The Right Side of the Law
Playing as the Marshal in Colt Express
Marshal Samuel Ford crouched behind the doorframe, holding his two revolvers up so the smoke from their barrels could billow through the open roof into the blue Arizona sky. He could feel the train car shaking under him as they rumbled across the territory like a thunderstorm. Two bandits had just entered the car behind him, and he could hear them systematically robbing the frightened passengers within. He pulled back the hammers of his revolvers with two barely audible clicks…
For years, you’ve been robbing the Colt Express as it rattles across the Old West. You’ve snatched bags of coins, precious jewels, even the company strongboxes from under the watchful eye of the Marshal. You’ve had precarious rooftop gunfights and outwitted your rival bandits just as the train passes through a tunnel. You’ve even ridden alongside the train on horses, darting back and forth to avoid your opponents’ bullets. Soon enough, though, you’ll have the chance to play the game of Colt Express in an entirely new way—on the right side of the law.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the upcoming Marshal and Prisoners expansion, and specifically, how it feels to play as the Marshal himself.
I Am the Law
As the Marshal in a game of Colt Express, you fight for very different goals than the bandits arrayed against you. You aren’t out for personal glory or riches. You’re here to uphold the right, to protect the innocent passengers aboard the train, and to put those criminals behind bars, where they belong.
As you might expect, you win the game in a very different way. While all of the bandits are competing to escape with the most loot, you have a series of five goals—a mixture of arrest warrants and special targets. At the beginning of each round, you’ll draw another goal card from the top of your deck, and if you’ve completed four of these by the end of the game, you win the game before the bandits can even tally their loot!
Of course, accomplishing these goals isn’t exactly simple. Two of these objectives are arrest warrants, corresponding to some of the bandits currently in play. In order to successfully complete these objectives, you’ll need to use your Capture action card to arrest the bandit and place him in the new prison car that’s introduced in this expansion. Although the bandits can escape from the prison car, you only need to capture a bandit once to successfully fulfill his arrest warrant.
The other goal cards give you a special objective that you must fulfill. This could be protecting the mail, dodging incoming bullets, or targeting a specific bandit and filling him full of lead! No matter what they may be, all of these goal cards have one thing in common—completing them brings you one step closer to winning the game.
Accomplishing these goals may seem difficult, especially with every other player trying to avoid you or shoot you down. Fortunately, playing as the Marshal gives you access to a variety of special powers.
First, you can move significantly faster than the bandits with two new action cards: Move + and Floor Change +. As long as you play one of these action cards during a standard turn, you can immediately play another action card after your action is revealed, letting you react to the situation and shoot or capture based on the positions of your rivals.
Secondly, instead of just one gun, you come equipped with two fully loaded revolvers. Not only does this give you more bullets, each of your bullet cards comes with an additional effect to help you disable your target. Your bullet may disarm your target, preventing him from shooting his gun until the end of the round, or you may inflict a shoulder injury, negating the effects of any Punch cards. You might even recapture a prisoner that has been freed by a bandit!
With so many dangers, you might expect your opponents to flee for the other end of the train, doing their best to stay outside of your reach. That might be true, except for one thing—every bandit on the train has an incentive to run up and punch you. The first three bandits to punch the marshal each get a brawler card, which comes with a cash reward for the end of the game! This might seem like a disadvantage, but in reality, it works for your benefit. After all, if you’re drawing the bandits towards you, you’ll find it much easier to shoot them and capture them to complete your goals.
Clap Them in Irons
As the Marshal, your mission aboard the Colt Express is simple: protect the passengers and protect the train. If you can defend your charges against the ruthless bandits, you’ll be the only one free to celebrate when the train finally pulls into the station!
You can pre-order your copy of the Marshal and Prisoners expansion at your local retailer today.