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Subject: It's not personal, it's business rss

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Edward B.
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Brains Before Bullets. Don't let it get personal, this is about making money, not pride or getting bloody. Well, sometimes it's about getting bloody.

So we found out in a recent three player game of Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem. I'm pretty big on this game, but haven't been able to get it to the table at all since I purchased my own copy. Neither person I got to play this time seemed very excited when I suggested it, but I kept badgering them until they agreed to try it out.

I was the only one of us who had played the game before. I think this game has pretty clean rules that make sense and the other two people grasped them quick. I did forget a few rules starting off (such as using guns increases heat), but I caught on early and nothing that I forgot was disastrous or game changing.

For gangs, we had SAMCRO (myself), the One Niners (“April”), and the Mayans (“Jim”).

For most of the game, I'd say we stayed focused on making money. There were a few minor verbal scuffles where, for examples, April got mad when I tried to extort money from her in a trade and when Jim moved her guys as part of a Hassle card. However, actual violence was fairly low.

Until I moved in on the Mayans at the Adult Emporium. I had a plan to make some money and I needed to exploit the site to do it. Jim asked me what I was doing moving in there and if I was going to fight him. I told him I wasn't sure at that point, which I wasn't. But when my turn came around I decided I really needed to throwdown.

Trying to avoid a fight, Jim offered to sell me some drugs in exchange for not attacking. He wanted 4k (I say those little bills are thousands) for two drugs, which he claimed was a fair price. I countered with offering him 2k for them. He wouldn't budge. April offered him 3k for the drugs, but he kept trying to get me to buy them for 4k and not attack.

I told him I needed the site and it wasn't worth my while to pay more than the 2k for the drugs. He kept hemming and hawing and talking. Finally, he said he couldn't do it because it felt like I was pushing him around. Time to get bloody.

The Mayans had two members and a prospect with SAMCRO fielding three members for 6-5 in favor of SAMRCO.

We pulled guns. I had two and he had three. I had made a big mistake as I had plenty of guns... I think around five or six! But I didn't think Jim had more than one gun, so I figured why waste them. So now we were at 14-12 in favor of the Mayans. We rolled and... I got a 4 and Jim got a 2. Unfortunately, April and the One Niners had taken the patch earlier by exploiting the police station.

Which left us with a tie and a Mayan member and prospect in the ER with three SAMCRO members heading there. And the Mayans had a prospect camped out at St. John's. Now I was the desperate one, and tried in vain to bribe the Mayans to get my guys out. I offered six cash at one point, which made Jim pause for a moment, but he ultimately decided to get his own guys out.

I was sweating at the end of the round, but I managed to roll three saves in a row, bringing all of my guys home. The only thing that was better than that was the look of incredulity on Jim's face!

We continued scrambling to make that money, until the final round when a Gang War card was revealed – making violence a profitable enterprise in and of itself. The One Niners threw down on SAMCROW, and I was happy to oblige since I had the firearms to back it up. Both sides sent three dudes to the ER and made 6k. I also threw down on the Mayans, injuring one dude and making another 2k.

The Mayans were out of guns and had no way to profit from the gang war.

The game ended and we all lifted our screens, all revealing a tidy pile of cash. Final score was SAMCRO: 39k, Mayans: 37k, and One Niners: 34k.

Very tight game, and Jim lamented his decision to get tough at the Adult Emporium. If he had backed down he would have had an extra 2k, plus he would have held onto his guns, which he could have used in the gang war to net even more cash.

Despite being in last, April said she felt like she had actually been the best gang leader as none of her dudes went to jail or were killed. (Both me and Jim had strategically sent members to jail, taking The Fall in order to advance business.)

That was true, and I guess it may have been a moral victory of sorts, but this game isn't about moral victories. It's all about cash.

Everyone said they liked the game after it was over. I don't know why people seem to be so lukewarm on trying this game out because it hits a lot of good spots. Clean rules, not too long, running money making calculations, negotiation, guns and drugs. I really like the theme, too, and the random sites and cards that ensure each game will feel a little different.
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ozzy perez
United States
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I really like this game. Our last session with 4 players was filled with negotiation, backstabbery, throwdowns and a whole lot of drugs, guns and cash. Rocking good time! I am really looking forward to the Irish expansion, as I've read that there will be some new locations, events, and two new gangs.
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