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Masters of the Night Coming to Retail

U Updated
Masters of the Night

Game Information

Publisher
Players
1 - 5
MSRP $
49.90
Genre

Release Schedule Information

Release Date
There Will Be Games

Solo and cooperative vampire boardgame from Ares Games.

The fate of your family will be decided in a few days. Will you turn this city into your domain—or lose it to lesser mortals?

Play as members of a vampire clan slowly regaining their former power. With the help of your minions, you will fight against the agents of the Inquisition, cast fear into the hearts of the people with your hunts, and shape dread sigils in different city districts, all in preparation for the grand Blood Moon ritual that will confirm your grasp on the city and its fate. But beware, the longer you prepare for the ritual, the harder it will be to complete it. Your enemies are searching for you constantly and when they find you, even vampire magic may not stop them. 

In Masters of the Night you will find:

  •  Solo and Cooperative gameplay: True to the theme, all players win or lose together. And you can play solo as well!
  •  Interesting decisions: Find a compromise between using powerful blood-magic and keeping the Veil of Secrecy which protects you. Decide how to best use the dice in your pool - you only get new dice if you use them all!
  •  Area control mechanics:  To get control of key city locations with unique powers, you need to recruit minions, and at the same do your best to stop the actions of dangerous Inquisitors.  
  •  Strong thematic elements: Vampiric blood and abilities, powerful ancient Relics, the Veil of secrecy, the rising power of your enemies.  All thematic elements are interconnected and need to be considered  to win.
  •  High replayability:  6 Vampires with unique abilities to choose from, 9 city districts (and countless city configurations), 13 relics and 54 different event cards,  variable difficulty levels - each game will be different.
  •  Challenging: There are multiple paths to defeat, and only one to victory. Time plays against you. Your days are counted. Agents are infesting the city. Will you be able to establish your dominion in time? 

The Design Team:

  • The designer of the game is Nikolay Aslamov,PhD, a Russian professor of History. Masters of the Night is his first design published internationally. Historian, PhD. He is an expert of folklore and mythology about "evil spirits": werewolves, witchcraft, vampires. He lectures on mythology, literature, historical evidence and biological explanations  of such phenomena. For the characters and backstory of Masters of the Night, Nikolay took inspiration from Eastern  European lore - Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian - the  regions most of the stories about vampires come from. "The idea of  ​​the game came, oddly enough, in a train," Nikolay wrote. " I had a few hours of  free time and a notebook, and I began to write down everything that  came to my mind on the topic “board game about vampires”: day and night,  the cathedral, minions, rivers of blood, mountains of corpses ... So the  main game concept was born."
  • The graphic design of the game has been developed by a New Zealand studio - Peter Gifford's Universal Head. The graphic design, from the typeface chosen to the colors, is full of visual references to create the dark setting of a city in mid-century America. From the typeface, to the fake newspaper clips, to the color tones, all was carefully built for a visual journey into the past.
  • Last, miniatures were designed by Italian studio Ludus Magnus, creators of many beautiful games such as "Black Rose Wars" and "Dungeonoloy", and again on Kickstarter this month with their "D.E.I.- Divide et Impera" game.

 

Photos

Masters of the Night kickstarter

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ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #306216 15 Jan 2020 14:22
Universal Head (Peter Gifford) did the graphic design for this. On Twitter he said, " I worked hard to create a distinctive visual design for this game." I really love his work and am looking forward to seeing what he did with Masters of the Night.

Also, I think it is interesting that it was designed by someone with a Phd in History who is an expert in folklore.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #306218 15 Jan 2020 16:49
I really love the visual design of this game, and the Universal Head involvement is a big plus. The subject is a favorite of mine, so this is veering into auto-buy territory. However, the Ares Games brand gives me pause. And thematically, the co-op aspect doesn't feel right. Reading through the rules, certain aspects remind me of my original design for Vampire: Prince of the City that got heavily altered to become Vampire: Dark Influences. Other aspects of Masters of the Night remind me of Arkham Horror. While Arkham Horror is a good match for a co-op approach, most games about multiple vampires presume selfish, competitive, or even hostile interaction between vampires. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be any mechanism to prevent the dreaded Alpha Player problem that threatens most co-op games.
the_jake_1973's Avatar
the_jake_1973 replied the topic: #306220 15 Jan 2020 17:09
I kicked in for the game since the art direction is striking and 49 bones for when looks to be a decent solo game is a chance I'm willing to take.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306225 15 Jan 2020 18:30
I’m with Shellhead on this, Ares Games is a big red flag. Never played a game of theirs that wasn’t clunky and made even worse by a indecipherable rulebook. I’m staying waaaaay away from this.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #306227 15 Jan 2020 19:01
@Josh
Your not wrong there. Ares is kind of a crap shoot.
Space Ghost's Avatar
Space Ghost replied the topic: #306238 15 Jan 2020 23:54
Really? What are the bad games/rule books? My experience, while limited, has been pretty smooth with War of the Ring, Hunt for the Ring, and Sword and Sorcery.

I’ve wanted to try Last Friday — should I skip it?
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306245 16 Jan 2020 05:21
To clarify, they occasionally make good to great games. I still find them to be clunky (War of the Ring, Sword & Sorcery, Galaxy Defenders) with subpar rulebooks (all the games you mentioned and then some). I just got Hunt For the Ring, which I know I like, but going to that rulebook was hard.

Last Friday is a good game but the rulebook has more than a few rules buried in it.

As far as bad games go...they don’t have many, but Marvel Heroes is definitely one. Age of Conan is debatable, and even though I like it, I’ll admit this it’s kind of terrible. Battle For Five Armies is okay but pointless. Master of the Galaxy is mediocre and has a vague rulebook. I’m not too fond of Galaxy Defenders, and that rulebook sucks.
the_jake_1973's Avatar
the_jake_1973 replied the topic: #306250 16 Jan 2020 08:46
I was rather hoping that the involvement of Universal Head to the project would improve any rulebook give what that person has brought to many games on BGG. Assuming it's the same person.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306251 16 Jan 2020 08:51
That may be true, but I’d still need to see a rulebook before agreeing to even playing it. Rulebooks aren’t the only problem Ares has, it’s also clunky designs that are more work than they’re worth.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #306254 16 Jan 2020 09:39
There is a rulebook pdf that you can download from the kickstarter page. It doesn't look bad, but I haven't taken the time to read through it carefully.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306257 16 Jan 2020 10:09

Shellhead wrote: There is a rulebook pdf that you can download from the kickstarter page. It doesn't look bad, but I haven't taken the time to read through it carefully.


I don’t want to sound like I’m looking for any excuse to not play this game, but it also just does not interest me. As much as I’m into horror, the goth-kid sympathetic vampire scene is not my thing. If it was more Near Dark, might be a different story. But it’s co-op. It’s just not for me.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #306261 16 Jan 2020 10:59

the_jake_1973 wrote: I was rather hoping that the involvement of Universal Head to the project would improve any rulebook give what that person has brought to many games on BGG. Assuming it's the same person.


Yes it the same person. I don't know if he worked on the rule book or not. We should ask him.
Space Ghost's Avatar
Space Ghost replied the topic: #306270 16 Jan 2020 12:54

Josh Look wrote: To clarify, they occasionally make good to great games. I still find them to be clunky (War of the Ring, Sword & Sorcery, Galaxy Defenders) with subpar rulebooks (all the games you mentioned and then some). I just got Hunt For the Ring, which I know I like, but going to that rulebook was hard.

Last Friday is a good game but the rulebook has more than a few rules buried in it.

As far as bad games go...they don’t have many, but Marvel Heroes is definitely one. Age of Conan is debatable, and even though I like it, I’ll admit this it’s kind of terrible. Battle For Five Armies is okay but pointless. Master of the Galaxy is mediocre and has a vague rulebook. I’m not too fond of Galaxy Defenders, and that rulebook sucks.


I haven't played Galaxy Defenders, but I don't think of War of the Ring as clunky (especially given that it was released in 2004) even though it lacks the more modern streamlining. That being said, I agree that their recent offerings indicate that they haven't "grown" with the rest of the hobby (see Battle of Five Armies being basically the same thing as War of the Ring). I thought that War of the Ring's rulebook is better than Hunt for the Ring -- but both were fine; a poor rulebook doesn't make a good game bad like a good rule book doesn't make a bad game good.

For me, Marvel Heroes falls in the bad rulebook decent game category.
Space Ghost's Avatar
Space Ghost replied the topic: #306271 16 Jan 2020 12:56

Josh Look wrote:

Shellhead wrote: There is a rulebook pdf that you can download from the kickstarter page. It doesn't look bad, but I haven't taken the time to read through it carefully.


I don’t want to sound like I’m looking for any excuse to not play this game, but it also just does not interest me. As much as I’m into horror, the goth-kid sympathetic vampire scene is not my thing. If it was more Near Dark, might be a different story. But it’s co-op. It’s just not for me.


Fair enough. I'm not usually into that type of vampire either; however, the designer being an expert in folklore has me intrigued.

But, it's like Sanctum in the other thread, if a game isn't for you it isn't for me. But, thanks to your podcast, I might be convinced otherwise....it's happened before as our tastes seem to line up fairly well.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #306274 16 Jan 2020 14:10
I just finished reading the rules pdf, and this looks like a decent co-op/solo game. I really love the retro look of the game, like a gothic filter on a hardboiled detective show from the 1940s. I'm not looking for more minis to paint, but these sculpts are really nice and might look good enough even without paint. So I'm going to back it at the basic level.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #306282 16 Jan 2020 14:55
I totally forgot, Universal Head covered Master's of the Night here: Masters of the Night
the_jake_1973's Avatar
the_jake_1973 replied the topic: #306316 17 Jan 2020 09:48
My better judgement won out and I realized that I really don't need another game clogging the shelves. Hopefully, it ends up being a good game.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306328 17 Jan 2020 11:05
So I read through the rulebook and I have a much better understanding of it now. It has a few neat things going on, might actually throw in on that basic level.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #306331 17 Jan 2020 11:24
$39 sounds too cheap. There must be something wrong with it, so I'll hold off.

Ares has about $1000 of my dollars, so I'll also hold off on knifing the company.

Actually sounds pretty intriguing. Worth a look at the rule book.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306334 17 Jan 2020 11:35
What they’re carefully dodging in the headline-level text is that it’s essentially a card game. That’s why it’s only $39.

I threw in for $39, not seeing much so far to justify the extra $10.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #306342 17 Jan 2020 13:37

Josh Look wrote: What they’re carefully dodging in the headline-level text is that it’s essentially a card game. That’s why it’s only $39.

I threw in for $39, not seeing much so far to justify the extra $10.


I'm really surprised. I was just going to wait until it came around to retail to take a look at it.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306429 21 Jan 2020 10:05
I just got a message about the game because I backed Master of the Galaxy. Turns out it’s the the same design studio doing Masters of the Night.

This gives me even more pause than Ares doing the publishing. Master of the Galaxy was really disappointing, underdeveloped and a confusing mess. Needless to say, I’m out.
Space Ghost's Avatar
Space Ghost replied the topic: #306454 21 Jan 2020 15:24
Was Master of Galaxy supposed to be a board game version of Master of Orion? I was always curious about that -- sounds like I don't need to be anymore.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #306456 21 Jan 2020 15:37
It was a space 4X that ran on a bag building system not dissimilar to Hyperborea but more abstracted and, as I said, very underdeveloped. The core gameplay was fine, but the combat was fiddly, broken combos were pretty common, it had quite a few rules that deviated from the norm enough to be confusing or easily forgotten, and had the worst case of victory out of nowhere I've ever seen. I'd love to see a game take the Hyperborea structure and take it to the next level, but this game really needed a lot more time and refinement.
UniversalHead's Avatar
UniversalHead replied the topic: #311341 23 Jun 2020 17:25
There are some strange comments here - too cheap, must be something wrong with it! Battle of the Five Armies - it's pointless! :) And a surprising amount of criticism for Ares - WOTR is my favourite game, the 2nd edition is for the most part completely clear, and if you still have problems, download my summary. BTW I also have summaries for BOFA, Age of Conan, Hunt for the Ring, Inkognito (which I also redesigned), and Aztlan (did that one too). All good games, with rulebooks no worse than any others in the industry, and often better.

For the record, I didn't write the Masters of the Night rulebook, but I did the graphic design. Ares had an existing design they weren't happy with, and I came in to redo the whole thing and bring it all together, giving it the 40s film noir look. The rules look clear and staightforward to me. I'm looking forward to playing it.