Nature of the Beast
2006 World Championships
GASPCon, Pittsburgh, PA
Eye-Level Entertainment returns to our ‘convention homebase’, GASPCon, for the third NOB world tourney. Jordan, our two year reigning champ, was back to defend his title against some tough new competition.
[SUPER BRIEF GAMEPLAY SUMMARY - ‘Nature of the Beast’ is a card game featuring factions of animals facing off in a secret battle for supremacy in the shadows of humanity. The overall goal is for players to fill a 3x3 grid with animals and each turn players get three actions to work toward this goal. Animals begin in a row called the ‘Pen’ to then be recruited into the 3x3 ‘Field’. If an Animal card is used and tilted, they do not untilt automatically; an action must be spent to reactivate the Animal. Trick cards are miscellaneous events and resources a player can use to further their own victory or impede other’s plans. Players keep track of two tallies: Favor (good) and Fury (bad). If Fury every reaches 10, the player is automatically eliminated from the game. While ‘Nature of the Beast’ is a NON-collectable card game, there are rules to support deck customization. Visit www.nobthegame.com for more info about ‘Nature of the Beast’!]
Eight players pair off in an elimination round to determine the final four to move into the championship round.
- Dakotah “Crazy Like a Fox” would best Kevin “I Was a Contender in 2005”
- Jonathan “The Quiet Kid” would best Randy “I Could Get Used to This”
- Keith “I Hate Atomic Fireballs” would best Tim “I’m Getting the Hang of It”
- Jordan “The Lance Armstrong of NOB” would best Andrew “Beastly”
Jordan fields a mixed city/suburb deck called “Urban Sprawl”.
Dakotah brings his mostly farm deck dubbed “Killing Chicken Clan”.
Jonathan packs a stock city deck.
Keith revealed his custom city/everything else deck, “Melting Pot”.
The first player, determined by random draw, is Jordan followed by Dakotah, Jonathan and finally Keith.
Turn 1: “The first turn”
The first animal to enter Jordan’s Urban Sprawl is a Pampered Poodle. The Poodle basks in its perfection for a moment, then saunters further into Jordan’s field with Jordan picking up an extra Trick to round out his turn.
Dakotah recruits Lukas the Battle Rooster [Legend] and stocks up on Tricks.
Jonathan scares up a lowly City Mouse who promptly scurries to the front of his field.
Keith grudgingly defers animals Baron Kozel [Legend] and the Family Dog for a later turn, shuffling them back into his deck instead of trying to muster the Clout for such expensive animals and grabs a Trick to end his turn.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 1, Dakotah – 1, Jonathan – 1, Keith – 0
Turn 2: “Let’s get this party started”
Jordan, not to be outdone by Dakotah, recruits the sewer alligator Grendel [Legend] and gives the Poodle a chance to catch its breath and untilt.
Dakotah shakes Lukas out of his pre-battle meditation long enough to employ his assistance in recruiting a Taskmaster Sneaky Horse [Leader card paired with an Animal]. Dakotah also snags another Trick card.
Jonathan’s City Mouse is soon joined in the front row by a powerful Police Canine.
Keith finds a willing Alley Cat and also picks up another Trick.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 2, Dakotah – 2, Jonathan – 2, Keith – 1
Turn 3: “The gathering storm”
Jordan recruits an unimpressive Garden Snake, who immediately flees the field but not before recruiting a Police Canine [Garden Snake’s special ability].
Dakotah maneuvers his animals around and recruits a Stubborn Mule.
Jonathan reveals Grendel [Legend] in his Pen. Since only one copy of a Legend may be in play at any time in the game, Jonathan chooses to defer him for later. Instead Jonathan hires the Pampered Poodle and all the trappings of humanity that come with him [Poodle includes a Favor bonus].
Keith encourages a Veteran Wolverine to fight for him and then prepares his animals for future action.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 3, Dakotah – 3, Jonathan – 3, Keith – 2
Turn 4: “First strike”
Jordan finds yet another Garden Snake. This one flees and recruits a real bruiser: a Duelist Family Dog [Leader card paired with an Animal]. The Family Dog wastes no time in attacking Dakotah’s Sneaky Horse Taskmaster. The Sneaky Horse managed to get a peak at the Tricks up Jordan’s sleeve [Sneaky Horse’s special ability] before being trashed in battle. The Family Dog trots back home to his doghouse, gaining no Fury due to the disarming demeanor [Family Dog’s special ability].
Dakotah, smarting from his loss, responds with a powerhouse recruitment of his own: a Raging Bull.
Jonathan quietly recruits two more soldiers; a Lab Rat and an Organ Grinding Monkey.
Keith follows with his own double recruitment: an Alley Cat and a Sewer Rat.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 4, Dakotah – 3, Jonathan – 5, Keith – 4
Turn 5: “Skirmish and deployment”
Jordan’s troops convince a young human, the Condor Scout [Human card], to brief his troops about risks in the enemy’s territories. The Duelist Family Dog zeroes in Jonathan’s City Mouse and trashes the little guy in another battle without Fury gain (surely the humans should’ve noticed something by now!).
Dakotah recruits a Pesky Gopher and it soon helps to claim the Corn Field [Location with defensive bonus].
Jonathan maneuvers some animals and hires a Chimney Swift to replace the lost City Mouse.
Keith moves his animals to make room for a Pampered Poodle recruitment to boost his Favor with humanity.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 4, Dakotah – 4, Jonathan – 5, Keith – 5
Turn 6: “The poodle that ran away”
Jordan recruits a Poodle of his own. His forces press toward the front as his Duelist Family Dog equips a Smoke Canister [Item].
Dakotah recruits his second Raging Bull and attacks Jordan’s Pampered Poodle. Jordan plays ‘Step Aside’ [Event card] and the Poodle flees in shame to be replaced by Grendel the sewer alligator! The Raging Bull falls alone in the shadows of the Urban Sprawl.
The battle success of Jordan is not lost on Jonathan, who quietly moves his animals into better positions.
Keith recruits a Ferret Fatale and readies his army for future actions.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 5, Dakotah – 4, Jonathan – 5, Keith – 6
Turn 7: “A brush with victory…”
Jordan’s Duelist Family Dog grins through his bloody teeth and eliminates Keith’s Sewer Rat in one gulp.
Dakotah presses both a Charming Pig and a Nomadic Sheep into service.
Jonathan sprints for the finish line, recruiting an Alley Cat and an adorable Abandoned Kitten. He ends his turn only one animal from victory.
Keith launches an attack with his Wolverine against one of Jonathan’s Sewer Rats. Keith forms a temporary alliance with Jordan (who ate one of his animals earlier this turn) against Jonathan to easily trash Jonathan’s Lab Rat. Keith concludes his turn with the recruitment of the magnificent Baron Kozel [Legend] to the collective groan of the rest of the players.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 5, Dakotah – 6, Jonathan – 7, Keith – 6
Turn 8: “…turns into a bruise.”
Jordan follows up with an attack of his own against front-runner Jonathan. His Pampered Poodle pounces on Jonathan’s Chimney Swift and then plays ‘Shift the Blame’ [Event card] to deflect the Fury gain onto Dakotah… who oddly seemed only too happy to accept it!
Now Dakotah’s troops have amassed enough Fury to cross into the dangerous realm of Dark Nature [Fury of 5 or above]. With a sinister smile, Dakotah maneuvers his animals into an attack formation.
Jonathan moves his animals around to fill in the holes created by the Jordan-Keith alliance.
Keith isn’t done pounding on Jonathan yet. His Alley Cat moves in to eliminate Jonathan’s Abandoned Kitten. Keith also plays ‘Clever Ruse’ [Event card] to force Jonathan to commit even more animals to the defense of the doomed kitten.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 5, Dakotah – 6, Jonathan – 6, Keith – 6
Turn 9: “Dark clouds on the horizon”
Jordan’s shamed Pampered Poodle would serve a greater purpose after all. Jordan plays ‘Framed’ [Event card] and trashes his Poodle only to blame the act on the increasingly evil Dakotah [Fury gained by Dakotah]. His Duelist Family Dog is then dispatched to eliminate Dakotah’s Nomadic Sheep.
Dakotah reciprocates by playing ‘Framed’ [Event card] on his own his Pesky Gopher to put the blame on Jordan! His remaining Raging Bull equips some Poison [Item card] and kidnaps a Human Child [Item card] to keep the humans at bay! To complete his evil schemes, he recruits a Petty Criminal [Human card] to work some underhanded influence for him.
Jonathan commands his troops to unite and recruit the escaped lab chimpanzee, Kongo [Legend].
Keith gives Jonathan no quarter, however, and Baron Kozel disposes of Jonathan’s Family Dog.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 4, Dakotah – 4, Jonathan – 6, Keith – 6
Turn 10: “A bad turn to be a legend”
Jordan unleashes Grendel in a betrayal his recent ally, Keith, and kills Baron Kozel! Jordan’s Police Dog reflects on the carnage with ‘Penance’ [Event card] to drop Jordan’s Fury.
Dakotah’s troops ‘Kidnap’ [Event card] Jordan’s fatigued Grendel and force Jordan to discard valuable Tricks cards for his safe return. Without pause, Dakotah plays the ‘Massacre’ [Event card] and orders his troops destroy Jonathan’s Kongo before the Legend has a chance to defend himself! Nothing is without cost, however, and Dakotah ends his turn dangerously close to Fury elimination.
Jonathan sighs and replaces Kongo with a less impressive Organ Grinding Monkey who plays a little fight song to rally the troops.
Keith recruits a Garden Snake who flees to recruit Arco [Legend].
Animal Summary: Jordan - 5, Dakotah – 4, Jonathan – 5, Keith – 6
Turn 11: “And then there were Three”
Jordan maneuvers his Troops and sends the Reliable Robin to the front line through the Sewer Drains [Location card – movement bonus].
Dakotah, figuring he could afford one more attack, charges Jordan’s forces with his Raging Bull. In an act of tactical supremacy, Jordan plays ‘Renegade Soldier’ [Event card] and forces the evil Raging Bull to attack Keith’s army instead! The Raging Bull turns now towards Keith’s heavy hitter, Arco. Arco plays every Trick in his hand to defend himself [Legend special ability]. Dakotah now faced the decision of whether or not to fire his ‘Loaded Revolver’ [Item card]. If he uses it, he might win the battle but he would gain enough Fury to lose the game. Without a shot, the Bull would surely lose. With a sense of pre-ordained destiny, the Bull empties the revolver at Arco. However, Arco still hangs on to victory by the slimmest of margins. Then who should offer to aid Dakotah in the attack but Jordan! In the end, Jordan allies with his former attacker in the re-directed attack to defeat Arco! Having reached a Fury of 10, humanity finally awakens to the threat and scatters Dakotah’s evil army to the wind [Fury elimination for Dakotah].
Jonathan’s animals watch the carnage from afar and prepare to defend against the onslaught that may soon be coming.
Keith recruits Arco’s brother, Rex [Legend], who immediately seeks revenge against Jordan by trashing his Reliable Robin.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 4, Dakotah – eliminated, Jonathan – 5, Keith – 6
Turn 12: “The eye of the hurricane”
With the elimination of one foe and the destruction of a powerful legend from another player’s army, Jordan basks in the Machiavellian success of the last turn. He discovers another Sewer Drain and gives his army time to recover before his next offensive.
Jonathan recruits a Junkyard Dog for some much-needed muscle.
Keith uses his final Garden Snake to recruit a Family Dog of his own.
Animal Summary: Jordan - 4, Dakotah – eliminated, Jonathan – 6, Keith – 7
Turn 13: “No rest for the weary”
It is dog-eat-dog as Jordan’s trusty Duelist Family Dog over-powers Keith’s legend Rex with the assistance of the ‘Righteous Sword’ [Event Card]. Keith is called to atone for his evil deeds and Rex falls.
Jonathan recruits a Stray Dog to wander toward the front lines.
With much bluster, Keith readies his forces for a massive strike against Jordan next turn…
Animal Summary: Jordan - 4, Dakotah – eliminated, Jonathan – 7, Keith – 6
Turn 14: “Endgame”
Eyeing Keith’s growing strength, Jordan decides it is time to launch a final recruiting push to win this game. He recruits a Peregrine Falcon who flies through the Sewer Drain to the front of his field. His Family Dog plays ‘Go For Help’ [Event Card] in preparation to recruit a heavy hitter next turn.
With little fanfare, Jonathan allows himself a small smile as he recruits first the legendary Nickel and then a Lab Rat. With those moves, Jonathan is able to fill his 3x3 field and claim victory!
It turns out that Keith, burned by the betrayal of his one-time ally, diverted attention away from Jonathan during turn 13 so that Jonathan would have time to out- recruit Jordan!
Jordan realizes too late that he has been beaten by the oldest trick in the book: he who speaks the least is usually is about to win!
VICTORY – JONATHAN!
In a game for the record books, a new World Champion emerges from GASPCon 7! Already, there are those eyeing next year’s tourney… Will Jordan return to victory? Will Jonathan’s title as World Champion derail his ability to ‘fly under the radar’ next year? Will a new player again appear from the unnamed ranks to shake things up?
Thanks to all who joined us and here’s to another great year until GASPCon 8!
Perhaps you've just read this thread and are thinking to yourself, "Man, how do I get my hands on 'Nature of the Beast' and start training for the next World Championship?"
Well, first we recommend you ask for it at your friendly local gaming store! If you don't have one handy, you could always order through www.key20.com. We'll even toss in a 15% discount to help take the edge off of S&H. Use the code 'Love_BGG' and the discount is yours. Limited time offer! Remember... while you rest, your enemy trains!
- Last edited Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:27 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:07 am
Thanks for this excellent session report. Approximately how long (playing time) did this four-player game take? And how would that compare with the average two player game?
Thanks for the compliment! I was just starting to work on the '07 session report when I noticed this comment. Gives me a little extra 'umph' to carry on!
Working from memory, I'd say this game ran close to two hours, if not a touch longer. A standard game, even with multiple players, can finish off within an hour easily depending on the skills of the players and the attention each is paying to thier opponents.
More players can make the game last longer, or it can make them shorter. The more players there are, the more chance you get to fly 'under the radar' and launch a suprise push for the win. When it is 2-player, your moves are under more scrutiny so it is a bit harder to win by suprise. Of course, in a two-player game you get to go more frequently, so maybe it balances out.