Available from AEG at www.tombthegame.com
TOMB is a game of recruiting a party and exploring a tomb complex in search of treasure. In the course of the game your party will enter crypts in an effort to find treasures. In these crypts will be traps and monsters that don’t want to let you have the treasures. This game is designed to be played by gamers from age 12 and up. The game can be played solo or with up to 6 players. The box contains character cards for 84 characters, 6 party markers, a double-sided tomb board, an Inn board, 48 Wound Tokens, 21 dice (7 in each of three colors), 200 Crypt cards and 25 each of Prayer, Spell, Item and Tactics cards. The object of the game is to accumulate Experience Points (XPs) by collecting treasures, defeating monsters and defeating traps.
All characters cards have Attributes listed on the back. These Attributes are Attack, Skill, Magic and Holiness. Each attribute has listed the number of each color dice to be rolled for that attribute. The dice have double-bladed axes or blank spots on them, the axes are counted as successes. Some of the effects have Target Numbers, which are required to make a successful roll.
The first thing you must do is decide which side of the TOMB board you will be playing on, the designers recommend that you play the Goldenaxe Catacombs. Next place the Character Cards in the provided bag. Place the Inn Board next to the Tomb Board, shuffle the Prayer, Item, Spell and Tactics Decks and place them on the Inn Board in the provided spaces. Determine who goes first by rolling the seven Blue dice. Each player then selects a Tomb Party marker and places it on the Inn Board. Each player then draws three Crypt Cards from the shuffled Crypt Deck, the first player then places one of his Crypt cards facedown on an empty crypt on the board and draws another. This continues until, in turn, until all crypts contain the number of cards indicated on the door.
Starting with the second player you begin to select adventurers to be part of your party. Giving the character bag a vigorous shake and then selecting five character cards do this. The player then selects one character and places the others in the Inn. If the selected character is a Cleric draw a Prayer Card, if a Wizard draw a Spell Card. You may now engage in “Free Actions”. These include the re-distribution of items amongst you characters. Once you have your first character you may begin to explore the tomb.
There are several “Standard Actions” that may be taken in a player turn, they are Act, Draw (at the Inn), Heal (in the Tomb), Move, Pickpocket (in the Tomb), Play a Card, Recruit (at the Inn), Return to the Inn (from the Tomb) and raid a Crypt.
As a “Standard Action” a player may use a Turn Action on a Character, Card or Space on the board, which has an associated Turn Action. Turn Actions can take the form of additional dice when rolling Attributes, fewer Wounds, Wounds being directed back to the Monster inflicting them. The Standard Action (SA) of Draw is done when the party is back at the Inn. The player draws two cards from any of the four decks and distributes them amongst his party. If a party is in the tomb and one of the members is a Cleric, the player may try to heal the wounds of his characters. Each success of a Holiness roll will remove one wound from a character in the party.
Movement of a party is done only horizontally and vertically on the square grid, movement is a maximum total of ten squares. Bonus movement from Items, Characters and Treasures may augment this. If one of the members of your party is a Rogue, he may try to Pickpocket an Item or a Treasure Card from another party. To accomplish this the Rogue rolls the dice for his Skill Attribute. The player, who is being victimized may select a character from his party to counter the attempt, he will also roll his Skill dice. The number of successes is compared, if the Rogue is higher he successfully “steals” the card. If, however, the other success total is higher, that character gets a single attack against the pickpocket. Should the Rogue be killed, all of his Attached Cards go to the victorious party. A Player may recruit additional party members from those characters at the Inn. If a character is recruited, prayer and spell cards are drawn as per the initial recruitment. A party may consist of a maximum of five members.
Another Standard Action is the playing of a card. Some Prayer, Spell and tactics cards require a Turn Action to use. The entire turn is used to play such a card. Battle Action cards are played within the Crypt as the action of a character for that Combat Turn. Reaction cards are played as an adjunct to any Standard Turn Action. During combat the Adventuring party may “Flee” back to the Inn or as a Standard Action the party may return to the Inn. When reaching the Inn the party may “Bank” any accumulated treasures.
The last of the SAs is the Raid. The party is standing on a Crypt door and may raid that Crypt. Should there be cards present in the crypt, dependent on the symbol on the crypt door, the player to the raiders left or right becomes the Crypt Master. That player takes the facedown cards out of the Crypt and so the raid begins. The job of the Crypt Master (CM) is to oversee the encounter making life as difficult for the raider as possible. The raid is decided first by springing the traps, then fighting the monster then collecting the treasures. The Crypt Master decides the order in which the individual Traps and Monsters will be presented to the raider.
Traps are revealed to the Raiding party one at a time, the Crypt Master is not obligated to tell the raider how many traps there are. The CM reveals how many party members are required to disarm the trap and what attribute is required to accomplish this. The raider selects the party member(s) to disarm the trap using their Skill rolls, or whatever other attribute is necessary. Dice are rolled, the CM then advises whether the trap has been disarmed or what are the consequences of failure. After that has been resolved the trap card is placed onto the Crypt card discard pile. This procedure is repeated until all traps have been disarmed. After traps are cleared the party decides whether they want to continue on to the monster or stage a strategic retreat.
The CM now reveals all the monsters within the crypt at once, resolving any revealed effects immediately. The CM acts for the monsters in their Battle Action rolls. The raiding player selects a character to go against that monster, each monster and character will attack only once during a Combat Action. Wounds are accumulated and the Combat Action begins again, or the party may flee back to the Inn. Should a sufficient number of wounds be given to a particular character or monster, that particular character or monster is dead. Dead monsters are immediately banked, dead characters are removed from the game and all their Attached cards are discarded. When a character is declared dead another character is selected from the pool and placed in the Inn for recruitment.
When all the traps and monsters are cleared from a Crypt, the player gets the Treasure Cards left in the Crypt, if any. Treasure cards are attached to individual characters or immediately banked at the Inn. The experience points banked are never placed back into play but count toward the final total at the end of the game. The game ends when all cards are removed from the crypts in the tomb. If during the course of the game your last party member is killed off, you go back to the Inn and begin again with a character recruited from those at the Inn.
Traps are disarmed in any order you choose and monsters attack in order from the highest Experience Points to the lowest. A monster has to decide whether to attack or to use an ability, this is decided in favor of the highest total of dice to be rolled. XPs are not counted for Treasures banked or used. You gain an additional 5 XPs for each surviving character in your party, which in the Solo game is limited to four characters. The rulebook also contains a two-page spread illustrating the gameplay.
This game is a load of fun and full of surprises. I think you will have as much fun as I have playing it with friends or by yourself. Have a nice trip exploring the tombs and a great adventure into the land of fantasy.