Thursday, January 27, 2011

Character Guide: Slab the Killer

Slab the Killer
Character Name: Slab the Killer.

Inspired by: Angel Eyes, one of the main characters of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Offensive.

Ability: "Players trying to cancel his BANG! cards need to play 2 Missed!"

Activation: Playing a BANG! card against another player during Slab the Killer's turn. Slab the Killer's ability does not activate when he plays other attack cards, such as Gatling. The BANG! FAQ affirms this: "Q19. How many Missed! cards are required to cancel a Gatling played by Slab the Killer? A. Only one. The special ability of Slab the Killer applies to BANG! cards only."

Cards enhanced by Slab the Killer's ability: BANG!, Volcanic, guns, Cat Balou and Panic (Used to remove any potential defenses of other players).

Cards less effective when played against Slab: Missed!.

Ideal Roles: Deputy, Outlaw.

Characters who can deal potentially well with Slab the Killer: Jourdonnais, Calamity Janet, Lucky Duke (with Barrel), Paul Regret.

2-player value: Good. You have a pretty good chance of drawing BANG! to finish your opponent.

General Strategy: Slab the Killer's offensive ability is excellent. Not only does it almost guarantee hitting a player every time Slab the Killer fires at him, but it does not deplete Slab the Killer's cards like Willy the Kid's ability does. Slab the Killer's ability is useful off the bat. While it is tempting to always shoot at another player and make them take a hit or lose 2 Missed!, Slab the Killer should try to have a BANG! card in his hand when it is not his turn. Many characters fearing him will rightly play Duels and Indians! against him. Slab the Killer can take some excessive damage if he isn't careful and has no BANG! in his hand. Be careful when you draw a Duel card yourself; unless you can't reach the target you wish and you have lots of BANG!, they are so useful to keep that I wouldn't expend your BANG! in a duel just to take your chances.

If you can get a gun card, you might ease those around you by shooting over their head, and it is possible that they will leave you alone for the moment. However, other players will definitely be trying to control your gun range by stealing or discarding your gun. I recommend trying to keep a back-up gun in hand. Of course, Slab the Killer's main goal should be to eventually acquire a Volcanic. Once he does, try to save up on BANG! and unload on your would-be victim who has lower health. There is no chance they will have 6 Missed! in their hand, so they will take some serious punishment. As with Willy the Kid, be careful not to expend all BANG! with the Volcanic, unless you are certain you will get a card bonus. Slab the Killer gets a Sheriff to quickly lose the cards that are in his hand. Try to remove Barrels from opponents before you shoot at them. Although they will still have to expend a card to avoid your shot, why give them this advantage?

Playing against Slab the Killer: Since Slab the Killer's ability is so devastating, your best bet is to keep him in your range, while keeping yourself out of his. A trusty Mustang should do the job; just try to keep Slab the Killer from getting/keeping a gun or scope (use those Cat Balous and Panics, and pay attention when the General Store is played). If Slab the Killer has you in range and shoots at you, you might consider taking the hit even if you have the 2 Missed! If Slab the Killer is only one of the opponents against you, you don't want to waste all of your Missed! on him, and get shot up by the others. If you do choose to avoid Slab the Killer's attack, be careful not to forget that you need to play 2 Missed! It would be a shame to use 1 Missed! and then realize that you could not avoid his attack after all. If you have a Barrel, you can always "draw!" see if you get a heart, and then decide if you want to lay a Missed! or not. To keep Slab the Killer from attacking you, try to use BANG!-depleters to remove fire power from his hand. Duels and Indians! are especially useful against him. If he isn't careful with his BANG!, you can do some great damage against him this way. There are some other considerations as well. While Jail is always useful to play against an opponent, it is more useful to use against Slab the Killer since his ability is only activated during his turn.

Dodge City cards enhanced by Slab the Killer's ability: the extra BANG! and guns, Can Can, Conestoga, Brawl, Rag Time.

Dodge City cards less effective when played against Slab the Killer: Iron Plate, Ten Gallon Hat, Sombrero, Bible, Dodge!.

Dodge City Characters that Slab the Killer Counters Well: Elena Fuente (his BANG! take 2 Missed! to avoid; this is a lot of cards out of Elena's hand when she is a 3 lifepoint character), Sean Mallory (Since his ability depends on him getting many cards in his hand, Slab the Killer can dish out serious damage to him before he can build anything up).

Dodge City Characters that Counter Slab the Killer Well: Tequila Joe (He can take Slab the Killer's hits, and replenish them with Beer quite easily), Apache Kid (Around 40% of the BANG! Slab the Killer can play against Apache Kid do not affect him), Bill Noface (He can opt to take hits from Slab the Killer to draw more cards instead, and then defend himself against the attacks of other players), , Pat Brennan (His ability to control Slab the Killer's gun range protects him greatly).

General Strategy Adjustments for Slab the Killer: There are not many new strategy adjustments for Slab the Killer with Dodge City. There are many new offensive cards and a few new defensive cards with Dodge City, and this is both a blessing and a curse for Slab the Killer. While the green cards allow him to store up more defense/offense (and help him chain several attacks), and the discard a card to play this card types provide more powerful attacks/defenses, they are not compatible with Slab the Killer'ss ability. His ability only applies to the specific BANG! cards, and in Dodge City there is a lower probability of drawing these cards. The Dodge City FAQ explains:
Q04. When Slab the Killer plays Punch, Knife, Springfield, Buffalo Rifle, Howitzer, Pepperbox, Derringer, how many Missed! are required to avoid losing one life point?
A. You will need just one Missed! only. Slab the Killer’s ability applies to BANG! cards only.
However, you can use the opportunity to have more attack cards in one turn to your advantage. Play a BANG! first to get rid of their Missed!, and then follow up with the other attack cards to deal out more damage. If you are playing with intelligent players, then they might opt to take the hit from the BANG! before wasting any defensive cards. You can upset that strategy somewhat if you have any cards that can steal or discard their defensive cards from their hand or in play in front of them before playing your BANG!

The new defensive green cards do not contribute to a player's hand limit once they are played in front of a player, so Slab the Killer should try to gather some of these cards to give him a defensive buffer. Then, Slah the Killer can worry less when he depletes the cards from his hand during a Volcanic burst (or by simply being more agressive). As with the regular game, Slab the Killer should use the steal cards (Panic!, Conestoga, Rag Time) to grab needed guns to shoot at necessary targets.

General Strategy Adjustments against Slab the Killer: Dodge City provides you with some new tools for your arsenal. You can use the new discard and steal cards (Can Can, Conestoga, Brawl, Rag Time) to deplete BANG! stored in Slab the Killer's hand and remove any pesky guns he might have out that make him able to reach you. There is another Mustang and also the Hideout, which can help you increase the distance by which you are seen by Slab the Killer. The Hideout conveniently stacks with the Mustang for added distance. The green defensive cards can help you protect yourself against Slab the Killer's BANG! But be careful--you may not want to use these defensive cards on his BANG!, because he might have an offensive combo built up to unleash on you after protecting yourself from the BANG! It might be better to simply take the hit from the BANG! and then protect yourself against other of his attacks. But Slab the Killer might bluff you into taking the hit too. You will know that the treat of an offensive combo is more serious if he has active green offensive cards in play in front of him. Besides this, monitor Slab the Killer's hand, and when he expends some cards below his card limit, you can use the card depleters and offensive combo to deal out some damage.

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