Guards GuardsIt was early in the morning in Ankh-Morpork, the oldest and greatest and grubbiest of cities. A thin drizzle dripped from the grey sky and punctuated the river mist that coiled among the streets. Rats of various species went about their nocturnal occasions. Under night’s damp cloak assassins assassinated, thieves thieved, hussies hussled. And so on. Terry Pratchett

In the heart of this wondrous metropolis stands the Unseen University. In the heart of the Unseen University stands the Library. And in the heart of the Library stands an Ape, although like most Orangutans its posture leaves a lot to be desired. Currently, however, the curvature of his spine is the least of the Librarian’s problems. The greatest treasure housed within the stark, aged walls of the Unseen University is missing. His first worry is how he will explain to the Wizards Council that the Octavo has been stolen. Especially since, as an Ape, he has a vocabulary of one word: “OOOK!” But he fears more for the consequences that may befall the entire Discworld if the eight Great Spells are not returned to their rightful place soon.

As word of the theft spreads through the streets and alleys, Captain Vimes of the City Watch assembles his men. “I’m sure you are all aware of my feelings on these matters, however it falls to us to ensure the spells are found and returned to where they belong. Nobody wants something that powerful to fall into the wrong hands. The Thieves Guild have denied any involvement in the theft and are offering to assist in finding the spells. The Assassins and Fools Guilds have done likewise. Even the Alchemists, possibly the only people to dislike magic even more than myself, realise the danger we are facing, and have offered their help.”

“I have given you all instructions on which of the Great Spells you are looking for, and need each of you to work with one of the guilds to find out what you can, and get me those spells.”

It’s that simple…

Or at least it would be if this wasn’t Ankh-Morpork. Pitted against the other players, who will be all out to return the spells first and will be just itching to use their new found Guild abilities on anybody who might get in their way, and the everyday perils of life in the busiest, most populated and least law-abiding city on the Discworld, things are never quite that simple. Throw in trolls, saboteurs, cut-throat street sellers and an 800 pound set of luggage thundering around the city on hundreds of tiny legs. Here begins an action packed, fast-paced adventure through the streets of Ankh-Morpork in which the players will need all their wits just to survive the day, never mind retrieving the spells and saving the Discworld from looming destruction.

In Guards! Guards! players are newly recruited members of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. With the Eight Great Spells missing from the Unseen University, the future of the Disc hangs in the balance. Players are tasked to collect and return a number of the spells to the university before it is too late. Each player selects one of four Guilds to infiltrate: Thieves, Assassins, Alchemists or Fools. Their chosen Guild Card will give them a specific selection of the Great Spells to collect and grants them a unique Guild Ability which can be used to hinder their opponents. It is also used to mark the players Charm, Guild and Magic abilities, which can be developed throughout the game.

There are twelve locations on the board where players may charm (or bribe) volunteers to join them on their quest. The characters are split into three Volunteer Decks, each representing the range of inhabitants who might be found in different locations within the city: Lords & Ladies, Man & Beast and Shades & Shadows. Each Volunteer is assigned a set of skill attributes which can be used individually to protect the Spells, or combined with those of other volunteers and used to complete the Wizards Challenges—five tests of strength, brain, and worthiness which the runners must complete in order to enter the Unseen University with the Spells. A selection of enchanted scrolls, weapons, armour and magical items can be purchased by players to equip their volunteers and boost their attributes.

Are you a gamer who’s a fan of the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels? If you are, be sure to grab yourself a copy of the brand new Discworld boardgame.

Contents: 1 Rulebook; 6 Player’s Guides; 1 Playing Board; 1 8 sided die; 6 Coloured Playing Pieces; 18 Attribute Markers (red cubes), 25 Great Spell Markers (gold cylinders); 5 Plastic card holders; 8 Guild Cards, 4 Dragon Cards, 30 Lords & Ladies Volunteer Cards, 30 Man & Beast Volunteer Cards, 30 Shades & Shadows Volunteer Cards, 20 Curses & Cures Scroll Cards, 20 Odds & Sods Item cards, 36 Fate Cards; heaps of markers and tokens; 56 Silver 1 Ankh-Morpork $ coins and
39 Gold 5 Ankh-Morpork $ coins.

No. of players: 2-6
Ages: 12+
Playing time: 120 minutes