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BANG! Dodge City» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Best not Dodge this game (Ok that was corny I know it) rss

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Paul Bryant
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Jamaica Plain
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Dodge City is an expansion of the Bang! Card game. It does reqire the original game as I guess the term "expansion" would imply. What you get is less cards then Bang! but you do get more fun.

I will briefly go over the rules as if you are looking at this expansion you are already in possession of Bang!

The game plays just like the original with each player getting a "job" such as Sheriff, Outlaw, Deputy, or Renegade. You are also given a character that has a specific ability. These range far more then you would think possible given the relatively simple nature of the game. You have anything from draw 4 cards instead of two to gain 2 life for every one beer. (Beer in the game gives you life somewhat ironic) to ignore all the effects of any card with the diamond symbol on it. Dodge City brings in a huge number of new characters doubling the old selection. Half the fun is arguing about who's is better till the end of the game goes and shows you that you were wrong. There are some that are stronger then others but like any good game none are terrible it just depends on how you decide to play.

In Dodge City they have expanded the game to accommodate up to 8 players 1 up from the 7 that Bang! supports. Also they made a revised version that accommodates 3 players. So one up and one down which expands the playability that much more. The three player works without the sheriff. Basically Player 1 goes after player 2, player 2 goes after player 3, and player 3 goes after player 1. So you have a triangle of attack happening. You win by killing your selected opponent. So if Player 1 kills player 2 they win. Should however player 2 die via something player 3 did then player one needs to kill player three to get the win. This version is not as fun as a game with 4+ players as the guess who each other is element is taken out. It is still however fun to play with three. I think this speaks for the strength of the game. Even with a major element removed it is still a better time then many games out there.

There are two major changes to the regular game mechanic both are good one doing more then the other.
The biggest one is the inclusion of green rimmed cards. These play similarly to the blue ones in that they are played in front of you. The big difference is that the greens can not be played right away. You must wait till it comes back around to your turn to use them. So in your hand you have a blue card that is a horse a bang card and a new green card that lets you regain some health. You out your blue and green cards out right away instantly gaining the use of the blue as you regularly would the green however does not heal you. You must wait till it goes around the whole circle and back to you. Only then can you use this card. That gives the green cards a number of chances to be pilfered before you get a chance to use it. It also shows where you stand. You may have a missed waiting to happen or some health waiting for you come your turn. It makes it so that where you stand is not quite as secret but also allows you to build a very large wall of protection or offense. I think as a whole this helps the 3 bullet (health) characters the most as it gives them a better chance at survival. The only green card you are allowed to play soon as you have laid it down in front of you missed cards. You do not need to wait for the entire round to come back to you for them to be used. The green cards do add to the fun of the game and give you more chances to shoot at someone or damage them without the volcanic (a blue rimmed card that lets you use more then one bang card on a character which is the main way you hurt them.) The ironic thing about the green cards is that though you are getting a bunch of new cards in the expansion since many stay on the table you still burn threw the deck fast.

The other new card mechanic are cards that require you to trade in a card with it to get it's effect. So you want to shoot at someone with no range penalty with the Buffalo Rifle card, you must trade in another card with it. This mechanic I find to be nether here nor there. It does not take anything away from the game nor does it really add all that much. One nice thing is if you find yourself drawing a lot of guns you can't use then at least which card to use as the throw away becomes an easy choice.

Those are the two major changes. There are also new cards and new characters all of which are fun. The new characters have some pretty creative edges as with such a simple game coming up with new characters after all the ones in Bang! could not have been easy. I give the designers props for really doing a great job with each character making all of them very different from each other.

Soooo:

Pros: New characters are very fun and make it so it would be near impossible to have any two games play the same (not that it was easy with the regular game). Also the green cards do add to the game giving it one more dynamic that ups the fun factor. All the cards in the expansion have a little buffalo on them in the corner to differentiate them from the regular bang deck. This was simple but very nice so for those who want to split them back up after you can pretty easily.

Cons: The price is the same but you get fewer cards then you get in Bang!. I think they should have included more brown rimmed cards as you would be surprised how fast that deck burns down.

Conclusion:
This expansion is wholly worth getting if you have Bang!. If you don't have Bang! then go buy it and buy the expansion with it. I think they really should just sell both together, ideally in a nice tin. This is a great game and I can't think of any other that has such a small footprint and weight that brings so much fun and is so versatile when it comes to the number of players. It is great played sober.. it is fun as a drinking game.. it is fun for friends who have known each other for their whole life and it is great for meeting new people. It oozes fun and conversation just happens along with smiles.

The expansion is worth it. It makes a great game even better.
 
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David Me
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Slightly disagree. I've played with and without the expansion many times and Dodge City adds unnecessary length to the game. Maybe my problem is playing too much with 7 and 8 players at once that don't really pay attention and slow the game down...but who can blame them. It takes so long to get back to one's turn that it's hard to keep focus.

For the first year, the base game was a blast and with few players the expansion is good. Definitely worth getting for a change of pace, but I don't think it actually IMPROVES the base game.
 
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Paul Bryant
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With dodge city I have been playing mostly 5 player games so the added protection that the green cards add is welcome.

So when you play the full 8 you are right in that the green cards do extend the legth of the game that much more. So if this is a problem for folk then based on how many people they have playing they could just trim out the green cards.

Though if you want to speed up games a selective trimming of cards would do it. Take out a few missed and a few beers and the game will be a lot shorter.
 
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Damon Asher
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Jefferson
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I too really like the Dodge City expansion. I think it adds a lot to the game. I just wanted to comment on one thing. You say:

riledguy wrote:
The biggest one is the inclusion of green rimmed cards. These play similarly to the blue ones in that they are played in front of you. The big difference is that the greens can not be played right away. You must wait till it comes back around to your turn to use them.


This isn't strictly true. You can put down a green card that functions as a Missed and play it the next time someone shoots at you. I point this out because I've seen people confused by this. You just can't use green cards on the same turn you put them down, with "turn" being defined as your action phase, not meaning until everyone else has also played. So Sombrero for example could be used if you place it during your turn, then the player after you shoots at you. Of course, cards other than Missed! icons need to be played during your action phase, so they can't be used until the round comes back to you again.
 
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Michael Murray
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I have mixed feelings about this expansion.

One of my favorite things about BANG! is the balance of the game. I mean, sure the Gatling Gun shoots all other players, but that doesn't automatically make it better than a Bang (which can single out an enemy, or be used in a Duel, or stop Indians... etc.)

Some of the cards in Dodge City keep this balance, while others don't. Overall, the extra cards just seem to make the game awkward. Not necessarily slow (as in, it takes a long time to finish), but it just looses that fast-and-loose Wild West appeal.

My favorite thing is the new characters, though. I'd buy them seperately, if I could.
 
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