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El Paso is an amalgamation of blind-bidding, push your luck and hand management. The players are bandits who are competing to see who can rob the best loot from seven Western towns that have lax law enforcement. Six different colors of crime scene cards are available, and players start with a hand of one each.
Players all start in the first town, Deadwood, then move on to the other towns later. In each town, several rounds are played as follows: Each player decides whether to leave town (pocketing some loot already stolen and converting other loot into nuggets) or stay in town to loot some more; in the latter case, you choose a card from your hand and play it face-down. Players reveal their cards, then one player rolls dice. If any of the five dice show a Sheriff's star, they're set aside; other dice prevent players from stealing at particular locations. As long as all five dice don't show Sheriff's stars (and other dicey conditions are met), players can loot their chosen locations.
If the star is showing on all dice, players still in town lose all of their loot -- but never their nuggets because they are safely concealed and the sheriffs aren't too bright. The best loot is at the bottom of the stacks, so players have a good incentive to stick around for more robbing. In addition, the later you leave town, the more of your loot tiles you can keep and not convert into nuggets. This is important as the exchange rate for loot/nugget conversion is poor in most of the towns. If you can hold on to the loot until the end of the game, however, you can convert loot to nuggets on a 1:1 ratio instead of 2:1 or worse. In addition, if you bring loot of a certain color to a new town that has no location of that color, you also get the 1:1 conversion ratio, which thus adds another factor to loot management.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com