DISNEY VILLAINOUS: EVIL COMES PREPARED
One of the series of Disney Villainous games from publisher RAVENSBURGER
Like the previous 'expansion' (Wicked to the Core) to the DISNEY VILLAINOUS large box edition, EVIL COMES PREPARED is both an expansion and a stand-alone game.
Each Villain has their own specific board and their own specific objective for winning. Players know what their characters and the others need to do but the only opportunity to attempt to derail them is in the playing of Fate cards against them.
The game instruction booklet is excellent. It has all you need to know about the game. It is easily followed to make playing fun and fluent, and contains lots of artistic drawing to show how, where and when cards may be played, as well as their effects.
The FAQ on the last two pages covers mostly simple questions which commonsense and character specific rules detail and describe.
These characters are fairly well balanced, as are those in the original game and Wicked to the Core. The designers figure that Scar is best for new players because it is the most straightforward, and for experienced players Yzma because she is the most complex and differs most from the other characters throughout the game.
Each character has a content driven main deck and a Fate deck that is basically stacked against them. In Yzma's case her 16 Fate cards are shuffled and split into four decks of 4 cards each. Within one of those decks is her main adversary, Kuzco, who has to be defeated by Kronk, so discovering Kuzco is the first on the list for Yzma.
The character pieces are once again artistically licensed representations that if you saw them on their own without the game components around, and you had never played the game, you would have an amazing set of ornaments unrecognisable from their actual representations.
The box is designed so each deck fit neatly into a space directly inline with the crystal-like plastic miniatures.
The backs of each characters cards can be identified by their colour, though the name of the character is also clearly visible. Of the FATE cards, each has a number of cards that are shuffled and positioned at the start of each game. Fate Decks are always white-backed but generally are created cards are played above their character owner's board, covering the top part of the sections and preventing the Actions thereon from being activated. Characters Fate cards are always played against them, never against opponents (unless specifically noted on the card - cards rule over booklet rules).
The game play is similar to the previous editions. Players move their pieces on their board, never stopping in the same secion for two turns on the trot - they must always move on. They can move to any location on their boards. Each location has symbols that dictate the Action. Not every character's board has the same symbols thus some can do actions others cannot do.
Once a character moves to a location they are free to activate each symbol available to them but only once unless there are duplicate symbols. At first we thought each character should have markers, counters to cover each action as it was taken, but many plays down the road we, even with my poor memory, have always been able to remember the actions we have done.
When a Fate symbol is chosen the player has to take the top card from an opponent's Fate deck and play it against them. If the victim is to be Yzma then the opposing player selects one of Yzma's four fate decks, looks through it and selects a card to play. This is a departure from the usual taking of the top card from the selected player's Fate deck.
DISNEY VILLAINOUS is a good , medium difficulty, family game. Core Gamers might find the mechanics too pedestrian, and I have often heard players describing their experiences with Disdney Villainous as 'four people playing four individual games at the same time'. There is very little player interaction, but there is plenty of downtime for social chatting.
The characters in this edition are:
Ratigan from the film 'The Great Mouse Detective'. Ratigan has a secondary goal should his first objective be thwarted.
Scar from the 'Lion King' movie. Scar has to kill until he has 15 points in his succession.
Yzma who graces the 'Emperor's New Groove'. Yzma has to locate Kuzco within one of her four Fate decks.
When these characters are inserted into other Disney Villainous games the Villains in those sets may find their power balance affected. They are all playable together and each new edition adds not only to the characters available but also to the possible number of players around the table. All that basically happens when you add new players to the table is that the game takes longer to reach an ending.