CA$H 'N GUNS
By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on March 29, 2016
Oh god guys, here we go again! Just recently, the seemingly never-dying feud between me and Mr. Sadhonker came to a close and I was pretty sure I would never actually have to fear having another gun pointed at me ever again... This sure changed when I was invited to play a game or two of Ca$h 'n Guns!!! Before long someone at the table asked me "Plata o Plomo?" and soon after pointed a gun at my face... my Face!!! The bastard!
All is well and good here though, because the gun was made out of foam. The two rounds I played did however show me a little bit of the magic Ca$h 'n Guns brings to your table top. The game puts you and your friends in the shoes of a group of gangsters who have to divide the loot from their latest heist. Although there is more than enough cash for everybody, gangsters would not be gangsters if they didn't want to keep as much of the Cash, Diamonds and other trinkets for themselves. This is where the game starts; everybody gets a gun made out of foam. The last part of that sentence is very important! Real guns are not allowed! No, mr. Sadhonker, not even a shotgun. Players also get a selection of bullet cards, most of them are clicks (duds) but some of them are bangs (live bullets). After everybody has equipped themselves they get to choose between six (or eight in the second edition) characters, represented by small cardboard cutouts. Although the characters do not have any special powers, they do add that much more role-playing fun to the game.
Now the game is really ready to begin! One player gets to be the Godfather; he or she puts a total of 8 loot cards on the table as well as the godfather's desk card. Now players secretly choose with which bullet card they load their guns, a click or a bang, and then the time has come to take aim at one of your compadres. Everybody at the table aims at someone else, right after the godfather has counted down from three. The godfather can now use his privilege to tell one player to aim at someone else and the player in question has to comply. I do believe that this was actually the first time my dear wife ever did something I had asked her to do... euhm aaaaanyways... moving on!
After everybody has selected a target and the Godfather has had his or her say, every player has to make another choice: whether or not to be a coward, stand down and, in doing so, prevent anybody who is trying to kill them from actually doing. This will cause the coward to discard the bullet card they have currently loaded their gun with and lowering their own gun. To play the coward, you can just put you character on its side, discard your bullet card, lower your weapon and give up the right to share in the loot which is currently on the table.
At last, the time has come for everybody to show their true faces and show to the person they are pointing their gun at the bullet card they have chosen beforehand. If it is a click that person is safe. If, on the other hand, it is a Bang card, then the recipient of said bullet loses a life. A maximum of three lives can be lost before the player dies. If this happens, that person is out of the game and has to wait for a new game to begin. Everybody that survives the stand-off now gets to pick a loot card off of the table, starting with the godfather and continuing counterclockwise. A player may also opt to take the Godfathers desk, making them the godfather in the next round. This signals the end of the round and the start of the next one, everybody with one or more lives left gets to join in again and all the hilarity of before repeats itself. Players play a maximum of eight rounds per game, after which the player with the most loot wins!
Iíve had enormous amount of fun while playing Ca$h 'n Guns. Especially if you have a couple of guys like me at the table, who take their character way, way, waaaaaaay to seriously, I can personally guarantee you that playing this game will provide you with a couple of hours (if not a night full) of backstabbing, laughter and fun. So what are you waiting for?! Put that loot on the table, give me a gun and let's roll!
CA$H 'N GUNS
Published: 2005 (1st edition), 2014 (2nd edition)
Designer: Ludovic Maublanc / John Kovalic
Players: 4 - 6 players (1st edition) / 4 - 8 players (2nd edition), ages 10 & up
Playtime: approx. 30 minutes