Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Munchkin Impossible -- the Treasure Deck
In another one of my running projects on questions that suit my fancy, I'm going to look at the cards of various Munchkin series games and how they effect play of that particular edition.
I'll be starting with Munchkin Impossible, as it's the smallest set, currently, with only the basic game appearing. I think it's safe to say that, considering the game has been out for three years already and past Steve Jackson Games practice has been to push out all the expansions the market can stand, that there won't be an expansion.
Munchkin Impossible is the least successful of the series. Many people found it unfunny and I think that the play tends to be less interesting because the mix of cards doesn't really allow the sort of back-and-forth endgame drama that usually makes Munchkin games fun and frustrating.
I believe there may a promo card or two for MI that I don't have and therefore won't be considered.
This will be a two-part post. First I'll look at the Treasure Deck. this won't be a card-by-card look but an overviews of the cards by frequency and category.
Items (permanent) -- 36 items, ranging from +1 to +5 in level bonuses, plus one item of footgear providing a +1 bonus to run away and two items that are enhancements to Guns (a +1 and +2). Three of the items are considered vehicles (a new kind of item introduced in MI) and one item can be optionally be a vehicle. Six of the items have restrictions on who can use them (i.e. female, assassin, British, etc.)
Discussion -- By Munchkin standards the items are fairly low-powered. The majority are +1 or +2 and there are just a couple that can enhance other cards. This makes it hard to juice up your character levels in combat.
Items (one-use) -- 15 items, with a variety of benefits. Most of the ones that give combat bonuses are +3. A few have restrictions on who can use them, including the most powerful combat effect, the +5 American Pie usable only by American loyalty only.
Discussion -- There aren't a lot of these in the deck, but the ability to combine them is probably the player's best chance to get to some high levels or block another player going for the win. One particularly odd item is the Poison Pill, which allows you to kill yourself. You can avoid Bad Stuff or Traps with it, but you'll lose your stuff. On the plus side you draw your new hand immediately.
Level-ups -- 11 cards! In a humor-deprived set, these are the more amusing ones as a group. Nine are straight Go Up a Level. For one you have to eliminate a Hireling (not necessarily your own) to Go Up a Level. The last one lets you Go Up 2 Levels, but only if you've just lost a level or a card.
Discussion -- These are always useful, but 11 seems like an awful lot of arbitrary levels for the base game. These should make up a little for the inability to earn your levels.
Hirelings -- 4 cards. These folks range from 0 to +4 in combat bonus.
Discussion -- Dusty McRonin (+4) and Agent K-8 (+3) will be appreciated in a game without too many combat bonuses. Arm Candy is only a +1 and restricted to Playboys, so she won't have a big impact. The Hireling called "N" doesn't provide a combat bonus, but does provide a free stream of treasures, so he may be the most useful one in the box. His ability is, I believe, unique in the Munchkin series so far.
Loaded Die -- 2 cards. Allows you to change one die roll.
Discussion -- Another card with no real downside. Given the difficulty in building up real studly munchkins in MI, I suspect these may be a little more valuable than usual for running away.
Miscellaneous -- 1 card. He Was Loaded lets you draw three more treasure cards.
Discussion -- No drawbacks except the lack of juicy treasures to draw from. This is a better card when playing a Blended Munchkin.