Colt Express is a western themed board game featuring 3-dimensional figure pieces telling a story about a train robbery. If that doesn’t sound cool enough, besides having this unique, western, gunslinging, bandit type thing, the game features some innovative mechanics rarely seen, or not seen at all in other board games out there. The railway action is just the tip of the iceberg in this deceptively simple game in which your entire family can participate together.
Colt Express board game is designed by Christophe Raimbault, and Illustrated by Ian Parovel and Jordi Valbuena. Published back in 2014 by Ludonaute, this board game is distributed by Asmodee.
It can feature 2 to 6 players, PEGI 10, as this game’s full flavor is really felt the more players it has.
All of the players are the bandits, and the name of the game is robbing the train and becoming the richest Outlaw in the Old Wild West. Now, since everybody is robbing the train at the same time, but everybody wants the loot for themselves, you can imagine the appeal of having a full 6 player count at all times.
Players draw a ‘round card’, which determines the initiative, or the order of play if you will. It also determines which cards are played in the current round – the face up (visible) or the face down (hidden). All of the cards are played at the central stack in the game’s phase called Scheemin’, and this is done following the outline determined in the round card draw.
Once Scheemin’ is finished, the Stealin’ phase begins, where the central stack is turned over as well as all of the other cards, while the players who played the visible cards execute the actions depicted on them.
These actions vary from ‘vertical or horizontal movements’, which enable the player to move from the inside of the train car to the roof and vice versa, or enable movement between the cars. They also include the ‘punch’ action, which enables you to punch the player with which you share the current car, and send them to the neighboring car, flying and dropping one piece of loot.
‘Shoot’ action fires your gun, as one might imagine, but you can only fire at a player who is either at the neighboring car, or in your line of sight on the roof.
And, finally, there are the ‘steal’ and ‘move marshal’ actions, where ‘steal’ picks up the dropped loot, and the ‘move marshal’ causes the marshal to move to the neighboring car and shoot at all the bandits in there, which causes them to flee to the roof.
The game lasts for 5 rounds, or roughly between 30 and 45 minutes. In the end, the player with the most money is the winner. Besides the loot, a 1000 bucks are awarded to the player with the most shots on others.
The 3D figures are not only there to showcase Colt Express’ fine artwork and craftsmanship, but they are necessary for the game’s mechanics. As mentioned earlier, the players can be either inside, or on top of the cars. Also, the loot, such as gems and coin bags, is also there to be spread around and stolen by bandits. Finally, the player figures are pretty basic, although there is a different outlaw for every player, with a special ability.
The outlaws are Django, Ghost, Belle, Doc, Cheyenne, and Tuco. They all have different special abilities. For instance, Ghost can always play one of his cards face down, while Belle is immune to shots or punches while there is someone else present as a legitimate target in the same car. Doc can draw more cards than the rest, and Django knocks his targets back one space when he shoots them, like the punching ability does.
Everyone is awarded 6 bullet cards, which represent how many bullets you have naturally.
When a ’round’ card is drawn, it will determine how many cards everyone will play and add to the center pile, and which card type they must be.
Also, round cards can relocate players from the engine to the last car. This is illustrated by the card showing a bandit being caught by the swing hook and moved to the last car, just like in the western movies. When the train goes through the tunnel, it means everyone plays the face-down cards.
Colt Express is insanely fun for people who like to group up and play board games together. While the game is cool with 2-4 players, it is at its best with all 6 playing. When six bandits compete at robbing the same train, you know that sounds like a plot to one hell of a western movie, or, at least, like a fun night of playing with your friends and family.