A game for 4-7 players aged 8 and up.
BANG! is a shootout game, in Spaghetti Western style, between a group of Outlaws and the Sheriff, who is their primary target.
The Deputies incognitos help the Sheriff, but there is also a Renegade pursuing his own goal!
In BANG! you play one of these roles, and represent a famous Wild West inspired character.
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Each player has his own goal:
Take as many role cards as the number of players, divided as follows:
Shuffle the cards and give one, face down, to each player. The Sheriff reveals himself by turning his card face up; all other players look at their role but keep it secret.
Shuffle the characters and give one face up to each player. Each player now announces the name of his character and reads his ability. Each player takes another character card, from the left over cards, turns it face down to show the bullets on the back, and covers it partially with his character card to show exactly as many bullets as there are depicted on the character card. During the game, the bullets will be progressively covered, to show that the character has been injured.
The Sheriff plays the game with one additional bullet: if his character card shows three bullets, he is considered for all effects to have four; if he has four bullets, then the Sheriff plays with five.
Put the remaining role and character cards back in the box.
Shuffle the playing cards, and give each player as many cards, face down, as the bullets represented on his character card. Put the remaining playing cards face down in the middle of the table, as a draw pile. Leave room for the discard pile. Give each player a summary card.
Note: for your first few games, you can try a simplified version of the game by removing all cards with the symbol of a book before getting started.
Each Western character has some special abilities, which make you unique. The series of bullets near the character's picture show how many life points you begin the game with, i.e., how many times you can be hit before being eliminated from play.
Moreover, the bullets indicate how many cards you can hold in your hand at the end of your turn (hand size limit).
Example. Jesse Jones has 4 life points: he can be hit four times before being eliminated from the game. Moreover, Jesse can hold up to four cards in his hands at the end of his turn.
In the picture, though, Jesse has already lost one life point, as the bullet-card under him is showing: three more hits and he will be out! Also, Jesse can only hold up to three cards in his hand at the end of his turn, because he is down to three life!
Note: as already stated, each player represents a character; these two terms are interchangeable for the purposes of these rules.
The game is played in turns, in clockwise order. The Sheriff begins. Each player's turn is divided into three phases:
1. Draw two cards
Draw the top two cards from the draw pile. As soon as the draw pile is empty, shuffle the discard pile to create a new playing deck.
2. Play any number of cards
Now you may play cards to help yourself or hurt the other players, trying to eliminate them. You can only play cards during your turn (exception: Missed! and Beer). You are not forced to play cards during this phase. You can play any number of cards; there are only three limitations:
Example. If you put a Barrel in play, you cannot play another one, since you would end up having two copies of the same card in front of you.
There are two types of cards: brown-bordered cards (= play and discard) and blue-bordered cards (= weapons and other objects). Brown-bordered cards are played by putting them directly into the discard pile and applying the effect described with text or with symbols on the cards (illustrated in the next paragraphs). Blue-bordered cards are played face up in front of you (exception: Jail). Blue cards in front of the players are hence defined to be “in play”. The effect of these cards lasts until they are discarded or removed somehow (e.g. through the play of a Cat Balou), or a special event occurs (e.g. in the case of Dynamite). There is no limit on the cards you can have in front of you provided that they do not share the same name.
3. Discard excess cards
Once the second phase is over (you do not want to or cannot play any more cards), then you must discard from your hand any cards exceeding your hand size limit. Remember that your hand size limit, at the end of your turn, is equal to the number of bullets currently shown on the card that lies under your character card.
Then it is the next player's turn, in clockwise order.
Eliminating a character
When you lose your last life point, you are eliminated and your game is over, unless you immediately play a Beer (see below).
When you are eliminated from the game, show your role card and discard all the cards you have in hand and in play.
Penalties and Rewards
END OF THE GAME
The game ends when one of the following conditions is met:
Example 1. All the Outlaws are eliminated, but the Renegade is still in play. In this case, the game continues. The Renegade must now face the Sheriff and his Deputies alone.
Example 2. The Sheriff is killed, all the Outlaws are eliminated, but one Deputy and the Renegade are still in play. The game ends with the Outlaws winning! They achieved their goal at the cost of their own lives!
If you play more than one game in a row, players still “alive” at the end of the game may choose to keep their character for the following game; players which have been eliminated must draw a new character randomly. If you want to give each player the opportunity of playing the Sheriff, you may decide, before starting the game, to pass this role among players from game to game, randomly assigning the other roles.
Now that you are familiar with the rules, let's see the cards of BANG! in detail!
Distance between players
The distance between two players is the minimum number of places between them, counting clockwise or counter- clockwise (see figure). The distance is very important, because all cards with a sight take it into account. Normally you can reach only targets (players or cards) within a distance of 1. When a character is eliminated, he is no longer counted when evaluating the distance: some players will get “closer” when someone is eliminated. Two cards can alter the distance between players:
Mustang: when you have a Mustang horse in play the distance between other players and you is increased by 1. However, you still see the other players at the normal distance.
In the figure, if A has a Mustang in play, players B and F would see him at a distance of 2, C and E at a distance of 3, and D at a distance of 4, while A would continue seeing all the other players at the normal distance.
Scope: when you have a Scope in play, you see all the other players at a distance decreased by 1. However, other players still see you at the normal distance. Distances less than 1 are considered to be 1.
In the figure, if A has a Scope in play, he would see B and F at a distance of 1, C and E at a distance of 1, D at a distance of 2, while A would be seen by other players at a normal distance.
You start the game with a Colt .45 revolver. This is not represented by any card. Using the Colt .45 you can only hit targets at a distance of 1, i.e. only players sitting to your right or your left. In order to hit targets farther than distance 1, you need to play a bigger weapon. Weapons can be recognized from their blue border with no bullet holes, black-and-white illustration and the number into the sight (see picture) that represents the maximum reachable distance. The weapon in play substitutes the Colt .45, until the card is removed somehow (e.g. through the play of a Panic!) or discarded (e.g. through Cat Balou). The only weapon you can never lose is the good ol' Colt .45!
You can only have one weapon in play at a time: if you want to play a new weapon when you already have one, you must discard the one you already have.
Volcanic: with this card in play you may play any number of BANG! cards during your turn. These BANG! cards can be aimed at the same or different targets, but are limited to a distance of 1.
BANG! and Missed!
BANG! cards are the main method to reduce other players' life points. If you want to play a BANG! card to hit one of the players, determine:
Example 1. With reference to the distance figure, let us suppose that A wants to shoot C, i.e., A wants to play a BANG! card against C. Usually C would be at a distance of 2, therefore A would need a weapon to shoot at this distance: a Schofield, a Remington, a Rev. Carabine or a Winchester, but not a Volcanic or the ol' Colt .45. If A has a Scope in play, he would see C at a distance of 1, and therefore he could use any weapon to shoot at him. But if C has a Mustang in play, then the two cards would combine and A would still see C at a distance of 2.
Example 2. If D has a Mustang in play, A would see him at a distance of 4: in order to shoot D, A would need a weapon capable of reaching distance 4.
If you are hit by a BANG! you may immediately play a Missed!—even though it is not your turn!—to cancel the shot. If you do not, you lose one life point (register this loss by sliding your character card over a bullet). If you have no more bullets left, i.e. you lose your last life point, you are out of the game, unless you immediately play a Beer (see next para- graph). The BANG! card is discarded, even when cancelled.
Note: you can only cancel shots aimed at you!
This card lets you regain one life point—slide the card so that one more bullet is shown. You cannot gain more life points than your starting amount! The Beer cannot be used to help other players.
The Beer can be played in two ways:
Example. You have 2 life points left, and suffer 3 damages from a Dynamite. If you play 2 Beers you will stay alive with 1 life point left (2-3+2), while you would be eliminated playing only one Beer that would allow you to regain just 1 life point. You would still be at zero!
Important note: Beer has no effect if there are only 2 players left in the game.
Some cards (Barrel, Jail, Dynamite) show little poker suits and values, then an equal sign and then their effects. When you want to use such a card you must “draw!,” i.e., you have to flip over the top card of the deck, discard it, and look at the poker symbol in the lower left corner. If this flipped card shows a symbol (and value!) that matches, then the “draw!” was successful, and the effect of the card is resolved (the “draw!” card is always discarded without effect). Otherwise, nothing happens: bad luck!
If a specific card value or range is specified on the card, then the “draw!” card must show a value within that range (including the pictured symbols), and the suit shown.
The value sequence is: 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A.
Example. C is the target of A's BANG! C has a Barrel in play: this card lets him “draw!” to cancel a BANG! and it is successful on a Heart. C flips the top card of the deck and discards it: it's a 4 of Hearts. The use of the Barrel is successful and cancels the BANG! If the flipped card were of a different suit, then the Barrel would have had no effect, but C could have still tried to cancel the BANG! with a Missed!.
THE SYMBOLS ON THE CARDS
Each card shows one or more symbols that show the effect(s) of the card. Cards with symbols on two lines have two simultaneous effects.
[crossed out bullet] A BANG! (see BANG! and Missed!).
[cowboy hat with bullet going through it] A Missed! (see BANG! and Missed!).
[bullet with plus sigh] Regain one life point. Only the player playing this card benefits from this effect, unless otherwise stated.
[hand holding card] Draw one card. If “any player” is specified (see that symbol), then you can draw a random card from his hand, or you can choose one in play in front of him. If no player is specified, draw the top card of the deck. In any case, cards drawn are added to your hand.
[crossed out card] Force to discard a card. You can force a specified player to discard a random card from his hand, or you can choose and discard one card in play in front of him.
[cowboy hat] It specifies that you can apply the effect to any chosen player, regardless of the distance.
[multiple cowboy hats]It specifies that the effect applies to all the other players—i.e., not the player who played the card—, regardless of the distance.
[cowbly hat in crosshairs] It specifies that the effect applies to any one player, provided that he is within a reachable distance.
[number in crosshairs] It specifies that the effect applies to any one player at a distance of the number or less. Note: Mustang and Scope can alter this distance, but weapons in play do not.
Stagecoach / Wells Fargo. Symbols state “draw two cards” (three if you play Wells Fargo) from the top of the deck.
Panic!. “Draw a card” from “a player at distance 1.”
Cat Balou. Force “any one player” to “discard a card.”
Gatling. The symbols show “a BANG!” to “all the other players.” Note: even though the Gatling shoots a BANG! to all the other players, it is not considered a BANG! card.
Saloon. This has two simultaneous effects. The symbols say: “Regain one life point,” and this applies to “All the other players,” and on the next line: “[the player playing this card] regains one life point.” The overall effect is that all players in play regain one life point.
There are several types of special cards. All of them have the Book symbol. These cards have special rules stated briefly on them; they are explained in detail here:
Dynamite: Play this card in front of you: the Dynamite will stay there for a whole turn. When you start your next turn (you have the Dynamite already in play), before the first phase you must “draw!”
Players keep passing the Dynamite around until it explodes, with the effect explained above, or it is drawn or discarded by a Panic! or a Cat Balou. If you have both the Dynamite and a Jail in play, check the Dynamite first. If you are damaged (or even eliminated!) by a Dynamite, this damage is not considered to be caused by any player.
Duel: With this card you can challenge any other player (staring him in the eyes!), regardless of the distance. The challenged player may discard a BANG! card (even though it is not his turn!). If he does, you may discard a BANG! card, and so on: the first player failing to discard a BANG! card loses one life point, and the duel is over. You cannot play Missed! or use the Barrel during a duel. The Duel is not a BANG! card. BANG! cards discarded during a Duel are not accounted towards the “play 1 BANG! card” limitation.
General Store: when you play this card, turn as many cards from the deck face up as the players still playing. Starting with you and proceeding clockwise, each player chooses one of those cards and puts it in his hand.
Indians!: each player, excluding the one who played this card, may discard a BANG! card, or lose one life point. Neither Missed! nor Barrel have effect in this case.
Jail: Play this card in front of any player regardless of the distance: you put him in jail! If you are in jail, you must “draw!” before the beginning of your turn:
If you are in Jail you remain a possible target for BANG! cards and can still play response cards (e.g. Missed! and Beer) out of your turn, if necessary. Jail cannot be played on the Sheriff.
Bart Cassidy (4 life points): each time he loses a life point, he immediately draws a card from the deck.
Black Jack (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he must show the second card he draws: if it's Heart or Diamonds (just like a “draw!”), he draws one additional card (without revealing it).
Calamity Janet (4 life points): she can use BANG! cards as Missed! cards and vice versa. If she plays a Missed! as a BANG!, she cannot play another BANG! card that turn (unless she has a Volcanic in play).
El Gringo (3 life points): each time he loses a life point due to a card played by another player, he draws a random card from the hands of that player (one card for each life point). If that player has no more cards, too bad!, he does not draw. Note that Dynamite damages are not caused by any player.
Jesse Jones (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the deck, or randomly from the hand of any other player. Then he draws the second card from the deck.
Jourdonnais (4 life points): he is considered to have a Barrel in play at all times; he can “draw!” when he is the target of a BANG!, and on a Heart he is missed. If he has another real Barrel card in play, he can count both of them, giving him two chances to cancel the BANG! before playing a Missed!.
Kit Carlson (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he looks at the top three cards of the deck: he chooses 2 to draw, and puts the other one back on the top of the deck, face down.
Lucky Duke (4 life points): each time he is required to “draw!,” he flips the top two cards from the deck, and chooses the result he prefers. Discard both cards afterwards.
Paul Regret (3 life points): he is considered to have a Mustang in play at all times; all other players must add 1 to the distance to him. If he has another real Mustang in play, he can count both of them, increasing all distances to him by a total of 2.
Pedro Ramirez (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the top of the discard pile or from the deck. Then, he draws the second card from the deck.
Rose Doolan (4 life points): she is considered to have a Scope in play at all times; she sees the other players at a distance decreased by 1. If she has another real Scope in play, she can count both of them, reducing her distance to all other players by a total of 2.
Sid Ketchum (4 life points): at any time, he may discard 2 cards from his hand to regain one life point. If he is willing and able, he can use this ability more than once at a time. But remember: you cannot have more life points than your starting amount!
Slab the Killer (4 life points): players trying to cancel his BANG! cards need to play 2 Missed!. The Barrel effect, if successfully used, only counts as one Missed!.
Suzy Lafayette (4 life points): as soon as she has no cards in her hand, she draws a card from the draw pile.
Vulture Sam (4 life points): whenever a character is eliminated from the game, Sam takes all the cards that player had in his hand and in play, and adds them to his hand.
Willy the Kid (4 life points): he can play any number of BANG! cards during his turn.
A bullet-proof expansion for BANG!
Dodge City: a populous, chaotic, vibrant and... dangerous town! Its saloons are legendary, as are the characters stopping by. Attracted by the sudden richness of the city, bad guys walk the streets and shootouts appear on each day's menu. Protecting Law and Order is a task only for the bravest of Sheriffs. Are you up to the challenge, or will you be visiting the world's most famous Boot Hill?
This expansion (identifiable from a Bison in the upper right corner of the cards) features 15 new characters (which are shuffled together with the original ones), and 40 new cards (to be shuffled with the basic play- ing cards). There are also 8 role cards, allowing you to play with eight players. The rules of the game remain the same as the original BANG! game, with the following additions:
GREEN BORDERED CARDS
Some of the new cards have a green border. These cards are played in front of you, face up, like the blue-bordered cards. To use an effect, you must take the card from in front of you and discard it. However, you cannot use green bordered cards on the same turn in which you have played them. Each green-bordered card shows the symbols which explain its effect(s). Only the cards with a Missed! symbol can be used out of turn.
Green bordered cards in front of the players are also defined to be “in play” and can be removed through the play of a Cat Balou, Panic!, Can Can, etc. just like the blue-bordered cards.
Note that if you take a green card with cards like Panic! or Rag Time, you cannot use it on the same turn: in fact, you must take the card into your hand, then you have to play it in front of you, and wait until the next turn to use it.
Example 1. You play a Sombrero in front of you. Starting with your next turn, you can discard it for the Missed! effect.
Example 2. You play a Derringer in front of you. During one of your following turns, provided you still have the card in front of you, you can choose to discard it to cause a BANG! on a player at a distance of 1, and also draw a card from the deck.
THE ‘DISCARD ANOTHER CARD’ SYMBOL
Some of the cards show this new symbol, followed by an equal sign and other symbols. In order to have the effect(s) shown after the equal sign, you must discard this card along with any other card of your choice from your hand.
Example 3. You play a Brawl, discarding another card from your hand, of your choice, in addition to the Brawl card. After doing so, the Brawl effect is to force all the other players to discard a card, either from his hand or from play, chosen by you (you can choose differently for each player).
Example 4. You play a Tequila, and discard an additional card. You choose any one player to regain one life point (you can even choose yourself).
In this expansion you will also find cards that are identical to cards in the basic game: these are added in order to keep the balance among different cards in the deck. You will also find cards that combine symbols you already know in different manners. Simply follow the meaning of the symbols shown to determine the card's effects. Generally speaking, remember that:
Example 5. In response to a Punch, you can play the Dodge: you cancel the Punch and then draw a card from the deck.
RULES FOR 8 PLAYERS
The expansion comes with 8 role cards which replace the original ones: 1 Sheriff, 2 Deputy, 3 Outlaw and 2 Renegade.
To play with 8 players, deal all these roles face down as usual. Each of the two Renegades plays on his own, and wins only if he is the last player alive. So, if in the final stages of the game the Sheriff is confronted by two Renegades, and the Sheriff is killed first, the Outlaws win!
SPECIAL RULES FOR 3 PLAYERS
Take these 3 role cards: Deputy, Outlaw, and Renegade. Give one of them randomly to each player, but place them face up on the table. Everyone knows the role of all three players.
The goal of each player is determined by his role:
The game plays as usual, beginning with the Deputy.
You win as soon as you reach your goal, if you shot the final hit to your target (e.g., as a Deputy you must personally kill the Renegade).
If the other player dealt the final hit, then the goal for both survivors is to be the last man standing. For example, if the Outlaw killed the Renegade, then the Deputy did not win—he must now kill the Outlaw, who must in turn kill the Deputy in order to win.
However, any player who personally kills another one (regardless of his role) immediately draws 3 cards from the deck as a reward.
As there is no Sheriff, the Jail can be played on anyone.
Beer still has no effect when there are only 2 players left.
THE NEW CHARACTERS
Apache Kid (3 life points): he is unaffected by cards from the suit of Diamonds played by the other players. During a Duel, his ability does not work.
Belle Star (4 life points): during her turn, no card in front of any other player has any effect. This applies both to the blue- as well as to the green-bordered cards.
Bill Noface (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he draws 1 card, plus 1 card for each injury (lost life point) he currently suffers. So, if he is at full life, he draws 1 card; with one life point less, he draws 2 cards; with two life points less, he draws 3 cards, and so forth.
Chuck Wengam (4 life points): during his turn, he can choose to lose 1 life point to draw 2 cards from the deck. He may also use this ability more than once in the same turn; however, he cannot choose to lose his last life point this way.
Doc Holyday (4 life points): once during his turn, he can discard any two cards from his hand for the effect of a BANG! against a player within range of his weapon. This ability does not count towards his limit of one BANG! card per turn. To hit Apache Kid in this way, at least one of the two discarded cards must not be a Diamond.
Elena Fuente (3 life points): she can use any card in her hand as a Missed!.
Greg Digger (4 life points): each time another character is eliminated, he regains 2 life points. As usual, he cannot exceed his initial number of life points in this way.
Herb Hunter (4 life points): each time another character is eliminated, he draws 2 extra cards from the deck. So, if he kills an Outlaw himself, he draws 5 cards.
José Delgado (4 life points): during his turn he can discard a blue-bordered card from his hand to draw 2 cards from the deck. He may use this ability twice per turn.
Molly Stark (4 life points): each time she plays or voluntarily discards a card when it is not her turn (e.g. Missed!, Beer, or BANG! during Indians!), she draws one card from the deck. If she discards a BANG! during a Duel, she does not draw her replacement cards until the end of the Duel, when she would draw one card for each BANG! she used during the Duel. Cards that she is forced to discard due to cards like Cat Balou, Brawl, or Can-Can are not considered voluntarily discarded!
Pat Brennan (4 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the usual two cards from the deck, or, instead draw one card (and this one card only) from in play and add it to his hand. The card can be in front of any player, and can be either a blue- bordered card or a green-bordered card.
Pixie Pete (3 life points): during phase 1 of his turn, he draws 3 cards instead of 2.
Sean Mallory (3 life points): in phase 3 of his turn, he can hold up to 10 cards in his hand. He does not have to discard any cards if he has more cards than the number of life points he has left, but less than 11.
Tequila Joe (4 life points): each time he plays a Beer, he regains 2 life points instead of 1. He only regains 1 life point from similar cards like Saloon, Tequila, or Canteen.
Vera Custer (3 life points): at the beginning of her turn, before drawing any cards (in phase 1), she chooses any other character still in play. Until her next turn, she has the same ability as that character.
A Fistful of Cards
In the Wild West, the shootouts between the Outlaws and the Sheriff are becoming particularly tough. Players must be ready to welcome the judge, keep cool during the gold rush and be really careful when walking in the ghost town!
Contents: 15 cards for each of the two expansions.
High Noon and A Fistful of Cards are two BANG! expansions—identifiable from the different back and different border—that play with the same rules.
The game proceeds as normal BANG! with these changes: the Sheriff chooses either the first or the second expansion, he sets aside the High Noon card (or A Fistful of Cards if playing with the second one), and shuffles the remaining cards, separate from the regular cards, face down. Then, he puts the set aside card on top. Finally, he flips the stack face up and places it near himself.
Starting with his second turn, the Sheriff, before taking his turn, removes the first card off the stack (taking care so that only the next card is revealed): he reads the card aloud, and then puts it in the center of the table creating a new pile. The card on top of this pile is now in play, and players must follow its effects until it is covered by a new card.
“At the start of his turn” means the card takes effect before any other action.
The last card of the stack—High Noon or A Fistful of Cards—stays in effect until the game ends.
You can use these two expansions together. The Sheriff sets High Noon and A Fistful of Cards aside; he shuffles the remaining cards together, face down, then randomly draws twelve of them (more if you wish a longer game). Then he randomly chooses one of the set aside cards and places it on top of the stack. Finally, he flips the stack face up and places it near himself.