Fired Up

After playing Mystic Scrolls we received from Drawlab Entertainment, we couldn’t wait to start playing Fired up from them. The box of the game already has an epic design that puts you in the right mind to play right away. Discovering that there was a good insert in the box that has room for all the expansions made it even better and seeing the quality of the components was the cherry of the cake. Now let us begin showing you what this game is about and what we think of it.

How to Play.

For the setup place the board at the center of the table and choose five fighters (four if you play with two players) to place on the board. Place each corresponding miniature on the mat and make it face to the fighter to the left. Place a marker on the lowest defense and attack values (red and blue top numbers) and a marker on the highest stamina (bottom number) of each fighter. Also place a marker on the middle thumbs up and on the number three of the influence track. To determine who attacks first, look at the starting speed at the bottom right. The fighter with the highest number will go first and gets tile number one, the second number two, and so on. Place the betting board on the table and randomly place an early, mid and late bet card on the betting board. Also place the round token on number one. Then shuffle the highlight cards into a pile and deal four cards to each player. Place all the dice on the table. Each player receives six influence dice, two social tokens, betting cards of all playing fighters and place a score marker on the zero space of the scoring board.

In Fired Up, you are in the crowd trying to influence the actions of the fighters in order to get a good show. The game is played in two phases each round and you start with the influence phase where the crowd will be influencing the fighters actions. At the start of this phase, each player selects two of their highlight cards that they think they will score points with this round. Then on your turn, roll the six dices. If you are not happy with the outcome, you can reroll any number one time. The dices allow you to make attacks of defense stronger from fighters, or to make them attack faster for example. You can even change the fighters direction, making the fighter face someone else. Every turn you can use multiple dices, but only on the same fighter. If you have used one or more dices on a fighter, also move his influence marker down one space. If the marker would reach zero, this fighter can’t be influenced anymore this round.

Once every player has used their dices, it’s time for a morale check. With the dices the ‘crowd’ can vote thumbs up or down for each player. Every fighter begins with a neutral morale, but if you have a highlight card that could score you extra points if a fighter is involved with a high morale for example, you might want to use some dices to influence the morale of that fighter. In the morale check, see where most dices are placed and chance the tracker up or down according to the result. Morale can also influence attack and defense. It the morale is decreased, attack and defense will go down also. If the morale is increased, you can in the next round increase attack and defense even more with the right dices.

After the influence phase ends, the battle will take place. The fighter who has speed tile one will attack the fighter he is facing first. The fighter who attack can roll attack dices to the same amount of his attack number. The defender will do the same with defense dices. Every attack that is not blocked by the defender, will cause one damage for that fighter. If the same icon is rolled twice by the attacker and they are both not blocked by the defender. It will cause a wound. Once all the wound spaces on a fighter are filled, the fighter will be knocked out and removed from the game. The defender could also counter attack if an attack is blocked by a dice and the same icon is rolled twice. The rulebook also shows great examples with dice outcomes. Once you are familiar with the game, you can also play with the fighters abilities. Every fighter has a unique ability like deal one damage for every block in a fight for example.

Once every fighter has attacked and defended, you can prepare for a next round by taking two new highlight cards. After every round, check to see if you have fulfilled your highlight card. Once you complete a challenge on your card, you can decide to turn in it to gain points, or you can wait to see if you can score more points later this round, risking that you might not gain anything. Other then gaining points from highlight cards, you can also place bets during the influence phase with your dices or social tokens. Secretly choose a bet card with the fighter you think will complete the challenge on the bet card and place it face down on the bet card you choose of the current round. If more players want to bet on the same spot, they have to place it on top of your card. When a bet is triggered, pause the game and reveal the betting cards. All players that have guessed correctly will receive points, but the player who was first will receive the most points as indicated on the betting board. The game will end when four round have passed or if all but one fighters are eliminated. The player with the most points is the winner.

Playthrough of the game.

If you are good at gambling, you will be good at this game. In the beginning of the game when you have to pick two highlight cards, we both didn’t really know what best to choose. We soon found out that we had picked cards that conflicted with each other in the biggest way. I needed the slowest fighter, Sigurd, to have the most stamina at the end of the round, so I wanted to upgrade his attack and defense. I also tried to change the fighter who was facing him, to face someone else, so he wouldn’t get attacked. Since this was the first round, I had a good chance of getting this highlight with the highest score. Tomasz how ever was ruining everything and trying to change fighters directions while also locking the new position of the fighters, meaning I couldn’t change it that easily anymore. He then also upgraded the attack and defense on Abbel that was now facing the guy I needed to win. But, the joke was on him. I had to do something, and since I couldn’t influance Sigurd anymore, I had to think out of the box. So I voted thumbs down on Abbel to get his morale down and his attack and defense with it. Thankfully it worked, meaning Sigurd only had to do well in his battle against Abbel. At the end of the round, I could claim the highest points on the highlight card.

This game is a lot of fun and you basically gamble throughout the entire game. Not only do you have to pick the best highlight cards that you think you score points with, but you also can place bets. The bets need to be at the right moment and isn’t as easy as you think. Once you get to know the game better, we found with two people you can also play this game very strategical, but it does take the biggest gamble element away from the game. We found this game is better and more fun with more people to influence the fighters. That way it stays unpredictable. Nevertheless we loved the idea of you being the crowd instead of the fighter itself like in every other game. The art and theme of the game is also awesome and the cherry on the cake are the components that are of good quality, especially the miniatures.

Final Thoughts.

Fired up is an arena battle game where you are in the crowd trying to influence the fighters. Gambling is a big part of the game since you have to bet on the best card in your hand to score points and place bets on fighters at the right moment. We love the idea of players being the crowd and being able to influence the fighters in order to help you score your cards and bets. But we found this is more fun when there are more people playing to influence the fighters. The art and theme of Fired up are awesome and the quality of the components and especially miniatures is amazing. We are happy to have this in our collection!

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