How to Play Big Bad Overlord


Have a question about the rules? See if we answer them below! Don't see an answer to your question? Email us!

The rules say Big Bad Overlord is for 4-6 players. Can it be played with fewer players?

Yes it can. Years of intensive research have resulted in our two-player variant, which also works for three. (But two-or-three-player variant didn't sound as good.)

I only have a half-point MIND attack bonus, which rounds down to zero. Does this mean I don't get a MIND attack?

If you have a card with a yellow MIND wedge, you always get a MIND roll, even if your bonus is zero. In this case you just don't get any bonus to add to your die roll - in other words, the MIND attack will only work if you roll a natural 12.

Hey, both I and my opponent succeeded with our MIND attacks at the same time. Do the attacks cancel each other out?

No. Each side captures the weakest MIND defense card in the other side’s ARMY at the time the combat phase began. So one side may end up capturing a stronger card than the other.

My opponent has one card with a MIND attack (a Knight of Darkness), which she used to MIND control one of my cards. But next round I captured that Knight. Does that mean I get the cards captured by the Knight as well?

No. Once a card's been MIND controlled by a player, it stays with that player even if the card that MIND controlled it is lost or captured.

My opponent has a zillion more MELEE bonus points than I do. Does he automatically win the MELEE?

No! A natural 12 ALWAYS wins, no matter what the bonus points. Likewise, a natural 2 ALWAYS loses, no matter how many bonus points you have. (This is true for all combat phases.)

It’s not my turn. Can I rearrange my cards?

Yes! You can rearrange your cards at any time unless: 1) it is your turn and you have already fielded an ARMY against another player; or 2) you are defending against an attacker, and the first round of combat has begun.

I have fewer than three cards left. Can I send cards out to attack other players during my turn?

No. You must leave three cards in your CITADEL. Until you can fully staff your CITADEL, you can’t field an ARMY.

An ALLY loaned me a card to help defend against someone. My ARMY was destroyed, but my ALLY's card survived. Can I bring the ALLY's card into my CITADEL? I have room!

Sorry, you can’t bring an ALLY into the CITADEL, even if you have the space to do so. If your ARMY is gone, then any ALLIES still on the field have to go home.

Another player lent me three cards to gang up on someone. As it so happens, my own cards took all of the damage, and now I have only two cards left in my ARMY. The rules say that ALLY cards can't outnumber your ARMY cards. Do I have to send one of the ALLY cards away?

Unfortunately yes. If your ARMY is down to two cards, you can't have more than two ALLY cards, even if you started off the battle with more cards. If your entire ARMY is destroyed or captured, then the ALLIED cards have to go home.

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