$20.00
$15.00
$5.00
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Council of Blackthorn» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A surprisingly polished take-that game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mike Kozlowski
United States
Unspecified
Michigan
flag msg tools
I, uh, guess I had a lot of geekgold?
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm always skeptical of self-publishing Kickstarters, where a designer founds a company to get their own design out there. Too often, those games just end up unpolished and rough without the benefit of critical development. So when this came to the table, I was expecting the worst. But in this case, my skepticism was unwarranted; you honestly wouldn't know this was a self-published Kickstarter just from playing the game, because it's refined and polished and feels fresh.

So the goal of the game is to get influence on each of four tracks, and to earn VP coins along the way. Game ends when three tracks are maxed out on influence, and then you add up all your VP coins and your influence totals and the highest score wins.

Except... there are these "treachery" cards that you can get during the game. If you have more treachery points than the other players, you get beheaded and lose; other than that, they're meaningless. But the values on them are secret, so you never really know how close you are to being the worst one, so they never at any point feel meaningless.

The gameplay mechanics are surprisingly involved -- you roll dice to determine how each influence track works each round, and as you play cards, the effects depend on those dice rolls as well as your position on the influence tracks and your character-based special powers, but mostly what they do is move you up the tracks, move other people back, give you VP, and move around treachery cards.

The net effect is one where you're trying to focus on certain factions, and play cards that synergize well with the game state (some cards are allies and used once; others are buildings and stay in play), but mostly one where you are screwing over the other players, by hurling treachery at them and stealing their VP and moving them back on influence tracks and so forth. It's got some of the same meanness of Citadels, which is both a strength (take-that elements can be very fun) and a weakness (it's the kind of game that'll make people want to flip a table and storm out of a room if they get a streak of bad luck and targeting from others).

The main criticism I'd have of the game is that the treachery cards can be unfair by bad luck; I ended up getting eliminated in the game we played, and I only had like four cards while other people had ten, but mine were all the 2-3 value ones, and theirs were mostly 0 or 1. It's the luck of the draw, and usually it won't be that one-sided, but it can happen.

But that's not a super-huge criticism, because this isn't the kind of game that's so pure and calculation-based that you should be upset about that level of randomness. On the whole, this is a solid game with mechanisms that work smoothly together and feel original. 
9 
 Thumb up
1.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Misha Nosiara
United States
Bellaire
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Agree. This went from unknown to must buy after one game at BGG Con. Waiting for my Amazon order to arrive.....
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Frantz
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Agree 100%. This was one of the best games I bought at GenCon this year. I took a chance on it, but was not disappointed.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.