Moonshine Run will be on Kickstarter Starting June 6th!
Play time: 20-40 minute
Type: Card game
Mechanic: Press your luck / Screw your neighbor
Designers: Zachary Ringler
Published: Games by a Madman or Two (self published)
As the pale moon rises, two figures move cautiously through the trees.
“Where we goin’ paw?”
“It’s time you joined the family business son. You can’t tell nobody though, you gotta keep it quiet like.”
“I won’t tell, honest. What is it?”
“Well, there’s a bunch of stills over yonder on those mountain and them city folk will pay a pretty penny for a little White Lightning. We’re gonna go and collect what we can and take it down the mountain. It’s risky but tonight you’re gonna make your first Moonshine Run.”
Moonshine Run is set during the waning days of prohibition. You take on the role of a bootlegger, collecting moonshine and attempting to deliver it to a speakeasy. The goal is to earn the most moonshine dollars at the end of the game. The way you do that is to collect the most moonshine jugs and deliver them safely. It won’t be as easy as a Sunday drive though. There are others out on the mountain tonight and they may not have your best interests at heart. So grab your keys, grab your gun and lets make a run!
Each player selects one car card and the first players will also take the round tracker card. The round tracker represents the days of the week and will show you how many free Road Cards you get each round. Everyone starts the game with 10 Moonshine Dollars.
There are both helpful and harmful cards in Moonshine Run. The helpful cards are Moonshine Jugs, Speakeasy and Item cards. The harmful ones are road hazards, Fallen Tree and Mudslide and people hazards, The Police and Rival Moonshiners. There are also Quality cards that will affect the price that you can sell your moonshine for.
At the start of your turn you begin by drawing the number of free cards indicated by the round tracker. You may then purchase additional Road Cards at the cost of $1 Moonshine Dollar per card. As each new card is drawn place it in front of you in the order in which they were drawn. Now flip the cards in order. You can look at them before turning them over; item cards can be held and used later. Your turn continues until you flip all of your cards, you draw a card that forces you to end your turn or you decide not to flip any more cards.
Any Moonshine Jug cards you have will be turned into Moonshine Dollars at the end of the round. If you encounter a Speakeasy any Moonshine Jugs played before the Speakeasy card are safe until the end of the round. They are not affected by hazard cards or item cards that other players’ play against you. When you are at a Speakeasy you may also purchase more road cards at the cost of $2 dollars per card and add them to the end of your run.
Rival Moonshiners will steal all of your Moonshine Jugs not stored safely at a Speakeasy and end your turn. The only way to fend them off is by playing the Tommy Gun item card. Conversely you can become a Rival Moonshiner by playing a Tommy Gun against another player. Dealing with the police is a tricky business, they’re some of your best customers but they have to at least pretend to be doing their job. If the police show up they will seize all of your Moonshine Jugs and end your turn, unless of course you have enough money to bribe them. For $10 Moonshine Dollars or 15 Moonshine Jugs they’ll act like they never saw you. If by chance you haven’t picked up any moonshine yet, you can tip off the police and send them after the player with the most Moonshine Dollars. That player must pay 20 Moonshine Dollars or must pay all that they can.
You can play beneficial item cards on your turn or harmful item cards against another player on their turn.
At the end of the round players count up their Moonshine Jugs and sell them based on their quality value. If no Quality cards have been flipped you sell for full price. The round tracker is shifted counterclockwise and moves to the next round. Shuffle all of the Road Cards and you’re ready to begin again.
After the sixth round the game is over. Players count up all of their Moonshine Dollars and the player with the most wins. If there is a tie, play one more round with the tied players.
Moonshine Run is a fun, light strategy beer and pretzels game. The theme meshes perfectly with the push your luck mechanic. You’re always trying to push just a little bit further hoping it doesn’t end up with a loss of your stash. There is a very large luck component to game play, so if that’s not your style of game this one might not be for you. I think that overall those things tend to balance out over the course of the game though. One bad run doesn’t mean that the next one won’t be fantastic and you do have item cards that you can use to take out other players.
The other aspect of game play is a screw your neighbor style element. Some of the item cards will remove Road Cards from your opponents run or just flat out end their turn. That’s a great one to play just after they spent a boatload of Moonshine Dollars. Good times. I believe that’s why the recommended age is 14. Younger kids may get really upset of being screwed out of a turn. If your gaming group likes Munchkin then they’ll definitely like Moonshine Run. The art by Starcat games is great. It’s dark and moody and fits the theme really well. Of course it has all of the things I like in a game, easy to learn, relatively quick to play and portable. It’s been a big hit at my house especially with my brother since he usually beats me. I recommend you check it out, it’s only $15 bucks and your definitely going to get your moneys worth!