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Nuclear War with a medieval twist - and a common enemy (the plague).

Plague & Pestilence is a 'beer and pretzels' style game from Hillary's Toy Box that was published in 1993 (compare 1980s for Nuclear War from Flying Buffalo) that generally lists between 15 - 45 minutes for 2 - 6 players (the more the better).

The first half of the game, players generally spend building the populations and fortifying the town with walls, sewers and aqueducts to fend off various attacks from other players (with the occasional 'kill some people' card played). With each roll of the dice, your population increases.

Then, the Death Ship comes and it all goes downhill from there. Instead of growing populations, you are faced with population dying out with the dice. Every attack hurts that much more to see the population go away and people start getting mean. Suddenly the Pied Piper (steal 15 population) and mass migration (steal 5 population from each player) become all that more critical to staying alive.

The last player with people left is the winner.

The artwork for the game is very good, with woodcut style black and white artwork on the cards that does bring back the old days. Also, the cards are frequently laminated (and thus very suitable for playing at Denny's at 2am and not having to worry about food dropping on it).

It is a great quick game - easy to learn, easy to play (even when drunk) that more serious gamers frequently look down upon failing to realize that the game is for light play and not serious study. It fills its role very well.

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