Disney’s Villainous is a card game that seeks to emulate a hypothetical scenario of Villain vs. Villain conflict for two to six players. Each of the six iconic Villains: Jafar, Maleficent, Prince John, the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, and Ursula have unique goals and decks that drastically change what each player can do, upping the replay value considerably.
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How To Play
Each player must select a Villain, and grab their board, mover, Villain Deck, and Fate Deck. If a spot on the board has a Lock icon on it, place a Lock Token on it. Each player’s mover is placed in the leftmost location. Each player must shuffle their Villain Decks and Fate Decks, and take four cards from the Villain Deck, which must be kept secret from the other players. The Cauldron should be filled with Power Tokens, and placed in reach of all players. Select who goes first. The first player starts with no Power Tokens, the second player gets one, third and fourth get two, and fifth and sixth get three. Room should be made in each player’s space for two discard piles, one for Villain Cards and another for Fate Cards.
Note that the included guides for each character further explain how their specific quirks work when you play as them.
On a player’s turn, they move their token to a new, unlocked space in the board, and can perform any of the actions indicated by the icons on that space, in any order, as described on the included reference cards. You can gain Power Tokens, play cards from your hand, activate an item or ally’s special effects, move items. allies, or enemy heroes around, and vanquish those heroes using your allies, discard cards, and even summon heroes to obstruct your enemies. Some cards and special effects ask you to pay Power Tokens to play or activate. At the end of a player’s turn, when they’ve performed any or all of the actions they can do in that space, they must draw cards until they reach four.
Heroes are a special case in this game. When you target an enemy with the Fate action on your turn, they must draw the top two cards from their Fate Deck and show them to you. You then pick one, have them discard the other. When placed, heroes can obstruct the possible actions in the space they occupy, and must be vanquished by allies that equal or exceed the strength of the hero.
The player who takes the Fate action decides how the cards are played. Items from the Fate Deck work the same way as the Villain cards, and if neither card you draw from an opponent’s Fate Deck can be played when taking the Fate action against them, both are discarded and nothing happens.
Allies are cards you can play to deal with heroes and help you reach your goals, and items allow for special effects as dictated on their descriptions. Some can even be attached to allies to buff them up. When you use them to vanquish a hero, both the allies used in the fight and the vanquished heros are discarded. If an item or an ally has the activate symbol on them, an activate action must be taken and relevant costs paid in order to use the ability.
When effect cards are played, they are resolved immediately and placed in the appropriate discard pile.
Condition cards are special, in that you can play them on other player’s turns so long as the conditions to play them are revealed. When you do so, you don’t draw cards until the end of your next turn.
The game is played until one player fulfills their objective. That player is declared the winner. For example, Prince John needs to start his turn with 20 power tokens, and Captain Hook needs to defeat Peter Pan on the Jolly Roger space.
Specific things to keep in mind
All the cards within a player’s board can only affect other cards in the realm, and not the realms of the other players. In many respects, Villanous is more like a race to the finish line as opposed to an all-out brawl, and the Fate action is the primary way to logjam your opponents.
When a card’s effects mandate that you “find” another card, search through the relevant deck and discard pile for the card, shuffle the deck, and play the card as described.
Also, if a card’s effects appear to contradict the rules of the game, the card’s effect supersedes the rules.
Some cards might reduce a hero’s strength to zero, but a vanquish action is still needed to be rid of them. You do not need allies in this situation.
In games with five or six players, when a player is targeted with a Fate action, they get handed a Fate token. Until someone else is hit with a Fate action, a player with that token cannot be targeted.
Suggested Player Age: 10+
Time Per Game: 50 Minutes
Popularity Rating: 7.1
Designer: Prospero Hall
Publisher: Wonder Forge
Year of Release: 2018