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Playing The Phantom Society by Iello Games, a Minesweeper like game of Scottish Ghostbusters

So I’ve played Phantom Society (By Iello Games) 3 times now, I was iffy about it the first couple times but now I’m solidly in the Scottish Ghostbuster mood!

The concept

I think of the game as a competitive minesweeper.   The game assumes two teams of two players, but players can take over multiple roles, no matter what though, there are 4 colors and 4 ghosts.

 

First the players alternate putting the four different colored tiles across the board.

Then, after the ghost hunters leave or close their eyes, each of the “ghost masters” gets to place two ghosts (mines) underneath tiles of the same color.

At this point, the ghosts get to destroy rooms turn by turn adjacent to their ghosts and hoping to destroy 45,000 pounds worth of rooms before the ghosthunters manage to find the ghosts.

Part of the trick? When the ghosthunters choose a tile to destroy looking for a ghost, if they “miss”, the ghosts get the points for destroying the empty room.  If the ghosthunters are correct, the ghosts don’t get any points for it.

The Strategy

The ghosts want to destroy expensive rooms without the ghosthunters figuring out where they’re at.  They primarily do this by alternating which ghosts destroy rooms hoping that the ghosthunters can’t figure out where the ghosts are hiding.

The ghosthunters on the other hand want to identify which color ghost is destroying a room, or in some cases, which ghost “isn’t” destroying a room, and use that knowledge to figure out where the ghosts are hiding.

It is a simple game that is easy to setup and easy to learn.  The game wasn’t too exciting at first, but after a couple games it really started drawing in the players.  I think games of pure strategy like this with no random component really excite the players once they start figuring out the strategy (and counter strategy).

Whats Next?

Once you have the game figured out there are a few different rules to add different challenges to the game and help determine which group should be the ghosts and which the ghosthunters based on which group gives more advantage to the other side.  I haven’t played with these rules yet but I can see how they really up the challenge once the ghosthunters start feeling confident they can win relaibly.

 

rmathis