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Just because it’s a desert, that don’t mean it’s empty.

Scofflaws are brawling in the streets of Deadwood. The railroad is being built, and to you and the other gangs in the badlands of South Dakota, this means one thing: cold, hard cash. As a cowboy on the wrong side of the law you know just how to take control of this shanty-town: threaten, fight, and kill off your rivals.

Prepare to enter a world where the quickest way to solve your problems is with a bullet. Dust off your boots and grab your horse, because when the railroad finally arrives, the richest man in Deadwood will control everything!

Deadwood is a wild and wooly board game for 2-5 players with a quick and deadly twist on classic worker placement games that makes it a totally unique experience. Players control a gang of cowboys and send them into the vulnerable town of Deadwood to control businesses and collect as much money as they can. The player with the most cash at the end of the game is the winner!

Crime Can Pay

Your gang consists of three different classes of cowboys with different strengths: greenhorns, gunslingers, and trail bosses. Cowboys ride into town to gain control of (annex) buildings and fight other gangs’ cowboys in shootouts. You just ain’t much for sharing, but can you compete against the other gang leaders?

The town of Deadwood is plumb small at the beginning of the game, consisting of the Town Hall, the Church, the Sheriff’s Office, the Saloon, and four other randomly drawn buildings. Additional buildings are constructed whenever a cowboy annexes the Town Hall. Each building has at least one unique ability that is used immediately, with some buildings offering more long-term advantages. For example, the Undertaker building lets a controlling scofflaw gain money every time a cowboy turns into worm food.

A cowboy accesses these advantages by controlling the building. To gain control a player simply places one of his gang on a building tile, “annexing” it. Other gang leaders fixin’ to gain control of your buildings do so through a wrathy shootout.

A Town just Big Enough for One

The player that instigates the shootout receives a Wanted Poster token. So be careful not to be too blood-thirsty less ‘en you like losing money; the more cowboys you try to kill off the more Wanted Poster tokens you collect, and the higher the fine you must pay at the end of the game.

The defender may choose to “skedaddle” to the Abandoned Mine in the outskirts of town, but risks gaining a coward’s reputation. If the defender stays, the shootout is resolved with dice. If the defender dies, the attacker takes control of the building. If both cowboys survive, the attacker must flee to the Abandoned Mine and the defender keeps control. Of course, if the attacker is killed, the defender still retains control of the building. Which outlaw’s carrying a bullet meant for you?

Shootouts are forbidden wherever the Sheriff token is placed, a decision made by the player annexing the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff can’t compete with the gangs but he has the quickest draw this side of the Pecos, and his token will protect up to three buildings. Since your arrival this is the closest thing to peace that the Deadwood townsfolk have experienced.

Deadwood can end one of three ways: the Train Station is placed on the board once the railroad is built and completed, there are no more Wanted Poster tokens in the Crime Pool, or any player has no more cowboys alive. Did the end come too soon or are you sittin’ pretty on a hefty amount of cash?

When the game ends players must atone for the amount of Wanted Posters still in their possession through a fine. How much blood stains your hands? Once the players pay these fines, the player’s wealth is calculated and the player with the most money takes control of Deadwood and wins and any remaining gangs best make a hasty departure out of town.

Do you have the quickest draw? Or are you and yer yellow-bellied gang all gurgle and no guts? Find out in Deadwood!

Game Contents

Deadwood includes:

  • Rulebook
  • 1 Game board
  • Over 150 tokens
  • 8 black “outlaw” dice
  • 26 unique building tiles