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Monday, June 8, 2009

Blasphemy® The Board Game

Blasphemy® is a board game of fun, action, and adventure in the Holy Land for 2 to 4 players who can read. Playing time is 90 to 120 minutes.

In Blasphemy® you take part in the fate of a would-be Messiah. Your aim is to convince your compatriots that your Jesus, and your Jesus alone, is the genuine article.

To accomplish this, your Jesus must cut as impressive a figure as possible. He must give stirring sermons, perform miracles, attract devoted followers, and generally carry on in a Messiah-like fashion. Your Jesus must make every effort to discredit his rivals, and in the end, he must get himself killed. Yes, alas, the price of fame was dear in those days. It was clearly written that the Messiah would come to a sticky end. Accordingly, you win the game if you're the first player to get your Jesus nailed up.

Blasphemy® is the race to the cross!


Here is the link to the offical website: Blasphemy




Here is a review of the game: The review was found at this link: Game
You are Jesus! Or at least you claim to be but so do 3 other people. So who is the true messiah? Well you must get baptized, wonder through the wildness, perform miracles, give sermons, and gain followers. Then when you gain enough followers and find the frisky donkey you must travel through Jerusalem, not get released from prison on Passover and make it to the cross. Then you must be the first to be crucified to win the game. After all you must prove you are the true and only Messiah and free mankind from sin.

Theme:

The theme of the game is well the story of Jesus. It is a tongue and cheek telling of the story of Jesus from baptism to crucifixion. It works well with the overall gameplay and components. Think Talisman meets Jesus but shorter.

Bits:

There are a lot of bits in the game and they are all of high quality. The four Jesus figures come in red, blue, yellow and black. They are made out of I believe pewter. Then you have a wooden cross with a ledge for a single Jesus to stand on. A cloth board, which feels like good quality and looks beautiful and a single black large 6 sided die called the holly roller. It also comes with a bunch of wooden tokens to represent the different ministry tiles and John the Baptist. The ministry tiles are double sided with an image of a fish, apple, Torah and a camel. The other side has either a donkey or one of 3 things written on it, throng, flock or multitude. You get faith tokens that are made of a foamy soft plastic (I am not sure what they are made out of but that is how they feel) in 4 different colors and an olive with a toothpick through it on one side. They also include 4 cloth bags that are of the same color as the faith tokens and Jesus figures, they are good quality and size. These bags hold your faith tokens. You get a wooden disk with John the Baptist on it and 9 manuals, 1 for each of the 5 sections on the board, plus a manual that explains each of the special cards, a back-story, a setup book and a list of commandments of what to do or not to do in the game. The manuals are made of good quality paper and are easy to read. The only issue I have with the books separated is that if there is a global rule it is really hard to reference since you had to look through 9 books to find it. However they are relatively short and pretty well organized. So generally it isn’t very hard to find a rule you need. The benefit is that you don’t have to share 1 book, so if someone is in the wilderness and another person is in the baptism, they have separate manuals to look what they need to do. There are also 6 decks of cards and they are big cards with very good card stock.

Overall all the components are made of extremely high quality and are beautifully made. The only complaint I would have is that the Dove spaces on the wilderness section are very faint and hard to seen, so they look almost blank. Would have been nice if these were darker, but it doesn’t ruin the game at all.



Goal:

The goal of the game is simple; you want to prove you are the true and only messiah. So you must get baptized, survive your journey though the wilderness, gain followers into your ministry, journey though Jerusalem to the last supper and Passover, and finally be the first to jump on the cross and die for all man’s sins and prove that you are the real messiah.

Gameplay:

The players setup the board by shuffling the different cards and placing them in the appropriate spaces, shuffling the wooden ministry tokens and placing them with the text and donkey side down. They also place the John token in the middle stone at the baptism section. Then they place the cross on it space and roll to see who goes first. Each player then rolls to see how much faith they start with and place a figure on the start space of the baptism space.

During the game when you gain faith you remove it from the bag and place it in your well space. If you lose faith you remove it from the well and place it in your bag.

During the Baptism section the players roll the die and move around the board in these section. They will either land on a stone that moves John, does nothing or has special text. The players are trying to land on John so they can try to be baptized. Once they land on John, they draw a card from the baptism pile and read it out loud. The baptism cards will either give the player a successful baptism or failed baptism, if the card is a successful baptism then they do a roll of faith (roll the die and gain that much fame) and then move on to the wilderness start space.

During the wilderness section if the player basically rolls the die and moves that many spaces forward. If they land on a dove space they draw a dove card, if it is a texted space they read the text and follow the instructions. The dove cards known as Divine Vision cards have cards that allow he player to give sermons, win followers, heckle sermons, defensive Divine intervention cards, temptations (which are the only bad cards in the divine vision deck that cause the player to immediately lose faith and placed face up in front of them for the duration of the game), famine and Epidemic cards. The Famine and Epidemic cards are basically reset cards that cause all faith tokens placed on the board (more on this later) in certain spots to be removed. Then when the player either lands on a days and nights space (10 days and nights, 20 days and nights, 30 days and nights or 40 days and nights) he can either enter the ministry phase (if he still has moves available on his current turn or if not, then on his next turn) or continue on through the wilderness. If they landed on the space exactly they also get to do a roll of faith and collect that much faith. Once they reach the 40 days and night space however they will have no choice but to move on to ministry phase.

A question that comes up a lot during the wilderness is how long should one stay in it before move on? This is a question that is not easy to answer because it depends, divine vision cards make the ministry phase a lot easier and safer, but if you gain temptations then you might lose a lot of faith and get kicked out of the game. So it depends on your style of play and how much you are willing to risk. If you are willing to risk getting a lot of faith tokens, or don’t get many divine vision cards then I would recommend going through the wilderness to the end, but if you do have a lot of cards early or have gained a couple of temptations, I would recommend leaving the wilderness area as soon as possible.

Once you enter the ministry section you roll the die and move either on the spaces on the board or the ministry tiles themselves. If you land on a tile you can play a sermon card to attempt to convert the tile and gain followers. If you have a win follower’s card then you automatically convert the tile. If you don’t have a sermon card nor win follower card then you can draw a card that matches the symbol you are on and they will either move you to another location, give you followers or make you lose faith. If however you are unlucky and pull a Satan face card, then all Jesus’ who have temptations lose the amount of faith that is written on their Temptation cards, yes is accumulative. If this causes you to loss all your faith and you have no tokens on the board then you start over at the baptism phase and discard all your cards, and do a new roll of faith to get your starting faith amount. If you do still have faith on the board (not in your well) you can remove it to do a roll of faith on your turn and gain that much faith. If you ever lose more faith then you have in your well, you must remove the faith from the board until the total number of faith you are suppose to remove has been met or you are out of faith. If you gain followers then you place one of your faith tokens on the tile and get to look at the bottom of it. If you land on a named space then you can try to do a miracle by rolling the die and seeing if your miracle was successful (I forget if you need odd or even number to be successful). If you are successful then you grab two faith from your bag place one on the space you are on and the other on top of your faith stack in your well. You keep going around until you claim a token that has a frisky donkey and declare you are heading to Jerusalem. You do not need to leave right away once you have found a donkey. Once a player declares they are heading to Jerusalem, they remove all their tiles from the board and collect faith based on what their tiles are, they will either gain 1, 2, 3, or 4 faith tokens from the bag and all the ones they had on the board. If their bag is empty or has less faith then they are suppose to collect, they just collect whatever is left. Next you flip over all non claimed tokens and all players must head towards a frisky donkey space on their turn. They can continue to play cards and try to win followers on their way to a donkey. Once they land on a donkey they take their tokens off the board and the donkey and gain the amount of faith they are suppose to. They do not need to claim a donkey tile once a player has already declared they are going to Jerusalem and if another player has a donkey they can declare they are heading to Jerusalem as well instead of moving towards a donkey token.

NOTE: If a player runs out of faith tokens during baptism or wilderness phase, they player takes their Jesus off the board and place it in start space of the baptism and discard any cards they have. Also they do a roll faith to see their new start faith amount. If they lose all their faith during the ministry phase and still have faith on the board they remove one and place it in their well and then do a roll of faith to see how much faith they gain. This can be removed from a token or a spot on the board. If they lose faith in any phase after the ministry, aka Jerusalem or the cross phase, they are eliminated from the game.

During the Jerusalem phase the players roll the die and move that many spaces and do what the space tells them to. They will lose faith or gain faith and if they land on the Satan space, all players will lose faith based on the temptation cards they have. Once you reach the last supper no matter what you roll you must stop here. Then do a roll of faith and lose that much faith. Then you keep rolling and moving until you reach Passover in the cross section.

At the Passover space you roll the die and then move that many space forward on the cross section unless you roll a 3 at which point you are released from prison and out of the game. During the cross section you move only one space toward the end of the cross section where the wooden cross is sitting and roll the die to see how much faith you will lose at each space on the cross. Once you reach the last space you call out a value between 1-6 and roll the die, if the die matches the number you called out you place your Jesus on the cross proving you are the true messiah and winner of the game. If you don’t you remove 2 faith tokens and try again on your next turn until you are successful or lose all your faith.

Lastly if 2 or more Jesus figures are on the same space they do a faith off. All the Jesus players roll the dice and the player with the highest value wins and gains one faith while all the losing players remove one faith.

Overall the gameplay is a lot like talisman, prophecy and games like it. The cards are really funny and the mechanics work well with the overall theme. If you don’t like roll and move gameplay or gameplay with a lot of luck then you will not enjoy it, but if you do like games like talisman then you will. I like the fact that there are different ways to win followers.

Conclusion:

Overall I really love this game. I think it is a blast to play and very funny. I didn’t find the game offensive at all, sure some people might if they have no sense of humor or feel that religion is not something that should be taken lightly nor has any room for humor. Nothing in the game is neither mean spirited nor anti-Christian or religion. If anything the game does a good job of retelling the story of Jesus in humorous way. I am willing to pull this game out at every game night and have lots of friends who are not only willing to play it but also enjoyed it tremendously. The game is called Blasphemy, which should automatically tell you if you will enjoy the game or not theme wise. At $99 dollars, if you don’t like luck based roll and move games then you will not enjoy this game. You might have fun playing it and reading the cards but it is not the game for you. But the game is well worth the $99 dollar price tag on the components alone. I personally have a blast playing this game and laughing with my friends. I enjoy roll and move games and don’t mind games with lots of luck. So I highly recommend the game to anyone who is not offended by tongue and cheek humor regarding religion and like roll and move games. Also I have found that the more I play it the more I enjoy the game. 9.5/10


Here is my audio commentary

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> posted by Trevor Hammack at

3 Comments:

Blogger Cm said...

You mean to tell me that reformed Christians have fun? I thought we didn't have fun.

June 8, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Trevor Hammack said...

I think the game was created to mock Christianity. The lost duck is Reformed Christians having fun, this game is the world trying to have fun :)

June 8, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Cm said...

I just went to the game website and feel stupid now! But I'm over it!

June 8, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

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