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Bang! the Board Game: Rules and Review

In the best style of the Far West, Bang! is a card game written by Emiliano Sciarra in which each player must embody a different character.

Whether as a Sheriff, an Outlaw, a Deputy, or a Renegade, in Bang! you’ll be part of a story that unfolds amidst gunfire, confrontations, and duels to the death.

This game created by Da Vinci Games has won multiple international awards and in this article, we will explain why:

The first thing we appreciate about the game is that with its unique design it takes us right to the stage of a Wild West town, surrounded by gunmen and horses, so it makes it easy to get involved in the plot.

The game, which can last between twenty and forty minutes on average, is divided into turns, each of which consists of three phases.

We have prepared this video so that you can play it in the background while you play Bang!

Bang! Cards: How to Play Them

Bang! is a card game, in which the main cards are the role cards since they serve to define the objective of each player.
There are seven role cards, consisting of a sheriff, two agents, three outlaws, and a renegade.
On the other hand, it also contains sixteen character cards, over thirty bullet cards ( that are also life cards) eighty play cards, and seven boards.
To learn how to play, Bang! additionally includes seven summary cards and the respective instruction manual.

Bang cards

The character cards contain two essential elements: the first is the brief description of the character and how he acts in the game; while the second is the number of bullets he is allowed to use.

The latter is crucial in the game since, according to the number of bullets the character has, it will be the number of life points that correspond to him, in other words, the strength of the character depends on this.

As for the play cards, there are two types: those with a blue border and the ones with a brown border.
The first ones can be used as many times as desired, and will only be discarded when it is convenient for the player; while the second ones can be used only once, and they immediately become part of the discarding deck.

Between the blue border cards, the most important are the weapons, although the mainboard is equipped with a Colt forty-five that you will always have available, but it has only a range of one square so you will have to make use of the other weapons, such as The Volcanic, which allows you to draw many Bang! cards in one turn.

Also among the blue-edged cards, you’ll find a Horse called Mustang, whose ability is to increase the distance from other players so that they’ll have a harder time reaching you with their weapons.

Another special card is the Jail card, which gives you the opportunity to have another player imprisoned as long as they are not the Sheriff.

Now, among the brown-edged cards, the most important are the ones called Bang! Cards, because they are used to take away life points from the opponents.

Another crucial one is the Failed! Card, which is used to dodge shots.

On the other hand, the Beer Card allows you to regain one life point.

DaVinci Editrice - Bang! (importado)
  • Juego de la diversión del partido
  • Para 4-7 jugadores
  • Toma alrededor de 30 minutos para jugar
  • Las toneladas de rejugabilidad
  • Juego de la diversión del partido

Expansions

Nowadays there are some expansions available for an already rather large game.
The first expansion is High Noon, which adds 13 cards with new scenarios.

Later they released the Dodge City expansion, consisting of 8 role cards, 15 new character cards, 40 game cards, and 1 summary card; with this expansion, the game can be played by 8 players.

Afterward, in the Fistful of Cards expansion, players and fans of Bang! were allowed to design 15 scenario cards.
In 2010, the Wild West Show expansion was released, which contains 8 new characters and 10 more possible scenarios.
The most recent expansions released are Gold Rush and Valley of Shadows, with the first one adding 8 new characters and 30 gold nuggets for new team cards, and the last one adding 8 new characters and 16 new game cards.

Gameplay

As we said before, the game has 3 phases: taking 2 cards from the deck, playing them, and finally discarding those cards.
The sequence of phases begins with the first move of the Sheriff, who will always be the one to start the game, then the other players take turns in a clockwise direction.

First phase: The first phase consists of taking two cards from the deck.
They must be removed from the draw deck, which must be laid out in reverse.
Once the draw deck has been used up for the player, in turn, the discard deck must be introduced into the game. In order to do this, the discard deck must be shuffled first, which later becomes the new draw deck.

Second phase: Once the draw phase is over, each player can start playing the cards they have taken. During this phase, you may play as many cards as you wish and as much as possible, always with the objective of helping yourself or simply harming your opponents. If it is convenient, you may even choose to spend a turn without playing any cards.
This phase has its rules, which usually depends on the cards you want to play. For example, the card Bang! can only be played once per turn.

Third phase: in this phase each player must try to keep a number of cards equal to the number of life points of the character, to accomplish this you will have to use the technique of card discarding.
These cards become part of the mentioned discard pile that can be used later as a second draw pile.

Bang is a Role Play

Each player must play a specific role, and each role follows a different objective:

The Sheriff, his objective is to eliminate the Outlaws and the Renegade with the help of the Deputy, who must do his best to protect the Sheriff.

The Outlaws will seek to kill the Sheriff and the Deputy as well.

The Renegade will try to be the last man standing in order to win.

To begin the game, the first thing to do is to identify which role each player is going to play. The number of roles will depend on the number of players, and the roles should be arranged as described below by number of players:

  • Four-player game: One sheriff, one renegade, and two outlaws.
  • Five-player game: One sheriff, one renegade, two outlaws, and one sheriff.
  • Six-player game: One sheriff, one renegade, three outlaws, and one Deputy.
  • Seven-player game: You must distribute all the characters, being one Sheriff, one Renegade, three Outlaws, and two Deputies.

At the beginning of the game, the role cards must be handed out randomly and secretly, so each player will know the role he has been assigned, but he must keep it secret until his death. This is different in the case of the Sheriff, since the player who has been assigned the role must reveal it to his teammates.

However, in addition to the role cards, the character cards must also be dealt with. In this case, there are sixteen different characters that can be represented by the players.
Once the characters are assigned, each player will reveal them to the rest of their partners, keeping the main role secret. The reason why the character should be revealed is that each one has different skills, as well as a certain amount of life points (bullets).

Therefore, the player’s character will indicate his acting style, his abilities and limitations in terms of playing his strategy.

For example, Jesse Jones’ character, has four life points, and his skills also include randomly taking the first card from another player’s hand.

The role, on the other hand, will indicate the objective the character is pursuing in the game. You can pretend to be an undercover agent, being someone else, yet hiding your real role.

DaVinci Editrice - Bang! (importado)
  • Juego de la diversión del partido
  • Para 4-7 jugadores
  • Toma alrededor de 30 minutos para jugar
  • Las toneladas de rejugabilidad
  • Juego de la diversión del partido

What makes Bang! a highly recommended game is that, with so many possibilities to play, it is really fun to play.

It is a competitive game, but at the same time, it encourages companionship and complicity among the players.
When you play it, you will realize that you will easily end up making alliances, making it a team game.
As the game progresses and you discover the roles of the other players, you will know who you can team up with and who you should attack.

With Bang! one day you’ll find yourself being The Sheriff, another day being an Outlaw, a Renegade, or a Deputy.
With so many possible roles and sixteen different characters at the same time, the combinations are endless.

Combined with different weapon cards and multiple playing cards you’ll find out that you won’t be playing the same game twice.

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