Monday, January 31, 2011

Robbers' Roost: 15 New Characters and Updated Page

NOTE: Now that RR has gone through significant revisions, many of these characters have been eliminated. This post is kept here for historical purposes (tracking RR's development) alone. For the characters actually in the RR expansion, go the official page.

Taunt Next Clamton. TauntPorter Rockwell. Taunt Lela Devere. TauntMaddie Silks.
Taunt Julie Bulette. TauntCharleston Heston. Taunt Lilian Smythe. Taunt Rosa Morgan.
Taunt Small Britches. TauntSallie Skull. Taunt Slick Stanhope. Taunt Queen Ann Bassett.
Taunt Lil' Sure Shot. Taunt Jimmer McKay. Taunt Turd Ferguson.

I have added 15 new characters to the unofficial Robbers' Roost expansion and edited some of the abilities of those characters whom I have posted before. All characters that have thus been posted have been added to the Robbers' Roost page. Check out the characters and give me feedback if you get the chance.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Death Mesa: Updated Cards

I spent some time rethinking and editing the wording of several of the Death Mesa cards. Bad Moon Rising, Unfinished Business, and Terrify have been completely redone, as shown above, and I think the ideas match their names more closely now. For more of the edits go to the Death Mesa unofficial expansion page.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Death Mesa: New Page for New Expansion

Just while Robber's Roost has been getting more attention, I decided to also provide a custom page for the other expansion I have been working on: Death Mesa. Less of a comprehensive expansion than Robber's Roost, Death Mesa provides a fun way of keeping dead players in the game. While they lose their character abilities and no longer draw from the normal deck, they still participate by drawing and playing cards from the Dead Men's Deck. Check out the unofficial Death Mesa expansion here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Robbers' Roost: Orange-bordered Cards

Robber's Roost Expansion

I have created a custom page exclusively for the upcoming Robber's Roost expansion. Currently on this new page is my introduction of orange-bordered cards, cards that can never be played on your own turn, but rather at or during specific events on other players' turns as described on each orange-bordered card. The orange-bordered cards are meant to improve teamwork, speed up the game, and allow you to do things while waiting for your turn (at least giving you something to do during a long term in Jail). Check out the page discussing Robber's Roost and orange-bordered cards here.

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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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Character Guide: Lucky Duke

Character Name: Lucky Duke.

Inspired by: Lucky Luke, title character in a French comic series who reportedly could shoot faster than his shadow.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Defensive.

Ability: Each time he is required to "draw!" he flips the top two cards from the deck, and chooses the result he prefers. Discard both cards afterwards.

Activation: Whenever Lucky Duke is required to "draw!" Namely when Lucky Duke has a Barrel in play and is attacked, or needs to "draw!" for Jail or Dynamite.

Cards enhanced by Lucky Duke's ability: Barrel, Dynamite.

Cards less powerful when played against Lucky Duke: Jail, Dynamite.

Ideal roles: Renegade, Sheriff (somewhat).

Characters who Lucky Duke can potentially counter well: Pedro Ramirez (has a better chance of avoiding the jail gauntlet), Slab the Killer (if Lucky Duke has a Barrel).

2-player value: It really depends if you can get a Barrel in front of you or get a Dynamite in play.

General Strategy as Lucky Duke: I will be honest--I hate Lucky Duke, at least in the original game (I think he is the worst character). Lucky Duke's ability is only useful on rare occasions, and will go turns without ever using it. There is also little you can do to control it, or make it more effective. Of course, don't forget to use Lucky Duke's ability when the time comes to "draw!" And we should appreciate that Lucky Duke's ability does make you virtually invulnerable to Dynamite and ups your chances to get out of Jail. Thus, it can be a good idea to play Dynamite if you don't think it is likely to blow up your team mate. It won't hurt you too bad. As a Sheriff, I recommend playing Dynamite nearly as often as you can. As Lucky Duke, it is almost imperative to get a Barrel. I recommend saving a Panic to yank one from an adjacent player if needs be, or even to have a back up. Being able to flip twice when shot is huge: just ask Jourdonnais when he has a Barrel. I even card count how many Cat Balous/Panics have been played before I lay my Barrel and consider how long it will likely stay in play. Since Lucky Duke's ability is very contingent on getting Barrels and Dynamites, I highly recommend playing it low before you get them. Vulture Sam is a similar character that does not want a target on his forehead at the beginning of the game. Don't draw attention to Lucky Duke, as you really need those cards to hold out and have some power.

Playing against Lucky Duke: The most important thing to deal with when Lucky Duke is in play is to control his use of the Barrel (Panic! or Cat Balou it as needs be) and to be aware of his virtual invulnerability to Dynamite. If Dynamite is in play, you may wish to Cat Balou it as well if you think there is only a good chance of it doing your team harm alone. If Lucky Duke is on a team and you don't particularly care which one is in Jail, don't play the Jail on Lucky Duke as he has a higher chance of getting out. Oh, and never remind Lucky Duke of his ability. It is to your advantage if he forgets.

Dodge City cards enhanced by Lucky Duke's ability: the extra Barrel, the extra Dynamite

Dodge City cards less powerful when played against Lucky Duke: the extra Jail, the extra Dynamite.

Dodge City Characters that Counter Lucky Duke Well: Belle Star (who makes Lucky Duke's Barrel useless when she attacks him), Pat Brennan (who can remove Lucky Duke's Barrel immediately when it comes into play).

General Strategy Adjustments: Unfortunately, Dodge City really doesn't make life any easier for Lucky Duke. Things generally stay the same for him, besides adding two characters--Belle Star and Pat Brennan--that can completely devastate him. Lucky Duke has another Barrel and Dynamite to tinker with, and he can try to augment his defense by getting some green defensive cards in play before going on the offensive.

General Strategy Against Adjustments: The strategy against Lucky Duke stays the same. There is another Dynamite in the mix, so watch out for that. You can use Rag Time, Can Can, Brawl, and the extra Cat Balou/Panic to steal or discard Barrels and Dynamite that Lucky Duke puts into play.

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Character Guide: Pedro Ramirez

Character Name: Pedro Ramirez.

Inspired by: Tuco Ramirez, character (the ugly) from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Neutral.

Ability: During the first phase of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the top of the discard pile or from the deck. Then, he draws the second card from the deck.

Activation: Pedro Ramirez's drawing phase -- first card.

Cards enhanced by Pedro Ramirez's ability: Jail, discarded cards.

Cards diminished by Pedro Ramirez's ability: Dynamite.

Ideal roles: Outlaw, Deputy.

Characters who can potentially counter Pedro Ramirez well: Lucky Duke (has a better chance of avoiding the jail gauntlet), Jesse Jones.

2-player value: Decent. You will always be able to pick up a card you know about, which can be very useful at this point in the game.

Selection considerations with 2-character house rule: One of Pedro Ramirez's most powerful abilities is to constantly place the person directly to his left in jail (as will explained later below). If you start directly to the left of the Sheriff, you will never have the opportunity of using this ability. For a deputy, this is not necessarily the worst of outcomes, as if you try to openly declare your role at the beginning of the game through your actions, a Sheriff might discard useful cards for you to pick up on your turn to deal damage to the Outlaws and Renegade. Of course, a smart Renegade will keep the Sheriff guessing if this was the right decision by acting deputy-ish himself. Renegades and Outlaws are generally (except on the rarest of occasions) without this advantage, and so they will want to not be directly to the Sheriff's left. Take this into consideration when you are dealt Pedro Ramirez: you lose being able to be handed useful cards (intentionally at least) and the jail stacking.

General Strategy as Pedro Ramirez: Since Pedro Ramirez's ability is dependent on the cards discarded by the player on his left (or at least their actions requiring other players to discard cards), Pedro Ramirez is difficult to strategically use yourself. It requires an intelligent team to work with, which is why I prefer being an Outlaw or Deputy when I have Pedro Ramirez as my character. If you are an Outlaw, you want to get next to a fellow team mate (perhaps next to them already from luck) on your right side, so you may have to shoot your way there. This way a team mate can discard cards (Beer, BANG!, Volcanics) that you can pick up on your draw phase and use to your advantage. By helping you, your fellow outlaw may have enabled Pedro Ramirez to shoot at players that he wished to, but could not due to distance constraints. Or he could have Pedro Ramirez use the card he just used again (Panic, for instance), or give Pedro Ramirez a card from another player by playing Cat Balou against a powerful card as his last move (the discarded card would end up on top). In essence, get next to team mates and make sure that they think through the order in which they discard cards, so they know what opportunity they are providing you with.

Secondly, don't forget your ability! Often, characters with abilities that affect their drawing phase (like Pedro Ramirez, such as Black Jack, Kit Carlson, and Jesse Jones) forget to use their ability on some turns. Deputies likewise will want to get next to the Sheriff.

Of course, there is a tension with getting fed the needed cards from a team mate, as this will keep Pedro Ramirez from using his Jail gauntlet on an opponent to his right. Let me explain. Whenever Pedro Ramirez can get his hands on a Jail (if it is on top of the discard pile, in the general store), he should seriously consider grabbing it. Pedro Ramirez can play it on the player immediately to his right. At the player's next turn, they "draw!" There is a 75% chance of them losing their turn (they lose their turn unless a heart is "drawn!"), and then the Jail card is discarded. At the beginning of Pedro Ramirez's turn, the Jail card is on the top of the discard pile. Pedro Ramirez can draw this card and play it again on the player at his right who was just in Jail. This cycle can continue indefinitely until the player gets out of Jail, or a "kind soul" Cat Balous the Jail before his turn. There a few other possibilities: another player could play a Dynamite card that would make the card you have to "draw!" for Dynamite cover up the discard Jail (so make sure your team mate does not lay a Dynamite for any trivial reason, and don't do so yourself or you could screw up your own plan!), and a similar outcome could occur if Pedro Ramirez had a Jail placed on him as well. If things turn out right, you can completely devastate the player to your left. Pedro Ramirez's team mates should think of clever ways to get a Jail into his hand. If a team mate draws a Jail card (whether on their draw phase or playing a card), play it on the player to Pedro Ramirez's immediate right to hopefully begin the cycle. They can also try to panic a Jail from another player and play it on that designated player as well.

Playing against Pedro Ramirez: If you or a team mate is directly to the right of Pedro Ramirez, tell them (or yourself) to be very careful what cards you place in the discard pile and in what order. You don't want to help Pedro Ramirez in his goal to eliminate you or his target, so pay attention to the cards he plays on his turn and the amount of cards in his hand to guestimate what card is safest to have on the top of the discard pile. For instance, you should never play the Panic as your last card (unless you are going to discard cards over your card limit), as this card cannot be responded against. It will be on top of the discard pile for Pedro Ramirez to pick up on his turn, and he can use it (given normal distance considerations) immediately against you, perhaps even stealing the card you just stole.

If you or a team mate get in the jail gauntlet, cat balou or panic the jail (or petition someone else to do this) to break the cycle. While you may want to jail Pedro Ramirez yourself (and this remove an opportunity for him to use his ability), you also do not want to necessarily give him a chance to throw down the Jail gauntlet. So be careful. Placing a Jail on Pedro Ramirez if he already is using a Jail gauntlet is a great idea, or playing a Dynamite, because then the card he has to "draw!" for Dynamite/Jail will replace the discarded Jail that he was going to use again against the player to his immediate right.

Dodge City cards enhanced by Pedro Ramirez's ability: All discarded cards.

Dodge City Characters that Counter Pedro Ramirez Well: Pat Brennan (he can immediately steal the Jail to end the cycle, unless it is played on him).

General Strategy Adjustments: The Dodge City expansion adds many new cards to the BANG! deck that Pedro Ramirez can exploit by drawing them from the top of the discard deck. Especially useful are the 2-cards to play cards and the green cards. Chances are that you will want to draw these cards on your turn if possible.

Dodge City adds many cards to the game, which matter in the manner in which they are discarded. Take for instance, the 2-cards to play cards, such as Whisky, Tequila, Springfield, Rag Time, and Brawl. An ally to the right of Pedro Ramirez could discard these cards (as his last move) one of two ways: with either the original card on top or the additional card needed to play that card on top. It is almost definite that an ally will want to play the original card on top to give Pedro Ramirez a chance to pick it up himself. Just be careful that this is done so! Another card that could require some careful consideration is when an ally plays a Brawl card. As far as I can tell, the FAQ and the Dodge City rules do not specify an order in which these cards must be discarded from other players. Thus, I imagine that the ally directly to the right of Pedro Ramirez could place on the discard pile whatever card discarded from the other players that he wishes. In this case, he should stick on top the card most beneficial for Pedro Ramirez.

Lastly, it is sad, but there is another Dynamite in the Dodge City expansion that provides an additional way to break Pedro Ramirez's jail gauntlet.

General Strategy Against Adjustments: Dodge City gives you another risky Dynamite to play to potentially break Pedro Ramirez's jail gauntlet. As noted above, it also supplies you with cards that require caution when playing them. If you are directly to the right of Pedro Ramirez, you need to be careful which cards you place on top of the discard pile before your turn is over. If you one of those 2-cards to play cards as your last move, you will want to make sure (in most cases) that the additional card required to play the other card is on top of the discard pile. Chances are that this card is far less beneficial to Pedro Ramirez than the other. Similarly, when playing the Brawl card, you will want to place the card that is least beneficial to Pedro Ramirez on top of the discard pile.

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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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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Official BANG! Wild West Show FAQ Available

It is one of those ironies in life when you translate an unofficial FAQ for Wild West Show, and 2 days later dV-Giochi decides to publish theirs. Oh well. I pride myself that my FAQ translation has more questions and answers, is better worded, and has more explanatory value. But you can check out the official Wild West Show FAQ here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Alternate Gameplay: Introducing BANG! Tactics

While many have noted that BANG! is a fun way to pass the time, trying to exert what little influence one can over many random elements, others have lamented that there is not more strategy involved in BANG! to help you win the game (especially considering how you might be eliminated in the first round). I have tried to conceive of an alternate way to play BANG! that might accomodate these complaints, and I have named this project BANG! Tactics (BTact). BTact does not remove all of the random elements of BANG!, but rather mitigates them to encourage far more foresight and thought on behalf of the players. How? BTact introduces a real shop into the mix, where players can purchase cards to help them accomplish their goals or thwart the goals of others. Instead of drawing 2 cards from the deck each turn, players draw only 1 card instead (despite some character abilities). Besides drawing this 1 card, each player also receives 5 gold during his drawing phase. With this gold, players can purchase cards of different values. The shop does not require another set of BANG! cards for purchasing purposes. Rather, the BANG! deck is relatively cut in half, maintainly the general probabilities of drawing certain cards as before. Certain kinds of cards, as also when there is only 1 of a certain type of card, are available only in the draw deck or in the shop. The shop, with some exceptions, tries to reproduce the low probability of drawing certain cards in the draw deck by placing them at a higher cost. After a quick test (that definitely needs some more work), the specific breakdown per card between the draw deck and the shop (with its associated cost) is as follows:

Rev. Carabine10n/a
Cat Balou2212
Wells Fargo10n/a
General Store20n/a

Thus, to setup the BTact shop, separate the above-listed cards from the draw deck for the shop. Then set up the shop by arranging the separated card types face up. I arrange them so on the table:

You will notice on this grid that there are spaces for BANG! 1-4 and Missed! 1-2. There are a lot of BANG! and Missed! cards and this is why there are separate stacks. The stacks are to be arranged so that each card in the stack leaves the title of the card below it showing:
This is so that an inventory of the cards can be taken at any given time. The inventory is needed due to the mechanics of the shop. Whenever the shop is below its maximum inventory in any card type, and a card of that card type is played by a player, instead of placing this used card in the discard pile it returns to the shop. If the shop is at maximum inventory for this card type, it is placed in the discard pile instead. Arranging the cards as described above makes it easiest to discern whether the shop is fully stocked or not.

Anyway, on a player's turn, once they have drawn 1 card from the deck and earned their 5 gold, he can choose whether or not to purchase card(s) from the shop. While rare, there are certain limits of how many cards of a specific card type a player can purchase on his turn. A player can only purchase 1 beer on his turn. He can only purchase 2 of a BANG/Missed! combination (thus, a player can buy 2 BANG! and 0 Missed!, 1 BANG! and 1 Missed!, or 0 BANG! and 2 Missed!) on any given turn. After purchasing or opting not to, the player ends phase 1 of his turn. Purchasing can only occur during phase 1.

Gameplay follows as normal. Players play cards as they wish, and when they are finished, they must discard cards of their choice when they are over their card limit. The discarded cards, as noted above, go to the shop if the card type they belong to as not at maximum capacity. At the end of a turn, certain gold bonuses can be accrued. Not purchasing any cards with gold on your turn gives you a +1 gold bonus, as well as does not playing any cards on your turn +1 gold at the end of your turn, for a total potential of +2 gold. The gold is immediately gained at the end of your turn. Doing so is beneficial: by gaining both bonuses, you can purchase a Cat Balou on your second turn (5 gold from first turn + 2 gold bonus + 5 gold from second turn = 12 gold needed for Cat Balou). The bonuses make you plan carefully whether you should purchase/use cards or not. Gold accrues between turns and allows you to purchase more powerful cards. There is no limit to the amount of gold you can acrue, but it is unlikely that it will get that high, as you will need to purchase cards to protect yourself from the advances of other players.

The rest of the game goes like normal. Players try to accomplish their roles, discern who their friends and enemies are, and whoever accomplishes their mission is victorious. It should be noted that the purchasing brings a new source of discerning roles for the game. Just as players were able to sometimes discern others roles through what cards they picked up when a General Store is played, you can now study other player's card purchases to surmise their designs. Thus, if a player purchases a gun to reach past the player's next to him, you might have an idea of who he is gunning for. On the flip side, purchases can be used to deceive as much as they can reveal.

Character's abilities are adjusted for BTact as follows:

Pedro Ramirez: Instead of drawing his 1 card from the draw deck, he may draw the last card that was discarded, whether it returned to the shop or is on top of the discard pile.

Kit Carlson: He looks at the top 2 cards from the draw deck, selects 1, and discards the other, placing it either in the shop or the discard pile depending on the shop's inventory. He then proceeds to gain his 5 gold.

Jesse James: Instead of drawing 1 card from the draw deck, he may draw a card from the hand of another player instead.

Black Jack: He draws 1 card from the draw deck, and shows it to other players. If it is red, he draws another. [Alternatively, we have given Jack 10 coins instead of 5 for drawing red. However, this seemed to allow Jack to purchase too many cards to his advantage. The draw deck's randomness seemed more fitting for this ability.]

Vulture Sam: He also takes all the gold an eliminated player leaves into his hand.

Character's abilities that may need to be adjusted:

Suzy Lafayette: SL's ability may be OP when she only has to draw 1 card from the deck. While she starts with 4 cards and will have to get down to fully take advantage of them, it seems that she can draw and purchase cards that allow her to keep drawing cards. This may need to be mitigated. And yet, in the test game we played with her, she got blown away quite quickly (perhaps from fear), so it is hard to know if she needs balancing.

Sid Ketchum: Since he can discard any 2 cards to regain a life point, earning 5 gold a turn can greatly be to his advantage. For only 6 gold, he can purchase 2 BANG! and regain a life! Perhaps to adjust Sid, he earns less coins a turn (4 instead of 5?).

As far as I could tell, no other character abilities needed adjustment for BTact. Of course, as you can already tell, BTact is only designed for the original BANG! at the moment. Lastly, test games have shown that Dynamite tends not to explode as often. I expanded the activation range to 2-J to accomodate this.

I would appreciate it if others play tested BTact and told me their thoughts. If you enjoy this alternate gameplay, please let me know.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wild West Show FAQ in English

Emiliano Sciarra recently published an unofficial FAQ for the relatively new Wild West Show Expansion. Unfortunately, this FAQ is only in Italian. To help English-speaking BANG! players, I have provided an English translation and elaboration of Emiliano's FAQ. I hope it is of use. I still need to polish it up some and provide standardized English card names, which I will get to soon. Enjoy!

Wild West Show FAQ

Written by Emiliano Sciarra

Translated by Martin Pulido

NOTE: This FAQ has been put together by me (Emiliano Sciarra), but it is unofficial and is not binding in a tournament. The answers are almost identical, however. Here I decided to include questions not included in the official FAQ, which you can find on the download page of the dV Games site.

Q1. When Gregory Deck opts to change the characters whose abilities he is using, does he set aside the character cards whose abilities he was using, or does he shuffle these cards back with the rest of the others so that he might potentially draw them again?
A. Gregory Deck must mix these character cards in with the others, and then randomly draw 2 (which could also be those he just discarded).

Q2. When Miss Susanna comes into play on a player's turn, do the cards already played by that player count towards the three cards necessary to be played, or must he play 3 more cards to avoid losing a life point?
A. All cards played by this player during his turn count towards the 3 cards needed.

Q3. If more than 1 player has more cards in his hand than Youl Grinner, who gives a card to Youl Grinner?
A. All players who have more cards in their hands than Youl Grinner.

Q4. Do I have to describe an order completely with Dorothy Rage before I can know if my target actually has that card?
A. Yes, you must declare the full order (the effect of playing such a card) even before knowing if the player has that card. Thus, you cannot say "play a BANG!" but "play a BANG! against this player." For them to carry out such an order, the action must be possible (they cannot play a BANG! against a player that is not reachable given their current range).

Q5. What distance is calculated when you order another player to use a card when Dorothy Rage is in play? And if you ordered Slab the Killer to play a BANG! to shoot a player, must the target use two Missed! to avoid the blow or not?
A. The distance, effects, and so forth, are based upon the position/abilities/situation of the player ordered to play the card; not the orderer. Thus, the target of the ordered Slab must use two Missed! to avoid the blow.

Q6. If Dorothy Rage is in play, and a player orders another to duel some other player, and the ordered player loses the duel, who loses a life point: the ordered player or the player who ordered the duel to occur? Similarly, if a player orders another player to play a Stagecoach or Panic (or similar card), who draws the cards?
A. Consistent with what was answered in the previous question, the player who loses the life point is the player who has been "ordered" to play the duel. Similarly, the cards are drawn into the hand of the player who personally played the Stagecoach or Panic card, not the player who ordered that such a card be played.

Q7. Can Big Spencer use a Barrel, or other cards that have missed in their effect?
A. Yes; his ability only restricts him from using Missed! cards.

Q8. Is there a limit to the number of consecutive times you can use the ability provided by the Lady Rose of Texas when it is in play?
A. As a general rule, to avoid too prolonged a loop that would exclude a player from the game, you should set a limit of X times in a row, where X is the number of players in the game. Thus, when 5 players are in the game you cannot use this ability more than 5 times in a row.

Q9. If Big Spencer is Sheriff, how many cards does he start with in his hand, and what is his card limit?
A. Regardless of his role, Big Spencer always starts with 5 cards in his hand. Being Sheriff only entitles Big Spencer to have 1 more life point (thus, he has 10 life points). As his life points suggest, as he draws more cards, he may potentially hold up to 10 cards in his hand at maximum.

Q10. When Gag is in play, does it prevent all forms of communication between players (posts, texts/SMS, sign language, etc.) or just verbal communication?
A. It is up to the group playing. In principle, it should prevent all such things to keep the game from slowing down. Gag is designed to make people play quickly without consultation from other players.

Q11. What happens if Vera Custer copies John Pain's ability and a card is "drawn!"
A. The card is picked up by the player whose turn is next given whomever player's turn it currently is. Thus, whoever is in closest proximity to the left (clockwise) of the player whose turn it is.

Q12. What happens to the Apache Kid if Lee Van Kliff repeats the effect of a card that has a suit of diamonds against him? What happens if Lee Van Kliff uses a BANG! card that has a suit of diamonds to repeat an effect against the Apache Kid?
A. Lee Van Kliff can use a BANG! of diamonds to replicate the effect of the previous brown-bordered card against the Apache Kid. Apache Kid will either suffer or not suffer from this repeated effect depending on whether the previous brown-bordered card was of diamonds or not. For example, if Lee Van Kliff had replicated Indians! (which are always of diamonds), the Apache Kid would not be affected. However, if Lee Van Kliff had replicated a Gatling, even if he repeated it through discarding a BANG! of diamonds, Apache Kid would be affected. As I explain in Q24, the BANG! card used for replicating the previously played brown-bordered card is not itself "played," but "discarded."

Q13. Can Lee Van Kliff replicate the effect of a card even when the target of this effect is different from the target of the original card played?
A. Yes.

Q14. If Gary Looter must discard cards because he exceeds his card limit at his discard phase, can he draw his own discarded cards because of his ability?
A. No. He only draws the discarded cards of other players.

Q15. When the specific "Wild West Show" card is in play, does the Sheriff still incur a penalty for eliminating the player who possess the Deputy role card?
A. NOTE: Sadly, Emiliano's reponse is missing even in the Italian FAQ. My hunch is that the Sheriff does not incur the penalty, but I may be wrong. I will let you know when Emiliano answers this question.

Q16. Are new Wild West Show cards brought into play when cards with effects similar to Diligence or Wells Fargo are played (such as the Conestoga in Dodge City)?
A. No, only for the Stagecoach and Wells Fargo cards.

Q17. How do you handle Flint Westwood's and Jesse James' abilities, and also Panics, Cat Balous, or other cards with these effects, when Sacagaway is in play?
A. When such a card or ability is used against another player's hand, the affected player temporarily hides the cards in his hand and shuffles them. Once 1 or 2 cards are drawn randomly, his hand is again to revealed to all other players. The cards drawn from a hand are always done at random.

Q18. What happens if Terren Kill has a beer in his hand when he loses his last life point?
A. Two things can occur:
1) He may play the beer and remain at 1 life point. By doing so, he will not get to draw a card from the deck.
2) He may not play the beer and "draw!" On spades, Terren Kill is eliminated and may not play the beer to save himself. On any other suit, he remains at 1 life point and draws a card.

Q19. When Lee Van Kliff repeats the effect of a Stagecoach or Wells Fargo, do you have to swap out the Wild West Show cards for others?
A. No, only when you play a real Stagecoach or Wells Fargo card. Lee Van Kliff's ability repeats those cards' effects, not the cards themselves.

Q20. To whom does a player need to show his hand if he claims he cannot play a card that is requested of him when Dorothy Rage is in play?
A. He must show his hand to all players.

Q21. If you come back to life once through the Cemetary, and then get eliminated again, do you come back once more if Cemetary is still in play by your next turn?
A. Yes, you come back to life as many times as possible while Cemetary is in play.

Q22. When Lucky Duke "draws!" two cards, does John Pain draw both?
A. Usually, John Pain will draw both. If John Pain has 6/+ cards in his hand, he will draw none. If he has 5 cards in his hand, he will only draw the first card "drawn!" by Lucky Duke (he does not get to pick which one). The cards "drawn!" by Lucky Duke are considered in the order "drawn!"

Q23. Is the ability of Lee Van Kliff's activated by cards that have the bang effect/symbol, or only BANG! cards themselves?
A. His ability is only activated by actual BANG! cards.

Q24. When Lee Van Kliff uses his ability, is the BANG! card used to activate his ability included amongst the 3 cards necessary to avoid losing a life when Miss Susanna is in play?
A. No, the BANG! card was "discarded" and not "played."

Q25. If Gary Looter is Sheriff, does he begin with 6 life points and 6 cards in his hand?
A. Yes.

Q26. When is Youl Grinner's ability activated?
A. During his drawing phase.

Q27. How many times can Flint Westwood use his ability during his turn?
A. Only once.

Q28. If the Dynamite explodes on Terren Kill and has the potential of eliminating him, how many times must he "draw!" to stay alive (once, or three times for the damage Dynamite inflicts)?
A. Once once. If a spade is "drawn!" he is eliminated; othermwise he stays at 1 life point.

Q29. If Lee Van Kliff uses his ability to reproduce the effect of a card that required discarding another card to use it (such as Brawl, Ragtime, or Whiskey for examples), must he discard another card do so?
A. No, only the first time. Lee Van Kliff's ability repeats the effect of the card, not its activation cost.

Q30. May Gregory Deck draw characters from expansions or other promotions to use their abilities?
A. No, he may only draw characters from the original game.

Q31. What happens if the abilities of original game characters drawn by Gregory Deck contradict one another or influence a similar aspect of the game, such as how to draw during a drawing phase?
A. If the two skills are in absolute conflict, Gregory Deck picks only 1 of them to use (he does not get to draw another character). If the conflict is not absolute, then combine the abilities. For example:
1) If the 2 characters drawn are Jesse Jones and Kit Carlson: You can take a card from the hand of a player (using Jesse Jones' ability) and then see the first 3 cards from the deck and choose the second card that you wish to draw.
2) If the 2 characters drawn are Jesse Jones and Pedro Ramirez: You have the choice of drawing your first card from the deck, a player's hand, or from the top of the discard pile.
3) If the 2 characters drawn are Kit Carlson and Black Jack: Look at the top 3 cards of the deck, select 2, and show the second one you selected. If it is red, draw a third card from the deck.

Q32. What happens if Flint Westwood decides to use his ability to remove the last (or last 2 cards) of Suzy Lafayyette?
A. Suzy simply hands over all the cards to Flint (1 or 2), after which she draws a card from the deck since she has no cards in her hand. Flint does not get the drawn card.

Q33. Can Flint Westwood use his ability against a player who has no cards in his hand?
A. No.

Q34. Is the card "drawn!" with Helena Zontera drawn by John Pain?
A. No, because it is "drawn!" by any player.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Customer Reviews of BANG! the Official Video Game

Over at Board Game Geek, some people have downloaded and played the BANG! video game and noted the following:

- The game is pleasant looking, and the sound quality is nice. It provides an easy way to understand the rules of the game. On the flip side, they can be a little too in your face and irritating, and the card explanations are poorly displayed (or not displayed at all if others play cards). One reviewer explained
"During each player's turn you get a view of the full board with everyone's cards and whatnot. Perfect. That's what I'd expect. In the transition between turns, however, everything's wiped off the screen and a huge picture of the next player's face appears for a moment. Doesn't sound like much, but it gets old fast when it happens every 5 seconds. Sort of UI whiplash or something."

- The game is generally noted as being buggy and unfinished. For instance, 1 player noted having errors even during game installation, which made it impossible to play for 20 or so days after purchase when Palzoun patched it. In terms of it being unfinished, several options are not available, the most important being Multiplayer! Who'd have thought you were purchasing this to play against some crappy AI! There isn't even a normal difficulty yet available. Sadly, the Expansions (while listed), are not available either. At the moment, there is nothing to differentiate BANG! the official video game from KBang, which at least has great multiplayer, besides its cute graphics. In fact, it is far worse. Characters in the current release do not even have special abilities yet. This was a surprise for some players. One remarked,
You know the game's not off to a good start when you're Willy the Kid and the game automatically ends your turn after one Bang! played with two more in your hand.

The AI is as bad as KBang's, in that the Outlaws will not band together to shoot the Sheriff, but will even shoot and duel each other. The Sheriff will shoot his allies instead of firing at his immediate enemies. In some games, everyone shoots you randomly regardless of their roles. One player's remark was, "Out of the 7 games I have played so far, only 1 of them made sense."
- It has a somewhat irritating interface. Besides being forced to go through a tutorial when you start the game, you are told to do things without having any idea of how to accomplish them (what to click on/what buttons to press). There are also buttons that you have to press (like a skip/end your turn button) that are not easily visible, or visible at all. One player noted the following frustrating scenario, which shows the game's current glitchy interface:
Before the game starts you are shown an objectives screen. It lists the roles that are being used for the game. On this screen you select the role to read a description. When you are done, you click the skip button to move on. I could not see the cards or the skip button. I had to click randomly to find the skip button and move on to gameplay. During the gameplay, I could not see the skip button or the cards. So I closed down the program and tried again. Attempt #2 yielded better results, but the game was still unplayable. This time around I was able to see the role cards and the skip button. I couldn't see the playing cards, so I closed down and restarted. Attempt #3 allowed me to play the game. I could see everything. After completion, I tried again. I wasn't sure if the game needed add little by little or if it was luck of the draw. Attempt #4 was bad. This time I could not see the characters or the playing cards. Attempts #5 and 6 worked perfectly.

- The interface is also noted for being non-intuitive. Another review observed,
It's sort of hard to de-select a card you don't want to play. If you click it once to get that scrolling text, you have to wait a few seconds for the card to slink back into your hand. If you click it again before it slinks (as I did, assuming that would put it back into my hand), guess what? The card gets played. There needs to be some system for this--maybe allow us to click elsewhere on the playing field to send the card back into our hands, unplayed?

CONSENSUS: Now is not the time to buy this buggy wretch that was tossed out too early to swindle people's Christmas cash. Don't waste your time or money. Wait for updates to arrive, such as those that at least allow characters to have special abilities, multiplayer or place in some of the expansions. Sadly, as others have noticed, it sounds like this game wasn't tested... at all. For die hard BANG! fans like myself, this is quite a disappointment. How could they not make a game at least as good as KBang, a game designed by 1 college student for a bachelor's thesis?

Robbers' Roost: Johnny Pope, Rosey Dunn, and Dan Selman

NOTE: Now that RR has gone through significant revisions, all these characters have been eliminated except Johnny Pope (who has gone through some modifications). This post is kept here for historical purposes (tracking RR's development) alone. For the characters actually in the RR expansion, go the official page.

I have added 3 more characters to Robbers' Roost for your enjoyment. Again, feel free to comment.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rules: Official Two-Player BANG! Rules

For those who have less people to play BANG! with, but still want to give it a whirl, DV-Giochi has published the official rules to a Two-Player BANG! Variant. My wife and I tried out for 2 games, and it was pretty fun. Some of the characters' abilities have some balance issues for 2-player (Claus the Saint is an easy example for this), and on 1 game this was a problem. I might try to work out the kinks in this 2-player variant. There are other interesting variants at for 2-player that I will bring up later. Anyway, I encourage you to try that 2-player variant out.

Alternate Gameplay: Range in which Dynamite Explodes can be Extended

A house rule for dynamite might be to allow the range by which dynamite explodes on a "draw!" to be extended. When dynamite is in play, each person on their turn is allowed to discard 1 spade to extend the range from 2-9 of spades, to a 2-10, 2-J, etc. The idea is that the fuse is burning, and the chance that it will explode will increase. Spades can continue to be discarded until the range reaches 2-A (approx. 25% chance of explosion). The extended range is permanent until a dynamite explodes. Each discard could up the range by 1 or 2, depending on how useful you thought this option could be. Obviously, you would want to up the range to up the chances of the dynamite exploding before you get to your next turn.

Alternate Gameplay: Barrel and Dynamite

I heard a somewhat fun house rule where if Dynamite explodes and a player has a barrel in player, they may "draw!" On hearts, the Barrel explodes (is discarded), but absorbs some of the damage of the dynamite, so that the player only loses 1-2 life points instead. While it sounds cool, it doesn't seem that likely that the Dynamite would explode on a player with a Barrel and a heart be drawn.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Robbers' Roost: 8 More Characters for Display

NOTE: Now that RR has gone through significant revisions, all these characters have been eliminated except Flint Dixon (Josey Bassett has removed with her ability significantly changed). This post is kept here for historical purposes (tracking RR's development) alone. For the characters actually in the RR expansion, go the official page.

Today I include 8 more Robbers' Roost characters that I have hand drawn, trying to create a similar feel to the original BANG! card game characters. I would appreciate feedback on their abilities if you are interested. I know balancing is always an issue.

Robber's Roost Custom BANG! cards

Friday, January 14, 2011

Robbers' Roost: Two More Characters

NOTE: Now that RR has gone through significant revisions, all these characters have been eliminated. This post is kept here for historical purposes (tracking RR's development) alone. For the characters actually in the RR expansion, go the official page.

Just posting 2 more rough drafts of characters for my Robbers' Roost expansion. Feel free to critique.

Robber's Roost custom BANG! characters

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Alternate Gameplay: Infinite BANG! (in English)

I have translated the rules to Infinite BANG! by Aitor Vilchez. You may have noticed his boards or files that were placed on Board game geek. I had been interested in, and had been working on an Infinite BANG! of my own, and when I saw Aitor's work I was excited. While it has some downsides--roles are always revealed--his mod still looks pretty fun. Some people at Board Game Geek had asked if there was an English version, but there was no response. I took it upon myself to translate the variant into English. Later, perhaps, I will make English renditions of his game boards, but that is less necessary. Anyway, on to explaining Infinite BANG!

Infinite BANG!

Variant and Game Boards by Aitor Vilchez

Rules translated into English by Martin Pulido

Game Materials:

- BANG! the Bullet
- Game Board
- Rules

Game Boards (2 Variations):

Object of the Game:

- Be the player with the most points by the end of the game.

Preparing the Game:

Place the board in the center of the table. Shuffle the High Noon and A Fistful of Cards decks and place them in the spaces provided on the board. Take note of the amount of people playing the game and select the right number and types of roles as stated in the BANG! manual accordingly. Distribute the roles to each player face up; place the unused roles in the box where it says Sheriff. Next, take the character cards and deal 2 to each player. Each player's first character card dealt will be his character while the second card will be his life point indicator. Each player draws as many cards as their characters have life points.


The Sheriff and his deputies may not shoot each other. The Outlaws cannot shoot each other. The Renegade can shoot at all and everyone can shoot at him. 1 point is gained for every successful shot at another player (i.e., a player gains 1 point for playing/using a card that is responsible for making another player lose a health). The game plays accordingly to the normal rules, except that when a character dies, the player who possessed this character card puts his dead character aside, while he flips his life point indicator character face up. This is the new character he will use. He then takes a new character who will serve as the new life point indicator. He also loses his role and takes a new one from the role stack, but also places his old role at the bottom of the stack. Finally, the player who lost his character also loses all of the prior character's cards and possessions. He draws as many cards as his new character has life points.

Point System:

The game has the following point system as noted here:

If a Sheriff shoots and kills an Outlaw/Renegade, he gains 3/2 points.
If a Deputy shoots and kills an Outlaw/Renegade, he gains 2/2 points.
If an Outlaw shoots and kills a Sheriff/Deputy/Renegade, he gains 3/2/2 points.
If a Renegade shoots and kills a Sheriff/Deputy/Outlaw/Renegade, he gains 2/2/2/2 points.

On top of this, every player gains 1 point for any player he successfully hits. When a Sheriff or deputy kills an outlaw, his companions gain a point. When an outlaw kills a Sheriff or a deputy, his companions gain a point. When one group is annihilated (Sheriff and Deputies, or Outlaws) the Renegade(s) automatically gains a point. At the end of the game, each player is deducted a point for each of their characters that died (this amount will be withheld during the game).

Example of the Point System:

Andres, Ruben and Gorka are Outlaws. Boris and Manu are the Sheriff and Deputy respectively. Aitor is a Renegade. Andres (an Outlaw) kills Boris (the Sheriff) and gains 3 points for doing so. Ruben and Gorka, as Andres' Outlaw comrades, also gain 1 point each. Boris, the eliminated Sheriff, draws a new role and character, and now becomes a Renegade. Aitor (the original Renegade) kills Manu (the Deputy), and so gains 2 points for killing a Deputy and also 1 point for eliminating the original Sheriff's team. Boris also gains 1 point for that very reason.

End of the game:

The game ends when no player can draw a new character card.

Special Rules for the High Noon and A Fistful of Cards decks:

Dead Man: The eliminated characters return to life this turn with 2 lives.

Ghost Town: The players can choose a person from the pile of dead characters and become this character. They adjust the amount of cards in their hands to the amount of lives that this character can possess.

Recommended Variants:

- When the two beginning characters are drawn (the chosen character and the life point indicator) they player chooses which one he will use to begin the game.
- It could be that the BANG! Infinite games last too long for your taste, in having to wait for all characters to be drawn. Instead, you could have the game end when:
1. A certain number of points is reached.
2. When the event cards have all occurred. EDIT: You can lengthen out the amount of turns until the end of the game by not playing the High Noon and A Fistful of Cards simultaneously. Play 1 of the decks, followed by the other. This lengthens out the typical 15 turns to 30.
3. You could shuffle the character cards deck and select the amount of character cards you want to be in the game to shorten or lengthen the game accordingly.
- When your character is killed, you automatically lose a point and the character card is removed from the game. This allows you to have a greater control over the player's points but it removes the factor of surprise.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Robbers' Roost: More Characters for Expansion

NOTE: Now that RR has gone through significant revisions, all these characters have been eliminated. The Loan Arranger has in some ways lived on in the Investment playing card. This post is kept here for historical purposes (tracking RR's development) alone. For the characters actually in the RR expansion, go the official page.

I finished the art on some new Robbers' Roost characters and thought I would post them. Feel free to comment on them. Pardon the blurriness to keep the file size low for previews. Thanks!

Robber's Roost BANG! Characters

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Robbers' Roost: Custom Characters

NOTE: Now that RR has gone through significant revisions, all these characters have been eliminated. This post is kept here for historical purposes (tracking RR's development) alone. For the characters actually in the RR expansion, go the official page.

Since I have been talking about modding quite a bit so far on this blog for BANG!, I thought I should share some of the custom cards I have created for the game, so you could get a graphical feel for what I do. Below, I have inserted an image of 5 characters that will be part of my Robbers' Roost expansion. Soon, I will post more info on Robbers' Roost, as well as on the other expansion I have been working on, Death Mesa. Anyway, see the cards I have made below. The border colors may look off on a lot of monitors, but that is how my printer best prints to match the originals. The art is all either drawn by me, or adapted by other's artwork and then sketched by me to have more of a BANG!-like feel (the cross-hatch sketch work).

Robber's Roost BANG! Characters

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Character Guide: Jourdonnais

Jourdonnais BANG! Character

Name: Jourdonnais.

Inspired by: "French" Jourdonnais, The Riverboat Captain in The Big Sky.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Defensive.

Ability: Whenever he is the target of a BANG!, he may "draw!": on a Heart, he is missed.

Activation: A BANG! is fired at Jourdonnais by another player [i.e., a player uses a BANG! card against him]

Cards Enhanced for Use: Missed!, Barrel.

Cards Less Powerful When Played against Jourdonnais: BANG!

Characters who Jourdonnais Counters Well: Slab the Killer [if Jourdonnais has a barrel, he can successfully draw from his ability and the Barrel to provide the two Missed! to cancel Slab's BANG!; see for Emiliano Sciarra's agreement on this], Willy the Kid. However, in some senses both Slab and Willy are decent counters to Jourdonnais because with Slab, even if he provides one Missed! with his ability, he still has to expend a card or take a hit, and Willy can often fire at Jourdonnais twice, giving him a dang good chance of hitting Jourdonnais at least once.

Characters that Counter Jourdonnais Well: Kit Carlson

Best role for Jourdonnais: Sheriff.

Good role for Jourdonnais: Renegade.

2-Player Value: Excellent. Since Beer no longer count, Jourdonnais' defense against BANG! is especially useful at this point.

General Strategy as Jourdonnais: Jourdonnais is a defensive character. If you are playing the BANG! variant where you can select 2 characters, I would recommend not picking Jourdonnais if you are an Outlaw or Deputy. Ideally for these roles you want offensive or neutral abilities (neutral meaning abilities that are interchangeable between offense and defense, such as Calamity Janet's ability), so that you can take down the Sheriff or the Outlaws. If you are dealt defensive characters, and you are an outlaw directly next to the Sheriff, Jourdonnais is not a bad choice as he will be able to soak up more BANG! than his comrades (and your other character likely). Jourdonnais might even Cat Balou/Panic guns from the Sheriff so that he has to focus his fire on him, and not on his teammates (given that Jourdonnais' health is not completely depleted). After all, the offensive characters are more likely to terminate the Sheriff. Jourdonnais would simply be the distraction.

Get a Barrel to "stack" Jourdonnais' ability against those BANG! cards, allowing him to "draw!" twice to avoid being shot. In fact, since Jourdonnais' ability is so enhanced by having a Barrel, I recommend saving a panic to steal someone else's Barrel for his use. Due to Jourdonnais' quasi built-in-barrel (his ability is NOT equivalent), he can be a little riskier with depleting cards (like BANG!) from his hand. This is especially true if Jourdonnais has a Barrel. Some card counting of Cat Balous and Panics is not a bad idea when it comes down to considering when the best time for Jourdonnais to lay down a Barrel is. Like all characters, card count the amount of Indians!/Duels that have been played so that Jourdonnais knows when to deplete his BANG! or not.

Playing Against Jourdonnais: When you play against Jourdonnais, it is important to remember that his ability is NOT equivalent to a Barrel. This means Jourdonnais' ability is not activated when Gatling is played (notice that the BANG! is capitalized unlike other cards where bang is in the lower case to differentiate between the card and the attack action). And since I have seen this question in boards, Jourdonnais' ability is NOT activated when BANG!s are discarded during duels (which should be obvious). Thus, use Duels, Indians, and Gatling to weaken Jourdonnais, and Cat Balou/Panic his Barrel as soon as possible. This is especially necessary if Jourdonnais is a Sheriff. Don't let Jourdonnais' ability intimidate you: you can hit him a lot more than you think.

NOTE: I think Jourdonnais is actually too weak a character once you add in Dodge City. There are too many cards that his ability does not account for (think of Punch, Howitzer, Buffalo Rifle, Springfield, Derringer, Knife, Pepperbox) that can be played simultaneously in 1 turn. I think his ability should be adjusted to deal with this: we could make a distinction between direct and indirect attacks. Whenever Jourdonnais is directly attacked (singled out for damage), he can use his ability (except for duels of course). Whenever the attack is global/universal (like from gatling, howitzer, and Indians) his ability does not activate. This keeps the original card game cards (with the addition of Howitzer) as being the same cards that can hurt Jourdonnais.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Design: BANG! card game fonts

Those who go about making their own custom BANG! cards will want to get the right fonts:

1. Title font: Perdido


BANG! card game font

2. Description font: Palatino Linotype (Book Antiqua is close too)


BANG! card game fonts

3. Scenario/event card font: Playbill (This font isn't exactly right; but it functions as a nice alternative)

EXAMPLE (with an embossed effect to it):

Character Guide: Calamity Janet

Calamity Janet
Name: Calamity Janet.

Inspired by: Calamity Jane, famous frontierswoman and professional scout known for fighting against Native Americans.

Life Points: 4.

Ability: She can play BANG! cards as Missed! cards and vice versa. If she plays a Missed! as a BANG!, she cannot play another BANG! card that turn (unless she has a Volcanic in play).

Activation: On her turn when Calamity Janet chooses to attack another character and has the appropriate cards in hand, or when she is attacked on other player's turn and she has the appropriate cards in hand.

Cards Enhanced for Use for Calamity Janet: Missed!, BANG!, Volcanic, Duel (The BANG! FAQ explains, "Q20. Can Calamity Janet play Missed! cards during a Duel as if they were BANG! cards? A. Yes.").

Cards Less Powerful when Played Against Calamity Janet: Duel, Indians!, Volcanic, BANG!, Gatling.

Cards More Powerful when Played Against Calamity Janet: Panic!, Cat Balou (when targeting her hand).

Ideal role: Sheriff.

Good roles: Outlaw, Renegade, Deputy.

Characters Calamity Janet counters well: Willy the Kid, Slab the Killer (although she must be careful not to expend all her cards).

Characters who counter Calamity Janet well: Jesse Jones, El Gringo.

Outlaw Distance Consideration: With Calamity Janet's ability to dodge more shots, she can afford to be only 1 distance away from the Sheriff. Other outlaw characters can really suffer to be right next to the Sheriff.

2-Player Value: Excellent. With Beer no longer efficacious, Calamity Janet has both great defensive and offensive abilities to keep her alive and eliminate her opponent.

General Strategy as Calamity Janet: It is tempting as Calamity Janet to expend too many cards as BANG! Don't overextend Calamity Janet in duels and with playing a BANG! every turn. Be defensive and then at opportune moments (like when you get a Volcanic) have Calamity Janet unload on her target. This works a lot better as a Sheriff/Deputy/Renegade, but Calamity Janet still need to be somewhat conservative as an Outlaw, unless she has incredible Outlaw support. When General Emporium cards are played, Calamity Janet should pay close attention to her role and those of other players. If Calamity Janet is a Sheriff trying to defend herself, she may choose to pick up the BANG! cards to use as Missed! cards. It depletes her opponents' BANG! supply while simultaneously protecting herself. Conversely, if Calamity Janet is an outlaw, she may choose to pick the Missed! cards to deplete the Sheriff's Missed! supply while simultaneously giving herself ammo. Of course, there may be better cards to pick up, but always keep this in mind.

Playing against Calamity Janet: Often with Cat Balous and Panics, we forget that it can be very powerful to steal from their hand. This can be useful in knocking out Calamity Janet's supply of BANG! and Missed!, or even a handy beer. Having multiple attack cards (Duel, Indians!, Gatling) to punish Calamity Janet is also useful. While Calamity Janet will generally win duels, it is not necessarily a bad idea to try to drain her cards with a Duel and then slam her with the other attack cards. Calamity Janet will take some serious damage, not to mention that other players will be able to easily target her until her next turn. If you are desperate, a chaotic Dynamite can always be worth a shot, since she cannot dodge it if it explodes on her.

Dodge City cards enhanced by Calamity Janet's ability: the extra BANG! and Missed!.

Dodge City cards more effective when played against Calamity Janet: Can Can, Conestoga, Brawl, Rag Time (when targeting her hand).

Dodge City cards less effective when played against Calamity Janet: All attack cards.

Dodge City Characters that Calamity Janet Counters Well: Belle Star (her ability does not work against the BANG! in Calamity Janet's hand), Apache Kid (Almost all Missed! cards are non-diamonds and they can be used as BANG! by Calamity Janet against Apache Kid), Sean Mallory (She can avoid most damage from his offensive onslaught if he stores up, and she can dish out damage to this 3 lifepoint character)

General Strategy Adjustments for Calamity Janet: There are not many new strategy adjustments for Calamity Janet 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 Calamity Janet. While the green cards allow her to store up more defense/offense, and the discard a card to play this card types provide more powerful attacks/defenses, they are not compatible with Calamity Janet's ability. In other words, Calamity Janet cannot play a Buffalo Rifle as a Missed!, or a Dodge/Iron Plate as a BANG! Her ability only works with the specific BANG! and Missed! cards. Thus, Calamity Janet will have a harder time with the Dodge City expansion drawing cards during her draw phase/general store/playing drawing cards that will activate her ability. This weakens the effectiveness of her possessing a Volcanic or Duel, for their effectiveness is dependent on having BANG! However, with the new green cards Calamity Janet can provide herself with defenses that make it less problematic for her to deplete the cards in her hand during a Volcanic burst or Duel (or by simply being more agressive), so things do balance out somewhat.

General Strategy Adjustments against Calamity Janet: 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 cards from Calamity Janet's hand and remove any pesky Volcanic she might have in play. You can also gather some offensive/defensive green cards to play in front of you, which should help you collect a good offensive combo. Then, you can monitor Calamity Janet's hand, and when she expends some cards below her card limit, you can use the card depleters and offensive combo to deal out some damage.

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