Among Thieves

Indie Boards & Cards has three new releases this summer. First is Conflicting Legends, which Indie Boards & Cards has picked up to publish a second English edition. Conflicting Legends is a fast-paced strategic card game based on rock-paper-scissors.  The artwork on the cards depict a variety of historical science, culture, and military personalities. Each card has a unique ability. Conflicting Legends plays 3-6 players, ages 14+, in about 30-45 minutes, and will be released on May 15.

 Next is Among Thieves, a game of deception and greed. Players are criminals and blackmailers working together to steal from the Dystopian Universe mega-corporations. Each round, one player is the Heistmaster who chooses which other players to take on the heist.  Each player negotiates to get in on the action and partake in the loot.  However, no agreement is binding and players may choose to be dishonorable and take a larger share. Players win by having the most money but risk elimination if they lose too much honor. Among Thieves plays 3-8 players, ages 14+, in about 30-45 minutes, and will be released on June 26.

Lastly, Finger Guns at High Noon is sure to be a fast-paced and hilarious game of a western shootout. Its everybody against everybody unless players can convince others to join in or they lasso up an ally Actions are played simultaneously by counting down to draw finger guns. Different hand gestures show everyone’s actions and targets. Use pistols, dynamite, and power shots to eliminate other players, heal yourself at the saloon, organize a posse, or lasso up an ally. Once eliminated, players are still in the game as ghosts who have fewer actions but can thwart the plans of the living players.  Last player standing is the winner—unless the ghosts eliminate everyone.  Finger Guns at High Noon plays 3-8 players, ages 14+, in about 20 minutes, and will be released on June 26.

The first game from the Bulgarian design team of Cherry Cannon Games, Among Thieves is a new take-that, light deduction game seeking funding on Kickstarter. Players take the role of thieves trying to prove who is the best by stealing from the city or each other, laying traps, foiling plans, and committing heists. Before going any further about what I see of the game, it’s best to summarize the game as is written on the campaign page:

 Everyone has the same set of action cards and each turn selects two, placing them face-down in front of himself or herself. Then, starting with the Acting Master Thief (first player), all players take turns in revealing their cards and completing their effect. At the end of the round, one of the two actions played is secretly discarded and play continues until there is a clear winner.

The game’s theme is not particularly new as skulduggery is always such a convenient host for intrigue and deduction, but the game-play is not as easily defined as the theme. Having two cards and playing them one after another in a manner of action order selection is very Coup-esque, perhaps. Some of the cards are traps, gambits, or sabotage actions meant to counter-play anyone at the table, which requires that particular deduction element hobbyists have become accustomed to.

However, Coup never gave players the whole array of possible personalities/actions to pick from, nor the ability to hide what actions might be available from future rounds. Coup also didn’t have Among Thieves’ purely cutthroat demeanor nor it’s striking macabre Victorian caricature artwork that I, for one, find greatly under-appreciated. So it really is a great departure from Coup, and I’m glad! The quick-and-dirty-and-light social deduction genre could use a fresh perspective, and Cherry Cannon Games has just that. Be sure to check out their websiteKickstarter,and Facebook pages for more information and updates!