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DVGiochi's BANG! is one of the best and most popular multi-player card games and as such is constantly being expanded, extended and revised.

This page features two of the recent additions to the BANG! family: The Valley of Shadows and Bang! the Dice Game

BANG! The Valley of Shadows: Originally only available as BANG! Udoli Stinu in the Czech and Slovak Republic

BANG! The Valley of Shadows is an expansion to the BANG! card game. It comes with 24 cards, 8 of which are new characters and 16 that are regular cards to be added to the BANG! playing card deck. These are not just repetitions of cards already available (there are some, such as the Shotgun) but even so they are designed to add more fun and entertainment to an already fun and entertaining game. The cards in BANG! The Valley of Shadows are based on submissions from players in the Czech Republic, with design help from BANG! author Emiliano Sciarra; the artwork is mainly by Alberto Bontempi.

The players really need to read the descriptions on these cards and those on the reference cards and determine their exact meaning because the descriptions of the character's abilities on the character cards aren't totally in line with those on the reference card. For example; the character Der Spot-Burst Ringer. The wording on the reference sheet is: "This Bang! card is not counted against the limit of one Bang! card per turn".  The wording on the character card is: "Once during your turn, you may use a Bang! card as a Gatling". I may not be the fastest gun in the West but these two statements do not seem to be the same to me. On other Character cards the differences aren't quite so blatant but they are, in general, recognisably different enough as to make me wonder whether you actually have two variations here; you either play the characters as it says on the character cards or you play them according to the reference card. 

   

Although this may seem like an error or translation hiccup, the differences between cards and reference card actually can work in the favour of the game players as long as they decide prior to the start of the game which set of descriptions they are going to use. Of course I may be entirely wrong and the cards have dual meanings and either of them can be used in all games, or I may just be being rather stupid and missing the point altogether, though for this latter to be true, in my opinion, there should be another rules card explaining this. Either way, these new cards are a good addition to the game and certainly a set you should seriously consider enhancing your BANG! games.

   

BANG! the Dice Game:  

Contents:
8 Occupations - the Sheriff,  2 Deputies, 3 Outlaws and 2 Renegades.  
16 Characters - Bart Cassidy, Black Jack, Calamity Janet, El Gringo, Jesse Jones, Jourdonnais, Kit Carlson, Lucky Duke, Paul Regret, Pedro Ramirez, Rose Doolan, Sid Ketchum, Slab the Killer, Suzy Lafayette, Vulture Sam and Willy the Kid.
6 Summary cards - dice explanations; one card per player.
5 six-sided dice - 1 x Bull's Eye 1, 1 x Bull's Eye 2, 1 x Dynamite, 1 x Beer, 1 x Arrow and 1 x Gattling gun (3 shots).
Tokens for Arrows and Life Points.

 

    

BANG! the Dice Game uses mechanics similar to BANG! the card game and numerous other dice games including the ever-popular Yahtzee. 
Players take on the roles of the characters depending on the number of players, using special rules when only 3 players are playing - to be honest, BANG! in any shape or form, in my opinion, is not particularly good with only 3 or 4 players, 5 or 6 players are optimum and 7 or 8 players can mean a longer game than necessary. One player must take the job of Sheriff and declare this to all players by turning their character card face up, while all other players keep their identities secret.

Each player, in turn, rolls the 5 dice and has up to three rolls to gain a favourable result; though they can stop after one or two rolls, having re-rolled all or as many dice as they want to, they must accept the result they are left with after the third roll. Once you have your dice roll result you have to resolve the action pertaining to each die in a specific order: Indian Arrow, Dynamite, Bull's Eye 1, Bull's Eye 2, Beer and Gatling Gun.

    

All players have Life Points, represented on their character card by Bullets. If a character loses all of their Life Points the player has to resign from the game and declare his character openly to all players. Characters who are dead may still be part of a winning team. Teams are the Sheriff and his Deputies, and the Outlaws; the Renegades are in it for themselves and are not members of any team, though this doesn't mean they cannot aid on of the teams by eliminating or helping to eliminate the competition.

The players are trying to discover who is on their side without telling other players who they are working for. After a while it usually becomes obvious who is a Deputy,but determining Outlaws from Renegades is often more difficult. Renegades and Outlaws have their own agenda and can work together whilst keeping their true identities secret, whereas Deputies are supposed to help the Sheriff even if it means disclosing who they are. BANG! in all forms is a good fun mixture of games like cat and mouse and show and tell.
 
By the playing of cards, characters can shoot or attempt to blow up, injure or kill, each other. Sometimes only the character of the player sitting next to them around the table can be affected, other times, with a rifle for example, the shot can be fired farther round the table. The mechanic is a simple logical principle that works extremely well and ensures that one player is generally not always targeted. Where you sit round the table can make a difference so it is always best to be seated before the characters are randomly dealt out.

The rules are on one side of the colourfully illustrated single rules sheet, with 3-player variant rules and illustrations and descriptions of the characters on the other side.

Within the game box is a large, clear plastic zip-loc bag. If you are taking the game away with you it is possible to fit all the components into this baggie and thus save space because the game box is a little large to carry in your pocket whereas the bag is an easy fit.

BANG! the Dice Game is a stand-alone game and an excellent addition to this series of Wild West games from DVGiochi. It is not a collector's game really, though it could be considered as such because it carries the BANG! logo and system, and it isn't a collectible game, although it wouldn't surprise me if DVG bring out some extra cards or even new/different dice in the near future (if they haven't already).

The original BANG! card game is a superb travelling game and you don't need too much space to play it. BANG! the Dice game is similarly a brilliant travelling game and you need even less space to play it. So do you need the dice version ? well the quick answer is no you don't need it, but seeing as it brings to the table the fun element of dice rolling and thus the essence of the quick-draw through the die rolling action, yeah you sure as heck do need it.

  

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015