Welcome to part two of our Let's Play Colt Express feature! The first expansion for Colt Express adds, yes you guessed it, horses and a stagecoach to the game. It also introduces hostage cards and whiskey flasks, alongside new action and round cards.
Set up and components
The stagecoach is like the train, easy to assemble and brilliant to look at! During set up it is always placed to the right of the locomotive with a strongbox and the shotgun meeple on top. This new meeple has some interesting new rules, which we will come to shortly. The horse meeples or horples, I don't think that word will catch on, are the next new element in this expansion. They have space to stand your bandits on as you are riding the horse to move up the train or move to the stagecoach and give players a few more options. The final components are the new tokens and cards.
Steeping it up a notch
This expansion is not modular so all the components must be introduced together, however to do so is rather quick and easy. As mentioned the stagecoach goes to the right of the locomotive with the previously mentioned pieces on top. One whiskey flask goes into each carriage and you draw as many hostage cards as you have players, minus one. These cards are displayed next to the train. The new action cards are added to each player's deck, with the new round cards and neutral bullets also going into their respective piles.
The major difference comes when first placing your bandit. Instead of going in the caboose or one carriage up from it you, instead choose if you want to start in the caboose or if you are going to arrive via horseback. This is done secretly with each player revealing their meeple if they want to start in the caboose or their horse meeple if they want to move further up the train. I must mention that to do this you must shout "clip clop, clip clop, yee Hawwwww!" so the choice is yours. Every player that chooses to move up the train will again choose to jump into that carriage or continue riding. This continues until one player is left and they must choose a carriage to enter, however this cannot be the locomotive.
The horse pieces are placed to the right of the carriage which their rider entered, however these meeples do not belong to any particular player, anyone can use them. First player is taken by the player in the carriage furthest from the locomotive.The new action card, ride, allows a bandit to jump onto a horse that is level with the carriage they occupy. You can then move up to three cars up the train and you must then jump off your horse into the car level. If you are level with the stagecoach as well as a car you can jump into either. The stagecoach has two levels, the bottom of which is where you will enter when using the ride action, whilst the top is accessible by the move up/down action card or from jumping to it from the roof of the adjacent car. Upon entering the stagecoach the bandit must take a hostage card if he has not already done so. These cards have a ransom that you will receive at the end of the game and an immediate effect, this is negative in all but one case, so grabbing a hostage early is certainly a good idea.
The angry shot gunner must be punched by a bandit for the lock box he is guarding to become available. When he is hit he moves over to the top of the adjacent car and, like the marshal, if you move into his space you will take a neutral bullet. At the end of each round the stagecoach and shot gunner will move one carriage towards the caboose, so being on the roof just became much more dangerous.
The whiskey flasks are a new type of loot that can be picked up using a robbery action. Each token can be used twice per game and they have one of two effects depending on the colour of the whiskey on the back of the token. If it is normal whiskey (a black colour) you can immediately draw three cards and then play an action into the pile, or if it is old whiskey you can play two action cards in a row. These tokens are used on your turn during the schemin' phase instead of drawing or playing an action card. The last additions are new round cards which have some different effects, the best in my opinion being the new train station cards which can make people share strongboxes or receive a mortal wound(all players lose $150 for each bullet received that round).
The real question here is do you need Colt Express Horses and Stagecoach? I would say most certainly if you play this game regularly. Horses and Stagecoach adds three new train station cards as well as five cards for two to four and five to six players. This adds one hell of a lot of variety to the round set ups.
Colt express was still very fresh for me and with the addition of this expansion that won't be changing any time soon. The new hostage cards add something else to think about as well as the shot gunners role as the marshal for roof areas, meaning that you will most certainly think twice before running upstairs. The flasks also allow you and your opponents to set up some great combinations and gives you a little more control over how your character acts that round.
Ludonaute really have outdone themselves with this expansion as it grows the game in all the right areas without adding too much complexity. This is definitely a must have expansion for anyone who enjoys Colt express and I have very high hopes for the next expansion, which will be bringing some new characters to the fray.
That's all for today, I hope to see you all down at the saloon. If this article as wet your appetite don't forget that Colt Express and Horses and Stagecoach are both available on our online store!