Gameday First Play – Darkest Night

Posted on by Jesta

Darkest Night..

Unholy night…

Darkest Night, is a fully-cooperative board game for one to four players (up to six with variants), set in a kingdom broken under a necromancer’s shadow. Each player takes on the role of one of the kingdom’s last heroes (nine playable characters), each with a unique set of special abilities, just as they hatch a plan to save the realm.

It can be played as a fully co-op but we played it as 2 vs 1 with the ‘2’ having 2 characters each.

And I chose the Knight…

Just Kidding! I picked the Rogue, of course.

Darkest Night Rogue

I also had a Ranger too… But who cares about the non-Rogue characters.

To win, you’re trying to either defeat the Necromancer, or carry 3 Holy Relics back to the Monastery.

This is a pretty tough game to describe… I can talk about the mechanisms and the game will seem pretty dull to be fair. Flip cards, roll dice. I won’t be able to get across how this game makes you feel. Like a good co-op, it’s tense and you feel on the back foot the whole time… The baddies, or Blights are tough to beat and they are constantly appearing, mostly faster than you can kill them.

The turn tracker is ticking up, quite often more than 1 space at a time and as it gets closer to the end… well, you know what time running out in a co-op does to your heart 🙂

Anyway, the game is played in the vein of Arkham Horror with a Lord of the Rings-esque thing going on. You have ‘Grace’ which is essentially hit points. But you have Secrecy which prevents you being seen, especially by the Necromancer. If you keep moving location your secrecy increases. The Rogue can increase his Secrecy… The Ranger was good at Movement.

So the game is played on a (small) board…

Darkest Night Board

The turn starts with the Event stage. Flip a card and resolve it… These mostly give you things to fight and other effects… I’ll be honest, I don’t remember any specific ones, oops! 🙂

Then you take ONE action, just one… You can Travel (move one space), Hide (Gain a Secrecy), Attack a Blight in your area, Search with a dice roll etc

Once all the Heroes have taken an action the Necro moves, depending on a Dice Roll, to the characters with low secrecy… so keep yourself secret, keep yourself safe.

The Necro then drops a Blight off at his location… If he would drop a 5th one off at his location you start adding them to the Monastery which will start to lead to a game loss if things aren’t kept in check.

All in all it’s a nice, simple experience where your feelings of being overwhelmed by evil rule over any of the mechanisms.

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