Review – Dead Last
A Bluffing, Voting card game.
Title: Dead Last
Year Published: 2016
Designer: Matthew Grosso, Andy Patton
Publisher: Smirk & Dagger Games.
Game Time: 45-90 mins
Set-up Time: ~1 min
Theme: A Tontine
Mechanic: Simultaneous Action Selection, Take That, Voting
How to win: Get to the points total first.
A “social collusion” game of shifting alliances, betrayals, and murder for profit in which players must conspire and vote upon whom to kill each round. Any means of overt or covert communication is allowed — a glance, a nod, pointing under the table, flashing a card, anything – but make sure you don’t tip off the target or they could ambush you instead!
Stand your ID in front of you and take out a card for each player’s colour, including your own.
Shuffle the Gold bars, lay 4 out face down
The game is played over 2 phases over the number of rounds required for a player to hit the game ending points total.
The first part is Conspire. Players communicate for 90 seconds by any means necessary. I personally ban the use of electronic devices (to stop private chat networks) but I allow anything else.
This phase should last 90 seconds but we find 30 is more than enough.
When the timer expires, the players Vote by selecting a card of the player they are trying to eliminate face down.
The player or players that received the most votes is designated the ‘Target’. The Target players are eliminated as are any player that did not vote for the Target are also eliminated.
You can protect yourself If you think you are going to receive the most votes. You can play your Ambush card and if you are a Target, you eliminate 1 person who voted for you.
If you played your Ambush and were not a Target, you are eliminated.
If you are eliminated, lay down your ID card then if more than 3 or more players remain, those players start a new round.
If 1 player is left, they take all 4 Gold bars , if they haven’t triggered the game end, a new round begins with all the players back in the round.
If 2 players are left you give each player a set of Final Showdown cards.
When ready, after discussion and bargaining, both players reveal and resolve the cards they picked…
If both players Share, they take 2 Gold each… However if one Steals that player will get all 4 instead.
If a player pics Grab One and Go they pic and the other player gets the other 3. If both players play Grab One, they both just Grab One.
If both players Steal they both get nothing, but, every OTHER player draws a Gold card.
After the Final Showdown, if no one triggers the game end, a new round begins.
When a player gets the designated points total the game ends (Usually around 7-8 Gold bars.
In a 6-9 Player game the total is 25 points, 24 points for 10-12 Players.
Tied players complete a Final Showdown to decide the winner!
This is a very nice, faced paced game that can lead to a lot of laughs.
Trying to give clues, communicate to certain people without other people looking/listening while also looking for plots against yourself is tough. When to play your Ambush card too… Get it wrong and you take yourself out…
I compare it to Cash n Guns which is a game that takes as long to draft treasures as it does to play a full round of Dead Last. There is also no discussion phase which makes it tough to guess what will happen… its just bogged down a bit.
This game isn’t without it’s flaws… There is always someone that thinks a random card play is just as good as discussion. If you’re not talking, get off my table… You’re throwing the whole game out of whack!
Then ‘Mr Strategy’ comes along and tries to turn it into a Euro and makes everyone yawn.
Also, you need 6 players minimum…
Also also, the box isn’t big enough… It’s a nice enough box, but it has 12 grooves for cards and there are 13 sets…
Apart from all of that, it’s a lot of fun but I have to be in the right mood.
Very good, but requires at least 6 players who like fun (Harder to find than you think)
I give it 6/10