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Subject: Bang! Review by a GANONGAF rss

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Jonathan Er
Singapore
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a common theme in all my reviews is that I am doing it from a GANONGAF perspective.
GANONGAF – Gamer with NON-Gamer Friends

Reason being, I often look for games to buy for my group of friends and myself to enjoy, but its often hard to find a review for such a group.

The bunch of friends I board game with are basically non-gamers
In short, they would choose a night of drinking, or a night of poker, or a nice big dinner over a night of board games. How unfortunate. *sigh*

Regardless, let me begin


Gist of the Game

There are 4 different roles in Bang!.
The Sheriff, the Deputy, the Outlaws and the Renegade.
The Sheriff and the Deputies win when both the Outlaws and the Renegade are dead.
The Outlaws win when the Sheriff is dead. The Renegade wins when everyone is dead.

So basically depending on your role, you are out to kill a specific person or persons. And to do this you have a range of arsenal (cards) at your disposal. All of which are mainly for killing someone or for healing / protecting yourself, or just to have a better chance at getting more cards.


Components

The thing I like about Bang! is that you are getting a whole bunch of cards.
Well, not that I really like cards over nice wooden pieces, but seeing as this is a purely card based game, you are getting a lot of cards, and each come in many different types and with different abilities that it adds a lot of tension and interesting moments to the game.

The artworks on the cards are not too bad as well. I wouldn’t call them superior to other games (like For Sale, etc), but it does a good job of conveying and implementing the whole wild wild west theme. I also like how the different types of cards are differentiate by a different colored border. It makes it a whole lot easier to explain and to remember their effects.

And each card also has a very unique / specific icon for an action. Like for the “Bang” cards, you will see an explosion icon. And with the quick reference card they give you, it’s easy to figure out what the card does when you compare it side by side. You just need to put a little effort into thinking about it.

Rating: 7.1 / 10


Complexity of Game

Bang! is a relatively tedious game to explain ( not difficult to explain, but teaching it can test your patience ).
It takes awhile to fully explain every facet of the game. There are many different card types with different abilities that should I have to go through one by one, it will take a heck of a long time. Which is why I seldom go though every one of them and leave it to play time to fill my friends in.

It also doesn’t help that some of the reasoning of the cards don’t make sense. Like for example, you can only have one gun, but you can have two horses. I never really ever got that part. It seems more probable to be able to wield two guns then it is to ride two horses.

But apart from nit-picking these minor issues, what I did like was the quick reference card they give to each player. As mentioned above, when combined with the icons on each specific card, you are able (with some thought) to figure out the purpose of each card. So if your friends are the kind that don’t mind taking some time to figure things out on their own, then you will be able find some relieve and just sit back and enjoy the game.

In short, for Bang!, there are quite a number of rules that you will have to explain and to get across. None of which are difficult to explain, but it’s the time taken that might put you off to a certain extent.

Rating: 6.9 / 10


Playing Experience / Fun Factor

Just to start off, I find that Bang! is generally more enjoyed by my male group of friends. ( Please note that this is just for my group of friends, I’m not generalizing for everyone or making a judgement / stereotype )

Anyway, back on track, Bang! – to me – is an acquired taste. It is either well received, or well, just “another game” to the others. The people who enjoy it really love it, and multiple plays are guaranteed. But for those who don’t like it, will find that it’s a long game and the fun derived is jut not worth the time spent.

An example of both groups:

The ones who love it.
We usually play around 3 rounds back to back. It was quite tense and you will find lots of laughter and frustration in the game itself. And the game gets real tight with usually a showdown between the Sheriff and the Renegade or the Sheriff and 2 Outlaws. We do silly actions to accompany the “Miss” and “Beer” cards too so it’s just a wild time.

The ones who don’t fancy it too much.
The game goes kind of slow. And it’s quite obvious that some are either not quite sure what to do or just not “feeling” the game.
And after awhile, someone will definitely ask when the game is going to end. After which, one round is all we do.

So basically, Bang! is quite unique in this aspect. I do hope that should you decide to purchase the game, that you will be able to find a group that enjoys it a lot. If so, you will definitely be having quite a good time with it.

Rating: 7.0 / 10


Replayability

Taking into consideration both the different groups of players, Bang! will see sufficient table time to make it worth its buck. But compared to a lot of other heavy hitters, it will generally lose its place in time to come. And it will be taken out – if anything – based on past memories or based on who you are actually gaming with and whether they are feeling the itch for the game itself.

Rating: 6.0 / 10


Variants

N/A.


Overall Rating (not an average of above scores but an overall grade): 6.7 / 10
* I do not score based on an average of the above scores because it may result in a boring game with great components outscoring a pretty average game with average components but one which my friends and I enjoyed a whole lot more.
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John Bandettini
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I think bang is a lot of fun. I don't know why it's not a more popular game.
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Tor Sverre Lund
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I'm guessing you have an older version of the game? Because mine only has one type of horse; Mustang, and you can't have more than one of each blue card in front of you. I think the other horse (appaloosa or something?) was switched out with a Scope instead (-1 on range), which makes a whole lot more sense :) Nice review!
 
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Travis Easton
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Jion wrote:

Just to start off, I find that Bang! is generally more enjoyed by my male group of friends. ( Please note that this is just for my group of friends, I’m not generalizing for everyone or making a judgement / stereotype )


I found this as well.
 
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Brandon Pennington
United States
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We just played this for the first time the other night. We had a blast, but I can really see how the popularity of this game is dependent on the amout of 'fun' people you have gathered around the table

Uptight people need not apply.
 
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Jonathan Er
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hi Tor Sverre Lund

i believe mine is the 2nd edition. so i would consider that the older version considering there are already 4 editions.

and yes, a scope would make a whole lot more sense. i never really bought the double horse thing. made me feel kinda strange inside. laugh
 
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Jonathan Er
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hi John

i do have a blast with Bang! too

just that - like Brandon said - its kinda hard to find the right group to enjoy the game with.
 
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ronald lee
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I have the older version of the game too. It doesn't have a scope but has 2 horses.

Nice review thumbsup
 
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DT Dyer
United States
Lawrence
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JohnBandettini wrote:
I think bang is a lot of fun. I don't know why it's not a more popular game.


I think that it isn't more popular because it works best with a full compliment of players. At least with my group we aren't able to fill all the roles everytime. Usually, that just means that all the other folks are in the middle of other games!
 
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