Thursday, September 12, 2013

Essen '13 - On the Radar - Say Bye to the Villains

I’ve always told myself that if I ever went to a convention, I must drop by the Japon Brand booth ( and the booths of the other Japanese Publishers as well of course ).
Reason being, I find that the Japanese style games are by and large very different from the games we are normally used to.

I love the art style and presentation of their games.
The gameplay also differs from the norm; they tend to put a twist to their games either components wise or how tried and true mechanics are used in a new game.
It’s no surprise then that they started the trend of small card games with their surprise hit – Love Letter.

Well, one of their upcoming releases for Essen that has caught my eye is “Say Bye to the Villains”.

Say Bye to the Villains ( SB2tV ) is a co-operative hand-management game that sees players taking on the role of Vanquishers that must each defeat a single Villain on the battlefield.

The game revolves around each player’s individual battle with their chosen villain, but the overall outcome of the game is dependent on the success of the group as a whole. Should any player fail to defeat their villain, the game is considered lost as the mission is not fulfilled. Success is only achieved when all the villains are defeated.

So, is that the only reason the game is considered a co-operative game ?
Well, definitely not.
At the start of the game, each villain is dealt a certain number of situation cards face down next to him/her. These cards normally aid the villain by increasing their power ( or decreasing yours ), but some of them have neutral or player benefit effects.
Throughout the game, players have the chance to peek at some of the cards and to share certain information with the other players. Players are also able to give preparation cards to other players to help them to prepare for their battle. These preparation cards increase the player’s ability to fight and give them bonuses for certain stages in the game.

Through this exchange of information and cards, the players are trying to size up the villains and decide between themselves who is capable to deal with which villain on the board. Only through their collective appraisal will they be able to come out victorious.

the Villains in the game - taken by Steve Blackwell ( BGG: mudshark_baby )

SB2tV is broken down into 2 distinct phases.

During the preparation phase, players play cards on themselves to “power up”. They also take the time to try to peek at as many situation cards as they can. The only limitation to the player is that each action and card carries a time penalty. When a player utilizes 10 units of time, that play is all prepped out and must select the villain he/she will take down.
When all players are prepped out, the 2nd phase – attack phase – begins.
During the attack phase, all situations are revealed and the effects carried out. Each player then checks their power and defense against that of the villain.
There are 4 possible outcomes. An outright win ( villain defeated, hero alive ), and outright loss ( hero defeated ), a sacrifice ( both slain ), an escape ( both survive with villain undefeated ).
As long as all the players defeat their villain ( outright win or sacrifice ) the game is won. Anything else, the game is lost.

I’ve come to realize recently that, a lot of my gaming friends enjoy a good co-operative game ( quite to the contrary of what I prefer ). So I guess this game is going into the buy bin especially for them. Its not that I dislike co-operative games, I just don’t think it’s what I want to be playing time after time. Regardless, I just love it when my friends are having a blast while gaming, so.. say bye to the villains we shall. 



  1. it will be released by AEG sometime in the future

    so i'm certain when that happens it should be available in Singapore shortly after