Thursday, 10 March 2016

A year of good things...And a review of Colt Express

So today was mostly about Expo, as are many days recently, but we've got the Cthulhu masters locked down and that'll be coming on line shortly, as well as the megagame, and the starship bridge simulator, the rest of the RPG's should be approved for tomorrow, and it's all coming together well now.

But those weren't my good things today...

My good thing today was giving my friend Lee his birthday present of Colt Express and playing a game with him and our friend David, good game, simple mechanics, you can see why it got game of the year.

It's a simple premise, you all take the roles of bandits trying to rob the train whilst avoiding the marshall and each other, the train is a cardboard construction that you place the various meeples and treasures on, and then proceed to move around the train shooting and fighting your way past the others.

There are only a few moves available to each of you, move (up and down or left to right), shoot, punch, pick up loot, and move marshall.  When the game begins, you have a deck of ten cards and draw six (seven if you're playing doc) and then draw a train card to determine what needs to be done that round.

The train card will have a number of slots on it, and that will tell you how many of a particular card you have to play and whether they're face up or face down.  Everyone plays a card into the action stack for the individual part of the journey and when the whole train stack has been played, the stack is turned over and that part of the journey is played out.

Here's where it gets interesting...

The moves that have been played will (if unobstructed) have your bandit move around the train collecting loot and shooting other players, but if the moves the other players have made interfere with what your bandit is doing, then the rest of the turn might be rendered useless because you're out of position, or worse, land you on the marshall, which can severely curtail your day.

We only played with three, so keeping a track on what the other two were doing and planning your actions accordingly wasn't too hard, but with five or six players, trying to keep track of everything would take a feat of memory beyond this man.

If you get shot (and you will), the bullet card from the person that shot you goes into your deck, so that when the shuffle comes around, you'll be sometimes drawing a bulletwound, which has no practical purpose within the game, take too many bullets and your character will be slowed down to the point that they can only make one or two actions in a turn, a nice twist on the characters being blown out of the game, and a greater incentive not to get shot.

If you get punched, you get knocked into a different part of the train (possibly into the marshall) and you drop some of your loot (one character in particular has the ability to punch another and steal their loot at the same time), and then there's the marshall...

Land on the Marshall and he shoots you and knocks you out of the area that he's in and up on to the roof, requiring you to get back down at some point and increasing the complication again.

Having only played once, I'd definitely play again, and the next time, Id try to get more players...


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