Prussia needs a few cows, too...
Buzzard's Gulch, Texas. Six months into Prussian occupation, the men of the cantonment at Chalupa Flats, Texas were chafing at the bit. The glorious occupation of the coal-gas fields of Texas had bogged down into a sullen occupation of vast areas of near-wasteland, with hostile local inhabitants who did not appear to be very willing to become part of His Royal Highness' Greater Prussian Reich. Such a place was Buzzard's Gulch, Texas. Just a flyspot on the map by empire standards, but it would become a name that would rally a whole generation of Texans in their great guerrilla war with the Prussian Empire...
The confrontation started when the Hauptman of the local cantonment of troops at Chalupa Flats, Texas, sent three companies to the nearest real town, Buzzard's Gulch, on a foraging expedition. These "foraging expeditions" had become excuses to rustle as much cattle as possible, along with sundry other thefts from local drinking establishments and mercantile interests. The Prussians were at the extreme tail end of a line of resupply and communication that stretched half a globe's distance, and so were told to fend for themselves as much as possible.
The Buzzard's Gulch Incident, as it came to be known, started with an unfortunate shipment from contraband traders on the coast: Namely, bootleg Schnapps. The owner of the Buzzard's Gulch Saloon, Mr. Alois Peevey, had invested in several cases of schnapps for his saloon, anticipating an increase in business. It would prove an fatal mistake. Unfortunately for Mr. Peevey, his anticipated customers had not been paid in quite a while, so they took, rather than paid for, several bottles of schnapps for immediate consumption. When Peevey remonstrated with the local Prussian commander, he was treated rather brusquely and told to mind his own business. Peevey tried to intercede physically with the Prussian soldiers looting his establishment, and got a bullet for his efforts. As Peevey's body crashed to the ground, the other patrons of the establishment got up grimly and left the building, scattering into the darkness.
The local commander let his men have their way for a while. After all, there was no immediate threat noticeable, and the lads had been cooped up in barracks most of a Texas summer. Meanwhile, word was getting out to various groups about the depredations of the Prussians. The local Texas Ranger station, twenty miles away, rode all night to get to Buzzard's Gulch by dawn. They brought one of the old American army detachments, under Captain Jeb Cook, with them. The two groups advanced from the Southern and Eastern sides of town.
Captain Cook's men moved in between one of the mercantile establishments and the old Hotel, the Alhambra.
The Prussians, fueled by free schnapps, became quite boisterous, rapidly losing discipline. The Prussian unit commanders, not realizing trouble was brewing, did little to quell the unrest the troops were causing.
At this point, a small company sized unit of citizens, led by Mr. Ned Hammer, approached the Buzzard's Gulch saloon. Mr. Hammer's force was quite a ragtag bunch, consisting of a few drunken cowhands, Chinese railway workers (wielding an impressive two man jingal gun), an itinerant Sumo wrestler, and some Russian émigrés.
They were confronted by the Town Sheriff, who only had two deputies with him. He incorrectly judged the ugliness of the mood of the mob, and when he tried to disperse the crowd, he and his deputies were beaten senseless.
At this point, the officer in charge of the 33rd Prussian Infantry company (white shoulder boards) noticed the sheriff and his men getting a beating outside the saloon window. Prussian discipline took hold over the Schnapps fumes and he hastily formed those men he could into some semblance of a formation. The other men were too busy "Insulting women" (e.g., abducting them) and looting to pay close heed.
Noticing the women being manhandled by the Prussian invaders got the crowd hopping mad. Territorial expansion is one thing, but violating the Code of the West is an entirely different matter! The crowd rushed in to go hand to hand with the 33rd's hastily formed line... and did surprisingly well. Luck, and a lack of schnapps, was on their side.
For a group of amateurs, Hammer's mob did very well for themselves... closing with the Prussians quickly and dispatching of those that were sober enough to form formation. The survivors, a pitiful remnant, ran to escort women to safety.
Meanwhile, tired of a steady diet of sauerkraut and beans, the train company (blue shoulder boards) made off with some "dinner on the hoof".
Meanwhile, Jeb Cook's army remnant company had come under serious fire from the still-sober SeeBattalion guarding the depot. Their first few volleys decimated Cook's ranks, leaving him down to three men, including himself. The SeeBattalion were good shots this day.
Fortunately for Cook, his friends in the Texas Rangers had formed a hasty line next to the church, and their elite marksmanship came into play as the fired volley after volley into the SeeBattalion, reducing it to two men.
The battle (or 'incident' depending on which version you read) was actually going the way of the Texans until a hastily dispatched rider returned with reinforcements in the form of the SudWestAmerika (SWA) expeditionary company and Grosse Herman, the experimental giant steel-walking man that was the creation of the Sinister Count Orloff, Prussian Science expert.
This is where the "incident" took a turn for the worse for the Texans. By now they were fairly outnumbered, and they had only one counter to Grosse Herman, The Texas Tempest. The Tempest, creation of the local crackpot, was in the Galvanic coaches establishment run by Markley and Son. The confrontation was a non-event, as the Tempest could not get started on time. When it did putter out of the Markley establishment, it got broadsided by a flame-thrower and a shell from Grosse Herman. The Tempest survived that but did very poorly in a ram situation when Herman rushed her.
At this stage, the remnant of the Rangers and Army commands beat a hasty retreat, having both taken huge losses. To their credit, they managed to score 9 Victory Points to the Invader's 11.
There are a finite amount of Victory Points, equal to the number of women and cows in the town. These are represented by a pile of pennies, some of which will be under the Unescorted (free) women to start.
Unescorted women (and cattle in stampede) move on the Joker card. Determine this with a direction dice and 1D6. Cattle will get slightly more, say, 2D6 depnding on board layout.
To get a woman to safety, the Texan player must "escort" her to the Church. The Prussian must "escort" her to the Depot.
Escorted women move 1D6 a turn, representing their panic and general unwillingness to cooperate with either side.
Unescorted women have pennies under their bases. Escorted women lose their pennies to the escorting side's pot. An escorted woman may be "stolen" by a figure from the opposing side, but this results in immediate melee between the two figures. Once a women is escorted to a safe zone (depot or church), she is out of play and the penny is permanently in the keeping of that side.
One Woman = One Penny.
If a figure is escorting a woman, he may not fire or voluntarily engage in melee, unless defending a woman. Only ONE woman or cow may be escorted at a time, no mixing of species.
Cows work the same way women do (no offense, ladies) but they need to be escorted back to their corral, not the Church.
Cows can stampede. If they stampede off the board, they may not be recovered by either side.
Morale Effects: Escorted and Non-Escorted women can get shot by rifle fire. If an Escorted woman dies while being controlled by Texans, the Texans lose a penny and gain -1 advantage on the firing unit.
If an Escorted woman dies in Prussian control, the Prussians lose a penny and the Texans make an immediate morale check. If the Prussian uses this loophole to voluntarily slaughter women in their control, the Texans gain -3 to fire upon the offending unit.