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on 11 April 2016
A card-based strategy board game for 2-4 players set in the (here beautifully illustrated) comic fantasy city of Ankh-Morpork. Simple and quite fast (45-90 mins) to play, but very strategically deep and varied due to the different (and secret) win condition each player is dealt at the beginning of the game. For example, your condition may be you only win by spreading your minions widely; the other goals are amassing money, or controlling a proportion of the city,* or simply stalling or causing trouble. So there is an element of social deduction, but unlike Werewolf style games you do not win by guessing your opponents' identities.**

So far so good, but it gets better! It works just as well with 2 players as with 4. Further, each of the over a hundred central cards are different, often very silly and fun with their abilities, which adds lots of variety. Moreover, on every play those of us who are Discworld fans continue to enjoy the many references, but those we've played with who know nothing about it do not suffer from a feeling of missing out, and can understand the game perfectly well. Ultimately, play is very fluid with all the mechanics working so well, it would be easy not to notice all the strategy going on underneath the beautiful surface. But Ankh-Morpork does indeed have the best balance of strategic complexity to ease of any game I'm aware of. As such, it's fantastic that Discworld creator Terry Pratchett lived to see his work celebrated by this high class product.

* Given that you can own property that in areas you don't control, it seems strange that you can't have a secret identity who wins through building property rather than controlling areas, so there's space to improve the game there.

** Although I think you could make a house rule where you could gamble something on guessing correctly.
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on 4 December 2015
This game takes a while to wrap your head around but once you do it's one of the most absorbing and fun board games I've played. It doesn't matter whether you're a Terry Pratchett fan or not, you'll find this game great fun to play. Each player is aiming for a different (secret) goal which means there's plenty of deceit among the players, making for a tension-filled hour or so that is hugely satisfying if you win! The replay ability is brilliant too - no two games will be the same as you'll get a different goal to aim for every time, whether it's being the richest or owning the most land, for example.

I can't wait to get this game out again to play over Christmas - it's always a big hit in our house!
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on 10 November 2014
The Terry Pratchett Discworld: Ankh Morpork Board Game is, quite simply, a must have for any Discworld fan. The artwork is fantastic and fits with artwork from the more recent Discworld novels like Going Postal, Making Money, Raising Steam, and Thud. The characters (Commander Vimes, Lord Vetinari, Rincewind etc) and locations (Dolly Sisters, Unreal Estate etc) are all faithfully taken from Discword lore. The events are typically fantastical like a dragon or an explosion.

In terms of gameplay, it plays like nothing I’ve ever encountered. Usually, all players have the same conditions of victory. For example, in Cluedo you’re all trying to solve the murder and in Monopoly you’re all trying to build the most assets. However, with this game you’re conditions of victory differ depending on the character you play as. This brilliantly represents the colourful diversity of Ankh Morpork.
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on 12 November 2013
I pride myself on having a number of intelligent and devious friends. This is good because this is a game designed for intelligent and devious people. Discworld fan or not this game is a tense hour of fun. Playing towards a goal that is unique to each player and known only to the player themselves you and your opponents must fight for control of the City of Ankh Morpork. Using cards drawn from your hand you must build, buy, steal and assassinate your way to victory using your cunning and guile to outwit your friends. This is a simple to learn but hard to master board game where victory is never assured. Calamities such as fire or earthquake can either devastate your strategy or suddenly propel you from last place to victory in a single move. The joy of play is the sheer unpredictable nature of the game coupled with the challenge of not letting your opponents know exactly what your win conditions are. Watching five of your buildings burn down is hard enough but letting out an audible groan of disgust is almost guaranteed to give away the fact that you're playing as Lord Rust and cause your opponents to quickly block you from rebuilding. Similarly doing nothing at all is a safe strategy but will soon indicate that Commander Vimes is in play patiently waiting for the cards to run out so he wins. All said and done this is an exciting game to play with a few friends, uproariously funny at times and frustratingly cruel at others.
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on 30 December 2014
I just don't 'get' the Discworld books but someone else in the family loves them - so we bought this for Christmas for about £26.00 (shop around if it's showing at more on Amazon - because today - just 3 weeks later - they've got it at £56 !!) and I really enjoy the game. It takes 1 or 2 goes to understand it - but it's shorter and more interesting than monopoly and each time we play it it's different according to the cards drawn at the start - so far it hasn't been repetitive at all and, unlike Monopoly, there's no horrible equivalent of Park Lane and Mayfair to ruin it for everyone else!
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on 19 January 2012
This game is so much fun whether you're a discworld fan or not. The concept of the game is quite unusual and is based largely on playing different types of cards. To start with the game can seem rather chaotic. If you've read the Anh Morpork discworld books, you'll know this is just how life appears to be there. However, over time you get to bring strategy into play. For us the game takes around an hour to play, although alot will depend on the winning conditions each player gets and these are drawn at random at the start of the game. Some of the winning conditions will take longer to complete & if all players are unlucky enough to get the tough ones I image the game could continue for quite some time. It's not a particularly educational game, but it is absolutely brilliant fun. A must if you are a board game fan looking for something a little different.
One person found this helpful
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on 13 February 2014
The game is relatively easy to learn. The instructions might seem like a lot in the beginning, but everything you need to play the game is on the player-aid card, meaning that you can even pick the game up as you go along. In terms of gameplay, you win the game depending on the card you've drawn (which is not visible to the other players). This makes the game a lot more interesting, because you have to work towards your goal while making sure the other players don't achieve their goal (which, I remind you, you can only guess) before you.
Overall a very fun game, whether played by 2 or more people (and consistent enough with the Discworld environment).
Two minor downsides: a. trolls and demons could have a more prominent role in the game (you don't even get to use them in most of the games) and b. it's almost impossible not to win if you draw Vetinari. :-)
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on 16 February 2014
I bought this game as a present for my fiance as were both big fans of Terry Pratchett and his amazing discworld series.
Its amazing and just a delight to play. There are a lot of rules i'll admit but we found it makes the game so much more interesting.
At the start of the game each player is given a personality card which basically tells you the goal that you have to achieve to win the game. Most of the time players will never have the same goal and it gets really interesting trying to determine who is trying to do what.
I would definitely recommend this game.
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on 24 March 2013
This game really is brilliant fun and makes some very nice use of characterisation and setting details from the books. Can also be played by people who have never picked up a Discworld book, though it seems to be more fun if you're already a fan, based on the reactions from various members of my family. Best played with more than two people. Does still work as two-player, but if you're a regular gamer then it's a bit too easy to work out your opponent's victory conditions if you've played it a few times and only have one person to contend with.

Personally, I think the makers could have made more use of 'in-jokes' from the series, but I expect that would limit its audience a bit so I can see why they didn't.
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on 26 January 2014
I bought this for my son for Christmas, and we played it several times over the holiday with 4-6 people. I thought it was a great game, because the cards you take prompt you what to do next and there aren't reams of rules to memorise first. I've played other games (eg Merchants and Marauders) where you have to play several times before you really feel you've got the gist of what you're doing and what all the implications are, but even the first game of Ankh Mopork was fun. This doesn't mean it's without subtlety - not knowing what the other players are trying to achieve, and trying not to let them guess who you're playing as yourself, adds a great deal. And for Pratchett fans (of which I'm one) the witty way in which the characters and used and depicted on the cards adds to the appeal. Highly recommended.
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