Bad Company

Bad Company

RRP: £42.99
Now £36.79(SAVE 14%)
RRP £42.99
Expected Restock Date 30/06/2024
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Build your own gang and customize it to suit your plans. Gather resources to complete heists and money to recruit new gang members. And make sure you escape the police! A unique and fun game from the award-winning designers of Automania and Trails of Tucana. Bad Company supports up to 6 players with very little downtime. It also includes a solo mode where you try to outsmart the pol…
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Category Tag SKU ZBG-MTGAPOBAD001022 Availability Backorder
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  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • You get to do something on every turn
  • No downtime at all
  • Recruiting new gang members is brilliant and they look so funny extended
  • Solo Mode is a great race against the police

Might Not Like

  • The car chase has no urgency when playing multiplayer and can be ignored
  • Game might end just as you build the perfect gang
  • Luck of the dice
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Build your own gang and customize it to suit your plans. Gather resources to complete heists and money to recruit new gang members. And make sure you escape the police! A unique and fun game from the award-winning designers of Automania and Trails of Tucana.

Bad Company supports up to 6 players with very little downtime. It also includes a solo mode where you try to outsmart the police.

Each player has a player board with 11 gang members. You may upgrade them by placing overlapping cards onto them. This way, the visual appearances of your gang members change as they gain more abilities.

Each round, the active player rolls four dice and divides them into two pairs (pay coins to reroll). Each pair of dice activates one gang member on the active player's board. All other players may use one of the pairs to activate a single gang member on their own boards.

Activating a gangster provides resources needed to complete heists, money to upgrade your gang members, or advance your car through the city.
You want to advance your car, because you need to stay ahead of the police in order to collect loot along the city route.

You gain points by completing heists, upgrading your gang and by driving your car through the city.
Some completed heists provide special abilities which you can build your strategy around.

The game ends when a player completes their 6th heist, or when any car reaches the dock on the city track, and the player with the most points wins.

We have a plan, we have a getaway car and we have an…..average gang. Let’s recruit some better gang members, go do some heists, steal some loot and get away from the cops. Sounds fun doesn’t it, this is Bad Company from Matagot Games and they are using a dice system seen in other games (most notably Space Base) to generate this excitement. It is a 1 to 6 player game and lasts just 30 minutes regardless of the player count due to its almost simultaneous play.

So does crime pay or should this game be locked up? Read on to find out.

Running Around Robbin Banks All Wacked Off Of Scooby Snacks

All players start with a basic crew of 11 gang members made up of two sides of a player board randomly put together. The members for positions 2 and 12 never change and always give the same benefit, but everyone else has a single benefit such as getting $2, moving the car 1 space, or gaining a marker (glove, lock, torch, mask).

The current start player (Boss) rolls all 5 dice (4 gold and 1 black) and then decides how to pair up the gold dice. The black dice is used for moving the cop car later on.

Once the Boss has decided how to pair the dice they inform the rest of the table. The Boss gets to use both pairs and activates two gang members (getting whatever bonus is on the gang member) whilst all the other players only get to use one pair of dice.

Players then use the money to move their recruiter further up a track recruiting 1 new member each time they move. Use the steering wheel to drive further away from the cops (getting benefits along the way) or use the markers to complete heists.

Once everyone has finished the cop car is moved forward the same number that is on the black die and then all the dice are passed to the next player to become the Boss and roll for a new round.

The game continues like this with players completing heists, grabbing loot, recruiting gang members and keeping ahead of the cops until 1 player either completes 6 heists or drives into the getaway zone at the end of the road board.

The player with the highest points wins. Points are gained from heists, loot, upgraded gang members, having the necklaces, markers leftover, and for getting to the getaway section of the road.

Part Of The Crew

When you recruit a new member you look at 3 options and then pick 1. This member then sits on top of, but slightly above, the same numbered member you currently have in your gang (a 7 on a 7). Not only do you now get the benefit of both gangs members bonus you also have an increasingly taller crew. It can look quite hilarious to keep on recruiting the same numbered gang members just to see them get taller and taller.

Don’t spend too long upgrading one number to the perfect crew member as you only score points for the top card and it might not come up too often before the end game is triggered.

Dice & Heists

Completing heists gives end of game points but sometimes will also provide a continuous bonus such as the ability to re-roll the dice for free once (normally costs a coin) or your car moves forward when the cop car moves 2 spaces. There are a lot of combinations to be played around with and you can build a little engine to either help you progress or score points.

Sometimes you will be awarded with a loot card. These can provide one off bonuses such as money and markers, or they could just provide points.

On all of the heist cards are symbols (4 in total) which correspond to the 4 necklaces. At the end of each round you look to see who has the most of each symbol (on completed heists) and award them with the necklace. This necklace is then placed on one of your gang members. When you receive the necklace you receive a bonus of $1and each time the number is chosen for the gang member wearing a necklace you will receive another $1.

Solo Review (The Chase Scene From The Blues Brothers)

Playing this game solo feels very different to playing with other people and that is for one reason only, the cop car. In the multiplayer game you can ignore the cop car if you like, never moving your car forward with the worst case scenario being that you don’t get the benefits for moving along the road and you lose 3 points at the end of the game.

In the solo mode you automatically lose the game if the cop car goes past you. In addition you always add 1 to the dice roll for the cop car so they are always moving forward even when they roll a 0.

This makes for a very tense experience as you are always looking to move at least one or two spaces down the road. All of a sudden the short cuts look very tempting. But you don’t want to race off too quickly as the game end is triggered when you get into the red zone (the getaway zone). If you arrive here too quickly you may not have completed many heists. In some ways it feels like this could have been incorporated into the multiplayer mode but with a slower moving cop car.

Space Base Lite?

Comparisons to Space Base have to be made. Both have a grid of cards which are activated by a dice roll and give benefits to the other players when it isn’t their turn. However, Space Base is a pure numbers game which takes a while to get going. Whereas Bad Company gets you up and running as soon as you start and despite having many things to consider (heist cards, loot cards, keeping in front of the cop car, grabbing the necklaces and recruiting new gang members) it feels like an easier game, and dare I say it a more fun experience.

Although I like Space Base, I prefer Bad Company due to its speed of play, theme and the solo mode. This feels like an easier game to teach because the theme is so fun combined with the hilarious gang members that get taller and taller as you upgrade them.

It’s not a perfect game with the car chase being a disappointment when not playing solo, the end game can occur too quickly, and it is still a dice rolling luck game (with some mitigation) but I still really like it.

If you like a fun silly game that plays super quick, has lots of decisions to be made but there is no downtime, I think Bad Company might be the game for you.

Now, I told you to just blow the bloody doors off.

Bad Company is a brilliant game about robbing banks, getting away from the police and making as much dosh as possible. I really like it and you can read my review here. If you want to learn the game I also have you covered so read on to find out how to play.

Set Up

Set up doesn’t take too long but make sure there is enough room for each player (especially at the higher player counts) as they need to have their criminals lined up in front of them.

Place the city board and score board so all players can see it. Shuffle the upgrade cards and make a stack face down in the middle of the table and then do the same with the loot cards. Shuffle the heist cards and stack them face up. Now draw 4 heist cards and also place them face up in a row in front of the stack.

Place the coins, markers and necklaces in the middle of the table. Finally for general set up place the police car at the beginning of the road on the same number as there are players.

For each player you need to place their scoring marker on the 0 space, place their recruiter on the starting space in the city, place their car on the blue space on the road. Give them a left and right board at random so they have all numbers represented (2 – 12). Finally give them $2 and 3 heists cards from the top of the deck from which they pick 2 and discard 1.

Let’s Get This Robbing Started

The starting player is called the boss and they will roll all 5 dice. The boss pairs up the gold dice so they match their gang members. The boss activates both pairs of dice and all other players only activate 1 pair. You take the benefits of activating the dice (collecting money, moving your car, collecting markers) and then all players allocate markers, upgrade their gang, complete heists, collect loot, grab necklaces and finally move the police car and grab new heists if needed.

As long as the game hasn’t ended then the dice are passed to the next player clockwise and they become the boss. You continue like this until the end of the game when the player with the most points wins. Let me now explain each step in a little more detail.

Rolling Dice & Allocating

All 5 dice are always rolled and the boss can choose to re-roll any of them for $1. Once the boss is satisfied with the results of the roll they pair up the gold dice. Results will be from 2 to 12 which matches your gang members. You can make it so that both pairs are for the same gang member.

Activating Gang Members (Play Is Simultaneous)

For each gang member activated you take all of the bonuses on their card(s). Initially each gang member will only give 1 reward but as you upgrade them you will receive numerous rewards. The rewards could be $2 to be spent on recruiting new gang members, steering wheel moves your car one space forward, markers (mask, torch, lock, gloves) which you place on Heists or Tasks (below gang members 2 & 12).

If the gang member chosen to activate is the 2 you look at all gang members in your crew and choose either locks, gloves or masks and get as many markers as one of these. So if you have 3 masks get 3 markers for masks. If number 12 is activated move your car two spaces up the road.

Recruiting (Play Is Simultaneous)

Once you have $3 you can spend it and jump your little recruiter to the next space on the city map. You take 3 new gang members from the stack, choose 1 and discard the other 2. This new gang member is placed on top of but slightly above the same number as is on the card. Place it so you can still see the benefit of the card underneath. From now on when that number is activated you get both bonuses.

It becomes more and more expensive to recruit new gang members but if you manage to get to the end you can start to pay money just to get points.

Moving Your Car (Play Is Simultaneous)

For each steering wheel you move your car one space further down the road (towards the getaway zone – red). At certain points you will go past money or loot, take these rewards once you pass them. If you take the short cuts you do not get any bonuses that are skipped but it is a good way to keep ahead of the police.

Completing Tasks & Heists (Play Is Simultaneous)

Underneath the number 2 & 12 gang members are tasks. When you complete these tasks they give you a specific bonus. Under the 2 is 2 masks, when you complete this you can put 1 marker anywhere. Also under the 2 are 2 gloves, when you complete this gain $2. Under the 12 are 2 locks, complete this to move your car 1 space. Also there are 2 torches, complete this to take 1 loot card. When you complete any tasks put the markers used back in the middle of the table.

When you finish collecting all required markers for a heist you return the used markers to the middle of the table, take any immediate bonus from completing the heist (if there is one) and then turn over the card and place it below your gang. Some of the heists will now provide a permanent bonus such as benefits for certain numbers rolled on the police car, or a discount for recruiting. Luckily the iconography is good with this game but if you need some help there is a handy reference sheet in the box.

Loot Cards

The loot cards obtained by moving the car, completing some heists or the torch task can provide either points, money, markers or the ability to use both pairs of numbers on another players go, or to use the ability of an adjacent gang member of a dice roll. If using one with an ability it is discarded after use, otherwise keep the points cards face down.

End Of Turn, Necklaces & Clean Up

When all players have finished taking their actions you will compare the completed heists beneath each players gang members. The player with most of each of the 4 symbols (gold bars, paintings, jewels and bags of cash) will take the corresponding necklace and place it on a gang member. They immediately receive $1 for taking the necklace and will receive another $1 each time that gang member is activated. In the event of a tie for a symbol you look at the number in the top left corner of the heists cards and the winner is the highest.

You now move the police car, then in turn order players will take a new heist card (s) to replace any that have been completed, always making sure there are 5 options for taking.

End Game Trigger & Scoring

You then check to see if the end of the game has been triggered which is either a player having 6 completed heists, or a players car / police car going into the red zone of the road.

If the end game hasn’t been triggered the next player clockwise becomes the boss and they roll the dice.

If the end game has been triggered one final turn is taken but it is a bit different to normal turns. The player to the left of the current boss becomes the boss and rolls the golden dice only (the police car doesn’t move any more). Each player can now use the dice to make 2 pairs and activate both sets. Play continues until all players have finished completing heists (no new heists are taken though).

Points are then awarded for completed heists, any special scoring on heists, points on loot cards, the points on the top upgraded gang members (not the ones below), 2 points per necklace, 1 point per 2 markers left over on heists and tasks, 3 points are deducted if the police car ended ahead of you. Coins break ties between players on equal points.


I hope this has helped you to learn the rules and how Bad Company plays. Obviously I would always recommend people use the official rule book to learn the rules in depth but this blog should give you a really good flavour of how the game flows.

I really enjoy the game and if you want to find me on twitter to discuss how brilliant Bad Company is please do @boardgamehappy.

Bad Company is a board game for 2-4 players that sits with games that have similar mechanics to Catan. Except the theme is a lot more fun. In Bad Company you are playing as a gang (for example, the Sneaky Ninjas, a very threatening gang name) with eleven members doing their best to complete heists, get loot, upgrade their members and evade the police.

Preparing For A Heist

There are a few different components to get together before starting a game. You have to put your gang board together with 2 and 12 being special characters that can help you exchange certain resources for others or drive faster. You get a little bit of money to start and you put your little car on the track.

The police car is always set a few spaces behind you and your rivals. Nothing bad actually happens to you if the police catch up to you (no actual arrests), but they are there to remove the bonuses on the track (which includes loot, money and points). If you cross certain points you get a bonus, which encourages you to move forward in the game. If you get there after the police, no loot for you. There are little shortcuts on the track if you want to get ahead too. Once one player reaches the end of the track, it’s the last turn and everyone only has one more opportunity to try and complete their heists.

You start the game with two heist cards, some are easier to complete than others but they also have variable rewards. The card will indicate the reward and once you’ve completed it, you flip the card over. You’re able to complete heists through your gang members. They all have different resources attached to them and if you activate a certain number, you get the resource (for example a lock, a torch or a glove) and you can choose which heist (or the fixer) to place the resource on.

On your turn you roll the four gold dice and the black police die and based on what you roll you can choose which two gang members you want to activate. Once you’ve announced what numbers you’re activating the other players can choose which one gang member they’ll activate from the numbers you’ve chosen. It’s a nice way to keep everyone engaged when it’s not your turn Catan-style. The police die determines how many spaces the police car will move (and sometimes it doesn’t move).

Wheelin’ And Stealin’

There are different things you can prioritise in Bad Company, whether it’s the upgrade track or completing heists or getting ahead of the police. All are satisfying in different ways.

Admittedly some of the loot rewards are a bit confusing, some let you do things like store extra resources but it can be difficult to know how to make that work when you’re starting the game. Often you’d just prefer the loot that gives you extra points or money. Kind of like 7 Wonders where you begin to understand the more complicated wonder powers, as you become more familiar with Bar Company, you can use those loot powers better.

The recruitment track is one of the best parts of the game, kind of like building a city in Catan but so much better. As you go up the recruitment track you get three upgrade cards and you get to upgrade one of your gang members, giving them insane legs and some extra resources if you choose to activate them. Like if you want satisfying, this is it. You pay your way up the recruitment track with the upgrades getting slightly more expensive as you go up. It’s definitely worth it. Though there is a limit to how many times you can upgrade as when you get to the end of the track, you pay for points not upgrades.

Also also gotta love the necklaces (or croissants). It’s kind of like Catan’s longest road on steroids as you’re constantly comparing your amount of loot with other players, and there are four different necklaces for art, diamonds, gold bars and money bags.

Crime Never Sleeps

I’m a big fan of Bad Company as it builds on a lot of good board game mechanics and gives it a quirky gloss of paint. Completing heists is fun, upgrading your gang is fun and wearing the necklaces is fun. While luck always plays a role in dice games, you normally can find ways to optimise your gang members and make a bad roll work. You also have the option to pay money to re-roll dice too if a bad roll is something really off putting for you.

I did a lot of Catan comparisons in this review but it takes a lot of really fun things about Catan and puts lots of good twists on them. It’s also nice when you’re teaching the game and can use Catan as a reference point. Definitely recommend Bad Company if you want an interesting take on this formula!

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • You get to do something on every turn
  • No downtime at all
  • Recruiting new gang members is brilliant and they look so funny extended
  • Solo Mode is a great race against the police

Might not like

  • The car chase has no urgency when playing multiplayer and can be ignored
  • Game might end just as you build the perfect gang
  • Luck of the dice