CoffinWood and staying focused

G’day gang,

For a while now I’ve been tinkering with the idea of a Wild West skirmish game. I’ve finished some very basic rules and have started acquiring models for gangs, old west buildings and even a Wild West battle mat. I call the game CoffinWood.

As many of you are gamers I feel a little reluctant to share the rules because they’re so basic haha. I guess I’m sharing them because I’d like input and suggestions etc.

I’m not really a gamer. I don’t get to play much and when I do, with friends, the rules are always so simple but also evolve organically through the game itself.

For example my friend might ask if he could drive his tank through a fortified wall? I’m always up for stuff like that so I’ll say yeah ok but you need to roll two even numbers to do so and can only try it once per turn. For me, and I hope my friends too, it makes the game almost like an RPG, or choose your own adventure type thing. Sometimes the suggestions are quite funny. I remember once a friend asked if he could strap explosives to a dog and get the dogs to run under a vehicle and then detonate haha. Poor dog 😕

So the game of CoffinWood will definitely employ the same approach but I also like the idea of using a deck of cards as well as dice for certain things too.

I bought a themed deck of cards from eBay that I think look very cool and will suit the game.

There will be about 8 (10 man) gangs to choose from and, of course, I’ve named each character haha.

Characters like Bear Man Bob, Gilbert “No mercy” Norris, Dead eye Daisy and Miss Bloody Dawn. Haha

There will be scenarios like “Bank Robbery” and “Gunfight at the NOT SO okay Corral” 😊

Anyway, here are the basic rules. Remember that I am not a gamer so go easy on me and don’t start throwing weird terms and complicated rule ideas at me because I’ll zone out hahahaha. In all honesty though I’m open to any suggestions but yeah the simpler the better for my simple brain 😊😉


CoffinWood is a Wild West skirmish game based in the old town of CoffinWood.

A deck of cards is used and dice to determine outcomes from three phases. 

  • movement 
  • shooting 
  • assault 

Up to four gangs can play at once each using a suit from the deck, ie Hearts, Clubs etc. 

Number cards determine how far the gang can move and how far each men ever can shoot. 

Jack allows the gang to stay hidden during opponents turn

Queen is a healing card that can be used to bring a gang member back to life 

King will increase the shooting range and strength of an individual gang member

Ace is like a wild card that can be used as a Jack, Queen or King. 

Joker card can be played at anytime even if it’s not your turn. The joker card will allow a gang member or leader to flee 12 inches away from a predicament or situation/fight 

Character cards can only be used once in a game but the number cards are used each turn. 

Dice are used for hits and saves 

Gang leaders have a saving roll of 3+

Gang members have a saving roll of 4+ 

Gang leaders can hit on 3+

Gang members hit on 4+ 

10 members per gang. 

Special characters like citizens have a whole suit to themselves and can be utilised by any player during their turn. They have a saving roll of 3+ and hit roll of 3+ 

Hard cover is no line of sight. Solid buildings or behind walls etc.

Medium cover is (approx) 50% visual add 2 to saves. Eg a gang member has a saving roll of 2+ instead of 4+. Medium cover could be behind waist high walls or pocket fences. 

Soft cover the gang member has an extra 1 added to the saving roll. Soft cover includes things like shrubbery and bushes or behind windows. 

Same rules apply but in reverse for hit rolls. Eg a gang member loses 1 point for hits if behind a bush. 

In episode 34 of the Imperial Rebel Ork Podcast I discussed Hobby Butterflies and how I had decided to embrace mine. It’s also the same episode I interviewed Roger from “Rantings from under the wargames table”

As much as I have embraced my natural hobby butterfly ways I also like the idea of being focused to get certain things done. I certainly apply myself when it comes to my work. Partly because there’s no other choice but also because there’s a real sense of pride of achieving something.

My recent hobby project for Fembruary 2021 has also shown me that I can stay focused when needed to within the hobby. I think when I’m left to my own devices is when I start to be distracted by other shiny and new exciting projects haha.

I’m hoping to stay focused on CoffinWood. Wish me luck haha. To do so I’m going to keep watching Wild West movies and documentaries because I find that’s often the route cause to why I get distracted.

Episode 52 of my podcast will be released tomorrow and it’s all about “Focus”



32 thoughts on “CoffinWood and staying focused”

  1. I don’t know anything about game rules but I LOVE Wild West stuff. I just read a weird west novel (wild west with some fantasy elements) and it was somehow kind of boring. I’m not sure how the author made a gunslinger boring but she did. =/

    Liked by 4 people

  2. If you haven’t, take a look at Malifaux, they use playing card exclusively for all “actions”. I also like that they use alternating activation of individual miniatures/characters. Upon activation each character can perform unto 3 actions – run, shoot, throw a spell, shoot, melee, pick-up an objective or just do nothing.
    I really like the alternating character activations, so much better than watching your opponent do every thing, then you do every thing.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Love your enthusiasm as always mate but to be honest I haven’t got a clue what you are on about! One question, how are the cards dealt out or aren’t they? Am upto date with the podcast, which I’m still loving by the way, so will tune in to the latest episode at the end of the week. Unfortunately I have got an online Zoom funeral to attend on Thursday, should be a different experience!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Like the concept, how about having an Ace be an automatic hit or kill? I’m guessing that you deal out a hand of cards like a poker hand at the start of the turn, you could use the number cards to determine initiative, in as much as each player lay’s out one number card from they’re hand at the start of each turn or round, and the highest moves first, next highest second etc, that way you add the element that you have to judge when in the turn it’s best for you to move (do you want to go first or react to other players actions) and play the card that you think will get you that slot in the order, you could do a similar thing when it come to shooting. (same numbers are worked out by suit (spades before clubs before hearts before diamonds).

    Just ideas of the top of my head.

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Your rules seem easy enough to follow, but the real test will be playing it and seeing how they work, don’t be afraid to keep tweaking the rules until your happy with them.
    A friends company actually makes orc cowboys !

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Sounds like you’ve thought it out pretty well! 🙂 But you’ll know what you’re happy with. I have a basic approach to these things – you either hit the target or you don’t, and everything else just moves the probabilities about a bit. Way back I made my own skirmish rules up and it catered for individuals getting drunk occasionally – this tended to make them either very brave or very scared, but you never knew which way it was going to work out beforehand!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Oh man, this is interesting and new for you! The number of ways to slice this are innumerable. Definitely keep up work on this and you can always email me, but there are three best suggestions to make this work: playtest, playtest, playtest. Plus knowing a bit of statistics helps for consistency of results. Good luck!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Mark. Had an idea this might peak your interest hehe. I might just take you up on the email mate but playtesting will be the first thing. I know I sound dim but I’m really trying to keep things as simple as possible. I know myself well enough to know that if it gets too detailed I’ll lose interest hehe.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. The rules seem interesting to me and I’ve been eyeing up some Wild West rule sets for quite some time. Terrain is the main thing that keeps me from dipping into that setting as I’m already limited on space. Mark’s advice on playtesting is spot-on.

    One thing I can add is that there are a lot of different systems out there (many do not seem to be especially popular) so you might look at some of the ones out there and see how they influence your rules a bit. For example, Dracula’s America is Weird West, Tombstone has rules that I’ve never heard anyone say anything about, there is another ruleset called Fistful of Lead, and Gunfighter’s Ball is a more popular ruleset. There are plenty more besides that but that might give you a few to look into 🙂

    Looking forward to hearing more about this project!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man. I’ve checked out some rule sets of Wild West Themed games and they’re all rather interesting but the same thing happens to be every time… I sort of zone out haha. I know that sounds bad but it’s the reason why I’ve never learnt any rule set properly and tend to revert to doing my own thing. I’m hoping my own for CoffinWood will be cohesive, simple and fun. I’m lucky that I have a whole room dedicated to my beloved hobby but guess what, space is still an issue haha. I tend to build or buy first and figure out the spacing issue after which is completely counterproductive but meh I’m happy haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually see you doing that very thing haha! I’m a pretty meticulous person so my advice to you is exactly what I would do 🙂 I think you have to do whatever works for you and you know that best as well. I’m finding that I do a similar thing with space too. Thankfully my fiancée isn’t too worried about the space. Otherwise, I’d be in real trouble 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nothing wrong with simple rules. I find that’s the direction I’ve leaned towards over the years. It keeps the game flowing faster if the rules are intuitive and don’t require constant rules lookups (especially flipping back/forth across multiple pages *cough*GW!*cough*. This also allows you to focus on the story and just having fun. The one thing that will get you, is imbalance though. If you got a broken rule that people are going to abuse to win the game over and over, then that isn’t too much fun. The main way to figure that out is through play testing with lots of different people. The “ace” power that allows all of a gang to hide, might fall into that category. I might limit that to one member, but I’m not sure exactly how it works, so might be fine as it is. Awesome that you are building some Western rules using cards though. Cool stuff man!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s