Sometimes we like to take a minute to step away from videogames and play a good ol’ fashioned board game. Ubisoft has partnered with Cryptozoic Entertainment – the makers of The Walking Dead board game and the Adventure Time: Card Wars game among many others – to bring the Assassin’s Creed franchise to the tabletop realm. The result was Assassin’s Creed: Arena – a strategic game of cat-and-mouse that pits 2-4 players against each other in a race for kills. Take on targets or other players to rack up Victory Points as you move across the rooftops of Constantinople, avoiding passing guards. Play as Templars from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations like Shahkulu (the Renegade), Odai Dunqas (the Guardian), Oksana Razin (the Vanguard) and Anacletos (the Gladiator).

Assassin's Creed: Arena - Getting Down To Basics

The Gist Of It

There’s a reason (beyond the idea of cards assassinating each other) this game is designed for players over 15 years old. It’s very high-risk, high-reward and has a lot of rules. They’re all pretty easy to grasp quickly, but there might be a few questions right off the bat. This might be a walk in the park for some of you board game aficionados, but for those of you who are big fans of Assassin’s Creed but are relatively new to the world of tabletop games, a quick breakdown may come in handy.

Your Turn

To start each turn, an Event card is drawn. Sometimes this card will affect the entire board. Sometimes it will be just for you. Sometimes it will be an ongoing card that affects all players until the next ongoing card is drawn. After following all the specifications of the Event card, you’ll take your turn. You have three basic options: Move, Hide or Attack. In your hand you’ll have Action cards that tell you how many spaces you can move, or how many damage points you can deal in an attack. You can also hide where you are and draw a few extra cards. You do not have to move and attack in every turn.

You can use one card to move and if you land on a space with a target or another player on it, you have the chance to attack (unless there is a guard nearby, but I’ll get more into that in a minute). If there is no guard and you land on a target space, you can use as many attack cards as you need to kill your target and claim your Victory Points. See below for the PvP aspect of the game.

Assassin's Creed: Arena - Getting Down To Basics

PvP

Your cards are your life. You can carry no more than 7 in your hand at a time (unless an Event card says otherwise) and when another player attacks you, they can hack away at your life and force you discard cards. Lose all your cards and you have to start back at your home square. Unlike when you attack a target and can use as many attack cards as you need, when you go after a fellow player, you can only use one attack card. There are certain cards that will allow them to defend themselves and even launch a counter attack. Once a player is defeated, the winner will claim one Victory Point, unless the player he or she killed had more Victory Points, in which case the winner get two.

Watch Out For Guards

As you move across the board you’ll need to avoid the patrolling guards’ line of sight. Crossing their path means you must discard one of your cards (which, again, serve as your health). You cannot attack a target if a guard is nearby, so you’ll have to take them out first, even though you receive no victory points for doing so. Once a guard is “dead” it will be removed from the board until an event card respawns it.

Victory Points and Treasure

Should you find yourself in possession of treasure, you will need to head back to your home square as quickly as possible. Once you reach your “base” the treasure is yours and counts toward your Victory Points. However, if another player kills you en route, you will drop the treasure and it becomes free game.

The board is divided into sections, with the outer section containing the most target spaces and easiest guards, and the inner sections containing less spaces and tougher guards. However, the rewards of the inner sections is worth the risk. Though the spaces on the outer edge of the board may be easier to access, they often cost you more attack cards for less Victory Points. The outer buildings do not start the game with targets on them; these targets are placed in accordance with Event cards. The game is over either when one player racks up 15 Victory Points or all the Event cards are spent.

But Wait, There’s More!

There are many nuances and bonuses to get into that I haven’t mentioned, but some of those are really better left for when you have the cards in front of you and can consult the full guide for a clear understanding. Pre-order Assassin’s Creed: Arena now at Cryptozoic Entertainment’s official store. You’ll be able to buy the full game on February 26 for $50.

Assassin's Creed: Arena - Getting Down To Basics

the author

Anne Lewis began her career as an editor at PlayStation: The Official Magazine, where she worked under Gary Steinman. She can now be found skulking around the UbiBlog, once more working for Gary. Alas. When Anne isn’t writing about games, she's alphabetizing her comic book collection or shooting at stuff with a bow. Follow her on Twitter: @BDRAnneLewis

12 comments
Osama
Osama

Like Ubisoft next AC5 Japan _ EGYPT _ Franch ?

Fire-Storm-Dragon
Fire-Storm-Dragon

I have read your reply to Italy and I was wondering why have you been so silent with Watch Dogs development(info, etc...)and if you have found the origin of that false note to the registered marks company.

Thanks for your time. I wish you good luck with your future developments, I trully love your works

Thomas
Thomas

Assassin's Creed 5 please. Looking forward.. yea, impatience is my forte. Wish you guys thought about giving India a chance as a suitable location. 19th century has British, Dutch, French and the Portuguese pitched against each other. And the diverse civilisation, multitude of royal vassal kings, Great rebellion of 1857. Has tons of intrigue on its own! Please, do give it a thought. If you have already did so in AC5, I'll be damned.. If you haven't, kindly do give it a considerable amount of time to consider so. Let me add, am a big fan of the creed.

emma
emma

Why don't they ship to England?? Anyone know if i can find this anywhere that will?

Tremere
Tremere

No roleplaying tabletop game announced?I would like an tradicional pen-paper-dices RPG.

Erik W
Erik W

$50 really isn't a lot for board games these days, especially when most run upwards of $80 to $100. That being said, the board does leave a bit to be desired, as its a bit too symmetrical, and I hope that the counters are sturdy cardboard. It does sound fun though, very similar to the Gears of War game in card function. If I end up picking it up, I'll probably end up using Heroclix Assassins Creed figs instead

Ital
Ital

WE! WANT! WATCH! DOGS! Board games are Ok but definitely not a thousandth of appealing than a videogame like Watch Dogs can be. How can you compare a breathing virtual world that will very likely represent one of the greatest technological achievements of our species up to date, with... a board game...And yeah, it is very expensive. To sum up: we appreciate this articles about other games but we want information or news regarding what is really relevant of what is going inside your company, and that is Watch_Dogs. /// Cheers Ubi. I love you guys. /// PS: I hope that many people at Ubisoft read my message (recently I read Gary saying that they do have a look to every and all messages within this page, but we can't be sure unless they show signs of life - so if you reply it would be a million times better). //// Sorry for posting again but the two previous posts looked ugly.

AVGGMR
AVGGMR

This and Golem Arcana in the same year?! Board games will never be the same!

Fresh
Fresh

Why don't you concentrate on making single player dlc because that's all everybody wants

Joseph
Joseph

I gotta admit, the game doesn't look very appealing. It's just not presented in a nice way. Cardboard pieces, bland board without artwork, plain white background for card text... just doesn't look like a $50 product.

Anne Lewis | Communications Associate
Anne Lewis | Communications Associate

Hey Ital, we know it's been a while and we certainly appreciate your passion for Watch Dogs. "Soon" is probably the last thing you want to hear us say, but trust us when we tell you you'll be seeing some exciting new stuff very soon.

Ital
Ital

Awesome! Thank you very much for the reply. Happy Vanlentine's to everyone!