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Killer Bunnies: and the Quest of the Magic Carrot is a game that people either seem to love or dislike. Fortunately, I really enjoy the game and have a group of folk (primarily teenagers) who are constantly clamoring to play it. Thus, when I got the first seven expansions, I was happy to play with them but was a little unsure of how to integrate them. So we added one deck and played, then played again, then added another deck and repeated. After dozens of plays, I now think that I can safely talk about each of the decks, and how they add to the gameplay. There are a couple of things common to each deck:
- First of all, if you hate Killer Bunnies, none of the expansions are likely to change your mind. More randomness is added, more powerful cards are included, more of the "silly" theme is promoted - stuff that fans of the game love, but detractors certainly do not.
- Each expansion comes in a small box that is sturdy and easily holds the cards; but all of which I discarded, as the first seven expansions all fit comfortably in the box.
- Some expansions are more interesting than others (I would rate them Orange, Pink, Red, Steel, Purple, White, and Green - in that order), but I really did enjoy them all.
- Expansions really should be added in order. You might get away with adding a future expansion (such as Twilight White) to your blue and yellow cards, but you'll run into "holes", and some of the cards simply won't make sense.
- It's fascinating how the designer had the larger picture in mind, and how they referenced future cards in each of the decks. With all seven expansions (I know that two more are still coming) it feels like a nearly complete game rather than some expansions that are tacked on.
Now for some specific comments on the Violet Booster Deck (Playroom Entertainment, 2003 - Jeffrey Neil Bellinger):
1.) More carrots are here! There are now twenty carrots in the game, which allows it to last longer - but not too much longer, since there is much more going on. Once again, the carrots have hilarious artwork on them.
2.) Five new bunnies have been added - introducing a new type of bunny, the "Specialty" bunny. When a player has three Specialty bunnies, they may play two cards a turn instead of one. This is actually easily possible, because one of the cards has three specialty bunnies (Fabulous Bunnies), which counts as three specialty bunnies, and two of them count as two specialty bunnies. Each of the cards is a parody of someone or something (The Greatest American Bunny, Bunnyheart, etc.) - adding some humor to the game. At first I wasn't sure how I would feel about the single specialty bunnies, but then I realized that they couldn't be targeted by color-specific cards. The specialty bunnies tend to speed the game up, which is a good thing in my book (it tends to balance the four new carrots).
3.) A twenty-sided die is added to the game, which is used in the future for weapons and other cards. However, it's a bit odd, since most of the cards in this set do not utilize the die. Most of the cards that require the twenty-sided die are in future sets, so it's good to get it now, I suppose.
4.) More Kaballa Dollas, more weapons, and more of many original cards are added (or variations - like the hexdruple lucky clover). I particularly like the names of the weapons in this set, like the "Crow Bar", showing a bunch of birds hanging out at their favorite joint, or the Curry Spiced Poppadoms, which simply sound terrifying. Anti-Matter Raisins are also included, which kill any bunny they're played on (as well as all bunnies within four spaces), giving us a good card to take care of that annoying Holographic Bunny!
5.) The violet expansion doesn't add a whole lot of new stuff, but there are several interesting cards, such as:
- Ancient Star Rod - which can help defend against weapons, although an unlucky die roll can cause it to do double strength and hit more bunnies.
- Reversal of Order - it's about time that we added a "Reverse" card to the game; except this one allows the player whose turn it is to go twice in a row!
- Random Paintball Assault - changes a bunnie's color to a new, random color (occasionally killing the bunny). If the bunny turns red (hooray!) or pink (even more hooray!), they gain the special ability of that bunny (although you'll probably have to look it up to remember what it is).
- Bunny Booster - changes a bunny to red, giving them that ability. Better than the random paintball assault.
- Bunny Exchange: Allows a player to trade one of their bunnies for two of the opponents. When combined with the Special and Red bunnies, you can get a good deal here!
- Insight: Allows a player to look at the top five cards of the small carrot deck. This is an extremely useful card, as it basically tells you five carrots that are worthless. Knowing 25% of the carrots that aren't winners will greatly help a player out, making this one of my favorite cards of the expansion.
- Bunnies in Black: Protects a player's bunnies form Alien abductions, which is fairly useful. I mention it, however, because it has the best artwork of any card in the game.
The Violet expansion, while introducing Specialty bunnies, is probably going to be most interesting to players for the special cards. There are not a whole lot of new things added here, but there are a lot of cards which allow players to take some pretty nifty actions. The best thing I can say about the Violet deck is that it's one of the easiest for new players to absorb. You can probably add the Red and Violet decks to the basic game at the same time and not have too many problems. Violet - easy and interesting.
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