Gameday First Play – Colt Express

Train robbing and roof running in the wild west.

But don’t shoot me, I’m too pretty.

On the 11th of July, 1899 at 10 a.m., the Union Pacific Express has left Folsom, New Mexico, with 47 passengers on board. After a few minutes, gunfire and hurrying footsteps on the roof can be heard. Heavily armed bandits have come to rob honest citizens of their wallets and jewels. Will they succeed in stealing the suitcase holding the Nice Valley Coal Company’s weekly pay, despite it having been placed under the supervision of Marshal Samuel Ford? Will these bandits hinder one another more than the Marshal since only the richest one of them can come out on top?

This is a programmed movement game where you’re robbing a train and punching and shooting each other. There is also a Marshall walking around who can hurt you too.

You have a bunch of cards and everyone has an identical deck coloured with your player character. You have a number of copies of the different icons…

Colt Express Cards

The gun lets you shoot someone, either in an adjacent carriage if you’re inside or in line of sight if on the roof of the train. If you shoot them you give them one of your 6 bullet cards, filling their deck up with cards they can’t use.

The up/down and left/right arrow let you move. One space if inside, up to 3 spaces if on the roof.

The punch knocks a player 1 square away and they drop an item they’re holding.

The star moves the Marshall one space. If he ends up on the same space as another player he shoots them and gives them one of his neutral bullet cards.

The dollar sign lets you pick up a loot if you’re stood on one.

Everyone also gets a character with an ability.

Colt Express Player Board

I was Belle, her ability is if an opponent can target someone else with a punch or gun shot, they have to… Belle is too pretty, no one wants to attack her 🙂

The game is played using a deck of cards that tell you how many of your cards you’ll play and how to play them. You take turns adding cards to a stack… Some face up, some face down… sometimes 2 at a time, sometimes in reverse turn order.. Sometimes 3 cards each, sometimes 4… The game keeps you guessing round to round.

Once complete, the deck is flipped over and actions are resolved one at a time.

Colt Express Train

The Train looks cool if not small and fiddly.. Big fingers keep knocking things over. The scenery is nice, but not needed at all.

So actions will be resolved, people will moved, be shot, be punched, drop stuff and pick stuff up.

If you’re unlucky, the Marshall will shoot you too…

Colt Express Marshall

After all cards are resolved you take the cards in your hand, the cards played, bullet cards you were shot with and cards you didn’t play last turn shuffle and redraw.

Eventually, if you’re very unlucky or have a target on you, your hand may contain too many bullet cards from Players and the Marshall that you can’t do what you want…

If this happens, you may draw 3 cards instead of playing one when you have the chance too.

If you shoot off all of your bullets, you get a bonus $1000 for the end of the game.

Colt Express Bullet Cards

At the end of some rounds you’ll get a bonus/penalty for certain situations. One example is the mail arm sticking out hits everyone on the roof of the train and moves everyone to the back.

After all the rounds have finished, whoever has the most money wins.

I’ve put off playing this because it didn’t appeal to me.

I’m not a fan of programmed movement (See Ricochet Robots and Lords of Xidit) and I thought the train looked gimicky.

But it’s actually very fun. It’s random but the game is quick enough that it doesn’t matter. It’s a light game alongside the randomness but you can plan your turn if you watch what other people are playing.

The player abilities are cool too. Mine was fun, but one let you play an extra card face down, some pushed you back when shooting or picked up the treasure you drop automatically when you punch someone.

They seemed balanced.

I liked it a lot, it’s one I’ll probably add to my collection at some point soon.

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