Designers: Nick Ferris
Publisher: Escape Velocity Games
Alright lets jump Into The Cardboard: Les Miserables, is based upon the novel from Victor Hugo. In the game you take the roles of the characters of the book, and leading theme down the paths of their fate. Depending on what happens to them will assist you in scoring for other characters. Sounds simple, however this game involves a lot of muscle memory, and has depth and replayability for years. Let’s check out the components and then onto the final thoughts.
First off I want to say that this is a prototype copy provided by the publisher/designer for preview. I only had the cards for this copy, however the final version will include tokens as well.
- 20 Character Cards
- 12 Citizen Cards
- 3 Aristocrats
- 3 Soldiers
- 3 Peasants
- 3 Students
- 4 Reference Cards
- 20 Scoring Tokens
- 16 – 1 Point
- 4 – 5 Points
You start by shuffling the cards together. Once done you deal three cards face up between the players, this is the tableau. Now you pass each player 2 cards face down. From these cards, players choose one to keep and one to discard. With the discarded card you actually have two options, you can either SAVE the person or KILL them. This is where the strategy starts to come in right from the beginning. The KILL pile is face down so nobody knows what is in there, but the SAVE pile is face up so it is public knowledge. One you have chosen what you want to do with your discarded cards, the rounds begin.
On your turn you take one of 3 actions:
- Draw a cards: Either from the tableau, or from the draw pile. If you take it from the draw pile it can go into your hand or face up in front of you, your choice. However if you take from the tableau, it need to be placed face up in front of you’re in your play area.
- Use a card: You can use one of your cards for their ability. If the card is in front of you, just designate which cards you are using. If the card is in your hand you will now need to place it face up in front of you so that the other players are aware of the card you are using.
- Score a card: You choose one of your cards to score them. On the card there are 1-3 scoring options. You can store all of them that you are able, on a single card. If the card says KILL in the scoring section you review the KILL pile secretly and confirm if you have met the necessary goal, but you must be honest. Once you have scored that card, you will need to either KILL or SAVE that character. You do not need to actual score points to take the KILL/SAVE action.
When you need to draw a card and are unable to for any reason, the game ends. You lose 2 points for each card you still have in front of you and in your hand. Talley the scores up and highest score win.
This game is very quick. The synergy between the cards is great. I haven’t read the book but based upon this game I may want to. I can get a glimpse of how the characters hate one person but really love or admire another.
If you need a quick, filler game this will fill that slot nicely. It only takes about 15-30 minutes on average, but has some serious depth. However I could possibly see the game last a little longer with someone who goes in to Analysis Peristalsis.