Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Chicago Way - The Rules

A great big box of awesomeness arrived on my doorstep this past week.  The box came with the models, rules, cards, markers, dice, vehicles, and buildings.  I also have vehicles from Sloppy Jalopy that will help add some more bling to the prohibition era table.

There will be several posts covering my progress with this new game, but to start I figured I would cover the rules.  If you are not familiar with Dead Man's Hand (DMH) you can check out my video on how that game plays here.  The Chicago Way (TCW) is 90% similar - but to that point the purpose of this post is to highlight the differences from DMH.

Before jumping into the rules highlights, there are two great links that should be checked out that I'll share here.  Both are from Ivor Evans over at the Saturday Mornings blog.  The first is his unboxing of his Chicago Way stuff - check that out here.  The second involves customizing the 4Ground warehouse into a Wrigley's factory - check that out here.

Customized Wrigley's factory by Ivor Evans
at the Saturday Mornings blog.

Ok, on to the rules!

The book is expertly put together and designed.  The art is beautiful.  The greatness in the system for both DMH and TCW is how straight forward the rules are while still delivering an abundance of tactical playability.

Perhaps the most notable difference in the rules as compared to DMH is the introduction of vehicles.  There are of course dedicated rules for vehicles, but they also have some minor changes to other game mechanics, such as how initiative cards are dealt out.  So let's break it down here:

  • When models are occupying a vehicles each model will get an initiative card normally but one additional initiative card will be given to the vehicle itself.  The "extra card" can be swapped out with any of the other initiative cards of the models that are in the vehicle (this isn't an extra activation, just an extra card option ... one initiative card will be discarded/unused).
  • The Joker works differently than DMH (and better IMO).  It still activates last but now there is an option to interrupt any activation during the turn to activate the model - the trick here is that if you interrupt then the model only gets two actions instead of the normal three.
  • Civilians are an inherent part of the game.  When they are out and about, each player puts an initiative card on a civilian - the higher initiative gets to activate the model.  Depending on if the activating player is good or bad the civilian will move differently.  Civilians only get two actions which both have to be used for movement.
  • Bad guys are ... well ... bad.  They get to draw extra cards into their hands when they kill civilians ... bad for business but good for your hand.
  • As one would expect there are shooting modifiers applied to shooting from a vehicle, at a vehicle, if the target is in a vehicle.
  • You can - most excellently - run people over in vehicles ... hehehehe ... looking forward to trying that!
  • The Tommy Gun is a welcome addition to the portfolio of weapons.  It can be brutal - for example, at point blank range if you use your three actions to shoot - shoot - shoot it will fire 9 dice!!  9!!  Dadadadadada, pow!
  • When you are driving a vehicle, if you do anything other than drive straight you have to take a test which if failed means you roll on a table.  Yes, you can crash - ka-boom!
Most everything else is the same as DMH.  Duck back and such ... jumping between gaps ... movement over obstacles and so on.

Hopefully this gives you a good feel for how the rules are different.  I'm just starting to dig into my box of goodies and I'm excited to start building/painting.


  1. Wow, thanks Jay! Absolutely floored that you put links to my blog up - "Made it ma! Top of the world!" :)

    Great overview! How crazy is the citizen rule; when the 'bad guys' kill a citizen they gain an extra card for their hand!!?? Madness!! Just about ready to give the rules their first test run here - just finished setting up a small table - can't wait to see how the vehicles play out. I can see how a dedicated driver, with a higher driving skill, will make it easier to pass tests.
    Looking forward to seeing what else you grabbed in your next posts!
    *interesting you got everything together, I'm still waiting on my 4Ground buildings box :( , kinda bummed, really wanted to start in on that garage/shop building straight away*

    1. You are welcome sir, well deserved :-) yeah, everything showed up at once for me. Lucky I guess :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks ... for the comment and the game! :-)

  3. Wonder should i get this or DMH. Any idea?

    1. It is a very fun game and doesn't require a large investment to get playing - highly recommended.