Tag Archives: Colt Express: The Time Travel Car

3rd Movember 2015

Like last time, we started out messing about with the dexterity game, Bellz!.  With Blue, Magenta and Burgundy all familiar with it, it was a very tight game.  As the only person who hadn’t played it before, it took Red a couple of turns to get the hang of it before she developed a devastating new technique and came storming from the back to snaffle first place.  Next time there might be a new house rule…

Bellz!
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor W01FVF

Despite the original prognosis of an hour’s wait for food, the pub kindly rushed us through so while we munched we played a quick game of Turf Horse Racing on a very lumpy course.  It was a while since we last played it, so Green reminded us of the rules.  The idea is very simple, players have three counters to use for betting, two small and one large, double weight one.  In the first stage, players take it in turns to use these counters to bet on horses.  In the second stage, players take it in turns to roll the die and move a horse to determine the outcome of the race.  The game works because the die has three horses heads with one of each of the other icons, and each horse moves a different amount depending on what is rolled.  Since each horse has to move before a horse can be moved again, players can choose to make a positive move for one of their own horses, or nobble someone elses.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor franchi

Silver Blaze had a fantastic start so for the next few rounds, but from then on, his progress was slowed by everyone who hadn’t bet on him.  Once the rest of the field had caught him up, the pack stayed together for the rest of the race until Roamin’ Emperor finally broke free with the finishing line in sight.  Then suddenly, Magenta played king-maker giving Red Baron a sudden spurt to win bringing the game to an abrupt finish with Roamin’ Emperor coming in second and Mosstown Boy third, bringing home the rest of the field.  Although Magenta had an investment in Mosstown Boy, Burgundy was the real winner as he had his double bet on the green horse and he finishing ahead of Magenta by several lengths.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor franchi

With the arrival of a new player during the game, that gave us six, so we decided to play our the  Halloween-inspired “Feature Game”, Witch’s Brew.  This is a role selection card game with aspects of set collecting and bluffing that has recently been reimplemented as this year’s Kennerspiel des Jahres, Broom Service.  Each player begins each round with a deck of twelve character cards from which they choose five.  The start player then selects a card and places it on the table and declares they are that character by saying, for example, “I am the witch”.  The next player examines their hand of five chosen cards, and if they don’t have the same card, they pass.

Witch's Brew
– Image used with permission of BGG reviewer EndersGame

Play continues until there is a player who is holding the current character card, in which case they then have a choice.  They can object and declare that they are the character instead, saying, for example, “No, I am the Witch”.  In this case, they replace the first player as “the Witch” – the player who is the Witch at the end of the round gets the richest pickings and starts the next round, while everyone else gets nothing.  Alternatively, they can take the “cowardly” option and acquiesce, instead saying “so be it”.  In this case, they immediately take a lesser reward.  Although the decision is a simple binary one, the ramifications are potentially complex and far-reaching, added to which it is a lot of fun to watch player after player declaring their character only to be shouted down by their neighbour.

Witch's Brew
– Image used with permission of BGG reviewer EndersGame

The aim of the game is to collect ingredients for potions and then prepare them.  The more complex the potion, the more it is worth at the end of the game.  Thus, players might use the Snake Hunter to collect snake venom and the Herb Collector to provide them with herb juice which can then be used together to brew a potion in a silver cauldron using the Druid.  Players can also pick up points for potion shelves, but the characters used to claim these (the Cut Purse and the Begging Monk), force all the other players to pay a tithe, which will be used to cover the cost.

Witch's Brew
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor Toynan

Nobody had played it before, but Blue, having read the rules, started out well while everyone else was still working out what to do.  Pine was unlucky just failing to get enough gold/ingredients to pick up potion shelves on several occasions.  Burgundy also struggled to make the game work for him, and when he eventually succeeded in brewing his first potion it felt like a real success.  Working steadily, Blue gradually built up an unassailable lead though Green came from nowhere with his last couple of cards, finishing in second, by just a couple of points.

Colt Express
– Image by boardGOATS

The next game up was Colt Express, newly pimped out with fancy gems, purses and a new large start “poppel” from Essen.  The game itself is quite straight forward, but it usually takes at least  round to see how it works.  The idea is that game play is in two phases:  first players take it in turns to chose which cards they are going to play, then players take it in turns to action the cards they chose in the order they chose them.  Although we’ve played Colt Express quite a bit recently, with Pine new to the game, and the chaotic nature of it, it seemed a little unfair to drop him in the deep end and include the expansion as it adds quite a bit more complexity.  So, after admiring the wooden horses and 3D stagecoach, and discussing the DeLorean mini-expansion, we decided to stick with the base game.

Colt Express
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor sdetavern

The game started out with bullets flying every where and, unusually, mostly finding their targets.  As the game progressed, even the marshal joined in the fun making Ghost (played by Magenta) a real spook for Halloween.  Burgundy (playing Belle) and Red (Cheyenne) started out well with some valuable pickings.  Magenta, starting to look like a piece of Swiss cheese, was seriously hampered by the nine bullet holes she had picked up, and Pine (Doc) was not far behind with seven, though he was giving as well as taking.  Somehow Green (playing Django) who we normally take care to make sure can’t get ahead in games like this, had largely managed to avoid being shot.  This gave him a significant advantage added to which, everyone else  foolishly left him to play his own game.  Before long he was getting away with the strong box (now upgraded to a gold bar) worth $1,000.  This, with the Sharp Shooter Bonus gave him the win, $750 ahead of Blue in second (playing Tuco) who also picked up the bonus for emptying her magazine.

Colt Express
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor punkin312

Magenta and Red were determined that Blue should get an early night to nurse her cold, but she managed to persuade them to one last quick game of one of our current favourites, 6 Nimmt!.  The first round all went according to plan with Burgundy once more picking up more Nimmts than anyone else.  As usual, he did much better in the second round, but couldn’t match Blue and Red who finished in joint first place with a total of just eight each.

6 Nimmt
– Image by boardGOATS

Learning outcome:  Organised chaos is a fun part of lots of different games.