Friday, 25 July 2008


Mwahahaha! is one of Han's latest purchases. He is mostly an Ameritrash-fan, and me mostly a Euro-fan, so our game collections complement each other very well. Mwahahaha is obviously on the Ameritrash side. However there is a bit of Euro feel to it too, to my surprise. The conciseness of it gave me that Euro feeling.

In this game, you play the bad guy. You build an evil weapon in order to use it to threaten the world. If the world succumbs to your threat, you win the game. To build your evil weapon, you gather raw materials, turn them into useable resources, employ minions to rob your enemies, set up innocent-looking companies as a front for your illegal activities, and play nasty tricks on your opponents or on the innocent public. And you do a lot of this by rolling dice. The combat system is quite simple, and there is a fair bit of luck in the dice rolling, the way that this combat system is designed. Hmmm... I'm not sure I'm making sense. There are games with dice where you feel the results tend to be not too far from what you expect, and there are games which you feel the results can swing wildly. I'd put games like Axis & Allies, To Court the King, Hammer of the Scots in the former, and Risk, Mwahahaha! in the latter.

That's my character (10 of them in the game to choose from), my evil weapon the Interstellar Portal, my minions (top left), my legal-front company (top right) and the resources that I have accumulated.

One thing I really dislike about the components is the Nasty Trick cards. Too much text. The effects could have been summarised succinctly, and the flavour text added below it, or in a different font.

There is a kind of story arc to the game. As you build your evil weapon, you can start extorting a city, a state or a country for resources, before you go for the kill and start blackmailing the world. If they give in to you, you gain resources. If they call your bluff, you can either unleash hell, which uses up one type of your precious hard-earned resources and gains you a notoriety point (which is good), or you can swallow your pride, save your resources and gain a humiliation point (bad). Notoriety and humiliation points increase / decrease the number of dice you can roll. You can also gain notoriety by killing your own minions, or by robbing an opponent's resources and instead of using them yourself, pour them down the drain like they are trash (going "Mwahahaha!" recommended but not mandatory).

Mwahahaha! is a pretty thematic game. The mechanics actually feel a little Euro to me (e.g. resource collecting). There are opportunities aplenty for funny voices and hysterical laughs.

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