Clank is a deck building game where you use the deck to advance your character on the board. Your character is a rather noisy thief trying to delve deep into a dungeon where a sleeping dragon holds her hoard. Unfortunately, there is a reason thieves should practice being sneaky and use quiet equipment...they have a tendency to be a bit noisy otherwise...ok let's be honest sometimes REALLY noisy and it causes more pain when the dragon attacks. But enough of that for now, let's talk game play.
The game is broken into 5 Steps:
Step 1 - The Target:
Your goal is to retrieve an artifact token (you are only able to carry one unless you purchase a backpack)and get out of the dungeon with the most valuable artifact and more loot then your fellow thieves. After all isn't the whole point to gloat who is the best thief?
Step 2 - The Plan:
Good thievery requires good planning right? You start with 5 cards in your hand. There are three types resources you will receive:
1. Skill - which is used to buy more cards from the Dungeon Row (the face-up cards you may purchase from). Many of these cards are devices which assist you in the Dungeon (game board). However some cards cause you to be a bit noisy (Clank) and you take the required cubes of your color and toss them into the Clank pool. The more cubes in the pool the higher the risk of pain from the dragon.
2. Swords - used to fight monsters in Dungeon Row or in the Dungeon. Defeated monsters (except the goblin) return to the dungeon discard pile not your own. Defeated monsters grant you some type of reward.
3. Boots - which allow you to move around the Dungeon from tunnel to tunnel
There is always a Goblin to fight on Dungeon Row. But new monsters will arrive. Rewards such as gold may be used to purchase items from the market to help your delving or your victory points.
When moving through the dungeon some tunnels require more boots, some have monsters or locks and some rooms have tokens which may reveal secrets, idols or artifacts. Anytime someone takes an artifact or a secret that reveals a dragon rage - the dragon is moved on the rage track. The rage track indicates how many clank cubes are pulled when the dragon icon cards are revealed.
Step 3 - The Mark:
At the end of every player's turn, empty spaces in Dungeon Row will be refilled with cards. If any cards have the dragon icon (affectionately known as Nikki)the dragon attacks. All Clank cubes are tossed into a bag and cubes are pulled based on how angry to the dragon is on the rage track. There are some "whiff" cubes in there, but if your colored cube is pulled you take a wound and if you take too many you are knocked out.
You have angered NIKKI - you naughty thief you.
Step 4 - The Getaway:
There is no getaway vehicle in the dungeon except your own two feet and the occasional device that will assist you. When you snitch that beautiful artifact deep in the dungeon, you had best run for the exit. Nikki is coming for you. Should you shamefully die below ground your bones will be nothing more than dungeon decor, but if you make it above ground you still have a chance. Even if you die above ground your retrieved treasure will still score.
Step 5 - The End of the Line:
There is always some thief in better shape than me that makes it out of the dungeon. This triggers a timer for end game and everyone still in the dungeon better run for an exit. The dragon attacks more often when someone makes escapes her clutches. Once everyone is out or dead the game ends.
You score the value of artifacts, tokens, gold and any cards with end point values on them.
Highest points is the Greatest Thief EVER!! And since they won they can buy dinner
I played the demo at GenCon, liked it so much we purchased two of the last copies. We then played the game again and our friend liked it and went to the demo for the discount, only to find out Renegade had sold out. We have played it twice more.
I enjoy this game quite a bit, and the theme fits in nicely. I am one noisy thief and clank often to get better cards. A fair amount of smack talk has been involved.
This game has been happily added to my collection and fixes what I think is so boring in so many deck builders. There is interaction with racing to get tokens and treasures first, killing good monsters in dungeon row, or getting good devices. We all cringe when the dragon attacks to see who gets burned
Fun game that I will happily play anytime someone asks and doesn't take long. We have played in under an hour even with teaching.
Forgive any grammatical, spelling or rules errors - I never claimed on being perfect, just clanking around.
Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
thanks for review
It sounds like there's player elimination if you die/get knocked out. How long is the downtime (or what is the longest possible) between being knocked out, and ending the game? I'm ok with player elimination as long as the downtime is minimal.
A. B. West
Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
The first player eliminated triggers the end game - so the game only lasts another few rounds. The dragon begins to hit every round at that point too - so if others are pushing their luck with health, they could be eiminatd too. That creates a tremendous about of excitement in the game. Also take note if you get eliminated in the bottom of the board, you lose! But if you are eliminated at the top of the board, you could still win.
I just played this game with A.B. West. This is one of the most exciting new games I've played in the past few years.
Intend to buy a new copy when it comes out.