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How To Play The Hunger

The Hunger (1)

So, you have awoken from your long slumber and you, and your blood sucking buddies are in need of some refreshments. With so many choices available let’s take a look at how you go about finding the best meals to satisfy the Hunger!

The Setup

Just to pre-warn you, there are a lot of bits to the set up so I will try and streamline it as best as I can. Before you start playing the Hunger, you must decide if you want to play the Rookie mode or the Elder mode. In this how to play I will be covering the Elder mode. Place the Hunger game board in the middle of the table ensuring that side B is face up. Construct the hunt track next to the board ensuring there is one extra row to the number of players (e.g., 4 rows in a 3-player game).

Each player then chooses a vampire and takes their corresponding sheet, vampire token, scoring token and starter deck of 6 cards (these are identified by your vampire picture) Remove the 3 rose cards and place them in the labyrinth space, shuffle the remaining cards and place them near the hunt track. Next shuffle all the bonus tokens face down and place one on every chest space. If the chest is illustrated as open, then turn these bonus tokens over. Return all unselected tokens to the box. Take 3 cards from the top of the hunt deck and place them face down onto the tavern space.

Place the moon token on the first space above the hunt track, this will act as the round indicator. Place the castle point tokens onto the castle, for 2 players use the 10/6. 3 players use 10/6/4. 4 players use 10/8/6/4 and 5 players use 10/8/6/4/2. When preparing the mission tiles remove all the ones showing 5+ if you’re playing a 2-4 player game. Collect all of the missions with a beige background and mix them together, randomly choose 2 for the public mission spaces. Now mix in the tiles with a gold background, then each player draws 2 and chooses 1 to keep and 1 to discard back to the box. The remaining mission tiles will get stacked into the crypt spaces, with the corresponding amounts shown on each space.

The First Turn

In the Hunger, to determine which player goes first, each player shuffles their deck and draws 3 cards. Each player then adds up their speed score, this is shown on the top left of the card. The player with the lowest speed will go first. Stack up the vampire tokens at the castle in turn order. Once this has been decided, you can prepare the hunt track by drawing one card face up in each row in the 3 column.

Move & Hunt

At the start of each turn, each player will draw 3 cards from their personal deck. If you don’t have enough cards, then shuffle your discard pile to create your new deck. Once you have drawn your cards you must always activate any draw and discard effects first and they can be completed in any order. Then calculate your speed, you must then decide how much you want to commit to movement and how much you want to spend on the hunt track.

When moving your vampire, you are free to move through any space, if you finish your turn on a space that is occupied by another vampire you can push them to an adjacent space if you want to. Remember you don’t have to move your vampire if you don’t want to, but you won’t be able to claim the space benefit if you don’t move. The value of cards on the hunt track ranges from a cost of 3 down to 1. When you hunt a card from the track, they will have a VP value that you add to your score track and some will have effects that will be instantly activated or later on in the game. All cards that are hunted will go into your discard pile (unless effect states otherwise) and will be shuffled when its time to create a new personal deck.

Board Effects

There are many board effect spaces on the map, and these are usually activated or scored when you land on them. The most common are the bonus tokens that will score you 2 points when claimed and will offer you a one-time effect when you choose to use it. Landing on a crypt space in the Hunger will allow you to claim a new mission, these will be a mix of in game and end of game scoring opportunities to help build your score. All the effects are listed within the rule book.

End Of Turn Clean Up And Next First Player

Once each player has completed their turn, you must discard your hand and draw 3 new cards into your playing area. Move the moon token one space. Slide all cards on the hunt track one column to the right and draw a new set of cards into the 3 column. You will find that as the game progresses multiple cards will start pooling in column 1. If you buy from this column, you will take all the cards that have pooled.

The first player to move in the next round will be the vampire that is furthest from the castle. If there are players in the same region, then it will depend on which road they are on. Players that are on the road will go first followed by players on the railroad, then on the boat path.

So, How To Win

After 15 rounds of play dawn breaks, and that triggers the end of the game. Any player that has not made it back to the castle will get burnt to a crisp, and any points you have accumulated during the game will also be lost. If you want to add up your scores for poops and giggles to see how you would have fared, then feel free. If you only manage to get to the 3 graveyard spaces next to the castle then you have survived, but you must sacrifice 5 VP from your score.

If you do manage to return to the castle you will score the points on the castle bonus tokens, getting there first will bring you greater rewards. If you were lucky enough to acquire a parasol bonus token during the game this will enable you an extra turn at the end of the game to try and reach safety. But you won’t be able to purchase from the hunt track. All safely returned vampires will add any card bonuses and completed mission bonuses to their score, remembering to check if you have completed any of the public missions. The winner will then be the vampire that has the highest score. In case of a tie, the vampire that arrived back at the castle first or closest to the castle will win.

The rulebook does offer a very good appendix, explaining all of the iconology and their effects in case you get stuck, which can be very useful during the game

That concludes our how to play for The Hunger. Did this help you out? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy The Hunger today click here!!