Rum & Bones Review: First Impressions

Learning Curve has been suspended for the week whilst I cover something a little different.  I have been lucky enough to come into possession of Cool Mini or Not’s undead pirate-fest Rum & Bones!

In a few weeks I’ll have had a chance to play the game a couple of times but until then we’ll just have a look at the box contents (& a sneaky first play).  The first thing I should say is that I’ve never owned any of CMON’s products before and so I wasn’t sure what to expect.   I was not disappointed though, packed from port to stern with amazingly high production value tokens, boards, dice, cards and miniatures this is a very nice looking board game.

The miniatures themselves are great.  The heroes in particular as one would expect.  I briefly considered painting all 70 of them before realizing that was all kinds of bonkers but I might do the character figures just to make them stand out a little bit more.  With 35 (28mm ish) figures per side the game looks like a proper all our battle and when it’s all set up the boards and pieces really draw the eye.

The rules are well written and clear with a very simple core set of mechanics to which all normal figures adhere to.  The Heroes start to deviate away from that but since they all get a snazzy rules card to put in front of you it’d be difficult to go too far wrong.  Your troops constantly cycle since they can’t be killed (only KO’d) and the game continues until somebody basically wrecks the opponents ship.

Obviously the first play through is a little slow as you grapple with the rules and it did feel a little grindy at first until I started to get the hang of the Hero rules.  Those guys are all immense in their own way and have particular roles to play.  I suspect that getting to grips with how they interact together, where to move to and who to steer clear of is the way to win the game.  So far particular favourites are Crazy Ivan who is an unparalleled dervish capable of really messing up the opponents day and Little Tom who has a couple of mad abilities but mainly was just a wrecking ball!

After a few turns each one flowed pretty well and with Heroes and deckhands dying every turn the game really seesaws back and forth.  Just when you think you have the upper hand a brutal counter attack or well timed card can really throw a spanner in the works.  Nothing’s quite like a swift ‘shut your gob’ to mess up an enemy heroes activation…

I’ll have enough games under my belt to say whether or not it is going to be a gaming club favourite or a shelf filler after a few more plays but so far it’s looking like the former!  It’s not cheap though so before I recommend it I’ll play it some more.-Mark

 

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