Designer: Michael Palm and Lukas Zach
Publisher: dV Giochi
Duration: 15 minutes
Reviewed by Andrea “Liga” Ligabue thanks to a review copy by dV Giochi
Session played 4
Bang! Is probably one of the most known and widespread Italian game. Thanks to Bang! dV Giochi become one of the greatest Italian company in the specialized market. In the years the publisher keep the game alive with several interesting expansions. Last year dV Giochi published Samurai Sword, a new implementation of Bang! with a different setting and some interesting twist.
This year dV Giochi will offer to his fan Bang! The Dice Game, something really new. The first thing you can notice on the box is that, for the first time, Emilano Sciarra’s name, the original designer, is not on it. I’m sure Sciarra has followed step by step the evolution of this game but the designers are Michael Palm and Lukas Zach, well known for The Castle of the Devil.
The card version or the dice version of well-known game is something the market has used us, not always with great results. The first things I’m used to ask myself playing one of this revivals is “how much of the original game is in ?”
So, actually, what is really Bang! and what make it so fun ? I think most of the success of Bang! is due to the mechanic of the secret role, something Sciarra inherited by old classic games … than around it, there are some funny cards’ effects and the different gunslingers. What is still in Bang! The Dice Game ? According to my opinion almost everything that makes Bang! great is still in Bang! The Card Game with quicker and simpler rules. For me this is the best Bang! implementation nowadays, but now we can go in the details.
Every player start the game with a different character and a secret role. There is Sheriff, the Outlaws, the Renegades and the Deputies. The Sheriff reveal himself and all the other roles are kept secret.
The type and number of other roles present in the game will change according to the number of players. The game is set for 3-8 players but I think it is really great with 5-8.
Each players also take a character and announce to other players the associated ability. Every Character has a number of hit points (bullets) ranging from 7 to 9. Are the characters really balanced ? Who knows and who cares. They looks so and in the game there is enough randomness and chaos to make small imbalances irrelevants.
During your turn you have to roll 5 dice, keep and re-roll and keep and re-roll in the straight road open by Yatzee. As usual, in most of dice games, you can also re-roll dice you put apart previously. When you are satisfied you start to resolve the effects.
Dynamite cannot be re-rolled and arrows (that can be rerolled) are resolved immediately taking an arrow counter from the central pool.
If you roll 3 Dynamite you stop rolling, loose one life and resolve all the other dice effects.
For each “Bull’s Eye 1” you make lose one life to the player on your right or on your left. For each “Bull’s Eye 2” the same for a player exactly two places away from you.
The Beer restore one life to you or to another player and if you roll three or more Gatling all the other players loose one point and also you can discard all you arrows.
What are arrows doing ? When the last arrows is taken every player loose one life for each arrow and than all the arrows are back in the middle.
Is there randomness in Bang! The Dice Game ? Of course but, as far as see in my games, not too much more than in the standard Bang! There are decisions to take ? Of course. Many decisions. Run for a Gatling attack or trying to hit someone ? Is better to restore myself with the Beer or an (I hope) ally ? It is better to reveal myself soon, helping or attacking the Sheriff, or it is better to stay in the shadows ?
How Indians’ arrows works is great: is something you can not fully control but you can play with and it is funny.
Like in Bang! The Sheriff, and the Deputies, will win if all the Outlaws and Renegades die. The Outlaws will win as soon as the Sheriff die and the Renegade will win being the last one on the road.
If you like Bang! I’m quite sure you will like Bang! The dice game too. If you don’t like Bang! because it is too much muddled for a party-game probably you can give a chance to Bang! The dice game: simpler and quicker. If you don’t like the secret roles, the theme and there is nothing in Bang! you will save skip also this title.
Like it: Andrea “Liga” Ligabue
Not for me: