👥 2-5 players
In The Wolves, you play as the leader of a pack of wolves and try to conquer as much ground as possible during a lunar cycle. You do this by competing with other wolves, adding lone wolves to your pack, hunting prey, and setting up dens and lairs.
During the game, the lunar calendar continues to advance and if you reach the next quarter of the moon, you score the areas that are visible at this moon phase. The player who has the strongest pack in those areas scores the points that belong to that area.
You perform two actions on one turn. You do this by turning over the terrain tiles at the top of your player board. You can now perform your chosen action on these areas. You choose from moving, hunting, howling to other (lone) wolves, dominating and placing a den or a lair.
Placing dens and lairs unlocks upgrades that reinforce your other actions or that earn you points at the end of the game.
Wolves is a beautiful game, with great artwork and very high-quality components. The original theme also appeals to us and is very well implemented throughout the game. There are different types of wolves, each with its own (beautiful!) artwork and characteristics. Each wolf is strong in its own field. This is done very cleverly and keeps the replayability high.
The actions are very well-arranged and clearly displayed on your player board. But, make no mistake. It’s quite a strategic game. You have to think carefully about what actions you will take to keep your pack as strong as possible and conquer as much terrain as possible in the correct moon phase. This requires insight into the game and tactical choices.
For us, the game is very balanced. You can apply multiple strategies that lead to victory. This makes it different and challenging for us every time.
Throughout the game you will have plenty of player interaction as you all want to add the same terrains to your pack. As the leader of your pack, you can dominate wolves from another pack and add them to your own pack.
The game plays very well with 3-5 players. This brings some challenges as you compete with more wolves for the terrain. There is also a well-executed 2 player variant.