Friday, March 21, 2008

Ca$h 'n Gun$

Purchase number two on our mini shopping spree in Melbourne was Ca$h 'n Gun$. Note the humorous use of the dollar signs that may come across as a little tacky, but does actually suit the simple nature of the game.

I totally have The Spiel to blame for my purchase of this game. They had a great time with it in their 24 hour game marathon (now there's another idea I'll have to implement one day, along with the 40 beers in 40 hours challenge I've been considering for a long while (though undertaking both at the same time might be a little counter-productive)) and convinced me it was worth getting.

So, get it I did, and I have to say that I've never had so much fun pointing a foam gun at someone else's head.

While in Melbourne, The Giggling One and I were put up under two different roofs, so we utilised both our hosts in playing a few games of this baby.

That's one of the beauties of this game - it's nice and fast, and everyone has fun so you can play it multiple times in one sitting.

I think we played the game half a dozen times with Sandi and Danny (The Giggling One's sister and brother-in-law). Both of them are non-gamers but we figured they'd get a kick out of it. After winning every game between them on the first night, and most of the games on the second night (The Giggling One and I did manage to win once each), they had a (foam) blast.

Our last two nights in Melbourne were at the residence of our friend Jason. Two other friends - Mel & Tim - came around as well, so with 5 players, we gave the "Cop in the Mafia" variant a go.

This one features one player as an undercover cop, and unfortunately for Jason and The Giggling One, who were the cops in the two games we played, both were outted and died in a veritable hail of bullets before they could ring for reinforcements.

Of all the games we played, we probably had more fun just adding the Super Powers. They liven things up, and while the game isn't high on the strategy front (hey, I only won once all weekend), some of the Super Powers do add a little thinking to the mix.

Take, for example, The Insane. This player has a grenade. If they get hit by a bullet, the grenade explodes, and everyone still standing takes a wound as well. The player with this card will usually play it when there is a lot of cash at stake. This will normally happen when there is already cash on the table that couldn't be split last round, and a heap of $20,000 notes are then added.

The idea of the Grenade here is that it is a disincentive for people to shoot you, especially if they already have a couple of wounds. If no one shoots you, you stay uninjured and take a share of the nice big bundle of loot. And that's what usually happens.

However, let's say another cunning player (let's call him...Jeremy) happens to have the It does not even hurt! Super Power. This card allows you to take a share of the loot even if you've backed down or taken a wound that round. So...if this gangster takes a pot shot at The Insane, and in their smugness the insane one thinks the threat of a grenade will protect them and therefore he or she doesn't back down, then the grenade goes boom! Everyone is now either lying on the floor in shame or in blood. Instead of all the loot carrying over to the next round, the sneaky player plays the It does not even hurt! card and takes all the money.

Of course, you're then a marked man. A shame marker or two may be a wise move in the rounds that follow.

While we played with the Super Powers a lot, after the first few times we decided that The Kid and The Cunning, being ongoing powers, were too much of an advantage and took away a little from the game, so we ditched those two cards in later games.

It occurs to me I haven't really described the game play. So now I will. It works like this: 5 random banknotes go on the table; players play a bullet card face down in front of them; players aim guns at each other simultaneously; players either back down (and take a shame marker for doing so (each will cost you $5,000 at the end of the game - if you're still alive)) or stay standing; players who are still standing reveal their bullet cards; if the bullet card shows Bang! Bang! Bang! then the target is wounded and they can't shoot back (each player starts with just 1 of these cards); if the bullet card shows Bang! then the target takes a wound but can still shoot the player they were aiming at (each player starts with 2 of these cards); if the bullet card shows Click! then there was no bullet in the chamber and the target remains unwounded (there are 5 of these per player).

Those players still standing (ie. who didn't back down and were not wounded) split the loot evenly. Any part that can't be split stays for the next round when 5 new notes will be added. Once a player takes 3 wounds (and it's possible to take multiple wounds in the same round) they die. The rules say a dead player's money is discarded, but we thought it made more sense to divvy up the cash equally between the remaining players, with any remainder going into the pot for the next round.

After 8 rounds, the richest player still alive wins. Most players survive until the end, but having the most cash is the tricky bit. We found that the key to winning is to be a nice, innocent, naive girl. No wonder I kept dying.

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