Updated: Oct 24, 2020
If you're on the lookout for a quick-to-play two-player duelling game then Redwell Games have just what you need. Designed by Tom Lovewell, Six Gun Showdown uses cards and custom dice to stage a Wild West gunfight.
The game comes with six decks, each of 15 cards. Each deck is slightly different, representing the six different Western trope characters to choose from in the game. Likewise, each has a six-sided die but these too differ between characters in their mix of values.
Six Gun Showdown is played over three rounds. Each round, players select the six cards they will be using and they lay these face down in a row. The game involves a degree of memory (and later, dexterity) so you'll want to remember where you've placed your cards, especially any of those that allow you to draw your six gun.
This game eschews the usual nonsense over how to choose the first player: there's none of this, 'player who most recently watched a Western' or 'the player who last wore a Stetson'. In Six Gun Showdown, the first player is simply the player who goes first (ie: who makes the first move and turns over one of their cards). Players will then be taking turns to flip cards for their effect - mostly modifiers for speed and accuracy when the players' draw cards appear. Once a player flips a draw card, the 'dexterity' element kicks in: the player who drew tries to touch an unplayed opponent's card before they do. If they succeed, they get off a first shot: they roll their dice and modify the result according to the positive and negative accuracy cards in play. If their total is 6 or more, their opponent is hit and that round ends. If the 'defending' player touches the draw card they want to play ahead of the shooter, then the speed modifiers determine who shoots first.
It's a simple enough filler-length game that is never likely to overstay its welcome. If it takes you much more than 5 minutes to complete three rounds then you're probably playing it wrong. :-)
The speed of Six Gun Showdown fits fully with the game's theme, and the different mixes of cards and die faces for each of the characters help to keep the game fresh. We had a blast with Six Gun Showdown - and we came out pistols blasting. You can load up the game yourself right now by moseying down to Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redwellgames/six-gun-showdown.