Why Good Offense > Good Defense Anyday

Bang!: A Question of Strategy

So the standard game night at my place just ended tonight, and we had a very intriguing scenario for the endgame of the last BANG! game. Game is left down to 3 identities: Sheriff, Renegade and Outlaw, with the following characters:

Sheriff: Flint Westwood – During his turn, he may trade 1 card from hand with 2 cards at random from the hand of another player.
Renegade: Jose Delgado – Twice in his turn, he may discard a blue card from the hand to draw 2 cards.
Outlaw: Greg Digger – Each time another player is eliminated, he regains 2 life points. (Useless at this point)

The scenario on the table is that both the Sheriff and Renegade are relatively bare, with both players having only -1 horses. The outlaw has a volcanic and a mustang (+1 horse), however, has not drawn a bang! card in a few turns. Many Cat Balous and Panics have been used up and thus are rare in the remainder of the deck. All players are at full life.

While the Outlaw’s play is fairly straight-forward – to simply try to gun down the Sheriff, the other two’s strategy could be worth a look:

What is the Sheriff’s play?

My strategy: Kill the Renegade while gimping the Outlaw. So due to the Sheriff’s OP character ability, the Sheriff can basically counter the Volcanic in front of the Outlaw by feeding him useless cards (blues for example), while making sure that the Outlaw does not stash away Bang! cards and gets additional safety from any Missed!/Dodge! cards that the Outlaw may draw. Of course, this will cause the Outlaw to have very few cards in his hand after a few turns – so the Sheriff should switch accordingly to counter the potential card drawing beast that is Jose Delgado. Regardless, this effectively keeps the Outlaw’s impact at a minimum (can’t counter a 2 bang! draw – but the stolen misses/beers should mitigate that).  Next, the Sheriff should take all his remaining offensive cards and unload on the Renegade – this will ensure that the Renegade will soon not have enough protection to counter a potential outburst by the Outlaw or just the slow poking by the Sheriff. This way, with the Renegade out of the way, the Sheriff can easily take the Outlaw due to sheer character OP.

Then, what would be the Renegade’s play?

My strategy: Try to focus fire on the Outlaw. Make use of all Gatlings and Indians, but be wary of anything that could potentially drop the sheriff below 3 health (a 2 Bang! card draw by the Outlaw when coupled with a potential stashed bang! or pepperbox/buffalo rifle could end the game right there). The Sheriff should also be trying to limit the Outlaw just in terms of threat – a good draw by the Outlaw (which is not unlikely due to the fact that the Outlaw has not drawn many Bang!s – which leaves them plentiful in the remainder of the deck) would decide the game. While the Sheriff would rather face the Outlaw 1-on-1 due to the huge disparity of character ability, the Volcanic is what poses immediate danger. The Renegade should take care to only dwindle down the Outlaw to around 2 health and let the Sheriff put in the last poke before the Renegade comes in and ends the Outlaw for a 3 card draw. This would position the Renegade to be in the best possible situation (+3 cards, with innate card drawing capabilities – since blue cards are relatively useless at this point in the game) when the Outlaw is dead.

Of course, this is a heavily simplified version of what could potentially happen (a Cat Balou/Panic on the Volcanic could significantly change the strategies across players), however, I feel that this should be some what of an optimal strategy. What do you guys think?

(I plan on writing out more of these interesting scenarios as game nights come and go. I feel that it is extremely helpful to articulate some of these strategic thought processes to see what I’m missing when I’m playing these games. Too bad I have yet to find someone to play Twilight Struggle with me – that alone would be the subject of many interesting strategic musings.)

New Years Resolution

(Do people still make these anymore?)

After a crazy month of family, friends, work, events, food, drinking, basketball, parties, Christmas shopping, you name it, I have decided to spend the last 3 days in solitude (with Skyrim and Terraria) to recover – and recover I did! I think we tend to undervalue the alone time – mental respite, quite therapeutic. Waking up at noon everyday helps too.

With tomorrow being my one-year anniversary at AAA, I can say that 2011 was truly an insane year. From having to go home from work at 6 AM because I was still in my basketball shorts working all-night on a Sunday to wandering around Walnut Creek because I had too much to drink at the company year end party, all I can say is that it has been a total blast. So with the peaceful ending to a beautiful year, it is time to look forward to 2012.

So for those who know me, I have been hit or miss on these resolutions every year. I’m pretty sure every year I’ve had “be handsome like George Clooney,” but what do you know, I’ve overshot that this year (just kidding, no one is as handsome as George Clooney <3). So this year, I’m going to do something different. I’m not going to make checklists that I will inevitably forget to check off as the year goes along. This year, I’m going to change my philosophy on life.

This year, I’m going to be limitless.

I have these stashed away, just for this year!

Because at the end of the day, whether we follow our new years resolution is not a matter of how how high we set it, nor is it a matter of motivation. At the very core, it is how we view our life and how we view how to live that life. So this year, I’m going to get out of my own way and throw all my doubts behind. If I want to pursue something, no hesitation – I’m just going to do it.

That simple.



Taiwan! – Day Four

Sorry for the long pause for my Taiwan pictures, but I finally found some time to continue the photo madness. This was one of my favorite days by far – a ride through the eastern coastline of Taiwan. Having never been to a true island nation, the view as we drove along the coastline was amazing. Also, I think found a new hobby trying to climb over everything at 三仙台 (Imagine my excitement when they told me the next stop was 八仙洞 – yep, turned out not that exciting). Time to get into shape so I can go rock climbing every week!

Schedule: 台湾娜路湾大酒店 – 小野柳 – 阿美族成功镇部落 –  三仙台 – 八仙洞 – 北回归线 – 石梯坪 – 花莲翰品酒店 (I have no idea how I still remember the trip itinerary)

Taiwan posts – Paused!

Due to a lack of stable internet capabilities and an increase of free time to romp around Taipei, I will most likely postpone the last few Taiwan posts until after I return to Amurrica.

Speaking of America: Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was spent with friends and/or family!

Now, time to frolick around Taipei. Naked. Just kidding. Its much too cold for that.


Taiwan! – Day Three

Hiking day! The pictures that I took here are not going to, in any way, bring justice to the amazing views that I saw today. Nonetheless, we all have to start somewhere, so feel free to extrapolate. (There won’t be any commentary today due to most of the pictures being pretty self explanatory).

Schedule: 高雄莲潭国际酒店 – 猫鼻头 – 鹅銮鼻 – 墾丁公园 – 台东娜路弯大酒店

Relevant: If I ever get a beach house, I’m totally building wooden plank patios/walkways around it.

Taiwan! – Day Two

Today is gonna be extremely picture heavy for 2 reasons:

1) I went for a morning walk around the hotel I stayed at – super nice.

2) Nightmarket in 高雄!

Itinerary: 日月潭云品酒店 – 日月潭边 – 赤莰楼 – 台南 – 延平郡王祠  – 高雄 – 六合夜市 – 爱河 – 高雄莲潭国际酒店

Some other things of note:

1) I heard about 槟榔西施 (pretty women selling betelnuts) in Tainan, so I decided to look around. Found a couple betelnut stands but all owned by 大妈 (imagine Susan Boyle). Am I doing something wrong?

2)  I think I’m going to start reading more about Taiwanese history.

3) I want a blunderbuss (saw one at the museum that did not allow photography)

4) 90% of females in Tainan wear mouth masks with varied designs. Is this a new fad?

5) 5 was added in here because I like round numbers and 4 didn’t cut it for me.

Until next time!

Taiwan! – Day One

While running on extremely intermittent sleep, my first day in Taiwan went a little something like this.

The schedule:

台北福华酒店 - 台中 - 日月潭 - 慈恩塔 - 文武庙 - 日月潭云品酒店


Until next time!