As Glass Cannon Unplugged, we have a very straightforward mission. We choose video games that we believe have significantly influenced their genre and that just appeal to us in terms of translating them to the language of tabletop.

Mastering Combat

Don't Starve: The Board Game
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Mastering Combat


  • Every monster in Don’t Starve: The Board Game has distinct characteristics like behavior, speed, toughness, and special abilities, making each encounter unique and challenging.
  • Combat involves comparing the player’s weapon-based combat value with the creature’s combat value, determining the difficulty and outcome of the encounter, with special abilities adding depth.
  • Defeating monsters provides players with food and unique resources, essential for crafting and survival.
  • Follow Don’t Starve: The Board Game on Kickstarter!

Hello everyone! This is Rafał Pieczyński, author and lead developer of Don’t Starve: The Board Game at Glass Cannon Unplugged. Let’s spice things up today and discuss combat!

The Creatures of Don’t Starve

The first time you enter the world of Don’t Starve, you usually meet at least a few friendly creatures that are more scared of you than you should be scared of them. You explore the surrounding area, gathering resources and some food, but you grow increasingly hungry, until you begin to starve and slowly go insane. Days grow shorter and adrenaline kicks in as you desperately search for something to eat. Rushing through the area, you take one step too far into the territory of some peculiar creature. Next thing you know, you’re surrounded by a group of Hounds with nowhere to run. Your story ends quickly—or at least that’s how my early-day journeys ended.

Every Creature in Don’t Starve requires unique ways to be dealt with and has its own identity, including behavior, speed, toughness, territory, lair, and tolerance towards other creatures. A truly living world!

I wholeheartedly wanted to bring that feeling into the board game world: small and larger scale encounters, threats, risks, and the satisfaction of managing to overcome the obstacles.
In the board game, creatures are represented using their Combat value, Damage value, Special abilities, Hostility status, and rewards.

The Combat value stands for the creature’s toughness, attack speed, and the overall challenge it presents in a fight. The more health the creature has, the fiercer it is, and the higher the combat value becomes. When players engage in combat, they compare their combat value (weapon-based) with the creature’s. The difference represents the difficulty of the encounter.

The Damage value indicates how much potential damage a character receives upon being hit. To represent the unique features of the creatures, many have Special abilities. For example, at night, Tallbirds are asleep, allowing players to scavenge more freely or have an easier time during combat. Batilisks, on the other hand, become more fierce after sundown.
Hostility indicates whether it is safe to move around a given creature. Lastly, each defeated creature might provide the players with some food and unique resources, essential for crafting and survival.

I hope this gives you a glimpse of what to expect in Don’t Starve: The Board Game! Feel free to comment and ask questions!

Until the next Designer Diary with an exclusive FAQ!