A Short Game for Lots of Friends: A Bang! Dice Review

Shoot your friends, fend of the Natives, and maybe, follow the law.

Bang! The Dice Game is a shortened version of the original Bang! Card Game. Usually, tabletop games that spin-off aren’t as good and can be an unimaginative attempt to capitalize on the originals success. This is not true with Bang! Dice.

Recommended Videos
Plenty of room for players

Bang! is a game for three to eight players. Usually a game that can handle such a large span of players is bound to weaken with a certain number of players. Bang! has proven not to follow that rule.

When everyone sits down for a game, they receive a role card and a personality. The roles are kept secret, except for the Sheriff, and the personalities are known to all.  There are several roles; Outlaw, Deputy, Renegade, and Sheriff. Each one carries its own way to win. The size of the game determines how many of each role is dealt out. For instance, a five player game gets the Sheriff, 1 Renegade, 3 Outlaws and 1 Deputy.

The Sheriff

The Sheriff is pretty simple. Stay alive. The Sheriff gets two extra hit points from his tin star, but that’s it. He has to depend on the craftiness of his Deputies to step in the way of a few bullets. The Sheriff wins the game once all the bad guys have been shot up. If you aren’t the Sheriff or the Deputy, you’re a bad guy.

The Deputy

The Deputy is a strange character. He is a secret from the Sheriff, just like all the other players. No one really knows why. Perhaps the Sheriff was pretty drunk the night before and Deputized a law-abiding citizen, then promptly forgot who that was the next day. Being a secret allows the players to argue over who should be helping the Sheriff and who should be shooting him. The Deputy wins the game with the Sheriff, even if the Deputy dies in the process.

The Outlaw

The Outlaws work as a group, but problem is, they must have gotten drunk the night before the big gunfight, too. They don’t know who each other is, either. Fortunately for them, shooting the Sheriff is a simple option, since you know him by his shiny badge. If you shoot too soon, the rest of the good guys, and even the renegade, might start shooting you down. The Outlaws win the game by eliminating the Sheriff. The Deputy can’t run the town on his own. The outlaws can win the game even if they are all eliminated. This is a curious situation better explained with the Renegade.

The Renegade

The Renegade has one specific way to win. He wins if there is no one else left. He wants to be the new law and outlaw in the town. Problem is, the game automatically ends if the Sheriff is eliminated from the game. He has to save the Sheriff for last, a dangerous prospect. In the early part of the game, the Renegade will be attempting to eliminate the outlaws and the Deputies. This is usually done by claiming he is the Deputy and rightfully defending the Sheriff by eliminating all the other players. Once the Outlaws have been dealt with or brought to a small enough group that they don’t present a real threat, the Renegade can begin his real work. He has to continue posing as a Deputy as long as possible to convince the Sheriff they are on the same side. Once the game is down to just the two of them, he has to eliminate the Sheriff. If he is the only player left alive, including eliminating other renegades, he wins. If he, the Sheriff, and a Deputy are facing off and the Sheriff happens to go down before the Deputy, then the Outlaws have won instead!

How to play

Each players card has a hit point value and a special rule. The hit points, represented with bullet tokens, are how many times you can be shot before you’re eliminated from the game. The special rule, is what makes you dangerous.

On their turn, starting with the Sheriff, each player rolls five dice. You can roll these dice up to three times total, keeping the ones you want. The dice represent the randomness of a hectic shootout. There are six different facings that all have their own results.

  • 1 and 2 – These are the basic dice for gameplay. You must choose a player sitting one or two spaces away from you, respectively, and deal them a point of damage for each die you have showing that number.
  • Dynamite – Dynamite is the bad stuff. Once you roll a dynamite, you can no longer re-roll that die for the rest of your turn. Also, if you collect three or more of these during your turn, you take a point of damage and end your turn. Sometimes it’s worth taking a weaker roll instead of running the risk of blowing yourself up.
  • Arrow – The Natives are nearby and want everyone involved in this shootout gone. Each time you roll and arrow, you take an arrow token from the pool in the middle of the table. This token represents how much attention you’re getting from the inevitable raiding party. This die can be re-rolled after taking the arrow token. When you take the last arrow in the pool, every player on the table must lose a hit point for each arrow they have. Then they return their arrows to the pile and start over. Sometimes, you can get the Natives to do the dirty work for you.
  • Gatling Gun – The three bullets symbolizes the Gatling Gun, a dangerous piece of hardware. The player has to roll three or more of these icons to get the benefit. Once he has three, he may choose to use the Gatling. Every player at the table takes a point of damage and the shooter gets to remove all of his arrow tokens.
  • Beer – Each beer you have can heal any player one point of damage. You don’t have to drink it yourself, even though that is the most common use. You can give it to another player. It is seen as  a responsibility of the Deputy to send beers to the Sheriff whenever possible, but if he lets himself die, it could be just as bad for the good guys.
Final Verdict

This is one of those games that gets better as the players do. When the players can trick the Sheriff, they can waste his valuable offense on a rightful Deputy. The outlaws need to do lots of damage quickly, but they can’t risk having Deputies and Renegades all working to take them out. When the Deputies can suss out the Outlaws quickly and keep the Sheriff healed up, there is little the bad guys can do to win.

The game runs in a relatively short time. It scales up only a little bit when more players are present. It makes for a great quick game at the end of the night or several rounds for a whole game day. This is easily a game worth buying for large game groups that enjoy some deception in their games.

More like it? Try Resistance for the hidden roles or Zombie dice or King of Tokyo for the dice rolling.

7
A Short Game for Lots of Friends: A Bang! Dice Review
Shoot your friends, fend of the Natives, and maybe, follow the law.

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Spirt City: Lofi Sessions Review — An Interactive Wellness Journey That Inspires
Rating: 8
Character at desk on laptop with ramen bowl and critter beside them
Read Article South Park: Snow Day Review — D&D-Inspired Gameplay Done Right
Rating: 9
Players standing in a line with their backs to the screen, facing Mr. Hankey on a pedestal
Read Article Midnight Ghost Hunt 1.0 Review: Prop Hunt Meets Campy Horror Classics
Rating: 8
Ghost attacking the Hunters' generator
Read Article Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review: Everything the Dragon Coveted and More
Rating: 8.5
the main red dragon in dragons dogma 2
Read Article Alone in the Dark Review: Dive into the Secrets of Decerto
Rating: 7
Edward Carnby looking at an abandoned mansion room
Related Content
Read Article Spirt City: Lofi Sessions Review — An Interactive Wellness Journey That Inspires
Rating: 8
Character at desk on laptop with ramen bowl and critter beside them
Read Article South Park: Snow Day Review — D&D-Inspired Gameplay Done Right
Rating: 9
Players standing in a line with their backs to the screen, facing Mr. Hankey on a pedestal
Read Article Midnight Ghost Hunt 1.0 Review: Prop Hunt Meets Campy Horror Classics
Rating: 8
Ghost attacking the Hunters' generator
Read Article Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review: Everything the Dragon Coveted and More
Rating: 8.5
the main red dragon in dragons dogma 2
Read Article Alone in the Dark Review: Dive into the Secrets of Decerto
Rating: 7
Edward Carnby looking at an abandoned mansion room
Author
Landon Sommer
While I do play some of the greats like Civilization and X-com, consider me your Tabletop guru here at gameskinny. Want to know about a tabletop game? Just ask!