RBG #5: Three Cheers For Master
Designers: Daniel Windfeld Schmidt
Publishers: Atlas Games, Galakta, Ludofy Creative
Genre: Humor, Card Game
Number of Players: 2-6 Players (Best with 4-6)
Release Date: 2015
SCORE: 5.0 / 10
When you picture demon minions trying to impress their master, what do you think of? At least a little pillaging and just a dose murder right? Or at the least excelling at torture? Not this time around. There is a strange lack of blood and gore that I had hoped for on this visit to the realm of demons. It’s time to shuffle up the deck and prepare to give our Three Cheers for Master, Yes, cheer-leading.
In Three Cheers for Master, you take the role of one of the head demon’s, known only as “The Master”, favorite minions. What is your purpose? For some reason The Master is quite fond of cheer leading and morale boosters, so you think the best way is to whip the rest of the lesser minions into shape and build the best cheer leading tower to show your appreciation. The higher you climb the tower once it is built, you will receive an increased point multiplier! Be careful though, as the lesser minions have a severe case of blood lust…and tend to just kill each other.
Rhuts, you haven’t explained what the points are for! I’m getting to it! As you build your tower, each monster you add will give you x amount of points. As long as they stay alive during each of the “Big Hairy Fight”, events that cause your minion army to go hay wire and eat everything, they will generate points until Master shows up for inspections. You don’t exactly have to necessarily get your main minion piece as high as possible on the ladder, but it will help later on. For example, a three point minion on the second level is normally just worth three points. If you have your minion marker at at least the same level, that three point minion is now a six point minion. This allows many players to have gain a 4x multiplier by just having a single tower and possibly earning enough points to snag the victory.
Luckily in this case, there is a wide variety of monsters that will at least make you chuckle as you draw them out of the deck. While most of the creatures are either adorable or what could come right out of a Lovecraftian nightmare, they are further varied by a number of distinct traits. You have to pay attention to which monsters have which traits, as in many cases you can self-sabotage and watch as your empire burns and crumbles. (Dude, a little dark for a cheer-leading tower). Here is a quick list of the main traits your monsters can posses.
- Weak: When the monster falls, it suffers a wound and dies.
- Hungry: If aggression is towards a weak minion, it is immediately eaten.
- Heavy: Heavy minions fall and crush enemies underneath, killing them.
- Flying: Can be placed off the sides of towers and are not effected by gravity.
- Agile: Can either be placed right side up or rotated 180 degrees.
- Kamikaze: Suffers a wound at the end of the round when it attacks.
- Armored: Is allowed to take two wounds instead of one.
- Claustrophobic: Minion dies if surrounded on all four sides.
- Ninja: Placed face down and are not effected by action cards.
- Assassin: Minions that can be played normally or replacing another minion.
By far the best part of Three Cheers For Master are the beautifully illustrated cards created by designer and artist Daniel Windfeld Schmidt. Each monster was created in a black and white color scheme but are placed in from of a sepia background that really makes them pop. Schmidt’s particular style gives off a rather “cute but deadly” vibe that made me chuckle at 80% of the cards. I thought to myself, “How could this guy do any damage? Oh wait, he’s a demon.” The uniqueness doesn’t end there though, as even the descriptions and moment arrows are well drawn out and actually stand out. I highly recommend reading the text on each individual card as it passes through your hand. Most of the cards have a nice little quip or phrase that adds a more comedic aspect to the monster. Just don’t take them seriously.
In terms of replay-ability, let’s say Three Cheers For Master hasn’t been taken out of the box since the first time the cards were dealt. There are way to many variables and rule conditions to keep track of, so my initial play through of Three Cheers For Master felt more like a chore than actually sitting down and playing a what I thought would be a unique card game. Due to the game’s over-complexity, I will have to develop our own simplified house variant to even allow another round of play. After reading through the rules and constantly trying to stick to the original variant (at least for the inaugural game), I had never wanted to return a game so badly. Then again, since I am so damn stubborn, it will continue to sit and may not see the light of day again.
Overall, would I purchase Three Cheers For Master on my next trip to my local game store? Probably not. While the game’s artwork is definitely a treat for the eyes, Three Cheers For Master is an over-complicated mess of a card game. There are so many different rules and conditions that cause your tower to crumble as your minions savagely consume each other that it is difficult to play by the original variant or even follow your own. Three Cheers For Master is definitely worth exactly one try, then it needs to be made a permanent home on your shelf. Just like my copy, it will easily gather dust in between plays…if it ever will be played again.
Interested in more tabletop games like Three Cheers For Master? Be sure to watch out for the next issue and follow my Bacon Bits for a sneak peak at what the next issue might hold. Be sure to also check out everything else Nerd Bacon has to offer over in Beyond Bacon.
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