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Subject: A Visual Guide to Game Setup and Basic Play rss

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Jonathan Cantin
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Howdy all y'all!

I'm posting some pictures here to help new players get started with playing Hangtown the Board Game. Not everyone who backed it on Kickstarter or grabbed a copy in Placerville (Old hangtown itself) is a die hard serious gamer! I hope this guide makes it a little easier for everyone to get into... Also see the other Visual Guide threads on Phases, Final Shootouts, and Scoring. Enjoy!

The main board and general supply/bank area

The round counter (gray disc) starts on space "I" on the left vertical track. The Outlaw begins on yield site 1 "Workday". The player order makers are randomly assigned on the right vertical track.


Note: the market of general town cards (brown cards) is pictured clearly in the rulebook and on the markets player aid, so I am not showing it here.


Discovery: A player's personal supply and tableau area

A shuffled deck of cards, 4 Dude (worker) cubes, $4, 1 Pioneer meeple, 5 phase selection cards, a hand of 2 cards (drawn from the deck), and a starting tableau of Main St. and Union Cemetery.


All of the player cards used in Discovery (not including any expansions). The rest are left in the box.




Highgrade: A player's personal supply and tableau area


A shuffled deck of cards, 4 Dude (worker) cubes, $4, 1 Pioneer meeple, 5 phase selection cards, a hand of 5 starting cards (see below), and a starting tableau of Main St., Union Cemetery, and Sutter's Mill.

The 5 starting cards in each player's hand in Highgrade (each one has a building cost of $2 and 2 Dudes):


Please see pages 2-4 of the rulebook for all of the game setup details.
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Jonathan Cantin
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Re: Simple Setup and Play Overviews
A Basic Turn in Discovery
(After the Event part. See Events below.)

Each player secretly chooses 1 of his/her 5 phase selection cards.

1 = Workday (use workers), 2 = Deploy Dudes (place workers), 3 = Build Town (place a new town card in tableau from hand or market), 4 = Round Up (move Dudes from general supply to personal supply), 5 = Shootout (place workers as gunmen and/or hang opponents' gunmen using the Hangman's Tree card)


Green chooses phase 3: Build Town in this example.



All of the players "commit" to their choices by placing their Pioneers on their phase selection cards.



When all of the players have committed, they simultaneously reveal their chosen cards.



Then they place their Pioneers on the corresponding yield sites on the main board. As shown above, Green chose phase 3: Build Town. Blue and Orange chose phase 1: Workday. Red chose Phase 2: Deploy Dudes.

The yield site with the most Pioneers goes BUST! In this case it's site 1: Workday. The others BOOM! Please see page 5 of the rulebook for more Boom/Bust details.

Note: the Outlaw is in site 5: Shootout. This whole example is of Round I, turn 5, just before the special Final Shootout phase (see below).



Now phase 1 Workday begins with Orange (who is higher in player order than Blue). Orange uses 2 Dudes for free (the Bust yield limit) to gain money and draw cards. The 3rd Dude is left for later.



The 2 Orange Dudes are removed from the action spaces and returned to the general supply. Then Orange takes $4 from the bank and draws 2 cards off of his deck.



Now Blue uses 2 Dudes for free (the Bust limit) and pays the bank $1 to use the 3rd. Blue takes $2 from the bank, and draws 2 cards off of her deck. Then she uses the "any" card action to seek any 2 cards of choice from her deck. After all of this she shuffles her remaining deck.



Then Phase 2: Deploy Dudes begins with Red placing her Dudes on the leftmost ("starting") action spaces on the Discovery Board. This is how Orange and Blue got their Dudes before they used them during Workday. And they had to wait for Bonanza Events to happen to advance them to the right where they bigger payoffs usually are...



Now phase 3: Build Town begins with Green building a card from his hand or the market (brown general town cards).



He chooses to build the Hangman's Tree from his hand, which costs any combination of 4 total bucks or Dudes (from his personal supply).



Green pays the 4 resources to the general supply/bank and adds the Hangman's Tree to his tableau area next to his other in play cards.



No player chose Phase 4: Round Up or Phase 5: Shootout this turn, so those phases are skipped. But since this example is taking place on the 5th turn (when the Outlaw is on site 5: Shootout), it is time for a Final Shootout! Yee-haw!


Please see pages 8 and 9 of the rulebook for the Discovery phase details. The Highgrade phases, which are somewhat different, are explained on pages 12 and 13.
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Jonathan Cantin
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Re: Simple Setup and Play Overviews
A Final Shootout occurs at the end of each round (every 5 turns). In a Final Shootout, the Outlaw attacks all of the players. He rolls both dice and keeps the highest result. In this example he rolled a 3 and a 5, so he keeps the 5. That is his attack value against all of the players.



Now Red, who is highest in player order, rolls 1 die. This will be her base defense value. She rolled a 3. Without any gunmen on Main St. to boost her defense, this roll is not enough to tie or beat the Outlaw...



Ouch! She loses the difference between the values in Dudes from the general supply. They go into her cemetery for -1 Victory Point each.



Next up is Green! The Outlaw's roll of a 5 comes his way... Green rolls only a 2!



But Green (who hates Murphy's Law!) prepared his Main Street earlier in the game with 5 gunmen (not shown in the examples above, my apologies). He uses 4 gunmen to boost his defense from 2 to a 6, thus beating the Outlaw! He gains 1 gray Outlaw Dude from the supply and places it in a grave space worth +3 Victory Points. His 4 used gunmen are returned to the general supply. The other gunman is saved for a later shootout... So long as no other player hangs him! It is Hangtown after all!



Orange and Blue follow suit and see if they can withstand the Outlaw or see their Dudes meet their makers... After that, a new round of the game begins. This continues in Discovery until the end of the 4th round, but in Highgrade the game can go on up to 6 rounds.


Please see pages 9 (or 14) and 23 of the rulebook for all of the Final Shootout details and more examples.
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Re: Simple Setup and Play Overviews
Events

Each turn before the routine of choosing a phase and taking actions, the Outlaw "triggers" an Event by moving into the outer circle Event spaces on the board. These Events give the players free resources and allow their Dudes on action spaces to "advance" to the right.

Note: the District cards and some general town cards (the Soda Works cards) add extra perks to the Events for players with them in their tableau areas.

Snowshoe Thompson (mail delivery)
Each player draws a card from his/her deck.


Gold Bug Mine
Each player draws 2 "Paydirt tokens" from the "Diggin's Bag" and gains their combined in money from the bank. In this example the player gains $5.


Bonanza!
In Discovery, the players must move their Dudes on the Discovery Board's action space tracks to the right if possible.

In addition, they can move their Dudes on their Hangman's Tree cards to the right to make room to add another on the left (for a double hanging later!). See the Highgrade example below; the rules are the same.
A

B


In Highgrade, the players may move their Dudes on their cards' action spaces to the right. This allows a player to use a card's right side action instead of its left (during the appropriate phase). It also opens up room to add another Dude on the left action space (during the Deploy Dudes phase)to gear up for a powerful combo in the future!
A

B


Wagon Train
Each player gains a Dude from the general supply.


The last Event on the board is another Bonanza Event; the rules are the same in both cases.

(Note that I did not leave the player order discs on the board in the pics; they normally would be there throughout the game.)


Please see page 6 (or 11 for Highgrade) of the rulebook for all of the Event details.
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Jonathan Cantin
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Re: Simple Setup and Play Overviews
Pass Actions

If you don't want to take the phase actions where your Pioneer is (say because you Bust or made a mistake in planning), you may "pass" instead. When you pass, you gain $1 from the bank and then may play up to 2 Pass Action cards from your hand. Each Pass Action card gives you a special advantage...


Note: the base game starts you off with Swift Justice and Grubstake; the included expansion adds even more! You can really spice things up with railroad deliveries, fires, and an ace up your sleeve!


Please see page 5 of the rulebook for the details on Pass Action cards. The additional Pass Action expansion cards are covered on page 20.
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