19 November 2008

Grendel Must Be Slain

An Intro To Beowulf: The Movie Board Game

In Beowulf: The Movie Board Game, players compete over the course of three acts, following Beowulf’s epic journey from brash young hero to mature king. Players will place their longships, castles, thanes, and Beowulf figures on the board in an attempt to score saga points. The player with the most saga points at the end of Act III is the winner! Players Two to four players, each controlling a number of longships, castles, thanes, and one Beowulf figure. Gameplay At the start of the game, the board is turned to its Act I side and each player takes two tiles from the Act I tile pool. On each turn, players either draw a tile into their hand and then play a single tile or place one of their plastic figures on an empty space on the game board.


Tiles are either boons, perils, or special tiles (which may also be boons or perils). Boon tiles have on them a positive number; perils have a negative number. When a player draws and plays a tile, he draws from the tile pool and chooses one of the tiles in his hand to place on the game board. As the act progresses, the tiles will create rows and columns with points values granted to them by the boons and perils in place. Players may also place figures from their available pool onto the game board in lieu of drawing and playing a tile. Figures have a player color and a number of diamonds printed on their base to reflect how important the piece is (longships have one, castles two, thanes three, and Beowulf himself four). At the end of each act, figures earn points for their controller equal to the sum of their row and column multiplied by the rank of the figure. For example, if the brown player plays a longship into this row, it will earn a total of 3 points (+1 for the first boon, -2 for the peril, and +4 for the last boon, multiplied by the longship’s one diamond). It will also score points for its column, using the same system, at the end of the act. When an act is finished, all pieces on the board score, and then the board is cleared off to prepare for the next act. Figures used to score are returned to the box, except for longships, which return to their controller’s pool. All tiles played on the board and remaining in the pool are likewise returned to the box, and a new pool is created from tiles for the new act. Play then proceeds as before. The Act III board is twice as large as the others, with many more options and chances to powerful plays, so don’t worry if you’re behind going into the final act! You could still score big! (Or maybe you can trick your opponent into getting a big wad of negative points.) Special Tiles Some tiles have special abilities either instead of or in addition to boons and perils. For example, the mead tiles, all of which are boons, can be replaced by drunkenness tiles, which are perils, possibly turning a big positive score into a big negative score for your opponent! Treasure can be used to score immediately, and gorges can break up rows and columns to protect yourself from perils or keep boons from your enemies. Play carefully! If you place a scoring piece too early, your opponents may be able to saddle you with a large negative score. if you play too late, you might miss out on a large number of points. Victory The winner is the player who has amassed the most saga points at the end of Act III.

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