Monday, January 24, 2011

Character Guide: Willy the Kid

Character Name: Willy the Kid

Inspired by: Billy the Kid, frontier outlaw and gunman who particpated in the Lincoln County War.

Life Points: 4

Ability type: Offensive

Ability: "He can play any number of BANG! during his turn."

Activation: Playing BANG! cards on his turn.

Cards enhanced by Willy the Kid's ability: BANG!, gun cards, scope

Cards diminished by Willy the Kid's ability: Volcanic, Duel

Ideal roles for Willy the Kid: Deputy, Outlaw

Characters Willy the Kid counters well: other Offensive characters (Slab the Killer) and characters without defensive abilities (such as Vulture Sam)

Characters who counter Willy the Kid well: El Gringo, Jourdonnais, Jesse Jones, Calamity Janet

Characters who can potentially counter Willy the Kid: Bart Cassididy (does a decent job with card draws), Paul Regret (if he manages distance), Lucky Duke (with Barrel)

Selection considerations with 2-character house role: If you are a Deputy and you are directly to the right of the Sheriff, you may opt not to have Willy the Kid as your character. The Sheriff is likely to shoot at Willy the Kid right off the bat since you are so dangerous to have right next to him. Also, my observation of BANG! is that there tends to be a first blood mentality in the first round: when someone is weakened in the first round (often since they were not dealt any Beer or Missed!), others will gang up on that person and blow them away before they even get a turn. Thus, with the Sheriff likely gunning at you, others will hop on the band wagon and attack you too. This is a bad situation for the Deputy to be in. If you are on the direct left of the Sheriff this is less problematic, because although he is shooting at Willy the Kid right off the bat, you will have a turn right after his to make him doubt his decision that you were an Outlaw. Just shoot someone else other than the Sheriff to do this. If you are not dealt a BANG! or you do not draw a BANG! on your first turn this could be bad news. In that case, try to do something that is positive: panic or cat balou some other player's cards.

If you are an Outlaw on the direct right of the Sheriff you also may not want to select Willy the Kid. Again, the Sheriff will likely gun at you, and unless you are dealt the right hand, you might take some serious punishment before you ever get a turn. And while you may be able to unload some quick shots off on the Sheriff on your turn (which is doubtful, given an Indians! and perhaps a Duel have been played against you), the chances that your fellow outlaw(s) are ready to back you up in taking out the Sheriff in only 1-2 turns is doubtful. You will likely go out like a flame. If you shoot someone other than the Sheriff and try to pretend to be a Deputy, you may throw off the Sheriff, but may be too weak to survive anyway and you might be gunning down another Outlaw too. You will also have depleted your cards to use against the Sheriff. If you are going to throw off the Sheriff and are next to him, shooting another player works far better when you are directly to the left. Willy the Kid won't have taken have much damage yet, and will have given yourself some time to collect BANG! cards.

General Strategy as Willy the Kid: As an extremely offensive character, Willy the Kid is excellent at quickly eliminating other players. The difficulty is that Willy the Kid's ability depends on having many BANG! cards. Thus, when he unloads BANG! on a character he depletes many cards, which makes him very vulnerable. Thus, Willy the Kid needs to plan out his attacks carefully. While it is tempting to attack another player when you have many BANG! and deplete your shots, this is not always the best idea. You don't want to be defenseless to Indians! and Duels that other players may have stored up waiting for you to unload. Also, you don't want the angry player who has been shot at to survive and fire at you right back when you have few defense cards. Other players who are suspicious of you will also take this as an opportunity to weaken Willy the Kid. Lastly, you don't want to give any potential card bonuses to other players. Hence, when you are Willy the Kid, unload when you are nigh guaranteed to kill. Only fire 1 BANG! to slowly weaken a character, and keep some defensive cards (as you will likely be shot at). As the health of your target weakens, then shift more towards storing BANG! cards, and then unload your BANG! on this character to completely overwhelm them. Like usual, it can be a good idea to play Cat Balou or Panic against the cards in the hands of those you wish to overwhelm. If you are Deputy (whom I think is Willy the Kid's best role) you have a good chance of having taken down an Outlaw, and then you will have gained a 3 card bonus to replenish your cards. As an Outlaw, you likely do not have this advantage (unless finishing off a weakened Outlaw). Nonetheless, unloading your BANG! is especially effective when you have Indians! or can use a Jail card on another hostile (or potentially hostile) character that has you in their gun range. You deplete your cards and show your lack of defenses, but you have also taken away the BANG! that other players would use against you when you are depleted. Resist the temptation to keep attacking the next character (unless they too look like they will quickly be eliminated and provide some security bonus). Save up or regain cards until you can unload on a character again. If you have a gun card, I recommend shooting at a player whom you have in your sights, but who does not have you in theirs. They will not be able to easily respond to your attacks, and those you shot over may not see you as an immediate threat and leave you alone (it may not be likely, but it is possible). A common strategy against Willy the Kid is for players to use Duel cards against you, hoping that you will lay down many BANG! cards in a duel with them. Unless your health is really low, or the Duel was there only (or maybe 1 of 2 if they are in range, because they will likely BANG! you again anyway) card(s) in their hand and they are your desired target, I would recommend just taking the hit from the duel. A Duel-Indians! combo against Willy the Kid is vicious. You will lose your ammo and take some hits.

Playing against Willy the Kid: Willy's permanent Volcanic ability that gains a much greater range with gun cards is especially dangerous. One of your greatest defenses against Willy the Kid is maintaining distance from him, which requires you to get a Mustang and Cat Balou his gun cards that extend his range. Bang-depleters are especially useful against Willy the Kid, such as Duel and Indians! They can be used to remove cards from Willy the Kid before he fires at you, or to inflict serious damage on Willy the Kid just after he has depleted his BANG! on another character. You may also wish to Cat Balou, Panic, or use character abilities that remove cards from his hand. Pay attention to what is brought out in General Stores: guns can be especially dangerous to give to Willy the Kid and BANG! of course are not a great idea too. Since Willy the Kid's ability can only be used on his turn (using BANG! cards to shoot another player), Jail's are also effective means of neutralizing his ability. If Willy the Kid is shooting at you, it is always a good thing to grab a Barrel, which might get you one Missed! if he unloads several BANG! on you.

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