Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure
Strategic Depth: Intermediate
Setup Time: 10-15 min.
Play Time: 40-80 mins.
Players: 2-4 (Best with 3)
Mechanics: Card Drafting, Deck/Pool Building, Player Elimination, Point to Point Movement, Press Your Luck
Production Info: 2016 | Renegade Game Studios | Paul Dennen
Burgle your way to adventure in Clank!, the press your luck deck-building board game. Sneak into an angry dragon's mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Along the way, you’ll acquire companions and weapons, defeat monsters, and use devices to get the most loot. As a thief, you must be quick and quiet to not disturb the dragon as each artifact stolen increases its rage. In short, you’re trying to get into the dungeon, steal as much treasure as possible, and then escape before you die from a dragon attack. You can only enjoy your plunder if you make it out of the depths alive! The double-sided board game will allow for even more excitement and challenges.
- The Good -
I first fell in love with the classic deck building game Dominion. I have three of those expansions but when I saw Clank! a year ago I knew it was a game I had to add to my collection. Clank! was something brand new as it incorporates deck building with a board game. It plays like a normal deck builder to start as you draw 5 cards and you have 5 cards in your draw pile. It starts to differ from the traditional deck builder as the game progresses because the cards affect the board like movement and collecting treasures. The gameplay is fantastic with this evolved deck building mechanic. It adds more strategy, fun, and interaction among players compared to traditional deck builders.
Clank! has fantastic artwork and theme that makes the game more fun and unique. Everyone loves a dragon/dungeon theme and this one works perfectly for the deck building mechanic. The card's artwork is one of the best components of the game as it 's very detailed and has ton's of cards! The entire board is set up like a dungeon with treasures scattered throughout and not trying to wake the dragon. The board is so unique and really draws in new players. The whole game works so well with balancing the theme of being a thief and sneaking through the dungeon. The artwork and theme are a big driving force for why this game is so popular and it appeals to all ages.
Deck building games typically have a lot of replayability and Clank! is no different. There are over 180 cards that help make the game different every time. Also, the board is set up differently for each game with the big and small secrets changing each time. You might want to take the same path each time but the cards will not always allow it and that is where planning and strategy take place. It doesn’t have the same amount of replayability as traditional deck building games like Dominion but the unique gameplay with the board makes this game more enjoyable. The board layout helps to make it a challenge along the player interaction.
- The Bad -
The main issue that people find with Clank! is the luck factor. Once again, that is always one of the main complaints in any deck building games. There are only 6 cards in the market so there is a limited amount of cards to buy on your turn. Also, the little and big secrets can make a big difference in the game so some luck is involved with acquiring them on each space. I think the luck factor does help keep new players intrigued especially those newer to board games. However, those that are experienced gamers and want a highly strategic game will probably be disappointed.
Clank! is a very unique game and part of that reason is it has player elimination which is pretty rare in the tabletop world. If you are playing with a beginner to board games, then you need to explain the player elimination aspect. It's a huge part of the press your luck mechanism and some people have difficulty with the notion of being eliminated before the game is complete. The player elimination can add thrills to the game as it causes some fear, but that type of play is not everyone's cup of tea.
- Overall -
Clank! is a fantastic unique game that brings a whole new element to deckbuilding. The theme and artwork go perfectly with the gameplay. You are a thief who is sneaking through the dungeon trying to steal the dragon's artifacts without waking him up. The game isn't for everyone because of the press your luck mechanic and player elimination. However, Clank! is a game that satisfies that deck-building itch while playing like a different sort of game entirely. I have introduced this game to about 20 different people and all but 1 person really enjoyed the game and wanted to play again. I will say that the first game with new players will at least take you an hour and a half especially if they are strategizing each turn. The double-sided board helps for replayability but I recommend the easier side for teaching new gamers. Clank! is a very popular game for a reason and I would love to try the two expansions along with the standalone Clank! In Space!
The following summaries are meant to be a high-level reminder of how to play this game. If this is your first time playing, we highly recommend that you read your board game's included rule book which will go into much more depth. You can download a digital PDF copy of the official rules by clicking the button below. There are also a few video tutorials near the bottom of this section to help all you visual learners out as well.
- Setup Overview -
Start off by unfolding the board with the blue sky face-up.
Separate the 3 different kinds of cards:
– Starting Cards (Gray Banner)
– Market Cards (Blue Banner); shuffle these
– Reserve Cards (Yellow Banner)
Put the Dragon token on the Dragon Track on the number of players and put all the dragon (black) cubes (24) into the felt bag.
Randomly put the Major Secrets face down on the board (9 areas)
Repeat for Minor Secrets (9 areas)
Put the Artifacts (7) in the appropriate areas
Put the 3 Monkey Idols in the appropriate places (bottom left area)
Place each player’s Meeple on the flag in the top left of the board along with the 4 Mastery tokens.
Put the Backpack, Key, and Crown tokens in the Market area.
Place the 4 Reserve cards at the top of the board
Place 6 Market cards below the board in a row, remove any with the Dragon symbol
Each player should get their color’s 30 cubes and their starting cards and shuffle them.
Starting cards include:
6 – Burgle
1 – Scramble
1 – Sidestep
2 – Stumble
Determine who goes first; the first player puts 3 cubes on the Clank! banner (top right), the second player puts 2 cubes and so on.
- Game Play/Player Turns -
Each turn you use your hand of 5 cards to determine your actions which include: Move and Buy.
To Move between any room, a player needs a card with a boot symbol:
Some passages have footprint symbols; each of these increases the boot requirement by 1 each:
Any passages with the Monster Head symbol requires a card with a Sword symbol.
If a player doesn’t use a Sword symbol, they take 1 damage per Monster Head.
Some passages have the Key symbol which requires a Key (unlimited uses) which is bought at the Market for 7 gold.
Whenever a player moves on top a Major/Minor secret, Artifact, or Monkey Idol, they choose whether they want to pick it up. A player may hold more than one of all items except for the Artifact; a player can hold only 1 Artifact unless they have a Backpack in their possession. Buying
Certain cards will have the skills symbol which allows a player to buy cards from either the Reserve or Market Areas.
The number on the bottom right is the cost of the card.
Cards that are played and purchased are put into the player’s discard pile. When the player runs out of cards to draw, the discard pile is reshuffled.
If a Market Card is purchased, it will leave an empty spot. At the end of the player’s turn, it will be replaced by the top card of the Market card deck.
If a Market card comes up that has the Dragon symbol on it then there is a Dragon attack!
All cubes on the Clank banner is put into the felt bag. Players check how many cubes are to be drawn from where the dragon market is and any additional cubes from any special cards face up on the Market area. Any cubes drawnn from the bag is damage to the appropriate player. Black cubes are put aside (as if the Dragon missed).
- End Of Game -
The first time a player is out of the game, they put their pawn on the countdown track at the top of the board. Each time it would be their turn, they move the pawn to the right, and trigger a dragon attack with additional cubes as marked on the countdown track—one, then two, then three. Finally, on the next turn, when the pawn moves to the skull space, the game ends—anyone who didn’t escape the depths is eliminated, and everyone else tallies up their scores.
- Winning -
Your score includes the little green value on artifacts, tokens, and at the top right corner of cards, plus the amount of gold you accumulated. Highest score wins, and ties go to the player with the most valuable artifact. You must escape the depths for your score to count.
- Tie Breakers -
In the case of a tie, the tied player with the most valuable Artifact is the winner.
- Great Instructional Videos -
Here are a few helpful instructional videos you or your group can watch to learn how to play this game visually.
How many actions can you take each turn?
You can take more than one action per turn as long as you have the skill points, movement, or money to do so.
During initial setup, what happens if a dragon symbol shows up in the 6 card in Dungeon row?
You immediately replace any card with a dragon symbol on it and replace it from the draw pile.
How does a device card work?
A Device card must be used immediately when you acquire it. It is then placed in the Dungeon discard pile, not your own.
Where do you put all the black (dragon) cubes?
You put all of the dragon cubes in the black dragon bag, which makes it more likely to grab a black cube in the beginning.
Can the black cubes ever return to the dragon bag?
They only return to the bag with a specific card (Shrine) and it will mention how many to put back in.
How does the market work on the reverse (difficult side) of the board?
The market works the same as the front side, except that the spaces where you can use the market aren't all connected. Instead, it's several small stores scattered around the board. You still can buy any available item for 7 gold as long as you are standing in a space with the market picture.
Can you hold onto a Major/Minor secret token for later use in the game?
Yes, you keep it facedown unless the secret states that it should be played immediately, which those can be found in the rulebook.
Can you buy 2 backpacks?
Yes, if you have the money for it. Remember, buying 1 backpack will allow you to get to an extra artifact and there are only 2 backpacks in total.
What happens when your color cubes get drawn out of the dragon bag?
Your cubes will go on your life tracker and if it reaches the skull then you are dead.
Can you move through a monster tunnel without a sword?
Yes, but you would have to take a damage on your life track.
Can I choose to discard a card in my hand?
No, you have to play all your cards unless you have a card that specifically allows you to discard one.
When I play a card that says "If you have another companion in your play area, does a card refer to another companion played in the same turn? "
Yes, you have to play another companion in that same turn for the effect to take place.
During a Dragon Attack can players outside the dungeon still be affected?
Only at the beginning of the game. If you escape the dungeon at the end of the game then your cubes will not be drawn for a Dragon Attack.
How many cards can I acquire or defeat during my turn?
You may acquire and defeat any number of cards in the Dungeon Row each turn, provided you have enough Skill or Swords.
What happens if a Dragon Attack card stays in the Dungeon Row?
Cards with Dragon Attack symbols only trigger an attack on the turn they’re placed in the Dungeon Row. If the card remains there for multiple turns, it does not trigger any additional attacks.
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Highest Price: $60.00 (May 9, 2017)
Lowest Price: $33.62 (Dec 12, 2017)
Average Price: $40.59
*According to CamelCamelCamel.com (07/04/2018)
Expanding The Game
There are currently two expansions for Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure.
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