It be dark in here

I got around to playing a couple of games of Dark Gothic, the Touch of Evil deckbuilding game.

I haven’t played much in the way of deck-building games, except Thunderstone which I quite liked although it was a bit fiddly. I do like the theme of this one.

I played two heroes in the competitive mode to start with and to get the hang of the rules. In the first game I payed the scientist and the smuggler, and in the second I played the monk and the noblewoman.

First game

My first game. I only missed a few important rules.

It is quite a simple game to play, and I found I always had option for something to do on my turn, even if I didn’t get a very good hand of cards and there wasn’t anything I could pay for on the central board.

The way the game works is you draw your hand of 6 cards and these are initially starting cards each worth 1 point of one of the three main resources (combat, spirit and cunning).

You use these points to either buy better cards from the row of cards in the central display, or you can buy training cards which are worth 2 points each, or you can fight the hungry dead which allows you to get rid of a card you don’t want any more (i.e. one of the starting cards).

Training cards

You can always buy a training card. These are worth 2 points of their respective resources.

Cards you buy go in your discard pile. When your deck runs out, you shuffle in the discard pile and start again, so you keep cycling through your deck over and over.

The cards you buy from the middle can include allies, gear and locations. All of these are better than the starting cards, for example giving you more points to spend or allowing you to draw more cards. You can also pay to fight minions (i.e. monsters) and take them into your deck, and these mostly have cool special powers.

These cards which you can buy from the six cards in the centre row give you better resources. The white icon is wild and can be any colour.

These cards which you can buy from the six cards in the centre row give you better resources. The silver icon is wild and can be any colour.

Gradually, your deck gets filled up with better cards, allowing you to buy even more better cards, and so on and so on.

These example cards have more interesting effects.

These example cards have more interesting effects.

Eventually the cards you are drawing into your hand each turn are powerful enough that you have enough resources to defeat one of the three villains. These are tougher than the minions and are worth a lot of investigation points at the end of the game. When the third villain is defeated, the game is over and you count up all the investigation points of all your cards and the villains you defeated.

Some cards affect other heroes, some have interesting effects when they come into play, and you can get stuck with Dark Secrets which eventually turn into Shocking Discoveries. In my first game, one of my allies turned out to be a werewolf.

I was given a Dark Secret card. When I drew it, Lucy turned into werewolf.

I was given a Dark Secret card. When I drew it, Lucy turned into werewolf.

I am looking forward to having a game with Gab. We might try the cooperative version.

Rules I forgot:

  • Silver in the cost of a card means can you can pay for it with any colour, but at first I thought it meant you had to pay with silver resources which is very hard. I spotted this mistake part way through my first game but then forgot that it also has to be a single colour. So if a card costs 2 silver then I can’t use a green and a red, it has to be either 2 green or 2 red (or 2 blue).
  • You can buy a training card with three of any colour. I forgot these completely in the first game. They are great to pad out your deck later in the game.
  • I kept forgetting about my heroes’ special powers. I tend to do this in other games too.
  • You can’t defeat two villains in one turn because the next villain card isn’t turned over until the end of your turn. This gives another player a chance.
  • If I have a location that grants a resource and remains in play, I only get to use only once per turn. I kept forgetting about these too.