social deduction

dont mess cthulhu

Having come out previously as TimeBomb overseas, Don’t Mess with Cthulhu is a social deduction game for 4-6 players in which two teams are either trying to save the world or destroy it.  In this game you will have a set of cards which will either have flashlights, rocks, elder signs, or Cthulhu on them.  After giving out people’s secret roles you will deal out the cards to everyone, they will look to see what they have and then shuffle the cards into a stack in front of them.  From there you will flip over a number of cards equal to the number of players, but that is where the social deduction comes in because you have to pick who’s card you turn over.  After that the remaining face down cards are shuffled, dealt again, and the new round begins again.  The game ends when either Cthulhu is revealed, which is a win for the cultists, or all the elder signs are revealed, which is a win for the investigators.

cthulhu cards

This is a quick game and is best when played over multiple rounds as past experiences begin to blur between games making it even more fun, and also includes a mechanic to track wins/loses between games.  As a bonus for the backing Kickstarter campaign, Indie Boards and Cards will include the extra cards needed to expand the game to 8 players.  So if this sounds interesting to you then head over to the campaign page to pledge for you copy.

agent and operatives board

On March 22, a new espionage-themed board game, Agents & Operatives, will hit Kickstarter from Everything Epic, a game design and publication company “committed to producing games that combine innovative mechanics with thematic experiences.”  In Agents & Operatives, players are cast as Section Leaders of a clandestine Faction Team where the objectives are clear: locate Faction allies and decimate all enemies.

The game combines social deduction gameplay mechanics with worker placement through the strategic placement of units on interactive Zone tiles.  According to unit placement, players receive special unique abilities and then work to discover other players’ secret roles, obtain resources, and damage other players’ Sections.

agents stuff

What follows is an excerpt from Everything Epic’s official press release, in which the game design is further explained:

Agents & Operatives presents features that create genre-breaking mechanical combinations that are familiar yet used in new and dynamic ways that will allow gamers of all types, from the Avid Eurogamer to the Ameritrash Thematic gamer, to easily learn and enjoy together. Additionally, the game’s modality adds for high replayability, high strategy, with easy rules entry and low downtime that keeps players engaged and planning their next move; all the while scheming against their enemies at the table.

Exciting features of the game include Zone tiles that can be arranged differently to alter worker placement strategy and combat range. Faction Team objectives also change depending on number of players, allowing the game to showcase new strategies depending game size. Another innovative feature is the bold “Team Reveal” ability, where all Team members can collectively reveal their Faction to all other players in order to utilize a special ability. The game also adds a Terror Track, which makes the gameplay deadlier as the game proceed, immersing players in a race against time that compels decision-making based either on contemplated strategy or social instinct. Finally, in keeping with Everything Epic’s preference to avoid player elimination, despite being a combat game, players are never fully eliminated and can continue to assist their Team after decimation of their Section.

 Agents & Operatives is a game for 4-8 players and plays in 60-90 minutes.  Watch for the Kickstarter project for this game to launch on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.