BANG! The Dice Game – Disappointed

Bang the Dice Game review

More BANG! to the table.

Our family loves BANG!

In fact BANG! is the card game that started us on this journey of reviewing fun family board games and card games in the fist place. This year will mark 5 years of reviewing games and BANG! is still one of our favorites.

So when BANG! The Dice Game came out, we immediately put it on our game wish list.

We watched the positive reviews roll in and soon after bought a copy for $16.00.

With a lot of anticipation and excitement, it didn’t take long to get the game to the table. But after a number of plays, I think it’s going to be tough to get it back to the table.

Wild West Disappointment
In keeping with the BANG! theme, I’d say we shot ourselves in the foot.

Bang the Dice Game review

It’s a western shootout with dice.

We knew BANG! The Dice Game wouldn’t be just like the original. But even given that expectation, we were still disappointed with the game.

Because it’s a dice game, we knew that luck of the roll would play a big part of the game. After all, it’s right there in the name “The Dice Game”. But really the only strategic decisions in the game are who you’ll sit next to and when you roll a target symbol whether you’ll shoot to the right or left.

Like a number of dice game, there’s a bit of push-your-luck element, but most of the push your luck is to affect your own life in the game rather than impact others that you’re trying to knock out.

That’s about it.

And if you’re really lucky, you may get 3 turns to roll the dice.

Nope – not a game we’ll recommend.

How to Play BANG! The Dice Game
Ok, so maybe that’s too short of a review. When you don’t like a game, it’s a challenge to make time to write a review. But because of our enjoyment of BANG! and BANG! Dodge City, we’ll make an exception in this case and tell you a bit more about BANG! The Dice Game.

It’s really a very simple game.

Bang the Dice Game review

The 16 Characters add some good flavor with nice special abilities.

Just like the original, each player randomly gets a Role at the start of the game – determining that player’s objective for winning:

  • Sheriff: eliminate all Outlaws and Renegades
  • Deputies: help protect the Sheriff
  • Outlaws: eliminate the Sheriff
  • Renegade: be the last character in play

The Sheriff is the only Role that’s revealed and the roles of everyone else are hidden. Players are then randomly given a Character card (16 different characters) which determines how many life points and which special ability they’ll have.

The Sheriff gets two extra life points/token and starts the game by rolling the 5 dice.

Like Yahtzee – and many, many other dice games – players get 3 rolls. Players can choose to re-roll dice or set them aside. The only exception is that Dynamite can’t be re-rolled.

Bang the Dice Game review

The game’s all about the dice.

The Dice

  • Arrow: When rolled, immediately take an arrow token (9 total in the game) from the stock pile. You can re-roll arrows, but for each arrow you roll, you’ll take an arrow token.  This is the push you’re luck element of the game because when the last arrow token is taken from the stock, all players with arrow tokens immediately take that many hits. The arrow tokens go back in the center and those players remove that number of their bullet/life tokens.
  • Dynamite: This can’t be re-rolled and if you end up with a 3rd dynamite, that your turn ends immediately and you lose one life point. However, you still get to resolve the other dice you rolled.
  • Target 1: Choose the player to the left or right and they lose a life point.
  • Target 2: Choose a player exactly 2 away to your left or right and they lose a life point.
  • Beer: Choose any player to gain a life point. (Can’t exceed the number of life points that they started with.)
  • Gatling: If you roll 3 or more Gatlings, each other player loses one life point and you get rid of all your arrows.

Once a player is out of life points, they’re eliminated from the game. Play continues until one person, or more, meets their victory conditions.

That’s all there is to it. Roll the dice. Settle the score. Eliminate players. Game over.

Your 10 minutes are up, go about your business.

Actually, because the game is over so quickly, there may be calls for playing again. However, when players realize they only got two turns to roll the dice and didn’t make any sort of real decisions along the way, they’ll leave the saloon. The calls for a showdown in the street to settle the score will be met with tumbleweeds blowing past the kitchen table.

Play the Original
If we’re going to have a shootout in the wild west, we’re going to go for the original BANG! every time. Yes, there’s an element of luck in the original game. Drawing cards always has an element of luck. As you lose life points, you’ll also have less cards to work with. So you’re hoping for lucky card draws.

But at the same time, you have a much greater chance to impact the outcome of the game than you do in the dice game. If you need to hit players farther away, you can play better gun cards or get a scope. Or you can hide behind a barrel to reduce you chances of getting hit. Or get on a horse to be one spot farther away from those shooting at you. And when you get a Jail card you can place it out in front of whoever you’d like.

In the original, your choices are important. They let you go after who you need to in order to win the game.

Bang the Dice Game reviewWe know the purpose of making a dice game was to have a lighter version of BANG! for quick plays with friends. And we know there’s not a way to throw everything we like about BANG! into the dice game. But we would like to have more opportunities to impact the outcome of the game.

As it is, we simply don’t feel we can purposefully achieve our objectives. So we all hope to be the Outlaws because that’s how the game usually ends. The Renegades especially don’t have much chance to affect the outcomes in their favor.

Perhaps if we didn’t like BANG! so much, we might like BANG! The Dice Game a bit more.

We know many people may really enjoy BANG! The Dice Game. It’s a quick filler game with cool dice and nicely themed characters. And we may still pull it out on a game night before we dive into games that require more decision making.

But it’s still more likely that we’ll pull out a different, light dice game to spend the time.
Check out the list below to get some other great dice games for your family.

The Board Game Family Game Ratings
Caleb: 3.0 Meeples Caleb
Brooke: 3.5 Meeples Brooke
Jaden: 3.0 Meeples Jaden
Trevor: 3.5 Meeples Trevor
Mom: 2.5 Meeples Mom
Dad: 2.5 Meeples Dad
Average: 3.0 Meeples Average
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Comments: 4

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The problem we had with the original card game is that after the first person or two is eliminated, the game got longer and longer for each person who was eliminated, until the last two people could slog it out for twenty minutes while everyone else was long gone from the table. This got worse with the expansions.

The dice game solves this problem at least by quickly eliminating players and shortening the game time.

 

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I’m sorry, I think this is a bad review…
This is one of the coolest and best games ever!
It’s not a bad game if you don’t like it…
Watch other reviews, they love it!

 

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    Anonymous – thanks for the comments. I agree with you. Not liking a game is different than saying it’s a bad game. I thought we were very clear in our review about how it plays and why we didn’t like it. We know tons of people love it. Not us. But nowhere did we write that it’s a “bad game”. The same can be said about the comment you made – it’s not a “bad review” just because you disagree it.

     

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