Think like a rat. Act like a rat. BE A RAT! so begins the presentation of Ratland: Conquest of the Sewers, a game designed by Eduardo García and published by Eclipse Editorial and Draco Ideas. In Ratland you will be in charge of your own clan of rats, your goal is to make your clan grow more than the others and to achieve it you will have to feed it, take care of it and make your subjects to reproduce.
As head of your clan in Ratland you must provide your subjects with food, for this you can send them to look for cheese in missions to the field, the city or the dump, but be careful! You could find cheeses that are not very nutritious and even poisoned, your mice could get disoriented and lost or poisoned, losing turns or even dying unfortunately.
You can also try to assault the appetizing pantries of the nearby clans but it is also convenient that you leave some guards so that your neighbors do not assault you as well. You will also have a Nursery where the clan stallion will help you multiply your subjects. Of course, remember that you must feed your rats each turn, so the more rats you have more cheeses you will need each turn.
The content of the box is as follows, and I apologize but I think nothing better as an image to illustrate this point:
The patrons of the crowdfunding also received some exclusive extras such as some nice boxes (to put the cheeses and the rats counters) and some card sleeves with the logo of this board game.
In addition, in the campaign were offered as additional purchase plastic miniatures for replacing the rats counters and 80 extra cheeses.
It is remarkable that, as we could see in our review of Sector 6, all the components of this new board game have very good quality too, the counters have a good thickness and very nice and funny illustrations drawn by Ramses Forest (“2GM Tactics “,” ONUS! “And” Dice Driving “) while the graphic design was the work of Matías Cazorla (” 2GM Tactics “,” ONUS! “And” Spain 20 “) and as for the 3d designs, they were modeled by Pablo Miras (“Alchemical Crystal Quest”).
Ratland is a board game with hidden action programming and simultaneous resolution, worker placement mechanics, bluffing, push your luck and high interaction between players, among some other that I may have overlooked. Despite this, Ratland is an extremely simple game that you can start playing in a few minutes after unboxed.
Ratland has an estimated time of 30 to 45 minutes of play, for people aged 8 and up and for two to six players, although according to the author has been tested with up to twelve players simultaneously without problems, although requiring two game boxes , as expected.
This board game itself has very simple rules, quick to learn and very interactive, you have to try to find out the intentions of the other players, try not to be defenseless against attacks, try to take advantage of the carelessness or greed of your neighbors and try your luck sending your rats to look for food.
The basic rules of Ratland are best explained in an image obtained on the official website of the Kickstarter as we will see below:
With these simple rules we will have guaranteed many hours of fun. However, as stated before, these are the basic rules, during the Ratland: Conquest of the Sewers Kickstarter campaign the Stretch Goals added advanced rules options to give more variety and more fun to the game.
The first of these optional advanced rules is the Aggressive Board, which is a game board located on the back of the normal player’s board, whoever uses this sewer may kill and lose rats when attacking other sewers even if the other player is using a normal boar and when sending rats to the exterior the aggressive player shall see if he or she has the majority of rats in that location, if it is so, the rats of the aggressive player wounds one rat from another player and sends it to the infirmary.
In return, the aggressive player will always steal a cheese less than the number of rats he or she sent to explore, the Field, the City or the Dump.
The second variant gives us a bit more depth to the clan concept, providing us with unique skills for each player, for example there is a clan whose lost rats return with a yellow cheese or another one that turn poisoned cheeses (purple) into yellow (normal) cheeses.
These variants are very good and they add emotion and variety to Ratland, although the basic game will give us a lot of hours of fun, since the emotion and variety are given by the players and their interactions.
In terms of quality of components and art Ratland does not disappoint, the design and the illustrations seem great and very representative for a funny game with a lot of confrontation.
The colored cheeses are very nice, the additional miniature rats looked very nice but after playing the game I can not imagine putting fifteen, twenty or more plastic miniature rats on those player boards.
We have tried the game in multiple sessions, both in its basic version and with the advanced rules, we have done it with our children of eight and ten years old, in general we all liked it, in fact, we liked Ratland so much that the first time we played it we had to play several times in a row.
The game has a high interaction component, you can raid other pantries, you may be assaulted, in an expedition the cheeses may be exhausted even before it is your turn to draw your cheeses, in short there is a high factor of confrontation and revenge, so I would suggest the best sports mood while playing and avoid playing with people who do not support this kind of interactions.
Deception and strategy are very important, for example, if you know that the combination of the event card and the food card will make other players send rats to a specific location you could make sure you are the one with the most rats in this location or do not participate and do other things like raiding another player’s pantry.
Breeding more rats than you can afford will bring bad consequences, breeding too little will make you lose the game because we do not know exactly how many turns we will play and as soon as the final card, which indicates the end, comes out, everyone must count their rats and turn them into victory points immediately.
In short, the game is quite fun and the optional rules add a lot of variety, I would recommend it to anyone who likes games where they can annoy other players and anyone who wants a fast, simple game with many possibilities and lots of fun.
I would not recommend it to people who can not stand the games where other people can attack them and steal things from them.
Comment from Sam (8 years old): “What I like most is the emotion of not knowing which cheese I’m going to take when I put my hand in the bag”
Comment from Leo (10 years old): “Too good, quick to learn and easy to play”
Finally, Eclipse Editorial and Draco Ideas have a campaign of a spectacular game of pirates called Skull Tales: Full Sail! which is in its final hours. Do not forget to check our article so you can see why you can not miss it.
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