Thursday, March 3, 2011

Character Guide: Suzy Lafayette

Suzy Lafayette

Name: Suzy Lafayette

Inspired by: No known source.

Life Points: 4

Ability Type: Offensive

Ability: As soon as she has no cards in her hand, she draws a card from the draw pile.

Activation: Whenever she has no cards in her hand.

Cards enhanced by Suzy Lafayette's ability: Volcanic, Cat Balou, Panic, and to some extent all cards except Missed! and blue cards that have more than 1 of their type.

Cards less effective when played against Suzy Lafayette: Cat Balou, Panic (when applied to her hand), often BANG! and Gatling.

Cards more effective when played against Suzy Lafayette: Jail.

Characters who Suzy Lafayette counters well: El Gringo, Jesse Jones

Ideal roles for Suzy Lafayette: Outlaw, Deputy.

Good role for Suzy Lafayette: Renegade.

2-player Value: Great. Even as her health lowers Suzy Lafayette will have a greater chance of picking up cards from the draw deck with her ability to pick up much needed Missed!, Cat Balou, blue cards, etc. Even Beer cards are somewhat useful, as they are easy cards to play on her turn to keep channeling her ability. As the BANG! FAQ explains about Beer in 2-player, "Q25. Can I play a Beer card if there are only two players alive? A. Yes, but it has no effect at all."

General Strategy as Suzy Lafayette: Since Missed! cards keep Suzy Lafayette from "channeling" her ability, she is definitely an offensive character. However, because she needs to get rid of all of her cards before she can channel it, this leads Suzy Lafayette very much open to attacks by the end of her turn. Thus, early on Suzy Lafayette should try to build up a defensive base with blue cards (Barrel, a Mustang to create distance) and try to get a Volcanic if at all possible. As Suzy Lafayette is saving up to use her ability, she should use the card limit to her advantage. If she is over her card limit and has excess Missed!/BANG!, or a blue card that she cannot use, use her discard phase to get rid of these cards. This will help Suzy Lafayette channel her ability easier, since she will no longer have the 1 player card limit, and also not leave her as defensively helpless if she completely depletes her cards. Make sure before Suzy Lafayette plays that Volcanic that she can reach someone with it (not to mention that they are a person that she wishes to eliminate), otherwise it will have been a wasted asset. I would play conservatively (try to have a BANG! and Missed! always in hand) until the health of an opponent gets low, and then I would try to channel Suzy Lafayette's ability against them if at all possible. If Suzy Lafayette saved an Indians! for this moment, she can play this to not make herself as open a target until her next turn.

Cards that get in the way of channeling Suzy Lafayette's ability are BANG! over the 1 BANG! a turn limit (unless you have the Volcanic), Missed!, blue cards in Suzy Lafayette's hand that she already has in play in front of her, and possibly (but not likely) a Panic if she has no cards in her hand or in front of her. But if she has a Volcanic, basically she has only a 20% chance of picking up a card that will keep her from channeling her ability (versus around 50% if she doesn't have a Volcanic). And of that 20%, she has roughly a 90% chance of finishing by drawing a Missed! card, which is a nice way to finish after an offensive onslaught, as you at least now have 1 defensive card.

With Suzy Lafayette, it is important to remember that she can Cat Balou and Panic cards from her own hand or in front of her. Thus, if Suzy Lafayette wishes to channel her ability if an offensive strike, but she has a Missed! in her hand, she may opt to Cat Balou the Missed! in her own hand so she can now channel her ability. If Suzy Lafayette draws a Panic card while channeling, she doesn't need to stop her rampage even if the players directly next to her are out of the 1 distance reach of the Panic. Suzy Lafayette can simply Panic a card that is in play in front of her, play it in front of her again, and then keep drawing from the deck. As Emiliano Sciarra has also emphasized, players can play Beer cards even if they have full health; the Beer cards then simply have no effect (The BANG! FAQ states, "Q16. Can I play a Beer if I am at full life points? A. Yes: the Beer will simply have no effect at all). Thus, to keep channeling her ability, Suzy Lafayette can very easily play a Beer card this way.

One word of caution on playing duels as Suzy Lafayette. You may think that you can begin a Duel, and if you run out of cards, then you can draw cards, and as long as you draw a BANG! and play it you can keep participating in the duel. This is not the case. As Emiliano Sciarra clarified in the BANG! FAQ:

If Suzy Lafayette plays a Duel, which is her last card, can she draw another one before the Duel ends?

ANSWER: No, she must wait until the end of the Duel.

So don't get Suzy Lafayette killed off in a Duel under this assumption. Often, it will still be worthwhile to play the Duel anyway, so that Suzy Lafayette can keep channeling her ability. But it may influence the order in which Suzy Lafayette play her cards and the player she target with her Duel (she may choose to play the Duel at someone besides her primary target if she has good reason to believe he has no BANG! in his hand and she wants to get rid of the Duel so that she can draw more cards).

Lastly, play the cards Suzy Lafayette draws from the deck effectively. As she draws Jail, Panic!, and Cat Balou, play them in a manner that either devastates an opponent she aims to eliminate, or prepares you defensively until your next round (remove guns/the scope from those that can attack Suzy Lafayette and are hostile towards her, if she cannot remove their guns place them in Jail, and so forth).

General Strategy against Suzy Lafayette: When playing against Suzy Lafayette, there are 2 ways to deal with her. The first is to simply neutralize her ability but keep her alive; the second is to eliminate her. In regards to the first, when you know that she has a Missed! in her hand play cards that keep it there (Indians!, Duel) so she cannot channel her ability. When General Stores are played, try to force Suzy Lafayette to pick up the Missed! card if possible. Throwing Suzy Lafayette in Jail works well too. Although Suzy Lafayette can still channel her ability when it is not her turn, it is highly probable that she will not be able to do so continually because very few cards can be played when it is not your turn. Jail will keep her from using her ability effectively. Next, you need to keep the Volcanic out of Suzy Lafayette's hand. Unless you have a very good play to make when you lay a Volcanic down and you are next to Suzy Lafayette, I would not play it in fear of her panicking the Volcanic and directing her wrath against you (After all, you are probably only 1 of the 2 targets she can reach with it).

Dealing with a Volcanicized Suzy Lafayette is terrifying, but you do have some benefits on your side. Since Suzy Lafayette has a 90% chance of ending her offensive onslaught with a Missed! card in her hand when she has the Volcanic, you have a pretty good guess of what she has in her hand. Thus, you will be able to dish out serious damage with both Duel and Indians! that require BANG! to defend. And if Suzy Lafayette's health is low, you might consider Cat Balouing/Panicking the card from her hand. She'll draw another card, but the chances of it being another Missed!/Beer are exceptionally low. If she has only one life point, you will likely finish her off with a BANG! If Suzy Lafayette's health is high, however, please Cat Balou/Panic the Volcanic instead! That will severely cripple her ability. But even if you can't remove the Volcanic, it is a great idea to keep that Missed! card in her hand while hitting her with non-BANG! attack cards. She likely will not be able to continue the offensive onslaught on her next turn.

When Suzy Lafayette does not have a Volcanic in her hand, there is a greater probability of an excess BANG! card in her hand that is keeping her from channeling her ability. Thus, if you are trying to eliminate her, it is better to fire a BANG!/Gatling at her in this instance. This is true, of course, unless you know that she has a Missed! in her hand. A Duel can also be worth it when she has low health. Since Suzy Lafayette has an incentive to play her Beer cards whenever she gets them (whether they impact her life points or not), you don't have to worry as much about her playing last second beers.

Dodge City cards enhanced by ability: Almost all new cards--brown, green, or blue--except Dodge.

Dodge City Characters that Counter her Well: Belle Star, Pat Brennan (he can always remove her Volcanic, which can be a brutal blow to her ability)

General Strategy Adjustments: Dodge City adjusts the gameplay for Suzy Lafayette somewhat. Now there are the green cards that Suzy Lafayette can play in front of her. This can allow her to store up some defenses before she unloads all of her cards in an offensive outburst. It also allows her to gain some defensive cards when Suzy Lafayette is channeling her ability that do not cause her to stop drawing cards. Thus, she may be less open to attacks after an offensive onslaught than she was before (except when against Belle Star). The green cards only create "speed bumps" in her ability when she already has the green card of the same type in play in front of her already. This is not very likely, however. More problematic for channeling your ability, however, are the new Dodge! cards and the many cards in the Dodge City expansion that require 2 cards to use. While there are only a handful of these cards in the deck (Springfield, Whisky, Tequila, Brawl, Rag Time, etc.), these will cause a definite stop to Suzy Lafayette's channeling ability when she picks them up from drawing from the deck as a result of having no cards in her hand. On the flip side, they do provide a way for Suzy Lafayette to get rid of undesirable cards in her hand that keep her from channeling her ability. Thus, Suzy Lafayette might discard a Missed!, a blue or green card duplicate, or even another card that requires discarding another card to use, to activate one of these cards. Dodge! are more difficult to discard since they are useful defensive cards (Suzy Lafayette gets a 1 card draw from them), but doing so can still be worthwhile when Suzy Lafayette is in possession of a Volcanic. Other new cards, like Punch, do not get in the way of Suzy Lafayette's ability, unless no one is in view. The new Hideout can help Suzy Lafayette be more protected when she channels her ability.

General Strategy Against Adjustments: Suzy Lafayette is even more dangerous than before. While the "two cards to use" and green cards may cause hurdles in her channeling her ability, they also create incredible defensive and offensive abilities. Chances are that even during a General Store you would not want Suzy Lafayette to pick up one of those cards! You do have a few more cards in your arsenal: you can use Rag Time, Brawl, Can Can, and Conestoga to remove cards from her hand or from in front of her (that terrifying Volcanic!) when it is useful. The green cards provide you with a lot more fire power to dish out all at once, and this could help you eliminate a low life point Suzy Lafayette.

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  1. Our group has discovered something fun about Suzy Lafayette. When playing with the Wild West Show expansion, there is a potentially game-ending scenario when the "Showdown" card comes into play and Suzy Lafayette has a Volcanic. Showdown = All cards may be played as if they were Bang! cards, and all Bang! cards may be played as if they were Missed! cards. This means that every card in Suzy's hand is now a Bang! Combine that with a Volcanic's ability to continue firing when she runs out of cards and she can wreck shop on her immediate neighbors. This means she can end the game most of the time, with an exception being, for example, if she was the Sheriff and was unsure of the identity between the Renegade and her Deputy, or if she was unable to reach those adjacent to her due to range (Mustang/Hideout).

  2. If Suzy Lafayette has 4 bullets and 4 cards, can she discard down to 1 at will at the end of her turn?

    This question also applies for all characters; is it allowed to discard below the card limit?

    1. No you can't discard cards below the card limit just as many as it is required by your bullet limit.

  3. @Cybrosis
    I was playing with a group of friends last night and we came upon the exact scenario you described by chance. Suzy Lafayette instantly won (as an outlaw). It's also worth noting that although mustangs/hideouts can get in her way, the sheer volume of cards she can draw makes it likely she'll get a cat balou to get rid of the mustang.

  4. Emiliano Sciarra has stated this in the case of Showdown event card:

    "Actually, the correct text should be that BANG! card must be played as Missed!, otherwise Suzy Lafayette armed with a Volcanic could shoot the whole deck!"

    So, she's still pretty dangerous while that card is active, but the chain is stopped when she draws Bang! Sorry! :/

  5. if i use a dodge or an emporio or something that allows me to draw as my last card, does it activate my ability before i draw for the dodge/emporio or no?

  6. With Gregory deck, if I draw Suzy Lafayette and Elena Fuentes, and the fist full of cards expansion is being played with, if the sniper card is in play would I be able to play the only card in my hand as one miss and draw another for not having any cards in my hand and play that as the other miss?

  7. As Lafayette, Wells fargo is your last card. When you play your last card(wells fargo), can you draw a card before you draw those three card that you get from Wells fargo? Same question when your last card is General store.

  8. this character is seriously OP

  9. Can she discard all of her cards(without using them, like surplus cards) in hand just in order to get one card and then discard it either and do so until she gets what she wants?