Dale Yu: Essen Preview of Kung Fur Fight

Kung Fur Fight

  • Designers: Po-Jen Hsieh, Yunus Hsieh
  • Publisher: Enjoy Thinking Studio
  • Players: 2
  • Time: 30 minutes

Kung Fur Fight is a two player game where players take sides in the oldest rivalry of all-time: Cats vs Dogs!  The fight happens on the Arena board, where there are three different battle locations.  Each player also gets a board which is used to store Food tokens as well as to keep track of your card limit for the round.  Finally, there is a scoreboard with two separate tracks on it – the Spirit track and the Victory Point track.  Each player chooses a side, takes the 9 cards for his faction, and any special tokens that go with them.  There is also a shield that goes up so that each side can plan their card play in secret.

In each round, there are four phases: Prepare, Plan, Resolve, Refresh.  The game continues in this cycle until one of the two victory conditions is met: A faction loses if their Spirit point are reduced to zero OR A faction wins if their VP count is 4 or more higher than their opponents.

In the Prepare phase, a new Reward card is placed on each of the three arenas.  Each arena can hold up to three Reward cards.

Then, both players Plan their card play for the turn behind their screens.  Players may play cards up to their limit as stated on the player board.  You can play multiple cards to an Arena, simply stack them on top of each other.  The top card is the leader of the group – it contributes both its numerical strength in AP to the attack as well as any abilities on the card.  All cards underneath this only contribute their numerical strength in AP.  You do not have to play any cards to an Arena.  You may play a maximum of 3 cards to an Arena.  As you assign cards, you may also play Hidden Weapon Tokens and Coconut tokens to the stacks.  Each of these tokens is worth 1 AP.  Hidden weapons are discarded after use, but the Coconut always comes back to your supply.

In the Resolve Phase, the screens are removed and the three arenas are resolved.  Each team applies the ability of their leader card and then calculates their AP.  If one team has more AP than another, they are victorious.  They gain 1 Victory Point (noted on the scoring track) and then take all the reward cards on that Arena.  Some reward cards are Achievements – these are immediately resolved and then discarded.  Some cards are Ranger Cards which are animal cards which will be added to that team’s side for the rest of the game.  Finally, some reward cards are Items which can be saved and used at a later time.  If there is a tie, nothing happens.  The arenas are always resolved in numerical order.  Note that the game end conditions are not checked until the end of the Resolve Phase – so the scores only matter at the end of resolving Arena #3.  

If no one has won the game after the Resolve Phase, you move all used Animal cards to the rest area, and discard any used hidden weapon tokens and reward cards.  Then, if your SP has dropped enough, you can increase your care limit.  Finally, if you played your special Chef card as a Leader, you spend a Food token and take back all the cards from your Rest area.  If you have 4 SP or less, you must spend your Delicacy token to take back the cards from your rest area.  Also if you chose to play NO cards in the planning phase, you can take back all your cards from the Rest area at no cost.  Now play another round.

Again the game goes on until either one team is out of Spirit Points (and loses) or one team has 4VP more than the other side.  If both happen simultaneously – that is, one player has no SP left but also has 4VP more, the player who still has SP left wins the game.

This is a quick hitting 2P game where you have to guess what your opponent wants to do and then try to thwart their plans.  Oftentimes, you need to look closely at the cards offered in the arena – there can be times when the cards on offer at a particular arena are so good that it’s simply a contest to see who can offer the most points there.

Each of the cards have special abilities, and reading the cards carefully to find out which special action works best in each arena will be key.  Furthermore, learning how to cycle your cards efficiently will lead you to victory.  You get three food tokens to use in the game, and finding the right time to get back those cards into your hand is key.  Be careful not to play your Chef early in a round as an Assistant, because it is the only card in your hand that can be used to retrieve played cards early!  If the Chef is gone, you have to wait until you are out of cards, and then you must go a whole round without playing a card to get your cards back.  That’s not a good situation to be in!

Also, as you are considering your cards, try not to play your chefs too often – you only get three Food tokens, and once you’re out, then you’re again waiting until you have played all your cards to get them back, and again you have to go a whole round without playing a card…. If your opponent knows this, he could easily win all three arenas in a turn, and that’s generally a devastating thing to happen.

Despite the fighting theme in the game, the artwork shows nothing but cute and cuddly animals.  Not quite Kawaii in style, but definitely cute and smiling.  Though I prefer Cats IRL – I do really like the Dog art here much better than the Cat art.

Kung Fur Fight provides two players with a quick battle game that is easy to learn, but one that has a fair amount of strategy within, both with the different actions on the cards as well as the timing issues of the hand refills.  Each game will play differently based on the random cards on offer in the Arenas.   I think based on the art, this would also be a good choice for introducing this dueling style of game to younger gamers as the art will be attractive to that cohort.

Until your next appointment

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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