Fugitive is a 2 player deduction game set in the Burgle Bros universe by Tim Fowers. In this game, the Fugitive is attempting to escape the Marshal and flee the city.
For those who are familiar with Fury of Dracula, I like to compare this game to a watered down version of the popular Games Workshop/FFG game. In no way is that meant as a sleight. Fugitive is a 10-minute card game that employs hand management that plays well with new gamers.
There are 3 decks of cards that players use to draw on their turn. Each deck is meant for a different section of numbers. The first deck, 4-14 followed by 15-28 and finally 29-41. At the beginning of each player’s turn, they draw cards from any of the three decks.
The fugitive has to move from the ‘00′ card to the ‘42′ card. To do this, the player must play cards within 3 numbers of the current hideout. This movement of 3 can be increased by playing additional cards for the sprint value, increasing the distance by 1 or 2 numbers.
While the fugitive is moving from hideout to hideout, the Marshal is drawing cards off the top of the decks, reducing the number of possible hideouts the fugitive can play. The marshal must reveal all hideouts in play by correctly guessing which card is which hideout. The marshal has a dry erase board to help keep track of what cards are left in the game.
There are also event cards that provide tricks for the fugitive or help the marshal capture the other player. It is recommended that event cards be used after a few playthroughs so players understand how the game works first.
I want to preface this by saying I’ve always been a fan of Tim Fowers art in his games. It’s an art style that distinguishes his games from any other. I was a little disappointed that the box didn’t match up with Paperback or Burgle Bros. The content of the current box wouldn’t justify that wish and the art depicts a briefcase so it makes sense stylistically.
The art of the cards itself is fantastic, when you align all the cards in numerical order it tells a story and helps depict the struggle of the the marshall persistently trying to apprehend a very elusive criminal. When you first buy the game, it’s worth laying out the cards in order and just getting immersed in the story.
There is a strategy guide at the back of the rule book that should be read before you play through the game for the first time. I’ll just outline one tip for both players that I found the most important. The fugitive must take risks, the marshall is restricted by the pieces of information they have and they are only guaranteed 1 new piece per turn. Starting the game, take as many risks you deem necessary to give yourself a good headstart.
Now the Marshall should begin by taking cards from the same deck for the start of the game. Personally, the second deck is where I’ve had the most success. This allows the marshall to choke off the fugitive’s path to escape. As you reduce the possible hideouts in the middle portion by drawing cards, you attempt to find the hideouts currently in play. If all goes well, the fugitive will have a diminished number of hideouts you can easily choose from when they make the jump to the 15 – 28 deck.
Knowing these two tips can greatly affect your first playthrough if you were attempting to play on the fly. This is a great card game that is an auto include if your primary play group is your significant other. This is a very small game, which makes it a good choice for traveling. It’s a light game that compliments heavier games nicely and is great for couples that love deduction games.