Fugitive - Board Game Box Shot

Fugitive

| Published: 2017
5

Fugitive - a tense two player deduction card game, full of close calls and great escapes - all packed into 10 minutes! It's a quick, intense chase between the Fugitive, who is trying to get out of town, and the Marshal, who is trying to catch him before he does.

Hunter or Prey - each side plays very differently.
Deduction - using a simple set of numbered cards, you have to deduce where the Fugitive's hideouts are located.
Bluffing - You can feign large jumps to throw the Marshal off your trail.

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“To catch a fugitive”

Fugitive is a 2 player asymmetric game where the Rook (now referred to as the fugitive) from Burgle Bros has robbed a bank and escaped with the loot. The Marshal is hot on his tail and is trying to catch him before he can make his getaway by plane. The mechanics involved are hand management, hidden movement, and deduction.

The basic game is that the cards are numbered 0 – 42. The cards are split into 3 shuffled decks with cards numbering 4- 16, 17- 28 and 29-41.

The fugitive starts at the 0 and is trying to play the 42 card. Each game they start with the 1,2,3 and 42 cards (plus other random ones). The fugitive moves by playing a card face down. This is called a hideout. Each hideout can be within 3 more of the previously numbered hideout. Example, if the fugitive is on hideout 5, he could play hideout 6, 7, or 8 ( if they have those cards). The fugitive can move more if they play sprint cards which allows 1 or 2 extra movement per card played as a sprint. After each turn the fugitive draws a card from one of the 3 decks.

The marshal is trying to guess ALL hideouts of the fugitive. Once that happens, the game is over. They can guess 1 or more hideouts each turn, but if even 1 hideout is incorrect, then nothing is revealed. A correctly guessed hideout or series of hideout reveals the hideout and any sprint cards used to sprint to that location. The turn consists of drawing a card from one of the 3 decks and making a guess.

This excludes some rules involving event decks and the “manhunt” which is a variant we always play with.

Pros:
-Quick gameplay, about 15-25 mins a game
-Nice art on cards
-Fugitive usually has tough, meaningful choices
-Asymmetric gameplay, and a good introduction into it
-Event deck can help balance game if players find one role better than the other

Meh
-People complain of balancing issues (for both), but seems to depend on strategies and group
-With 2 very different games, people may prefer one role over the other
-Over time, Marshal’s game of deduction turns into simple math
-If fugitive makes mathematical mistake, it can mess up whole game

Con
-Marshal’s turns are initially less interesting
-Some people say the Marshal feels like playing battleship in a bad way
-Bad card draws can ruin the fugitive’s strategy
-takes up a surprising amount of space on table
-Box insert does not fit sleeved cards

Asymmetric games may be my favorite. Anytime you can do something that your opponent cannot is exciting to me, using your unique abilities/mechanics to your favor is something I enjoy even with occasional balance issues. I’m not sure if this this perfectly balanced, our marshal tends to win more, but games often come down to the last turn or two. Some people have the fugitive win more, so that may be a sign of pretty good balancing. The marshal’s game can feel a bit dry, as you draw a card guess a number, then turn over. The fugitive can craft a strategy, decide to just sit and draw a card, sprint, fake a sprint or try to plan for the future. I feel like much of the game depends on the fugitive’s cards and strategies.

The game has a race like feel, and the last few cards played are usually TENSE. As the Marshal knows she is running out of time and frantically searching for the Fugitive. Likewise the fugitive is frantically trying to rush the endgame and make a speedy getaway.

While the fugitive has a lot of its strategy in which cards to play, and how to sprint or fake a sprint, there is additional strategy in which decks to draw from. If you notice the marshal drawing a lot from the last deck, you need to make sure to draw a few cards from there so you don’t run into the dreaded “roadblock”. However, maybe you allow for that and just sprint right over it.

Players on both sides need to be okay with losing to luck, and be willing to play again. This is a game that wants to be played multiple times in a row- the fugitive has many risky strategies to try again, and it often is the case where you switch roles after one game.

I enjoy this game, it’s easy to travel with, kinda easy to teach (as long as new comer plays marshal), thinky, and tense. I’m always surprised at how much fun I have, but too many repeated plays with the same people can make things stale and even great strategies can be ruined by awful card draws, which ruins the game for both players.

 

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