Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Character Guide: Bill Noface

Bill Noface BANG! card game character

Character Name: Bill Noface.

Inspired by: I am sure Bill Noface has an inspiration, I just can't think of it.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Neutral.

Ability: "He draws 1 card, plus 1 card for each wound he has." The Dodge City rulebook expounds upon this: "during phase 1 of his turn, he draws 1 card, plus 1 card for each injury (lost life point) he currently suffers. So, if he is at full life, he draws 1 card; with one life point less, he draws 2 cards; with two life points less, he draws 3 cards, and so forth." So, Bill Noface can draw up to a maximum of 4 cards a turn (or 5, if he is Sheriff) if he has 1 life point.

Activation: During phase 1, his drawing phase.

Cards enhanced by Bill Noface's ability: Volcanic (more potential BANG! to draw when you have a Volcanic in play), Duel (more potential BANG! to draw when you have a Duel card in hand), Canteen, General Store.

Cards weakened by Bill Noface's ability: Beer, Saloon, Whisky, Tequila (and yet they are still valuable, needed to be kept in his hand for storage).

Cards more powerful when played against Bill Noface: Jail, Saloon, Dynamite, Cat Balou, Rag Time, Brawl, Can Can, Panic!

Ideal role: Sheriff.

Characters that counter Bill Noface well: Jesse Jones, Pat Brennan, Belle Star, Willy the Kid.

Characters that Bill Noface counters well: Vera Custer.

2-player value: Good. Both players are bound to lose health in a 2-player Duel, but Bill Noface only becomes more powerful as he flames out. However, he will likely not be able to regain health, so he needs to be careful. I probably wouldn't choose to take hits for the purpose of gaining more cards at this point.

General Strategy as Bill Noface: Unless Bill Noface is the Sheriff, he can be one of the most aggrevating, but interesting characters to play. Most BANG! players try to be conservative, having a good mix of cards in their hands to prevent attacks, keep up their health, and plan ahead to make a good move against another player. This strategy favors most characters that they are dealt. This is no longer the case with Bill Noface. In fact, Bill Noface is at a disadvantage to other players until he has 2 life points (3 if he is the Sheriff). At the 3 life points he draws only 2 cards, which all 4 life point characters get to do anyway. So to be competitive, Bill Noface wants/needs to take some hits. Strange, huh? The problem is that taking hits doesn't just lower a character's life points, it also lowers a character's card limit. So Bill Noface needs to be very careful how he plans taking hits, so that he doesn't have only a few important cards in his hand or in front of him that can easily be discarded or stolen.

Besides trying to take 1 hit (which shouldn't be that hard as Indians!, Gatling, and Howitzer should come out soon enough, if not just from a BANG! directed at him from another player) so that he can draw 2 cards a turn, Bill Noface shouldn't try to become a "bullet bag" too early on. Bill Noface really needs to get some defensive cards in play in front of him. These could be distance modifiers (Mustang, Hideout), green cards with missed symbols (Bible, Sombrero, Ten Gallon Hat, Iron Plate), the Canteen, or the wonderful Barrel. Getting a good mix of these will help with protecting Bill Noface if/when his card limit gets low. If Bill Noface gets his hand on a Volcanic, he should store that up for when he can draw several cards in 1 turn.

Getting a beer (This includes other life point regaining cards such as Tequila, Whisky, or Saloon) or 2 in Bill Noface's hand is also a good idea, but he needs to be careful how you play these. Bill Noface doesn't want to sit on his Beer with just 2 cards in his hand and 2 life points at the end of his turn. His opponents will expect him to store Beer in his hand, and when he gives them so few cards to choose from it will be very easy for them to steal or discard the Beer from his hand (a last second beer strategy with Bill Noface does not have as high probability of success as you might think). Thus, Bill Noface should try to store a Beer(s) in your hand when you can mix them with other cards to keep their chances of grabbing it low. The way to do this would be to try to take hits in between your turns to increase your ability to draw cards at the beginning of your turn, and then using the beer you have/have drawn to replenish the missing health by the end of the turn. That way you should not get in card limit trouble, and help you plan ahead to gain a Volcanic. Then, you can choose whether or not to take hits during the next round(s) depending on the defensive cards and health regainers you have in your hand. Of cards to take hits on, I recommend taking a hit from a Duel because you don't want to expend your BANG! and then get hit again from an Indians!

If you are lacking Beer and don't have defensive cards, those defensive cards you had in play in front of you should benefit you for that round. And then you should have some lower health by the time it is your turn, so you can draw at least 2-4 cards. If you survive until your turn with lower health, remember that you have a higher chance of drawing a card that will help you regain health/protect yourself until your next turn. A good card to find a Beer/defensive card on is the General Store, so play close attention when you or other players play one of these. On the flip side, when you are not able to regain health, it can be really painful as you often have to discard many cards over your card limit.

Try to control other player's distance constraints from you so that you have better control on the amount of times you have to choose whether or not to take hits. It is better to keep these "hit opportunities" to the cards that have no distance constraints (Indians!, Gatling, Howitzer, Duel, Buffalo Rifle).

Playing against Bill Noface: Bill Noface is not that aggrevating of an opponent, except when he Sheriff (the same goes with Sean Mallory). As pointed out above, he really is at a distadvantage unto other characters until he has 2 life points. At full health, Bill Noface is particularly weak with only drawing one card, so don't target him at all. Your best tactic with him may just be to ignore him and focus on players who are stronger when they have more health (except in 3-4 player games). Chances are that Bill Noface will eventually take a hit from a card affecting all players except the person playing it (Gatling, Indians!, Howitzer), but don't make that moment too soon if it is not advantageous. When playing General Store, try to make sure that Bill Noface doesn't draw any Beer or life regaining cards.

Eventually, you will want to target Bill Noface and there are some good ways to attack him. First, the Jail is rough on Bill Noface, as it removes the drawing phase in which he could gain his cards. Play that on Bill Noface when he has 2 life points or less. There is little reason to really play that beforehand. Store up strong attack combos that allow you to dish out a lot of damage in 1 turn against Bill Noface. Then wait for Bill Noface to let his life points get low. Once Bill Noface gets down to 2 life points, monitor the amount of cards in his hand. If he has 2 or less, steal or discard cards from his hand where one is likely to be a stored up Beer card. Then, you can nail him with your stored up attack combo cards.

If this isn't working in finishing him off, make Bill Noface very nervous by throwing out a Dynamite. He won't want to be "living on the edge" while that is floating around, and if he does risk it, he could get blown away by it. Other ways to make Bill Noface uncomfortable is to remove the defensive cards in play in front of him. He needs those cards as a back up to protect him when he is experiencing card limit pressure if he cannot regain life points.

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  1. This is a character that could take an advatange by shooting himself. Is that actually possible? After all, you're able to panic or cat balou cards from your own hand, am I right? So could Bill Noface use a Bang! to himself?

  2. Shooting yourself is against the official rules, this done to insure there are not suicides of different sorts during tournament play. You are correct, of course, that taking hits can be beneficial for some BANG! characters (Bill Noface, in some instances Bart Cassidy). You can always allow this as a house rule.

  3. Could Bill Noface be inspired by Clint Eastwood's "The Man with No Name" from the Dollars Trilogy?

  4. I think Bill Noface is inspired by Brazen BIll Brazelton. A masked outlaw.

    Take a look...

  5. I would like to ask about THIRST and bill noface. FOr eg if bill has taken 3 dmg he does draw 4 cards. Thrirst says that players dont draw their second card. Does bill continue with his 3rd and 4th card to draw or is that effect not taking action since the second card hasnt been drawn?