Blue Moon: The Khind
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The lively Khind fight in gangs. Each may not be very strong on his own, but played together, Khind are powerful! Many also have whimsical special powers that will drive any opponent mad!
The 31 different cards of this people set can be played against any people of the Blue Moon base game or any other people of the fantastic world of Blue Moon. There are no rules included in this set as these are covered by the Blue Moon base game.
I had a chance to pick up the new decks (Khind and Terrah) on their second day of availability (before they'd even been shipped to retail) and since then have had a chance to play about 25+ games of Blue Moon, most of those games involving one of the new decks. Based on my experience, I thought I'd give you a sense of the two decks and how I have been using them.
NOTE: My Khind deck is nearly completely consolidated except for one Aqua Leadership card (which actually helps the Khind a lot, more on that below.)
The Khind are by far the most unconventional race due to their unique icon, the GANG icon. There are 4 different gangs (differentiated by color and by Character prefix), with varying abilities within the gang's Characters. The gangs generally have similar numbers (lots of 3's and 2's, with NOTHING higher than 3 except the Mutant) but quite a few of the Characters have special text.
Though it is in the rulebook, I may as well state the 'Gang' power. You may play ANY number of Character cards together as long as they are from the same gang. On your turn, you may add more Characetrs to the active characters if they are still all in the same gang. Not only do all the VALUES accumulate, so do the SPECIAL TEXTS! (Sound crazy? It's just like Support cards built into your Characters.) This creates all kinds of headaches for their opponent.
The 'No' Gang is very straightforward with no special text, but has EIGHT members, (one of which you'd need to extract from the Mimix expansion.) Fighting them is like fighting the Snotlings in Dungeoneer -- they never seem to stop coming. Since there are so many, they are the ones trickiest to fight against since you never know exactly how many you could be facing. Playing with them is nice: no special text, but you can keep adding...and adding...and adding...
The 'Fun' Gang has FIVE members, with only one special text card: a 0/0 value that doubles one active (same gang) character value. Since there are two 3 Earth, and two 3 Fire in the Fun Gang, this is a very nice power to have.
The 'Top' Gang has FIVE members and is a very pesky gang to have to fight against. ALL characters in the Top Gang are 2/2 values, but every one of them have text: Force you to discard one card from you hand; Discard the top card of your draw deck; I draw an additional card; Discard one of your active Booster/Support ('B/S') cards; Discard one of your active Characters with an icon. And remember that as long as this gang is active, ALL powers apply EACH turn! Youch!
Lastly, the Cool Gang has FOUR members. And, as an opponent, you'll learn to hate them. All 2/2 values with text: Your odd Characters values are 0; Your even Character values are 0; Your odd B/S values are 0; Your even B/S values are 0. That's right, with all the cards in this gang down, absolutely none of your printed values are worth anything at all! The strength of this gang is countered by how hard it is to draw the gang into your hand. Even the Khinds cards allowing it to go back into its ddiscard/draw deck don't allow for a very good chances of getting them back.
Their mutant is worth mentioning since it is an 8/8 double shield that may only be played if you are BEHIND in the game. Useful, but only when you are losing. Otherwise nearly unplayable. Use it as soon as you can, or it can haunt you late in the game.
Boosters? None. Since the Gang power is such that you may only add to a Gang as long as it has no other cards in the combat area, Boosters would only be a nuisance anyways.
But Supports? Ah yes, they do have Supports: Your opponent may not take more than on card from the draw deck; I may draw one additional card at turn end; You may not play Support cards (this card is found in the base Vulca set); Your special text is ignored (except Flit Characters). Very nice cards on top of all the Character powers.
Obviously there is some luck in the card draw for Khind as getting gangs together at the right time are integral to being able to dictate the tempo of the fight. Thankfully, they do have a couple 'fetch' cards in their Leaderships that will help them find what they need: I search draw deck and take one card into my hand; I shuffle discards and take 3 blind into my hand (very ncie to be able to shore up a gang that has been split up.)
When I get the Aqua deck, I will consolidate, but until then, there is one more Leadership card: Now I discard all the active cards from your combat area except one active Character card. This is great against the Mimix (or against the Khind when it goes back to the Aqua deck) but also nice to thin out your opponent's combat area when he has 6 or more cards and you want to retreat with less penalty.
When I have taken Khind, I have generally done quite well, and when I have played against them, I have also done quite well. I have more experience with the game than my opponents, so it's hard to say how they stack up. My impression is that, even with poor card draws, a lot can be done with the Khind deck to force your opponent into playing cards he wanted to save, and being able to really handcuff his options, forcing him to discard cards, limit his redraws, kill his draw deck, cancel out even and/or odd printed values (!!!)
Playing against the Khind, I think the key is to know when to cut your losses and lose, especially if you can 'split' his gang -- say, kill 3 of 5 cards from a gang (since you then know the next time your opponent starts in that color, he only has two cards left in that gang.) Any chance to pluck cards from his hand is good, since chances are he is trying to stock gangs in his hand.
I do like the Khind deck. It's tough to play with, since you are always scrambling to assemble gangs and make sure you don't peak too early (by exhausting a gang from your hand before the fight ends, leaving your opponent with the upper hand.) It's tough to play against, since all the special abilities of the Khind can mess with your best laid plans. Definitely a different flavor of the game, with a real gang-up mentality as cards flop fast and furious.
The artwork is...different. Think Peter Pan meets Blade Runner. Very club kid, very sprite-ish. Green hair, short blades, clunky boots, etc. I do like it quite a bit, and think it is a perfect thematic fit. If you only buy one expansion deck, I think this one is the best so far (barely edging out Terrah) since it forces you to play a completely different style. Very fun, very tricky. Well worth owning in my book.