Every year I get a board game or two for Christmas. Last year I opened the box I was fairly was sure my yearly board game and discovered Clank, a deck-building game. My husband eagerly explained how it was like Dominion, but also had a fantasy element as you are trying to steal treasure from the dragon. It’s also got a bit of press your luck in it. I eagerly put it on our shelf with the other deck-building games to pull out from time to time for gameschooling.
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Explaining Clank! deck building game
I don’t think Clank! actually has an exclamation in its name, but it feels like it should, so I always add an exclamation mark.
So, on your turn you play all of your cards, just like in Dominion, only in Clank you HAVE to play all of your cards.
Otherwise, you would never play the cards that are negative to you, so it’s required.
Your goal is to get the best treasure out of all the other players without the dragon killing you because you were too noisy. You decide how deep into the dragon’s lair you will travel to get a treasure (the further in treasures get you more points), but the further you go in, the more chance you’ll wake the dragon and get burned.
Oh, the choices!
Your turn in a Clank game
The cards in your hand will do a few things (and some cards will do more than one thing):
- give you movement (boots, more boots, more movement)
- give you swords to attack (sword with number)
- give you money to buy more cards (blue circle with number)
- have extra abilities
Everyone starts with the same 10 cards, a couple of movement cards, a couple of cards that help you defend, a couple of cards that help you buy stuff, and then a couple of cards that cause you problems.
In the picture above you can see the top card adds 1 clank, that’s what might wake the dragon up. Every now and then with certain cards the dragon will wake up and try to kill you. That’s what the clank does. The fewer cubes you have in there, the less likely you are to be burned.
The Sapphire card gives you points at the end, that’s what that green circle at the top means, this also means the card will usually cost more, and usually, there is a clank penalty when you buy it. Sometimes point cards will also give you abilities to play, but usually, you just put it in the discard pile, and it fills up your hand.
Those final three cards will let you buy a new card.
If you scroll up to the picture at the top you can see I have a companion who gives me two purchase (and a special ability related to the points at the end of the game), and two swords. The cards behind give me four more purchase and four more swords.
I may have joked a lot that particular game I was a murder hobo.
You need to pick what treasure you are going for. This is where the push your luck element comes into play. To a certain extent you completely control how much trouble your character gets into. You can choose to avoid taking wounds by not going into dangerous places, and minimizing your clank, but that also means you will move slowly and won’t get as far to get anywhere near as amazing of a treasure.
You decide how much risk you want.
While it sounds complicated, Clank really isn’t that complicated
While I could talk a lot about this, here’s a quick overview in video format, because I frequently find these to be immensely helpful to learn a new game.
And that’s it. Clank is a simple deck-building game.
Clank has two expansions that I don’t currently own, but I could see them as a fun way to expand the game: