Or, as he put it as Mad Dog Mauer wrasseled the shotgun out of his hands, "One more person asks me that, I'll pepper his hide with a double-barrel blast o' buckshot!"
So, to keep the peace, we reckoned it might be a good idea to post some of the more frequent questions and answers here.
Q: What's the best way to contact you guys?
A: Send an e-mail to Mike Mitchell and he'll pass it on to the appropriate party. You can use this e-mail address:
And make sure you put the word GUTSHOT (in all caps) as the first word of your subject line. The second best way to contact us is to register in our Online Forums and drop us a line there. We each keep tabs on what's going on over there and one of us is bound to reply in a day or so. Finally, if you're in a real hurry and the first two methods haven't worked, mosey on over to theminiaturespage.com and drop us a line there. Both Murphy and I are "regulars" over there, so you're bound to bump into one of us at least once a day.
Q: Why do you print your e-mail address in such a weird way?
A: Because we get about 1,200 - 2,500 spam e-mails a month at our various e-mail accounts. Spam-bots are automatic programs that scour Websites like ours for e-mail addresses. Some of them are even smart enough to read the writing in that image up there! But most of them aren't; they just read the text that's visible on the page, or that's hidden inside the page (such as e-mail forms that include the address in hidden text "behind the scenes"). Printing our e-mail address in an image is one of the safer ways to post it.
Q: Why isn't Gutshot available as a PDF?
A: There is actually more than one reason for this. First of all, Gutshot is a 180-page book with lots of illustrations and graphics that "bleed" off the edge of the page. This would be very expensive for people to print out on their home printers, or even at a copy shop like FedEx Kinkos. Secondly, and we're bein' honest here, PDFs are just too danged "portable" and easy to pirate. Now, we ain't accusing our fans of bein' low-down, dirty dog, rules rustlers, but there are folks out there who are and right now it's just too danged hard fer us to police 'em. Thirdly, we have no idea how to price the PDFs so that they don't interfere with the sales of our printed books. Ya see, we are big fans of our Friendly Local Game Stores (FLGS), those with actual store fronts and our buddies who hang out a virtual shingle on the Web. These folks make a living by selling real, tangible products like books and miniatures. So, fer now, we're gonna keep Gutshot a print-only product. That may change in the future, especially for some of our other products.
Q: Is Gutshot available in languages other than English, and are there any plans to translate it into other languages?
A: The short answer is "Nope." The long answer is this: We could hire someone to translate Gutshot for us. But then we would have to face the difficult task of supporting the game in multiple languages. Although Murphy speaks some German and Mitchell speaks some Spanish, these ain't our native tongues and we're not fluent in them. Oh, we can get by (Murphy has even done some translation work, and Mitchell has been known to hang out in cantinas in Juarez in his college days), the truth is that it would be time consuming and we worry that we might not be able to give a professional level of support in these other languages. So, for the time being, we're gonna stick to English.
Q: When is _________ book coming out?
A: Just as soon as we get off our behinds and finish it. Hawgleg ain't our day job, folks. Real life (wives, girlfriends, jobs, and all that stuff) has to come first. Trust us when we say, we'll get to them other books and products as soon as we can.
Q: Can I play Gutshot with another scale of miniatures?
A: Absolutely! We're always hearing from people who run games with 15mm cowboys and from folk who run games with plastic cowboys that they bought at a Dollar Store. Plastic cowboys are usually about 2 inches tall, or 54mm fer you folks who was schooled in that metric stuff. They all report that the standard movement rates and weapon ranges are just fine without tinkering with them. One reason this works is that we designed Gutshot to work on a standard gaming table. That is to say, everything from a card table to a ping pong table -- you know, "normal" tables you might find in everyday life. If you were to double the movement and weapon ranges because you were using 54mm cowboys, that would mean that a healthy cowboy could run 24 inches and shoot a rifle 50 inches! If he ran and then fired, that's 74 inches of range in just one Action! If your game table is shorter than 6 feet long, then that cowboy would be shooting off the table. That's just a mite bit too long fer a fun game. It's best to keep the ranges shorter so combat stays up-close and personal.
Q: What kind of basing should I use for the miniatures?
A: Anything you like, really. Since this is a skirmish game (1 miniature = 1 Character), we prefer mounting miniatures on 1-inch round bases (metal or plastic). The Gutshot rules don't have flanking or modify attacks based on the side of approach, so square bases are not necessary. Additionally, cowboys don't tend to stand in tight formation, so once again the square bases don't really help game play. Of course, if you've already got a whole mountain of lead that you've slavishly mounted on square bases, we don't reckon anyone's gonna get all bent out of shape if yuh bring 'em to game night!
Q: Can I make _______ change to the rules?
A: Absolutely, pardner! You bought the danged thing, so it's yours to play with. Go hog wild and do what feels right. We do ask two things of yuh, though:
- Write it up and post it in the Hawgleg forums so other folks can try it out. Who knows, if it's really great we may ask you if we can include it in our next edition (and we'll definitely give you credit where it's due).
- If you're playing the game at a convention or doing a demo at a game store, please tell the people there that you're playing a variation. We don't want people to see you play it your way and then scratch their heads when they play it somewhere else.
- And sorry to have tuh say something so obvious, but our bean counters are forcing us to put this in writing: Although you are free to make all the house rules you want, and to share them with your friends, that does not give you the right to publish them (for pay or for free) as your own work. If you fellas want to play a game where a bunch of cowboys fight off the tripods from War of the Worlds, go fer it! But don't go posting it online as a new game called "The Gutshot Heard 'Round the War of the Worlds." It's a big difference to make a few mods to share with yer buddies through a private Yahoo group and another thing altogether to set up a public Website where yuh rustle our work and claim it's yours. That bein' said, don't fret about it cause we trust yuh (well, there's also the fact that our buddy Judge Roy Bean's gotta9lot of rope and some tall trees to deal with extreme offenders)!
Q: You call Gutshot an Award-winning game -- what award did it win?
A: Gutshot was published in Feb. 2005 and was submitted to the 32nd Annual ORIGINS awards in March 2006. In April 2006 we were notified that Gutshot had been nominated for "Historical Miniatures Game of the Year." In July 2006, both Murphy and I were in Columbus, Ohio when Gutshot received the honor of winning in its category. We are very proud of this win and thank everyone who supported us along the way.
Q: How does the size of ___ miniature compare to ___ miniature?
A: Good question! These days there are several scales that tend to dominate the Western miniatures gaming market: "true 25mm," 25mm, "25mm heroic scale," 28mm, 32mm, and 54mm are the most common. But there are also a few odd ones out there like 15mm, 20mm, and 40mm. About the only thing most people agree on is that miniatures are measured from the bottom of the foot/boot to the eyes. "True 25mm" is the older standard and those figures tend to look a little "wimpy" when compared to the more modern "25mm heroic scale" and 28mm figures. Both of these scales are favored at Marshal Mitchell's game table, by the way. These figures are a little beefier and taller than the older figs and are used by Artizan, Blue Moon, Knuckleduster and new figs from Foundry. The 32mm figures are almost unique to Black Scorpion. In general, though, unless you're a real stickler for standardizing the height of your figures, you can mix and match many of these scales without problem. After all, there's a lot of height and body type variation among people in the real world. For a glance at how some of these figures compare, take a look at the great guide on the Witchtown Website. No matter what you choose, we suggest you ignore small differences in scale and grab the miniatures that look cool and excite you; those are the ones that will make for the best games.
Q: When are you guys going to make your own miniatures?
A: Actually, we've already started! You can already get them at some conventions and we should have them for sale at our Website before the end of 2009.