Lord Vetinari is dead, either that or he’s on holiday. While the cat is away the mice come out to play – you being one of the mice. You will be given a secret personality which will tell you what you need to do to win the game. If you are one of the three lords then you must control a certain number of areas (the number depending on how many players are in the game). If you are Vetinari (having secretly returned to the city) then you must have minions placed in nine different areas. If you are Chrysophrase the troll then you must accumulate $50 in wealth, which includes the value of buildings on the board. If you are Dragon King of Arms then you want to cause enough trouble to lead the city to welcome back the rightful king. Finally, if you are Sam Vimes then you want to stop any other player winning by the time the deck of cards run out.
Each player has a set of minions to do their dirty work and some building pieces. Game play is simple; you play a card and do what it says on it. Cards represent characters and buildings from the books, with each one being designed carefully to reflect the nature of the original character/building. Thus, if you play CMOT Dibbler then you may make money or lose it, depending on the roll of the die. Detritus would let you sort out trouble in the city, while playing a wizard would lead to the drawing of a random event card. This being Ankh-Morpork there are no good random events, just gradations of bad. There are also many assassins to allow you remove other players’ minions.
Trouble is central to the working of the game. When a minion is added to an area that already has one or more minions in it then a trouble marker is also placed there. Conversely, when a minion is removed from an area any trouble marker there is also removed. Trouble markers allow players to remove minions by the play of cards, they also stop you from building in the area.
Building in an area will give you an additional power, depending on the area you build in. A building in the Shades allows you to place an extra trouble marker each turn. A building in Small Gods will protect you from random events, as long as you have enough money to pay to your god!
The game ends either when a player achieves his or her special victory condition at the beginning of their turn, or when the deck of cards runs out. If at this point nobody wins due to being Vimes then points are calculated, based on wealth and the number of minions on the board.
The game is for two to four players and is by far the lightest game to be yet released by Treefrog. It’s simple enough for non-gamers, but has enough meat for the more experienced player.
Players: 2 - 4
Playtime: 75 Minutes
Ages: 12 +
Published by: Treefrog Games
Watch a review Here