Guest Writer: Luke Heller
“Click, click… BOOM!”
Wait… is this a song review or a game review?!?
World Championship Russian Roulette is a game where you get to watch your friends/strangers shoot themselves in the head and maybe do themselves in, making you one step closer to winning it all.
Anywhere from 2-6 players can play. The game goes very quickly and everyone is playing at the same time. An average game with 4 players can be as quick as 20-30 minutes. Not bad, if you ask me. I love fast-paced games. Although, clean up time can be time-consuming with all that brain matter to clean up. No, no… I’m joking… that’s what the maid is for. HA!!
In this game each Player is the leader of a Russian roulette team and this is the championships… you know… hence the name of the game… World Championship. You are represented by a leader character card and there are 3 separate teammate character cards that comprise your team. Once everyone on your team and yourself are dead you are out of the game. Pretty simple, right? Sure. Until you start lying… I mean bluffing… to win. Then things get interesting. But… we’ll get to that later.
Much like real life and a real game of Russian roulette (please don’t try this at home, kids!) you have a 6-shot revolver. In the game this is represented by 6 “Click” cards and 1 “Bullet” card. At the beginning of the round you remove 1 card from your Revolver hand and place it under your Pocket Reference Tile. The PRT is a handy little card that has your team name on it as well as the phase orders of the round and on the back the rules for calling someone out as a no-good cheater. Placing your “Bullet” card here is cheating. Why? Because you now have an unloaded gun. But cheat to win I always say… just don’t get caught!
After that is done Players spin the barrels of their revolvers by shuffling their “Click” and “Bullet” cards and placing them face down in front of themselves. Now everyone grabs their d6 Bidding die. The d6 goes from 0 to 5. Players select the appropriate number on the d6 to the bid they want to make. In this case bidding means how many trigger pulls they think they can do without shooting themselves in the head dead.
Once everyone has bid now comes the Challenge phase. At this time anyone can accuse someone of cheating. Meaning they think a Player put their “Bullet” card under the Pocket Reference Tile and has an unloaded revolver.
Yes! This game encourages lying. As a matter of fact if you do it well you get rewarded with bonus Action Cards. These Action Cards allow you to do special things like point your gun at another player instead of yourself or add another bullet to their gun and other things that make the game interesting. And, if another Player catches you bluffing they get rewarded instead with Action Cards and the “Judge” shoots one of your teammates as a punishment.
The next Phase is the Trigger phase. Someone counts down and Players simultaneously flip over the top card of their revolver deck. If it’s a “Click” card they are still alive. If it’s a “Bullet” card they are dead and don’t get rewarded. You stop flipping when you are either dead or you successfully got to your bid. So, if I bid 2 and I flip over 2 “Click” cards I am done for that round.
After everyone is dead or all bids have been covered comes the Point phase. You get one point for each bid you made at the beginning of the round and an extra point for surviving. If your teammate died then you get no points… in Mother Russia there is no reward for the weak and dead! When a Player accumulates 15 points they are the winner. If there is a tie then play keeps on going until the tie is broken. A Player is fully out of the game if their 3 Russian roulette teammates and the leader are eliminated over the course of the game. Because… you know… you can’t keep playing in the Championships if your entire team is a bloody mess on the floor.
So go on… get this game! I’ve played it with friends at GenCon and give it 2 thumbs up as well as 2 toes up. Dasvidanya!!