What do you do when the nobility is getting to you? Bring in the monsters of course!
Viceroy is an interesting but fun game. Based on a Russian Collectable Card Game, the idea behind it is to build a ‘pyramid of power’. This pyramid represents your fantasy empire and earns you influence. The player with the most influence at the end of the game wins.
There are things that Viceroy missed a little with me, but I do enjoy it very much. I enjoy the series of interconnected mini-games that creates the Viceroy experience. There is deck building, resource management, pattern placement, bidding and bluffing. It’s a game that sounds like a mess, but all comes together nicely.
The first round can be a little slow as with a lot of deck builders. This changes with the first auction phase. From here, you want to be getting nobles (cards) before your opponents. You always want to be getting these cards in one way or another, because all are useful for your empire in the end. The worst situation to be in with Viceroy is not being able to build your empire.
Now on Kickstarter, Viceroy’s expansion is coming in the form of Viceroy: Times of Darkness. This follows a modular expansion system allowing you to mix and match as you wish.
The Aristocrats have little initial value. They prefer to in higher positions in your empire, and their cards reflect this. For example on their base, they contain special bonuses instead of the colours of other tiles. This means to maximise their benefits, you need to place them higher for full effect.
The Invasion module brings monsters to the table. Three times a game at set intervals, players will be attacked by creatures. These creatures are faced with bidding and bribery. You can defend against attack, or pay more for special benefits turning your foe into an ally. Failure to defend your empire brings a penalty, so you need to weigh the costs.
Finally, the Underworld brings the criminal element to light. This is represented wonderfully by building their empire below yours. Instead of gaining gems, players may choose to take an Outlaw card and a random judgement penalty. The benefits of using these outlaws can range from financial in the form of wild gems to manipulating your empire mid-game, a new feature.
Viceroy was a game a little harder to get in Australia, but you can pick up the original game as a part of this Kickstarter. If you enjoy Viceroy, this is an expansion that should have you interested. If you haven’t played Viceroy, I encourage you to find a copy and give it a game!
Check out the Kickstarter page here.
You can also check out the original Viceroy on Board Game Geek here as well as the Times of Darkness expansion here.