Buffy The Vampire Slayer... The Boardgame


They say that being married changes you. One of the little changes that I have experienced since marriage is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My wife is a fanatic for the show. I had never watched it, but now she has me absolutely hooked. She is still much more the addict than I could ever be, but I have to admit that I look forward to every new episode. It was her intense love for everything Sunnydale that led me to buy the new Buffy boardgame for her.

The game is best played with four or five players, but it wasn't too bad with just the two of us. No matter how many players sit down to the table, one player is forced to take the side of evil (oh no!). The other players have the core members of the Scooby Gang or the Slayerettes to choose from. The game is billed as being four games in one, and I guess it sort of is. There are four different evil personas the evil player gets to choose from. The goals of the game change slightly depending on which evil baddie is being used. The four personas more or less represent the four greatest challenges that Buffy has had to face over the years. There is the Master, the Judge, the Mayor, and Adam. The Judge is the only character that is a little weak to be considered a major evil. He was only in two episodes of the second season, and was taken out by a nifty rocket launcher.

Evil gets to go first in the game. Why, because Evil rocks, that's why. Duh! The evil player is also the only player that gets to keep their cards a secret from the rest of the game. Playing the Master, I also had Darla, Spike, and Drusilla as my trusty henchmen. Henchmen change with the lead character, but Spike seems to be pretty constant. The good side not only has to keep all of their cards face up, but is also furthered hampered by the fact that Oz can't be trusted to hold onto any cards. Every so often, the moon will go full and he'll wolf out. Willow has the best Majik score in the game, and Xander can always be counted on to have an extra Help Card. Buffy just specializes in kicking ass.

The game play is reasonably smooth. With only a couple, minor exceptions all of the cards in the game explain themselves pretty well. One point of contention that I ran into was when a card could be played. It seemed that the Evil cards could be played at almost anytime during Evil's turn, but the Good player had to declare card use at specific points (i.e., before combat). The moon phases chart is a rather nifty extra to the game. During the new moon, the Evil player can draw two Evil cards. The full moon means that all werewolves wolf-out, and at Sunrise the Vamps burn. One segment of the game that I didn't get into was embracing the good players. If your die roll is lucky enough, you have a shot at turning any good character except Oz into a Vamp.

The board is pretty well designed, with all of the necessary life tracks included in the borders. One failing is the extra card tracker for each of the personae. Yet again, a boardgame manufacturer is assuming that I always play my games on huge tables or on the floor. Some of us actually like a more intimate setting for our game playing instead of shouting across the table at my opponent. Another problem was the dice. I guess Hasbro is feeling a bit of a crunch after absorbing Wizards of the Coast, Avalon Hill, every other game manufacturer... and just couldn't afford to produce the custom dice for the game. Instead, I had to place stickers on each side of the 10 or 12 dice before I could play. By designing the game around the evil baddies, the game has the potential of being expandable. At the end of this season, they could put out a small pack with the new baddie and some extra cards to tailor the game. Maybe I'm wrong, and they won't, but it has the possibility.

I enjoyed playing the game, and my wife who is NOT a fan of game playing also enjoyed herself. The fact that my wife was willing to sit through two back to back games without a complaint definitely gives the game a seal of approval. Though I did have to deal with some pouting whenever it looked like the Master or the Demon Mayor was going to kill Buffy or Willow. I might even try and play the Scooby gang in the future, but I doubt it.

I've watched a few episodes of Buffy, and enjoyed them, though I can't help but compare the new Buffy to the old 1992 Buffy, as played by Kristy Swanson. What other movie could bring Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman), Rutger Hauer, Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry together and still manage to be funny?

As an interesting sidenote, I used to work for AnotherUniverse.com (now owned by Fandom.com), and Buffy merchandise was some of the hottest-selling stuff we had. Comic books, t-shirts, and action figures (especially the infamous "Willow in Tight Red Pants").

You gotta love evil Willow in her tight leather. Yum!

i got the buffy boardgame and the instructions is like a foreighn language to me ive asked everyone to help me my friends family but they dont have a clue so if anyone knows e-mail me please because i want to love the boardgame as much as i love the show.

My hubby bought me the boardgame - we both adore the show. I didn't find the instructions too difficult, at the worst a bit vague in a few points. I'd love to know how the heck you get Harmony into the game! I can't find a reference to her anywhere!

I would rather watch Buffy than breathe. And the game rocks ass too. The insructions weren't that bad, but I'm used to figuring out game instructions.. if you want confusing instructions, try Reiner Knizia's Lord of the Rings.. now those were confusing.

Anyway, the Buffy game is cool. But here's the kicker- it's not about Buffy. It's all about Oz. Buffy dies, game's over, Evil wins. So, keep her the hell out of the fight!! Move her little buttocks away from the baddies as quick as possible. The Scoobies should just hustle around getting those artifacts. Don't worry about giving any cards to Oz, he'll never use them. Keep Oz safe while the moon makes it's way around to fullity. When Oz wolfs out, gnaw the baddies to death as quickly as possible, then run Oz' little heinie away once the moon is a step from changing back. That's it. Keep using Oz to kill badguys, keep "weakling Oz" and Buffy safe. Willow and Xander are pretty meaningless, but don't let them get sired.

I want an expansion where Riley and Tara are player-characters...

I'm still ticked off that Amber Benson doesn't get her name in the opening credits.. what does the poor girl have to do?? Dawn has one, and who the hell is she? She's not even real! Tara deserves credit!!!

*sigh* Anyway... The Buffy game rocks ass. Buy it. Play it. Love it. 'Nuff said.

Amber Benson is probably being left out of the opening credits because she will be leaving at some point. Either that, or Joss doesn't feel that she will ever really be a core member of the Scooby Gang. Kind of like Joyce. She was always a "Guest Star". Now she's dead. Can we all say that Joss is a bastard for creating such a depressing episode? I still love Buffy, but dammit! Why did he have to kill Joyce?

#1 - Amber Benson writes and directs her own movies, and is writing the Willow and Tara comic book. So even if BTVS falls through for her, she has plenty of talent to fall back on. And if that doesn't work out, she's cute.. so I'm sure something will come along.

#2 - That was one of the most moving peices of filmmaking I have ever seen. Don't dis it.

I wasn't dissing it. I was just upset at Joss getting rid of Joyce.

Just a few points -

1. This game is really good, and gets better as you play it more often. I've played about 15 games, and noticed that the Scoobies have a small advantage. In fact, in the last 6 games I've played, Evil hasn't won.

3. The Spell of Evil Summoning (Research) card is almost useless. "Choose an adjacent enemy.... move that enemy to an empty space adjacent to you". Worthless, in most instances. I think its a mis-print.

4. The Master is by far the worst to play for the Evil player. Just wound the Master down, give Buffy a good Help card and a stake, and stake him. I have never won with the Master, and have never lost to him.

5. Harmony can't be used as per the rules, but I usually use Harmony instead of Drusilla in the Adam scenario - it makes sense.

Some good tips:

-Grab cards! Cards win you the game, both as good and evil. With cards, the evil player can almost assure that Oz won't stay a Werewolf for long, (use the Summon Eclipse card). Cards for the good are even more important. Buffy armed with a stake and a good help card has a really good chance of dusting any vamp. Example, with one of the Slayer helpers (or Angel) and a stake, Buffy has a 60% chance of dusting a wounded vamp.

-The tunnels are a huge advantage, and your opponent can't go through them if you block the other side of them. Also, late in the game, if you need to buy time, its also a good idea to block the sewer spaces, (especially as good). Sewer maps/crawls are deadly late in the game.

-Strike attacks are by far the best. Load up Oz or Xander with explosives, etc. and help cards. Then either Sewer-maps or teleport one of them to the main enemy. Attack, then use Willow to Summon them back. Hard combo, but can do 4-5 damage easily to the main enemy easily.

-Surround the enemy, and trap him in. Concentrate all fire poweer on one enemy, (if they let you). Surrounding a lone enemy will kill him in 1-2 turns. You can block him with two players if you are lucky, (since you can't go through an opposing character). Cheap, but effective.

-Above all, stay together. Alone, you are nothing. Together, you can swap cards, play cards on each other, gang up on an enemy, etc.

P.S. - Anyone know of a web-page devoted to this game? I haveen't found one yet. Please email me if you know of one. I was thinking of starting one, but don't know how much interest there would be.

Huh? I got my summon Harmony card right here.

We are major Buffy fans and just managed to get the game on the table to start digging in to play. Only two of us so right now it's all good against all evil. I'd be happy to find a site with some clarification of the cards -- there are a bunch that seem vague to me, mostly about when does someone have to be adjacent to use them and when not.

Since we are just starting our first game, it was great to get all those tips. Here are some thoughts about some of the comments:

1. Harmony can get on the board if the evil servant of the same color has been dusted or taken out of the game. Granted a lot of coincidences have to fall into place for just the right character to be gone and then have the Harmony card but it can happen, same as with Kathy or Veruka or Angelus.

2. I think the Summoning Evil card is a big help if you have to be adjacent to stake a vamp. That extra adjacent on the card "choose an adjacent enemy" has to be a typo. There's a bunch of errors that didn't get caught in the proofing of the card copy. The Destroying an Artifact cards start with instructions to "choose a sired vampire or Angelus"--that instruction has nothing to do with what happens with this card. It just never got deleted when the "Spell to Restore a Soul Card" got copied to make this next card. BAAAD copy editing. That's what makes the rules about when you have to be adjacent or don't confusing. The word adjacent is there when it doesn't make sense and not when it does. The other typos make me distrust some of the instructions. As Buffy would say, "This is not of the good."

3. I agree the game takes a lot of room. Really hard to suspend play if necessary without it taking over your table.

4. What a cool idea that more evil packs could be added. Of course the same goes for good players because either way you'd have to have a Start space and a lifespan for them. More stickers to add to the board?

The game looks like a bunch of fun and I am looking forward to playing more big time. I just have a few nits to pick:

1. How come Giles is almost nonexistent in the game? Granted his Help card (or Research I can't remember which) is a big help and his house is there but he is a major character on the show. Hello!! Some of us big fans are more Giles' age than the Scoobies and it would be nice to have him really be a player.

2. The Judge is totally lame as a big Evil. Season Two the Big Bad was Angelus. He should be the Evil for this round. So he got good again later, so what, having one of the good guys be evil is what made season two so incredible. Maybe the goal for the Scoobies would be to restore Angel's soul. There could be an artifact card for the globe Willow had to use. Anyway, if they really didn't want to use Angelus, then Spike and Dru were the next driving force for evil. The Judge could be one of their evil servants.

3. How come the Amy card gives an extra edge for Fighting? Isn't she like a big time witch? Or maybe she's supposed to be in her rat form and she's going to help fight be biting the enemy.

All "if I ran the world it would be perfect" whining aside, I'm tickled to have the game, especially during the summer with no new episodes and Buffy dead to boot!

Hope I have some tips of my own to add once we've had some rounds of play!

Just found a an unofficial FAQ site for the game that answered some but not all of my questions. Also had links for where to ask further questions. Here it is

I went out and bought the game while walking around looking for another game in a "K-B Toy store." Once I saw this game, I flipped out though unfortunately due to the lack of money I had, I was forced to wait a while before buying it.
After opening the box, and playing for the first time, all my friends agreed that the game was hot. I only wish they could have come out with sequals to the game. You know, with new baddies and new cards. I also wish that they wouldve made it like the "Nightmare" series. You know with a traditional VHS tape that would release the world of Buffy into Interactive Television.

How does Angle get into the game and where does he start? Thanx Larix!!

I don't think the Summoning Evil card is a typo actually. I think it's used to move an adjacent enemy out of the way, especially useful if you have Buffy blocked in somewhere (I had her blocked in on that weapon space on the "good" side of the board by the Master, who was equipped with Baltazar's Amulet, last night. You can bet my friend would have LOVED to have that spell right then.) Remember, you can't move through Villains or Minions. Plus you could use it to send a Vampire outside during Sunrise! You can even use it through walls. A vamp on the other side of a wall still counts as adjacent.

Hey I only have 17 help cards.Is their 18 of them?

I only have 17 too. I think it might be a misprint in the book.

Here are some replies to other comments. These are gleaned from the archives of rec.games.board, which include some responses from one of the designers. I also have compared older and newer editions of the game.

Ian is probably talking about the 8-player game released by a different company in the UK. It is apparently pretty bad.

Regarding Harmony: There is supposed to be a Summon Harmony card in the game. Early editions are missing this card, and have an extra Summon Eclipse card. So if you have one of those games, just mark one of the Summon Eclipse cards and use it as a Summon Harmony card. She is a green pawn, as shown by the color on her piece.

On the Summon Evil card, the "choose an adjacent enemy" is a typo. You can choose any enemy. This is especially vicious if you can summon the Master onto a spot where he can't move, during sunrise. Instant smoking victory!

Angel gets into the game if Evil summons Angelus and then Good restores his soul. It is pretty unlikely, so I don't know why they didn't just use one two-sided pawn for him.

Here are some more strategy tips. The cleverest ones are only applicable to Good, which is part of why they usually win.

Keeping all the Good characters alive is not only in character for Good, but good strategy. Even a badly wounded character can pick up cards and may eventually get healed. This isn't as important for Evil, but you can always fail those summoning rolls (I always seem to). Careful choice of where to leave characters standing is one key to this.

In addition to standing on tunnel exits, standing on a manhole can save you or an ally from a nasty surprise attack. Wounded characters can often be protected by having an ally stand blocking the best or only route to them. Choice of position to stand when enemies are near is a tradeoff. Squares with multiple open sides keep you from getting trapped, but allow multiple attackers. Ones with walls around them limit attackers, but can get you trapped. Ones next to allies will block some attackers while allowing escape through them. Standing next to card spots usable by the opponent should be avoided if possible, as it allows them to both draw a card and attack in the same turn.

The flexibility in the order of actions allows a lot of stunts by the Good side. For example, if you are standing on a card spot, but already have a card of that type, and are next to an ally who has none or a weaker one, try this: trade them your card (taking their weaker card if any), draw a card, then trade back. If the ally didn't have a card, you just drew one for them. If they did have a card, you have improved it for them.

Since you can play a card partway through your movement, it is possible to move up to an opponent, use a spell on them, then move back to safety behind an ally. This allows Willow to use things like Spell of Oblivion or Living Flame without getting counterattacked.

You can sometimes get more than one character to take advantage of a card in one turn. For example, you can run up to an ally using the Boots of Running, give them the card, and then they can use it on their move. Or you can use a re-usable weapon or artifact to attack, then someone else can move up and trade for it, then use it to attack someone else (which won't be the same opponent you attacked, since they can't stop adjacent to both you and your opponent. Unless a spell is used somewhere in there.) This isn't useful that often, but shows the kinds of things you can pull off if you get creative.

I played an interactive boardgame a while back. It had a board with pieces that you move and cards that you draw from (like most games do), but this one had a VHS tape that you played along with. It was called Nightmare... (I believe) I haven't been able to find it again since then. Any help on where I can or might be able to find it.

Thanks alot,
Daytona Beach, Florida

I love this game. But does anyone know which season/episode the boots of running were taken from? I remember Buffy having them, but I can't remember anything else from the episode. Thanks.

i have a question, i'm hoping someone can help me with. I accidently bumbled accross something that looked like a source book for a buffy roleplay once upon a time. this was online. But i lost it and now can find nothing on it, not even any references. can someone help me, i'm sure it exisits. I hope it exists i want it.

There is now a Buffy RPG out. I can't remember the company name that put it out, but I picked one up at Gen Con.

heather might be thinking of the Hunter RPG, (White Wolf), which had Buffy-lookalike art on the front cover as I recall. I haven't seen the Buffy RPG but if it's a recent product then it's likely that Hunter is the one heather saw. That might explain why heather couldn't find it before. She would have looked for Buffy not Hunter.

For fans of the show: I don't normally watch, (yes, I'm a heathen), but I've followed the last storyline on-and-off. I'm a UK viewer so my 'last storyline' and yours may not be the same. The Joyce is Dead episodes recently aired on Sky, and they hooked me.

However, it almost looked as though one episode in the chain was missing. Buffy walks in, finds Joyce on couch. End of episode. Next episode Buffy is choosing coffins in the intro. Yet in the 'previously on Buffy' voiceover I could have sworn there were references to a show between those two shows.

It's one of those factiods that could really get on my nerves. Was there a third episode in that storyline?

There is a Buffy RPG I think by the same company that did Farscape?

I can't say wich, but the RPG is out there. Highly overpriced like all tv show adaptations and movie based rpg's.

Haven't tried it so I can't comment on the fun factor.

And Adam (nice vilain name man) you're 2 or 3 seasons behind, try avoiding spoilers... if you can.

And Adam (nice vilain name man) you're 2 or 3 seasons behind, try avoiding spoilers... if you can.

I try my villainous best.

Must admit, I figured that since I was so far behind there wasn't much left to spoil. Particularly since the big secret (Joyce kaput) had already been revealed several postings back.

No takers, then? No third episode?

Should have checked my Hotmail before I posted.

I have the answer I needed. Many Thanks!

There is a BtVS RPG out now, by Eden, not the people who did Farscape. It's an excellent adaptation, and not really that expensive; it's only the limited edition (with leather cover and all) that's so very pricey.

I have great fun with the boardgame, especially playing the Mayor; that's my favorite evil side to play, so long as I can keep that one artifact out of the Scoobies' hands.

hey i love buffy and i got every season on video but does anyone know when buffy starts on sky one? im not sure cause some people said it started in october but i need 2 know when?

Hiya Dazza

They were repeating Buffy episodes on Sky recently at 6pm weekdays, but they've stopped now.

hey thanks but when does season 7 start on sky one? but thanks for the other information

I have never missed an episode of Buffy since it started. And i didn't know there was a board game..awesome, i'm just gonna hafta go out and get it. bonk. narf.

hey does anyone know when season 7 of buffy starts on sky one?

Those who haven't already gotten this game and want it will probably be out of luck...it has been discontinued - I got mine about 8 months ago at Toys R Us for $5! yay for me!

and I must say that Buffy is the best show of all time...

hey i bet im number one fan of buffy ive nearly everything.

I agree with you guys and girls, Buffy Rocks.
I think the break up between Buffy and Riley was a huge mistake and Buffy with spike, that totally contradicts everything she had said before then. Getting them together was a Catastrophic mistake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree with you guys and girls, Buffy Rocks.
I think the break up between Buffy and Riley was a huge mistake and Buffy with spike, that totally contradicts everything she had said before then. Getting them together was a Catastrophic mistake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't find the game anywhere.Please post a comment on where you got it.I'm a huge fan of the show.

Last I knew, after two years, the main rulebook is sold out and is now out of print. They're working on a new one with a bunch of corrections; see http://www.btvsrpg.com/6010.htm for more information on the new corebook.

Oh, wait, that's the RPG, not the boardgame. Sorry about that.

ive had this game for ages...but it never game with instructions so ive not been able to play....could anyone shed some light for me ? and send me the instructions or tell me the basics ? thankyou.