|Proposed box art|
The game picks up where the wonderful short story by Neil Gaimon ends: with the sun setting on the Victorian Empire, Sherlock and Watson take what seems to be another assignment - a murder, a word written onto the wall beside the body and no apparent clue as to the culprit. But as they investigate further, the assignment becomes stranger than any other: the body is not, well, human; its blood is green and although there is little that is left of it one can tell that it is not of this world...
For those who want to read the story I won't give too much away, but the story ends with the uncovering of a movement of people in Europe against the established royal families and other elite. Known as the Restorationists, they strive to restore the natural order of things by removing the rather unnatural aristocracy.
|The board and it's groundbreaking artwork|
|Bidding far a card |
(Mrs Peacock is the white player with the sheep from Agricola)
|A highly contested city|
A turn consists of two actions: if you are to take a city or a card, that has to be your first action and you can only do that once per turn. A basic action requires the playing of cards, which have symbols on them - block to enable you to place an influence block and a coin to move places or buy more influences. A normal action involves placing influences on one card or one city.
There are more actions than that involved that I won't go into: blowing up agents / royalists, turning yourself or others into vampires, bringing on zombies, accumulating more agents, having double agents (which is cool) and the like. There is a lot of variety to the game play and I could not get my head around tactics for most of the game. You are also either a Royalist or a Restorationist. Whichever you are appointed to at the start affects the way you play as there are only royalists on the city squares to blow up so the Restorationists have more ways to accumulate victory points. The Royalists are, if you like, defending more - trying to kill agents before the agents kill the royals.
|The restoration and war tracks|
Without the board game bling, we were never going to be "wowed" by the game. I can see, however that the game would be fun and could be played a number of times with different tactics depending on which side you are on and how the game unfolds. So my lasting impression is quite favorable and I am keen for Steve to buy it so I can play it more often.
I think with some cool pieces and an attractive game board that it could be a real winner. The rules do need a bit of clarifying though - there were some "rules moments" which us gamers all know about: particularly around free actions but also whether you are playing with your fellow Royalists / Restorationists or whether it is every (wo)man for themselves. Zac and I as the Royalists came out on top with a bit of rules bending and Steve and Chris in true anarchist fashion fought each other and came last and second to last.
|Stephens restorationist card, |
looks a little bit like a spy from the Resistance
Allocating points is always random so I say 7.24926 / 10.
|Zac dedicates his victory to Nadar|