Title: Nuns on the Run
Number of Players: 2-8
Play time: 30+ minutes?
This was a game we picked up when we were in Fort Wayne, but hadn’t yet played until now. We finally decided to give it a shot with a group of friends, and we ended up playing with a group of four. In a group of that size, one player plays both the Abbess and the Prioress, while each of the other places chooses a single novice to use. The goal of the game as the guards (Abbess and Prioress) is to catch the novices sneaking around and send them back to their rooms. If you catch them a certain number of times, or prevent them from accomplishing their goals in 15 turns, that player wins. The goal of the game for the novices is to sneak through the Abbey to get a key, then get your “secret wish”, and finally sneak back to your room. If you do those three things, then you win.
The guards move along the board in set paths, and are visible to all players. The novices “move” via notations on individual notepads, which are not seen by the other players. That is to give them a chance in getting around the guards. Each turn, the novice gets to choose how many spaces they move, and then they must roll to see how much noise they made. The number of spaces you move affects the distance along the path you are able to be heard. If the guards “hear” you, then they can leave their set path to go after you. Additionally, if you pass through their line of sight (six spaces), you are visible until you leave it, and must move your pawn to that space on the board. This makes it easier for the guards to find you.
The reason we didn’t like this game much is that is was really complicated. It took us ages to set it up and read the rules, and we found it hard to understand. Each turn for each player had a lot of steps, and it was hard to constantly be aware of where you were located, since your pawn was not on your space. You had to refer to your sheet, and each time the guards moved, you had to check on every single space whether or not they could see/hear you. I did not play the guards, but I imagine it would be frustrating not to be able to see anyone, and having to rely on the other players to tell you whether or not they were in your line of sight.
Speaking of that, the other element we didn’t like was how much it relied on trust. No one in our group tends to cheat, but it would be sooooo easy. No one but you knows where your character is, and it’s up to you to keep track of where you are and whether or not the guards can see you. Even if no one’s cheating, it would be easy to make a mistake, and no one would be able to catch it. I’ve definitely played some games where I moved in a way I couldn’t, or forgot to do something, and it was corrected and I moved on. That couldn’t happen there. It just was a pretty silent experience, and didn’t foster a sense of group.
We probably wouldn’t play it again, and are thinking about selling it!