Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Mad Dogs With Guns - "Cryin' Over Spilt Milk" (Cabbages vs Rats).

“Cryin’ Over Spilt Milk”



Last night, Paradise City's Finest took down two of the leading 'mob' bosses that have begun to plague our good folk in recent times.
Bernard "Bernie the Bruiser" McLaughlin, the notorious ex-boxer and leader of the so called Cabbageville Mob, along with Thomas "Tommy the Snake" Kinney, head of the Southbridge Rats, were both arrested at Chan's Dairy Farm Trucking Co., the scene of a dreadful and bloody fire-fight between the two gangs.
Also arrested were two low-life thugs from the Southbridge Rats, brothers Jon-Patrick and Conor Looney. Both had apparently taken a severe beating when police found them.
The bullet ridden bodies of four other gangsters were found at the scene. These have been identified by police as:
Daley "Dint" Colbeck
"Mad Dog" Patrick Nee
Gordon "Buddy" O'Brien
of the Southbridge Rats and
Wilfred "Large Wil" Delaney
of the Cabbageville Mob.
Madam Chan was allegedly also at the location but no witnesses could confirm this.

Here's how it went down...

The Low Down:

"The Cabbageville Mob" aka The McLaughlin Brothers -

Rumour has it that the low life gang going by the moniker “The Southbridge Rats” have recently acquired a small warehouse and trucking depot somewhere to the north of St. Mary’s (that’s Cabbageville to you and me Boyo). This is our turf!
Our ‘man on the ground’, Louis “Lumpy” Lepke, has had a nose around the joint and its clear they are using it as a stop off point to bring booze into the city.
As an added complication, it seems that Thomas “Tommy the Snake” Kinney and his boys are somehow working with Madame Chan (from Chinatown) and her ‘Chan’s Dairy Farm’ trucks, as she has been spotted there getting all chummy like with the Snake.
Plan is this – we need to take down / take over this little operation before The Rats can get a foothold in our territory. Just make sure you don’t hurt Chan as we don’t want to upset the Chinese gangs…yet!

Bernard "Bernie the Bruiser" McLaughlin
Wilfred "Large Wil" Delaney
Joe "Rockball" O'Rourke
George "Georgie" McLaughlin
Cornelia "Connie" Hughes

l-r: B McLaughlin, W Delaney, J O'Rourke, G McLaughlin, C Hughes 

"The Southbridge Rats" -

We have been canny enough to sneak into the territory of the McLaughlin Brothers (the so called “Cabbageville Mob”) and, right under their noses, set up a little operation to bring booze into the city.
It’s not much, just a few old buildings and a yard, but its perfectly placed to receive the finest moonshine shipments from Jim-Bob Hendrick and Big Chuck, from up the northern county.
We are getting a little help from the Chinese Tongs in the form of trucks from ‘Chan’s Dairy Farm’ and old Madam Chan herself is at the warehouse tonight to talk distribution.
Now, here’s how it is - word has it from our snoop that the McLaughlin Brothers are onto us and a raid could come at any time. Lets be ready for ‘em!

Thomas "Tommy the Snake" Kinney
Daley "Dint" Colbeck
"Mad Dog" Patrick Nee
Max "Big Maxie" Greenburg
Gordon "Buddy" O'Brien
Jon-Patrick "Loon" Looney
Conor Looney

l-r: T Kinney, D Colbeck, P Nee, M Greenburg, G O'Brien, JP Looney, C Looney
The Location:

Old disused warehouse, North St. Mary's.

Two of the Looney brothers (yes, there's more, but not here today...) guard the north gate.

Patrick Nee watches over affairs with his tommy gun at the ready.

Buddy O'Brien guards the west gate.

The Looney brothers are only armed with bats but they know how to use 'em.

Thomas, Dint and Madam Chan discuss the deal...all seems quiet...

The Tale:

'Torpedo' Large Wil Delaney is the first of the Cabbageville Mob to get into the action. Sneaking up along the wire fence, poor Buddy O'Brien didn't even see it coming...Delaney plugs the young hoodlum in the chest with his .45. Buddy goes down like a sack of potatoes.

Before anyone can even think about reacting, Rockball O'Rourke slips into the compound behind the office building and levels his tommy gun.

Bruiser McLaughlin is next to step in. With a surprising light foot for a man of his size, he sprints across from the west gate to join Rockball and draws his old army service pistol.

Georgie McLaughlin and Connie Hughes have in the meantime made their way into the compound via the south gate. Connie runs forward with her shotgun at the ready as Georgie levels his rifle.

Across the way, Tommy the Snake and Dint Colbeck draw their pistols but linger where they stand looking confused. Madam Chan is most displeased...

Rockball O'Rourke takes aim at the Rats while they stand there in the open and lets loose with a blaze of lead!

Poor Dint Colbeck cops most of the "Chicago Typewriter's" hail of death and a violent spray of crimson erupts where his head once was, showering anyone nearby with red!

Terrified, the civilian workers who see this decide their shift is over and begin to scram.

Even the hardened Tommy the Snake finds this too much and dives for cover behind the nearest van with Madam Chan in tow.

Unable to get a clear shot on anyone, Georgie and Connie sneak forward.

Tommy the Snake fires a couple of shots at the direction of the fire but can't hit a thing...

Large Wil Delaney, cold hearted bastard that he is, steps up to Buddy O'Brien, who is still writhing on the floor in agony, and pops another cap in the poor kids head. Just to be sure like.

This dastardly deed also proves to be Large Wil's downfall. As he steps out of cover to finish off Buddy O'Brien, Mad Dog (he's just nuts) Patrick Nee spots an opportunity...and sprays the beige suited Torpedo with his tommy gun!

"Take dat youse muddaf.....!!"

Tommy the Snake regains his composure and fires at Rockball...

...but Rockball lives up to his name and not a shot hits. He leans around the side of the office building to mock The Snake.

Meanwhile, Bernie McLaughlin has casually strolled around the other side of the building to deal with the two Looney brothers. He pops a couple of caps at them but they dig in deep behind some large crates.

Seeing their chance, Jon-Patrick and Conor leap the crates and charge into Bernie all shouty like, bats swinging as they go.

Sad that neither of the Looney boys recognise this is the Paradise City ex-champ, Bernie the Bruiser McLaughlin...

Meanwhile across the way, Mad Dog Patrick Nee, full of confidence after watching Large Wil take a dirt nap, slowly creeps around a large stack of crates...he knows there's another shooter out there and Nee is gonna send 'em over the big ridge...

The last known photograph of Mad Dog Patrick Nee.

Nee sprints across the yard to the cover of a small truck, lurches round the corner and opens up with the tommy gun, spraying the place with a crazy glint in his eye...

...and misses with every shot! Georgie McLaughlin looks up in disbelief, raises his rifle and plugs poor shocked Nee between the eyes!

Across the way, the two Looney brothers continue to slug it out with the hulking Bernie. Despite swinging their clubs they are outclassed in every way as the old pro Bernie ducks and weaves. Jon-Patrick takes a fist like a train right in the chops and flakes out. Conor keeps on swinging...

Sirens begin to wail in the distance...seems the little encounter has attracted some unwanted attention from Paradise City's finest.

Madam Chan has seen enough and makes a run for it. Georgie and Connie also decide its time to slip back into the night before the cops arrive.

Rockball makes one last spray with his ol' faithful TG, blazing away in Kinney's general direction. He doesn't wait around to see the results of his endeavour and makes his getaway.

As it turns out, that last shot clipped poor Kinney in the leg. He struggles to make his exit via the warehouse but is not quick enough to get away from the boys of the 1st Precinct.

Big Maxie Greenburg hides inside the warehouse. Lucky for him the cops don't spot him there and Kinney, literally a couple of yards away, doesn't give him up...

The cops also round up the beaten and bruised Looney brothers and after a minor scuffle, Bernie McLaughlin too. Bernie seemed to be enjoying himself beating on the poor Looney boys, so much so he forgot to run away with the rest of the gang to their waiting car.

So, in all a resounding victory for the Cabbageville Mob. Three dead on the Southbridge Rats side, their boss and two sluggers facing time in the big house. Poor Large Wil Delaney will of course be missed by the Cabbageville mob (but then again he was a mean son of a bitch) but more-so, loosing the boss to the cops is not ideal...time to call in some favours and buy off a Judge maybe?


An excellent first game of Mad Dogs With Guns. The rules are simple to pick up, frenetic and very deadly if you are not careful. The random, card driven, group / side activation and then the potential to interrupt the other players activation adds to the unpredictable nature of the game. Using cover and sneaking, Robafett really got the drop on me. He also lucked out with several activation cards allowing his smaller group to overwhelm me pretty quickly and took out my Torpedo with a blaze of tommy gun fire!

One of my favourite aspects of the game is the loose campaign system. As discussed in a previous post this is pretty fluid and a lot of the 'action' doesn't even have to take place on the tabletop. There is almost an RPG element to this part of the game so it does rely on a little feedback from the players.

Just because your boss has been captured it does not mean they are out of the game, depending of course on your influence with the local city officials. At this early stage nobody 'owns' any of the Judges or other officials, yet...

Hopefully we can move the campaign game forward and string a few tabletop encounters together but this is a nice easy game and captures the feel of a mini mob war quite nicely.

For Robafetts excellent write up of the game check out Cabbages & Rats on his blog.


Figures and terrain all mine from a variety of manufacturers but mainly Copplestone and a few Pulp Figures. Buildings by Sarissa and Warbases. Played at Wayland Games.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Mad Dogs With Guns - A Prohibition Gangster Campaign.

On October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. The act established the legal definition of intoxicating liquors as well as penalties for producing them.

Although the Volstead Act prohibited the sale of alcohol, the federal government lacked resources to enforce it.

By the terms of the amendment, the country went dry one year later, on January 17, 1920.

Of course, not all Americans were happy with this! After the Eighteenth Amendment became law the United States soon embraced bootlegging.

In just the first six months of 1920 alone, the Federal government opened 7291 cases for Volstead Act violations. In just the first complete fiscal year of 1921, the number of cases violating the Act jumped to over 29000 and would rise dramatically over the next thirteen years.

Organised crime received a major boost from Prohibition. Mafia groups had limited their activities to prostitution, gambling and theft until 1920, when organised bootlegging emerged in response to Prohibition. A profitable, often violent black market for alcohol flourished. Prohibition has therefore given a financial basis for organised crime to also flourish...

It is now January 1922...

“Welcome to Paradise, Illinois!”

Paradise is a small city about two hours’ drive from Chicago. It is an industrial and port city with a mixed population of assimilated Americans, Italians (primarily Sicilian and Neapolitan), Irish and Eastern Europeans (both Jewish and Christian) with small Chinese and African-American communities. Prior to Prohibition, Paradise was known for its breweries.

The city government is ineffective and corrupt by tradition, the police force especially so.
Several organised crime groups have already begun to establish themselves. Irish and Sicilian gangs have so far asserted their dominance but other smaller groups also vie for power.

The city is ripe and ready for a strong and ruthless Boss to exploit and make a name for themselves…

The city itself is made up of 12 neighbourhoods (see below) with three south of the main river.
The Police Department is divided into three area precincts and a Central Precinct (Downtown).

1st. Precinct - St. Mary’s (known as Cabbageville), Riverside and The Docks.
2nd. Precinct - Hell’s Basement, Little Sicily, Cedar Hill and Lincoln Heights.
3rd. Precinct - Chinatown, Southbridge, The Racetrack and Oak Bluff.


City Officials

The Mayor “Hizzhonor” Joseph Horatio Gunther III
Judge Edward Kessler
Judge Leander Whitlock
Judge Horace Caplan
Chief of Police Ryan O’Healy (Downtown Central Precinct)
Captain Geriant “Jerry” Lafferty (1st Precinct)
Captain Paul Hodge (2nd Precinct)
Captain Enoch Cohen (3rd Precinct)
City Editor of the Paradise Times-Dispatch William “Will” Thompson

Councilmen –

a) Councilman Jack Riley (St. Mary’s / Cabbageville)
b) Councilman Benjamin Rosenfield (Cedar Hill)
c) Councilman Joseph Lazarow (Lincoln Heights)
d) Councilman Harper Bacharach (Riverside)
e) Councilman Richard Hackett (Central District / Hell’s Basement)
f) Councilman Antony Ruffu (Little Sicily)
g) Councilman Charles Whelan (The Docks)
h) Councilman Willard H. Wright (Downtown)
i) Councilman Hamilton Fish-Kean (Chinatown)
j) Councilman Franklin Davenport (Oak Bluff)
k) Councilman Samuel Hoffman (The Racetrack)
l) Councilman Ezra Darby (Southbridge)

Reporters –

a) Amos Clark
b) James Edgar Martine
c) Harry Moore
d) Orestes Cleveland
e) Arthur Walsh
f) Nicolas Brady
g) Donny Gottheimer
h) Peter Cavicchia

Gangs in Paradise City

The Chinese

The Tongs (Chinatown)

Lung Kong Tin Yee Tong (The Four Brothers Tong)
                Li Meng
                 Zhao Quan
                Sun Jung
                Xu Mao
Hip Sung Tong
                Wong Lee
                Raymond Chow Kwok Cheung “Shrimp Boy” (named due to his small size)
Ghost Shadows
                Kwok Wing “Shanghai Tsai” (“Shanghai Boy”)
                Kwok Poon
Flying Dragons
                “Machine Gun” Jonny Eng
                Yu Yin Liang

The Italians

Neapolitan Cammora (Lincoln Heights)
Gran-Mama Shiavone                                                (Boss / Capo)
Francesco Shiavone                                                   (Underboss / Capobastone)
Roberto Shiavone                                                      (Underboss / Capobastone)
Lucia Schiavone                                                        (Gun Moll / Daughter of Roberto)
Antonio De Luca                                                       (Accountant)
Vincenti “Pretty Vini” Tucci                                     (Torpedo / Hitman)
Pal Galasso                                                                (Enforcer / Bodyguard)
Rafia Cutolo                                                              (Enforcer / Bodyguard)
Carmine Violante                                                      (Enforcer)

Sicilian Mafia (Little Sicily)
(“Cosca Magaddino”)                                                                    
Stefano “The Undertaker” Magaddino                     (Boss / Capo)
Maria Magaddino                                                     (Gun Moll / Wife of Stefano)
Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik                                   (Accountant)
Joseph “Big Joe” Todaro Jnr                                    (Torpedo / Hitman)
Joseph “Lead Pipe” Todaro Snr                               (Torpedo / Hitman)
Peter Magaddino                                                      (Enforcer / Capobastone)
Angelo “Buffalo Bill” Palmieri                               (Enforcer / Bodyguard)
Frank “Butchie” Bifulco                                          (Enforcer / Bodyguard)
Antony “Fat Tony” Salerno                                     (Hoodlum / Caporegime)
Johnnie “Peanuts” Tronolone                                  (Hoodlum / Caporegime)

La Stidda “The Star” (Hell’s Basement)
Giuseppe Marchesi                                                  (Boss)
Leonardo Offredi                                                     (Torpedo)
Lucio Venturi                                                           (Enforcer)

The Irish

The Cabbageville Mob aka the McLaughlin Brothers (St. Mary’s)
Bernard “Bernie” McLaughlin                                (Boss)
Siobhan Quinlan                                                      (Gun Moll)
Harry Hannon                                                          (Accountant)
Wilfred J. “Large Wil” Delaney                              (Torpedo)
Joe “Rockball” O’Rourke                                       (Torpedo)
George “Georgie” McLaughlin                              (Enforcer)
Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin                              (Enforcer)
Miles “The Fox” O’Donnell                                   (Enforcer)
Steven “Stevie” Hughes                                         (Hoodlum)
Cornelia “Connie” Hughes                                    (Hoodlum)

The Southbridge Rats (Southbridge)
Thomas “Tommy the Snake” Kinney                     (Boss)
Darcy O’Toole                                                        (Gun Moll)
Tierney Egan                                                          (Accountant)
Daley “Dint” Colbeck                                            (Torpedo)
William “Skippy” Rohan                                       (Enforcer)
Patrick Nee                                                            (Enforcer)
Max “Big Maxie” Greenburg                                (Enforcer)
Jimmy “Spike” Fitzpatrick                                    (Hoodlum)
Gordon “Buddy” O’Brien                                     (Hoodlum)
Ethan “Boy” Sheridan                                           (Hoodlum)

The Hogan Boys (Oak Bluff)
“Dapper” Danny Hogan                                        (Boss)
Aileen Ragen                                                         (Gun Moll)
Joseph “Newsboy” Moriarty                                 (Accountant)
Eddie “The Butcher” Cummiskey                         (Torpedo)
George Hogan                                                        (Enforcer)
Harry “Cherries” Dunn                                          (Enforcer)
Owney “Tick-Tock” Madden                                 (Enforcer)
Hughie “Nails” Mulligan                                       (Enforcer / Bomber)
Danny Walsh                                                          (Hoodlum)
Sean O’Connor                                                       (Hoodlum)
Liam O’Connor                                                      (Hoodlum)

Other Criminal Characters
Hitmen for Hire
Salvatore “Sal Sings in the Night” Catalanotte      (Torpedo / Hitman)
Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran                               (Torpedo / Hitman)
Richard “The Iceman” Kowalski                           (Torpedo / Hitman)
John James “Johnny The Cook” Montarano          (Torpedo / Hitman)

Street Gangs
The Purple Gang               (Cabbageville)             – Monty “Blades” Ahearn        (Irish)
The Billy Boys                     (Cabbageville)          – Terry “Clubs” O’Donovan (Irish)
The Northsiders                (Lincoln Heights)         – Alexi “Titch” Karpis             (Polish)
The Stopwatch Gang       (Lincoln Heights)          – Vitaly Sokolov                       (Russian)
19th Street Swaggers       (Hell’s Basement)         – Verne “Shank” Sankey            (Mixed)
The East Hill Boys             (Hell’s Basement)      – Buck “Bucky” Barker          (Mixed)
Four Corner Hustlers       (Hell’s Basement)         – Freddy Gauge                         (Mixed)
Kielbasa Posse                   (Hell’s Basement)       – Paulus Jarwarski                   (Polish)
Caselisi Clan                        (Little Sicily)            – Antonio Castaglieto        (Italian)
Nuovo Famiglia                 (Little Sicily)              – Luka Fiorentino                (Italian)
The South Side Royals    (Southbridge)                – Micky Kraft                            (Jewish)
Shoreline Kings                 (Southbridge)              – Alphonse “Little Al” Bianchi (Italian)

The Dockworkers Union
Aaron Kitchell                    (President of the Dockworkers Union)
Tomas Mazur                     (Bodyguard to Aaron Kitchell)
Lambert Cadawaler         (Dockworkers Union Accountant)
Elias Boudinot
Edvard Bader
Abraham Clark
Louis Newbold
Zeke Elmer
Jan Wozniak
George Morgansen



Player controlled Gangs are either an Italian/Jewish Crime Syndicate (more organised) or the Irish Mob (closer ties to the local police) often with a mix of other nationalities within them.

Gangs will fight/bribe/assassinate etc to take control of the city ‘Rackets’. There are several other NPC Gangs in the city including the relatively powerful Tongs in Chinatown, the Sicilian Mafia and the Neapolitan Camorra plus various smaller Irish hoodlums and local low-level Street Gangs.

Players start with a Gang that must include the Boss, an Accountant and a Gun Moll. All other Gang members must be “off the rack” as per rules.

Gangs starting locations are St. Marys, Lincoln Heights, Little Sicily, Oak Bluff or Southbridge.

The first few game turns (each Campaign Turn is a 'month') will basically be a land grab as players send out their boys to acquire new business opportunities, influence the local law enforcement and get a few officials on the payroll. Players then need to think about protecting these new assets and adding to their bank accounts / reputations.

The Government of Paradise is a corrupt as any in the country. A smart Boss will take advantage! City Officials can be bought for the right price. Each City Official allows the Gang certain privileges as per rules.

Gangs must worry about the public as well as their rivals. Public Outrage will force the police to take notice of illegal activities and they may even bring the Feds in to clean up the town!

Captured Gangsters will face the Courts and Prison – but there are ways out of this…if you have enough influence…or firepower.

It will only be when other players or NPC's cross paths (as they both vie for that nice little speakeasy in Southbridge or put out a hit on another Boss or paid official) that a table-top clash will occur!

The GM will develop the story and maintain record keeping for players each turn.

Main NPC Gangs are more organised and begin with an equal footing to Player Gangs. They tend to be better armed and equipped and more skilled.

Street Gangs are smaller, disorganised groups comprising of thugs, ruffians and youth wannabes. They are often just armed with knives and clubs etc. If you see one of these gangs with firearms someone must have enlisted their support and equipped them!

Most criminal gangs are aware of each other and the alleged leaders of each group but have little detail on the strength and size of these gangs. This is especially true of the Chinese Tongs who tend to keep to themselves. Players can of course take a risk and investigate other gangs.

Some nefarious individuals have of course already achieved some level of notoriety in the criminal underworld.

Potentially the largest 'gang' is the well organised and militant Dockworkers Union. Though not technically a gang it has large numbers (made up of longshoremen, stevedores, sailors, teamsters warehousemen and fishermen) many of them willing to fight if absolutely necessary. Go up against them at your peril...

Some would also consider the Paradise City Police to also be a gang in their own right.


(We are using the excellent Mad Dogs With Guns rules from Osprey by Howard Whitehouse & Roderick Robertson of Pulp Action Library and some text above taken from the Mad Dogs With Guns rule book - this is just to support our campaign and no infringement of copyright is intended but please let me know if its a problem!)