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Subject: Comparison of Characters rss

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Ben Albert
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This article discusses the many characters in Bang and Dodge City and how they rank. I have split the 31 characters into 4 groups and have denoted ones from the expansion with an asterisk. When considering the ranks of characters I did not assume any role, this is a general ranking without regard to role. Please see below to see how these rankings change depending on what role you have. Also keep in mind that characters whose ability will be used more frequently are usually better. For instance, if you are playing a 4 player game then the best you can hope for one of the characters' whose ability goes off when another player is elimiated is 2. Not so good. But if your ability can be used every single turn, like draw 4 cards, or multiple times a turn, like automatic barrel or Willy the Kid then you are better off. Also note that in my opinion, having 3 life instead of 4 is a huge disadvantage and therefore the ability must be really good to offset this. The number shown after the character's name is the total life they have. My remarks are in paranthesis.

---Group 1: The Best---
Calamity Janet, 4 - She can play BANG! cards as Missed! cards and vice versa. (One of the best cards in the game, if she gets the Volcanic, watch out!)

*Elena Fuente, 3 - She may use any card as Missed! (Very good for the Sheriff as he is constantly shot at.)

*Pixie Pete, 3 - He draws 4 cards instead of 2. (Probably the best card in the game. More cards in the hand means more damage you can do.)

Slab the Killer, 4 - Player needs 2 Missed! cards to cancel his BANG! card. (Very good for the Outlaw.)

Suzy Lafayette, 4 - As soon as she has no cards in hand, she draws a card. (This one is tricky, either you can't get rid of all your cards and her ability is wasted or else it "goes off" and you draw like 10 cards in one turn. Also very dangerous with the Volcanic because then only a Beer or Missed card will stop her from drawing.)

*Vera Custer, 3 - For one whole round, she gains the same ability of another character in play of her choice. (Be anyone you want.)

Willy the Kid, 4 - He can play any number of BANG! cards. (The classic, still one of the best. If he gets a good gun watch out!)

---Group 2: Good, but not Great---
*Apache Kid, 3 - Cards of Diamonds played by other players do not affect him. (Note that all Indians cards are Diamonds.)

Bart Cassidy, 4 - Each time he is hit, he draws a card. (More cards is more better.)

Black Jack, 4 - He shows the second card he draws. On Heart or Diamonds, he draws one more card. (This seems to work more than half the time, but even still, he draws 2.5 cards a turn and doesn't have to give up a life like Pixie Pete.)

*Belle Star, 4 - During her turn, cards in play in front of other players have no effect. (No one can use any gun or green cards on you or the -1 horses.)

El Gringo, 3 - Each time he is hit by a player, he draws a card from the hand of that player. (Makes people think twice about shooting you.)

*Jose Delgado, 4 - During his turn, he may discard a blue card from the hand to draw 2 cards. (Like Suzy this can be very powerful if you keep drawing blue cards that you can afford to give up.)

Kit Carlson, 4 - He looks at the top three cards of the deck and chooses the 2 to draw. (More options gives you an advantage.)

Pedro Ramirez, 4 - He may draw his first card from the discard pile. (Makes the player before you be very careful what he leaves on the discard pile.)

---Group 3: Average---
*Chuck Wengham, 4 - During his turn, he may choose to lose 1 life point to draw 2 cards. (Usually you don't have this luxury, but on occasion you just really need cards.)

*Doc Holyday, 4 - During his turn, he may discard once 2 cards from the hand to shoot a BANG!

Jesse Jones, 4 - He may draw his first card from the hand of a player. (This is good when you know what they have, like after General Store.)

Jourdonnais, 4 - Whenever he is the target of a BANG!, he may "draw!": on a Heart, he is missed.

Lucky Duke, 4 - Each time he "draws!", he flips the top two cards and chooses one.

*Molly Stark, 4 - Each time she uses a card from her hand out of turn, she draws a card.

*Sean Mallory, 3 - He may hold in his hand any number of cards.

*Tequila Joe, 4 - Each time he plays a Beer, he regains 2 life points instead of 1.

---Group 4: The Worst---
*Bill Noface - He draws 1 card, plus 1 card for each wound he has. (So when I have full life my ability is a disadvantage?)

*Greg Digger, 4 - Each time another player is eliminated, he regains 2 life points.

*Herb Hunter, 4 - Each time another player is eliminated, he draws 2 extra cards.

*Pat Brennan, 4 - He may draw only one card in play in front of another player. (Sometimes I have seen this work, like when you are down to heads up and you can take the one card that is killing you or stopping you from killing the other guy, but usually 2 random cards are better.)

Paul Regret, 3 - All players see him at a distance incresed by 1. (That's what horses are for.)

Rose Doolan, 4 - She sees all players at a distance decreased by 1. (See above comment.)

Sid Ketchum, 4 - He may discard 2 cards to regain one life point. (Two cards!? Ouch.)

Vulture Sam, 4 - Whenever a player is eliminated from play, he takes in hand all the cards of that player. (Both cards in hand and in play, but often they have no cards in hand or in play.)

-----------------------------------------------------

One note is that some players move up and down the scale depending on your role.

***These players are better if you are the Sheriff:
Bart Cassidy and El Gringo (from 2 to 1.5) - Since the Sheriff takes a lot of hits you will draw a lot of cards with these players.

Tequila Joe (from 3 to 2) - Since the Sheriff takes a lot of hits he needs to gain life back as much as possible.

Jourdonnais (from 3 to 2) - Since the Sheriff gets shot at a lot having an automatic barrel is a plus.

Bill Noface (from 4 to 3.5) - When you have full life he is actually at a disadvantage. But if you play it right you can sit at 2 or even 1 life and draw 4 or 5 cards a turn.

Herb Hunter, Vulture Sam and Greg Digger (from 4 to 3) - As the Sheriff you hope to live a long while. Benefiting each time someone dies helps you live longer.

***These players are better if you are the Outlaw:
Doc Holyday (from 3 to 2) - Being able to fire more shots always helps the Outlaw.

Rose Doolan (from 4 to 3) - Being closer to the Sheriff helps.

***These players are better if you are the Renegade:
Sean Mallory (from 3 to 2) - Most games the Renegade wants to bide his time and wait for a few players to be knocked out. With this character he can hold on to all of his cards and wait for the oportune moment to strike.
 
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Kirt Purdy
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Nice listing, looks like a lot of work!
I do have one caveat to your list regarding Sean Mallory. If you don't play with the HIGH NOON expansion, this guy can survive forever, in theory. Since he can hold any number of cards, he can just draw two cards and pass each turn. He then waits for the volcanic and a mittful of Bang cards and wipes out the unlucky people beside him. With a lot of beer and missed cards in his hand, he becomes incredibly hard to get rid of. I know, because I tried this and it worked like a charm. HIGH NOON is a huge check on this type of activity, as the Hangover card takes away his ability for a round, so he will have a max of 3 cards at the end of his turn, 4 if he is the sherrif. When I tested this theory, I had about 8 beer/whisky/tequila cards in my hand at one time, and a whole bunch of Missed and Bang cards to boot. Very tough target!ninja
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Quote:
*Pat Brennan, 4 - He may draw only one card in play in front of another player. (Sometimes I have seen this work, like when you are down to heads up and you can take the one card that is killing you or stopping you from killing the other guy, but usually 2 random cards are better.)


I would not put this card so far down. As a deputy this card is amazing. As an outlaw it can also be useful for a final push against the sheriff (take away his +1 horse or his barrel).
 
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Flying Arrow
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I think that the game balances out because the best characters are automatically the 'biggest threats' so they get shot at first. Also, Vulture Sam can be deadly in a large game. His usefulness is proportional to the number of players.
 
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Javier PadrĂ³n
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I cannot believe you put Jose Delgado so far down, in my games him and Pxie Pete are the best. We cut down Jose's abilities so now he can only use his ability once per turn. We have really suffered (and enjoyed when i played with him) finishing games in jose delgado's turn killing everybody, literally... just broken...
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Carl Forhan
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Jourdonnais is one of my favorites regardless of what character you are; put a barrel in front of him, and it's next to impossible to get a single shot through! I'd put him in the 2 category, then bump it to 1 for the Sheriff.

I think Lucky Duke is pretty good, since he gets the choice between drawing two cards, but admittedly this only comes up in certain situations.
 
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Jacek Nowak
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benalbert wrote:
Kit Carlson, 4 - He looks at the top three cards of the deck and chooses the 2 to draw. (More options gives you an advantage.)


I'd move Kit to group 1, it's one of my favourite characters. Note, that more options is not all he gets from his ability. The third card goes back on top of the deck, so he can set up the top card for the player to the left. He can keep this player in jail or help the dynamite explode.... This is quite powerfull...
 
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Everett Scheer
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ja_n wrote:
benalbert wrote:
Kit Carlson, 4 - He looks at the top three cards of the deck and chooses the 2 to draw. (More options gives you an advantage.)


I'd move Kit to group 1, it's one of my favourite characters. Note, that more options is not all he gets from his ability. The third card goes back on top of the deck, so he can set up the top card for the player to the left. He can keep this player in jail or help the dynamite explode.... This is quite powerfull...


on not explode if hes a "deputy" next to the sherrif. Kit is a good character.

I would degrade Willie the Kid, just for the fact that you need a certain draw to pull him off, and hes lopsided on the offensive, which leaves him vulnerable. I agree with the other poster who said vulture sam is better when a) there are lots of people, and b) you are the renegade or sherrif. Ive seen Sam get handed large piles of cards, especially with dodge city's green cards.

I also think el gringo is a horrible character. His ability doesn't warrent the loss of a bullet, and often the card drawn with his ability is not of much help.

Jourdonnais IMO is one of the better characters, giving you a built in barrel. Essentially this gives you one extra bullet (with hearts being 1/4, one needs to shoot at you on average more than 5 times to kill you when you dont have a missed in hand). Since staying alive is more than half of the game, hes quite good.
 
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Tyler Ziegler
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Where is Chuck Wengham? He didn't even make the list?
You have seriously under valued Sean Mallory. When holding ten cards in your hand, you can do some game-ending damage at will... even without the Volcanic. Let me show you an example of how Mallory can devistate the entire table in one turn. The following is his ten card hand:

(2) Indian cards
(1) Gatling
(1) Bang
(2) Duel
(1) Punch
(1) Springfield
(1) Miss
(1) Beer

Not to mention any offensive green bordered cards already laid on the table (Howitzer, Knife, Buffalo Rifle). If you have a little patience with Mallory, you can really be a game changer. The above listed hand would easily be enough firepower to single handedly eliminate even the most powerful of Sheriff's. Think outside the "one bang per turn" offensive strategy and you'll find Mallory is one of the greats!

And for those of you who are more defensive minded, consider the following hand:

(3) Miss
(3) Beer
(1) Dodge
(3) Bang

No one will be able to touch you.
 
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ja_n wrote:
benalbert wrote:
Kit Carlson, 4 - He looks at the top three cards of the deck and chooses the 2 to draw. (More options gives you an advantage.)


I'd move Kit to group 1, it's one of my favourite characters. Note, that more options is not all he gets from his ability. The third card goes back on top of the deck, so he can set up the top card for the player to the left. He can keep this player in jail or help the dynamite explode.... This is quite powerfull...


The third card goes to the top of the deck and is not put in the discard pile? If this is true, we've been playing wrong (and Kit is more powerful than we thought).
 
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Richard Sampson
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Potlok wrote:
I cannot believe you put Jose Delgado so far down, in my games him and Pxie Pete are the best. We cut down Jose's abilities so now he can only use his ability once per turn. We have really suffered (and enjoyed when i played with him) finishing games in jose delgado's turn killing everybody, literally... just broken...

I completely agree about Jose. I think he is the most powerful character in the game, and my gaming group too feels he should be nerfed (more so than others like Willy).
 
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Richard Sampson
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kjamma4 wrote:
ja_n wrote:
benalbert wrote:
Kit Carlson, 4 - He looks at the top three cards of the deck and chooses the 2 to draw. (More options gives you an advantage.)


I'd move Kit to group 1, it's one of my favourite characters. Note, that more options is not all he gets from his ability. The third card goes back on top of the deck, so he can set up the top card for the player to the left. He can keep this player in jail or help the dynamite explode.... This is quite powerfull...


The third card goes to the top of the deck and is not put in the discard pile? If this is true, we've been playing wrong (and Kit is more powerful than we thought).
Yes this is true. It took us a while to figure that out as well, but it makes him a much more interesting character.
 
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Kjetil Svendsen
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benalbert wrote:
*Belle Star, 4 - During her turn, cards in play in front of other players have no effect. (No one can use any gun or green cards on you or the -1 horses.)


No one can use guns or -1 horses when it is your turn. But they can of course use that on their turn, even if you're Belle Star. However, other players defensive cards, like Barrel, will have no effect on your turn.

benalbert wrote:
Suzy Lafayette, 4 - As soon as she has no cards in hand, she draws a card. (This one is tricky, either you can't get rid of all your cards and her ability is wasted or else it "goes off" and you draw like 10 cards in one turn. Also very dangerous with the Volcanic because then only a Beer or Missed card will stop her from drawing.)


Beer doesn't stop you from drawing. You can drink beer even if you have full health (it just have no effect). See the FAQ.
 
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