I almost thought this was never going to get an expansion! Feels like ages since Bang: The Dice Game was released, and yes I know it hasn't actually been that long, but with the amount of plays this has gotten it sure does feel like it. Or maybe I'm just tarnished with having to keep up with everything Fantasy Flight chucks out at us, that might be the case.
However Bang: The Dice Game has been a quality hidden role laugh-fest every time I bring it out completely overshadowing the bigger brother card game version which is now frankly obsolete with this around. So an expansion to this which literally came out of the blue for me, was one I had to pick up. Just don't complicate the game too much please, the streamlined simplicity is what helps this get played.
Designer: Michael Palm / Lukas Zach
Publisher: DV Giochi
Time: 15-20 minutes
From Board Game Geek:
BANG! The Dice Game – Old Saloon consists of five modules that can be used individually or in any combination with BANG! The Dice Game. The expansion features lethal new characters, extra roles, new tokens, and two Saloon dice: the Loudmouth and the Coward.
I Already Got A Gun
As a very quick note - you get a decent amount of components in the box for the low price tag, however don't get too attached to the box. You're going to want to store this in the original box and in order to do that you'll be chucking the old insert away, this is whether you sleeved your cards or not. This isn't a huge bugbear, but now you likely won't be seeing the five dice through that clear window on the cover any more - it's somewhat pointless for the expansion box to have the window on it really, but who cares really, you're going to chuck the box anyway or use it for pencil storage.
Upping The Stakes
As this is a modular expansion, the best way to tackle it is to go through each of the modules in turn and give my opinion as to how they each improve (or not) on the base game. As well as a few extra characters, you've also got:
THE CHIEFS ARROW
This will probably be the most useful addition and yet it's only one single token. Quite simply it's an arrow that will make you lose 2 life instead of one, but if you're fortunate enough to have the most arrows including this when the Indians attack, you won't lose any life. This is a cool feature to allow for an escape route from the bad luck of rolling loads of arrows. It's so small though that you'd think this could have been thrown in the base game really, just a single token after all. But none the less, it's an auto-include in every game from now on.
However the rules aren't always clear about how they relate to specific characters. Some characters mess around with arrows but it's not always clear as to whether they can touch the Chiefs Arrow or not. In fact one character who can take arrows instead of damage actually breaks the game by being unkillable if it's deemed that he can choose to take the Chief's Arrow and even if he can't, he can simply pick it up on his turn. It's so broken that I question the playtesting that took place here, so much so that I've now had to remove him from all games to keep things balanced.
There is a new set of roles that have special one time use powers on them if the player chooses to reveal who they are ahead of time. These are great in my opinion, not something I would teach to new players off the bat, but for anyone who knows the game, they're an auto-include. Commonly some players will make it obvious who they are playing and once that's done the hidden aspect is lost. This now gives you something else to do should that situation arise and even if it doesn't it can be very handy to reveal yourself depending on the game state if the power would be useful.
COWARD / LOUDMOUTH DICE
These two new dice have been a hit or miss in games, but generally they're pretty good. Essentially you can roll one of these in place of a standard die and each one is geared to either protection or high damage. The main differences are that they contain double symbols which can be applied independently of each other. They're handy if you need that desperate heal or if you just want to unleash bullets everywhere.
However take note, be aware that the "1" and "2" faces are actually doubles. If you miss this in the rules, you'll do what I did in the first game and mistake these for standard symbols. The difference between their single and double faces is so small that it's easy to gloss over it. And if you're playing them as singles, suddenly the dice seem much less potent.
Ever hated being the first one to die in a game with lots of players about? Well here's the solution for you. Now if you're the first one to die, you get to be the Ghost and can still win if your team wins. If you're a Renegade, your affiliation changes based on the player count. On your turn, you roll two dice and then choose one of them to apply to the first roll of another player on their turn. If you roll two of the same effect, it applies twice.
It's a small action, but it still gives that player a choice of what to do on their turn and they can be a fun influence on whichever team they're with. Of course the other player doesn't have to use those results (unless they're dynamite), but it's either a useful aid or a hindrance on their turn and it means that player doesn't just sit and wait the whole game. Of course if you die shortly after that character, tough!
I rather like this one - I always feel bad for whoever gets eliminated first (unless they shot me in which case, ha ha ha!), but it's cool how it allows for that player to still remain in the game without the elimination problem and have a positive influence. It does however require the most explanation out of all the modules, so either bring this in as a welcome surprise or play a standard game first I recommend.
Old Saloon is a solid expansion for Bang: The Dice Game and well worth picking up if this is a regular play in your group. Being modular, you can simply add in what you like to each game and some of them are so simple in nature that they might as well be taught to newcomers from the start. It's a pain that you can't store it in the original box without chucking the insert, but that's a minor quibble.
However some modules are better than others. I'm not blown away by the two extra dice and the Chief's Arrow, despite been good, should have been included from the beginning. The breaking of one character is no big deal but I'm surprised they didn't pick that up and clarify that in the rules. Personally the highlights are the new "reveal" abilities to add more depth and the Ghost character to cheer up whoever gets killed off first.
So nothing too complicated, nothing ground breaking, just a few extra bits that improve on what was already a quality game before hand. I'm not going to say it's a must buy alongside the original, but it's not a big outlay and will certainly please anyone who's more than a casual "Bang" gamer.
BROKEN RATING: 8 Indian Chief Arrows To The Knee
YOU WILL LIKE OLD SALOON IF:
You want to add some tweaks to the original game without complicating it too much for new players.
You want a modular expansion and so can experiment with combinations.
YOU WILL NOT LIKE OLD SALOON IF:
You wanted something particularly complex.
You weren't a fan of the original game - I don't think this will suddenly sway you.
thanks for your review ^_^
We are happy you liked this expansion.
Please check this picture we made months ago to show how you can easily store all the expansion components in the base game box.
I personally think you can avoid Bart Cassidy strategy by picking the indian chief's arrow before him. It won't be easy to kill him, but it is still possible.
Hope this helps
- Last edited Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:41 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:39 pm
I store the whole game in the Old Saloon box.... smaller box than original makes it even more portable.