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Colt Express Board Game
Schemin' and Stealin' to the End
Colt Express is a card-driven, action/movement programming board game that looks like a famous scene straight out of a classic Wild West movie. Here players are rival, caricatured bandits on board a locomotive, attempting to become the richest outlaw during a good old-fashioned train robbery.
There’s no board in Colt Express – instead, the action takes place within physical 3-D train carriages that sit on the table. They look delightful and get players excited straight away (we estimate 10 seconds before you hear the first ‘Yee-haw!’). But these are not just a gimmick from Ludonaute – instead, they quite literally set the scene.
A variety of loot, in the form of $250-$500 purses and $500 gems, is placed within the carriages, and the honourable Marshal Samuel Ford, the one honest man on board, starts in the locomotive car. He’s guarding a briefcase worth an eye-watering $1,000. The bandits – with asymmetrical player powers – start in the caboose, and they have five rounds to scheme and steal as much of this loot as possible.
Each player has a deck of ten cards, with actions that range from:
• Floor Change (onto the roof or down into a carriage).
• Moving (along one carriage or across multiple carriages if you’re on the roof).
• Shooting (a rival bandit and giving them a useless bullet card, which clogs up their deck for the next round).
• Punching (a rival bandit into an adjacent carriage and causing them to drop a piece of loot).
• Robbery (picking up a piece of loot in your current carriage);
• Moving the Marshal (who can also shoot bandits if they’re in the same carriage).
Players deal themselves six cards. One at a time they can play an action card into the common deck; sometimes they’ll have to play them face-up for all to see and memorise, sometimes face-down. Once a set number of cards have been played – these differ, round to round – they are then activated in chronological order, which is when the madness begins… Bullets, fistfights and the dropping of loot occur all over the place, and not always the way players intended them!
Colt Express won the Spiel des Jahres award (the Family Game of the Year) in 2015, and it’s certainly a family-friendly game that players shouldn’t take too seriously. Since you can only see a percentage of the programmed actions, you need to calculate the odds of your perfect move being achievable. However, more often than not, the laughter comes when your plans go out the window and you have to suddenly adapt. If you’re a fan of other program-movement titles such as River Dragons, Robo Rally and Lords of Xidit, then Colt Express is the rootin’-tootin’ ride for you.
Player Count: 2-6
Time: 40 Minutes
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