Skip navigation

Gauntlet of Fools

Possibly the most fun you will have facing Certain Death. And I do mean Certain, as in everyone dies. The goal isn’t to survive; it’s to have the most gold before you die. More precisely it’s to have the most gold once everyone is dead. The Zombie can earn gold post-mortem after all, at least, as long as someone else is still alive.

So you may have played a dumb game around Xmas called Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap or White Elephant or any of near a dozen other names. Basically it’s Secret Santa with a twist that you can steal presents from other people. Why do I bring that up? Well because that is kind of the root of this game… except instead of presents, you’re stealing heroes. All heroes aren’t created equal, but even if they were, some work better with different weapons, and each hero get a random weapon. The glare makes it a little hard to see, but I’ve got a Priest with a Sword in the picture to the right. Now if everyone just took turns picking heroes, whomever went first would get the best hero, and the last player would be hosed. That’s boring, and you might as well just roll a die to see who wins at that point. This is where the White Elephant comes in… After I’ve picked a Hero (and whatever weapon he’s got this week) the next player can either pick a different hero, or they can steal mine, but to do that they have to make an additional boast.


Now in the game pictured to the right I got the Priest without having to boast at all, but he ended up being pretty crappy and I lost hard. I should probably have stolen the Armorer or one of the other heroes … but then, I didn’t know what we were going to face in the Gauntlet. See once everyone has a Hero (some of whom are hungover or have a hand tied behind their back, are a juggling, or what ever other extravagant boast they’ve made) you start fighting monsters. Whatever monster shows up, everyone faces it. Then the survivors face the next monster, and so on until everyone is dead. There are a couple exceptions like the Spear Trap which just injures everyone (except for maybe the thief) or the Gold Vein which gives everyone money. And then of course there is a the Side Passage … which often leads to an interesting decision… like do I fight the harder monster and maybe get more money or take the sure thing that isn’t worth as much. Other times it can lead  situations like that pictured to the left. “You come to a fork in the road. The sign to the left says “Trap” and the one pointing to the right says “Free Money” which way will you go?”

And yes, that was an actual pull in a recent game… unsurprisingly no one went down the trapped passage. Finally it is worth mentioning that if you get the Armorer with a half way decent weapon you can probably actually survive all the way to the end… since you’ll have to give up the gold from 2-3 successful kills to make yourself nigh invincible this still might not actually win you the game… you don’t actually get any kind of bonus from surviving… However, if you do see the armorer w/ a 4 dice weapon it’s probably worth stealing it unless he’s already Juggling, Blind-Folded, Hopping On One Leg and Hungover… then again, you still might be able to win it skipping breakfast as well.

If you can find a copy of this game at MSRP buy it. It’s pretty hard to find, but well worth adding to your library.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *