We got to play Bang! The Dice Game at SaltCon 2018 for the first time. One of the themes of SaltCon this year was Dice Games that are Versions of other Non-Dice Games. We’d heard for a long time that Bang! The Dice Game was better than the original. Although Bang! has a lot to recommend it, I have to say that I do believe the dice version is better. Check out the Board Game Geek page for Bang! The Dice Game.
In Bang! The Dice Game, each player takes on a random role, either Sheriff, Deputy, Renegade, or Outlaw. Each role has an goal they’re trying to complete to win. On your turn, you take a bunch of dice and roll them. The results decide what you’re able to do on your turn. Luckily, you can re-roll most of the dice up to two times if you don’t like what you got.
The dice in Bang! The Dice Game are custom six-sided dice. They feature an arrow, a stick of dynamite, a range 1 and range 2 icon, some beer (or sarsaparilla, if you prefer), and a gatling gun. If you roll dynamite you don’t get the chance to re-roll the die. It’s a bad thing. If you end up rolling three sticks of dynamite you lose a life and you can’t re-roll any dice for the rest of the turn.
The arrows are also really bad. You see, if you get an arrow, you’re provoking an Indian attack. Once you roll an arrow, you take an arrow token. You can still re-roll the die that turned up with an arrow, but you still get the token. If anyone takes the last arrow token, everyone loses life equal to the number of arrows in front of them. It’s a really nasty thing. Of course, that can win you the game if you’re careful.
The rest of the dice allow you to damage other players. The range icons show how far to your left or right you can shoot. The gatling gun allows you to shoot everyone as long as you roll 3 gatling gun symbols. That’s really the primary way you work to win the game.
After a player runs out of life points, they’re eliminated from the game. Bang! The Dice Game plays quickly, retains the spaghetti western theme, and still has enough complexity to keep players interested. It’s a great game, all around.
Bang! The Dice Game’s Best Points
Bang! The Dice Game is a lot of fun. It also plays really quickly. The combination of those two points are enough for me to have bought the game. Chucking dice is a lot of fun, even if your luck is terrible. Additionally, the spaghetti western theme is very strong. Add to those points that the components are exceptional, and that the game is easy to learn and play, and I believe you have a winner.
Bang! The Dice Game’s Worst Points
There isn’t really a lot to say about Bang! The Dice Game that isn’t complimentary. The biggest downside is that the artwork seems inconsistent. The role cards and character cards use very different styles and that has the potential of throwing players for a loop. Really, that’s all the bad I have to say about this fun filler game.
Expansions & Extras
Bang! The Dice Game has a single expansion: The Saloon. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but if it follows the same pattern as the core game, it won’t be bad. It’s available on Amazon or by special order at your local game store.
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