Cowboys and Indians
From the original review of Cowboys, the Way of the Gun, it opened with ““Thrill to the days of the Old West……” these words and many like them invoke memories, for those of us old enough to remember, of hours sitting in a darkened movie theater, or sitting in the living room watching those American Western Movies and the inevitable gun fights. We watched Wyatt Earp clear out the outlaws; Roy and Gene save the ranchers; the man with no name clean out the Mexican bandits, etc. This simulation allows you to re-live those fights and come out the winner.”
Cowboys II, Cowboys and Indians is the continuation of the popular 2007 game Cowboys, the Way of the Gun. It expands on the original premise of the game while still keeping with the fun, challenging and epic style of the old country movies. I still watch the old movies such as Silverado, Tombstone, The Gunfight at the OK Corral and watch as the Man with no Name brings in the bounties. There is a whole plethora of Western movies from which to choose when trying to create a scenario for the game.
The components of Cowboys II consists of the following high quality items.
- Town Folk
- Other Game Counters
- Turn Marker
- Terrain Pieces
- Modifier Counters
- Character Tracking Charts
- Game Cards (52 Card plus 2 Joker card deck)
- 6 Double sided interchangeable game boards
- Game Chart (Shot and Turn Record)
The Game Set Up
The first thing that players do is to choose an episode from either the episode booklet or from their own creation. Players then choose which character or characters they will play and which side they will take. It is at this point that the cards are dealt and the number of cards are determined by side and not the number of players per side.
Next, the activation markers for each character, or color grouping of town folk and/or Indians per the episode instructions and place them into an opaque container.
Now the game boards are laid out per the episode instructions and the players place the Terrain/Counters/Player counters on the map boards. Once you follow all the setup instructions, its time to begin playing the game. When the town folk or Indian marker is drawn, all town folk or Indians for that side perform their actions for the turn. Once all of the markers have been drawn, players start a new turn by returning all of the drawn markers back to the cup and continuing the game by drawing markers until the episode ends. For the first player turn, you follow the instructions as set forth in the episode. After this, players choose chits from the opaque container to see who goes next.
The game of Cowboys is played by taking actions. Depending on the type of character you are, will determine the number of actions that can be taken during that turn. As an example of the actions that a player can take during a turn are:
- Change Facing
- Entering Creek
- Pick Up/Draw/Change Weapon
- Reload Weapon
- Spin and Shoot
- Reaction Sot
- Last Gasp Shot
Now, what’s fascinating is that depending on the character they are playing will depend on the number of actions that that character will take during a turn. For example, a character player will have minimum of 4 actions that it can perform during a turn. While the game has counters and maps, in many was it has a number of similar attributes to a Role-Playing game.
There are a total of 18 Episodes included with Cowboys II. These episodes are:
- Shootout at the OK Corral –The Earp’s vs the Clantons October 26, 1881.
- Stagecoach -The Ringo Kid rides escort on the stagecoach through Apache territory.
- Circle the Wagons -Survive the Indian attack with your small wagon train of settlers.
- The Wild Bunch Returns – A 1 to 10 player free for all. Team up or go alone.
- Yellowstone – Defend the river crossing against an Indian attack until help arrives.
- Bank Robbery – Rob the bank and get out of town alive (and with the money).
- The Range – Things come to a head when a town refuses you access to water or grass access for your cattle.
- Shoot Out at Iron Springs – Wyatt Earp and the lawmen vs. Curly Bill and the cowboys in wild river fight.
- 12 O’ Clock and All Alone – A gang of outlaw shows up in town to get revenge on the Sheriff who locked up one of their members.
- 3:15 to the Station – Ya gotta get the prisoner to the train station. Good luck cuz there’s a buncha varmints gunning for ya.
- The Chase– Make your way across the boards as a heapa’ Indians are ridiing ya down.
- Joe Walls – There’s a bad bunch of hombres that have a family of settlers trapped. Can you save them,,, and yourself?
- The Rancher – A posse of trouble has rolled into town looking to take out the Sheriff. Help him round up the bunch, dead or alive.
- Cattle Drive – Escort the cattle to next watering hole, good luck!
- Deadwood Days – You’ve got a lucky strike, and everybody knows about it.
- Heroes – Your posse has agreed to defend the town against the gang.
- Wanted! – You and your gang has been cornered, can you and your gang fight out of the trap.
- Bounty Hunter – You and other bounty hunters are looking for some wanted bad guys to tally up a head count and to pad your bank account.
Cowboys II: Cowboys and Indians continues in the game in cheek play of the great B Western and spaghetti Western Cowboy shows and movies. Relive, or I should say, replay the times when the good guys all wore white hats. Fight the Indians off, or guide a stagecoach to its destination, watch the shootouts to see who will win the good guys or the bad. All the challenges and decisions are made by the players controlling the characters. In many ways, while Cowboys and Cowboys II are boardgames, they draw a lot of there inspiration from the Role Playing genre.
As I said in my original review Cowboys, and I can definitely repeat the Cowboys’ are games are just plain FUN. It is a soda (beer) and pretzel game that is great for family get togethers or for breaks from a serious wargame. It is a fast and fun game to play as turns fly through each characters actions. Finally, it’s an open ended game which means that if players go through all of the episodes provided, all they need to do is to watch an old western TV show or movie and create their own episode version for players to game.
Cowboys II, Cowboys and Indians is a continuation of Cowboys, the Way of the Gun. You can read the review of Cowboys: The Way of the Gun by selecting the URL below.
Cowboys II: Cowboys and Indians is available from Worthington Games