(click here to read the full illustrated review http://thecardgamer.com/?p=584)
Bloodsuckers takes place in the quiet town of Blackwood. A coven of vampires has moved into the area and are threatening to use the succulent citizens as their personal blood donors. Although the vampires are numerous and strong there are those who will not stand by and watch as these creatures of the night devour this innocent town.
In the box you get:
51 Hunter Cards & 51 Vampire Cards – These are what you’re going to be dueling with. They have four card types:
1. Attack Cards (orange) – These are your attacks and special moves.
2. Impact Cards (purple) – These are your modifiers, card drawing, etc.
3. Strike Cards (red) – These cards immediately kill or in the vampires case they may even turn a hunter into a vampire.
4. Dodge Cards (blue) – These are used to protect you from Strike Cards (red). They are the only cards that may be played out of turn.
32 Character Cards – These are two sided cards that represent either your hunters or vampires on one side or the innocent bystanders you will fight over in a battle.
1 Guide Mat – This foldable sheet lets you know where to put bystanders and vampires/hunters and helps keep track of the score.
1 Board – Has multiple uses:
1. Tracks the number and order of turns in a battle.
2. Determines the day night cycle (which is important when attacking).
3. Keeps track of who controls each area and which area the battle is taking place.
20 Action Tokens – Each turn you may perform three actions; these tokens represent stored or “banked” actions. You may only ever have two tokens at a time so once you bank two actions you’re no longer able to save any more actions (until you use them of course). You may use tokens on phase 1 of your turn.
10 Hunter Attack Counters & 10 Vampire Attack Counters – These are double sided (for 3-4 player games) and track the attack value on the Character Cards.
6 Blood Tokens & 6 Adrenaline Tokens – These are deck specific counters that give each side a special ability. You win these when you kill an opponent’s character.
4 Player Guides and 1 six sided die.
There are four steps on each players turn:
Step 1. Perform 3 actions.
Play 1 combat card
Move a character
Draw a card
Activate a token (Blood or Adrenalin)
Give a teammate a character
*you may perform an action multiple times*
Step 2. Discard any number of leftover cards you want and draw up to a full hand (five cards).
Step 3. Unstun any stunned characters.
Step 4. Rotate the Clock Dial signaling the end of your turn.
You play until someone has control over a set number of territories; either two out of three, or three out of five.
This is a card game and luck is going to be a factor in most card games; some more than others. So if you have a gaming buddy who seethes when you destroy their characters and rolls their eyes when you cancel out a move they just made because this game is just so “broken” don’t invite them to this shindig because Bloodsuckers may leave’em red and furious. This game is vicious and dirty, filled with gut punches and cheap shots. And once you start putting together the card combos and using your tokens effectively you’re going to be laying down some serious damage leaving your opponents grimacing and clenching their fists.
You really need to play at least two or three games of Bloodsuckers to memorize the cards and learn the game flow. Your first play will probably go pretty slowly and people who try and maximize every turn may bog the game down. Honestly you’ll probably not want to revisit Bloodsuckers right away but I encourage you to give it a few more rounds, even forgetting about the areas, just play some practice duels over a few character cards. Since there is text on every card you’re going to need some time to learn how to use each one and how they can work together.
If you’re the type of gamer that shy’s away from direct confrontation and hates luck in their games Bloodsuckers may not be for you. But if you have a crowd that enjoys playful smack talking and an occasional bloodbath, Bloodsuckers may be a fun way to let out your aggression.
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