Our Review


BeAst Clan Versus Rose Clan


Blood Bound


Feud amongst VAmpires


Games for up to 12 players are very rare, and if they exist they are usually party games in which you play in teams. Heidelberger Spieleverlag has noticed the problem and provided us, with Blood Bound, at long last, with a game for 6 to 12 players.


Two hostile vampire clans (The Clan of The Beast and the Clan of The Rose) want to subdue (eliminate) the leader of the opposing clan. This is the only way to win the game; should you mistakenly subdue somebody else but the opposing leader or even subdue a member of your own clan the game is won by the opposing clan.


There are nine character cards for each clan. You draw a number of cards from each clan that is equal to half the number of players, shuffle them and deal them face-down to players. In case of an uneven number of players an Inquisitor is introduced into the game - he is not a member of a Clan and he has the opportunity to win on his own. A very clever and well-working solution for groups of uneven numbers.


Those character cards carry markings for information: Besides a gruesome image (by the way, all portraits of Heidelberger Verlag employees, made up as vampires) they show in the upper left-hand corner the factual clan affiliation (Beast or Rose) and in the upper right hand corner the ranking number, plus two more affiliation symbols (Clan and/or question mark). The ranking number of the lowest value marks the current leader of the respective clan. As you do not know which ranking numbers are held by the other members of your Clan you do not know if you yourself are the leader or nut, unless you hold the card with 1 for the ranking number. Even with a card showing 2 for its ranking number there is still the possibility of #1 being in play. Should you hold a card showing 8 or 9 (the highest possible values of ranking numbers) you can, of course, in case of, for instance, 6 players, never be the leader.


This ambiguity and suspense alone turns Blood Bound into a fantastic game of deduction - not only because I do not know who are my friends or my enemies, I usually do not even know who my own leader is. The two additional affiliation symbols that I mentioned before are either symbols of your own clan or question marks, for which, by the way, there are corresponding markers on the table, as there are also for the ranks. Very important, though, there is yet another clan symbol in the lower right-hand corner, which - on eight of nine cards - corresponds to the respective Clan affiliation, but not so on one card, the Harlequin, on this card the symbol is that of the other Clan. The Harlequin - if he is in play - is in disguise, so to say, and that becomes very important in the next stage of the game.


Now each player picks up his Reference Card (on which all characters and their special abilities are listed) and which has a gap in the bottom right-hand corner, and uses it to cover his character card completely - the gap now shows the clan symbol in the bottom right-hand corner - and shows the card to his left neighbor. So now each player knows - with rather a high probability - the Clan affiliation of his right neighbor, but nobody can be sure that he has not been shown a Harlequin card at that moment in the game. Even the Harlequin himself could have seen the Harlequin of the other Clan. And this additional ambiguity of course results, in the further course of the game, to some confusing but also to some humorous moments, because if someone already attacks a member of his own clan for the second time it might be that some players "in the know" from the opposing clan are hard-put not to laugh outright.


So, how does an attack work? A randomly chosen starting player points a cardboard knife at another player, by placing it in front of him, and thus attacks him. All others should make a mental note if the first attack is directed at the right neighbor of the stating player, because that could be a clue about his identity or maybe only a good bluff. The attacked player must now either reveal one of his two affiliation symbols or his rank, whatever he reveals it must be something that has not been revealed already in a previous attack. Should the attacked character show at least one question mark, this is the preferred information to reveal because that does not give away too much. But this alone is already a good clue, because there are characters that have now question marks, for instance the #1 character in rank only carries clan symbols. Should the attacked player reveal his rank he automatically activates the special ability of this character - so, for instance for rank #1 the target is instantly switched to the player with the highest rank number. Other abilities instantly cause one or two wounds for any player or the attacker himself suffers a wound, etc.



As long as someone does not have his rank on the table for all to see he can at any time voluntarily intervene in an attack on any other player. This means, that he draws the attack upon himself, albeit with the provision that the other player agrees. Such an action could make sense if you know that your clan leader has just been attacked and would have to reveal his last marker or that may even the game might end with a defeat. The obvious disadvantage of such an intervention is, of course, that you now have to reveal your rank yourself.


The player who was attacked last then attacks any other player of his choice. This naturally reveals more and more affiliation symbols and ranks of players (rank, by the way, is a bloody bad choice of term for a vampire game) until someone finally dares to risk the all-deciding fourth attack, the subjugation. Should the attack really target the opposing clan leader then all players that are members of the Clan to which the player who attacked is affiliated have won.


My conclusion: With the right group of players this game is a bloody lot of fun, provided you manage to assemble at least six players at the table. And should then Harlequins be in play, the fun is easily doubled. Blood Bound is explained relatively quickly and also plays relatively fast. A game very rarely lasts more than 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the number of players. If the fun is as good when the full complement of twelve players is playing, I was unfortunately not able to test due to not enough available players, but I venture to say that a maximum of 10 players would be good, as otherwise it just takes too long, because the difference is only more attacks to and fro. Larger groups, looking for same change from the "Werewolves of Miller's Hollow", should really take a good look at Blood Bound, even despite it featuring vampires.


Gert Stöckl

Players: 6-12

Age: 14+

Time: 30+

Designer: Kalle Krenzer

Artist: Brian Schomburg, Shaun Boyke, Marina Fahrenbach

Price: ca. 15 Euro

Publisher: Heidelberger Spieleverlag 2013

Web: www.heidelbaer.de

Genre: Bluff, deduction

Users: With friends

Special: Many players

Version: de

Rules: de en es

In-game text: yes



Good for large groups

Very nice deduction mechanisms

Rather simple rules, quickly explained


Compares to:

All deduction games using role cards, e.g. Jäger der Nacht, Der Widerstand, Bang, Wooolf, Mayday Mayday


Other editions:

Fantasy Flight, Edge Entertainment


My rating: 5


Gert Stöckl:

If you like "Werewolves of Miller's Hollow" then you will probably like this deduction game, too, especially as nobody is prematurely ousted and relegated to watching others play.


Chance (pink): 1

Tactic (turquoise): 1

Strategy (blue): 0

Creativity (dark blue): 0

Knowledge (yellow): 0

Memory (orange): 0

Communication (red): 2

Interaction (brown): 1

Dexterity (green): 0

Action (dark green): 0