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Subject: Bang! review rss

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Andrei Filip
Canada
New Westminster
BC
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Bang! Review

Bang! Is a 4-7 players card game set in a western scene where everybody is a famous Far West character caught in a life or death duel with the other players. Believe me, humming Enrico Moricone and lyrics like “I shot the sheriff”, pointing fingers firing imaginary guns and making gun noises never gets old with this game. It is so dripping with theme you’ll be actually considering buying 7 sets of poncho and sombreros to go with this one.

Components
You get 103 cards featuring different roles, characters, summary cards and of course playing cards. They are of very good quality, durable and very easy to shuffle. The artwork is cartoonish and I find it suits the theme and the light fun atmosphere of the game perfectly. On the playing cards there are also symbols and numerals of a standard deck so you can play just about any card game with the Bang! set…not that you’d want to do that anyway as you’d miss a great game

The rules
The rules are mostly clear. The game is easy to teach, there are few special cards that require 1-2 plays to learn and a few odd situations but once you get past that you’ll have no problems whatsoever. I taught the game to about 20 non-gamers and they all got the hang of it really quick.

Mechanics and game play
At the beginning of the game everybody gets one character from the 16 available. They are all inspired by famous wild west personalities and each has a special ability, which in most cases allow them to break the rules, like drawing more cards, evading certain cards, etc. The characters come in a wide range of abilities and I found them to be nicely balanced.
Also the players are assigned roles. There are three major groups and basically the game is about making sure your group is the only one left in play. There’s a sheriff with deputies, the outlaws and a renegade, which is the most vulnerable in play, because he’s all alone, but also the most fun to play with, because of extra tactical decisions to make. The roles are secret, apart from the sheriff, which is always known by the other players so that means you have to figure out which player has which role by the way they are playing. It’s not easy and maybe you would prefer a straight shootout but I find the roles very fun to play with as they bring lot of table talk, lots of accusations back and forth, lot of interactivity between players.
Another important thing is the positions of the players, depending on the order they sit at the table. The two persons sitting on your left and right are considered to be at range 1, the next at range 2 and so on. At the beginning of the game you can only shoot at the two players beside you but as the game progresses you find better guns and horses increasing or decreasing your range. As players get eliminated from the game they get closer and closer to each other so it’s very easy to keep track of where everybody is.
I won’t go into details about the cards or the rules or the game turns. There are special cards, item cards which can be put in your inventory, guns, horses, etc. The vast majority or the cards are Bang! cards, which actually allow you to shoot at a specific opponent and he must in turn play a Missed card, use some other method to avoid the bullet or take a wound. When he reaches a certain limit of wounds, depending on his character and role, he’s out of the game. Suffice to say the game turns are very quick and very fun, even for those that leave the game early. Not much time to get bored as the game rarely takes more than 30-40 minutes. On occasions it’s possible that 2 characters get such special abilities and/or items that they find it very hard to eliminate each other and the game drags. It’s very rare, but I’ve seen it once so it’s proof that such a thing is possible.

Closing
Bang! is not a game you’ll be dieing to play. It’s not a game you’ll be showing proudly to your friends, geeks or no-geeks. You won’t wake up sweating in the middle of the night because you found a devious strategy to annihilate your opponents at it. You won’t have daydreams about unloading your hand into your boss/mother-in-law/nr 1 enemy. And yet despite all this you will be playing it a LOT. Why? Because it’s so easy and it’s so much fun. You can take it everywhere, you can play it everywhere. It’s a good warming up game, it’s a good closing game. It’s a good break game. It’s even a good all-night-Bang!-night game. Whenever you’ll feel like playing something light and with lots of interactivity I recommend you have Bang! among the options and it won’t let you down.
 
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Mark Crocker
United States
Westland
Michigan
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Nice review to a fun game. I find it impossible to play without the theme song to "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" being vocalized a few times during the session.


aah ee aah ee ah................wah wah waaahh.
 
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Ronster Zero
United States
California
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I have this game and have yet to play.

We keep getting stuck on Citadels, Kung fu fighting, and for sale for our short card fillers.

I gotta break this one out!
 
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Embark
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I have to agree that the Theme to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is definitely a prerequisite to playing. Sometimes it's fun to get the goofy western cowboy accents and jargon in the game too. It all depends on the group you are playing with, but if you feel comfortable enough acting goofy around them, it makes our games more fun.

Ben
 
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