There’s a decent amount of ‘clever’ going on in the fifty five card deck in High Noon Heist from Table for Two Games. I have always admired those who have an ability to stretch the boundaries of what is achievable when the number of components is restricted, especially when the game is coming to crowdfunding, the home of ‘Excess and Plenty Boxes – the stacking in your cupboard game’. That being said, first time creators and designers are more like to cut their cloth rather than grab the duvet from the bed for extra sail. High Noon Heist aims to bring the Wild West to your table in a box that doesn’t need a ten gallon hat to store it in.
Base level gameplay is about playing the highest card to win the trick and collect the loot, whether you be the outlaw or the sheriff. Each round takes places over a differing location which will help to decide the number of loot bags at stake. High Noon Heist is designed to be played with only players, and so there’s some rather wonderful about facing your opponent over the table as you decide which card from your hand to play. You might even be tempted to yell out draw when you play your cards, but everyone knows only the silliest and best people out this here yonder would be doing such a thing.
It would be oh so very pedestrian and Little House on the Prairie if it wasn’t for the location card effects and the powers on the individual player cards. The heist location potentially will effect which card both the outlaws or Sheriff plays. As an example, the Chapel doesn’t allow certain rank outlaws to be played for that round, while the Bar Room Brawl has all characters ignoring their powers and winning based on their card values. It opens up a second set of variables to proceedings, as it will often force you to play a card you’d rather be saving for the next round, or even push you into losing for that round to win out in the long game.
Your crew cards have abilities that normally reward you extra loot but sometimes they can even push your opponent to lose that card completely out of the game by sending them to jail or the doctor’s office. So the Trapper will send an outlaw with a two star rating directly to jail, while if the thief wins their heist they take extra loot on that round. With so many different powers on offer and with them being a one and done, there doesn’t seem to be anything that sticks out as being overly advantageous over others, but to but to be fair, powers last for that round and nothing more.
Your hand doesn’t refresh until you play the no show card and at that point all cards in the discard piles will come back to you, except for those that have ended up in the doctors office, or in jail. Again, it’s a clever touch that helps to slightly alter the game state and keep things interesting. There are ways to rescue your cards from jail and the doctors office, and with repeated play throughs you’ll decide what is worth moving back as a priority when it matters.
High Noon Heist stays as the table until you have placed through all fifteen of the different locations, and then at that point you’ll count the total number of loot bags that you have won, with the winner being the party that has managed to bag the most loot. Though I’m not sure how that plays out if the Sheriff wins. I guess it’s one of these ‘don’t trust the cops’ things. Games are gong to be set up and played easily within 45 minutes, and as you get used to how the game plays and especially how the locations can effect proceedings then this is like to be a lot quicker.
High Noon Heist offers some solid gameplay, that contains enough variations between player powers and locations to give replay value that will likely see it come to the table at the beginning of a nights gaming. There’s some really clever touches that put it above your typical trick taking game with the combination of locations and player powers. The character cards give a slight Rango feel to the overall presentation and the illustrations and card art work well when they are laid out on the table. As with a lot of games that come in such a small pack, the rules are condensed, but still manage to successfully teach the game, including an example of play which is to be commended. All in all High Noon Heist packs a surprising amount of clever into such a small box. Yeehar Pardners..
Designer – Sam Barton
Publisher – Table For Two Games
The Kickstarter link can be found here
This preview is based on the prototype version of the game provided to us by the designer and publisher. We were not paid for this preview. We give a general overview of the gameplay and so not all of the mechanical aspects of the game may be mentioned. Quotations from this preview may possibly appear in relation to any marketing associated with this game.
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