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boxed edition

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 3-8

Designer(s): James Ernest, Rick Fish

Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

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Product Description

There are two types of actors in this world. There are those who act because they can, and those who do it because they can do nothing else. You're the third kind: you act in spite of the fact that you can't. The world's worst variety of hack, talentless yet illogically persistent.

And you seem to live at Deadwood Studios, a Western-a-Week schlock movie house with no illusions about their role in the business. Budget, Script, Quality, and Originality. Who needs 'em? Deadwooders can make movies day and night. It's the perfect place to do that thing you call "work."

Game Synopsis: Players use 6-sided dice to represent themselves, starting as "2's" and trying to earn enough credit to upgrade to "6's," to get the best-paying roles. Upgrading is just a means to an end, however. The actual object of the game is to make the most money, and it's not unheard of for hardworking actors to just stay at 2 (or even 1) and get enough paying work to win. However your career evolves, Deadwood is quick-playing and hilarious. Where else can you play Man on Fire, Woman in Black Dress, and Falls Off Roof in the same afternoon?

Product Information

  • Designer(s): James Ernest, Rick Fish

  • Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

  • Artist(s): Phil Foglio

  • Year: 1999

  • Players: 3 - 8

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 179 grams

  • In order to play Deadwood, you will have to provide One 6-sided die for each player, several more 6-sided Dice, and Play money.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 2.2 in 6 reviews

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I think I saw Tina Yothers on the set....
December 13, 2000

Many of the Cheapass games I have played relied on humor for most of the fun. Unfortunately, after reading the cards and chuckling once or twice, the game is no longer fun. There are a few exceptions. Deadwood is one of them (The Very Clever Pipe Game and Parts Unknown are also more lasting beyond the humor). However, let me make this disclaimer first. Deadwood is advertised for 3-8 players, but I would never recommend it for anything under 6 players; it just doesn't work right. It is true that about 90% of your turns will be nothing more than rolling one 6 sided die once. However, the result of that roll potentially helps others while hurting still others. So, there tends to be much heckling or encouragement from other players.

I feel I must correct the reviewer from Athens. There is never a time when one person must roll a 6 four times in succession (in a row). I fear this reviewer may have misread the rules or miscommunicated. This is an important point for the enjoyment of the game because on the movies that are tougher to 'wrap', many players can work together to wrap it; each one of their rolls contribute to the potential end of a shot.

Under the right mood and circumstances, this game is entertaining. With too few players (<6) or when in a more serious mood, the game becomes a monotonous series of die rolls.

Much better with the expansions.
April 15, 2001

Deadwood is funny. Very funny. It's got a neat concept, great artwork, and it's just plain funny. It plays okay, but it's just not quite 'Yay! We get to play Deadwood!' good. Not by itself, anyway.

The idea is pretty easy to grasp, and there is a certain amount of strategy to be had: When working on a film, you can work as an extra in the background, or have an actual speaking line. If you're just an extra, you get paid $1 every turn, regardless of whether or not any progress is made on the shot. If you're a credited actor, you can really rake in the dough once you get a better rank, but you only get paid when the film wraps. Essentially, this means that a lot of people will play bit parts on expensive films (which are harder to wrap) and bleed the studios for $1 per turn until they feel they've had enough.

Enter Another Day, Another Dollar. There are four such expansions for the game and, appropriately enough, each one represents a single day in the game and costs a mere dollar. The variety represented in these expansions freshens the game up, adding special effects, and random opportunities for advantages. The Kung Fu set contains a card which essentially turns you into Jackie Chan, giving you a cult following, while the Musical set contains a card which makes everyone get paid mondo moolah.

I went ahead and plonked down the dough for all four expansions, and played without the original Deadwood cards, and a grand time was had by all. 5 stars for the Another Day sets.

by David
You outa be in pictures
April 07, 2000

There is not a whole lot to this game but it is fairly fun to play. You are a bit actor at the Deadwood Studios, the worst B movie studio in America. You try to get a part in as many movies as possible to make as much money as possible over a four day period. You are trying to score the best parts in the scenes or get a part as an extra. You get paid when the shot is done and you hope it will not take too long so you can go grab another part in a different scene. If you get a part as an extra you do not get paid as much but you get paid more often so it can benefit you if the scene runs long. You can also visit the casting office and use your experience to get better roles. Just don't let anyone steal a scene because then you will not get the best parts. Not great but not bad either and you cannot go wrong with the price.

Boring, never ending dice roller.
April 08, 2005

I'm not one to just go around bashing a game, as I love so many different types of games. I try and give all games a fair shake and be honest that even if I don't like the theme or maybe the mechanics don't fit my personal gaming style it's still not a bad game.

Deadwood is a bad game.

I got suckered and feel it my duty to write this review to simply say BUYER BEWARE! I'm certain there are people out there who like this game. (None of them are in my gaming group however.) There has to be, because there are people out there who like Yahtzee and with as much dice rolling as you do in this game that's the best compaison I can make...except by comparison Yahtzee is extremely fun, superbly challenging, immensly strategic and borderline euphoric.

The game has one plus and that's the interesting mechanic of the cards sliding on the board. I did think that was pretty neat...but still did not make the game fun in any fashion. The endless rounds of roll dice, nothing happens, roll dice, nothing happens, roll dice, Bob earns $1, roll dice nothing happens. It wears a player down to the point that despite the fantastic theme of the game there is no fun left.

I truly feel this game could be overhauled into a good game. It doesn't appear that Cheapass has any intentions of this however. I've played other Cheapass games and had fun. I've played other Cheapass games and not had that much fun. This is the bottom of the barrel as far as my Cheapass experience goes. Think twice before you pick this one up.

The Starter that Never Ends
December 13, 2000

I had the unfortunate opportunity to play this game at a local gaming group the other night.

Unfortunate because by the time we got into round three, I was envious of the other people around me playing deeper and much more exciting games than this dice-fest they call Deadwood (the name sorta fits too)... and we had one more tedious round to go... and we had already been playing this blasted game for an hour.

The object of the game is to star in and finish as many motion pictures as you can. You do this by landing on a space, turning over the card and if your prestige is high enough, taking a role. If you get a main role, you will get more money when the film completes. If you get an extra role, you will get a minimum wage each turn and have the opportunity to steal films and lower the prestige of other people who are starring in it.

You do this by rolling a die and hoping your roll is equal to or higher than a number on the card. If you meet this condition, you advance the film to its next shot, or it wraps. If it wraps, you get to roll several dice to see how well it pays.

Unfortunately there are several times when everyone is just rolling dice over and over again hoping to get that 6.

Not only, that, you can only move one... space... at... a... time... and if you want to raise your prestige you must waste about six turns to get to the casting office.

The game lasts for four rounds. Each round is completed when all but one of the eight films is completed. I had misunderstood and thought we only had to play three rounds. Imagine the look of terror on my face when it was announced we had one more to go.

At this point I just started taking the extra rolls so that I could get all the movies wrapped and end the game as quickly as possible.

Just in case you didn't understand, I didn't like this game and would not recommend it to anyone.

If you want to try it out, I suggest getting a die out and rolling them over and over again until you get a six as this is what this game amounts to.

Poor game.
December 12, 2000

While the price is very inexpensive and the game concept has a lot of potential, in actual play it was total bore. The game took a long time to play with much of it involving the rolling of a six-sided dice repeatedly. The movie scenes themselves tried to be clever, but ended up falling flat when you realized that you would have to roll a six on a six-sided day four times in succession to get paid. I would not recommend this game to someone.

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