Graverobbers: Huh?


My small band of gamers and myself are on a bit of a new board game kick right now.  We’ve had several nights over the past two weeks that has simply involved us playing a number of small board and card games until we are two tired and delirious to do anything but sleep.  Last night was one of those nights.

Among the pile of games to try was a title called “Graverobbers”.  I’m a bit of a Halloween and Horror Movie fanatic, so anything along this general theme usually looks like a good time to me.  I was excited to pull out the rules and give it a go, setting up the morbid playing surface with glee. What I ended up with though caused a resounding “Huh?” from all of us.

I would like to think that, by now, I am a seasoned rule reading veteran.  I have tackled games of all shapes and sizes and come out victorious on the other side. However, when we started reading through these rules I was left with this unfamiliar taste of utter confusion in my mouth.

The rules, though awkward, made sense on the surface.  What you were suppose to do wasn’t that hard.  Why you were suppose to do it was a whole different story.  The strategy of this game made absolutely no sense.  We thought we must have missed something in the instructions, so we reread portions of them, trying to figure out what we were missing.

This is a game of graverobbers in progress. Each of the green cards is a grave that could be ransacked or saved. The cards to the right of each green cards are the graverobbers, bobbies, and dectives that have been played on that grave.

The primary mechanic of this game is playing a card on a grave.  There are three types of cards: Bobbies (police), Detectives, and Grave Robbers.  If by the time the seventh card is played on a grave the numbers present on the grave robber cards is higher then the accumulation of police and detective cards, then the grave is ransacked, otherwise the grave is saved from desicration.  Each person has  secret goals as to which graves they want to have ransacked by the end of the game, and which they want spared.

These are some of the goal cards used in the game. The cards with shovels indicate that you want those graves to be ransacked. Magnifying glasses indicate that you want other graves to be saved. The tombstomes mean you want the graveyard to primarily be saved or ransacked, depending on the magnifying glasses or shovels pictured above the tombstome. Each goal has a unique point value listed.

Well, that sounds straight forward enough, right?

Here’s where some of the ‘Huh?’ comes in.  The game is over at the end of eight rounds.  A round is once each player has had one turn.  There are seven graves to play cards on.  This left us with confusion. Unless we all started putting cards on the same grave, none of them would get to seven cards before the end of the game.  And only once a grave was ransacked could you “Accuse” someone of having the goal of having a ransacked grave, which made a lot more sense to do in the middle of the game, not at the very end.

Lastly, you received points based upon the cards left in your hand at the end of the game, but those points were counter intuitive based upon the state of the graveyard.  If the graveyard was predominantly ransacked, you received points for grave robber cards.  If the graveyard was predominantly saved, you received points for detectives and police.  In either case, you received points for having the very cards left over the were needed to influence the game in that direction.  This led us to have none of these points left at the end, which seemed to make this mechanic useless.

Overall this left us with a sense of: “Well, that kinda sucked.  What’s next?”  I highly doubt we will ever bother pulling this game back out again.  It just wasn’t good.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Friday, February 4th, 2011 at 9:08 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Theme Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


  1. parkrrrr says:

    I haven’t played, but I just read the rules and it looks like a player’s turn consists of playing one OR TWO cards. (If two, they must be played on different graves.) That might make a difference in your round timing – seven rounds with three players could be up to 42 cards, making it more likely that at least one grave will have gathered the required seven cards before the end of the game. With four players, you’re looking at up to 56 cards played in seven rounds, which is more than enough to determine the state of every grave even if you used a number of bobbies as spies.

    And why wouldn’t at least two players be playing to the same grave, unless by some freak happenstance you all managed to get non-overlapping goals?

  2. Two players trying to influence the same grave didn’t seem that far off base, but each player has two goal cards, which means they are trying to influence four different graves. Even more if they are trying to thwart an opponent.

    The rules also stated that it was in a players best interest to only play one card on a grave unless it would cause a grave to be resolved (ie, it would be the seventh card on a grave). Now maybe this simply wasn’t good advice, at least in a three person game, but given it was our first game, we tried to stick to the advice we were given. Thus are game only saw 21 cards played out onto the table, with none of the graves having more then 4 cards.

    We also questioned what we were doing based upon the play time listed on the instructions. It took us about 15 minutes to play the game, that might even be an over estimate. But the instructions say it takes 30-45 minutes. This really left us scratching our heads trying to figure out what in the world we had done so differently.

    Perhaps I just didn’t “get” this game.

  3. Jamey says:

    You have made some decent points there. I checked on the web for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

  4. Ursula says:

    Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and
    you are just too fantastic. I actually like
    what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it smart.
    I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a tremendous site.

  5. Hi! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up
    for the great info you’ve got right here on this post.
    I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  6. Angeline says:

    Hi, this weekend is pleasant designed for me, for the reason that this occasion i am reading this fantastic
    educational post here at my home.

  7. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also
    am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice practices and
    we are looking to trade methods with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.

  8. Hey There. I found your blog the use of msn. This is an extremely neatly
    written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly return.

  9. Really no matter if someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other users
    that they will help, so here it happens.

  10. Halley says:

    I was able to find good information from your articles.

  11. Kandis says:

    It is truly a great and helpful piece of information. I am
    glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Good way of describing, and good piece of writing to obtain data on the topic of my presentation topic, which
    i am going to deliver in college.

  13. Gertrude says:

    Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are
    a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  14. Keeley says:

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your
    blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and
    I hope you write again soon!

  15. apple chief says:

    Hello to every one, it’s genuinely a nice for me to pay a visit this website, it contains precious Information.

  16. Epifania says:

    First of all I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick
    question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear
    your head prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my
    thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    recommendations or tips? Cheers!

  17. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing
    a blog article or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to
    hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

  18. It’s great that you are getting ideas from this article as
    well as from our argument made here.

  19. Thank you for every other excellent post. Where else may anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect method of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such information.

  20. Marvelous, what a website it is! This web site gives useful information to us, keep it up.

  21. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A few of my blog visitors have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer
    but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

  22. Hello! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my
    iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  23. Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing in your feeds or even I achievement you access constantly fast.

  24. Because the admin of this web page is working, no doubt very quickly it will be renowned, due to its feature contents.

  25. Admiring the persistence you put into your website and
    detailed information you present. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Great read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

  26. What’s up everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this website,
    and paragraph is really fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these articles.

  27. water car says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and
    I will be waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  28. If some one desires to be updated with latest technologies after that he must be
    pay a quick visit this site and be up to date all the time.

  29. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. This is an extremely neatly
    written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it
    and return to learn extra of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  30. Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing
    the other person’s website link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar in support of you.

  31. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we communicate?

  32. Darrel says:

    Wow, incredible blog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The full glance of your website is great, let
    alone the content!

  33. Adam says:

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  34. Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my web site so i
    came to go back the desire?.I’m attempting to to find things to enhance my web site!I guess its adequate to use a few of
    your concepts!!

  35. Hi there, I discovered your web site by the use of Google at the same time as
    looking for a comparable matter, your site got here up, it seems to be good.

    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply was alert to your blog thru Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I am gonna be careful for brussels. I will be grateful if you happen to continue this in future.
    Many people can be benefited out of your writing.

  36. Remarkable issues here. I am very glad to see your article.
    Thank you a lot and I’m looking forward to touch you.

    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

Leave a Reply