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Subject: 20X Reviews #33 - Bang! The Dice Game After 20 Plays rss

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Peter Barringer
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Check out a Geeklist containing all my other reviews here: 20X Reviews - A Geeklist

Time to 20 Plays: 1 Year, 7 Months

How to Play: Bang! the Dice Game is a Yahtzee-style hidden identity game for 3-8 players. Each player takes a role (sheriff, deputy, outlaw, or renegade) and a player card that provides a special ability. The sheriff alone reveals his/her card, then players take turns (starting with the sheriff) rolling dice in an attempt to shoot other players and heal themselves or others. However, unlike in most Yahtzee-style games, the dice have two negative effects, arrows and dynamite, which can cause players to lose health. The game ends immediately when the sheriff is killed or when the sheriff defeats the final outlaw or renegade. The sheriff and deputy (or deputies in larger games) win if the sheriff is still alive at the end. The outlaws win if at least one outlaw is alive when the sheriff is killed. The renegade wins if s/he is the last one standing.

I've played it so much because:
1. It’s got almost universal appeal. I’ve played Bang! twenty-one times with vastly different groups. I’ve never seen a negative reaction.
2. Each game is a story. People talk about individual games of Bang! for months after playing. For example, we recently played with ten players at the board game club I host for my high school students. I paired up with one of my seniors since we had too many players, and we played as a renegade. The sheriff was so thoroughly convinced we were a deputy that she healed us multiple times and trusted us until the moment we betrayed her. We came within one health point of taking down the sheriff and winning the game.
3. It’s variable. Because the game comes with a ton of player cards, each game is a unique experience. Additionally, each of the four possible roles is played completely differently. By varying playing groups, you’ll also see different approaches to the bluffing and deception element.
4. People love dice. King of Tokyo and Bang! the Dice Game are two of my most popular games at Board Game Club because Yahtzee-style dice rolling is so much fun.

I'd play it more if:
1. it were just a bit easier to win with the renegade. In over twenty plays, I’ve seen the renegade come close to winning four or five times, but I hadn’t seen it happen until yesterday (2/7/17) in a five-player game. Numerous people have mentioned that they don’t like being the renegade because it’s so difficult.
2. it were better with lower numbers of players. I won’t suggest this game with fewer than five people. The bluffing component is considerably diminished with fewer players, and it essentially becomes a dice battle. Still fun, but not the same.

Rating:

Overall: This game holds a special place in my heart and in my collection. I’ve made some incredible memories playing Bang! with family at Christmas and last summer when my brothers and I brought our spouses on a cruise together. It’s absurdly cheap (~$14 on Amazon) and has an appropriately small box, which is a rarity these days. I’d argue that the game is excellent with five through eight players, which alone makes it worth a spot in most players’ collections.

On a side note, I just purchased the first expansion to this game, which comes with more role cards and some neat modules you can mix in.
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Highlander Highlander
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Re: 20X Reviews - Bang! The Dice Game
Thanks for the interesting review.
Made me want to give it a second chance with a higher player count.

I have the game and was really excited about it based on the glowing reviews it usually gets. Played a bunch of games at 5 players (my old game group's size) and was left disappointed.

It was a fun game, but I found that (at 5 players anyway) the deduction element was almost non-existent (it is pretty clear after the first round or two which team everyone is on).

Then all you are left with is some dice rolling and manipulation, which is fun, but for me personally not amazing. Kings of Tokyo was also a bit of a disappointment for me (compared to all the love it got)....

So for my group at player count of 5, no stories came out of the game. Just "Ah! You got me! Anyway...next game".

....guess maybe I'm just not that into dice chucking as a core mechanic. (Roll for the galaxy, similarly I found okay, but slightly disappointing compared to the hype).

Having said that, your review makes me want to try Bang! with a higher player count when I get the chance.
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Peter Barringer
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Re: 20X Reviews - Bang! The Dice Game
Yaban Jin wrote:
Thanks for the interesting review.
Made me want to give it a second chance with a higher player count.

I have the game and was really excited about it based on the glowing reviews it usually gets. Played a bunch of games at 5 players (my old game group's size) and was left disappointed.

It was a fun game, but I found that (at 5 players anyway) the deduction element was almost non-existent (it is pretty clear after the first round or two which team everyone is on).

Then all you are left with is some dice rolling and manipulation, which is fun, but for me personally not amazing. Kings of Tokyo was also a bit of a disappointment for me (compared to all the love it got)....

So for my group at player count of 5, no stories came out of the game. Just "Ah! You got me! Anyway...next game".

....guess maybe I'm just not that into dice chucking as a core mechanic. (Roll for the galaxy, similarly I found okay, but slightly disappointing compared to the hype).

Having said that, your review makes me want to try Bang! with a higher player count when I get the chance.


Definitely let me know if you like it with more players. There is far more social deduction, especially at 8 players when you have two renegades and two deputies. However, if you're starting to see a trend of not liking dice chucking, you still may not like it. Who knows! It's a quick game, so it's worth another shot.
 
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Highlander Highlander
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Re: 20X Reviews - Bang! The Dice Game
Yeah, don't know. I've never thought that I don't like dice chucking games...but thinking now about it some of the dive Ganges I mentioned I was not such a huge fan of. Don't hate dice by any means.

But maybe at a low player count, when the social deduction is gone, all that's lefty of Bang is the dice, which doesn't seem quite enough to carry it alone for me.

But you're right, it's quick enough that even as a light game at low player count, still pretty fun.
 
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