Psychological Warfare is a half-hour card game that is based on various Psychological Theories. You will attempt to meet your basic needs through the use of defense mechanisms, backhanded compliments, clever insults, and other tools at your disposal. However, being this way does come with some emotional baggage, and maybe even a phobia or two.
So, if you were wondering what to do with that psychology degree… we have the answer!
HOW IS PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE DIFFERENT?
All games incorporate psychology, this one takes it head on. You will use Backhanded Compliments, Clever Insults, Paranoia, Stress and Phobias to manipulate scores in a direction that you choose. It has a twists and multiple tactics, counter-actions that keep the game fresh and replayable.
Your tactical decisions will be based upon balancing your:
– Mental Energy – Emotional Baggage – Attacks or Defense – High energy cards vs. Low-cost cards – Therapy
The flavor of the game is light and sarcastic. Be ready for some “take-that!” (It IS Psychological WARFARE after all). You choose to lower another player’s score with a clever insult, they block that change with resistance, but you overcome theirs with some resistance of your own :). All of these actions use Mental Energy… is that where you want to spend it?
“Psychological Warfare has been one of my best-selling games over the last year. There are so few games on the topic and it’s a game I enjoy playing.” Stephan Bonzo Owner of the Game Gamut in Pittsford, NY
By Nyan on June 4, 2015
UPDATE: I just got a new game in the mail today (June 9). You’re the best Dan! Not a scratch and oh so beautiful. 😀
By Taeter on May 21, 2015
This is a fun and challenging strategy card game! It’s a nice length (usually less than 30 minutes which is great because strategy games typically run longer). There’s 8 different archetypes (characters, if you will) so that alone means you can play the game a lot and still have it feel different each time.
The attention to detail is apparent in the fun graphics on the cards. I especially appreciated that there was a QR code that gave me access to the instructions on my smartphone. Playing in a group (up to four can play – though I’ve noticed other people in the room are drawn over to simply watch the drama unfold!) this was really handy. We didn’t have to keep passing the instructions around. The game was a little hard to get the hang of at first, but it’s the complexity that keeps me coming back to it! Freud would have something to say about that.
By M. Steffens on March 19, 2016
If another player plays Paranoia on me to take my mental energy, can I block it with a REACTION card, or is my Mental Energy gone because the player took it?The other player only takes your Mental Energy upon the successful completion of playing the SPECIAL card. If you had the A.D.H.D card, you could spend 2 Mental Energy and prevent the other player from taking any of yours.
If I go to therapy and lose the Special Card Multiple Personality, do I lose my 2nd personality? No, the card says that you have the 2nd personality for the rest of the game, the only exception to this would be if someone played the Lobotomy card on you.
When I go to therapy, do I put my Defense Mechanisms, Baggage AND Phobia cards under my Archetype? Yes, your Mental Energy and the Cards in your hand and unaffected.
Do I HAVE to place my Defense Mechanisms? No, Defense Mechanisms MAY be placed when drawn or at the beginning of your turn… you can hold on to them until you get rid of a Phobia or some other such issue or you can turn them into Mental Energy.
The Outlaw lowers All other player’s scores in Power, but one of those players has Reaction Formation and changes it to Freedom on their card. Does the Outlaw gain a point in each category (Power and Freedom)? Yes. Each TURN that the Outlaw successfully lowers a category score, they gain a point in that category.
There is no one strategy that works best in Psychological Warfare and some of it will be based upon your personal preferences, but here are some basic guidelines:
1 – DON’T RACE TO GET TO 8. Often times you can win a category with less than 8 points. You only need to be tied or higher than everyone else. If you are in a brutal game where everyone is attacking each other. A 4 may be enough to win your primary category. Look around, see what is necessary and start working on your secondary and tertiary goals if you have room.
2 – DON’T HOLD ON. Don’t hold on to that “great card” that you just want to use for too many turns. Doing this will limit your choices and ability to act. If you aren’t doing anything, you aren’t winning!
3 – DON’T LET UP. This may sound contradictory to suggestion 1, but it is not. Don’t relax and think you have it won, the situation can change quickly. Keep applying the pressure or working on yourself.
4 – PLAY FOR THE LAST TURN. Try to gauge how many turns are left. This is not always possible because a well-played Drama Queen card can dwindle the deck quickly. But generally, you can get a sense of how many turns are left. Make sure that you have the energy and appropriate cards for the end game. Often, it will come down to the last turn, so you will need to plan for it. There are some cards that are better suited for early game, don’t waste time with them near the end. Turning Multiple Personality and a number of Defense Mechanisms into Mental Energy might be a wiser choice.
5 – ACT OUT THE FLAVOR TEXT. OK, this has nothing to do with strategy, but it does make the game more fun if you play it up J . Enjoy!