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Booze Barons (Kickstarter Preview)
Get Your Wings (Reviews)
Updated: Sunday, Sep 6, 2015

The following is a promotional preview for the upcoming game Booze Barons, by Overworld Games.

The 1920’s were a fascinating time in the United States, fueled by unprecedented economic growth, jazz, and a wide array of hats. But, thanks to prohibition, one thing it wasn’t fueled by was alcohol… at least not legally anyway.

If you wanted to sell intoxicating beverages in that decade, your choices were either “no”, or to start a shady business bootlegging booze. And that’s the stage on which Booze Barons, the newest game from Overworld Games -- publishers of Good Cop Bad Cop and New Salem -- takes place. In Booze Barons, players will take on the personae of a kingpin in competing bootlegging mob gangs, each working to deliver their contraband to local speakeasies while simultaneously dodging Johnny Law and gaining clues to rat out their competition. Do you have what it takes to, *ahem*, “eliminate” the competition and become the reigning Booze Baron? Well, do you? I can’t answer that for you. Really, that wasn’t a rhetorical question. Here, let me help you figure out whether you have what it takes by showing you how the game works.

Super Official Disclaimer
The version of Booze Barons used in this video is a pre-production prototype. The artwork and components in the final version of the game may vary from those shown here. If it helps, just tell yourself that this video is coming from an alternate dimension. That’s what I’m doing. Constantly.

Booze Barons includes the following components:

54 Movement Tokens

36 Delivery Cards

10 Plastic Standees

9 Booze Cards

9 Bootlegger Cards

9 Bootlegger Pawns

6 Location Cards

2 Snitch Bonus Tokens

1 Booze Baron Card

The object of Booze Barons is to amass the most ill-gotten gain in the form of coins, which will be obtained by delivering your spirits to speakeasies and by ratting out your competing bootleggers by exposing what brand of alcohol they’re peddling. Once only one bootlegger remains unexposed, the player with the most coins will win the title of Booze Baron, and likely become the star of academy-nominated gangster films for decades to come. (Pair Of Dice Paradise makes no guarantee, expressed or implied, on the likelihood of you becoming a Hollywood legend.)

To set up the game, first place the six Location cards on the table.

Next, create a stack of Booze cards based on the number of players, and then shuffle it and secretly deal one to each player face-down. The Booze indicate which type of booze you are bootlegging and the mob family to which you belong. The other players are trying to figure this out, so they can expose you to the authorities.

Then shuffle the delivery deck, and draw nine cards from it. Place each selected delivery card next to its corresponding location card. The Delivery cards tell you the type of booze that’s in demand by the thirsty patrons at that location.

Finally, each player chooses a Bootlegger Card, it’s matching Bootlegger Pawn, and matching set of Movement cards. You are now ready to begin playing.

Rounds of the game are split into two phases: the move phase and the action phase. Here’s how each works.

During the move phase, players simultaneously select the movement card of the location that they would like to move their bootlegger pawn to. Every player’s pawn must move to a new location every round. No sitting in one spot! After all players have secretly selected a movement card, they are revealed, and players move their Bootlegger Pawn to that Location.

After all players have moved, the Action Phase begins. During this phase, each player in turn order may take one of the following four actions:

The player may pass their turn. … Which is exactly what it sounds like, so I’ll move on.

The next option is to take the action printed on the Location card where the player is currently located. These will vary from location to location, and some may only be possible to perform under certain circumstances, so use them wisely.

Another option is to take the “Delivery” Action. To perform the Delivery action, a player will take one Delivery card from the location that their Bootlegger pawn is at and place it face up in front of them. However, players may only take delivery cards matching their secret Booze type. So, every delivery you make gives another clue to your competition as to your secret identity. So don’t get cocky, kid. … (Roll eyes at self) Sorry.

Instead of making an incriminating delivery, a player may chose to take the “Tail” action instead. To do this, they peek at all Delivery cards another player has collected. You only get twenty seconds, so pay attention. Seriously, why are you looking at me?! Time’s running out! Look at the cards! No, not where I’m pointing, look at-- agh, never mind, time’s up.

After peering into their opponent’s shady past, as the second part of the Tail action, the active player may then you may either Steal one Delivery card that includes an icon matching their own booze card, or attempt to Expose that opponent to the authorities. To expose an opponent, the player attempts to guess their secret Booze type. If they are correct, then that player is Exposed, they flip their Booze card face up, and they give the Movement card matching their current Location (worth two points at the end of the game) to the player that exposed them.

The first player to Expose another player also gains a Snitch card, worth extra points at the end of the game.

At the end of the round, the first player card passes to the left, additional cards are added to several random locations, and then the next round begins. The game continues, until only one player’s secret identity is left unexposed.

When that happens, the game ends, and the player with the most Coins wins the game. Coins will have been obtained in three ways:

1 coin for each Delivery card they acquired

2 coins for each Location card obtained from another player

and 1 coin for each Snitch token

And that’s Booze Barons by Overworld Games, whose kickstarter for it is running through September 19, 2015. If this sounds like a game that you would be interested in, head over to their kickstarter right now and lend them your support. The only thing stopping you is this video, but you don’t even have to worry about that, because now this video is finished, so any excuse you make is going to be a dirty lie, which ironically is a useful trait for a Booze Baron so now, no, you don’t even have that excuse.

That’s Booze Barons, by Overworld Games.

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