Adventures in Ankh-Morpork

Last week saw my latest boardgame purchase – the collector’s edition of Ankh-Morpork, from Martin Wallace – arrive just in time to take it along to Scimitar Wargames Group.

I had played the final pre-release version of this game at the UK Games Expo this year, and had immediately ordered this, so it’s been a long time in coming.

I soon had 3 other players eager to play, and we sat down to what turned out to be a very enjoyable game.

There have been several complaints that this game is too ‘lite’, but it does depend on what you are after in a gaming experience.

Certainly, the ‘Play a card, follow the instructions, draw a card’ seems simple enough – and the area control aspect of the game is also very straight forward – most ‘Un-Wallace-like’, many would say.

However, what we found was a game that was very accessible, easy to play without being simple or simplistic and had tons of player interaction. With the added subtlety of trying to work out what all your opponents victory conditions are (as they may well all be different)  so as not to inadvertently give them the game, the whole is definiately greater than the sum of the parts.

However, the parts are important too – the game board is a wonderful rendering of the city of Ankh-Morpork, and the artwork on the cards is simply fantastic – possibly a little too ‘Victorian’ for some people’s tastes – it certainly is a far cry from the earlier work of the Josh Kirby book covers.

The ‘Collectors Edition’ adds a larger box with different cover artwork, a bigger board, wooden money, an artwork poster and the total absence of the number between seven and none nine – yes, that misprint appears in the rulebook! The result is that several cards and the board have had to be reprinted, and there is a custom D12 dice, all with the number “7a” instead of that other number.

The result of our game was a definite ‘Two Thumbs Up’. You don’t have to be a Discworld fan to enjoy this game, but I can see that it would help – however, as a light area control game with lots of player interaction, this game works very, very well.

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