Chris Game Gumshoes
True Blood: Night Eternal
MFG: Cryptozoic Entertainment
#of Players: 2 - 5
Age Range: 15+
Overall Construction: Guess what guys? It's a card game. Box is solid and tight for now. Rulebook is a glossy booklet style book with a quick reference sheet on the back. All examples and rules are clear, but make sure you read the rules all the way through or you'll end up confused like I did initially. The cards shuffle well, but the Immortals deck is a little small so it takes some maneuvering.
Gameplay: True Blood: Night Eternal is your basic bidding & essentially trick taking game. The set up is basic. Each player is given 15 Blood Beads per player. So 2 player 30 each, 3 - 45, 4 - 60, & 5 - 75. Blood beads are like poker chips in that the White/clear ones are 1point, Red ones are 5 points, & the Black ones are 10 points. Each player also get a flip token that says The Monarchy on one side & The Authority on the other. They are also given 5 Agent Cards (Blue Back) and 1 Immortal Card (Maroon/Blood colored back). The remainder of the 2 decks will go to the center of the table along with an Authority Token on one side and a Monarchy Token on the other side of the decks. Make sure to leave enough room for discard piles.
When all of the setup is complete the first thing you'll do is flip over an Immortal Card. Flipping this card tells you home much Blood you will need to ante per battle. You will put an equal amount of blood onto the Card with the faction that matches the faction name that appears at the bottom of the Immortal card that was flipped. You then take half of that number and place it on the opposing faction square.
Guess at this point I should cover what is on each card. There are 5 main things on the card face. The number, it is the Strength of your card. The picture of what the character looks like. Under the picture is the Name of the character. Below that is the Effect of the card. Then under the Effect Box is the Faction Name, under the Lillith card the is not a faction listed. This is because Lillith can be of either faction, but once her faction is chosen she must remain that faction for the duration of the battle.
Now it is your turn to decide what strategy you want to play. Since you will be playing till all of the blood pools empty. Do you go after the Ante Pool with the most blood in it or do you go after the other one because most everybody will be going after the most blood. You can change up which pot you will go after in mid play but it will prevent you from getting bonuses. To win a pool you will want to have the most Strength Points for that specific faction. Since you will have three battles to build your points then if after you play the first card you see that everybody else has gone with “The Authority” The next card you play could be a Monarchy card. That will give you the upper hand on the Monarchy pool. Some cards make you pay out blood, some cards allow you to take blood, some allow you to add more cards to your hand, and some other cards allow you to move blood from one pool to the other.
You can only activate the powers on your card if you are the first person to play a card or if the card before yours is of an equal or lower power rating. So, if you're not worried about being able to use the Effect of the card then you can play a high level card to make sure you take the pool.
Like I said in the beginning you will repeat this process until only one player has Blood left.
Yes/No Recommend: Here are my thoughts. As a game of bidding and trick taking it's a really simple game that is easy to play. I managed to teach 3 people how to play this, the night I got it in, in the middle of a dark and loud bar. This might even be better than Rowboat and I really liked it.
Now, if you're buying this game because it has “True Blood” thinking it has something to do with True Blood the tv show. You would be wrong. This game has some familiar names but only one from the tv show. This game has less resemblance to the show than the show had to the books.
This game would have been better off having a White Wolf Vampire name slapped on it. I also don't think that the age recommendation is anywhere near accurate. I would let a 10 yr old play this game. I did not see anything in the game that should limit it to age 15+.
Where To Get It: I got my copy from Rockin' Rooster Comics and Games. They are the specialty shop I do the most work with. They received this game as a demo copy. So the first place I recommend you go to to get a copy of this game is your local game/comic/specialty shop.
Of course you can always go to online retailers or to Cryptozoic's website at http://www.cryptozoic.com/games/night-eternal-card-game
-=::) Dante (::=-
#of Players: 2 - 5
Should be 3-5 Players, thanks for the review!