Colt Super Express is a game for 3 to 7 players and plays within 15 minutes. I think, therefore, it qualifies as a party game, although it isn’t your typical Scrawl, Just One, or Cranium. This is serious looting business, with guns and player elimination. The main mechanism in Colt Super Express is programmable movement. During the Schemin’ phase, players will decide which order they wish to play their actions. You choose three of your cards to play and place these down on the table in the order you wish to perform them. The four action choices are: turn around, move to the next train car, move up onto the roof, or back into the train car and shoot.
Get That Box Open
As I said earlier, the box is much smaller than I expected from the game description, but this certainly isn’t a bad thing. The components for this game are simple. There are the cards that make up the train. Then a deck of four action cards for each character, and the seven bandit meeples. No fluff.
Set up is really simple, lay out the train cars. Place the locomotive at the front, and then a carriage for each player plus one. The first player is at the back of the train in the penultimate carriage. Then, in turn order, you place the meeples into the next available carriage. They start facing in alternate directions to spice things up a little. Hand out the action card decks to each player and you’re all set. I’d say that the rules teach takes about 3 mins, and set up is about 30 secs. This is exactly what you want from a filler game that isn’t going to overstay its welcome.
Let’s Get Shooting
Each round of Colt Super Express consists of two phases. The first is Schemin’, where you decide what order you are going to play your three actions. You stack them up onto the table ready to flip when it is your turn. Once everyone has placed down their three action cards, then you move into the second phase - Shootin’. This is where you resolve the actions. Starting with the first player, flip the top card over and resolve the action. When you shoot a player, you shoot the next available bandit in the direction you are facing. So the direction you are facing is really key both for who you are shooting and which direction they get thrown by the bullet force. If someone shoots you, you move backwards one train car and lay down stunned. While stunned, regardless of what the action card you’ve played says, you will simply ignore it and stand up.
At the end of the round, once you have resolved all actions, then the last car on the train (and anyone on it) gets removed. The person closest to the back of the train gains that card. These have a monetary value that you can use in a tie break situation. You eliminate players shot off the train or who fall off with the last car, and then a new round begins with the first player marker moving to the left. The game continues until there is only one player left or only the locomotive remains. If there are multiple players left but no more train cars to remove, then you break the tie by scoring who claimed the most loot from the train cars during the game.
Expand this game?
There are two modular expansions that come with Colt Super Express. You can mix in both together or one at a time. They each add cards to your programmable action deck. Reflex is a single card expansion. These add a reflex card to each action deck. These cards trigger when someone shoots you. You then get up and shoot the bandit in your line of sight. But if you weren't shot, then the card makes you fall down. There is a risk in playing this at the wrong time, but it also is powerful when executed well.
Horse is the second expansion. When you play the horse you go to the very front of the train, facing forward, but only if you get knocked off. So this again can be risky. You can get shot off the front of the train as you would need to turn around before you could shoot another bandit. It is a little of a hail mary move.