In another of our regular board game spotlights, the day is drawing to a close and there’s no guarantee there will be another, not after what happened. The auburn light falls limply on Colt Express, the 2014 release from publisher Ludonaute and designer Christophe Raimbault.
Colt Express is a game about robbing a big train, allowing you to live out that fantasy you definitely have only without getting tackled by Abellio security. The board itself is a train, a 3D train, a 3D cardboard train. That you rob.
2-6 players take on the roles of competing outlaws, each of them trying to rob the most stuff while punching, shooting and running from one another. Much like digestion, each round consists of two phases.
First comes the “schemin’” phase. Players start a round with six action cards allowing them to: rob some sweet loot; run into the next compartment; run on the roof of the train; draw the Marshal into a new position; punch another outlaw; or if that seems too comradely, shoot them. A ‘round card’ is flipped at the start which lets players know how many actions they may take and give specific instructions about whether to place cards face-up or down and what action must occur at the end of the round. Players place their actions cards accordingly, in whatever order they choose.
Then we hit the “stealin’” phase, in which players’ chosen actions play out in the order they placed them. There are 6 outlaws to choose from, each with their own unique ability: Ghost, who can always play his first action face down; Belle, whose natural charm means no-one can punch or shoot her if there’s another target present, which is exactly how real charm works; Cheyenne, who can pick up dropped purses without taking an action, presumably with magnets or something; Tuco, who has a big gun that can shoot through train rooves; Django, who has a different big gun that knocks people into the next carriage; and Doc, who gets an extra action card each round.
After five rounds of petty larceny and gunshot wounds, whoever has the largest sack of Benjamins is the winner.
Ludonaute is a French board game publisher founded in 2010 by game-loving couple Anne-Cecile Lefebvre and Cedric Lefebvre. They are best known for Colt Express and it’s two expansions - Marshal and Prisoners, and Horses and Stagecoach.
Other titles include Yggdrasil, Crimebox Investigation and SOS Titanic.
If you fancy a bit of locomotive gunnery buy this game from Zatu today!