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Resident Evil DBG: Mercenaries

Released in November 2012, the Mercenaries expansion for the Resident Evil deck building game has added quite a few new cards–and some very interesting new mechanics–to the existing game. Read on to see a sampling of the new and improved cards!

Big Change #1: Basic Resources, Reinvented

One of the new updates, long-needed and well-deserved, comes on the 10 basic cards each player begins the game with. Ammo cards, the basic Knife, and the basic Handgun have been revisioned for the Mercenaries set, seen below:

Ammo Cards

Ammo_x10_Mercenaries_AM-005 Ammo_x20_Mercenaries_AM-006
  1. Ammo x10: Now it’s much easier to get rid of this without losing the Gold for the turn you Trash it out. You still can’t just Trash it by itself–you’ll need something like Shattered Memories, Quirk of Fate, or Anticipation (which you’ll see later in this post).
  2. Ammo x20: Fast upgrade to the big ammo, anyone? This is a great way to both boost your Decoration count AND get your ammo changed out.
  3. Ammo x30: Late-game, I don’t know how you wouldn’t be Exploring every turn, but if you find yourself without an Explore and you just want to buy stuff with your biggest Ammo and Gold, this new effect allows you to put that spent ammo/gold back on the top of your deck, to be drawn again next turn. Awesome!

Basic Weapons

Reliable_Blade_Mercenaries_WE-050 Custom_Standard_Sidearm_Mercenaries_WE-049
  1. Reliable Blade: This even has a chance to kill the Chicken (new in the Mercenaries mansion), but you can also combine it with other weapons to defeat an Infected. Once you do, then you can get +10 Gold and Trash out the blade, getting rid of it without having to waste a turn later.
  2. Custom Standard Sidearm: Instead of getting Gold contingent on defeating an Infected, you can simply give the Standard Sidearm +10 damage, and then trash it out at end of turn. Useful!

Big Change #2: Skill Cards

Rebecca_Chambers_Mercenaries_CH-050 Notice anything about Rebecca here? She’s only got one Decoration Level each, unlike earlier sets. The game creators haven’t made a mistake, though–they’ve introduced a whole new way to look at Character skills. As in, they are changeable and customizable, through Skill cards.
Toughness_Lv1_Mercenaries This is what skill cards look like. Drafted randomly at the beginning of the game, you can choose 3 of these to boost your character’s abilities. For instance, Toughness Lv. 1, here, provides you a shield from damage if you’ve built up “XP” on this Skill. (You get 1 XP every time you Explore.)

You start the game with none of your chosen Skills active–you have to Explore to gain XP, and once you have enough XP to match the red number on the top right of the Skill card, you can take an Action to move all the required XP over to activate the Skill. (You can’t move XP one at a time–you do it all at once.)

Levels 1, 2, and 3

Medic_Lv1_Mercenaries Medic_Lv2_Mercenaries

As you see by the set of Medic skills displayed here, there are 3 levels of each Skill, with slightly different abilities for each level. Having all 3 of the same set doesn’t give you any bonuses–actually, you’ll do better to diversify which types of Skills you take–but being aware that there are various levels within each Skill type is helpful.

Generally, Level 3 is the best kind of skill for that particular type, but it usually takes a lot of XP to activate, so you’ll be waiting longer in-game to get that awesome effect. Sometimes taking a Level 1 or 2 Skill is just as good, depending on your Character’s needs and your personal playstyle.

Giant_Killing_Lv1_Mercenaries_SK-022 Giant_Killing_Lv2_Mercenaries_SK-023

The Giant Killing set of skills, above, gives you more awesomeness while Exploring, just as the Medic set improves the effects of Healing. Check out more Skills, below, for previews of what they do as well!

A Small Sampling of Skill Cards

These certainly aren’t all the skills in the new Mercenaries set, but this gives you at least an idea of what’s out there. Skills provide many new ways to give your character an offensive boost, a defensive shield, and even ways to get the best hand or best play, turn after turn!

Reversal_Lv1_Mercenaries SmartReload_Lv2_Mercenaries

Big Change #3: Other New Updates

Anticipation_Mercenaries_AC-047 Move over, Shattered Memories, this is my new best Trashing friend. You wouldn’t believe how fast you can ramp up to the best Ammo just by using this little beauty. Trash two Ammo x10 cards from your hand, and not only do you get +10 Gold from each of them for Trashing them, but Anticipation then gives you +20 extra Gold for Trashing two cards of the same type! You end up with 40 extra Gold, which can buy you an Ammo x20 easily.
Custom_Bolt-Action_Rifle_Mercenaries_WE-047 One of the new XP-specific Weapons–remember that every time you Explore, you get XP. You don’t have to automatically move that XP to a Skill–you can keep it on your character to boost this Rifle if you wish!
Custom_Full-Bore_Machine_Gun_Mercenaries_WE-045 This Weapon gives you 1 additional XP for Exploring–great for building up XP fast to activate those Skills!
First_Aid_Spray_Mercenaries_IT-005 A First Aid Spray with variables! Works to either give a BIG heal or a little one, since some Skills and Characters are dependent on having less than Maximum Health to get the best effect.

For More Information/Credits

Most of these images were scanned in by hand by my awesome boyfriend who owns a copy of the game. Any other images have come from the following websites. (All images are used in this post for instructional purposes only.)
Resident Evil Deck Building Game: Official Site
Resident Evil DBG: Mercenaries @ BoardGameGeek.com
Resident Evil DBG @ Wikia

Resident Evil: Nightmare

The most recent expansion for the Resident Evil Deck Building Game is called Nightmare, and for good reason–this time around, the characters, weapons, and even some of the actions are a little more cutthroat, a little more battle-hardened.

Below is a selective list of what I consider to be the best new cards out of the Nightmare expansion–lots of new characters, Actions, Weapons, and even Mansion Items and Events! Check them out; I think you’ll find the Nightmare box to be a worthwhile investment if you’re playing the Resident Evil DBG.

Useful New Characters (And Intriguing New Visions of Old Characters)

The newest Ada rewards you for taking damage at level 1, and sloughs off death at level 2–but good luck getting to 2 if you’ve been taking damage to set off her level 1 ability!

The newest Chris only has one level ability, but it’s fairly good–get a damage boost if the zombie he’s fighting has 40 or more health. Always good for amping up a 50-damage weapon to defeat Nemesis (60 health).

The newest Leon, at level 1, can mimic the Action card “Parting Ways” automatically when he kills a zombie. At level 2, whenever you Gain a card (whenever you Buy it, basically), you can draw a card. Better than you think!

Luis’ level 1 ability is rather opaque and unhelpful, but his level 2 helps you put cards that you’ve Discarded back on the bottom of the deck (and thus, playable much faster). With his level 2 activated, you should never run out of a deck again!

This guy is a beast. You can buy weapons for cheaper right away, and at level 2, you deal more damage when you’re wielding weapons of different types. Even giving him a basic Pistol and a Knife means you’re doing 25 damage!

Best New Weapons

This simple pistol, doing 10 damage, can really help you in early turns by doing more damage for less ammo investment, but the +1 card and +1 action can be helpful even late-game.

Like the Silver Ghost (of which the Punisher is the Special Weapon in the stack), this weapon does just as much damage as its ammo investment, but it also gives you a free Mansion Foyer (+2 cards) and an extra Action. VERY fun–you can easily build chains of Actions to get major card advantage, better weapons, etc.

A good weapon for other-player control as well as for a good bit of damage. 30 damage may seem a little low, but it’s strictly better than the Pump-Action Shotgun, and you also get to make another player discard a card.

Since this is the Special Weapon in the Single-Shot Rifle stack, the Special Ops Rifle does the regular weapon’s effect plus a little more–it makes all other players discard one card from their hands when you explore. Now just choose Albert Wesker as your Character and you have the game under your (diabolical) control.

Paying 30 ammo for 20 damage isn’t fun–until you see that this gun gives you +20 gold for Exploring with it. Save your Buy until after you Explore, and you can get something that’s at least worth 50 gold (the 30 ammo/gold you paid for Exploring plus 20 gold from the weapon itself).

You know what you do with this Special Weapon, right? Buy every Assault Machine Gun, Russian Assault Rifle, and Machine Pistol in sight, and HAVE FUN. Heehee 😀

The Broken Butterfly rewards you for having more cards in your Inventory, just as the Flamethrower rewards you for having more cards in your Discard Pile. Build accordingly, and you could have a 60-damage weapon for only a 40-ammo investment!

Finally, a grenade that’s worth the purchase! It doesn’t damage other Players, and it adds a sweet no-ammo-investment, 20-point damage boost to whatever you’re Exploring with. (And think about using this with the Base Set’s Jill Valentine, a.k.a. “She of Many Explosives.” Mwahaha.)

Fun New Actions

This is an excellent way to boost up one of your weapons, especially if you’re already built your deck for a Flamethrower strategy. (This is the official corrected version of the card, by the way–the actual physical card from the Nightmare box read “+1 ammo”, but it’s really supposed to be “+20 ammo”, which makes a whole lot more sense.)

If you’ve built up a larger Inventory (and especially if you’re already running the Broken Butterfly weapon strategy), this card is hilarious. Suddenly get +50 ammo and gold for just having 10 cards remaining in your deck? OKAY! This is great with Luis Sera’s level 2 ability (and of course, the extra Action is icing on the cake. :D).

I’m sensing a theme of “rewarding those who build bigger Inventories”. Card advantage, especially for larger Inventories, is priceless–and look, you get another Action along with it! Well worth the 70 gold to buy.

To complete your Wesker-esque strategy, pick up this little beauty and have the entire table of players hating you in no time. Being able to choose an Action from someone else’s hand, apply it twice to yourself, and then take it out of their hand for the time being? This is just as annoying (and good) as Master of Unlocking.

Let’s see, +2 Actions, and you can move up to 2 cards back from your Inventory (or anyone else’s) from Discard. They finally made a Reload that’s not just for Weapons! 😀 Also, you can play this offensively against someone who’s running a Flamethrower strategy to reduce their damage output. 🙂

Awesome New Mansion Items and Events

An item you’ll love to run across, even if it does technically waste your firepower. Hidden Treasure is reason enough to save your Buys until after you Explore, just in case–the +30 gold and +1 Buy is like a free trip to the Merchant.

Another item that boosts you tremendously! When you hit the Map, you can attach it to your character and keep it as long as you want, until you feel the need for +3 cards in your hand and +20 Gold to Buy something with.

I love this thing–it gives the player with the lowest number of Decorations (roughly, zombie kills) a chance to catch back up, by instantly killing whatever Infected zombie is directly below this card in the Mansion. (Since I usually reserve my Exploring/zombie-killing for the second half of the game, due to deck-building, I often lag behind in Decorations till close to the end of the game, so this event is HAPPY FUN TIME for me. :D) You can even instantly kill the boss zombie and end the game with this little event!

For More Info

Resident Evil DBG Official Site
Resident Evil DBG: Nightmare @ BoardGameGeek

Images were mostly obtained from scans of my awesome boyfriend’s Nightmare box set, since I couldn’t find large enough images elsewhere. A few cards, though, came from the BoardGameGeek website, and the corrected Lonewolf card came from the official game page.

Item Management, Item Schmanagement!

Picture credit: Resident Evil Wikia
For players of the Resident Evil deck building game, Item Management is generally considered an “oldie but goodie,” since it was part of the original Core Set.

Item Management lets you Trash out one Ammo card from your hand and get an upgraded one in your Discard pile to replace it. You can upgrade from a 10-Ammo card to a 20, from a 20 to a Treasure card (provides only 30 gold), or from a 20 to a 30, or from a Treasure to a 30.

It’s one of the only cards that deals specifically with upgrading your Ammo/Gold supply, which is the primary concern for players–once you get your Ammo/Gold in place, you are set up well enough to buy the Actions and Weapons you need to Explore the Mansion safely.

However, there is more to using this card in your strategy than would be apparent at first read. Here are the pros and cons of Item Management:


  • Does a fair job of automating the upgrading-Ammo process
  • Doesn’t Trash out of your deck upon use, so you use it as often as you need it


  • Uses up your one default Action per turn
  • Does not interact well with Buying Ammo at the same time you’re Upgrading–you can end up flooding your Inventory with Ammo, like giving an engine too much gas
  • Slows down other Buying action because you have to Trash out Ammo from your hand to use it, leaving you poorer the turn you use it

Item Management Op-Ed: It’s Not as Effective as Other Methods

I have never been able to get Item Management to work well for me. It does not upgrade Ammo as fast as, say, using your regular one-Buy-a-turn and Shattered Memories or Quirk of Fate together; with those cards, you can buy one upgraded Ammo while Trashing out one or two lower-Ammo cards. This thins your Inventory and gets you better Ammo totals per card.

Item Management also does not work as well as using Ominous Battle, which Trashes out one card from your hand after it draws you 3 cards and gives you 10 Gold, nor does it work better than Parting Ways, which Trashes out one card from your hand and Gains you another that costs up to 20 Gold more. Parting Ways, however, is best used for Weapons, since Ammo cards exceed the cost limitations (most Ammo cards upgrade by increments of 30 rather than 20).

From what I can tell, Item Management requires two things to work: one, you must keep a consistently small Inventory, and two, you actually do have to Buy a bit of upgraded Ammo here and there. If you keep trying to change out 10s for 20s instead of 20s for Treasure or 20s for 30s, you’ll be stuck at low Ammo and Gold totals long after the other players are set up. (Trust me, I’ve played plenty a game like that! Frustrating–you’re basically stuck in Neutral for half the game.)

I don’t like the card much because it makes me play on a tightrope of buying JUST ENOUGH Ammo without buying too much. I never know when to stop, and it really screws with my gameplay. But my boyfriend loves Item Management and wouldn’t be without it–somehow, he makes it work. I think it’s the small Inventory size and careful Buys that do it for him.

Why Use It?

This is what I’ve been wondering–with Shattered Memories, Quirk of Fate, Ominous Battle, and Parting Ways available, why bother with Item Management at all?

Possible Ways to Make it Work

All I can see that’s good about Item Management is that you automatically upgrade your Ammo with one Action, rather than doing an Action to Trash out a card and then Buying another one. But it must be handled very carefully, as I noted earlier.

It also works better if you can Buy two Item Managements for your Inventory–having only one in your Inventory simply does not come up often enough to be solely responsible for your Ammo upgrading.

The way I see it, use Item Management if you have a way to do an Action-replenishing Action first (like Reload, Umbrella Corporation, or even Parting Ways/Quirk of Fate if you have to). Then, you aren’t shortchanging yourself on Actions, and you can help yourself out a little bit with card draw, weapon replacement, and/or Inventory-thinning.


Item Management is not my favorite card, personally, but there are ways you can still use it in the game–players can and do make effective strategies with it. Try it and see if you can master this more difficult of Actions in your next Resident Evil DBG session!

Resident Evil: Outbreak

As the second official expansion set for the Resident Evil deck building game, Outbreak has a lot to live up to; its immediate predecessor, Alliance, set the bar pretty high for cards added to the game’s repertoire. And in most respects, Outbreak does not disappoint.

New to Gameplay: Infection System

Gameplay has not changed very much from the way the Base Set and the Alliance box play…except for one big addition: the Infection system.

Basically, every turn you do not Explore the Mansion, you receive one Infection Counter, in the form of face-down cards dealt from the Infection Deck (new to Outbreak). You can also get infection counters from creatures you happen to face within the Mansion, from other players facing creatures, or even as a side effect of someone playing a card. There are a few ways to get rid of Infection counters, but a whole lot more ways to accumulate them.

When you get 10 Infection counters, you take all the facedown cards you were dealt from the Infection Deck and add them to the deck you’ve been building since you started the current game. You officially become an Infected creature yourself at this point, and all you can do is attack the other players until the game ends.

The Infection System: Pros and Cons

Pros: Makes the game go a lot faster; makes for different levels, challenges, and styles of gameplay (i.e., struggling to keep yourself uninfected, actually trying to defeat the Mansion, or getting completely into the role of the Infected creature and taking out the other players).

Cons: Can’t get rid of counters as easily as you can accumulate them; one more thing to worry about in-game; distracts from original purpose of game; makes characters die a lot faster because you almost have to explore every turn.

My verdict: Infection system is not fun to play, because I like being able to have a decent weapon before I’m forced to explore the Mansion, and I hate having to focus precious game time on getting rid of those stupid counters. But for those who enjoy a faster gameplay or want something different from a typical deck building game, Outbreak does just that.

Amazing New Cards

I like this card especially for the “draw 3 cards” thing…but it’s fun to get 2 free actions, too. Can help you start an Action chain just like Reload did in the Base set.
This is THE way in the Outbreak box to Trash things out of your deck. Also great for Buying stuff without using up your Buy for the turn!
Not a joke card, by any means. You CAN now shoot stuff for mega damage, and it gets better when played at night. I like the situational boost, and I can only imagine the ruckus that the Base Set’s Jill Valentine would cause with this thing. See, she can reach the point where she keeps Explosives weapons instead of having to Trash them after every use, so… 😀

Imagine these two paired with The Merchant (Base Set), or with Gathering Forces (Alliance). Mwahaha. So much card-Gaining action…and SO much damage potential.
Yes, you get +1 Explore (usually, I hate that). But if you draw an Infected creature that is 20 or less health, you can put it back on top of the Mansion. And look–it’s a FREE 10 damage! Take that, Combat Knife.

To Learn More

Resident Evil DBG Wikia (source for Stun Rod and Samurai Edge images)
RE DBG: Outbreak on BoardGameGeek.com

Resident Evil DBG: Alliance

Resident Evil: Alliance works as a standalone game box or as an addition to the Resident Evil: DBG basic box. I’ve played Alliance as both its own game and as a addition, and I have to say, it offers some pretty amazing cards to amp up your Basic box.  12 new character cards (some revisions of existing cards, and some totally-new characters) await, as well as some awesome new game mechanics.

New Rules: Partners

The Alliance box brings with it a totally new envisioning of the Resident Evil game–playing with two characters instead of one. You get two Character cards, usually at random, at the beginning of the game, and you choose one to be your Main and one to be your Partner, playing both characters together. Your Partner is basically another character to use when you Explore, and another pair of hands to hold a Weapon or two; whenever your Partner character takes lethal damage, however, he or she is removed from the game completely, and you continue on with just your Main character, who respawns one turn after death as usual.

Who Leads When Exploring the Mansion? You Decide!

Whenever you Explore, you declare one character to be the leader, but both characters help Explore with their weapons. The only time this matters is if one of your characters has a special effect that specifies that it happens when he or she explores. For instance, Ada Wong’s Level 1 “peek” ability specifies that it can only happen when she is the one to lead an exploration; thus, you must declare her the leader if you want to use that ability. Your leading character does not have to be your Main character.

Attaching Weapons and Other Cards to Your Partner

You can attach up to 2 weapons or action cards to your Partner unless otherwise indicated. This is a wonderful asset–the act of attaching a card to your Partner gets it out of your deck, and it can be a constant weapon that you don’t need to Reload onto every turn. Best of all, any cards attached to your Partner character cannot be removed, except by your choosing to replace it, or a small number of specific game effects. For instance, there’s a Zombie that removes the highest-costing card from your Partner if you didn’t kill it with exactly 35 damage, and there’s an Action that makes everyone else discard down to 1 card or less on their Partners.

New Cards

There are several new weapons and actions, lots of them able to be abused, such as Gathering Forces and the Flamethrower. My personal favorites so far, however, are as follows:

Quirk of Fate: like Ominous Battle in that it allows you to Trash a card from your hand, plus you get an Action back and get to draw a card. Drawback: you can’t Trash Quirk of Fate out of your deck once you buy it (unlike Shattered Memories), making it a dead card late-game.
  Russian Assault Rifle & Signature Special: X Ammo required, X damage cost. The RARs can only be filled with a max of 20 ammo for 20 damage, and the Signature Special has a max of 60 damage. But these are both awesome, since you fill them with just as much ammo as you have available and that’s exactly how much damage you deal.
Star-Crossed Duo: attached to your Partner, this gives them +10 damage if they are the ones leading the Explore. Helps out more than you might think! You also get +2 cards and +1 Buy when you first play this on your Partner.
Fierce Battle: Have somebody else in the game draw 1 card, and you draw 4 cards. Absolutely awesome with a deck full of Russian Assault Rifles and the Signature Special, and/or with the new Jack Krauser–you have the possibility of drawing tons of ammo and rifles to feed said ammo into!

For More Information

Images courtesy of: BoardGameGeek.com’s Resident Evil DBG: Alliance page.

Resident Evil Deck Building Game

For those who are not familiar with any of the Resident Evil video game series, the whole concept sounds like something you don’t want to mess with. Arming yourself with various and sundry weapons to fight zombies? Sounds like a horror movie gone crazy.

I certainly thought this way about the video games, and wasn’t too enthused about playing a deck building game based on the same mythos. Horror and killing stuff really isn’t my bag in movies or video games either one, so when my boyfriend (a major Resident Evil fan) asked if I would like to try the deck-building game, I expected it to be not much fun.

Boy, was I proved wrong! In the Resident Evil DBG, like many other deck building games such as Ascension and Dominion, the long-term strategy is the winning strategy, which means lots of fun happy times for gamers like me who like to play for the long-term gain rather than the short-term strike.

To Begin The Game

All players in the Resident Evil DBG start out with a character card of your choice (more about those later) and the same 10 cards in their decks:

7 ammunition/gold cards, worth 10 ammo and 10 gold each, used for powering your weapons and purchasing upgraded items and ammo
2 combat knives, each of which can deal 5 damage and doesn’t require any ammo
1 handgun, which requires 20 ammo to work and which can deal 10 damage

From this original 10-card deck, you draw 5 cards and begin your turn. On your turn, you may buy 1 resource from the rows of resources laid out on the table, play 1 action, and explore the Mansion 1 time if you choose. Once your turn is over, you take all the cards you’ve played this turn and place them in the graveyard (your used cards), and draw 5 new cards to prepare for your next turn.

Wait, What’s the Mansion?

The Mansion is familiar to those who have played the Resident Evil video games, but in the context of the game, it’s simply another deck of cards on the table. When you want to “explore the Mansion”, you must have a weapon (like the Combat Knife, the Handgun, or other sundry upgrades to these items) in your hand, as well as enough ammo to power it. You then declare you’re going to explore, and then turn over the top card of the Mansion deck. Whatever Infected zombie creature is revealed, your weapons must deal it enough damage to defeat it in one hit, otherwise the Infected creature deals your character damage and then goes back under the deck.

Say, if you explored the mansion with two Combat Knives and a Handgun. You’re able to do 20 damage, because each Combat Knife does 5 damage, and the Handgun does 10. All the weapons you play combine together for total damage, unless otherwise specified on the card or the character.

If a Male Zombie shows up as the top card, you’re in luck, because it has 20 health and will be defeated with your combined 20 damage. You then get 1 decoration for having defeated it.

However, if the top card is a Licker instead, you’re out of luck–it has 40 health, and will not be defeated by two Combat Knives and a Handgun combined. You will instead take 30 damage from the undefeated Licker, which will then go under the Mansion deck to be rediscovered later. (Be careful–you can end up taking enough damage from undefeated monsters to actually kill your character!)

Different enemies have varying levels of decorations–some give you 2, 3, or 4 decorations if you defeat them, and the two strongest monsters in the Mansion (Nemesis T-Type and Uroboros Aheri) give you 5 and 8 decorations, respectively. Whenever Uroboros Aheri is successfully defeated, the game ends, and everybody counts up decorations–the highest total wins.

Character Cards

Fans of Resident Evil games will recognize the various characters included in each box of Resident Evil:DBG. Familiar faces like Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are there, alongside others like Jack Krauser, Sheva Alomar, and Ada Wong (my personal favorite).

Some characters have weapon specialties–you’ll want to give Jill all the Grenades she can carry, for instance, while Sheva makes magic with Rifles and Krauser is a beast with Knives.

Each character in the original DBG has two abilities that activate when they have gained a certain number of decorations. At Level 1, the character can use the first ability listed on their card; at Level 2, they can use both abilities.

The reason Ada Wong (at left) is my favorite is because of her Level 1 ability, which allows her to “peek” at the top card to see if it’s something she can defeat with her current damage total. Ada can put the “peeked” card on the bottom of the Mansion instead of trying to defeat it, and she can then go for the second-from-the-top card instead. (This is great for moving Uroboros Aheri out of the way when I don’t have 90 damage to defeat his 90 health, because with my luck, I’m ALWAYS drawing the boss. XD)

Another important point to remember: each character also has a set amount of health. Some characters can survive a 70-point hit by Uroboros and live to tell about it next turn. Unfortunately, Ada and several other characters only have 70 health to begin with, so they have to be played more carefully. No haphazard reckless exploring the mansion for them!

Look through each of the character cards and see which ones fit your playstyle. Since I’m horribly unlucky in my Mansion draws, Ada’s ability suits me well. But you may find that another character is your favorite!

Game Modes and Resources

You can play Resident Evil: DBG several ways–a list of possible scenarios follows.

  • “First-Timer:” helps you get used to the game mechanics, basic and fun
  • “Mercenaries:” timed game, with various mini-scenarios to act out
  • “Versus:” where instead of fighting the zombies, you try to defeat the other players!
  • “Custom:” you and your fellow players choose resources to purchase, and play much like First-Timer

There are many, many different resources you can use to build your perfect streamlined deck in the game, such as upgraded weapons, healing herbs, and cards that let you get weapons back, trade out items, draw more cards, etc. Each game mode has its own set variety of resource cards–in First-Timer, for instance, there are some cards in the box that aren’t even allowed on the table, whereas in Versus mode, you’d make copious use of those cards.

My Personal Strategies

After several times of playing the game, I generally know what some of my first purchases are going to be. Purchasing upgraded ammunition cards is the first order of business–trading out all those 10s for 20s and eventually 30s will help power bigger weapons and will help you pay for those bigger weapons, too. Also, purchasing cards that help you clean out the cards you no longer need is very important. (Once you’ve purchased bigger and better weapons, you’ll want to get rid of the Handguns and Knives unless your chosen character has a specialty with them, for instance.)

The Six Shooter is kind of an upgrade from the Handgun, is it not?

Action cards such as Shattered Memories, Ominous Battle, and Item Management (no image) are great support cards for early- to mid-game deck thinning and streamlining. Other helpful Actions include Reload (get a weapon back from your graveyard, get 2 actions), Umbrella Corporation (draw 2 cards, put 1 card from your hand back on top of your deck, get one more Action to play), and Escape from the Dead City (draw 1 card, get 2 actions).

I generally don’t explore the Mansion for about half of the game–most of the first half of the game is getting my deck streamlined, and I usually avoid getting damaged by too-strong monsters until I’m ready to take them on.

However, by not exploring the Mansion, I sometimes miss out on the two most epic weapons in the game, which are actually hidden in the Mansion. Sometimes, you’ll Explore and come across one of these babies as the top card:

The Gatling Gun can be filled with any amount of ammo for equal amount of damage; the Rocket Launcher deals a flat 90 damage for 0 ammo investment.

For me, I’m not willing to risk Ada on the possibility of getting one of these weapons, so I play carefully. If the other players get the Gatling Gun or the Rocket Launcher, that’s great for them–I am simply more comfortable using tried-and-true (and safe) methods to last through the game. I don’t know if this playstyle would work for everyone, but it’s won me most of the games I’ve played so far!

To Find Out More

Unfortunately, the official game website has been closed because Bandai is no longer publishing RE:DBG as of 2013. But you can still find information through the RE:DBG page on the Resident Evil Wikia. Also, BoardGameGeek’s page on this game is a great resource as well, and I used it heavily while writing this article.