Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Card Explanations: Dynamite

Symbology: ”BANG! (2nd Ed.) ”BANG! ”BANG! (4th Ed.)

Translation: “Draw!” at the beginning of your turn. If the “drawn!” card is a 2-9 of spades, read the manual.

Description: “Lose 3 life points. Else pass the Dynamite on your left.”

Manual Explanation: “Play this card in front of you: the Dynamite will stay there for a whole turn. When you start your next turn (you have the Dynamite already in play), before the first phase you must “draw!”
  • if you draw a card showing Spades and a number between 2 and 9, the Dynamite explodes! Discard it and lose 3 life points;

  • otherwise, pass the Dynamite to the player on your left (who will “draw!” on his turn, etc.).

Players keep passing the Dynamite around until it explodes, with the effect explained above, or it is drawn or discarded by a Panic! or a Cat Balou. If you have both the Dynamite and a Jail in play, check the Dynamite first. If you are damaged (or even eliminated!) by a Dynamite, this damage is not considered to be caused by any player.”

Playable: On your turn, during phase 2 only.

Usable: Your next turn after playing it. “Draws!” occur at the beginning of a turn, before your draw phase and before resolving Jail. The BANG! the Bullet rulebook states, "If you have both the Dynamite and a Jail in play, check the Dynamite first."

Suit and Value: 2♥ (BANG!), 10♣ (Dodge City).

Card color: Blue.

Card Family: Dynamite.

Included in: BANG!, Dodge City.

Characters greatly enhanced by playing (or others playing) this card: Lucky Duke (Being able to “draw!” 2 cards and choose one makes it extremely unlikely that Dynamite will explode on him), Kit Carlson (able to place a card on top of the deck makes it possible for him to force Dynamite to explode on the next player), Vulture Sam (if Dynamite eliminates another player, then he gets to pick up all of their cards; this is bound to be many when Dynamite is the cause of elimination), Tequila Joe (with a Beer in hand, it is unlikely that Dynamite will eliminate him), José Delgado (can be discarded from hand to draw 2 cards), Pat Brennan (if active is Dynamite is particularly dangerous, he can steal it), Greg Digger (Having a player eliminated makes him regain 2 life points), Herb Hunter (Having a player eliminated makes him draw 2 cards, but he cannot get a 5 card bonus if an Outlaw is eliminated via Dynamite), Uncle Will (He may play the Dynamite as a General Store), Big Spencer (large amount of health makes him resistant to Dynamite blasts, but inability to play Missed! makes the extra health precious), and Teren Kill (ability makes him very resistant to Dynamite blasts; see below).

Characters less enhanced by playing (or others playing) this card: Paul Regret (His sight modifier does no good against Dynamite, and as a 3 life point character, Dynamite alone may eliminate him), Elena Fuente (Her ability does no good against Dynamite, and as a 3 life point character, Dynamite alone may eliminate her), Pedro Ramirez (Dynamite “draws!” get in the way of him placing another player in Jail several times in a row), El Gringo (he doesn’t get to steal any cards from the player of Dynamite, as the “Dynamite damages are not caused by any player”), Apache Kid (With 3 life points and no defense against Dynamite, it could eliminate him), Pixie Pete (With 3 life points and no defense against Dynamite, it could eliminate him), and Sean Mallory (unless he has had time to store up Beer in his hand, Dynamite could easily eliminate him).

Character Considerations:
  • Vulture Sam: He does not draw the Dynamite when a player is eliminated by it. Question 14 of the official BANG! FAQ states,
    Q14. If the Dynamite explodes eliminating a player, does the character Vulture Sam draw the Dynamite along with all other cards of the player eliminated?

    A. No. To complete the effect of the Dynamite you have to discard it after it explodes. So when Vulture Sam gets all the cards of the player killed, the Dynamite is already in the discard pile.

  • Bart Cassidy: If Dynamite explodes on Bart Cassidy and he survives the blast, he draws 3 cards. As Question 24 of the official BANG! FAQ states,
    Q24. How many cards B[a]rt Cassidy draws if he is hit by the Dynamite (and survives)?

    A. Three cards.

  • Tequila Joe: When Dynamite explodes on Tequila Joe and he plays a last chance Beer to survive, he has to sum up all damage points with the life points gained by the last chance Beer to see if he survives the blast. As Question 9 of in the official Dodge City FAQ states,
    Q09. If Tequila Joe is killed and he has a Beer in hand, how many life points he gains?

    A. If Tequila Joe suffers one life point only, it goes to 2 life points. However, if he is being eliminated by means of a Dynamite, you have to sum up all lost life points and gained life points to see if (and how) he survives. For example, if he was at 1 life point and the Dynamite explodes, Tequila Joe would go to -2 life points, so he will need two Beer cards to save his life (in this case, he will go to -2 + 4 = 2 life points).

  • Teren Kill: If he is eliminated by Dynamite, he only has to “draw!” once to see if he stays alive or not! As Question 12 of the official Wild West Show FAQ states,
    Q12. If Teren Kill is eliminated by Dynamite, how many times does he have to “draw!” to stay alive?

    A. Just one time: if it is a card of Spades he is out, otherwise he stays at 1 life point (and draws a card from the deck).

Role Considerations: Players of Dynamite are not considered responsible for the death of any player the Dynamite may eliminate. The BANG! the Bullet rulebook states, “If you are damaged (or even eliminated!) by a Dynamite, this damage is not considered to be caused by any player.” This is significant, since players will not gain the 3 card bonus for eliminating an Outlaw if the Outlaw dies because of Dynamite. Also, if a Sheriff plays Dynamite, he will not have to discard all of his cards if he kills a Deputy by it.

Works well against: Mustang, Hideout.

Works poorly against players with: Beer.

Commentary: Dynamite truly brings the most random element to BANG!, and it is a real game changer. The player it explodes on loses 3 life points, and in most cases this results in player elimination (especially for 3 life point characters). Amusingly, this can lead to strange scenarios. If Dynamite explodes and kills a Sheriff when both a Renegade and Deputy are alone left in play, the eliminated Outlaw team wins! Dynamite is often a last chance maneuver to try to win the game when all else is going against you. Or it can give a bored BANG! player the joy of creating chaos. The chaotic nature of Dynamite has led to many house rules. However, there are several characters where playing Dynamite is not a chaotic move, but a move of strategic brilliance (Lucky Duke, Vulture Sam in particular). Players with characters especially susceptible to elimination by Dynamite blast might consider discarding or stealing it from play. The difficulty is that in larger games there doesn’t seem to be a high probability of it exploding on you, so why waste a valuable card like Panic! or Cat Balou? You will have to ascertain whether it is worth the risk. Of note, it is possible to have 2 active Dynamite in play. You might assume that the rotation of the active Dynamite might make it so that is in front of a player with a dormant Dynamite, and thus force a discard since you are generally not allowed to have any card with 2 names in play in front of you. This a good assumption; however it is not correct. The Dodge City rules explain,
If the Dynamite does not explode, it must be passed to the first player to your left who does not already have a Dynamite in front of him (remember: no player can ever have two identical cards face up in front of him).
So the Dynamite just skips the player who already has Dynamite in front of him. But what happens if 2 Dynamite are in play with just 2 players left? They stay in front of each player. As Question 6 of the official Dodge City FAQ explains,
Q06. What happens when there are two Dynamite in play and only two players still alive?

A. The Dynamite must pass to the first player (in clockwise order) without a Dynamite already in play. So, if the Dynamite does not explode, it stays in front of the same player, because the other one has already another in play.

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  1. Just to confirm, you don't HAVE to play Dynamite, correct?

  2. You don't have to play any card unless a card forces you to do so (Dorothy Rage, Possess in Death Mesa). You can just keep Dynamite in your hand and discard it through an ability, when you are over your card limit and discarding it that way, by discarding it from your hand to play a card (a few Dodge City cards have this), or using a card to discard it from you hand (like Cat Balou and Can Can). Does that answer your question?

  3. Sure does, thanks Martin! We've been playing it wrong.

  4. We've found that the character with the most to gain from dynamite on the table is John Pain. Drawing one extra card every turn until the Boom! is pretty nice, and gets him up to six cards pretty fast if it stays on the table.

  5. You're right; it is quite surprising that I forgot to include that in this guide. Thanks for pointing that out!

  6. What happens when "player 1" draws for dynamite and misses, and then kills "player 2" directly to his left? Does the Dynamite get discarded (as if player 2 got hit with the Dynamite), or does it get passed on to the next player to the left, Player 3?

    Thanks a lot,
    Player 3

    1. Discard the dynamite after exploding.

    2. I would say the dynamite would go where ever the rest of player 2's hand goes, whether that is the discard pile or Vulture Sam.

  7. There is third version of "symbology" I've got like this one:

  8. What happens if the dynamite is in place "A" and player "D" kills player "A." Is the dynamite discarded or passed to the right to player "B"?

  9. If you have 3 health left AND you have a beer and the dynamite goes ff on you, does the beer save you??

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  11. So is it 2 through 9 of spades or is it just number 2 and 9

  12. Can we place dynamite card in front of us without playing/activating it similar to other blue cards