Bang! Transforms Game Night into a Wild West Showdown

Video games are great. Few things can compare to sitting down for 24 hours straight with the newest Bethesda or Bioware release. Unfortunately, locking yourself in a room for 24 hours straight isn’t as fun for others as it is for you. With that in mind, Guerrilla Geek is continuing its mission to bring you the best of social gaming in the form of board and card games.

My latest obsession in the world of card games is the Italian import titled Bang!. This amazing card game allows the players to take on the role of a character from a spaghetti western. Each player gets a character card that grants them special abilities such as changing the rules of certain cards or altering when, how or what you draw into your hand. Once each player is given a persona, they are then assigned a role.

This is done by dealing out a role card face down to each player. Players are assigned to be either the Sheriff, a Deputy, a Renegade or an Outlaw. The only person whose role is publicly known is the Sheriff, all other players keep their role a secret till they are killed. The role of the player will dictate what their goal in the game is. A Sheriff wants to kill all the Renegades and Outlaws, the Deputy only wins once all the criminals are defeated and the Sheriff survives, the Outlaws want to kill the Sheriff and Renegades want to be the last man standing killing the Sheriff last.

The fact that everyone’s role is a secret is key to the gameplay. Is that person shooting up the place your Deputy or is it a Renegade? Deception, manipulation, observation and reason are just as important as getting a lucky draw. A single crazed Outlaw can attempt to unite all the other Outlaws in order to kill the Sheriff or get himself killed when all the other Outlaws betray him to get in good with the Sheriff.

The gameplay itself is rather simple. The basics can be picked up in about ten minutes of instruction and a clever person can find themselves competitive by the end of the night. Each character card has a set amount of hit points, which are depleted as your opponents successfully attack you. The simplest way to do this is by playing a “Bang!” card, after which the target of the attack has a chance to avoid damage by playing a miss card or using permanent cards that might be in play such as barrels or body armor.

Of course there are many other cards that add to the skill, strategy and random chance of the game. Cards such as dynamite will rotate around the table and go off if a person draws poorly at the beginning of their turn. On top of the standard set, there are multiple expansions decks that add action cards, items, characters and even scenarios to the core game. This keeps the game fresh and exciting, not to mention the expansions also increase the number of players that are able to play at one time.

Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does. Do a quick internet search and soon you will see the game in its Bullet edition can be picked up for under $40 online! This version of the game includes the core game and three expansions, all in a cool looking metal bullet case.

So if you’re looking for a new game to play when your friends come over for pizza and booze, you can’t go wrong with Bang! Pick it up today, but be sure to watch your back; you never know when there’s a Renegade hanging around…

[xrr rating=5/5]

3 Comments

  1. Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I brought this game for my friends 30th birthday (a gaming party in the pub, ‘natch..).

    It’s awesome fun, and easy enough to get into that we could all follow what was going on after 5hrs afternoon drinking.

    Highly recommend!

  2. Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice post! I too am a BANG! aficionado. If you are interesting in BANG! modding, custom expansions, strategy, variants, card production, and FAQS, check out The BANG! Blog (http://bangcardgame.blogspot.com). TB!B released Death Mesa, and is also working to release Robber’s Roost, both unofficial expansions to BANG!.

    • Carl WatkinsNo Gravatar
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That’s really interesting! I was actually just talking to a friend over twitter about how he started using some BANG! rules as a mod for Magic: The Gathering of all things. He didn’t explain, but I assumed he meant the use of roles and maybe character powers.

      That’s one of my favorite things about games like this. Be it pencil and paper RPGS, card games or board games, if the rules are boring or don’t work, you can just change them. If a video game is broken, you’re stuck with it. The fluid nature of games like Bang just make it so much fun!

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