This is a huge, big box game with tons of miniatures from Cool Mini or Not, and from the designer of Blood Rage, which was a giant success last year. This may be Lang’s darkest theme, or one of his darkest. I mean, one player gets to control the 7 deadly sins! That’s pretty awesome! The theme alone drew me to this one, and I liked Blood Rage, so this should be decent, right?
This debuted at Gen Con in August, and I just had to pick up a copy! It is finally getting it’s U.S. retail release October 21st (according to Coolstuff and Cardhaus).
It wasn’t a sure-fire hit though, because I’m not the biggest fan of dungeon crawls and combat based games. But that theme was just so cool for me to pass up. So….. is it good? Or is it just all theme and no game. Let’s find out!
THE OTHERS: THE 7 SINS (2016) Designed by Eric Lang; Published by Cool Mini or Not – For 2-5 players and plays in about 90 minutes.
While the game is fairly easy to play, there are a lot of little details that I probably won’t get into, but I will be giving a broad overview of the game so you have a good idea of how it plays.
The game takes place in the city of Haven. Members of an evil organization called the Hell Club have summoned the 7 Deadly Sins (represented by ferocious monsters) to lay the world to waste.
One player will be the sins player, controlling all sins and monsters. The other players will be members of the paranormal investigation group called F.A.I.T.H. (Federal Authority for the Interdiction of Transdimensional Horrors), trying to complete missions to put a stop to the Hell Club and the sins they have summoned. It’s a “one vs. all” game.
Here’s the goal: The heroes must complete all the missions on the story card chosen for the game. Once they do, they win. The Sins player needs to kill as many heroes as possible. When a hero dies, that player can choose another hero to replace them. Once there are no more heroes to replace a defeated one, the Sins player wins.
The game has quite an elaborate set up:
First, the Sins player will decide which Sin they will be, plus which Acolyte group to use. The game comes with Pride and Sloth, plus three Acolyte groups.
No matter how many hero players there are (1-4) there will always be 7 heroes who can enter the game. There are different types of heroes. 2 Shooters, 2 Bruisers, 2 Fixers and one Leader. If there is 1 hero player, they will control 3 at a time. If there are 2 hero players, they will each control 2. If there are 3 or 4 hero players, they will each control one. So at one time, there will either be 3 or 4 heroes in play.
There are 7 stories/scenarios that come with the game. There are 2 Terror stories (focusing on combat), 2 Corruption stories (focusing on heroes’ struggle to resist corruption), 2 Redemption stories (focusing on saving the city from different Crises and rescuing bystanders), and 1 final mission. Players can decide which story to do, or choose one randomly.
The sins player will have a Sin Card deck for their particular Sin and then lay out the map tiles shown on the Story card they have chosen.
They will also have an Apocalypse deck that matches which type of story they choose to do.
Once the map is set up, the Sins player will place tokens and monsters on all the listed areas on the story card.
Each hero player will place their hero in the starting area.
Each player will have a dashboard for their hero. They each have a listed special ability. There are three stats for each hero: Strength, Skills and Defense. This is also where they will keep track of their wounds (they die with 5 wounds), and corruption.
This game REALLY isn’t that complex, yet, it’s kind of difficult to explain, so please be patient with me.
Basically, hero players will be moving on the map, trying to complete various different objectives to win the game. The objectives could be anything from rescuing a certain amount of innocents, or cleansing an amount of districts, or defeating a certain amount of abominations and acolytes.
Each round, each hero player will get 2 turns. First, the hero players will decide who will start, then play will proceed clockwise, taking one turn at a time. On their turn a player can Move and take and action, OR take an action and move.
For movement, they can move up to 2 spaces. For an action they can either start a combat or cleanse an area.
Cleansing an area means that a player will try to remove different tokens from the board.
There are several different kinds of tokens.
- Corruption tokens will can cause players to move up on their corruption track.
- Fire tokens can cause damage to players moving in and out spaces containing these.
- Pentagram tokens will give extra dice to the sins player during combat.
- Nest tokens is a spot where the Sins player can potentially summon a monster at the end of the round.
To cleanse an area, players will make a die roll. They will roll as many dice as it says on their skill stat. For every eyeball rolled, they can remove up to that many tokens from that area.
To start a combat, a player must be in the same space as a monster. The hero player rolls their dice, then the Sins player rolls theirs. I won’t go over every detail here, but players will roll the amount of dice it says on their fight stat on their dashboard. The heroes also have a certain amount of shields on their board to defend against hits. The heroes and Sins player each have their own dice.
Heroes have hit icons, counter corruption, defense, skill and a Faith Symbol. The faith symbol means you can roll an extra die, then change that symbol to any icon. That’s pretty cool!
The sins Player has hits, corruption and hit with a burst (meaning they can roll another die).
Players will roll dice simultaneously. Each shield cancels a hit, and each counter corruption cancels a corruption. Then each player will take wounds depending on how many hits are left on each side. If a player is wounded, they must take a wound token and place it on their dashboard. The Sin’s monsters must be taken out in one shot. Meaning, if they weren’t defeated, they don’t get any wounds.
There is one more thing the heroes can do on their turn. As a free action, they can use a City Action . Each Hero player has a city action token. If they’re in a district space (not a street space), players can choose any action listed on the district by placing their city action token on the district space. Players can do this once per round. They get their token back at the end of the round. These are the different actions:
- Heal – Remove a wound from your dashboard.
- Repent – You can remove one corruption on your dashboard.
- Extra turn – You get an extra turn token to be used that round.
- Inventory – You can choose one of the 5 upgrade cards that are face up on the board. These can be anything from getting extra dice to roll for combat, or extra shields, etc.
- Orbital Strike – Move the satellite token up to 2 spaces on the board and then kill a single acolyte or abomination in that area.
I should probably talk about the corruption track. This is probably the most unique and intriguing part of the game for me.
On each player’s dashboard is a corruption track. There are 2 different ways to go up on the corruption track. Force corruption and voluntary corruption. Forced corruption is caused from die rolls by the Sins player, or by entering/exiting a space with a corruption token and failing a corruption check. Voluntary corruption means, that before any Hero die roll (combat or skill), a player can choose to move one up on their corruption track. If they do this, they will get to do the listed ability underneath the corruption marker. Not only that, but they also get to perform all the listed abilities to the left of the current ability. The abilities can be anything from an extra die to use, extra shields, extra hits, etc. So corruption is definitely an attempting thing in this game. But be careful. If your corruption is maxed out, each corruption you gain after that will results in a wound.
So I explained what the heroes do. But how does the Sins player do stuff? Do they even get a turn? Well, not in the usual way. The sins player will have either 3 or 4 reaction tokens (depending on the number of heroes in play). They can choose to play them after a hero finishes their turn (reacting to that particular hero). Since the heroes can have 6-8 turns per round, that doesn’t mean the sin player will react every turn. The sins player must decide the best time to react. Once they react, they may move up to 2 spaces and start a fight with the current hero. What’s neat is that the Sins player can use all of the monsters located in once space to attack that hero, meaning they can possibly have tons of dice to roll, making it very difficult for the hero to survive. Heroes still will be able to fight back though.
There are also corruption checks and fire checks. Any time a hero enters or exits a space containing one or more of these tokens, the sins player will roll a die for each token . If it’s a fire check, each hit will be a wound for the hero, and if it’s a corruption check, each corruption rolled will give the hero one corruption.
The Sins player can also play one Sins card per turn anytime during the game. These cards can really damper the Heroes’ mission.
One more thing to note. If a hero ever leaves the space of a monster, they automatically gain a wound.
There are other tokens in the game. An Altar token can let the Sins player draw more sins cards at the end of the round for each altar token that doesn’t have a hero in its space. There are subway tokens that can allow players to travel to other locations faster. Other tokens can allow extra movements, extra die rolls and an ability to avoid a corruption or wound during checks.
If your hero dies, you simply choose another one and place it in the start space to begin on your next turn.
At the end of a round, the Sins player can summon more monsters and then advance the apocalypse track. This could allow different monsters to enter the board, possibly the main Sin avatar himself. Also members of the Hell Club can enter this way.
Man, that’s a lot. And I also didn’t quite cover every little detail, but I feel that’s close enough. It sounds like the game is kind of fiddly. And, it is. It’s a little difficult keeping track of what all the icons and tokens do the first time or two that you play it. But that’s really the only draw back for me. Because once I got a hang of how everything works. I found it to be a fairly straight forward game. The rulebook is a bit overwhelming at first, because there is so much stuff to read, and I probably would have laid it out a little differently, but almost everything you need to know is in there. It’s very well detailed and covers things thoroughly, even if it’s not in the order I would have presented it. But really, players are just moving on the board, killing monsters, trying to complete objectives. That’s about it.
SO HOW IS IT?
I have one negative thing to say about this game that I’d like to get out of the way first. And that’s the amount of dice you get with the game. There are only 7 dice each for the Sins player and the hero players. That’s not even close to being enough. There were some rolls where I needed nearly 20 dice. It got a little irritating to constantly write down and keep track of all the symbols you have rolled. I mean, the game is expensive already, couldn’t they have spent just a little extra to put more dice in the base game? I know that they will have dice packs to buy in the future, so that will be good. Still, it irritated me a bit.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way. I REALLY liked this game. And that’s kind of weird. Because I normally don’t like these kind of combat oriented, dice chucking kill fests. I’m a Eurogame player at heart. But I don’t know what it was, because this game really kept me engaged. I liked the dice rolling here. I love how fast paced and intense the feel of a game feels. But I think I know the real reason why the game works…. The theme!
The theme is VERY strong here. It comes through extremely well. And that’s because of several things. But before I say why, I will say that this theme could be too dark for some people. But not for me. I loved it. Even my 13-year-old Daughter went nuts for it. I love this whole “seven deadly sins” vibe. It’s so cool!
The artwork really immerses the player into this wicked world. I love the map tiles. Very thick and has great artwork as well.
Of course the real stars here are the miniatures. WOW! These might be some of my favorite miniatures in a game EVER! They’re so gross and disgusting and so freakin’ cool looking. And thankfully I have a brother who loves to paint, because he painted all of mine and they look incredible. It just gets you into the theme even that much more. I think the best sculp is the Pride Avatar, but I think I love Sloth Sins the best because I love the abominations in that group.
Here is a result of my brother’s paint job:
I think the coolest thing in this game is the corruption track. I love the decisions the heroes must make. Should they take a corruption, which will help them during a particularly difficult combat? Sounds like a great deal. But if you take too much, you could be in danger of dying. But you can also take city action to reduce your corruption. It’s a cool dilemma to have.
I love the variability in this game. It comes with 7 different stories to play, plus each story has 2 different maps to choose from. They didn’t have to do that. I feel like the developers really went above and beyond to make sure that players get the most bang for their buck. Each Sin will have a slightly different feel too. I love that each type of story plays differently. A Terror story feels different from a redemption story.
Also, for the heroes, I love all the characters and how they are all different. At first I didn’t like the shooters, but then I grew to like their ranged combat ability, which could come in very useful if executed properly.
I love the guy who can turn into a wolf at the beginning of his turn, making him stronger. That’s so cool, and makes it really fun for the hero players.
Even though the game only comes with 2 of the 7 sins, I still feel like there is a enough that comes in the box that you’re getting your moneys worth. That said, I am very much looking forward to getting the rest of the sins, and extra hero packs to play even more different combinations of games. In fact, my brother will do some videos on painting some of the miniatures, so stay tuned for that!
I must stress that this game is very intense. Both the Sins player and the heroes are playing as hard as they can. I love that the Sins player must carefully decide when to take their turn, which adds stress to the heroes since they’re not sure when the Sins player is going to strike. That was so cool! I also think it scales well. I played it multiple times with 2 and 4 players, and it was great both ways. Most of the time, it would bother me if a player would control more than one hero during the game, but here I didn’t mind it because the Sins player is already controling multiple figures, so I thought it made sense for the hero player to control 3 characters at a time in a 2 player game. But I do prefer the 4 and 5 player game, but it works fairly well as a 2 and 3 player game.
So yes, I loved this game! It took me a play or two to get a hang of all the icons and fire checks, etc. But once everything clicks, prepare for a dark, twisted adventure that’s full of tension and excitement. It’s a gorgeous production with top-notch minis, thoughtful game design by Eric Lang, twisted artwork and an immersive theme. The Others: 7 Sins is probably my favorite miniatures game right now. It’s wicked cool. If you love miniature games, combat based games, and dark, dark themes…. you will love this. Highly recommended!