Inis

A game deeply rooted in Celtic history and lore.

It took me a couple of plays to realise what is so different about Inis (pronounced Inish). While it looks like an area control ‘dudes on a map’ game, with its miniatures and interlocking territory tiles, it’s actually a very clever card game with DOAM trimmings. Winning is all about the careful use of a limited number of Action cards, because you can’t do anything in this game without playing a card.

And it’s quite ingenious. Thinky without being too brain-burning, Inis challenges you to approach winning in far more clever ways than the usual conflict and conquer. In a way it’s the spiritual opposite of its Matagot stablemates, Cyclades and Kemet. In fact, when you enter a ‘clash’ with another player’s clans, you’re encouraged to discuss the situation with your opponent and agree not to fight – a mindset that’s a little tricky to get into, at first.

I can see many games of this in the future and all kinds of interesting outcomes. I’m not a big fan of the illustrator Jim Fitzpatrick’s brightly coloured style – though I think better graphic design could have done it more justice – and visually I think it’s a bit of a mish-mash (though many others disagree). But the game is a fascinating exploration of the line between board game and card game and well worth adding to your collection.

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Aug 2019 2.2 Tweaks to back of play reference and some bolding of key phrases
Aug 2019 2.1 Added Seasons expansion reference pages, clarified victory condiions, highlighted the Chieftain condition, and changed to gender-free language throughout
Jul 2019 2 Added the Seasons expansion and removed unnecessary capitalisation throughout
Dec 2017 1.2 Fixed start of card drafting sections on all sheets
Dec 2017 1.1 Typos fixed on both front pages of the player reference sheets
Nov 2017 1 Original release

11 Comments

  • Avatar Salman Qaisar says:

    Great work as usual, Peter!

    Are you gonna update with the new expansion’s rules?

    Regards, Salman

  • Avatar Salman Qaisar says:

    Hi Peter, I just had a detailed look through your Inis v2 summary, after having played the new Seasons expansion.
    A couple of things missing + some important requests (since they affect gameplay):
    A) On page 1 column 1, last paragraph of Setup, it defines Chieftain + effect of ties on this. Could you possibly highlight this paragraph in beige like you’ve done on column 3 for “if a player has NO plans anywhere”. Chieftain is an important term, often referenced, and this paragraph is highlighted in the book.

    B) Victory conditions, on page 2:
    There are several qualifying factors and tiebreakers mentioned on Page 10 of rulebook (in a confusing way); some of which are NOT IN YOUR SUMMARY.
    My recommendation to tidy up that rulebook paragraph would be to add some numbering:
    1 . If no player has a Pretender token, then there is no winner—even if players currently
    meet one or more victory conditions.
    Otherwise, check the victory conditions of each player who has a Pretender token:
    2. The player who meets the most victory conditions wins! (He must meet at least one
    victory condition in order to win.)
    3. In case of tie for meeting the most victory conditions:
    • if the Brenn is among the tied players, he wins the game.
    • if the Brenn is not among the tied players, there is no winner.
    If there is no winner, all Pretender tokens are returned to the supply, and the game
    continues for another round, proceeding with the rest of the Assembly phase.

    C) On the playeraid, is it possible to add to the Assembly phase the 7th step (from the Seasons mudule) please? We kept forgetting to do that step!! I know some people wont have the expansion, so maybe you could just copy and add 2 more playeraids:
    – 3-5 player with Seasons step 7 in assembly
    – 2 player with Seasons step 7 in assembly.

    Thanks again for your hard work! I really enjoyed your interview on that Sporadically Board podcast, great insights.
    I totally agree with you about FFG, rulebooks, fonts and usability … and WOTR!
    Regards, Salman

  • Avatar Salman Qaisar says:

    Btw do you prefer to be contacted here or on a game’s BGG file page or by email?

    • Pick one you like, I get them all. 🙂 I’ll get on to this as soon as I have time, cheers Salman.

      • Done! Thanks for the tips!

        • Avatar Salman Qaisar says:

          Thanks Peter!
          2 small things on v2.1:
          1) Page 6: Player reference (3-4 players + Seasons)
          – SEASON PREPARATION: this should read 3-5 players, since the expansion adds another player
          2) Page 5: Player reference back x2
          – Needs the victory condition tiebreakers you added in the main rules summary (ie if Brenn involved in tie or not)
          Thanks again, hope you don’t think I’m nitpicking. I just agree with your philosophy that rules summaries should allow one never to need the rulebook again!
          Regards, Sal

  • Avatar Salman Qaisar says:

    3) in the rules summary p2, on victory conditions, is it possible to highlight/bold/underline the bit that says “each player with a pretender marker currently meets” – to emphasise that:
    A) no pretender token, no win, irrespective of how many victory conditions u fulfill
    B) even if u have a pretender token, no win if currently don’t fulfil any victory condition.
    Basically u have already got the important info in that sentence. But it is important info buried in a paragraph at the mo.
    Cheers, Sal

  • Avatar Salman Qaisar says:

    Great stuff! I can finally print it off lol!

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