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Players: 2 - 5
Time: 90 - 225 minutes
Weight: 820 grams
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
Like most AH games, Gangsters is not a 'light' game. It comes complete with seven pages of small-font rules (similar in complexity to Merchant of Venus). Plan on spending a few hours playing it. (The box says playing time is 45 minutes per player.) Each player controls a gang during the Roaring 20s. Your gang includes a racketeer (for purchasing property), a thug (for extortions and shootouts), and a vamp (for seduction of rival gang members). The game board looks somewhat like the bird's eye view of properties in Chinatown. Each turn you roll five colored dice and have only two minutes (timer not included) to figure out how best to move your racketeer (green die), thug (black die), vamp (red die), cop (blue die), and public (white die). There are plenty of strategic decisions to be made and the timer keeps play moving right along. You win by controlling ten properties (joints), or controlling all properties of the same color group, or by earning $10,000. With these three victory conditions it is not always clear who is in the lead--a nice feature.
Now for the real surprise. Gangsters comes complete with a squirt gun! Its use is optional, but I highly recommend it to spice up the game. I quote from the rules, "12.8 Crime Does Not Pay: Each time a player loses a gangster strength point in a Shootout, he may be 'shot' with the squirt gun as an added incentive to avoid Gang Wars or Shootouts with the Cops."
Gangsters is for 2-5 players but works best with four. If five play, the fifth player controls the cops (instead of a gang). In all of our 5 player games, the cop never won but sure had fun with the squirt gun!
Just seeing the shock of your fellow gamers when you unveil the squirt gun is worth the purchase price.