Character Name: El Gringo
Inspired by: Ross Logan, the vengeful gringo in Requiem for a Gringo
Life Points: 3
Ability Type: Defensive
Ability: "Each time he loses a life point due to a card played by another player, he draws a random card from the hands of that player (one card for each life point). If that player has no more cards, too bad!, he does not draw. Note that Dynamite damages are not caused by any player."
Activation: When El Gringo is hit
Cards enhanced by El Gringo's ability: Missed!, Beer
Cards less effective when played against El Gringo: All attack cards, Volcanic
Cards more effective when played against El Gringo: Dynamite
Ideal Roles for El Gringo: Sheriff, Renegade
Characters El Gringo Counters Well: Willy the Kid
Characters that Counter El Gringo Well: Jesse Jones, Suzy Lafayette (potentially)
2-player value: Good, depending on the amount of health you have.
General Strategy: El Gringo is one of the best characters because of his defensive ability, especially when El Gringo is Sheriff. He must learn the best times to take hits, such as when El Grango can disrupt the strategy of his opponent. For the former, you can imagine an opponent playing an Indians! or Gatling before attacking El Gringo's ally with a BANG! El Gringo may then opt to take the hit to take a card out of his opponent's hand that may disrupt his attack. Similarly, El Gringo may consider taking hits from duels. The quality of cards El Gringo will pick up depends on the intelligence of his opponent, but El Gingo will often get Missed! since these are difficult cards to discard. Taking hits is a great idea when El Gringo has a Beer in hand, as he can steal a card and then he can get his health back.
El Gringo can help limit the amount of times when he can consider taking a hit by getting some helpful defensive cards in play such as Mustang and Barrel. The defensive sight modification will limit the amount of shots fired his way and the Barrel can be a nice buffer for some of the shots. If he wants to take a hit, he can not utilize the Barrel. Finally, I wouldn't play Dynamite as El Gringo, as he is the character most likely to suffer from it. El Gringo doesn't get any cards for being blown up by a Dynamite blast, and as a 3 life point character, the Dynamite will probably be fatal.
Playing against El Gringo: When El Gringo is in the game, be very careful of the order in which you play/use your cards. Whenever you play a card that can hurt El Gringo, you run the risk of losing cards from your hand. Thus, before you play any potentially damaging card for El Gringo, play other other cards first: blue cards, panic, cat balou, often Beer, Wells Fargo, Conestoga/Stagecoach, and often General Store. Once these are out of the way, you still need to consider the order in which you play these potentially damaging cards, as you do not want El Gringo to pick up certain cards over others. Thus, I suggest the following order for playing cards against El Gringo:
1. Gatling or Indians! (This is a toss up, so you may need to pay close attention to the cards that have been picked up and others' behavior; generally, Gatling can be more powerful as there are more BANG! than Missed!)
2. Gatling or Indians! (see above)
Sometimes it is beneficial to deplete all of your cards down to 1, and then attack El Gringo. He doesn't get any cards when you do so, but then again, you also leave yourself wide open unless you have the right defensive setup. It is often valuable to Cat Balou from El Gringo's hand to knock out any Beer he may have stored up. Also, Cat Balou or Panic his Mustang so others can finish him off if you happen to weaken him. Dynamite is also a fantastic thing to throw out on El Gringo because (1) he is a 3 life point character and so the blasts are more devastating, and (2) he doesn't pick up any cards for losing life from Dynamite even if he happens to survive. Keep other general strategy items in mind, such as not playing Saloon (except in dire circumstances) when El Gringo is below full health.