Haupz Blog

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Bad Bones

2022-09-08 — Michael Haupt

I'd like to introduce another fun board game: Bad Bones. It's a board game rendition of a classic theme: tower defence.

Up to four players are facing the risk of having their tower and village raided and razed by an army of skeletons, who advance from the nearby woods. Whenever a skeleton reaches a tower or village, it inflicts damage, and as soon as either the village or tower of one player are destroyed, that player loses. Happily (?), those skeletons aren't too smart (how would they, without the brains to think) and move in very predictable ways. Also, they're just bones, so they can easily be smashed by the player's hero, who moves about the field freely.

The players can control how the skeletons move by placing traps. A skeleton hits a wall? It bumps off of it, takes a 90 degree turn, and continues moving in the new direction. A skeleton trips on a catapult? It flies off into the woods. And so forth.

Skeletons hitting walls and being sent off by catapult has consequences for those traps - they need to be repaired or will be permanently damaged after a second encounter with a skeleton. Skeletons moving off in new directions or flying around also has consequences - a skeleton entering the forest again will end up in the neighbouring player's playground, and catapults mean the player can choose which other player a skeleton is going to pester next.

Bad Bones can also be played in cooperative mode, wherein the players have to coordinate wisely to work with a shared pool of traps.

The game has very simple mechanics - which have complex implications. Players need to pay a lot of attention to using their resources, agree to losing some of their towers and village houses, and look ahead a few moves to anticipate skeleton movement. The random element of other players sending their skeletons one's way adds some spice.

It's a lot of fun, highly recommended.

Tags: games