The Herald Bulletin

January 5, 2012

Nightfall ventures into Blood Country

Deck building game has second expansion

By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin

— Nightfall has always been one of my favorite card building games because it has the most player interaction and the best theme.

Fortunately the game just continues to get better, as has been proven by the most recent expansion, Blood Country, and by the first bit of news from next month’s expansion, The Coldest War.

For those not familiar with Nightfall, it has a horror theme. Players send minions consisting of ghouls, vampires and lycanthropes, among others, to attack other players. The goal is to have the fewest wounds when all of the wound cards have been doled out.

The game plays in about 30 to 45 minutes. It has a most unique mechanic in that cards come into play by a chaining effect that allows both players to bring new cards into the game on any player’s turn.

The first set of cards was just called Nightfall. The second was Martial Law and now Blood Country has been released. That has raised the number of minions available for a game to over 40 and a selection of action cards numbering over 30. In each game, eight sets of cards are available for anyone to add to their decks. Then each player has two sets that only they may have access to.

Blood Country brings a whole pack of interesting game effects to the table. One of the most interesting concerns the wound cards. Those cards have types, bleed, bite, etc., but until now they all worked the same and the difference was only used as a tie-breaker. Now several cards make use of the wound types by altering an effect and amplifying it depending on whether a player has access to a particular wound type.

The Feed mechanic also is used liberally in the game. Many cards have a Feed effect. Whatever the cost is listed after the Feed: text can be paid to get the card’s chain effect to have an additional time.

Also there are cards that will allow one player to take a card from another and do damage to another player at the expense of losing a minion.

Obviously the excitement of Nightfall doesn’t stop here. AEG has announced that the third expansion, The Coldest War, will be out in February. So far not much is known about the set, except that there will be new starting deck cards in it, along with fully illustrated wound cards and a new Moon Phase card that will change the game in a global way.

AEG has a huge hit on its hands with Nightfall. Designer David Gregg has done and continues to do a great job advancing the game without taking away any of the fun that makes it unique in the genre.