Awhile back I played Jackson Tegu's boardgame Necromancer Shovelfight!
with my wife and some friends. It is totally rad and you should all play it. Last time I saw him Jackson had told me there were revised rules on the internet, but i couldn't find them (HINT HINT, Tegu!). We played with the print copy I had and it went just fine.
Me being me, I tried my best to whip up a fluency model for the game, which in this case just means I wrote out index cards of all the game's interactions for handy reference. I also did a thing with the dice: instead of a 6-sider I used a Fudge die, since the outcomes for rolling the 6er always go in thirds. this enabled me to pust put +, blank or - on the cue cards instead of writing a range of numbers. Hate me if you will, Fudge-haters!
I took this neat picture of the game components, including all the reference cards that my daughter didn't eat:
So you lay out a deck of cards to create the graveyard in hexmap form. You've each got a Wizard (those are the big octagon-y symbols) and you can run around hitting each other with your shovels, or digging up graves. When you dig up a grave, turn the card over; you've got to get one Fresh Grave (Red card) and one old Grave (Black card) to make a Zombie (those are the little square symbols). When you dig up a face card, there's also a special effect, like explosions, earth walls, or Zombies switching sides. Oh, and there's giant worms tunneling below the graves, so on their phase every turn you roll to see which graves collapse, leaving an ever-shrinking and treacherous battlefield. Last necromancer standing wins!
It was a ton of fun and played pretty intuitively. We did screw up one thing (or rather I screwed it up in teaching the rules), and for awhile we were giving ALL the Wizards a turn, then all the Zombies a turn, then Worms a turn. When the Worms go after EVERY player's turn things really heat up! There's a lot of risk-taking choices related to where to stand on ground that might crumble and avoiding the movement range of your opponent's Zombies. There are fun strategies like using the card that makes graves fill in to flip over a special power card to dig up again. It's a lot like the classic game "Memory" in that regard; it pays to take note of what cards are where. But there's risk there too, because you may not be able to reach your goal before someone else does, or get cut off by Zombies. Your own Zombies are even a hazard, 'cuz while you control their movement, they'll still hit you if they move into your space!
Oh, and it has character sheets! You have to make a suitable Wizard Name, naturally, and you record your hitpoints and what Zombie parts you've got. We had Pensith Flambisheen
(Flower Symbol), Cumulus Nimbicus
(Cloud Symbol), Lunacus Muslamar
(Moon Symbol)--that's yours truly--and Zanaduff
(Lightning Symbol). It's a really fun touch for the game.
Jackson, you've got a fun, zippy, diverting game here! Thank you! I'd love (HIIIIIIIINT!) to see the new version.