Printemplaying: Blood Rush

In Blood Rush, a 2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest submission by Javier Martin, you are a band of monsters trying to capture seven villagers before the inquisition arrives.

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This game consists of four location cards, five villager cards, a lair card and four double-sided monster cards. At the beginning of the game you have to place the four locations on your table from one to four. Then, place an Inquisition die showing the ‘one’ face on the ‘zero’ spot of the victim track on the lair card and another die on the ‘event die’ spot.

Your goal of the game is to capture seven victims before the Inquisition die shows a six.

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In the town phase, you place one villager face-down below every location. The last villager is kept out of the round. After that, reveal the villager at location one, the forest. Then roll the event die, the value corresponds with an event that has an effect on the outcome of some encounters. One of the events is ‘Blood Rush’ at one of the locations. Every location has an amount of shields and Blood Rush means that those shields don’t count when monsters try to capture villagers on that location.

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In the planning phase you assign the monsters to any location. You can assign multiple monster to one location. When you have done that, you resolve the encounters. At the start of an encounter, you can use the ability of the monsters there. For instance, the witch can exchange villagers or the vampire can bring more villagers to the current location. If you use an ability, your monster is weakened and cannot use this power again. After that, you reveal the villager. Every villager, like the locations, has a shield value. Every monster has a bat value. Add all the shields from the location and the villager(s) together. Add all the bats from the monsters on that location together and if you have more bats than shields you capture a villager (except in the forest, where no person can be captured), +1 one the victim track. If there are more shields than bats, the monsters lose and the ability of the villager activates. These abilities are like, +1 to the Inquisition die, lose a victim, re-roll the event die. Now, again, you can choose to use the ability of a monster and after that we move to the inquisition phase.

In this phase you increase the Inquisition die by one and return all the cards back to their stack. Keep in mind not to flip the monster cards. The weak ones must stay weak! Another round begins.

Let’s not beat around the bush, I do not like this game. I find the game too easy. It sounds very cool. Monster with abilities. Villagers with abilities.However, I have won the game every time without using any of my monster abilities. And because the weakening doesn’t concern the amount of bats the monsters have, the game doesn’t become more difficult when you have to weaken a monster. Plus, the events make it even easier to capture villagers.

I have found that if I neutralized the villager at the first location and made sure I had a decent chance to win the second and/or third location, I didn’t have to worry about the fourth. Every round the same thing and then I would win the game, easily.

This game offers no challenge at all.

The illustrations are kind of OK and the graphic design is pretty good too, but the game itself  is just not for me.

 

2 thoughts on “Printemplaying: Blood Rush”

  1. Hi there! Designer here. First of all, thanks for the review! I’ve replied to your review on BGG but i don’t think you’ve seen it, so please allow me to answer here too.

    I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy your time with the game. That said, I find really surprising that you won every single one of your games, especially without using your abilities! From the experiences of other people and my own, your win rate is unusually high. Could you have missed some rules? From the top of my head, these are the most common mistakes:

    -You are only allowed to use the Monsters’ abilities in a location under the Blood Rush effect, either before resolving the encounter or after resolving it (if the location is still under the BR effect). You mentioned on your review that the only advantage of the BR effect is not counting the shields of the location, so I just wanted to make sure you were playing right.

    -You have to resolve every single location, even those without any Monsters assigned. Since two Villagers will hamper your progress heavily (by raising the Inquisition die value or removing Victims), and a third may potentially activate one of those two effects, you must have been very lucky to simply sail through multiple playthroughs if you were leaving locations unattended. So, for instance, if you focus your efforts in the first and second locations, the Villagers in the third and four locations will win the encounter and activate their abilities.

    -You don’t get a victim in the Forest even if you win the encounter. Conversely, if you lose the encounter at the Forest, the Villager will activate its effect, so sometimes you have to assign a Monster there only to avoid losing progress.

    -You don’t get a victim in the Lair even if you win the encounter, but you may change the Event Die to any side of your choice.

    -You only win if at the end of a round you have 7 victims. It’s not enough to get the 7 victims – you have to survive that last round.

    -If there’s a tie in a location, you don’t get any victims, although the ability of the Villager doesn’t activate.

    -Barring unusual circumstances, like skipping the Inquisition phase because you got a 6 in the Event die, you have 5 turns to win. In those 5 turns you have to get 7 victims , so you need to get more than one victim per turn. If you are focusing on neutralizing the Villager at the Forest, you are not getting one victim there. How are you getting 1-2 victims per turn with your described strategy? Honest question, there’s something that doesn’t add up…

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Javier!
      Yes, I might have been very lucky every time with my neutralize the Forest and then hope I win one or two victims at the second and third location, leaving the fourth location unattended strategy. I don’t know. I haven’t missed a rule as far as I can see…

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