Mythic Mischief Vampire Batrude (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Solo – Chess-like Challenge

Reading Mode

In Mythic Mischief, you play as a faction of one of Mythic Manor’s supernatural students (Monster, Zombie, Wizard, Troll, etc…) who compete for forbidden tomes while dodging the Tomekeeper prowling in the library. With a solo mode by legendary solo designers Nick Shaw and Dávid Turczi, you’re guaranteed a tantalizing challenge.

Game Overview

Theme

For an abstract strategy game, the theme is surprisingly strong in this one. I feel like I am hiding behind musty old library bookshelves, dodging the ominous Tomekeeper and snatching tomes when I can.

All the Factions have a little backstory, and the miniatures even have names and descriptions, each faction being a certain school “clique” like the Jocks, the “Ghoul” kids, Skaters, and Mean Girls. Their unique abilities reflect the appropriate supernatural talents of their faction, such as Infect, Teleport or Haunt. Ghosts float through shelves. Vampires are after blood. Trolls can Smash and Drag.

The Tomekeeper slowly plodding through the aisles feels appropriately intimidating.

Game Components

The base game has four factions (Monsters, Vampires, Wizards and Zombies), each with 3 miniatures, a double-layered player board, 5 action dice trackers, 10 tomes and any applicable unique ability tokens. Also included are the library game board, Destination and Clutter Tokens, and Destination cards, including the Solo Mode Detention cards.

Three optional expansions add the following factions – Ghosts, Trolls and Witches. (More factions should arrive in 2024.)

Here’s a closeup of the Wizard faction player board and components. You’ll slot the action dice and tomes in this dual-layered board to track and upgrade your abilities—the minis you will place and move around the game board.

I own the Headmaster version, which comes with Gametrays for all 7 factions that perfectly fit the components for a player. It also comes with a second gameboard, Tomekeeper and more for multiplayer gameplay, although these are not needed for solo play.

The quality of this game is through the roof! The miniatures are adorable. The little tomes look like a stack of books; they could have been just cubes. The double-layered player boards are perfect for manipulating your action dice counters, which you’ll be doing often.

The Rulebook is thorough, with plenty of descriptive pictures and diagrams, a hefty Solo section, and in-depth descriptions of all factions.

Mythic Mischief Factions

Each faction has a player board with abilities containing 5 slots numbering anywhere from 0 to 5. Action dice and acquired Tomes help track and upgrade these abilities.

All factions have the same Move ability but unique Faction abilities to Move Mythics, Move Shelves, and Distract the Tomekeeper. They’ll also have a unique Legendary Ability and After Lunch special.

Mythic Mischief Vampire minis

Vampires – Spike, Lockjaw, Batrude (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Monster minis

Mythic Mischief – Monsters – Bolt, Bash, Beast (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Zombie minis

Zombies – Slip, Trip, Tumble (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Wizard minis

Wizards – Mervin, Frazzle, Spark (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Ghost minis

Ghosts – Sprite, Connie, Lyric (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Troll minis

Trolls – Gravel, Pebble, Dusty (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Witch minis

Witches – Hazel, Frizzle, Stella (Photo by Kamio)

Mythic Mischief Vampires

Mythic Mischief Monsters

Mythic Mischief Zombies

Mythic Mischief Wizards

Mythic Mischief Ghosts

Mythic Mischief Trolls

Mythic Mischief Witches

The bottom of every player board shows their unique Legendary and After Lunch Special abilities.

Solo Objective

As a solo player, you find yourself in Detention for sneaking into the library last week. But you discover some students have had their minds taken over, becoming Enchanted and stealing the forbidden tomes! You must stop them but also can’t resist borrowing a few Tomes yourself. (I’ll be referring to the AI as Enchanted from now on.)

The bottom of the board displays the Mischief Points tracker from 1 to 10. You and the Enchanted will place one of your player tomes here.

The Solo Objective is to reach 10 Mischief Points or have more points than the Enchanted by the end of the game. You only get points by getting the Enchanted captured during your turn. You’ll lose a point if you are captured on your turn. The Enchanted scores points by getting you captured on your turn as well as reaching their own Tomes. They also lose a point if they’re captured on their turn.

Basic Mechanics

The game takes place in 2 main phases – Before Lunch and After Lunch. Randomly select one of each of these cards, making sure to keep the After Lunch card face-down. I also keep my Before Lunch card face down at first since I add Bookshelves and Obstacles to the board first, and I don’t want to be biased in my favor. You’ll place these Destination cards on the far side of the board in their named spaces, as per the image below. I also place the Detention Return card in the middle.

I like to use these cardholders to prop them up for easy viewing.


Populate the gameboard with Bookshelves and Clutter – you can choose one of the suggested layouts in the rulebook or place your own. Place the Enchanted and your 4 tomes on the board as shown on the Before Lunch Destination card. Finally, place your 3 Mythics on the board in a spot where there are no other Mythics, Tomekeepers or Tomes. You’re ready to play!

You’ll take turns, with you going first and then the Enchanted. On your turn, you will take actions like Move, pick up Tomes, move Shelves, Distract and more in the Mythic Phase. In the Tomekeeper Phase, you’ll move the Tomekeeper toward his next destination, trying to mow down Enchanted for points. Finally, you’ll do the Cleanup Phase in which you arrange your board by resetting the Action Dice, adding Tomes to upgrade, and then Boost 2 Abilities.

Before Lunch the Tomekeeper moves 4 spaces, and you’ll have 4 Tomes on the board to try to collect. He will have 3 Destinations to move toward, and once he reaches the Third Destination, After Lunch begins. Clear all Tomes from the board, reset the Bookshelves and Clutter, and add your Tomes as the After Lunch card indicates. The Tomekeeper will now move slower with only 3 spaces per turn, and you’ll get 3 new Tomes to collect. The game ends once you or the Enchanted reach 10 Mischief Points or when the Tomekeeper reaches his last Destination After Lunch.

Solo Gameplay Experience

This is what the Solo setup will look like once you’re ready to begin. Tomekeeper starts the game in the middle and will head to the 3 Red Destination spots Before Lunch. After Lunch the Destination spots are turned over to their Purple side, and he’ll repeat the process. Bookshelves are obstacles, but each Faction has a way to move them. Clutter slows you down by taking 2 spaces for you, the Enchanted and the Tomekeeper to move through. Special abilities can allow you to treat Clutter as a normal space.

Solo mode

The Solo Mode uses the green Detention cards to introduce more pitfalls. You’ll lay out 3 Detention cards designated first, middle and last. Because these Detention cards are green, if I’m not using the Monsters as my faction, I opt to use the Monsters as the Enchanted, as the green reminds me of the Solo AI Detention cards.

You’ll take your turn first. Your turn is as you’d take in a normal game – try to get tomes and try to get the opponent captured.

Enchanted Turn

Enchanted can move up to three spaces, and they have three goals.

  • If a Tome of their color is in range, they will move to that Tome space, remove it from the board, and score a point.
  • If no Tomes are in range, they will move into a space of one of your Mythics and then push your Mythic to one adjacent space closer to the Tomekeeper.
  • If nothing is in the Enchanted range, they will move up to 3 spaces away from the Tomekeeper.

The Tomekeeper then moves to the next location, taking the shortest distance. If the Enchanted gets caught, they lose a point. If you get caught, the Enchanted gains a point.

Finally, Reveal a new Destination card. Look at the highlighted green box at the top of this card and initiate the effects of one of the three Faceup Detention cards placed earlier.

In the card selected above, you would use the effects of the First card in the row below.

The Effects are, in order:

  1. Black arrow – move your Mythic a space in the arrow direction.
  2. Yellow Square – Tripped! Lay your Mythic down in their space. They cannot move in the next round, but may still do other abilities.
  3. Eye Square – You got Caught! Remove your Mythic from the board.

In the image below, my Vampire Mythic Tripped in a Yellow square and is lying down, very vulnerable to getting caught!

After applying the Detention card effects, remove that card from the row, slide the remaining two cards to the left, and add the new Detention card to the last position.

Then it’s your turn! Hopefully, you will gain some Tomes to improve your Abilities and get some of those Enchanted caught.

If you do manage to get some Enchanted caught, they will need to get back on the board at the start of their turn. To determine where they’ll land on the board, roll the dice and then move that Enchanted to the Green spot of that number on the Game board. If that spot is taken, move it to the Blue spot instead. If both spots are taken, roll the dice again until you can place the Enchanted.

Personal Solo Experience

As I watched a few Youtubers play solo, I noticed that many keep forgetting to check the Detention card and then get tripped up or caught due to bad placement. While I also forgot many times on my first few plays, I eventually remembered to watch my placement.

I genuinely do feel like I am playing chess by myself! I stare at the board for minutes, pondering my moves and the consequences of those moves. I imagine how the opponent will react and how to prevent the Enchanted from their goals.

Solo Strategies

– Get that Tomekeeper moving! The end of Before Lunch will remove any Tomes left on the board, not allowing the Enchanted to score on those Tomes. The end of the game (After Lunch) is the same: if you’re ahead on points, you’ll win.

– Play defensively; the Enchanted will be trying to get you caught, too.

– Be aware of the three Detention cards! One of these will be chosen after the Enchanted’s turn.

How solo mode differs from multiplayer

The most significant change is that you are playing against an Enchanted (AI) without special powers. This takes away some of the challenge of the game. The Detention cards add a new type of challenge, to be mindful of where you end up so as not to get Caught or Tripped.

Enchanted also gain points for collecting tomes. If you take too long before or after lunch, they will reach those tomes and rack up points.

Solo Footprint and Time to Play

For solo gameplay, you’ll need room for the gameboard, your player board, and spots for the Destination and Detention cards. The minimum is approximately 24″ x 24″, which makes this a Medium footprint.

Due to the individual faction Gametrayz, the solo fresh and repeat setup time is minimal. I’d say 3 minutes. Time is mostly spent setting up the board with random bookshelf and clutter placement and setting out the Enchanted and your player tomes according to the Before or After lunch Destination cards.

My games have been taking about 30 minutes lately. My first games were 60 minutes.

Tear-down time is also about 3 minutes.


Replay Value

Mythic Mischief has plenty of replay value! The different factions all have unique abilities. The board can always have a different layout of shelves and clutter. In addition to all the variability offered, the Solo mode can adjust the Difficulty for an easier or harder game.

Mythic Mischief Volume II, coming out in 2024, introduces 4 new factions – Faires, Gnomes, Gargoyles and Werewolves! You can also get the minis pre-painted, which I opted to do for both Volume I and II. This is both an expansion and a standalone game with a new Hedgemaze setting with the ominous Groundskeeper. You can use the factions in the base game.

In addition to solo play, the game offers 1 vs 1, 1 vs 2, 2 vs 2, Tournament, and Blitz modes.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • As a solo game, there is no downtime – no waiting for people to take their turn. Yet you can take as long as you wish!
  • There are many fun factions to explore, with more coming within a year!
  • It’s a thematic, tactile, and fun way to challenge your brain.
  • Lots of variability with the unique factions and different initial setups and cards.
  • It’s a great solo game with various multiplayer modes, increasing how you can play.

Cons

  • Unlike a multi-player game, you won’t be against a particular faction with unique abilities. The Enchanted AI is always the same.
  • You’ll quickly discover that ending the phases as fast as possible makes the game easier, as the Enchanted will miss out on their Tome points. The game does offer ways to make the Solo game more difficult.
  • Referring to the gamebook on the 3 setups is inconvenient for adding the bookshelves and clutter. However, the new Volume II is adding setup cards, so you won’t have to refer to the rulebook and have more layouts. That said, I now randomly chose the Bookshelf and Clutter spots before turning over the Before Lunch Destination card.

Mythic Mischief – Final Thoughts

If you like thinky games, you will love Mythic Mischief! I think this game is great for solo play. The most common complaints I’ve seen are that it’s too think (which is a benefit to me) or too AP-prone, with players taking forever to think out their turn (not a problem in solo play).

The quality of the game and components is stellar, and there’s a ton of replayability with the different factions.

I’m looking forward to Mythic Mischief Volume II in 2024 with the four new factions and playing with the pre-painted minis! There is also an Online Mythic Mischief app coming out soon. I missed the playtesting, but I usually try to play the physical versions more anyway.

How about You?

Have you played Mythic Mischief? What is your favorite faction to play?

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