That’s right. We’ve launched it today!
Check it out and support us if you please.
That’s right. We’ve launched it today!
Check it out and support us if you please.
A big shout-out to Fréderic Moyersoen, the game’s creator, is in order. I think Nuns on the Run is a very unique, ingenius concept in its design. I wish the execution of it had been tidier. Let’s take a look.
Nuns on the Run is essentially a game of Hide-And-Seek with a big twist. The twist being that most players will be novices on a mission to scour an abbey at night to find a key that will unlock the door to their “secret wish” and then get back to their bedroom without the 2-woman team of nuns catching them. 1 or 2 people will play the nun guards while all other players will be a novice. Novices are all given a set of identical movement cards ranging from running to standing still. They are also given a Secret Wish card which they must achieve before the end of the 15th round of play. The Nuns are tasked with preventing any novices from achieving their secret wish, or by catching as many novices as there are players in the game.
Novices will begin in their respective bedrooms and each turn they reveal face-up a movement card of their choice. They do not actually move a physical piece around the board however. They write down the corresponding number of the space they land on, onto a secret movement tracker pad provided in the game. After they record their movement for the round, they must roll a die. The higher the die roll, the louder the novice was when moving this turn. If they are within a die roll’s amount of spaces from a guard, they must put down a noise token in the general direction in which the guard heard a noise. Slower movement cards (such as sneaking as opposed to running) will decrease the noise die roll by a given amount. So, players can move slow and steady but risk not attaining their wish, or they can go faster but be at a constantly higher risk of being heard.
In addition to making noises, novices also have to worry about being “seen.” If at anytime a novice is in a guard’s line of sight, they must put their face token down on the board where they were spotted. Guards can “catch” a novice by landing on their face token—thus stealing their secret wish away and sending them back towards their bedrooms. Until a guard sees a novice or hears a novice, they are forced to walk along pre-set paths according to route cards and corresponding color paths on the board. On the guards’ turn, even if novices are out of sight and aren’t heard making noise, the guards still get to make a listen roll—which works the same way as noise-making but without the movement/sound modifiers involved.
Nuns on the Run Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (Enjoyable in doses)
I would love to give this game a higher score because I love the original concept so much. I think it’s great that 8 people can sit around a board with 2 nuns chasing misbehaving novices around in secret. It’s just so odd and eclectic that I have to smile. And truly—in the right group this can be a very fun game. If you have someone that is good at playing the guards and really giving the novices a run for their money—it gets competitive, tense, and funny.
However, this game suffers from a lot of ambiguity in rules. If you don’t mind sorting a lot of them out for yourself, then I still recommend this game. There are others that will be entirely put off by it and don’t want to expend the effort in sorting out a published game. I can certainly see both sides of the equation.
I’m a man who values brevity, so here’s the scoop on Shadow Hunters.
All players are dealt a character card at the start of the game. There are 3 types of characters: Shadows, Hunters, and Neutrals. Hunters want to kill all Shadows. Shadows want to kill all Hunters or 3 Neutrals. Neutrals have unique, independent win objectives.
Also on every character card is a health point value (how much damage you can take before you’re out of the game) and a character-specific ability. Character cards are kept face-down at the start of the game and are known only to the players controlling them. The number of players in the game determines how many characters of each type are in the game.
Players take their turns clockwise. A turn consists of:
This sequence of events continues until one team completes a win condition. Along the way players can reveal their characters face-up in order to use their special ability. Typically these are a one-shot (once-per-game only) but not always.
SHADOW HUNTERS RATING: 9 OUT OF 10 (Exceptional)
I wasn’t expecting to like Shadow Hunters as much as I do. I’m not typically a fan of “anime style” artwork—which this is—and I wasn’t sure there would be enough complexity or depth to merit playing more than once. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by this game that I’d never heard of until it showed up in the same online category as “BANG!” which is another group favorite of ours. Shadow Hunters is a great example of how a theme in a game can be very minimal to non-existant (basically a group of cray cray random people/monsters running around an enchanted forest killing each other) but because the gameplay, alliances, and element of mystery are so solidly present, the game holds true and nobody questions “why are we doing this again?” We accept that we are a school teacher attacking a werewolf. Or whatever the matchup happens to be.
I think this is a very interesting, unique board/card game mix that will appeal to a lot of gamers out there if they can get past the initial weird/foreignness to the game.
I really want to like this game.
At first glance, the mechanics do not seem overly complicated. Then, however, there appears to be a huge devil (or CryptMaster) in the details when trying to actually raid the dungeon and adjudicate game play.
The Game’s Objective:
Recruit up to 5 characters and raid a series of crypts in a tomb.
The game is not hard to setup at all. Place the inn board. Decide between the red or blue tomb board and place it. Shuffle the 6 piles of cards and place on the appropriate spot in the inn.
The filling of the tomb is an interesting little setup mechanic that gives people a little bit of insight into what’s where in a tomb and also shares the setup activity a bit so that the few minutes it takes doesn’t seem long at all.
There are 3 sets of colored (red, green, blue) d10 dice that are used for adjudicating combat, handling traps and/or dispelling curses. The sides of the dice are either blank or have an axe (denoting success) and the reds have the highest frequency of successes. I’d have to look at the dice again but I think the R,G,B dice were 80%, 40%, 60% respectively.
I think it’s important to note the “up to” in the “Recruit up to 5 characters” statement.
At first I wondered at this and its novelty vs. kludginess and ultimately decided that I wasn’t bothered by this as much as I thought I’d be.
IMPORTANT: In several cases, you have a better chance at surviving in the dungeon by taking a beefy fighter with a few items and going it alone. The problem is, you don’t necessarily know this ahead of time UNLESS you happened to place that trap or monster or curse.
Note: In this game’s case, “beefy” means a fighter with a whopping (wait for it) FIVE (5) hit points.
Most, if not all, of the monsters have more than that. Most of the monsters get an outrageous number of dice.
In no particular order:
I’ve wanted to play this game again before giving it a rating. This review has been sitting for a couple of months now… but I haven’t been able to get anyone to play because Josh keeps warning people away from it. Burn him!
Ultimately my rating for this game is: Playable (with Fixes)
Though… I don’t know what fixes would/should be employed. I reserve the right to amend this review should it be played again.
My Rating Scale
In brief, the warnings about the time commitment to play this game are all completely true. This was hard to believe prior to playing the game the first time. Everything on the net warns of 4-hour games and there’s even a 3-hour learning curve on top of that while trudging through the first scenario — the one they call short for people not yet familiar with all of the rules. And there are MANY, MANY rules!
That crazy time commitment aside, the game is quite enjoyable once you’ve gotten around the complicated game mechanics and the setup.
The Game’s Objective
Mage Knight has several different scenarios that are available, some cooperative, that can be played. The objective is based on the chosen scenario.
The suggestion for the first game – or any game including people unfamiliar with the rules – is First Reconnaissance. For our first game, we played this scenario with 3 players. With the setup, consternation over the 2 20-page rule books and a switch to watch YouTube videos that reviewed the game and discussed combat, etc., we were at this for almost 7 hours.
I kid you not.
However, the good news is that for our second game (a few weeks later) we played Blitz Conquest and we completed the first portion (day) of a 4-portion scenario in under an hour. And the setup was amazingly quick given the first game’s introduction to all of the parts and such.
We stopped playing after ~4.5 hours and were roughly 75% of the way through the scenario.
The first time we played, setup just seemed to take forever. Part of that, I will admit, is our fault. Their Game Walkthrough book has all of their cards displayed and it gives you the key to determine which of the cards (most with the same card back) is what type of card. They all have the same card backs because they can be acquired as resources for individual decks and should blend in.
The cards themselves are actually pretty packed with information and coded in a way to have all of the mechanics on them. The same is true for the monster and building tokens. The problem is trying to memorize all of the symbols or getting comfortable with quickly looking them up.
The 2nd time we played this game, I had the game setup in under 15 minutes.
The game is broken down into rounds (day or night) and individual turns within that round. Depending on the scenario there are a number of rounds that describe the time limit by which some objective must be met.
That brings us to combat. There were some complaints around combat around the table as we were playing. And it is definitely a different set of mechanics combining the opportunity to have ranged attacks occur first (and repeatedly if PvP). Depending on what cards you have and what sort of combat is happening it can be very different.
That is: You’re attacked for 6 damage. You can’t block it all and your armor value is 2. You take 1 wound, subtract your armor (2) from the 6 and there’s 4 damage left over. Repeating that, you take another 2 wounds. Again, if you have enough units you can assign wounds to those units. You’ll have to heal those units before you can use them, however. The moral of the story: block as much damage as you can!
Note: the above has been corrected on 9/30/12
Essentially, that’s it. You do those basic mechanics while trying to accomplish whatever objective is laid out in the scenario.
I think one of the problems with this game is the potential to suffer game fatigue. This game is definitely geared toward a hardcore gamer and even then, if you fail your (personal) fortitude save at any point during the day while playing this game the play time can easily be artificially extended due to failing to pay attention, inserting breaks, playing Gems on an iPhone, etc.
I reserve the option of adding something here after playing this a few more times.
Ultimately, my rating for this game is: Very Good
My Rating Scale
We have great news. We have completed a video that explains how to play the game. In addition, we have taped (a second time) our video that gives a brief introduction to us and the game that will be used to introduce Josh and I to the Kickstarter community.
Our friends are working on the editing of that video and we hope to submit our Kickstarter campaign this week!
You can see one of the videos here:
DYKYN Game Play Video
Tell us what you think!