The Joy of Unboxing: Sons of Anarchy

By November 5, 2014Boardgames, Videos

Sons of Anarchy have a duty, brother

It’s time to open the throttle and ride high, because we’re unboxing Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem by Gale Force Nine.

Motorcycle gangs. They’ve never held any fascination for me whatsoever, to be honest. Riding noisy bits of metal for hours, not washing for weeks, dressing in denim and leather all the time, getting bad tats—not a lifestyle I aspire to.

But the great thing about boardgames is that you can immerse yourself in any theme you like for a while—even ones that don’t personally appeal! So I’m looking forward to a lot of trash talking, deal-making, gun and drug running and brrrrooommm brrrrooommm noises when we put Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem on the table this evening and all pretend to be tough guys controlling biker gangs for an hour or so.

Gale Force Nine have had a couple of hits with Spartacus and Firefly: the Game, but Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem (I hope the ‘Men of Mayhem’ bit was some kind of strange contractual obligation, because it sure seems redundant and man those Blash Blah: Blah Blah titles with colon in the middle annoy me) is less tied to the TV series than you might think. While the different gangs in the series are represented, you don’t play particular characters. This is probably a good thing as the property is less well-known, and it also brings the focus back on the gameplay and the overall theme, not just the specific licence.

Anyway, let’s rip off the shrinkwrap and have a look inside this black box, shall we?


  • WonderSlug WonderSlug says:

    Ask and we shall receive. Good video.

  • Muzza says:

    So did you get to play it? If so, how was it?

    • Muzza! Yes, we played and had a good time. My only criticisms are probably due to our lack of familiarity with it. While we got the relatively straightforward rules correct, we all had the feeling that it was safer to avoid conflict rather than get involved in a fight, as they can result in you losing guns and club members, while the non-fighters busily continue amassing stuff. Of course next time we might be aware of this and target the non-fighters a bit more – or we might all avoid fighting as much as possible. The exception was when the Gang War card came up, and three out of four players got involved in a big brawl because you got cash for how many dudes you injured.

      Jury’s still out on greatness, but it’s certainly a good mid-weight are control game with a lot of theme.

  • Brent says:

    There are lots of good reasons to fight.

    The biggest reason is because you are allowed to activate an area immediately if you win the fight. Timing means a lot in this game. Each area is only going to trigger once each round and there are only 6 rounds in the game.

    Another big reason is to control a location at the beginning of the next round. Dudes stay on the locations between rounds so picking a fight at the end of this round, while you still have burners left to reinforce the fight can position you well for the beginning of the following round.


    • Good reasons; perhaps we just got the perception that it used up valuable resources and non-fighters could get ahead in that regard. There always seemed to be plenty of areas to go around in our game. More games needed!

  • Brent Lloyd says:

    Move a bunch of Dudes onto an Opponent’s “Cut & Bag Op” beat him in the fight, then immediately trigger the Cut & Bag Op before anybody can retaliate.

    Plenty of Areas? We usually find the board cramped. You are only starting the game with Two random locations + the Starting locations? Each Location can only be triggered ONCE per round.

    We have found that if everybody rushes to build up their club that there are not enough locations and the only thing left to do is fight.

    The game also really changes based upon which 6 locations are in the game, sometimes resources are plentiful, sometimes scarce.

    Time and pick your fights well, good advice.

What do you think?