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In RDR as I roam around the country I often come across mini-side mission like recapturing a stolen horse or fending off a stagecoach robbery. However, there is one "mission" type that I'm not sure how to handle.

Usually it is some sad-sack injured person or some woman calling out to me for help. That person or their cohorts then ambush me and either try to kill me or steal my horse. These trap missions are starting to become familiar enough that I can spot them a mile off.

The question is, as asked by Joshua in War Games, is the only way to win not to play? That is, should I just steer clear of these trap-missions or is there some advantage to springing them and inevitably winding up in a shootout? Or perhaps there is another option for dealing with these that I haven't considered?

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I think you might be over-thinking this a bit. When I come across these missions I just go into Dead Eye mode and fight. Generally with Dead Eye enabled the fight is over pretty quickly with me as the victor.

The reward from them is the same as any of the random missions... increase in Fame and an increase in Honor. If you don't want or need either, then continue avoiding them.

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So you get fame/honor for killing off everyone in these ambushes? Does that include the woman that lured you into it? I was worried that killing "civilians" would rack up some negative karma points. –  JohnFx Mar 22 '11 at 0:36
    
No. They're not "civilians" since they are bandits trying to attack you. –  Weegee Mar 22 '11 at 0:41
    
What about the woman that lures you over. Is it safe to kill her without risk of a bounty or other consequence? –  JohnFx Mar 22 '11 at 0:42
    
You can lose honor if you kill the woman, but as she's unarmed, she's not a threat so you can concentrate on the others. Often she'll give you loot once you dispatch her friends though. –  Weegee Mar 22 '11 at 1:58
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Actually I've handled these fairly easy, the way I see it you've got only a few choices:

a) Stop and get there walking, leaving your horse at a considerable distance. Obviously prepare yourself for a couple of well placed shots in the legs (Not killing the robber) or get your rope ready if you like the challenge.

b) Shoot them on sight.

c) Get close with your horse fast enough for them to try and get you down but not enough for them to succeed, then run a bit more and shoot them or tie them with the rope.

The way I see it, you've got no choice but to fight, this is what the game is about and all missions award something, even the ammo (if any) is something you can't refuse, and you can even avoid using ammo by using your rope.

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I like to skirt around to the rear of their positions, so that they are no longer hidden, then shoot them from behind. Except for the woman who baited me. Her, I hogtie and leave on the train tracks. Squish.

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I do so love grabbing the ladies and carrying them around on the back of my horse indefinitely. –  Maslow Mar 24 '11 at 18:40
    
@Maslow: yeah, but their incessant chatter gets annoying. Squishing them on train tracks even gets you an achievement, or helps to get one. –  boot13 Mar 24 '11 at 21:44
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