Cash ‘n Guns (second edition) review
Written By Mayhem

Cash ‘n Guns is a fun and simple board game that can be played at parties or that can be played at home with family.
The setting in the game is an abandoned warehouse where a band of gangsters have just pulled off a major heist, the gangsters are now arguing over who gets what in the loot so the gangsters pull out their guns and each of them begins pointing their guns at another.Suitable for 4-8 players, each player is one of these gangsters, they must take up a character, a gun and 8 bullets, 5 of these bullets are clicks (blanks) and 3 are bangs (real).There are 8 rounds in every game, for the first round the oldest person present will be given a chest that will name them the boss, a round starts with 8 of the loot from the heist being spread out onto the middle of the table, the players then choose one of their 8 bullets and place it face down beside their gun. Once this has occurred the boss then begins to count down from 3, at the end of the 3 count, each player must raise their gun and point it at another player, this is the hold-up phase, in this phase being the boss gives you an advantage because the boss has a special privilege that allows him to get a single player to change the target of their gun. After this has occurred, the boss begins to countdown from 3 again, in this period a player may choose to knock their own character over and lay down their gun, doing this means that you forfeit the round and give up on the loot for that round.
At the end of this 3 count anyone who has not knocked over their character must reveal the bullet that they placed facedown beside their gun. This does not apply to those who had their guns pointed at a player who forfeited the round, they simply put the face down bullets into a discard pile, if a player reveals a bang, the player he was pointing his gun at receives a wound and does not partake in the loot for this round, if a player receives 3 wounds, they are eliminated from the game. If a player reveals a click, the player he was pointing his gun at stays in the game and gets to partake in the loot share for that round.

Once a player is eliminated from the game they have no chance of entering back in, they do not even get to count up their loot at the end and their loot cannot be touched (unless certain conditions are met). One of my problems with this was that if a 4 player game was being played and one person was eliminated early, then a lot of the tension and the fun would be gone right alongside that player, this occurred when I was in an 8 man game once and 5 players were eliminated because of aggressive play, once this occurred and there was only 3 of us left, the game suddenly became less interesting.
The loot is then spread amongst the players with the boss taking the first of the loot, which would be a single card and then the next player to his left takes the next of the piece of the loot. There is also the choice to choose between taking the role of boss and missing out on a turn of the loot (this does not mean missing out on the whole round of loot).

There are different types of loot that may be present in the round:

  1. Cash: Split into $5000, $10,000 and $20,000. This simply value to your loot collection
  2. Diamonds: Split into $1000, $5000 and $10,000. This holds value because at the end of the game the player with the most diamond cards wins a bonus $60,000.
  3. Paintings: Paintings stack with each other, having a small amount may institute a loss while having a large amount may well guarantee victory.
  4. Extra bullets: If a player obtains one of these they may replace a click in their hand with a bang from their discard pile (If a player does not have a bang in their discard pile then it is useless).
  5. Heal: If a player chooses this they may heal up to two wounds that they have suffered.

With all of this loot on the line, players must choose carefully when to use a bang, when to bluff with a click, who they should point their guns at, when to surrender and what loot to take for the round in order to get the maximum benefit from each round. The game must not only be played to your advantage, but also to the disadvantage of your opponent.
After eight rounds, the players that have not taken 3 wounds then begin to count up the loot that they have claimed over the eight rounds, the player with the most loot wins the game.

The second edition also gives an expansion on the base game with the introduction of power cards. There are 16 power cards in the game, before a game begins, all 16 of these cards are shuffled and one is given to each player starting with the boss, once every player present has a single power card the rest are placed to the side and each player must then read out the abilities of those cards. Once the abilities have been read out the game begins, each player must then utilise these single powers throughout the entire game when necessary.
There is a power card that allows a player to take part of an eliminated players loot, if obtained then the player with the ability may take a more hostile approach to meet the requirements and eliminate others.
Replay ability: 75/100
While extremely fun for the first couple of try’s, it can get boring after a while, but if played with different people multiple times, then it can become fun once more and the power cards certainly help with the replay ability.Aesthetics: 90/100
The games set up and colourful design is beautiful, the vibrant character designs of the gangsters is extremely appealing and the card design of the power cards and loot draws you in.Mechanics: 65/100
While the game itself works like a charm and the boss privilege plays extremely well with the game, the wound system can end up ruining a game or ending it early and some of the abilities are too overpowered and can completely shape and take away the tension from an entire game.Value for Money: 80/100
The game comes in a box that includes:

  • rulebook
  • 8 foam guns
  • 18 wound token
  • 9 plastic base (8 for characters, 1 for godfather desk)
  • 8 character cardboard silhouettes
  • 1 godfather big token (first player)
  • 1 godfather desk
  • 1 diamond bonus big token
  • 16 power cards (63.5×88.5mm)
  • 64 bullet cards (40 “Clic”, 24 “Bang!”) (44.5x67mm)
  • 64 loot cards (15x$5000, 15x$10’000, 10x$20’000, 9 diamonds (5x$1000, 3x$5000, 1x$10’000), 10 paintings, 3 bullets magazine, 2 first aid kits) (60.5x119mm)

Overall: 80/100
Cash ‘n Guns is a perfect party game to play amongst friends and it can be played amongst family. It can cause a few problems if a players game is ended early or an overpowered ability is received but if not then you’re in for a real treat (especially if played with the maximum amount of players).

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