A match is a segment of gameplay in Bang! Howdy that can be played in the saloon or hideout. Matches have settings that allow a player to choose how many rounds the match will consist of, the number of players that may participate, whether the match is ranked or unranked, and whether the match consists of competitive or cooperative scenarios.
This setting allows the player to select the number of opponents they wish to play against.
A match consists of one to three rounds. The number of rounds in a match is displayed at the beginning of each round, along with the scenario, board name, and whether the match is ranked or not. Rounds are divided into segments of time called ticks. Each individual round in a match can take place on a different board and consist of a different scenario than other rounds in the same match; this selection is random.
The length of a round depends on two factors: the amount of units (excluding Big shots) that each player can bring, and the duration setting (note that these can only be set in back parlors). Normally, the amount of ticks in a round is the quantity 300/(amount of units+1). Setting the duration of a game to "Long" increases this amount by 30%, while setting it to "Quick" decreases it by 30%. A table of this relationship follows:
A ranked match is played between multiple players for ranking, and the rounds of a ranked match are unable to be modified. All ranked matches consist of normal length rounds that move at normal speed. 2 player matches allow 4 units for each player, while 3 and 4 player matches allow 3. This causes 2 player matches to automatically consist of fewer ticks than 3 and 4 player matches.
Scenarios fall into one of two categories: Competitive and Cooperative scenarios. A ranked match can be set to either play only competitive scenarios, cooperative scenarios, or either. Competitive matches refer to scenarios that require players to attack each other for objectives, while the cooperative mode of Forest Guardians requires players to work together towards a common goal.
Leaving a ranked match
As a ranked match is played for rank, there are stiff penalties to leaving a ranked match before it is completed. If a player leaves a ranked game early, their rank will drop, and scrip that they earn from subsequent games will be reduced. If a player's opponent leaves a ranked match early, the match will end prematurely. The quitter's point total will be reduced to zero, and any cards that the player may have used during the match will be returned to their inventory. Finally, the player who stayed will receive scrip based on the amount of the match completed.
An unranked match allows for much more customization than a ranked match; however, playing an unranked match has no affect on a player's ranking. Unranked matches can only be formed in back parlors or gang tables in the Hideout. In an unranked game, rounds can be modified in a number of ways:
- Scenario - Allows the player to choose which scenario to play.
- Unit number - The number of units granted to each player during the round.
- Duration - Affects the number of ticks in a round.
- Speed - Affects the speed of a tick.
2 vs. 2
Another option for unranked matches is a 2 vs. 2 match. This type of match consists of two teams of two fighting against each other; each team will have a different color assigned to it; one red, one blue. All of the scenarios in Frontier Town are available in this form. In a 2 vs. 2 match, each player's points on a single team will be combined into a team score.
The range of a match refers to the amount of variation a player wishes in the ranking of their opponents. There are three options:
- Near my Rank - Matches the player's rank as closely as possible.
- Looser Match - Matches the player up to ranks further from their own.
- Anyone - Matches the player up with anyone else, regardless of rank.
At the beginning of a match, each player will set up their team through a set of three windows. The first window prompts the player to select which big shot they will use in the match. The second allows for selection of the units for the match, and the third allows the player to pick up to three cards to bring into the match. There is a sixty second time frame in which a player is able to complete their selection; if the player is unable to finish within that time, they forfeit the match. When a player has completed their selections, a star will appear to the left of their avatar at the bottom of the screen. While the match is being played, this star is replaced by the player's position.
During a match, the majority of the screen will be taken up by the board the match is being played on. The rest of the screen will be taken up by the user interface.
In the upper right hand corner, a steam pressure gauge that represents the length of the round will appear. As time goes by, the needle on the gauge will move clockwise, leaving a blue highlight behind it. Near the end of the round, when the gauge turns red, a message that says "Giddy Up" will flash onscreen.
In the upper left hand corner, graphics that represent a player's units in the match will appear. This graphic shows the amount of ticks in the unit's tick counter, and the amount of health each unit has. Clicking on each individual graphic will select the unit, and display the exact percentage of health a player's unit has, and an arrow to the right of the percentage will open a window with more detailed information on the unit, such as its make, mode, movement and firing ranges, and offensive and defensive bonuses. When a unit dies, the corresponding graphic will fade until that unit respawns.
At the bottom of the screen, a box for every participating player will appear. This box shows the avatar of a player with their name underneath. The background color of the portrait corresponds to the color of the player's units. To the right of the player's avatar, the player's point total is displayed, and the three card slots available to a player, which fill with pictures of the cards chosen prior to the match or picked up during the match. Just above the left-most box, there is an area where all chat and in-game notices will appear.
End of a match
At the end of a match, a "Game Over" message will flash onscreen, and the results screen will appear. The results screen consists of two sections: View Stats, and Results.The first View Stats window gives a breakdown of the points awarded in the match to each player. There are three categories of points shown:
- Scenario Points - The number of points received based on the scenario's objective.
- Damage Points - The number of points received for damage dealt to opposing units.
- Bonus Points - The number of points received for picking up bonuses.
The Detailed Statistics screen.
When the arrow labeled "More" at the bottom of the window is clicked, a detailed breakdown on various statistics will appear, such as the amount of damage dealt by a player, or the number of units a player lost. In each category, the highest value is marked with yellow numbers.
The final Placement screen.
The Results window is reached by pressing the "Results" button at the bottom of the View Stats window. This interface shows the placement of all players in the round, along with the Friendly Folk interface in the lower right hand corner of the other player's portraits. At the bottom of the player's screen, their rewards will be displayed. Clicking on a player's name in this window will allow you the same options as if you clicked on their avatar in the saloon: viewing their wanted poster, inviting them to be your pardner, to join your gang, or placing them on your ignore list.
Rewards for completing a match differ based on whether the match was ranked or unranked. Unranked matches only offer scrip as a reward, but Ranked matches offer aces and badges as well. On the left side, a box shows the amount of scrip won, a purse(if applicable), the total reward, and the player's final balance of scrip, as well as any aces earned. To the right of this box, if the player earned a badge, it will be displayed in a separate box.
The amount of scrip earned is variable, depending on the number of players, the player's position in the match, and the length of the match. Scrip rewarded is based on the overall placement of the player in a match, not individual rounds. Detailed information for the reward for an individual normal length round is shown in this table:
The amount of scrip earned for a round is 30% more if the length of the round was set to "Long" and 30% less if set to "Quick." For a multiple-round match, a player will receive 2 or 3 times the scrip reward for their placement, depending on how many rounds were played. Forest Guardians is an exception to these rules, being based not only on a player's placement, but on the team's rank as a whole.
In the event of a Tied match, the player with the higher kill count will win. If the kill count is the same, the winner will be random.