Another year has passed and we have the second (Czech) edition of the BANG! Dynamite Box. In addition to the Unboxing video, in which I described my first impressions, I decided to write this review, supplemented with additional observations. So if you are still not sure if this edition is for you, read on...
(The reviewed piece was donated by the Czech publisher Albi, but the review is written without their input and represents the free opinions of the author. The images of the first edition were taken from the user primorf of the server zatrolene-hry.cz)
What exactly is Dynamite Box? This exclusive product celebrating the 21st anniversary of the card game BANG! is actually, perhaps slightly confusingly, two products: a filled and a stand-alone case.
Storage Box & Accessories (~50 €) contain a cardboard case with a plastic organizational solution, a wooden stick in the shape of Dynamite, 8 game mats and 35 wooden bullets for counting lives.
Filled box (~100 €) additionally contains the base game BANG! with all expansions released so far, 5 bonus characters, 2 High Noon cards, 2 blank cards and new complete rules .
It is also important to note that a similar product was released last year in Czechia/Slovakia, but did not include a new translation, new cards, or game boards and life tokens.
The briefcase itself looks exclusive and visually appealing, with a wooden texture, but you also have to look at it from the point of view of quality and practicality.
It is made of cardboard, slightly flexible especially on the sides, so it is questionable whether it can survive traveling. The lock is metal, but also slightly clumsy. In my case, the inner circle of the cardboard separated already on the second opening (apparently due to lack of glue). Albi promises a replacement in case of similar problems (I assume dvGames is the same), although this problem can probably be easily solved on your own.
Practicality is not helped by the considerable size of the case (40 cm × 25 cm × 10 cm), which does not even include a handle, not to mention its weight (~2.1 kg). From my experience, it is possible to make a more compact home solution, or try third-party solutions.
The plastic interior, with a separate compartment for each component, is covered by a plastic lid with the BANG! logo, which should not only protect the cards, but also to prevent their mixing. This inspires more confidence than cardboard, although perhaps too much, as the lid is difficult to open. On the upper part there is a thematic painting of a gunman in front of a canyon.
The base game and each expansion has its own department (only High Noon and Fistful are together), which should be able to take sleaved cards, and a tasteful organization card with the expansion logo. Smaller expansions come in closable transparent pack, other cards have more room for movement if not sleaved. Likewise, all tokens come in plastic resealable packs.
In the case of further expansions, this organization no longer provides many options. Specifically for cards of the latest expansion BANG! Legends, which should be released early next year, has a dedicated space above the rules, but the tokens will probably have to be saved with the bullers (under the rules). In addition, however, another expansion is planned, with elements of the story and the board game, for which there is probably no longer room. In both cases, you will also have to do without matching organizational cards.
Overall, I find this solution ideal for cases where the briefcase will sit on a shelf, e.g. for teahouses or camps, as it keeps all the cards together and at the same time can attract the attention of the guests.
Content and exclusive parts
Probably the most striking novelty for Czech players are the playing mats (~18 cm × 12.5 cm) with unique illustrations and the corresponding wooden cartridges for counting lives. Similar surfaces have been sold for years with the English-Italian version of the game (albeit with cardboard cartridges) or sold separately as BANG! Reloaded (in CZ/SK probably only available through Amazon). These surfaces have a place for a role card, characters and weapons + to count lives. Compared to the previous versions, the mats in this version have outlets so that the cartridges do not escape and one more place for the cartridge.
Another novelty is a wooden stick in the shape of dynamite. Similar piece was in the previous year's version, but this time a new game variant is invented for it: physical dynamite travels to the last player whose BANG! hit, and when someone draws a Dynamit card, it is automatically placed in front of that player. On the one hand, this forces Dynamite to be played and therefore prevents overly "safe" games, but it also feels like an ad hoc justification for an item that was previously purely aesthetic. In comparison, the Sheriff star of BANG! the Bullet has a clear role, without ad hoc rules.
The stations from The Great Train Robbery are also worth mentioning, which were published in the form of cards in the Czech edition, but here you can find them in a much more durable cardboard version (similar to the international edition).
Finally, there are new cards: 3 characters that came out in the English-Italian version Valley of Shadows, 2 promo cards and 2 blank cards (1 character card and 1 playing card). At the same time, if you have an older edition of Valley of Shadows, you can look forward to a second copy of the Ghost card. Similarly, there are bonus cards from BANG! the Bullet (3 characters and 2 High Noon cards), but in Czechia they are also available with the Fistful expansion.
The Czech translation has its advantages, but over the years various inconsistencies, outdated translations or even semantic errors have accumulated.
Let's start with purely visual changes. Tab text has a new typeface, with larger text aligned to the center. This helps readability, although it does look a bit comical on a few cards (especially on weapons). On the other hand, what has not changed are the names of the cards, which are taken from older translations: in the individual extensions, the format big Italian title + Czech subtitle alternates with the format big Czech title. The last little thing is the slightly different or missing symbols on the cards of The Great Train Robbery (in Czech it was published first).
What is perhaps the only fault of this piece is a slight shift of some cards (especially in High Noon) towards the left edge, but it is hard to tell is it a problem of all prints of Dynamite Box.
From the content point of view, a few corrections, e.g. card Thirst from the High Noon expansion. The card Abandoned mine remained in the original, more complicated version, both on the card and in the rules. Similarly, only some Valley of Shadows cards were updated (Colorado Bill, Tornado, Evelyn Shebang), the rest remained with the original meaning (Lemat...), supposedly out of respect for the original authors of the cards. Even so, I assume that the texts of these cards were changed in the international version for better balance, so it's not completely irrelevant.
The rules differ from English in several changes. The base game uses the rules from the latest translation, which includes additional examples and clarifications. What I have pointed out to them more than once is the exception to the number of lives for the Sheriff, which does not generally apply, but continues to appear in these rules. The High Noon and Fistful rules additionally include clarification of the cards that in English they don't, so I'm not sure where they came from (I assume from the FAQ). All of it is nicely laid out and supplemented with illustrations in the form of a single booklet.
Despite various minor flaws and inconsistencies, the filled briefcase is the best version of the Czech BANG!, since most of these problems apply equally, if not more, to the separate editions. If we also consider that the price is similar to the base game with all expansions, then for someone who wants to buy everything new, this is a very good deal.
On the other hand, an empty suitcase is a more subjective purchase. In my opinion, the case is not very practical, and the wooden stick can be replaced by any object for the needs of the new variant, so the most important are the playing mats and bullets, which you could possibly get cheaper from abroad. On the other hand, if you already have everything card BANG! related bought, you can always buy a full case and sell the cards - it might end up being the same as an empty case.
BANG! Dynamite Box therefore I give 4.5 dynamites out of 5!
Copyright © daVinci Editrice S.r.l., Via S. Penna 24, 1-06132 Perugia, Italy, All rights reserved.