Game Review: The Others: 7 Sins

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The gates of hell have opened and the seven deadly sins are wreaking havoc throughout the world. The only ones that can stop the seven deadly sins and send them back where they came from is the Federal Authority for the Interdiction of Transdimensional Horrors (FAITH) organization.

Designer: Eric M. Lang
Publisher:
Cool Mini Or Not
Genre: One vs All
Players: 2-5
Play Time: 90-120 minutes
Number of Logged Plays: 3

Skip ahead to find out:
Game Overview
Game Play
What He Said
What She Said
Our Pros and Cons
The Verdict

Game Overview

In The Others: 7 Sins, a team of seven FAITH agents face off against one of the deadly sins and their followers in this scenario-based, one vs. all game. One player takes on the role of a deadly sin and the other players play as FAITH agents that are given a mission to accomplish.

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At the beginning of the game, the players will select which mission they’d like to play and choose one of the two board configurations for the mission. There are three different types of missions with two different scenarios for each of them. The different types are:

  • Terror: The monsters of hell are invading the city and the only way to force them back is by the use of brute force. These missions focus mainly on combat.
  • Corruption: Heroes will focus on purging the city of corruption and not succumbing to it themselves.
  • Redemption: Citizens are in danger and need help from the heroes. These missions focus on saving the city from different types of crises.

Once the mission is selected, the Sins player will choose one sin to play as and one group of acolytes that will be helping them to stop the heroes from finishing the mission. The FAITH players will then assemble their team of seven heroes that will be going on this mission. There will only be three to four heroes active at a time. When a hero perishes in combat they will be replaced by one of the other three heroes in the reserve. If a hero dies and the FAITH team has no more heroes in the reserve to replace them, the Sins player wins. If the mission is completed, the heroes win.

Game Play

In The Others, the rounds are broken up into four phases:

Start Of Round:

During this phase, any begin round tasks will be performed if required by the mission. Heroes will also decide which of their heroes will go first.

Hero Turns:

img_2200Each hero has two turn tokens. When a hero flips their turn token they are able to move their character and start a fight or resolve a crisis.

  • Move up to two spaces
  • Initiate a fight: Start a fight with all monsters on a space. Melee combat must be resolved in the same space the hero is in, but ranged can be initiated as long as the target space is within line of sight. Before a fight is initiated, a hero can voluntarily take a corruption to give themselves additional benefits such as more dice and automatic hits.
  • Resolve a crisis: The hero can roll dice equal to their skill attribute to attempt to remove hazardous tokens from their space. Every skill result rolled allows the hero to remove a token. Only tokens that aren’t printed on the board can be removed. The different types of crises are listed below:img_1897
    • Fire: If a hero enters or leaves a space with a fire token, the Sins player will roll a dice for each fire token in the space. For every fist icon, the player will suffer one wound that cannot be prevented.
    • Corruption: If a hero enters or leaves a space with a corruption token, the Sins player will roll a dice for each corruption token in the space. For every tentacle icon, the player will suffer one corruption that cannot be prevented.
    • Pentagram: Each pentagram token will give the Sins player an additional dice for fights that occur in the same space.
    • Nest: Nests are spawning locations for monsters during the “End of Round” phase. Only one monster can occupy each nest icon on a tile.
  • img_2162Use a District’s City Action (Does not count as an Action in the above step)
    If the hero is on a district space, they can use their city token to activate all of the District’s special abilities. These are one-time benefits(listed below) that can be activated in any order and happen immediately.

    • Heal: The current hero can heal one wound.
    • Repent: The current hero can reduce their corruption level by one.
    • Extra Turn: The current hero receives an extra turn token that they can use during any round.
    • Inventory: The current hero may select one of the available upgrade cards.
    • Orbital Strike: The current hero moves an orbital strike token up to two spaces and can automatically kill a single Acolyte or Abomination in that space.

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Heroes will have the support of some citizens with special abilities that can help them in their mission. If they are in the same space as any of the following NPCs they can pick them up for free to accompany the current hero.

  • Commissioner: Gives the hero one additional die during fights.
  • Proxy: Allows the hero to negate one wound and one corruption during their respective checks(when moving into a space with fire/corruption crises).
  • Ravencorp: Allows the hero to move one additional space when moving.img_1898

Sins Reaction:

Unlike the hero turns, the Sin player can spend a reaction token after any hero’s turn to take their actions.

  • Move any monster up to two spaces
  • Start a fight with the current hero: Only the current hero can be fought. The monster that was moved in the previous step does not need to be involved in this fight if it’s located on a different tile.

End Of Round:

At the end of the round, any end of round story events will happen and the Sins player will summon a number of monsters equal to the number of heroes on the board. Monsters will be selected from the pool of dead monsters and placed in a location with a nest icon. The Sins player will get to draw an additional Sin card for every alter that isn’t occupied by a hero.

The game will continue through these four phases until either the heroes win by completing the mission or evil wins if the heroes are no longer able to replenish their ranks after a death.

He Said

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Like many games we own, The Others is a Kickstarter game we backed over a year ago. I was drawn to the awesome miniatures, and the fact that was it was designed by Eric Lang, who also designed another game we really enjoy, Arcadia Quest.

I was hesitant about it being a one vs all game because we typically don’t like them, mostly because the player on their own team aka overlord player can easily destroy the hero players. After playing The Others, I realize how well-balanced this game is.

img_2197Not As Complicated As It Looks
When you first get the game setup, it just looks like a tornado of awesome components all over the table. But the game is deceptively simple, with each hero player only doing two or three things a turn. Explaining all the little details was challenging, but I think it was just the quantity of different symbols. The rule book does a great job of laying everything out though.

Speaking of the rule book, I was pretty surprised to see that it’s a whopping forty pages which seemed intimidating at first. I’d say it could have been shortened up to about twenty pages since a lot of the pages had bits of lore and large pictures of the desolate city. The nice thing though is that there’s an index in the back that you can use to easily reference rules based on keyword. This is an awesome feature that I wish more rule books had so you aren’t flipping through pages searching for something while everyone watches you.

img_2155At the end of the day, it’s a simple one vs. all game. Of course, there will be some epic battles as both sides use mounds of dice to determine the winner of a fight. It’s always a great feeling as the Sins player when you roll those exploding fists that allow you to roll additional dice. It’s  the opposite feeling when you see the heroes roll their FAITH symbols that allow them to roll an additional dice AND change the FAITH icon into whatever result they want.

It Ain’t Easy Being Evil….Sometimes
In the three games that we played, I ended up taking on the role of the Sin for all. I played as Wrath, Pride, and Envy. Each of the Sins has a unique passive ability that affects the heroes throughout the game. I thought the abilities given were pretty thematic too. For example, Envy gives the hero the choice of a wound or the whole team getting a corruption when they pick up an upgrade card.img_2187

One of the thing that I thought was interesting about being the Sins player is that they choose when they want to take their turn. Usually, in these types of games it just alternates between the two sides, but with this format, it makes the players think a little more about how they’re positioning themselves. It adds a nice little mind game element because the heroes won’t know when you’re planning on using your reaction tokens.

The only thing that I was a little disappointed about was that all the abominations and controllers for each Sin have the same attributes. The only thing that differentiates them from the other Sin’s abominations are the miniature models. In one way, it’s nice that all the stats are standardized so you know that you’ll always be rolling four dice with the controller and three with the abomination. On the other hand, it would have been pretty cool if each Sin’s minions had some unique power to differentiate them from the other Sin’s minions. I imagine it was done the way it was because balancing out all those abilities would have been a nightmare.

Mission Impossible
Like I said earlier in the review, img_1894The Others allows the Sins player to go all out without absolutely crushing the heroes. In fact, if you don’t go all out as the Sins player then you’ll probably be the one getting destroyed. The scenarios also have an effect on the balance as well. The first scenario we did was the “Fall of Haven” terror mission which resulted in me getting beat pretty badly. I found out
pretty quick that the heroes are pretty good at killing my minions pretty quickly. I probably could have better positioned my monsters, but the dice didn’t really like me very much that first game.

The second mission we played was a corruption mission and that one was quite a bit easier for me as the Sin player to win. With plenty of opportunities to get corruption and deadly dark past cards on the heroes, the game went by pretty quick. Based on one play of each type of mission, it seems like the terror missions are a little easier for the heroes, the corruption missions are easier for the Sin, and the redemption missions lands somewhere in the middle.

So Many Options, So Little Time
With the Kickstarter version of the game, you get all seven sins and an additional eleven heroes to add to your team. This adds quite a bit of replayability to the game for both sides and helps make each game feel different from previous games. With the seven different scenarios thrown into the mix, the options are endless. We did end up buying a couple of the hero boxes and the Apocolypse box as well, which increases the number of combinations. Because there’s no such thing as having too many options, right?

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If you get the retail version, you only get two sins and seven heroes. There aren’t really any options for mixing and matching with the retail version, but the game would still be fun to play because you have those seven scenarios to choose from. Players could also just print out the hero/sin sheets that they want to play as and use the existing miniatures as a proxy. There’s also always the option to go out and purchase additional hero packs or sins if you feel like you want the miniatures and cards for them.

Final Thoughts
Overall, I really enjoyed this game and think it is the best one vs all game I’ve played. The game is easy to teach and has interesting decisions for players on their turn. The Sins player being able to use a reaction token after any heroes turn always keeps the heroes guessing too. The only thing that is kind of a con is the setup and take down time of the game. This is a pretty easy fix if you have other players help you. The theme also might not be very appropriate for children with all the tentacles and hellfire. I’d recommend this game for anyone who enjoys dice chucking combat games, or if you’re looking to try out a one vs all game.

She Said

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When Calvin first told me about The Others, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I’m usually not a big fan of one vs. all games. I find them to be a little repetitive and based entirely too much on luck with no strategy. But The Others overcomes all of my hesitations about these types of games.

Make It Count
What makes this game different from similar games we’ve played, like Descent, is that in The Others, every action is super important. It feels like there’s a real consequence if you mess up because it’s a tight game. You have very little time to finish your objectives, so every action counts.

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This game is also incredibly well-balanced. Unlike the game Descent, it is equally difficult to win from the Sin player’s perspective and the FAITH players’ perspective. There are a number of things that help this, including the way the overlord takes turns by reacting instead of having a static turn. This means the heroes get twice the amount of turns as the overlord. This may seem like it’d make it less balanced but in many of these games the overlord dominates. Limiting the turns to simply a reaction affords the FAITH players better options to respond during their turn.

Don’t be Greedy
When the game was being setup, it was very overwhelming. I thought this was going to be one of those games where Calvin explains it and I barely understand any of the rules. But this game is very simple. There are really only a few actions you can take, but it surprisingly does not get boring. It may have also been very complicated because there are a ridiculous amount of characters to choose from as a FAITH player. Finding that exact right combo is very difficult, and something that we hadn’t quite yet achieved. But it made me want to go back for more.

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Having only played as a FAITH player, I found that the major battle with this game is deciding if it’s worth it to gain one more corruption in order to gain more fists to kill a monster or protect yourself from dying. So frequently it happens that you gain one corruption, only to find that you added just one too many and killed one of your characters. Luckily, you are able to add in a new one, at least until you reach your last character in the reserve. This is also a reason the game ends up being super well-balanced. There are a number of second chances for both the FAITH players and the Sins player.

Despite the very simple game play, this game’s theme more than makes up for it. It’s all about the theme, and it is great.

img_2178It’s a Brand New Game
This game’s replayability is insane. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game where every game is set to be different. You can switch up with different sins, you can play different characters for the members of FAITH, or you can even have different objectives chosen.

I think you could easily play this game at least 50 different times and it would be different. There are so many combinations because we kickstarted the game. We got all seven sins and more options for the Sins Players to choose from for characters. And it was definitely worth it. Also, the miniatures that come with this game are fantastic. They may be some of the best we’ve seen.

In addition to all the different combos, once you’re playing as a certain sin, players can choose what goals to accomplish during the game. So if you know a game isn’t going in one direction, you can choose a different goal. Even with retail version of the game, you can have great replayability.

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Final Thoughts
Overall, I find this game to be great, and definitely living up to the hype. It has great theme, simple game play, and the replayability is fantastic. The one negative about this game is that the Sins player can hear the FAITH players’ strategy, which I know was the intention but still isn’t ideal for me. There really is no way to keep your plan secret from them. Another very minor negative for me is that the upgrade cards you draft are sometimes very helpful, but there are some that just don’t seem to be very strong cards. And I don’t think there’s a way to clear the board. But I highly recommend this game and am very excited to keep trying all the different combos available.img_1896

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Strong theme
  • Incredible amount of replayability
  • Very effective one vs. all game
  • Well-balanced
  • Great components

Cons:

  • Sins player always knows the FAITH players’ strategy
  • Theme might not be appropriate for younger players
  • Some upgrade cards are weak – and there’s no way to clear the board

The Verdict

He gives this game 8 Explosive Fists out of 10.

She gives this game 8.5 Corruption Points out of 10.

Buy It Here

Board Game Geek Page

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