Two years ago when we were just getting started in our exploration of tabletop games, we played another Discworld game called Guards! Guards!, which was overly convoluted and annoyingly complex in its rule-set for no other discernible reason than “just because.” Despite enjoying the world of Discworld, I disliked the game and would not play it again, so imagine my skepticism when my husband wanted me to play Discworld Ankh-Morpork.
# of Players: 2-4 players
General Mechanics: The board is a map of the city of Ankh-Morpork from Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld series. Lord Vetinari has disappeared, leaving various factions to fight over control of the city. Each player gets a “secret” character role to play, each with its own victory conditions. Players don’t know who is who and thus, don’t know what other players need to do to win the game.
Players take turns trying to place minions and buildings (both of which are used to gain control of a city sector). Players will also try and remove other players’ minions, quell & make “trouble” across the city, and steal resources from other players. All of this is done through 132 player cards. Players play a card and do what it says. Some cards have more than one action: some let you gain or steal money, some allow you to place buildings or minions for free, and others allow you to play more cards. The cards were very interactive and unique. I never felt like I was bored by repetitive cards, and the artwork was awesome.
The mechanics sound simple, and they are. It didn’t take the three of us long to figure it the pacing and settle into a fun game.
How to Win/Lose: Win conditions vary depending upon which personalities are being played by the players and can range from controlling a certain percentage of the city sectors to running out of player cards.
What I Liked: I loved that there were different characters. Trying to guess who everyone was and prevent their winning conditions added a unique challenge to the game. The simplicity did not detract from the game at all. If anything, it made it more enjoyable.
What I Didn’t Like: I could wish for a larger map. I realize Ankh-Morpork on the board is based off the city itself in the books, but this game could be epic-fun with a larger city.
Overall Rating/Impression: I want to own this game–sooner rather than later. Loved it. Can’t wait to play it again. 8/10 stars.