Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Character Guide: Julie Cutter


Character Name: Julie Cutter.

Inspired by: Unknown for now.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Neutral (Defensive trigger, but offensive effect).

Ability: "Each time a player makes you lose at least 1 life point, 'draw!': On reds (hearts or diamonds) they are the target of a BANG!"

Thus, if a player makes you lose more than 1 (i.e. Aim) it doesn't trigger twice. Dynamite/Rattlesnake would not trigger a BANG! at the player, because they didn't force you to lose a life point.

NOTE: Her retaliatory BANG! reaches target regardless of distance. I equate this BANG! with a BANG! card.

Activation: When any card is played that directly forces Julie to lose a life point: not Dynamite, Rattlesnake, other indirect form of losing a life point. It would apply to Indians!, Gatling, etc.

Cards enhanced by Julie Cutter's ability: Saved! (she takes the hit for another player, gets the card bonus, and bangs! the attacker), Shotgun/Buntline Special (retaliatory BANG! can cause them to discard a card if hit/cancelled), Bounty (play on a player, if they shoot you, you have a chance to not only BANG! them but also draw a card), Beer family cards (take hits to trigger your retaliatory infinite distance BANG! with less worry)

Controversy: Can Big Fifty's special ability be used out of turn with her retaliatory BANG!?

Cards weakened by Julie Cutter's ability: Her retaliatory BANG! makes the need for Missed! effect cards less relevant (as well as gun cards); they're definitely still valuable, just less so for her than for many other characters

Cards less effective when played against Julie Cutter:

Any cards potentially causing immediate loss of life directly (BANG!, Springfield, etc.) or indirectly (Gatling, Indians!, etc.)

Cards removing BANG! from her hand (Bandidos, Indians!, Panic!, Cat Balou, etc.) as her ability requires no BANG!

Volcanic (you need a lot of BANG! in your hand to make the Volcanic meaningful, but then this also means you lack defensive cards in your hand -- if you happen to hit Julie, you're giving yourself a 50% chance of getting hit yourself too)

Jail (she can still bang! you out of turn)

Cards more effective when played against Julie Cutter: Few cards truly weaken Julie Cutter (versus just being more relevant to play against her, such as Dynamite or Rattlesnake), but The Big Fifty does stand out, as it cancels the target player's character ability and cards in play (so it can cancel out her ability to retaliatory BANG!; the Armed and Dangerous rules clearly spell this out), Barrel (as she will more frequently be banging! you when you attack)

Ideal Roles: Sheriff, but decent at other roles.

Characters Julie Cutter counters:

Characters proficient at dealing damage: Slab the Killer, Willy the Kid, Bloody Mary, Colorado Bill (she doesn't need to avoid the shot as much as others, as she can punish him back), Jackie Murieta/Mexicali Kid/Doc Holyday (BANG! conversion can be retaliated against), Evelyn Shebang, Black Flower, Der Sport-Burst Ringer

Distance manipulators: Rose Doolan/Paul Regret (she can hit them anyway with her retaliatory BANG!)

Card thiefs: Pat Brennan/Jesse Jones/Flint Westwood

Risky card converters: Chuck Wengam

"Draw!" driven: John Pain (she is less likely to feed him cards)

Big Spencer (his inability to play Missed!, and inability to use distance to protect himself from Julie's retaliatory BANG! makes her "cuts" really hurt)

Subset of Other Defenders: Mick Defender (his ability doesn't protect from BANG!), Elena Fuente (makes Elena think twice when attacking her, as it can quickly deplete her hand), Molly Stark (defending herself against a retaliatory BANG! occurs during her turn, which keeps her from gaining the benefit of her ability -- she will not get to draw a card), Immunity driven characters (her retaliatory BANG! lacks values) for Apache Kid/Ms. Abigail

Characters who counter Julie Cutter well:

Mid-Position Offense/Defense: Calamity Janet (easier time giving and receiving fire back), Don Bell (extra turn makes his hand management easier to counter her on), Sean Mallory (if he gets enough cards, he'll be a beast), Jose Delgado (extra cards can help him have the right hand mix)

Defenders: Jourdonnais (can more easily defend himself against her retaliatory BANG!), Teren Kill (survivability against her BANG!)

2-Player Value: Great. Retaliatory attacks in a 2-player situation really helps.

Armed and Dangerous value: The retaliatory BANG! defense might prevent you from discarding a Missed!, enabling you to more easily discard from hand at end of your turn, and thus gain load tokens.

Gold Rush Value: Solid. Whenever your ability causes another to lose a life point, you'll draw a gold nugget.

General Strategy: Julie Cutter is the last of the 3 lasses included in Armed and Dangerous which has universal value outside of the expansion. Whenever she takes damage, she has the guaranteed opportunity of inflicting payback. This ability provides Julie with some choices -- there may be times in which she wishes to take a hit, to create the potential for the attacker to also take a hit, especially if the attacker is her target and they are out of the range of her gun. In that case, she might choose not to play a card with a missed! effect. If the attacker is not her target, the value is substantially less, and the value of foregoing playing the card with the missed! effect is unlikely to occur. If she has Beer (or another means of increasing her life points), and is already at full health, Julie might also willingly take the hit and replenish her life point after the exchange.

Bounty can be useful on player characters targetting Julie, even if they are not her direct target. Her retaliatory BANG!, when successful, will cause her to draw a card from the Bounty.

Since you know characters will be looking to nab your gun card to keep you out of distance until they want or can deal with you, Julie will want to choose carefully when to play her gun card. Ideally, she would not do so unless he can also make use of that gun on a desired target. There's no reason to just put it into play for the sake of it, if it can be avoided (especially if you can discard over to gain some load tokens instead). 

Playing against Julie: Unless you must initially deal with Julie (she is your definite target, say the Sheriff and you are an Outlaw), you might choose to save Julie for later to deal with other threats. This can be done if you are able to restrict her gun cards and keep her out of range. As long as you do not attack her, she will not be reactively attacking you.

Once she is your target, you will need to manage your cards with missed! effects appropriately so you can avoid taken damage. While the chance is only 50% that she will retaliate, it's still likely to get you soon enough. A Barrel will be particularly helpful in providing defenses against her. You don't want to have to deplete your missed! effect cards during your turn as you deal with her, as you'll then have no defenses outside of your turn when she (or another player character) attacks you. You can predict this somewhat through the restriction of her gun cards again. You'll know she can reach you when you attack, and most likely not when it is on her turn (unless she should draw a gun card or have cleverly hid it). The same here can be said of Jail, of managing when she can attack you.

Of course, if you can get your hands upon and use the Big Fifty, this will be of big help in cancelling out her retaliations. Indians!, while causing retaliation, are nonetheless useful in depleting attacks she might otherwise initiate on her turn. Then, "indirect damage" cards such as Rattlesnake or Dynamite can also be very potent against Julie Cutter, as their initial player will not trigger any retaliation should those cards end up damaging Julie Cutter.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Robbers' Roost: Revising Interrupt Design

As I've been evaluating my Robbers' Roost proof and rulebook, I've been thinking more critically about the design and rules of the cards, particularly as relates to the interrupts. The windups I consider pretty solid and easy to understand, while the interrupts have these giant walls of text, and understanding when they can be played is less immediately discerned. They also introduce multiple new gameplay concepts, which I should seek to simplify or remove the number introduced.

As a result, I've been working on redesigning the content of these cards, so that they are more intuitive, within BANG!'s pre-existing symbolic language. I will need to add a couple new symbols (as I had with the line of fire concept) to best adopt the language. Here are some of the reworks I'm envisioning:

You can see on the left the originals, and on the right hand side the modified cards. The right side cards have a top text area, which indicates the condition on which an interrupt can be played out of turn. The bottom area describes what happens by playing this card when the condition is met. I think this reads much better to the eye.

Unfortunately, there are ramifications to using the symbolic language. This is because the BANG! symbol does not equate to a BANG! card. With abilities contingent on a BANG! card being played, this ability is lost when leveraging the interrupt (think Slab the Killer's). There really are only 3 options here:

a. Ditch the symbols.
b. Keep the symbols and add text that clarifies these count as BANG! (adding to text clutter)
c. Modify the original intent of the cards so that they no longer are BANG! cards and so do not trigger player abilities.

I'm leaning towards c, simply for the simplicity that it adds to understanding the cards.

Along those lines, I am enjoying the work I did to align Join Arms with the Buffalo Rifle's discard card cost, as a way to circumvent distance. I personally think I should nix distance restraints on all other interrupts, and just include that as a cost for executing on the ability. This change would then remove the need for noting distance modifications for a card or other limited constaints. This balances the lack of distance constraint, while also furthering the original intent of the cards (team work), which is essential in larger games where distance is all the more problematic. It's frustrating, for instance, that it is harder to help a team mate with Toss because they have a Mustang.

Other examples of changes:

I think these are look much cleaner -- these don't show the originals, but just the modified cards. Hit Me and Bleed Out are the only cards that completely align with the prior cards. Here are some of the challenges I have with these cards:

1. Bandages: Symbology is equivalent to Tequila, but there's a problem: in the original you can't play it on yourself, while Tequila you can. This reads as give 1 player a life point, while I need "give any player but yourself 1 life point." Ways to solve for this are:

a. Add clarificatory text (creates extra text, which is a downside).
b. Create a new symbol (I should only do this where needed; the "anyone else but you" concept is not often used)
c. Change original intent to align with symbol clarity, so you can play it on yourself.

I'm inclined, once more to side with C for simplicity.

2. Confiscate: This loses the notion that you are able to put the card yourself into play upon confiscation. I'm trying to determine if that is worth it. In this case, it probably is. I'll need to add, "that player's card in play. Put it into play."

3. Hit Me is good.

4. Bleed Out: I can't tell if I'd need to note "draw!" in the bottom area or not. I feel like it's intuitive Barrel, Jail, etc. I think I'll add just rulebook explanatory text. I added the lost health symbol (which I used for Moonshine before) that I think is clear. I'm not certain about the crown symbol for royals, as royals are not a suit, they are a subset of any suit. I probably either need to scratch any suit symbol and just create a "J-A" text, or create a pan-suit symbol to mean any type that value. I'll experiment with both.

Next example of how this is evolving. Quick Draw in particularly has proven tricky. One of the problems with the original Quick Draw is the concept of "using" a card. Green cards are discarded to use their effect, which is what this was intended to block. But discarding to use is different from using in general. Would this apply to a gun card already in play (i.e. a Volcanic)? To what else? I found this "use" concept as not clear enough to really put in place. Playing a card is clearer -- it happens when a card is put in play or played from the hand and discarded, so I've made that the new condition. I recognize the conceptual difference of how this now really only hinders defensive green cards, versus offensive ones (they're already disabled until their next turn anyway), but for the gameplay clarity, I consider that sacrifice worth it.

Beyond the playing condition, there is the effect of playing it which could also use rebalancing. I think it was too weak before -- It at best discards a BANG!, or delays use of a card for a turn. In addition, I think the card contributing to a card limit while disable, if a hand card, is an extra layer of complication that is unnecessary to manage/explain. I've tried to simplify it in the 3 examples (top left is original). 

1 - Top right is the simplest -- make it a straight discard the card played. It adds a card cost for that definitive removal. This makes the hand limit issue no consideration. However, one of the challenges for this and option 3 (bottom right) is that discarding a one-time use card may seem non-intuitive, as it is already naturally being discarded. What is really going on is a discard of a card put in play or a cancellation of a one-time use card played. Cancellation and discard are similar but not equivalent concepts. The discard card symbol may not carry that concept. I may need to put "(or cancel) that card." This is my current preferred option.

2 - Top left is closest to the original. It is more powerful in not allow a BANG! alternative; the targeted card will be disabled. For that, it requires a discard card cost. Frankly, this is weak enough that it should need no discard cost. The main challenge here is disabling is a new concept, and how it interacts with hand limits needs to be accounted for. It's probably best to just through disabling in a wastebin.

3 - Bottom right is a nice halfway point. It allows a BANG! to be played to avoid the discard, but if not, it's a true discard. It still has the problem with cancellation/discard, so this might end up even wordier: "They must discard a BANG!, or that card is discarded/cancelled." The symbol here is more flavor than standing in for a word, which is less stylistically consistent.

If I encounter other challenging one's, I'll note them here. I'll be tackling this as well: the whole concept of substitution as relates to the roles and role revelation. I received some criticism here, and I think there's some validity to the criticism, at least in going against the "spirit" of the game, even though any reasonably good BANG! player can infer roles extremely easily by the time that substitution would come into effect. I also have concerns about interrupts and impacts on the hand limit.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Character Guide: Bloody Mary

Character Name: Bloody Mary.

Inspired by: Mary Tudor, who took the British throne in 1553, reigning as first queen regnant of England and Ireland. Seeking to return England to the Catholic Church, she persecuted hundreds of Protestants and earned the name "Bloody Mary." The term is now mostly known for the alcoholic drink.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Offensive.

Ability: "Each time your BANG! card is cancelled, draw 1 card from the deck."

Activation: Playing a BANG! card against another player during Bloody Mary's turn.

Cards enhanced by Bloody Mary's ability: BANG!, Bottle, Bandolier, guns (especially Lemat -- converts card in hand to BANG! -- Volcanic, Buntline Special, Shotgun, and Thunderer), Scope, Tornado, Bell Tower, Ace Up the Sleeve, Gun Belt, Gold Pan, Pickaxe

Cards weakened by Bloody Mary's ability: Duel, Aim, Big Fifty

Cards less effective when played against Bloody Mary: Any cards cancelling the BANG! (Missed! family - Missed!, Dodge, Evade, Sombrero, Cappello, Iron Plate, Bible, Duck), Barrel, Horseshoe, Crate, General Store

Cards more effective when played against Bloody Mary: Indians!, Arrow, Duel, Bandidos, Panic!, Cat Balou, Whip, Poker, Lock Pick, Squaw, Saved! in response to her BANG!, Jail, Boots, Beer, Rucksack, Calumet

Ideal Roles: Deputy, Outlaw, Renegade.

Characters Bloody Mary counters:

Calamity Janet (BANG! she plays as Missed! enable Bloody Mary to draw cards), Elen Fuente (cards she discards to play Missed! enable Bloody Mary to draw cards), Jourdonnais (draws cards when his ability cancels her BANG!), Lucky Duke (draws cards when a lucky "draw!" cancels her BANG!), Mick Defender (no benefits defending against BANG! with his ability), Sean Mallory (he may store up defensive cards, but they will not hold her back as much), Chuck Wengam (he may burn health to gain cards, but the canceling cards he plays will be less effective), Pixie Pete (He may draw 3 cards, but she'll be able to deplete his LP's)

Characters who counter Bloody Mary well:

"BANG!/Distance Depleters": Pat Brennan (pull her gun cards to limit her distance and ability to apply her BANG!), Big Spencer (he can take the hits), Jesse Jones (pulling cards from her hand can deplete her BANG!), Flint Westwood (trade a non-BANG! to get 2 of her cards, likely grabbing her BANG!).

"Alt-Defenders" -- Paul Regret (use distance as a defense versus Missed! cards), Bart Cassidy (more likely to just take a hit to draw a card), El Gringo (he can take the hit and then draw a card from her hand), Sid Ketchum (use discards to drink Beer instead of evading her BANG!), Tequila Joe/Lemonade Jim (use Beer as defense versus cancelling her BANG!), Molly Stark (draws a card along with Bloody Mary when she cancels a BANG! out of turn), Teren Kill (his last life point doesn't need as much protection), Julie Cutter (50% chance to make Bloody Mary target of a BANG! when she loses an LP), Ms. Abigail (she ignores the effects of royal BANG!, which is not the same as cancelling them), Madam Yto (she draws cards when Beer is played), Don Bell (more turns = more chance to gain what he needs, Beer or otherwise), Apache Kid (diamond BANG! have no effect)

"Best Defense is a Strong Offense": Slab the Killer, Willy the Kid, Greygory Deck, Lee Van Kliff

2-player value: Good. Keeping the cards coming when your opponent cancels your BANG! helps you maintain your position.

General Strategy: Bloody Mary is one of the 3 gals included in Armed and Dangerous which has universal value outside of the expansion. Her ability is "old school," sliding nicely in with the base game characters and any group of expansions you play with. It feeds her cards when her BANG! or cancelled, which means you really want to use your BANG! and get a gun with proper range so you can reach your intended target with those BANG!. You can use them more freely, as when they're cancelled you'll get to draw another card. You're less prone to Indians! than Slab.

You're still subject to the one BANG! draw limit so finding cards (Volcanic, Bandolier) that extend that BANG! limit, or that stack well with her ability (Buntline Special, Thunderer) are a great pick. Try to keep a Panic! handy as your opponents will try to control you by removing your gun cards and Scope. Use Bell Tower to close the gap if you're given the chance. Tornado and General Store can also be your friend for acquiring the right cards (guns or BANG!). 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.

Your real trick will be trying to get folks to cancel your BANG! and not your non-BANG! attacks (Punch!, Tomahawk, Aim, Gatling, Quick Shot, Fanning, Flint Lock) so you still get a bonus. Don't draw attention to your green attacks in play in front of you, but the smart player will use that to determine when they should cancel a card. Of course, you could fake them out so they take the hit from your BANG! and then you don't play a secondary attack.

Playing against Bloody Mary: Since Bloody Mary keeps her cards replenished when you cancel her BANG!, your best bet is to keep her in your range, while keeping yourself out of hers. A trusty Mustang or Hideout should do the job; just try to keep Bloody Mary from getting/keeping a gun or scope (use those steal and discard cards, and pay attention when the General Store is played). She's pretty vicious with a Volcanic or Buntline Special.

If Bloody Mary has you in range and shoots at you, judge carefully when to play cards that would cancel an attack. Since her ability only applies to BANG! cards, you'll have no penalty for cancelling a green card (which you'll be able to see if she has in play), or other brown attack card (i.e. Gatling). You might consider taking the hit from a BANG! to cancel her attack on another card and not give her an extra card. Successful "draws!" from Barrels do enable Bloody Mary, but at least they're entirely effective in cancelling her shot (say, versus Slab the Killer). Saved! is a great card to play against one of the targets of her BANG!. While you'll take the hit, you'll get the benefit of drawing 2 cards, the target won't take the hit and the BANG! isn't cancelled so she doesn't get anything out of it. Calumet is an amazing defense, as the diamond BANG! she plays against you won't be cancelled, but rather will have no effect on you. She'll likely try to discard/buy this away from you.

To keep Bloody Mary less prone to attacking you (or your ally), try using BANG!-depleters to remove fire power from his hand. Duels, Indians!, Arrow and Bandidos are especially useful. If she isn't careful with her BANG!, you can do some great damage against her this way. While Jail is always useful to play against an opponent, it is more useful to use against Bloody Mary since her ability is only activated during her turn.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Robbers' Roost Redux POD Proof Arrived

My proof for Robbers' Roost arrived last night, and I was eager to open it up and see the results. Here's my assessment, with lots of photos!

What worked well:

- The size is fantastic as I'd fully expected, but it's still super rewarding to be able to order BANG! cards that are in the card size necessary to fit into the BANG! playing deck on demand. It's a giant leap forward for modders.

- New border designs turned out really well.

- Character design looked really crisp.

- Cards shuffle well.

- Did well on border spacing -- which I was worried with as related to the closeness of the borders to the edge in the BANG! cards v. the game crafter's template. I exceeded their recommended area ever so slightly to limit that design variance. Turned out well.

- The rulebook from game crafter turned out really nice too. I'm happy to offer this alongside the cards that you can print out. I caught a couple typos, but that's what proofs are for, right?

What needs work:

- Colors: These always print differently than you suspect on a monitor v. your home printer v. the POD's. And they also differ slightly on printing runs. You can notice some significant differences between the official BANG! card prints in between the expansions -- Wild West Show character borders are lighter, for instance, and their backs have a more orange hue. So I suspected differences here, and knew they would lack the linen texture that the official cards have. That said, I didn't expect the level of variation I saw in my proof. They're perfectly playable, but I'd still like to get this closer if I can. In general, the cards were darker:

- Borders too dark

- Card backs too dark (see far right cards):

- Bullet life points too dark (and a little small; this is on the front of the character card)

- A couple pieces of card art were darker than I'd like (Q&A, Pay Day, Disarm; only Q&A was really too dark, but I should still lighten all of them up)

Other observations:

- The printing, while pretty good in the quality of the prints, is a little blurry in some print areas. It's not a result of the media files, but the printing process itself. This is a minor quibble, but something I noticed.

- Design side -- I should make my icons slightly bigger. Some of the borders of my character art should be more feathered (gradient to white). Spacing between suit and value should be a little larger.

- Tuckbox definitely needed! This will compliment the cards and rulebook really well, so you can store Robbers' Roost and cart it around easier. I'll want a divider too.

I am pretty sure I can leverage this material:

I've got 88 cards (44 to each side) plus a 20-page saddle-stitched booklet, which I think will work great. The 128 card limit for the box (64 to each side) gives me a 20-card thickness for the booklet, so I should be good. The wild card here will be how the divider works with the booklet. I'd hate for the cards to be completely loose, so divider is a must. Time to get cracking on some art. I'll make it pretty generic, but at least somewhat aesthetically pleasing.

Ideally here, you can "build your own" Robbers' Roost with all needed components, even if you have to somewhat assemble them once shipped to you.

- Curious if I can create a standardized way for the POD to print all of the "Dying Ain't Living" and then the "That'll be the Day" modules sequentially, so that no card sorting is needed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Character Guide: Ms. Abigail

Character Name: Ms. Abigail.

Inspired by: Unknown for now.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Defensive.

Ability: "You may ignore he effects of brown-borders cards with values J, Q, K, and A if you are the only target." She can choose for the effects to occur if she so wishes -- she can, say choose to enter a Duel if she views it as favorable.

Activation: When a brown bordered card that targets only Ms. Abigail is played.

Cards enhanced by Ms. Abigail's ability: Duck (she can save and return it for when she actually needs it, which is less frequent than for other players), Crate (also save up needed Missed!)

Cards weakened by Ms. Abigail's ability: Her optional immunity makes the need for Missed! cards and Escape less relevant; they're definitely still valuable, just less so for her than for many other characters

Cards less effective when played against Ms. Abigail: Here are the list of royal brown bordered cards that target a single player:
  • BANG!: K, J, K, Q, A, Q, K, A (28.5% of base + DC game BANG!; 27.5% with A&D)
  • Springfield (DC): K
  • Backfire (VOS): Q
  • Tomahawk (VOS): A
  • Flintlock (A&D): A
  • Duel: Q, J (2/3; only 1 can necessarily engage her)
  • Cat Balou: J, K (2/5 with base + DC; 2/6 with A&D)
  • Panic!: J, J, Q, K (4/5 with base + DC)
  • Also weakened are Buntline Special (indirectly weaker; royal BANG! she does not cancel, but is rather immune to them she does not have to discard in those cases), Double Barrel (her immunity is not a cancellation, weakening Double Barrel on the diamond BANG! played, of which there are 4 royals), and Volcanic (royal BANG! have no effect); mass discards (Bandidos) are less effective against Ms. Abigail due to her natural defenses. Jail is also less relevant when played on her.
Cards more effective when played against Ms. Abigail: Few cards truly weaken Ms. Abigail (versus just being more relevant to play against her), but some stand out: The Big Fifty, as it cancels the target player's character ability and cards in play (so it can cancel out her optional immunity to brown royals); and the Lemat (since any card in the hand can be played as a BANG!, play non-royal cards as BANG! against her). 

Ideal Roles: Sheriff.

Characters Ms. Abigail counters:

BANG! driven offensive characters: Slab the Killer, Willy the Kid, Bloody Mary, Colorado Bill (she doesn't need to avoid the shot for her immunity to be valid)

"Draw!" driven: John Pain (she is less likely to feed him cards)

Characters who counter Ms. Abigail well:

"Card Depleters": Pat Brennan (pull her gun cards to limit her distance and ability to apply her BANG!), Jesse Jones (pulling cards from her hand can deplete her offenses and Beer), Flint Westwood (trade a royal card to her that you couldn't affect her anyway to get 2 of her cards, likely grabbing relevant cards she has stored), Youl Grinner (her immunity make her likely to have more cards than Youl Grinner and have to hand a card over), Gary Looter (immunity makes her likely to hold on to cards and go over her limit),

"Alt-Offenders": Doc Holyday (discard BANG! have no value), Belle Star (cards she in play in front of her are irrelevant on Belle's turn; her immunity is still relevant), Suzy Lafayette (she can still play her ineffective browns to draw more cards), Lee Van Kliff (he can repeat the effect of a card by discarding a BANG!, the value is no itself repeated, nor the value of the discarded relevant, allowing him to step around her ability), Black Flower (any club she can play as an extra BANG!, so she can more easily play non-royal BANG!), Der Spot-Burst Ringer (She is not immune to Gatling, as it targets more than one player), Evelynn Shebang (draw refusal for BANG! conversion means the BANG! are valueless, and thus Ms. Abigail's immunity is not triggered), Jacky Murieta/Mexicali Kid (resource converted BANG! are valueless, which Ms. Abigail is not immune to)

"Card Converters": Calamity Janet (convert your royal BANG! into Missed! and your non-royal Missed! into BANG!)

"Card Acquirers" (they have a higher chance of getting cards that will affect Ms. Abigail): Black Jack, Kit Carlson, Sean Mallory, Pixie Pete, Don Bell (when he gets his second turn), Jose Delgado, Tuco Franziskaner, Raddie Snake, Pedro Ramirez (he can see if the discard pile card is a non-royal value, and then draw it if he so chooses), Chuck Wengam/Bill Noface

2-Player Value: Great. Immunity is cards in a 2-player situation really helps.

Armed and Dangerous Value: Solid. Immunity allows her to hold on to cards with Missed! effects and then discard them on her turn when over her hand limit to gather load tokens.

Gold Rush Value: Solid. While she's not great at gathering gold nuggets, she is good at restricting other player characters from gaining gold nuggets by attacking her.

General Strategy: Ms. Abigail is another of the few characters included in Armed and Dangerous which has universal value outside of the expansion. Her ability most resembles Apache Kid, who is immune to the effects of diamonds played by other players. Similarly, she may be immune to the effects of royals (J, Q, K, A) where she is the only target. The may is relevant, or she'd be immune to cards she might play that target herself, or she'd be less able to willingly enter into a Duel. Notice how Apache Kid's ability still protects him from multiple target cards like Indians!, while Ms. Abigail does not have that luxury.

The net effect of this is Ms. Abigail is roughly immune to about 25% of the attack cards in the game (and her ability is easier to plan around than Jourdonnais' as it is guaranteed), and she is especially difficult to remove cards from. It's easier to discard, rather than steal from her, but they are both very difficult. Ms. Abigail should use this to her advantage, looking for blue and orange (dangerous) cards she can get out into play. Green cards are also valuable, especially as allowing her to offload her hand of defensive cards and focus more on offensive options -- she can use them only when needed, applying her immunity to any foolish player using a royal against her. General Store will be very helpful in nabbing these, as well as Tornado.

Duel's are less advantage for Ms. Abigail to participate in. For one, it allows her opponents to actually use royal BANG! against her by discarding them, while prior they would have no effect. She'll also be able to more likely keep high range gun cards in play, so the distance benefits are less relevant.
She should make sure she can counter multiple target attack cards well -- grabbing them when they appear in a General Store, and keeping a BANG! in hand to ward off Indians! and Arrow.

A clever Ms. Abigail player could also card count, and determine which royals have been played, as well as those that are in her hand, so she can get a greater sense of her probabilities of being affected.

Playing against Ms. Abigail: In some ways, knowing that Ms. Abigail is immune to your royal browns that target only her helps orient your behavior -- you don't waste your time playing them against her, say, versus Jourdonnais' where there's just a chance they won't affect him. Use that knowledge to your advantage. Use royals to feed the activation costs for other cards or abilities (Dodge City cards, card conversion abilities). When Indians!, Duel, or Tornado is played, discard the royal. Keep your eye on non-royal browns appearing in the General Store.

Since her ability only protects her for cards targeting only her, multiple target attacks that are royal are very valuable (I'm looking at you, Indians!, which has an A and K of diamonds). Note that when the game drops to 2 players, that immunity will suddenly kick in...

If you're paying attention to the card distribution of royals, you'll notice that is very hard to Panic! and Cat Balou cards from Ms. Abigail. This means that you need to play the cards that do steal/discard cards from her very wisely (Whip, Squaw, Brawl, Ragtime, Bandidos). Don't waste them on a green card; use them on something really meaningful. 

Monday, October 5, 2020

October 2020 Updates

I've been working on a new version of Robbers' Roost, which you can print off using the Game Crafter. It will take me over a month to get my copy, so in the meantime I've been cleaning up this website. There's been a lot of cobwebs to dust off, as I'm sure well you know. A list of updates I've done:

- I've re-enabled the forum
- Removed spam from blog and forum
- Updated Fan Expansions section (more to be done here)
- Added more on Director's Cuts, including characters, updated abilities, and event cards
- Updated Community links
- Fixing broken links and images (thanks Google for breaking my images)
- Updated Downloads section (files for many languages, including much needed files for Valley of Shadows, Gold Rush, and Armed & Dangerous)
- Added images for characters and cards from Valley of Shadows, Gold Rush, and Armed & Dangerous in the strategy section.

Work I'll be doing over this next month:

- Continuing to fix broken links and images
- Adding variants that have come out in the past several years
- Examining other fan expansions that have come out
- Looking at new BANG! resources to add to community page
- Give more consideration to digital sources for BANG!
- Review modding tools