Kill Dr. Lucky
How to Play the Kill Dr. Lucky Board Game
Kill Doctor Lucky Game Instructions, Rules, and Strategy
When I used to play Clue as a child, I always wished that I could have been the one to murder Mr. Body. So when I heard of a game that would allow me to carry out my bloody wishes, I wasted no time in learning how to play Kill Dr. Lucky. First released by Cheapass Games in 1996, this board game for 3 to 7 players is set in a mansion occupied by an old man named Dr. Lucky. You hate him, of course, and want to dispose of him once of all. The only problem is, all the other players feel the same way.
Each room of the mansion of laid out in a colorful fashion, and youíll notice a distinct similarity to Clue. There are all manner of ways to try and kill the good doctor, including a trowel, pruning shears, a tight hat, duck decoys, and even a poke to the eye. No wonder Kill Doctor Lucky won Best Abstract Board Game of 1997 at the Origins Awards.
Iíve put together an overview of how to play Kill Dr. Lucky, as well as touching on some Kill Dr. Lucky strategy. Veterans of the game may already be familiar with what Iíll be discussing, but novice or first-time players should find lots of murderous goodness to help them succeed.
Kill Dr. Lucky Instructions
According to the Kill Dr. Lucky instructions, players begin the game in the Drawing Room of Dr. Luckyís mansion. There are more than 20 hallways, staircases, and room to explore, and Dr. Lucky will wander through each of these areas as the game progresses.
Each player begins the game with 6 cards from the 96-card deck. When cards are used, they are removed from play and not used again. As the game progresses, this means that players will have an increasingly difficult time stopping the murder attempts of the opposition.
In later versions of Kill Dr. Lucky, a new element has been added in the form of ďspite tokens.Ē Whenever a player tries to kill the old man, they get one of these tokens. These tokens can then be used to increase the value of an attack, or they can function as a 1-point failure card. If a murder fails and spite tokens were involved (either in attacking or defending), the player who attempted the homicide will receive all the tokens used in that turn (plus an extra token for the attempted murder). As you might imagine, using this option creates a more aggressive and fast-paced game.
If you fall in love with Kill Dr. Lucky (like I have), you might also want to look into the following variant games:
Save Doctor Lucky on Moon Base Copernicus - Try to save Dr. Lucky on a soon-to-explode moon base.
Save Dr. Lucky - Set on a sinking ocean liner, your goal is to give your lifejacket to Dr. Lucky while one of the other players is looking. Meanwhile, the sinking ship threatens to eliminate everyone from the game.
Kill Doctor Lucky: Craigdarroch: An Accessory to Murder - This expansion board sets the game in a famous castle in British Columbia.
Kill Doctor Lucky and His Little Dog, Too! - Includes expansion rules for the game, plus Dr. Lucky now has a dog that will seek to protect him.
Kill Doctor Lucky Online - Take your murderous ways online and play against the computer or live opponents.
Kill Dr. Lucky Rules
The Kill Dr. Lucky rules state that players may perform the following actions on their turn:
Move - At any point during your turn, you may move your character one space (this includes hallways). Additional movement can be obtained by playing a movement card and moving the number of spaces listed. Or, if you prefer, you can choose to move Dr. Lucky, instead. Room cards will immediately transport a player to the room listed on the card, or they can choose to send Dr. Lucky there.
Snoop - If youíve played no other cards during your turn and are located in a named room, you may choose to snoop at the end of your turn. This allows you to draw one card from the deck.
Try to Kill Dr. Lucky - If you arenít in the line of sight of another player, and you are in the same room as Dr. Lucky, you may end your turn by trying to kill him.
Move Dr. Lucky - At the end of a playerís turn, Dr. Lucky will move into the next room based on the numbers. So if Dr. Lucky begins the turn in room 15, he will move to room 16 at the end of the turn. Unless, of course, heís moved elsewhere by a card. If this happens, he will still move at the end of the turn, just to the adjacent room with the next highest number.
If Dr. Lucky moves into a room containing a player, it will automatically become their turn (even if they just went). Clever players can use this Kill Dr. Lucky strategy to get several turns in a row.
When a player wants to kill Dr. Lucky, the following steps occur:
First, the player declares his intentions. They may then play a weapon card to increase their chances for success. If they do not play a weapon card, their attack strength will be one.
Now that a murder is about to occur, the other players have a chance to prevent it by playing failure cards. The player to the left of the would-be killer gets first crack, and they may choose to pass or play one or more failure cards. Enough failure cards must be played by the opposing players to equal your attack value. Therefore, if you attacked with a value of 4, at least four points of failure cards would be required to stop you. If your opponents canít (or wonít) play enough cards to prevent Dr. Luckyís death, the game is over and you are the winner.
Kill Dr. Lucky Strategy
Luck plays a large role in the game, but itís possible to employ some strategy in Kill Dr. Lucky. This section offers a few tips on tactics and techniques that may prove useful in doing in the old codger.
Counting Cards - As players use their failure cards, try to keep track of which value cards have been played. If you feel that the failure cards of higher value are currently unavailable to players, it signals the perfect time to make your move and murder Dr. Lucky.
Hold Onto Powerful Weapon Cards - Some weapon cards are harder to counter than others. If you can hold onto a high-ranking weapon card until later in the game, you may find your opponents are unable to prevent you from bumping off Dr. Lucky.
Shadow Opponents - Since a player must be in a room with Dr. Lucky and out of view of the other players to attempt a murder, itís a smart idea to follow the other players around as much as possible. This will get on their nerves to no end, but it will allow you to play strong defense. Of course, donít be surprised when they do the same thing to you.
Be Aggressive - Each time you attempt a murder, the number of failure cards held by your opponents is going to be reduced. Thereís also the chance that you might win unexpectedly when all the players decide to place the responsibility of stopping you with the player on your right (and they donít have the necessary cards to do so).
Know When to Bluff - If youíre sitting to the immediate left of a player whoís trying to kill Dr. Lucky, itís best to be stingy and pass the responsibility to the other players. Of course, if youíre sitting to the right of a possible killer, you can expect to play more failure cards than your opponents.
Anticipate Movement - Dr. Lucky moves along a predetermined route, so try to anticipate where heíll show up next. This may be thwarted by another player taking control and moving Dr. Lucky, but itís worth a try.
Bonus Weapon Points - Some of the weapons found in Kill Dr. Lucky have a higher attack value when used in a certain room. While it may not be possible, itís still recommended that you try to commit the murder in a room that may provide a higher attack number than what your opponents can counter.
Whether youíre searching for tips on how to play Kill Dr. Lucky or hunting for a bit of Kill Dr. Lucky strategy, this article should have you ready to commit the perfect homicide. The next time you have a group of friends over, set aside party games like Pictionary and Boggle and give this delightfully twisted product a try.
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