on December 27, 2011
My daughter and I are big fans of Terry Pratchett and Discworld. And so I was a little afraid Discworld the game wouldn't meet our expectations. Not only did the game have all the flavor of Discworld, it was an engaging interesting strategy game. Though there was a slight learning curve during the first game, it gets easier and faster to play with each subsequent game. My wife, who is not a big fan of fantasy games, and totally unfamiliar with Discworld, fell in love with it after the first game. We played four games in six hours, twice actually playing through the entire card deck.
The great thing about this game is:
1) Each player has a different secret objective. At the beginning of the game each player is randomly dealt a personality card becoming Commander Vimes, Vetanari, the Dragon King of Arms, Chrysophase the Troll, or one of three Lords trying to restore the King.
2) Every game ends up being different because of the changing player objectives and the different card mix. Therefore, the game has very strong re-play-ability.
3) Great Discworld Ankh-Morpork flavor.
4) Plays in less than 2 hours even with 4 players.
5) Accelerates as you go. The game develops at an easy pace in the first turns but gets more frenetic and funny as you get deeper into the card deck. This adds lots of surprizes and makes it challenging to determine what your opponents motives are.
Weak elements of the game:
1) As mentioned the color scheme is a little monochromatic and it can be tough to seperate one boro of the city from another or the brown from the green cards.
A great family game for fans of Discworld and or fans of strategy games.
on December 16, 2011
Board games based on book properties can be pretty hit or miss, so I was skeptical when a friend brought this out at one of our game nights. Just for background, I like all sorts of board games, but lean mostly towards less randomness as a preference. Dice in a game are fine, but if the outcome is 50% luck (or more) I'm not really interested. A good game for our group has to have a strong strategic or tactical element. For comparison, we don't play stuff like Monopoly or Careers, we play Caylus, Last Night on Earth, Settlers of Catan, and Great Wall of China.
We've only played it once so far, but everyone liked it and we'll definitely be playing it again. There's enough strategy to make it interesting, as well as a little mystery since you don't know what the other players' goals for winning are unless you can guess it by their actions. I thought I was doing well and close to winning when another player announced his victory, achieved very stealthily. It was great fun, required some thought, but wasn't as heavy as something like Caylus or Agricola. Maybe closer in difficulty to Puerto Rico or Settlers of Catan.
The design and graphics are excellent! The quality of the materials is fine, but I was hoping for something a little sturdier for the cost. The board is a little thin for my taste, and you have to be careful when folding it up, because if you get a finger under a folding edge and fold it down, you're not going to pinch your finger, you're going to tear a little of the backing away from the board. It's not a tragedy, and I wouldn't say it's cheap or poorly made. I'm just used to thicker boards with reinforced folds.
The cards are pretty standard quality; they shuffle well and deal easily. The money chits are sturdy and I expect everything will hold up just fine, but we'll have to wait to see for sure. The wooden pieces are well made and are a nice addition that a stingier company might have replaced with cardboard tokens. I'm glad they didn't!
Anyway, as a fan of the Discworld books, the game held extra fun for me, but some of my friends haven't read the series and they also enjoyed the game. No knowledge of the world is required to play, have fun, or even win. It's just great flavor. I can highly recommend it.
on January 1, 2012
In this game, you get a personality at random, at the start of the game, and must achieve the goal of that personality. These personalities include, but are not limited to: Vimes, Vetinari, Crysophase the Troll, and Lord Rust.
But that isn't the difficult part. You must ALSO: Prevent the other players from achieving their goals.
You are assisted by the fact that no one knows what each others' goals are.
Each player gets a hand of cards, through which they are given power over Anhk Morpork, so use this power carefully. If a Random Event happens (most notably at the assistance of a Wizard from the Unseen University, though I'm sure they didn't MEAN it to occur), your well laid plans and preparations may crumble to dust.
It is maddening how easy it is to lose track of the goals the other players may have while thwarting as many attempts as possible AND attempting to win for yourself.
To make the game even more enjoyable, most all your favorite characters have a presence in the game. Carrot, Angua, Nobby, and much of the Watch are there. Susan and Death have their own part. Even the History Monks and Moist von Lipwig make good showings.
Adding to the hilarity is the realization that each character and their abilities or goals fit perfectly with their personalities from the books.
Great Artwork, great concept, maddeningly simple but tricky rules and gameplay.
A very easy game to learn, a very hard game to master, and hilarious in both its hidden and not so well concealed humor! I STRONGLY recommend this game, especially for anyone who like strategy, competition, and the occasional cutthroat maneuver.
on January 23, 2013
I found this game to be great fun. I wouldn't recommend it for two players, for as a game with secret agendas and working at cross purposes, once a player is familiar with possible agendas, it can be fairly easy to figure out what the other player is trying for and work to thwart them.
In addition, some agendas are harder to achieve than others. I'd love to see a few more additions to the list to expand play and variety a little.
But in a nutshell, each player is given a character with a goal to reach, which is known only to them. Players try to acquire control over various sections of Ankh-Morporkh, which gains them various in-game benefits like additional income or the like which increases their chances of winning.
Some goals are too easy, for example: Acquire x dollars in money and assets. This can be fairly quickly achieved in a three player game and *really* difficult to spot someone achieving it, given the costs of properties and some cards that give money values. Some are difficult in a three player game, such as have the game go through the entire play deck without anyone else achieving their goal.
But I find the design is excellent and play is fun and engaging. So much so we played it three times in a row and wanted to play it some more.
It gives a good feel for the world too, and the cards are true to theme. You're not bogged down by any of it, so the flow of play is very good. There's a nicely balanced element of chance and strategy, cooperation and adversarial play to keep the game interesting.
As collector of games and an avid all around gamer, I have to say this is one of the better board games out there. If you're looking for a fun game with that Discworld flavor, it's a great game. If you're not familiar with Discworld, it's still an excellent game and you'll acquire a good feel for the world through the cards and play that might spark your interest in reading the books.
As a family game, I think it's great, if the child can read and count. The only downside is that with limited secret agendas, you'll soon known all of them so will have the advantage on players new to the game. But that's the only limiting factor I can note on. The quality of the game is excellent, the pieces are nicely printed and have a good heft and feel and you definitely get good value for money.
Totally recommend it, especially to discworld fans.
on January 5, 2013
As an almost life-long Discworld fan, I was torn between this game and Guards! Guards ! A Discworld Boardgame. Because this one had more and better reviews, I went for it.
I'm glad I did. The game is a fun mix of strategy and luck. (I'd say about 40/60).
Depending on your secret identity (dealt to you at the beginning of the game), there are five different ways to win the game (a few characters share the same goal). I've played as 4 of 5 goals (I have yet to be Chrysoprase the troll) and have won or come awfully close, so I'd say the goals are fairly well balanced. Our resident troll has yet to win out of three troll-related games, but I haven't personally had a shot at it yet.
Gameplay involves drawing cards and playing them. Anyone can do it! The strategy comes in depending on what your goal is, and how fast you can discern what the other players' goals are. Then you have to simultaneously try to win for yourself while keeping them from winning first.
The artwork on the cards is nice, and the game has a nice build-up to it. The top half of the deck is populated with lesser-known Discworld characters (get your Discworld Companion out for this one!), while the big names--Susan, Moist von Lipwig, Archchancellor Ridcully--are in the lower half of the deck. When they start getting played, they really pack a wallop and ratchet up the intensity of the game. Random events like Demons from the Dungeon Dimensions or a Dragon can really turn the tide of the game, hopefully in your favor!
The board is a nicely done map of Ankh-Morpork. Aside from the board and the cards, however, the game lacks a distinctly Discworld feel. Well, I guess it has the feel of a later Discworld novel, one that's political instead of fantastical in nature. However, this might be a plus because you can wrangle some non-Discworld loving fans and they won't feel totally lost. Regardless, it's a fun game, and a nice way to get a small taste of what Lord Vetinari's job is like.
on November 16, 2012
This game is a lot of fun.
It is basically a territory acquisition/goal achievement game in which players must vie to achieve goals with respect to the map of Ankh-Morpork as envisioned by the game designers.
Each player takes one of seven different personalities from the Discworld, er, world, each with it's own goal. Sometimes those goals are simply "own x areas of the city". Sometimes they are more specific. Sometimes more vague. Commander Vimes, for example, simply has to ensure that no-one else wins before the cards run out to get a win.
The trick to playing this game effectively is to persuade everyone you are someone other than the character you are playing, or to get them obsessing about playing defensively (preventing other people from winning) at the cost of their own victory. Easily said. It is crucial to understand the benefit of "owning" a given neighborhood of Ankh-Morpork and to plan accordingly. Cash flow will be important to some, not to others.
There is a nice mechanism that ensures unbeatable challenges do not happen too early in the game and that those challenges therefore *do* happen when the players are more able to deal with them, upping the ante so to speak (contrast with Munchkin, where powerful monsters often appear so early in the game they actually play no part in it at all).
The playing surface is a sturdy board depicting the city of Ankh-Morpork, or one version of it at any rate. I won't get into the argument about mapping places on the Disc, since I don't subscribe to any particular evangelical point of view.
The components are thick card for the coinage, wooden pawns for just about everything else and a few decks of cards, all well made and depicting nice artwork.
The game is fairly easy to learn and it is easy to see from the board what is going on, at least what is openly going on, so that players may assess and react accordingly (though if they fall for a clever bluff, well, those are the breaks). Too many of today's games have victory conditions so abstruse it is impossible to assess one's position mid-game.
Of all the games I played in 2012, this was the most fun and I acquired a copy soon after playing the first time. I recommend it to everyone.
on January 18, 2015
Seriously. Great. Game.
This game is unique in it's set up. It allows you to play one of 7 characters (Vimes, Vetinari, Lord Selachii, Lord Rust, Lord de Worde, Dragon King of Arms, Chrysophrase). Each character has a different way in which they win, which allows them all to have conflicting motivations. The course of the game involves rolling the dice, drawing cards, and deciding what you want to do (move minions around the board, buy property, play certain event cards, etc). It's a great game in true Pratchett style. Each card is hilarious, and hilariously real. Many of the cards will tell you to do something that is incredibly unfair to the rest of the players. Some cards handicap you severely. It's fantastic. Lots of references to book events and characters, but also a fun game for those unfamiliar with the books. We found that 3 or 4 players make the best (and most strategic) game, although it is still enjoyable with two.
This game had a lot of planning that went into it, and therefore I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the books (even casually). You can play this game with die hard fans, the casual reader, or someone who has never read the books. It's just a fun game.
Quality: Solid board, wood and cardboard pieces, no cheap plastic. Fully functional rule book.
on March 30, 2013
I am an avid player of board and card games; especially Mayfair's Catan. I personally have read about 20 Discworld novels, but I wanted a game that everyone would enjoy; and decided to order the game after reading some reviews promising everyone can enjoy the game. After playing with some family I would agree with this assessment. It's great fun to be working towards your own goals whilst attempting to ascertain what other players are attempting to do to win.
Easy set-up and pick-up (compared to some random-assembly boards like Catan)
Easy to grasp rules from the start; perhaps ~20 minutes to fully wrap your head around the game's concepts
Fun game mechanics and relatively quick play-time when compared to other strategy games
Well illustrated and an extra kick if you're a Terry Pratchett fan
Coins could be more solid-feeling, the paper ones feel a bit cheap
Only up to four players :(
on June 1, 2015
Fun game, themed around Terry Pratchett's city of Ankh-Morpork.
Not really for players who haven't played area-control and symbolic card games before (7 Wonders would be a good game for introducing heavy symbol use), or people who haven't read any of the Discworld series (inside jokes go way over their heads).
Once you get the game's symbols, the action will keep just about any Pratchett fan entertained.
on July 27, 2015
This is a great game flavored with Terry Pratchett's disk world well loved organized chaos and mayhem. Played with family spent half the time laughing (but that is just us we are avid Pratchett fans). Game play easy to learn when 4 or less play we remove Lord Vetenari thus reducing territory grabbers to only 2, we played with 6 people once with all characters in ply it was really fun having 3 territory grabbers in play. I only wish random events cards came into play more frequently (especially riots).