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Nightfall AEG

Cities have fallen, cities have stood, but outside of those protections, humans must face the creatures of darkness on their own terms. In the lawless countryside of Nightfall, the beast within can wreak havoc like never before.

Blood Country brings all new strategies and tactics to Nightfall, introducing cards that can have additional impact and ability based on the use of specific wounds. Blood Country expands the dark and intriguing world of Nightfall by taking the story out of the embattled cities and into the rural areas of America. The song says “a country boy can survive,” and Blood Country shows just how the blue collar class takes the fight to the vampires, werewolves, and other horrors!

Blood Country releases as a pure expansion, featuring only new cards and dividers, in a reduced-size box. Nightfall and/or Nightfall: Martial Law are required to play.

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22 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“A unique blend of cards in a portable package”

This Review of Nightfall: Blood Country can be found with photos at

Nightfall: Blood Country is an expansion to the supernatural themed deck building game Nightfall. Designed by David Gregg, and published by Alderac Entertainment Group, Nightfall is a deck building game that encourages direct confrontation between players, and rewards the building of card combos through the use of its unique “chaining” mechanism which uses color matching to bring new cards into play. I really enjoyed Nightfall, and its stand-alone expansion Nightfall: Martial Law, and I was very excited to give Nightfall: Blood Country some table time.

While the previous expansion, Nightfall: Martial Law had all of the components to play as a stand-alone game, Nightfall: Blood Country is an expansion in the strictest sense, and requires one of the previous Nightfall incarnations to play. Since I have previously reviewed both Nightfall and Nightfall: Martial Law, I am not going to write an in-depth description of gameplay. If you aren’t familiar with Nightfall, my review of the base game gives an introduction to gameplay.


The biggest difference between the components in Nightfall: Blood Country and the other Nightfall games is the box. The colorfully illustrated box has a small footprint, at around 6” x 4” x 3”, much smaller than the full-sized boxes of its predecessors. The previous games in the series are already built to hold expansions in them, so Nightfall: Blood Country’s small footprint is very economical. Some people may be tempted to put the cards from this new expansion into the original Nightfall box, and simply discard the expansion box, but there is a compelling reason to keep the smaller box around. Even with its diminutive dimensions, the expansion box still has plenty of room for more cards, and it comes with the same foam spacers and divider cards as the original game. In fact, Nightfall: Blood Country even comes with dividers for wound cards, and the starting player decks, making it an excellent portable solution for when you want to take Nightfall with you without the hassle of lugging around a big box. I haven’t yet checked to see if all of the original Nightfall cards and Nightfall: Blood Country cards will fit into the expansion box together, but there is definitely enough room in there to pack a wide variety of cards, making it perfect for travel.

The expansion also forgoes a full-fledged rulebook, opting instead for a single folded sheet that describes new rules, presents a small FAQ, and adds some new game fiction. The majority of the text is devoted to game fiction; a fiction that moves the action to Canute, Oklahoma.

The Game:

Nightfall: Blood Country doesn’t really add much to the core game mechanics; there has been a change to the original drafting rules that call for the random public archives to be selected and revealed before drafting starts. This small change is actually very effective in making the drafting process much more strategic, due to the fact that players now have a frame of reference when drafting cards. In the older drafting rules, the random cards were just that: random. Now, the random cards can better mesh with the rest of the selections.

Nightfall: Blood Country offers a variety of cards, with a more even distribution of character types. The expansion’s small box contains: 4 vampires, 3 hunters, 3 lycanthropes, and 2 ghouls; not to mention a handful of unique action cards. This selection of cards is where Nightfall: Blood Country really stands out. Even though the core game mechanics haven’t changed in this expansion, the cards themselves have a lot of unique and interesting capabilities. In fact, the cards in Nightfall: Blood Country may be my favorite of the series, focusing more on more unique, rule-bending effects. Wound types (Bite, Burn, Bleed) are now referenced directly in certain card text, and the types of wounds you have can make a difference. Many cards in Nightfall: Blood Country work as spoilers, or counterattacks, taking malicious cards and negating them, or in some cases, taking control of them.

Some examples of the more interesting cards are: Maggie Hawke, and LeShawn Wallace, who allow you to deal damage to them and manipulate influence; Rabid Rex who adds some randomness to wond damage, and uses specific wound types; Vampiric turning which allows you to kill, then control an opponent’s minion; and Exit Strategy and Pipe Bomb, which both allow for some fundamental changes to the game rules.

Maggie Hawke:


In Play: At the start of your claim phase, you may inflict 1 damage on this card to gain 1 influence.

Kicker: Exile all minions destroyed by the next order in the chain.

LeShawn Wallace:


In Play: At the start of any phase, you may inflict 1 damage on this card to make the active player lose 1 influence.

Kicker: Draw 1 card. Target Order in the chain will resolve its kicker.

Rabid Rex:


Chain: Target player receives wounds until he receives a bit or a burn wound.

Kicker: Inflict 2 damage on target ghoul or vampire.

Vampiric Turning:

Chain: Destroy target minion. You may discard a bite wound to place that minion into play under your control until it is destroyed or discarded.

Kicker: Place up to 2 target cards from your discard pile on top of your deck.

Exit Strategy:

Chain: Target order in the chain does not resolve. Place it in your discard pile instead. Exile this card.

Kicker: Reverse the direction in which you resolve the remainder of the chain.

Pipe Bomb:

Chain: Shuffle the bottom 2 wounds from the wound stack into target archive. They must be claimed at no cost when possible.

Kicker: Inflict 1 damage each on up to 3 target minions.

Nightfall: Blood Country may suffer a bit from “more of the same”; This isn’t necessarily true when it comes to the card effects – the card effects are unique and fun – but when it comes to the characters and theme in this expansion, there isn’t anything that outwardly separates Nightfall: Blood Country from the previous expansions. A potential customer sitting in front of the three Nightfall titles may have some trouble differentiating what each box actually delivers, and why he should choose one over the others. Dominion addressed this fundamental issue fairly well in its expansions, with each expansion delivering a solid gameplay theme; “conflict” in Intrigue, “high stakes” in Prosperity, “Variety” in Cornucopia, etc.. I would have liked to see stronger defining characteristics like this in the Nightfall expansions. Small expansions like Blood Country would be the perfect vehicle to introduce sets of cards with a thematic flavor all their own. For example: A set of cards focused around a corrupt banking corporation living in their seemingly safe utopia; a set of cards that take the conflict to the barren, ranch filled ghost towns of Nevada; or a set of cards that showcase the battlefield that is Hollywood, where no one can see past the plastic and Botox to tell the difference between the vampires, ghouls, and humans. Without an obvious thematic hook, I wonder if quality expansions like Blood Country might get lost in the firehose of games flooding the current market.


Nightfall: Blood Country is an excellent addition to the Nightfall family. It has unique, rule-bending cards that really change up the nature of the game, and allow for some really exciting, and unexpected turnarounds – these are cards that will find their way into the draft piles in all of my future games. The new draft rules are a great addition as well, adding a new layer of strategy to the game with a very simple change. The smaller box for Nightfall: Blood Country also makes the game much more portable now, giving me the ability to easily bring Nightfall with me in anticipation of a quick game while I am out.

Nightfall: Blood Country does seem to be teetering dangerously on the edge of “been there, done that”. While its card effects are outstanding, some of the coolness factor is lost due to the fact that the artwork and theme in this expansion seem to mirror that from the previous installments. Now, I’m not saying that new expansions for Nightfall should have a drastically different theme, but certainly something that would better differentiate them from the previous games would be welcome.

Despite any concerns I may have, Nightfall: Blood Country has easily earned my recommendation. When it comes down to it, the gameplay is what matters the most – and Nightfall: Blood Country has it where it counts.


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