Peaky Blinders: Under New Management – Board Game Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Players: 2-4
Age: 12+
Duration: +-90 minutes
Distributor: Just Games

Peaky Blinders: Under New Management – Board Game Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Impressive components, Overall great concept
Bad: Some rules are unclear,
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Via Day One MPM we’ve had the chance to try out many of Just Games’ repertoire of games. We were able to revive dinosaurs in Jurassic World: The Boardgame, or we found ourselves smuggling drugs in Pablo Escobar: The Boardgame, or we even juggled candy in Candy Crush: The Boardgame. While not every big franchise needs its own board game or is suitable for one, we were quite curious when Peaky Blinders: Under New Management popped up on our radar. We were quite stoked to don the mafia suit once again, employing henchmen, obtaining money and power and even take out the competition in a hectic turf war. At the end of the day, we found ourselves betting our hard-earned cash on the horse tracks.

Contents

  • Rules
  • Game board
  • Side Board
  • 4 player boards
  • 11 mission cards
  • 4 control mission cards
  • 40 conflict cards
  • 30 rum barrel cards
  • 30 weapons crates cards
  • 30 car parts cards
  • 50 cash cards
  • 50 member tokens
  • 108 upgrade tokens
  • 12 fortune tokens
  • 4 suspicion bars
  • 16 control markers
  • 8-sided die
  • 6-sided racing die
  • 16 miniature pieces

As you can see in the contents list, there are a lot of components that form the foundation of this mobster board game. More than often, when a game has many bits and pieces, you’ll find a lot of cheap parts that are either printed on flimsy paper or cardboard or have simplistic pawns to cut the expenses. Peaky Blinders has a lot of sturdy materials, ranging from the solid cards, the thick cardboard tokens, the unique racing die, the 16 plastic miniatures to the different boards that form the playfield of the game. For the game’s asking price, you’re getting a lot of great looking items to play with.

Mechanics

In Peaky Blinders: Under New Management it’s your goal to come out on top as one of the biggest crime syndicates by being the first to complete three missions. You’ll have two smaller missions that involve collecting materials or gaining an edge in certain areas of expertise such as strength, charisma and/or intellect. The biggest mission is about gaining full control over one of the game’s different locations by placing all of your control markers in the specified location. The latter proves to be the most difficult as opposing players can also gain control over the area to foil your plans or challenge you to a conflict, hoping to weaken your iron grip of the region.

While the above sounds manageable, you’ll have to read through the rules in an attentive fashion to properly understand how it works. The game is always played in five rounds, which simply start over again until someone finishes his missions. The first four rounds are played in the different regions on the map, and these locations will give you a chance to level up your attributes, gain materials, collect conflict cards, recruit members and so on. These four rounds are the basic mechanic of the game to collect what you need. In-between all rounds, you can play conflict cards (which either give you bonuses or reduce other players’ stats or materials), buy control points, trade materials, etc.

During the four rounds, each player can place their henchmen on one of the spaces of that round’s location in alternating order. You have three different henchmen at your disposal, and these represent Strength, Charisma, and Intellect. Each of these henchmen grants different bonuses in correlation to the space they are standing on. When choosing which rewards you get for each henchman, you will have to roll the die for said character and you will gain a bonus depending on what you roll. If you have leveled your stats, you can add those extra stat points to the number you threw, granting you a bonus. It’s often interesting to keep your strongest henchman for a space on the board that will give you the attribute, material or other objects you truly desire. The game is a lot more complex than this, but this is the basic train of thought. We could elaborate on the matter a lot further, but we’d be writing a guide instead of a review.

The fifth round is somewhat of a breather in-between resetting the normal rounds, as it’s a small mini-game in which you race your horse pawns. You’ll have to wager one cash card for the race, and the one who finishes first gets all the money. This is only some spare change, but it adds a bit of a lighthearted tone to the otherwise heavy gameplay.

There’s one big issue with Peaky Blinders: Under New Management and that is that the rules aren’t always clear on what they expect you to do. You don’t know if you can thwart the plans of your opponent by sabotaging a mission they already completed (as you can force them to get rid of materials) or even how some of the mechanics of the game work. There are many items up for debate, so it’s best to discuss a few rules of the game beforehand and how you will enforce them. The main gameplay is rather clear, but certain specific situations should have been tackled in the rulebook as well.

Luck or Strategy?

As many of the game’s mechanics rely on rolling the two different dice, there is a certain luck factor to be found in the game. Nonetheless, you can strengthen your weak points by building up the different stat points, which have an impact on the number that you throw each time. As the die’s number correlates with the stats of the henchman you’re throwing for, you can plan your next move(s) wisely and also aim for which henchman will get you the most rewards. Overall there’s also a lot of critical thinking involved when playing this game, but you can’t plan everything, as the other players also depend on what they roll. There’s a proper balance to be found in Under New Management, and we honestly love how it’s all evened out. There are a few factors that are unclear like we just mentioned above, but this doesn’t influence the game too much if you discuss stumbling points beforehand.

Conclusion

Peaky Blinders: Under New Management is a very interesting and fun board game to play, but it is advised to be played with more than two players and only if you have a reasonable amount of time to spare. The game has a lot of different components and they all form one big well-functioning whole. We only had a few issues with some inconsistencies and omissions in the rulebook, which you’ll have to discuss before playing the game. If you’re looking for a fun mafia-themed game, we can only advise this one.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Peaky Blinders: Under New Management - Board Game Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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