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Mwahahaha! is a card game of mad scientists and global domination for 2 to 5 players. You assume the role of an evil genius who builds a criminal empire and constructs a doomsday device with which to cow a trembling humanity. But you're not the only one with grand machinations. Other players rival you for absolute mastery. He who completes his device first and collects the highest ransom is declared the winner -- and ruler of the world!
Inside the Box
When you open up the box, there's an enormous Rules book, a selection of mad scientist cards, a stack of Doomsday devices, a ton of D6's, A large bag of Resource tokens, and a pile to cards to be separated into the following decks: Resources, Dirty Tricks, Minions, & Empire. Resource Tokens are separated into the Piles: Money (green), Structure (grey), Eureka (Yellow), Power (Red), & Maniacal/Humiliation (Black, which aren't actually resources but they're the same size and packed in the bag). Good luck getting all this crap back into the box once you've unpacked it.
Everybody starts by picking out a mad scientist (Each with their own personality and clever statement), then they pick out a doomsday device. The play goes in 3 rounds, the Creation phase, the Rivalry Phase, and the Domination Phase. The Creation phase is where you harvest resources based on your ability to gather them (Each mad scientist has a harvest rating for each resource, 0, 1, 2, or 3 which determines quantity of each resource that you can naturally harvest). You can expand your ability to harvest by purchasing Empires, and you can set up defense of your Empires/Lair by hiring minions in this phase as well. The Next Phase is the Rivalry phase. Since you're all mad scientists, and you want to be the SOLE ruler of the world, you have to eliminate the competition, or at least slow it down a bit. So this is the phase where you send your minions to attack opposing scientists' lairs, and steal resources and/or empires. That's pretty much it. This phase will become more important if you run out of available resources, which there's a good chance you will. Finally the Domination Phase: Here you use the resources that you've gathered to power your doomsday device, and threaten harm upon an unsuspecting populace. You can threaten a City, a State, a Country or the World, Each respectively getting more difficult and resource intensive. The first person to dominate the world wins. The game throws in quite a few fun options like the Maniacal counters. You have the option of doing things like Raiding another scientists lair and taking nothing from it, or Killing off your own minions, or detonating a doomsday device on a city in order to gain Maniacal bonus' on domination rolls, likewise, if you threaten an area beneath your capabilities, or you fail to dominate a locale, you can incur humiliation points, which are the opposite of Maniacal counters and have negative effects on your Domination rolls.
This is a pretty fun game with quite a lot of humor. The artwork on the cards is funny, and the Doomsday devices are a riot. The ideas you can come up with as to how they would be executed are really fantastic. I really think that this game shines when you really get into the role of your Mad Scientist and try to ham it up: "Cleveland... Cleeeeeveland. You laughed at me when I was attempting to create intelligent life out of shelf-aged cheeses! YOU denied ME the Government grant to complete MY precious work! Well now I have completed my research, and you shall pay for your slight against my magnificent genius! For your insolence, I shall unleash lab-cloned Dinosaurs upon your city this VERY NIGHT! Goodbye, Cleveland...AHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA....*cough*!" If you sort of make it a competition as to who can make up a more ridiculous monologue against the puny cowering inferiors you choose to threaten, this game can really be funny. Dice rolls are pretty much like Risk rolls, they're contested rolls, so if you roll a 6, 5, 3 & 2 against an opposing 6, 4 & 4 you'd each get 1 success (6's cancel, 5 beats a 4, 4 beats a 3, the uncontested 2 is based against a 2 standard, so it fails.) I mentioned earlier that the rule book is fairly substantial. Don't be too intimidated. It really explains things in depth, perhaps too much at some points, but once you go through a few rounds of the game, you'll see how simple a game this is. I recommend this game to anyone looking for a fun time with their group, and not afraid to do a little character acting. The rules are available for Download on the White-Wolf website.