It's the end of Killer Bunnies. The final expansion: the Ominous Onyx
expansion is here. The expansion is a double-sized one, in a larger
box, with tons of new stuff added. Now that the game is finished,
I'll post my final thoughts about the game at the bottom; but first
let's just look at the Onyx expansion by itself. However, a few notes:
- First of all, if you hate Killer Bunnies, none of the expansions are
likely to change your mind. More randomness is added, more powerful
cards are included, more of the "silly" theme is promoted - stuff that
fans of the game love, but detractors certainly do not.
- Some expansions are more interesting than others (I would rate them
Orange, Pink, Red, Onyx, Khaki, Steel, Purple, White, and Green - in
that order), but I really did enjoy them all.
- Expansions really should be added in order. You might get away with
adding a future expansion (such as Twilight White) to your blue and
yellow cards, but you'll run into "holes"; and some of the cards
simply won't make sense.
- It's fascinating how the designer had the larger picture in mind,
and how they referenced future cards in each of the decks. With all
nine expansions, it feels like a nearly complete game rather than some
expansions that are tacked on.
Now for some specific comments on the Ominous Onyx Booster Deck
(Playroom Entertainment, 2006 - Jeffrey Neil Bellinger):
- Ranks: Three more enlisted ranks and three more officer ranks
have been added. Since the officer/highest enlisted bunny effects are
already fairly powerful, this gives them a fairly decent chance of
coming into the game. It also causes players to gleefully grab the
Onyx cards when on top of the deck.
- More: More of the staple cards are included. The Feed the Bunny
cards are much more difficult to fulfill, and the weapons are gender-
specific. Two dreadful cards are the Very Terrible Misfortune (kills
ALL of a player's bunnies), and the Extremely Terrible Misfortune
(kills ALL bunnies!) Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe players won't
be eagerly grabbing those Onyx cards after all.
- Bunnies: A double set means double bunnies, and the game
includes likely the two most powerful bunnies in the game - the Extra
Super Red (which is a super bunny AND has all the abilities of all the
red bunnies), and the Extra Super Pink (same, but with the pink
abilities). Pray that you get these bunnies! There are also some
special colored bunnies (yellow Bunny Detroit, orange Brundle Bunny,
and purple Ambassador Bunny), which are interesting and fairly useful.
The oddball additions of the set are the celebrity bunnies, which
look like famous actors (mostly from science fiction movies or shows)
with bunny ears. I'm not sure why the artist went with humans instead
of bunnies, as it seems strange in the flow of the game. These
bunnies, which can come in pairs or triplets, are no color or type;
although if a player has three of them, they can play two cards a
turn. They are interesting bunnies, but I'm not sure what they add to
the game - unless it was the designer's way to get "7 of 9" in the game.
- Mysterious Places: There are twelve Mysterious Place cards in the
game. If a player draws one, they must immediately place it down,
drawing a replacement. The last player to draw one takes the "Yellow
Ball" token. This gives that player control over the destiny of any
card with the picture of the yellow ball on it (there have been one or
two in every set). More importantly, at the end of the game, a small
deck of Mysterious Place Cards are shuffled, and one is drawn. The
player who has the matching place may steal all saved Zodiac cards (so
you'll obviously need the Green expansion) of one type (Air, Earth,
Fire, Water) from the opponents. This is a bit too convoluted for my
tastes, actually. I do enjoy the yellow ball idea, but the zodiac
cards were already a bit odd for my tastes, and this just compounds
that. And another little deck of cards!?
- There are a ton of interesting, new cards, added to this
expansion. Here are just a few of them:
- Angry Hoe / Woburn: These cards allow a player to discard all
cabbage/water in Kaballa's Market. Knowing that these cards exist
will cause folks to stock up on the items.
- Bunny Budd: Allows a player to sacrifice a yellow bunny to
eliminate an Officer ranked bunny. That's one way to get rid of those
- Several of the cards directly affect "Kinder bunnies", from the
Kinderbunnies game, making those cards more viable and useful in the
- Court Marshall: Can be discarded to remove and discard a rank card.
Very nice when you control the second highest rank.
- Insurance Porpoises: Can be played with 5 Dolla under a bunny,
allowing them to return when killed. I like this card, if only
because any game that lets you take out insurance has something good
going for it.
- A few cards have effects on cards based on their identification
number. This is the first game where I've seen this occur; it's a
neat idea, even if you have to squint and look at the bottom to see
what the card is.
- A few cards double cabbage/water/defense. Except for defense, this
combo is probably not worth it, but it's still a nice option.
- Vouchers: A few cardboard "vouchers" are included in the game
for cabbage, water, and dollas. These are only used at the beginning
of the game, when a player needs change, and none is available in the
discard pile. Something that's not completely necessary, but useful.
Overall, Ominous Onyx is about what you expect from a final expansion.
It's big, brash, adds a bunch of stuff - perhaps superfluous at
times, and wraps everything together. The artwork is as funny as
ever, and quite a few recent movies are referenced. At the same time,
I think it's good that it's finished. There's only so many ideas that
you can fit into a light game, and this one has perhaps a few too
many. Let's look at the game as a whole now:
Everything fits in the original box, where I store all the cards, and
the Onyx box, which holds all the pieces and special cards, for ease
of finding later on. One annoying problem is that there are a pile of
rules sets, and I wish there was one large rulebook to help keep
everything straight. The Onyx attempts to review a few things, but I
would still prefer one large rulebook, or glossary at least. The deck
of cards raises completely too high off the table, but we just split
it into two decks, allowing folks to draw off either, giving them a
choice when there are two different colors.
In my game, I use every set, although I often keep out the Zodiac and
Mysterious Places - mostly because they add too much fiddliness with
not enough payout. I also threw in all the bunnies from
Kinderbunnies, which certainly ups the bunny ratio; but I think that's
a good thing, since they die all the time. The ratios stay constant
all the way through; and while the game is a real pain to shuffle, you
won't make it through the deck in a game, so one shuffle will likely
work for two to three games.
Killer Bunnies, with everything added, has lots of options - with
some strategic choices. But still - it's a silly game at heart, and I
still find it best played with teenagers. They are old enough to get
all the jokes in the game, and young enough not to mind the sheer
frivolity. The game is complete now - and it should be, but it still
retains popularity with the younger set. I also enjoy a good game now
and then. I just don't want to be the one who has to shuffle.
"Real men play board games"