Spiel 2013 Preview: Nosferatu

Posted by James (admin) on October 17th, 2013

Nosferatu box

Nosferatu is a group game for 5 to 8 players in the same sort of category as Resistance, Avalon and Werewolf.

One player is Nosferatu’s help Renfield and the other players are vampire hunters.  Well, all apart from one who is actually Nosferatu.  The vampire hunters are trying to kill Nosferatu before the game ends; however, if they stake a legitimate vampire hunter (who is not Nosferatu) then they lose.  So, the vampire hunters have to work out which if them is Nosferatu.

The Renfield player hands out the cards that say who is Nosferatu and who is not so Renfield knows Nosferatu’s identity.  Rather than just leaving it down to talking, the players have cards they must play too.

At the start of a round, each player (except Renfield) draws 2 library cards into their hand.  They then discard 1 from their hand (face-up) and give 1 card from their hand to Renfield (face-down).   Then, they reveal a clock card (the clock deck consists of one night card per player plus one dawn card).  If the clock card is dawn, this phase ends so some players may miss their chance to draw cards.

Next, Renfield shuffles the cards he was given, then looks at them in secret and states which of the following 3 situations is occurring: A. the cards include bite and/or night cards, B. the cards consist only of ritual components , or C. the cards consist only of rumours (or rumours and components).

If it’s situation C, nothing happens.  If it’s situation A, Renfield places the bites on any vampire hunters (including Nosferatu) they want to.  Each hunter can have 2 bites maximum and each bite makes them discard a card so they will have fewer options in later rounds.  If it’s situation B, the holder of the ancestral stake chooses one of the rituals that is on the revealed cards (which can force Renfield to reveal one player’s true identity, discard a night card from the clock, or allow a player to discard a bite).

Nosferatu tileNext, if the Dawn card was revealed earlier, the player holding the ancestral stake must either pass it to another non-Renfield player, or use it to kill.  Remember, if they don’t kill Nosferatu then the evil team wins.  (If Nosferatu holds the stake, he can only pass it on.)  If the Dawn card wasn’t revealed, the  stake can not be used to kill and Renfield moves it another player.

Then, the clock deck is shuffled ready for the next round.  If the last library card was drawn and no-one was bitten during this round, the player with the stake chooses a character card of another player to be revealed.

I really like the idea of this game as there’re tactics with the cards and not just talking that may similar games primarily consist if).  The good team can’t hold on forever either because the evil side wins immediately if 5 bites have been applied.  Also, the Renfield character seems like a great touch as they can openly facilitate proceedings and do so whilst in character.

You can read the rules and see the details of the game on Grosso Mondo’s web site using this link: bga.me/nosferatu


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