3000 Scoundrels Board Game Review

3000 Scoundrels is a bluffing and engine-building game set in a Wild West alternate history. It was created by Corey Konieczka (the creator of the Battlestar Gallactica board game) and is published by Unexpected Games. As of this writing, the game is available for preorder, with a release date of October 7, 2022, at select retailers worldwide.

3000 Scoundrels Game Story

3000 Scoundrels

3000 Scoundrels is set in a classic American Wild West town that was recently home to The Traveler, a mysterious stranger from the future. The Traveler vanished one day, and now you play as a gang leader attempting to hire scoundrels to help loot all of his futuristic technology that was left behind in his absence. And what exactly do we mean by “futuristic technology”? There’s the “power brick,” which is simply a car battery, the “light coil,” which is a coil lightbulb, the “knowledge box,” which resembles an old Mac, and so on.

How To Play 3000 Scoundrels

3000 Scoundrels is a 2-4 player competitive game. The goal of the game is to steal the most future technology and have the most “tech points” at the end. To begin the game, you must choose one of four different Leaders. Each player starts with a fistful of dollars, and a deck of poker cards to assign and take actions in the game and a few henchmen to help you figure out when your opponents are bluffing.

The game’s true draw is in the creation of scoundrels. The game includes a set of card sleeves as well as a set number of Trait cards. All you need to do is place these Trait cards in their corresponding color-coded sleeves. Then, at random, you choose one of a series of clear plastic “Job” cards and slide it over the Job card, creating a unique scoundrel. With so many different card combinations possible, there are over 3000 different potential scoundrel variations. Yes, this is the origin of the game’s name.

When you play a matching poker card on a slot on your game board, each scoundrel provides a unique benefit. You can hire them to steal technology, earn extra money, or break the game in small but significant ways.

Once you start working on your engine, you can start saving money to hire valuable Scoundrels and then start combining their abilities to amass a fine collection of tech. Other game mechanics, such as bluffing and calling other people’s bluffs, will add points to your overall score.

Final Thoughts

The most intriguing aspect of this game is how it uses clear cards to create a large degree of variation from game to game. You never know which scoundrels you’ll make until you start the game, and there are many fun and interesting combinations to be found. Its quick and snappy gameplay is also a plus, making you feel completely immersed in the overall play experience. To summarize, this is an exciting, simple-to-learn, and quick-play board game with a unique take on the classic Wild West theme.

My only hestitation with 3000 Scoundrels is the game’s bluffing mechanic, which feels a little tacked on. We didn’t take it too seriously during playtesting, and it appears to be secondary to what makes the game so enjoyable. However, a game set in the Wild West would be incomplete without some bluffing, so I understand why it’s included.

That concludes our review. If you’re looking for an approachable board game with a lot of high variance, give 3000 Scoundrels a shot.