When I was a kid I always wondered how fighting someone using cannons felt like. I thought I had everything I needed: enthusiasm, courage and some small wooden balls that I thought I could use as ammo. But I soon realized that I was missing the most important part of it: a damned cannon!
Lucky, I now own an entire deck of cannons and I can shoot whoever I want with them! Well, only if I have the right ammo for every cannon I own. And if I manage to get my cannon ready to aim and fire before a dice roll stops me. Sigh, I thought it would be easier now that I’m older…
Created by Rayleigh Chan, Cannon Indeed is a game of war which involves math, luck and logic along with hand management and push your luck mechanics in order to defeat your enemy (be it another player or an AI). It is specially designed for single player, but multiplayer mode is supported with the involvement of multiple decks (up to 4 players), meaning each player will need to have their own deck.
There are 2 multiplayer modes available: PvP and Co-op. Additional Multiplayer cards such as “Divine Intervention” and “Monster Cannon” are required to play these modes.
Full disclosure: A Print & Play copy of Cannon Indeed was provided by the game creator.
How to play
The deck consists of 132 cards split between 3 categories:
Cannon Cards(16): There are 4 different colors for cannons: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, aka. CMYK. Each cannon can only accept ammo of the same color in order to deal damage. For example, a Cyan cannon only accepts Cyan ammo. However, Black cannons can accept ammo of any color. Some cannons already have preloaded ammo.
Ammo Cards (16): Same principle applies for AMMO cards. There are 4 different colors for the ammo (CMYK). Each ammo can be used only for cannons of the same color in order to deal damage. However, Black ammo can be used for cannons of any color.
Tower Cards (100): The Tower deck represents your Defense Tower and each card in the deck represents one hit point (HP). There are 4 types of Tower cards, differentiated by their color.
Besides these, the deck comes with a 6-sided dice, a Special Event card, a Monster Cannon card and 8 Divine Intervention cards.
In the upcoming sections I will present the rules of the single player game and I will also talk about what every multiplayer mode adds or changes.
The objective of the game is to destroy all enemy cannons before they destroy your tower (ending up with zero cards in your Tower deck).
The 4 types of Tower cards are: Ready, Aim, Fire and Wild. These can be used to destroy enemy cannons or ammo. The Wild card can be considered as either one of the other three when put in play.
In order to take out an enemy cannon, you must play one of each Tower card (Ready, Aim, Fire) in any sequence. These cards are placed in front of you and stay there until you’ve used them to destroy a cannon or they are discarded by a dice roll. After doing so, the three cards are put into the discard pile and you can choose which enemy cannon to destroy. You can also destroy enemy ammo by discarding two Tower cards of the same color from hand.
Some Wild Tower cards have an Ankh symbol on them. Whenever one of these cards is put into the discard pile directly from the Tower deck (due to receiving damage from the enemy), the card is removed from the game and the player receives 10 HP by putting the bottom 10 Tower cards from the discard pile back into their Tower deck. This is done after all the damage received has been discarded first.
At game start, the cannon and ammo decks are shuffled separately and the top 5 cards of each deck are revealed and put in front of you, representing the enemy’s cards. The Tower deck is then shuffled too and the player receives 5 Tower cards in his hand.
Single Player Setup
Each turn has 3 phases:
1. Action Phase: The player is given 3 actions during this phase. For each action, a player can choose to either:
Draw 1 card from the Tower deck
Play 1 card from hand
Discard 2 cards of same color from hand to destroy one enemy ammo
The player has a maximum hand size of 5 cards, which means they can’t draw cards if they’ve already reached this limit. Also, the player can not have more than 3 cards in play at the same time on his side. Failing to fulfill 3 actions on your turn will make you lose the game.
2. Special Event Phase: The player rolls the dice and executes the specific event based on the rolled number. These events can be seen on the Special Event Card.
3. Enemy Phase: The player has to count the total damage received based on the cannons and ammo the enemy has.
Example based on the picture above:
1 Black Cannon * 5 Ammo (of any color) = 5 damage
1 Cyan Cannon * 0 Cyan Ammo + 1 Black Ammo = 1 damage
1 Magenta Cannon * 2 Magenta Ammo + 1 Preloaded Ammo + 1 Black Ammo = 4 damage
2 Yellow Cannons * 2 Yellow Ammo + 1 Black Ammo = 5 damage
Total damage received this round is 5 + 1 + 4 + 5 = 15 damage
Therefore, the player discards the top 15 cards of the Tower deck. However, these cards should be discarded one by one, taking note of each card, in order to see if any Wild Tower card with an Ankh symbol is being discarded.
The game continues until all the enemy cannons are destroyed or the player has their Defense Tower destroyed by the enemy.
PvP Mode Setup
There are several changes in how the game is played in this mode.
The setup remains the same, except that now every player has his own ammo and cannons under their control.
The gameplay remains the same but the last phase is now called a Battle Phase and not Enemy Phase.
During this phase, the player can choose any number of their cannons to be in Attack or Defense mode.
All players except the 1st one starts with their cannons in Defense mode.
The targets in special events are changed.
The Divine Intervention cards are added to the game. These are placed face down and each player can only play one of these cards up to 3 times during the game at any time. The player can play one of these cards if their discard pile is taller than their Tower deck.
The rules for losing the game also change. A player loses the game if:
There are no more cards in their Tower deck
They have no more Cannon and Ammo cards in play
They can not fulfill 3 actions on their turn
Co-op Mode Setup
A new game objective is added: the players work together to destroy the Monster Cannon (MC) before it destroys them!
The Monster Cannon always starts first and the player’s cannons start in Defense mode.
The MC only has the Battle Phase. During this phase, any player can roll to determine MC’s total damage dealt this round.
Example: The MC rolls 3.
Total damage dealt by him to all players is based on the number of Cyan and Black cannons in play multiplied by the number of Cyan and Black ammo in play, including the preloaded ones.
The MC’s total life is based on the following formula: (number of players * 2) + 1
So if there are 3 players, the total life will be (3*2)+1 = 7
In order to take down the MC, each player has to deal damage in multiples of 13 (that is 13 damage for 1 life point, 26 damage for 2 points, etc.)
Players are allowed to destroy the cannons or ammo of other players if necessary.
Gameplay, Setup and lose conditions follow those of the PvP Mode.
All the special events now target the player.
The Divine Intervention cards can be used if the MC’s life is below 50%.
Cannon Indeed is a great filler game to play while waiting for others to come to your game night or even when waiting for someone at a cafe. One game usually takes around 10-15 minutes but can take even less if your dice rolls are lucky!
There is a lot of math involved when taking decisions, especially in the multiplayer modes. Knowing which cannons to place in Defense mode and which ones to attack with can be a game changer sometimes. Sometimes, it can be good to go full Defense if your enemy has a great number of cannons and ammo that match colors. However, if their cannons and ammo don’t match that much, you should take advantage of it and go full Attack against them, as they can not reduce your damage by much and you may get the chance to crush them badly.
Luck also plays an important role, in all modes. I’ve noticed that rolling many 6s can give you a great advantage, as this replenishes you 10 HP and can be a life saver. Also, getting rolls that let you replace enemy ammo/cannons can be very helpful sometimes, as you can choose which ones to remove, and this way you may actually lower their damage output.
I’ve found that a good strategy is to get rid of enemy Black cannons and ammo as soon as possible, as those are the main damage dealers. Afterwards, just go for which color combination is more dangerous for you.
I personally prefer the PvP mode because it involves more strategy and it can create very tense moments when every dice roll or card drawn matters. Probably one of my most intense matches was one when I had 1 cannon left and my enemy had 1 ammo so we were at each other’s throats. Neither of us could deal damage to the other so everything got down to what cards we were drawing from our Tower decks. I got lucky and managed to draw two Aim cards and I destroyed their last ammo and won the match. It felt so good to be the winner after such a match.
Divine Intervention cards can be a double-edged sword. Their effects usually apply to all players and they can be both beneficial or detrimental to you. For example, one card states the following action: “Put all cannon cards with odd number from play into the discard pile”. This can be helpful if your enemies have odd numbered cannons, as this may reduce their damage considerably, but can also hurt you very much if you also have odd numbered cannons. I once lost 4 of my 5 cannons due to this card, and the game ended pretty fast after that.
In the end, I would recommend this game to everyone who’s interested in games that require logic skills and to those who like math based games. You will often find yourself calculating the damage you enemy can deal to you if you do or don’t do certain actions.
The game has not yet been published. It is still in development and will go through a Kickstarter campaign later this year. If you want to hear more about it in the future, you can follow it on Instagram or Facebook.
Designer: Rayleigh Chan
Players: 1 (up to 4 with multiple decks)
Time: 10-20 min
Times played: 11
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