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Band of Ogres

Designed by Fred Weller and published by Sneaky Lab Games, Band of Ogres is a light set collection and push-your-luck card game for 2-5 players where you are quite literally forming a musical band from your ogre cards in order to compete for the Grand Prize in a music festival .

Gameplay is super simple. On your turn you'll be drawing an ogre card from either the face-down draw pile or face-up discard piles. When you have seven cards that you can group together - a group of four cards with the same background colour or the same instrument, and a group of three - you can form a band to perform. You flip cards from a Performance deck and where a card shows either the colour or instrument in your band you'll earn gold - hurled at your ogres in appreciation. To take the gold, you push forward a qualifying card. Cards pushed forward can't earn any more gold, and they'll usually be discarded at the end of your performance. You keep flipping Performance cards, increasing your gold, but this becomes a push-your-luck challenge once a rotten tomato card is flipped. You can end your turn and take the gold you've earned or you can carry on flipping Performance cards but if a second rotten tomato card is flipped you're penalised: losing four gold and/or unpushed ogre cards. However, if you're brave enough to keep going after your first tomato card, you get a bonus gold for every subsequent card flipped.

Earning gold is good but it's not directly what wins you the game. To win you need victory points. To earn them you need to spend the gold to bribe the contest judges to give you Win cards; essentially buying a Win card from the market display. Note that not all Win cards are worth victory points; some offer additional powers or actions instead...

Tho' Band of Ogres is a simple game, it has charm and appeal and we've found it's proved especially popular as a family game. We had a lot of fun with the push-your-luck Performance phases, and we liked the fact that these incorporate a built-in catch-up mechanic for other players: the more you earn in performance the fewer ogre cards you have left at the end of your turn, so the longer it will take you to build up the cards needed for your next performance.

Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of Band of Ogres. The game is due to launch on Kickstarter in July. Click here to get a notification when the campaign launches.

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