Bequest is a drafting, I cut, you choose, set collection card game coming out from Wizkids at the end of this year (2021). Dr. Schism has recently passed away, and players play as one of his underlings who now squabble amongst each other to take control oh his super-villainous empire. Whoever ends up cutting the best deals, splitting his treasure the best ways, and scheming their way to the top will continue Dr. Schism’s legacy and win the game. Wizkids also recently published Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze, which I reviewed and encourage you to read.
What’s in the Box?
- 150 Asset cards
- 30 Special cards
- 6 Character power cards
- 6 Reference cards
- 1 Score pad
- 6 Splitter boards
- 1 Round tracker
- 12 Decision Tokens
- 1 Game board
- 1 Rulebook
How’s it Play?
The game is played over 5 rounds representing 5 days you spend at Dr. Schism’s lair dividing up his assets. Each round consists of 2 phases, the split and choose phase and the special card draft phase.
The game is setup with the special cards set to the side and depending on the number of players, you will flip over that many special cards from it deck onto the board. Each round has its own deck of cards listed on the top of the board, and depending on the player count, these decks will have a different amount of cards to them.
Each player will be dealt out a character card, which provides each player with a special power that changes the normal rules in one way or another. The character is placed face-up in front of them for everyone to see at all times. The character card is listed for the advanced mode, but I would just start with this rule the first time playing the game as it adds some additional strategy to the game.
Split & Choose Phase
During the split & choose phase, all players will draw 5 cards from the current round deck. All at the same time players will choose to make 2 groups out of the 5 cards. This can be 3 in one group and 2 in another or 4 in one group and 1 in another. 5 cards and 0 cards is not an option. Players will want to try to make these options as fair as possible between the two because another player will get first choice as to what group to take and you are stuck with the other one.
After deciding on how to split up your 5 cards, you will place them on one of the boards that are placed between you and your neighbor players. Each round you will place your cards on the board indicated by the round token. Each player will then visit the board they didn’t place their cards on and they can look at the 2 groups of cards that their neighbor made.
On this board, you will choose which group of cards you would like to take, and you will play your A or B token facedown on the middle of that board, making sure you keep your other token face down. When all players have chosen, these tokens are revealed and player will take the cards they selected to take and then on the other board they will take the left over cards the neighboring player didn’t take.
Both sets are placed face-up in front of each player where everyone can see them as this will give information in future split & choose phases if a certain card is more valuable than another. Each player also takes their decision token back.
Special Card Draft Phase
During this phase players will be taking special cards from the middle board. The player with the #1 Key goes first and discards that card to take their choice of card on the board, then the player with the #2 key does the same and so on. The majority of these cards are also placed in front except if its a lackey, those have a one time effect.
Types of Cards
Gadgets – There are 3 types: Cannons, Power Cores, and Vehicles. Players will earn money according to the size of their collection of each gadget type. The more of a specific type, the more money you will get per gadget.
Treasure – When these are gained, players will immediately take the card and flip it face down to start a pile. This pile will make more money with more cards in this stack. At the end of the game the first card is worth $1, the second is worth $2, and so on.
Evidence – This can be a negative card. If you have 3 or more evidence cards at the end of the game, each evidence card is worth -$3, but if you only gain 2 evidence cards, they are both $0.
Hideouts – These card will earn the depicted amount shown on that card, this can be either a positive or negative value.
Lackey – These are cards that provide a one time effect listed on the card. The effect is done immediately and then the lackey card is discarded.
Schemes – These can earn money based on a condition listed on the card, if you have the depicted what it asks for you can gain extra money.
End of Round
After each round the round tracker is flipped so the arrow shows the opposite direction. Players then do the same with the new pile of cards intended for that round.
End of Game
After the five rounds are completed, players add up their money by adding up all the types of cards they have in front of them depending on what type of card it is. Then players figure out who has the most influence over the western and eastern parts of the world. Each player will score $15 if they have more western global influence than both of their neighbors, and $10 if they have more than just one neighbor. Eastern global influence is determined the same, except the reward is higher — $20 if you have more eastern global influence than both neighbors, and $5 if you have more than just one neighbor.
The player with the most money wins the game and takes over Dr. Schism’s legacy.
Bequest is like a hidden gem that I am glad I found. It’s not breaking industry records or adding something never seen before, but the smoothness and ease of play definitely makes Bequest a great game to play.
It’s essentially a game that uses all its cards and you are trying to find the best combinations of cards that will score you the most points. The puzzle within the game is nice to think about as you weigh possibilities with others. As the game progresses, you will also find out which cards give you more points than another.
The I cut, you choose part of the game makes you feel like you are making choices of possibly what your neighbors get, but also what you might get. What you lay out for them is what they will get, so you’re feeding them and also hoping you get what you want as well. This occurs during the entire game. So you feel like you are choosing what you get as well as what your neighbors get throughout. I find this kind of player interaction a fun one, and you don’t ever feel like your punishing the other players because, ultimately. they are making the choice of what cards they take.
I really like the different mechanics of how cards score points and having to really weigh your options between possibilities. Some cards might score few points near the beginning of the game but make up for it by scoring more toward the end, others are straight up points no matter what phase of the game, and others you might want to compare with your neighbors to see who has the majority.
Bequest is a card game, so the components are pretty straight forward. The card quality isn’t amazing, but not bad either. The tokens however are super nice. They’re like poker chips, so when you choose between A and B, you have a nice heavy token to play with in the hand. The board is also nice to organize the game, and keep cards organized.
Bequest is one of the better games I have played from WizKids, and this game will definitely find more time on my table. The theme is goofy, but the mechanics are pleasant, and all players feel engaged the entire time.
You can grab Bequest at your FLGS
Images Courtesy of WizKids
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