Bang, the Italian card game based on the American wild west. Sound pretty funky huh? Well it is pretty funky, but its a game night hit. Once again the Barbers introduced this game to me. I was immediately intrigued when they described it to me. Sure enough the cards were all in italian (no worries there are sup titles). I really enjoy showing this game to people who don’t play games very much because it has similar mechanics to games like Uno or phase ten.
The set up
This set up is pretty easy, like some of my other games it just has a lot of pieces so i looks like a big set up and can seem overwhelming.
Bang is made up of a few decks of cards, and depending on the version of the game you have there will be player cards and bullets. The decks are as follows the game deck which has the most amount of cards. The character deck which contains different people to play as, and each character has a different ability. The final deck is the role deck (sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw, Renegade), this contains players rolls that remain secret during the game. The players roll determines their motives for the game.
Each player is given a character and a role card at random. The role cards are tailored to the number of players, for example for 4 players there will be 1 sheriff 2 outlaws and 1 renegade. The character cards are face up for everyone to see and the rolls are placed face down, except for the sheriff.
Each player is then dealt cards equal to the number of bullets they have on their character card. the bullets represent a player’s life. when you get shot you lose a bullet. The sheriff is dealt 1 extra card and is given one extra bullet.
Once everyone has all the cards they need its important to figure out what your objective it for the game. Each player has a role and the role determines what that player will want to achieve to win the game. The sheriff want to eliminate the outlaws and renegade, the outlaws want to eliminate the sheriff, the renegade wants to eliminate everyone because he wants to be the new sheriff, and the deputy has the same ideals as the sheriff and does what they can to support that player.
Since the roles are not shared with other players you can imagine how things can easily get out of hand. Some things to keep in mind while you’re mindlessly shooting other players aiming for the win, if you shoot your deputy the you lose all you cards in your hand and in front of you. As the sheriff you have to be very careful on who you listen to and trust.
When an outlaw is shot a bounty is awarded, 3 cards from the draw pile, even is the outlaw was shot by another outlaw. Unlike the sheriff the outlaws don’t care if they off each other because let’s be honest here they’re outlaws.
The renegade is basically batman except he wants to be the new sheriff in town so he’s gotta take them all out if he wants to be on top.
How to play
Play starts with the Sheriff, the player draws two cards and then plays as many cards as they want/can. A few stipulations; you can only shoot once per turn and the player that you shoot can only be a player within reaching distance of your gun.
Distance for each player at the start is 1. If you play a better gun that says 2, 3 or even five then you can reach more players. Let me break it down for you a bit. The player to your left and right are at a distance of 1, the players beyond them are at a distance of 2 and so on. If i had a gun with a distance of 2, I could shoot players at a distance of 2 to the left and 2 to the right.
With in the play deck there are blue cards and brown cards (the expansion adds green cards). The brown cards are the most common and will be played, used and discarded. The Blue cards will be placed in front of you and will apply to different situations in the game. An example of this is the barrel. If you are shot by another player you can use the barrel to draw a card from the draw pile and in the corner there are suits and numbers, and if you draw a heart then it qualifies as a miss if you don’t draw the right suit then the barrel was unsuccessful and you must use your own miss or be shot.
To shoot another player you use a card called a bang. When you shoot another player they have a few options, they can play a miss card, they can use the barrel, or they can take the hit. If a player is shot they lose a bullet and there max hand count goes down as well. Just in case I wasnt clear before, the amount of cards you have in your hand is determined by how many bullets you have. if at the end of your turn, you have more cards then you do bullets then simply discard. During your turn if you have a beer, yes that’s right, a beer, you may heal yourself and gain a bullet back, you cannot exceed the amount of bullets that are on your character card. Some cards have a universal effect that still count as shooting someone like the gatling gun where everyone gets shot, so therefore the distance rule does not apply.
Winning the game
To the win the game you simply have to achieve your objective for your given role. Keep in mind that if the Sheriff dies the game is over to if you are the renegade you need to make sure the outlaws are taken care of first before you start going after the sheriff. When the sheriff dies if there are outlaws alive then all outlaws win dead or alive. If the outlaws are all dead and the renegade is left then he wins. lastly, if everyone dies before the sheriff dies then the sheriff and the deputies win dead or alive.
Bang is a game I can play for multiple rounds. when this game hits the table it’s usually the only one of the night. Each and every game is different very fun.
Learning Curve – 6
This game is a tad difficult to wrap your head around. The first thing that normally confuses first time players, is the character vs role cards. When I first started playing I thought they were similar and I was worried I would get over whelmed by the amount of roles and tasks I would have to keep track of, obviously it didn’t turn out to be like that but that’s what this point of the review is about. Once you’ve got your ducks in a row for the character vs role cards you have to deal with figuring out your objective for the game. Things can be confusing for a player when each player has a different end game and way to win.
The cards are by far the most confusing portion of the game. Most of the cards are just pictures and the card mechanics are also described with pictures and putting the one or two pictures together to form a coherent sentence is difficult even with the cheat card.
The rule book is pretty straight forward and explains a good amount of questions that will come up during any normal game.
Understandability – 9.5
Once you’ve figured out how to play the game the game makes sense there is nothing tricky about how play works, it’s all very straight forward.
There are a few things that are a bit confusing but the instruction explain it pretty well, the card doesn’t do well at explaining it. The dynamite is a card that is placed in front of you. The confusion is, when do you activate it? For the dynamite you wait till your next turn and then begins the destruction. Consult the rulebook for the dynamite and other card mechanics.
Length – 7.5
The length can vary for this game and it can be the best or the worst thing ever. When a player loses all of his bullets the player is out. For the rest of the game they watch. This isn’t so bad if that player got out at the beginning but it really stinks if you get out in the beginning because even a game that’s down to tow people can last a good 15 minuets. Over all the length isn’t to long or short for the players but it does stink if you get out.
Construction and Durability – 8
This game was built fairly well. A few things to note for a came that’s mostly cards they are a tad flimsy but they are still put together fairly we because after owning and playing the game quite often the cards aren’t losing any ink and the edges are still in good condition. The box it comes in is a standard box nothing fancy strong enough to the job.
Final thoughts – 9
I love this game, its gret to play with friends and great for people just getting into games. it has enough strategy to keep the game constantly changing but you can still get through a game with minimal knowledge of how to use the strategy to your advantage. I mentioned before that this game is a game you can keep playing a few rounds of and each game is very different. This is all up to the sheriff mostly to figure out who is on their team and who is trying to kill them, so if you have a bad sheriff you will have a not so great game.
I am not affiliated with DaVinci Editrice. I am reviewing this game of my own free will.
I do not own these photos.