How To Play: Colt Express – Setup, rule summary and strategy

This guide has taken you through the essential steps and strategies to become proficient at 'Colt Express.' We've covered understanding character abilities, planning ahead strategically, and the importance of adapting to the dynamic play actions of your opponents.


Welcome to the wild ride of ‘Colt Express’! Whether you’re a greenhorn or a known outlaw, this guide lays out the rules of the rails and strategies to guarantee your win. Inside, you’ll find a detailed rule outline coupled with tactical insights. We’ll ensure you’re adept at understanding key character abilities, expertly planning ahead, and deftly adapting to every unforeseen action. Get ready to rob this train with wit and strategy!

What’s in the box

  • 1 3D Train with 6 Cars
  • 6 Character Figurines
  • 60 Action Cards
  • 6 Character Cards
  • 36 Bullet Cards
  • 1 Locomotive
  • 13 Neutral Bullet Cards
  • 17 Round Cards
  • 18 Loot Tokens
  • 6 Wanted Poster Reward Tokens
  • 2 Hostage Tokens
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Colt Express: Rules Summary

Setting Up the Great Train Heist

Getting ready to plunder the Colt Express involves a few steps. First, assemble the train — each car for as many players. Punch out and place the loot: money bags, jewels, and the strongbox. Pick a character and its corresponding deck, figure, and loot. Everyone gets six Bullet cards to spice up opponents’ plans. Position your bandits on the last car. Don’t forget the Marshal, watching over the loot in the locomotive.

Mastering the Gameplay

  1. Each round has two phases: Schemin’, where each player plays action cards sequentially, and Stealin’, where these actions unfold simultaneously.
  2. Draw up to six cards into your hand, plot carefully, and stack the played action cards in the common pile — face up or down as the round dictates.
  3. Once all actions are laid out, experience the chaos of unanticipated action sequences during the Stealin’ phase. It involves movement, thievery, bullets flying, punching, and Marshal manipulation.
  4. Between rounds, Game rounds can introduce twists: tunnels (play actions face down), or speeding up (fewer actions).

Claiming the Title of Best Gun in the West

Want the most loot when the train hits the station? Be on top of the cash stack! Wall fun ends, count your treasures. Got pocketed the most loot by the end game watches you skip off into the sunset victorious. And don’t overlook the $1000 bonus for the gunslinger who fired the most bullets. Every dollar counts!

Special Rules & Game-Changers

  1. Characters boast unique abilities giving an edge — like shooting diagonally or pocketing extra loot. Knowing yours and others’ can flips the dynamics big time.
  2. Watch for special events each round could twist up your well-thought-strategems.
  3. Earning a Marshal’s reward, dodge those in their path, they’ll be handing out Bullet cards as souvenirs.
  4. Enduring Marshal’s wrath? Being on the same car when he barges in equates to gaining a sorry-looking bullet card for your deck.

Best Colt Express Strategies

Mastering the Unique Powers in Colt Express

Comprehending each character’s special abilities can decisively elevate your game in Colt Express. Each bandit brings individual talents to the chaotic heist.

Strategy Spotlight: Belle

  1. Audit situations where Belle’s untouchability maximizes loot snagging.
  2. Position Belle to avoid crowded carriage brawls.

Choosing Doc for a Heightened Advantage

By maximizing Doc’s card advantage, you can craft a reactive game plan with multiple contingencies.

Leveraging Cheyenne

  1. Prioritize skimming purses to harness Cheyenne’s dexterity in pickpocketing.
  2. Remember, Cheyenne thrives in close quarters—guide her accordingly.

Mastering Strategy: Anticipate to Dominate

When diving into the raucous world of ‘Colt Express,’ playing the long game is everything. Anticipation is your ticket to victory. Plan your moves with foresight, considering your opponents’ potential actions. Ready to outsmart them at every turn?

Assess Future Opportunities

  1. Look ahead, envision where other characters might move, and plan where to optimize your loot.

  2. Remember, trajectory can trump immediate gain—secure positions for future turns.

Anticipate Opponent Disruptions

  1. Predict rival moves, prepare to parry. Their intended havoc can turn to your strategic advantage.

Adapting Plans Mid-Game

  1. If the game shifts, be flexible. Adjust strategies as new gameplay unfolds around you.

Mastery Through Adaptation: Winning at Colt Express

Adaptability is critical in Colt Express. Every action by other players can disrupt your heist. As a seasoned player, I’ve learned ‘rolling with the punches’ turns tables to your advantage. This guide arms you with top-grade tactics:

    Analyzing Opponents

  1. Stay alert. Scrutinize your opponents’ patterns. No move is random. When they zig, you zag.
  2. Flexibility in Chaos

  3. The game is chaos management. When a plan falters, pivot swiftly. Keep an alternative path in mind.
  4. Utilizing Sudden Opportunities

  5. Rapidly exploit unexpected gains. Someone dropped loot? That’s your cue! A shift in gameplay sometimes offers a windfall.

Ride Off Into The Sunset Victorious

Throughout this guide, we’ve saddled up and journeyed through the vital strategies that’ll help you become the most notorious outlaw of the Colt Express universe. From understanding each character’s abilities to strategic planning, and adapting on the fly, mastering these techniques takes time, but it’s a heist worth committing to. Keep your fingers nimble, your mind sharper than a Bowie knife, and always remember the playful spirit of the Wild West. Now, gather your posse, set up your train, and get ready to ride toward your next thrilling game night adventure!

Want to know what we think of Colt Express? Read our detailed review of Colt Express here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.