Afraid of the Dark

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Afraid of the Dark
Designer: Red Baron
Type: Novelty, Fog
Countries: 90 (Large)
Board Info
Reviews Launch Game
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Afraid of the Dark is a game of maximum fog and minimum information. It is designed in such a way that players know as little as possible about their rivals' locations and movements. Ordinarily, this is not a quality one would look for in a Warfish game, but in this case the concept is milked for its novelty value. The game maintains an environment where everyone is equally insecure about their position and no one knows quite what is going on, or even who has been knocked out of the game.

The game is built around the floorplan of an actual Eichler home. The power is out and the night is moonless, so players find themselves in total darkness, not even able to see the walls of the rooms they are in. Only when they attack a nearby position can they discover the identity and strength of their victim.

[edit] Strategy

In most cases, the value of a room is roughly proportional to the size of the room. The major exception is the patio, which is large but is worth only one point. The patio may thus be considered a place of refuge that has a reduced chance of being fought over.

Unlike most games, there is no reward for eliminating a player. This may at first seem an arbitrary rule setting, but if you recognize that card capture would tell a player that a rival has been eliminated, and that imparting any such information is against the philosophy of the game, you'll realize it is a fitting rule under the circumstances.

[edit] Variations

Because a number of players expressed discomfort with the heavy fog of the original game, a game mod was introduced which lightens the fog level. This has since been made the default mod so that players will try it first before playing the heavy fog version. The Moonbeams & Night-Lights mod adds some moonlight through the windows, a hearth fire, and some well-placed night-lights to create a partially-lighted environment less disorienting than the original.

For those who want an even easier way to learn the layout of the house, a full-daylight map has been provided here as a battle aid.

Moonlight Layout
Moonlight Layout
House Layout
House Layout

[edit] Color Selection Note

The game uses the rather rare "filled number" style to show army strength. It is rare for good reason, since the style makes it hard to distinguish between players who have similar colors. This style was selected for the original full-fog game because it is particularly effective against a black background and because the theme of the game makes distinguishing between players irrelevant. When the light fog version came out, though, telling players apart became more of an issue. Players are advised when playing the light fog variation to pick colors that are distinctive. Another way to solve this problem is to install the "Contrast" plugin.

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