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Subject: Old West Card Management rss

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Chris Payne
United Kingdom
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Contents: 80 Desperadoes (2 each of 10 different, 4 different colours or “suits”), 20 place cards (5 different in the values of 2,3,4 and 5). Rules in German (as packaged at Essen 2005, and English rules given out at the show – I have no idea if these will be included as standard.

Card game representing gangs staging hold ups in the old American west.

Person who has carried out the highest scoring robberies at the game end wins. Little touch here is that if I have the stagecoach 2 and stagecoach 4 card, then both cards will score 4 points.

Play on your turn will consist of putting a desperado against a particular column to win the place at the top of the column. When a robbery is taking place, only those characters in the column, or on the wanted list for carrying out a previous successful robbery can be used. Players secretly choose how many (nil is possible) gang members they wish to send into the robbery. Depending upon where they are in the column then different points will be scored, with a bonus if on the wanted list. Gang with the most points wins, but all cards are discarded. The winning gang goes above the places, so that cards with those gang members become worth more, but there are less of them in play.

Your gang for the robbery can either be all the same character, or all the same colour (i.e. suit) but not a mixture.

So, in brief a game of card management with luck coming in the form of:
a) what replacement cards you get
b) other player’s decision on how many cards to throw in for a robbery.

The tie-breaker on a robbery is a win goes to the person nearest to the person who triggered the robbery: there is no chance to play further cards.

Player interaction is limited to what desperado is put against a particular column, thus altering what plans you may have, and the luck/bluff based robberies. (See my 4 player review for more comments). Non elimination, but spend too many cards early on and you’ll be spending turns just collecting cards to strengthen your gang.

Card stock is playing card standard, artwork is colour and somewhat cartoonish as are the names – Fat Fred, El Guerillio, and Rudy the Bottle for example.

The box says 3-5 players, although the sticker says also good for two player gaming. I would definitely want to play a 2 player game before making any comments. It also says 30-90 minutes, and our feeling is that the time is too long (see my review). Nicely themed game, with OK artwork, and I’m not disappointed with the purchase at Essen Spiel prices. I have to confess that if I could only have one little card game though, then I’d go for something like Bohnanza over this.

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