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Store:  Card Games
Series:  Blue Games
Theme:  Cowboy / Western
Format:  Card Games


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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Family Game Nominee, 2005

Play Time Players
60 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Bruno Cathala

Manufacturer(s): Eurogames Descartes USA

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Product Description

This is the Wild West! The newly settled prairie where cowboys and Indians have frequent run-ins, where vigilante justice is the only kind of justice, where bank robberies are a daily occurrence, where the riches of hidden gold draw fortune hunters from near and far, where the saloons are populated by a motley crew of card sharks, con men, and everyday cheats. In short, this is a world ruled by the laws of the frontier, and even those are made to be broken. It is here, in this pitiless land, where you must try to make your ranch the biggest, most successful spread in the whole, wild, West, and earn yourself the respect a tough hombre like yourself deserves.

In order to build your ranch (and your reputation) you must take over the largest number of ranges, round up the most herds, assemble the largest number of cowboys and amass the most money possible. To reach this goal, you can act wisely, or call upon slightly more unsavory methods... in this environment, the ends ALWAYS justify the means. Just don't attract the attention of The Law....

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Game Nominee, 2005

Product Information


  • 117 Lawless Cards
  • 1 Six-sided Die
  • 60 Gold Pieces
  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Rule Book

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.8 in 4 reviews

Fantastically enjoyable
November 28, 2003

This is an enjoyable mixture of card games like Bohnanza and Witch Trial. The overall gameplay is easy to figure out (although there are several nuances in the rules to remember). It is a great game that involves ruthlessly selling out every one of your friends.

The scoring system in the game made it difficult to focus on who was winning at any given point. This actually made it quite nice because everyone enjoyed playing without worrying about who was in first.

As someone who plays many games, I found this to be one of the most enjoyable games I have played.

by Rob
Lawless is a great game ... fast paced and fun.
September 09, 2003

I played this game last night for the first time. I had never heard of it before but the group I was with at a recent Magic draft that never happened due to lack of participants, had it and the 5 of us decided to play.

The game took around an hour or so and was VERY enjoyable. Lots of fun learning a new card game, and entertaining. I didn't win, but had a great time. This is a game I will definately purchase for myself.

by Dr Jay
Head 'Em Up, Move 'Em Out!
February 18, 2004

As a fan of the Old West and from a state with rodeos, I always enjoy playing a Western card game or boardgame. From previous review reading, I discovered this game was better than most. The game lived up to its advertising.

The object of the game seemed to be the accumulation of ranches with prestige points being the governing factor. The game was played with the two-player version (up to six can play) of each player controlling two different ranches.

You receive three cards at the beginning. Five cards are turned over and kept replenished by moving the previous cards down to new and lower numbers on the game board labeled from 1 to 6. Each player can spend up to six action points on any one turn. After a thorough shuffling of the cards, it became apparent too many Scrub ranges were available from the point values of 1-6. If a player cannot afford a card from the game board of six rectangular spaces, the individual can draw the rest of the action points as cards. Let's say the individual cowhand spent three action points and prefers the rest in card draw. That is a legitimate move.

Along comes the nasty part of the game, the Surveillance Difficulty Index. Once the range cards are placed for the two different ranches of each player, cowboys have to maintain the herd. Usually, I drew greenhorn cowboys and was thankful for that draw. My partner drew and bought more experienced hands and veterans to maintain his herds. It is quite amusing to see the clever drawings of 'Poor Quality Herd,' reminding one of a cow out in the desert too long and ready for the buzzards. One prefers in the game the prize winning herds. However, as I discovered, if one does not have enough cowhands, the prize winning herd cannot be placed on the range. The Surveillance Difficulty requires the player to roll a die and compare that roll to the number of cowboys and fences already placed on the table. The number of herd cards and the die roll creates the surveillance index. If the player's result of the cowboys present is greater than the surveillance difficulty index, the herds are safe for that turn. Would you believe my partner (who always rolls for me in the game rules) created four sixes and my greenhorns did not have enough saavy to maintain the herds? I kept losing herds every one of those turns? To me, that is a slight flaw of the game when the die rolls so wreck the ability to build herds.

Anyhow, the first game (two were played)proceeded to a new level with my partner and me buying sneaky trick cards to even the playing ground. If one can afford the action points on the sneaky trick, your opponent may have difficulty maintaining certain herds. By this time, my opponent had successfully acquired veteran cowhands and substantial range holdings.

Therefore, we now ventured into saloon, railroad, cattle raid, and working girls cards, to name a few. For example, for five action points you can steal a herd from your opponent. For five action points and a saloon card you can cause your opponent to lose one of his cowboys. These cards and their cleverly drawn symbolism add to the momentum of the game.

The game ended mercilessly with my opponent scoring 20 points and my measly 5. I thought more points could be scored, but my gold mine card came too late in the game. As you probably guessed, the scoring values are arrived at with the largest number of ranges, herds, cowboys, and the wealth (gold coins) of the player. With players at the mercy of die rolls and ranges available on the game board, the game lost a little luster.

Still, I would play the game again, if, for no other reason, than improving the herds and finding better ranges. My partner did comment that he thought a secret to better play would be to pay more action points in each round to acquire better cowboys to manage those herds. In my own case, I bitterly looked at a hand with two prize winning herds that had no cowboys. Again, I was reminded of that famous saying from the television production, Rawhide, Head 'Em Up. . .

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