10 often Overlooked rules in Final Girl Board Game
Posted On February 25, 2023
Final Girl is a solo horror board game which is very thematic… and a bad dice roll can lead to a very brutal ending for your beloved character. Some people have claimed the game involves too much luck, but in my opinion there is a lot of strategy and mitigation that help bend the odds in your favor. If you’re losing too often in Final girl, it might also be that you’re forgetting about some easy-to-miss rules.
Today we’ll go over 10 rules that people tend to forget while playing Final Girl. Missing some of these might explain why the game feels too difficult or random to you.
1. The Killer doesn’t move unless they have a “boot” (move) icon.
This is probably the most overlooked rule of them all, even seasoned gamers tend to forget about it once in a while.
I blame some of the icon choices of the game for that. If the game tells you the killer attacks you or a victim, it doesn’t necessarily say they will move toward you first. No move means they might not attack at all, this can change the whole game!
The first couple games I was destroyed, not realizing that Dr. Fright (or several other killers) doesn’t move as part of his Killer action. ONLY WITH THE BOOT!
And I’m not the only one, here’s a comment I found on BGG:
I heard that this game was tough but I couldn’t figure out why I was having an insanely difficult time every game…
Turns out I was moving Dr Fright in phase 1 of every killer turn (top left icon on the killers body card), when it just said to target, no boot icon indicting they should move! I saw the target icon, looked at the killer’s current movement and assumed he would move. Makes sense now!
I was getting to end of turn two and 4 victims would be dead, horror in the red and I’d have no cards left!!!
2. You can discard during the action phase to gain time.
If there are cards you don’t intend to use during your turn, you can either keep them for next turn (if you think they will be useful) or discard them for time. This can help you drag the current turn a little bit longer, or increase your “currency” to gather items for the next turn.
Think carefully about that one card in your hand. If you do not plan to use it this turn, will it be useful next turn? Or would you rather convert it into one additional point for purchasing something more powerful for next turn?
This can be a very efficient way to turn the odds in your favor in Final girl.
3. You can use melee weapons when you retaliate
Retaliate and other “reaction” cards are some of the most powerful actions in the game, generally allowing you to hurt the killer with limited downside. But they’re of course even more potent if used in combination with a weapon.
4. When moving the Killer, if there is a tie for distance, the Killer will go after the highest numbers of VICTIMS (not the Final Girl).
In some cases, the killer will specifically move in the direction of the Final Girl. But when he targets both the victims AND the final girl (the dual target icon), he will move toward the place with the most victims. The Final girl does not count as a victim in this calculation.
This can be a very strategic way to get out of the way of the killer, or on the contrary, get closer to them, depending on what your plans are!
An example of this use case is if the killer attacks you and you use retaliate. Even if the retaliate card does not negate all damage to you, you get to also do your own damage to the killer. Specifically:
Resolving the Retaliate action card. I got one star, so I reduce 3 damage to 1. That damage is enough to flip my last heart token, and it’s blank! I still get to do my damage to the killer. If their own heart token is blank, we both die, which is considered a victory in Final Girl. A pretty thematic one, too!
6. You get additional dice to roll when you or the killer are close to being dead
This rule, known as the “Adrenaline Rush” gives you an additional die for all your horror rolls when you only have one heart left. It applies for the killer’s health as well: if they only have one heart left, you get 1 additional die. Meaning you get two additional dice if both you and the killer only have one heart left.
It’s fairly easy to remember when your health is involved, but people tend to forget their additional die when it’s the killer’s health that’s close to 0!
7. You can only rearrange items when you acquire a new one, or during the upkeep phase
There are only limited ways you can rearrange your hand/backpack items, and by the way this means sometimes you have no choice but to discard items.
There are two moments when you can rearrange your items though and it can help your strategy to remember those: either when you acquire a new item (e.g. after a successful search), or during the upkeep phase. Here again, it’s critical to plan ahead and think of what you’ll do with the items next turn.
Note that vehicles like the bike actually require you to use both hands… so you might have to drop your weapon when you plan to use such vehicles.
8. When you move into the Finale, if the Dark Power card hasn’t been revealed yet, reveal it then.
OK, this one’s not going to make the game easier for you, granted.
Note: When this happens, Hans’ Dark, Darker, Darkest ability reveals the second Dark Power immediately, by the way.
9. When drawing from the item deck, you do NOT reveal the top card after you draw
That is, unless the Search card specifically instructs you to do so.
10. A victim only panics if one of them was killed this turn AND they are in the same space as the killer
I tend to either forget to panic victims entirely, OR to panic too many of them.
In order for a victim to panic, at least one victim needs to have died this turn, and only victims in the same space as the killer do panic.
They are not necessarily in the space where the initial victim died, by the way.
11. Don’t forget the rules of ambiguity
Hey, I said only 10 rules, but here’s possibly the most essential one: the goal of final girl is to have a fun thematic game session. This means that if something ambiguous happens, you can choose what outcome would be the most thematic (rule of Abject realism). Or if you like pain, you can also choose the one that’s the worst for you (rule of infinite evil). Last but not least, you might want the outcome that’s the funniest to you (rule of never-ending hilarity). Personally, I find that the most hilarious outcome is also often the most thematic one, so that’s how I tend to interpret ambiguous rules. But if you want to be really crisp clear on those ambiguous events, you can check our Final Girl Rule FAQ.