Have you ever heard of the fight between Dracula and Bigfoot? Or perhaps Medusa versus mister Jekyll and doctor Hyde? We even witnessed Bruce Lee fighting three raptors. It sounds like a weird mash up movie, but all of this and many more combinations are possible because of Unmatched. With the highly detailed miniatures that matches each character, the fun already begins when you set up the game. The rules are simple. Pick two fighters and survive. May the best man win.
How to Play.
We received the Jurassic Park set from unmatched together with Bruce Lee. Other sets will have different battlefields and might have some different or additional rules but every game has the same basic rules. Place the battlefield on the table and let each player choose a hero. Take the action cards, miniature, side kick tokens, health dials and other components for each hero and shuffle the action cards into a single deck. Each player takes five cards from their deck to start with. The starting player places their miniature on the space marked with ‘1’. Possible sidekicks are placed in separate spaces within the same zone as your hero stands in. The other player does the same but starts in the space marked with ‘2’.
The battlefield is divided into different zones, which are recognizable by the different patterns and colors on the map. A multiple colored spaces is considered to be in multiple zones at the same time. This is important for certain attacks and movement cards. There can stand only one hero in each space at the same time, but you can move through friendly fighters. On your turn you have to take two actions. They can be the same actions. You can maneuver which starts with drawing a card. At the end of your turn, if you have more then seven cards, you need to discard cards until you have seven cards in your hand left. After drawing a card from your deck, you can move your fighter (s) and sidekicks. Your fighter card states the amount of movement you have and can spend if you move. You can also move zero spaces. If you discard action cards from your hand, in order to boost your movement. If you do this, simply add up the boost value of the card together with your movement. You can move each fighter in the order of your choice, but each movement must be made fully before moving another fighter or sidekick.
If you choose to scheme, you choose a scheme card (with lightning icon) from your hand to play on the table. Declare which fighter is playing the scheme card. Some cards have specific fighters they are bound to. Resolve the effect on the card and discard your card.
Lastly you can choose to attack. Declare which target you are attacking. You have to have an attack card in your hand and stand in an adjacent space if you are a melee fighter. If you are a ranged fighter, you can attack in the same zones as where you stand in. Even when this is at the other side of the map. Choose the card you want to attack with and place it facedown on the table. Your opponent may do the same with a defend card. This is not required. Reveal the cards at the same time. If any of the cards have an effect, resolve them at the correct time. This can be immediately, during combat or after combat. If two effects take place in the same time, the effect of the defender goes first. The attacker will deal damage to the defender equal to the value of their played attack card. For each damage that is defended, reduce the damage by one and change health dials accordingly.
A fighter is defeated once it’s health has been reduced to zero. If your hero, or heroes in the case of raptors, are defeated, you immediately lose the game.
Some characters have additional components, they will always be explained in the rulebook. On some battlefields you are able to play with teams. This is not the case with the Jurassic Park battlefield.
Playthrough of the game.
Since the rules are simple and short, we could start fighting pretty fast. I choose the raptors and Tomasz wanted to be Bruce Lee. I told him he would get bonus points if he could imitate his pose, but unfortunately, he did not want to comply…
Even though my opponent was the best martial arts fighter we have seen in many movies. I had not one, not two, but three raptors to strike back with. My strategy was to surround Bruce Lee and defeat him while he was cornered. My raptors ability was to attack harder if other raptors were nearby, which thematically made sense. The first half of the game went great. I cornered Bruce Lee and could attack multiple times. But then he strike back, leaving me with no defense cards. He quickly defeated one of my raptors and was going for the second one. I realized I had make mistakes and had played my cards to fast, leaving me with not enough cards to defend myself. Since it was much harder to trap Bruce now that I’ve lost a fighter, I was trying to collect cards and regroup. Bruce however has the ability to move extra after his turn. After my crucial mistakes, my raptors didn’t last long, leaving Bruce Lee yet again undefeated.
We have already tried all possible combinations of the sets we currently have with our Jurassic set and Bruce Lee. We have now added many more Unmatched collections to our wishlist. The combinations you can make are so ridiculous it’s just fun. The rulebook is written well and you can play the game pretty fast. Every character has an extra card with the actions you can choose and iconography on the back, so you don’t have to remember yourselves. If characters have extra components, there is also an extra card with explanation of those components, like the traps from Ingen. The quality of the components are good, but the miniatures are the ones that really stand out. The level of detail is high and each miniature has a different fighting pose fitting to their hero. The action cards are also fitting to each fighter. You can see how many of the same cards are in your deck and all cards are self explanatory. Since you can always look through your discard pile, you can with a little practice build a pretty good deck and strategy for yourself.
Unmatched is a hand management fighting game where you can battle your opponent with the most bizarre heroes and combinations. With every hero having their own highly detailed miniature and action deck, you have to be ready for an epic battle every time. The rules are simple and every player receives a card with iconography and what actions you can perform on your turn. Since the boxes are pretty small for each set, you can take a game of unmatched easily with you on your travels. That is if you can choose who you want to play with of course. Overall we like the simplicity, easy rules and game flow of the game a lot. We can’t wait to explore other characters from each set once we gain them from our wishlist!