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Orcs at the Gates
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Jolly Roger Games
Players: 2 - 5
Weight: 595 grams
Average Rating: 3.7 in 3 reviews
Another reviewer said the game was poorly balanced. It isn't. It is designed to do exactly what it does, force the players to work together to beat the GM. If the players quibble among themselves, the GM is guarenteed to win. But if they focus, they can beat the GM. I've been in a game where it was done, with half an hour to spare. I just wish I could find a copy still in print, because I don't often get to be with my friends that have it often enough to play.
I haven't read the comic this game is based off of, but if you've ever done any roleplaying at all, you'll appreciate the little jokes in it. My favorite is a card where the girlfriend of one of the players comes over and he loses a turn while he's distracted. (If I remember right, that really used to distract the entire group of players.)
In the game, there is the game-master who has his own set of cards. Every turn, he rolls a die to bring more orcs onto the board in an attempt to wipe out the players. The players earn points for each orc they kill and any items they acquire throughout the game. Things really heat up when a player draws a card that fills the board with orcs or just the squares around the player. The other card stacks included in the game are the Player's and Treasure.
All in all, it's a fun little game that was perfect for a big group watching football on Monday nights! I recommend this game for some mindless hack/slash with a little roleplaying humor thrown in.
This game is based on the comic 'Knights of the Dinner Table', a series about a bunch of roleplayers who (mostly) resemble the stereotypes that have been around since the early 1980s. Players in this board game take up various personas from the comic. One player is the DM; the others are PCs in the game this game is spoofing. As a PC your goal is to kill orcs and nab treasures to amass points. As the DM your goal is to kill all the players. The game ends when one PC reaches 1000 points, when all PCs are dead simultaneously, or when 2 hours of play time have elapsed (DM victory).
Don't fret if you're not familiar with the comic this game is spun off from. That won't hamper your enjoyment. What WILL hamper your enjoyment is extremely poor game balance. The DM is virtually assured of winning. Unless he plays like a moron, the worst he'll do is win by attrition when the 2 hour limit expires. Only 1 PC even has a shot at coming close to 1000 points -- that's Dave, who starts the game with a +12 weapon. He's grossly more powerful than any other PC in the game. If you're playing any other character the best you can hope for is to avoid dying for as long as possible.
This game is funny and would worth at least 4 stars if it were balanced. Instead, it feels like something the publisher heaved over the transom without even playtesting, expecting to make sales anyway to comic book fans who snap it up because it's part of a franchise. The high price makes it even more of a disappointment. I still play it a few times a year because I already own it, and I would lend my copy to friends to try out, but I would caution against spending the money to buy this flawed game.