Rat Queens: To the Slaughter is a 1-4 player cooperative card-driven game in which you play as the Rat Queens, heroines of the eponymous comic series, defending the town of Palisade against waves of monsters until the final showdown against the Big Baddie. It is live on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 21 days. You may pledge for the base game only, or get it together with the Braga expansion and all mini-expansions, or go all-in and get the game, its expansions, a playmat, metal coins and sleeves.
In solo, you play as three out of the four Rat Queens, although you will handle only one Action Deck. The main board, featuring the town of Palisade, is divided into four zones called “gates” that you will need to defend from the incoming monsters. First, you assign your characters to three of these gates, and then draw one monster card for each gate. Enemies are drawn from a monster deck that is sorted according to the monsters’ difficulty.
Each round is split into three phases. In the Monsters phase, the Monsters attack the Rat Queens in their zone, rolling as many dice as their attack value. All dice the value of which is greater than the Queens' defense deal one hit. If a Rat Queen gets defeated this way, she removes all friendship tokens from her board and from the main board, and two monsters get added in the “invasion” track that will eventually trigger the coming of the Big Baddie.
Then, the Rat Queens can attack. In solo, you draw 5 cards from the shared Action deck, and can also activate your three “command tokens” to perform additional actions. Action cards allow you to attack monsters, heal, or move from one gate to another. To attack a monster, you roll a number of dice specified by your Action card, add your strength stat to their value, and all the results that exceed the monsters’ defense deal one hit to these monsters. A character may also pick up Friendship tokens dropped by the other Queens to call forth that character, triggering a powerful ability. You may then use the token to improve one of your character stats (strength and defense). If you run out of actions before defeating all monsters, they go join the “invasion row”. If it’s ever full, the Big Baddie will come!
After the Player's Phase, you may turn dead monsters into money to purchase upgrades. To upgrade a card, you must remove from the game a card in your discard pile and replace it with the card you want to purchase (they must belong to the same character though). You may also upgrade your command tokens or purchase allies that will be placed at one gate and grant you some specific perk.
When the Big Baddie appears, you must pick the one that matches the most common type amongst the monsters of the invading row. Then, you shuffle into one deck all monsters that you defeated. During the Big Baddie turn, you will reveal three such cards, one after the other; the Big Baddie then triggers the attack of the type that matches that of the revealed monster. Then it’s your turn to retaliate and try to take it down. If, however, during one of the Big Baddie turns, there are not enough cards in the defeated monsters deck to reveal, it’s game over. Therefore, the number of monsters you manage to defeat during the game directly impacts the number of turns you have to try to defeat the Big Baddie in the end.