Nothing like a good western shoot-out. The hard, steely eyes, the cold iron on the hip, the twitching finger, the bead of sweat on the brow, the clock tower about to strike…. So how can you re-create this in a fun, family-oriented way, without the kids being sent to bed early because Grandad got nailed with a Nerf gun and the cat’s left home for three days? Why, Bang! The Dice Game, of course!
Bang! The Card Game came before it’s dice-based little brother and although a fun group game, some considered it a little slow. The dice version is anything but, where games can last as little as ten minutes. Each player takes the role of either the Sherriff, Deputy, Renegade or Outlaw, the winning condition for each being different. The aim of the game is to firstly work out who is playing what role, as most are secret, and then try to eliminate those you need to in order to win.
These are nice and simple, enabling quick gameplay. There are a good range character cards to choose from, each with a special ability and a number of health points allocated. Characters with better abilities have a lower maximum health, evening out gameplay. Small bullet tokens represent health points, which the players use as a tracker. The role cards, handed out randomly, sit face down (except the Sheriff), with the character cards. There are five dice, each with icons – target at one, target at two, gatling gun, dynamite and beer. Finally, there are small arrow cards, representing attacks made by prowling ‘Indian’ tribes.
The players select a character card, then take a random role card, look at it and place it face down. Only the sheriff reveals his or her card. The game of bluff and shooting then begins. During each player’s turn they have three rolls of the five dice. From these rolls they select the icons they want to keep and apply as their actions.
- Dynamite – can’t be re-rolled Get three of those and boom! A health point is lost.
- Target – A shot at players at a specific range. Target one is at the person sitting next to the player, target two points the pistol two seats away.
- Beer – Restores one health point.
- Gatling gun – Get three and every other player loses a life.
- Arrow – A player immediately picks up one arrow token per icon. When all the arrows in the pool are gone, players lose the number of health points akin to how many arrows they have. This one stings!
Character special abilities modify results. The game ends when the sheriff, all the outlaws and the renegade are killed, depending on the win conditions for each role.
This is a great game to play with family and friends. It took very little time to learn and eliminated players are seldom left out for long. My five year-old son loved this game and we played it with his seven year-old cousin, with both opting to shoot mum and dad no matter their win conditions! It’s a great entry game for kids, as it teaches basic strategy, understanding outcomes of results and it’s lots of fun!
Perfect for parties, traveling and rainy days, with a not-too-adult theme at all, this comes highly recommended.
“Draw, or are you yellow?”
- Genre: Dice Game
- Players: 3-8
- Age: 8+
- Playtime: 10+ minutes
- Setup Time: Quick
- Publisher: DV Giochi
- Try it if you like: Zombie Dice