Welcome to the new Game Night Blog Carnival! This is a feature we’re doing once a month with a few other RPG blogs. If you have an RPG blog, and would like to participate, check out the FAQ at the main Game Night page.
When a game is based on a specific property, the theme is frequently just pasted on. This is not the case with Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is a four player game by Treefrog Games and Mayfair Games. Discworld is based on Terry Pratchett’s series of novels of the same name. I have read several of the novels and as I read the rules for Discworld: Ankh-Morpork I could tell that the game was designed around the source material. The game is mostly about controlling areas of the twin cities of Ankh and Morpork but that is not necessarily the winning condition. Each player is dealt a card with one of seven people vying for control of the city on it. Each of these personalities has their own winning condition, though three of them are basically the same. The personalities winning condition make sense based on the characters in the book. These personalities are kept secret so that part of the game is trying to figure out who your opponents are while masking who you have been dealt.
Game play is pretty simple with most of the complexity being in the blocking of opponents actions while accomplishing your goal without giving away who you are. That means that means most people won’t be taking a straight forward approach. Each turn you play one card from your hand and do what it says to do. Then you draw back up to five cards. About as simple as it gets. The game ends when someone announces that they have met the victory condition or the draw deck runs out. If no one has managed to win when the deck runs out then there is a point system to determine the winner. Area control is represented on the board with wooden pawns of minions and buildings. There are a few other types of pawns depending on events that can occur during the game. There is also an interesting mechanic called “trouble”. A black trouble marker is placed into an areas of the city when a minion is added to an are where there is already a minion. “Trouble” effects what can be done in that particular area and figures into the winning condition for one of the characters.
Having a building in an area of the city allows a player to have access to the special ability of that particular area. Each area can only have one building on it. Buildings count for establishing control of an area as well. Control of an area is determined by who has the most bits of wood on it.
The game itself looks wonderful. The art on the board and cards is very good. The wooden pieces are well made and it is obvious what represents what. The only thing missing is four elephants and a turtle to hold the board up.
I enjoyed this game because it is simple to play but requires canny decision making and some deduction work to figure out who may be who. When we played we successfully managed to keep each other unclear of our identities. It is vital for everyone playing to understand the victory conditions for each personality so no one gives the game away. I recommend the game for less casual board gamers since it requires constant attention to what the other players are doing. There is definitely a hose the other guy element to the game. I highly recommend this for board gamers who are also fans of Pratchett’s work. The game is more fun when you get the jokes.
The next stop on the Game Night Blog Carnival is Glimm’s Workshop. Be sure to check out the main page of the Game Night Blog Carnival!