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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  1. The notes the instructions for "The Bullet" version of the game contradict what you're posting above:

    "Jourdonnais (4 life points): he is considered to have a Barrel in play at all times; he can "draw!" when he is the target of a BANG!, and on a Heart he is missed. If he has another real Barrel card in play, he can count both of them, giving him two chances to cancel the BANG! played before a Missed!"

    So, he uses his ability against all BANG!s, not just BANG! cards. Also another note, in the version of the game I have, there are no lowercase BANG!s anywhere - it is capitalized everywhere it's used.

  2. I have learned a lot since I made this guide, but I am not sufficiently certain that you are correct. I would prefer it if you were right. In my version of the bullet there are lower-cased bang v. BANG! I hope to fix this with dv-Giochi in the next edition of BANG!, coming out in 2013.

    I think they should not have general actions that have the same name as cards. Thus, the bang symbol should not be a bang, but "shoot" or "fire," or "shot" if a noun is preferred. Missed symbol should be a "duck," "evade," or "avoid" instead. When an ability or card refers to a specific card, the card's name should be referred to in bold. So much confusion could be avoided if this was carried out.

  3. In my rulebook (from another version of the Bullet I guess) BANG! is never spelled lower-case.

    The rulebook instead says about the Gatling: "Note: even though the Gatling shoots a BANG! to all the other players, it is *not* considered a BANG! *card*.

    So the difference here is between BANG! (= any card with the BANG! symbol) and BANG! cards (= only cards with the name BANG!).
    This distinction is consistent within the rulebook. "You can play only 1 BANG! card per turn"; "If you are hit by a BANG! you may immediately play a Missed!" vs "Indians!: each player, excluding the one who played this card, *may* discard a BANG! card, or lose one life point."

    The distinction is consistent in character abilities too.
    Willy the Kid "can play any number of BANG! cards during his turn".
    Slab the Killer "players trying to cancel his BANG! cards need to play 2 Missed!"
    While Jourdonnais "is considered to have a Barrel in play at all times; he can "draw!" when he is the target of a BANG! [...]"

    So, since it says his ability works like a Barrel and it says BANG! (not BANG! cards), I say his ability works with any card with the BANG! symbol.

  4. I agree with the first Anonymous and Fenice, it should mention "BANG! card" explicitly and it doesn't, so both barrels and Jourdonnais's ability are useful against Gatling and others.