Tuesday, February 7, 2017

AssassinCon (Mayday Games)

Everyone loves a good convention, and if it has prizes, that makes it even better. This is true for weddings, board games, and even assassins. (Yes, you read the right). AssassinCon is a once a year event where the best assassins gather worldwide to prove who is the best. There is no actual killing, simply deception and elimination. AssassinCon is a game for 4-6 players, age 10+. It retails for $30 and takes approximately 30 minutes to play.

Setup
1. Place the game board in the middle of the table.
2. Randomly place the six Assassin Pawns onto the game board in each room marked with a star.
3. Randomly choose a player to be the Lead Assassin. In future rounds, this will rotate clockwise.
4. All players place their Status Card face-up with the #1 at the top. The player to your left is your Pursuer, and the player to your right is your Target.
5. Form six decks of Movement Cards for each color Assassin. Place that Assassin's Target card on top. Then, have everyone close their eyes while the Lead Assassin flips the decks face-down and shuffles them around. Players will then choose a deck at random.
6. Each player then gives their Target card face-down to their Pursuer, who looks at it in secret. (Note: If playing with fewer than six players, you will do this for dummy players as well, keeping Target cards secret.)
Game Play - The game takes place over several rounds with three phases each round.
1. Planning Phase - Each player selects one Movement Card from their deck and hands them face-down to the Lead Assassin. He also collects cards from any dummy players. He then shuffles the cards. (Note: Eliminated players still contribute cards.) During this phase, you are trying to spook the other players into Calling Guards. If guards are called three things can happen and then the round ends:
a. The accusation is correct and the accuser receives one point, plus all points accumulated by the Pursuer this round.
b. The accusation is incorrect and the card revealed matches an eliminated player. The eliminated player receives two points.
c. The accusation is incorrect and the card revealed matches an active or dummy player. Everyone but the accuser receives two points.
2. Movement Phase - The Lead Assassin reveals the Movement Cards one at a time and moves the pawns accordingly.
3. Elimination Phase - If a player ends up in the same room as his target, he may make an elimination by showing the color of his deck to only his Target. If successful, the Pursuer receives one point and the eliminated player gives his Target to his Pursuer. If unsuccessful, the Pursuer is eliminated and the Pursuer gives his Target to the attempted elimination.

The round ends when two or fewer assassins are remaining or players have no cards left in their hand. At the end of a round if one players has five or more points that player wins. If a tie, keep playing until there is a clear winner.

Review
When I first read through the rule book, I was a little confused at how the game would play. I then re-read it and realized that I just needed to play the game through, and that was the best decision. The game seems very simple at its core, but there is actually more to this game than first appears. You are not just trying to eliminate your target as quickly as possible. Instead, it is more like a game of cat and mouse. You want to eliminate your opponent, but you want to do it an opportune time, when it isn't obvious what you are doing and who you are. If you are too obvious, guards will be called and you will be busted. If you are subtle enough, then you can accumulate a couple of eliminations in one round. The game plays best with more players. When you have dummy players, it takes a bit of the fun away from the game. What I like best is the quick nature of the game. Since you are only playing to five points, the game takes around 2-3 rounds to complete and then you can play the game again or move on to a different game. Lastly, the game is actually more family-friendly than I initially thought it would be, because no one really dies, they are just eliminated from the contest.

This game was provided to me for free by Mayday Games in exchange for an honest review.