Nature of the Beast Frequently Asked Questions

You got questions? Nickel’s got the answers. He might be the legendary sewer rat featured in Nature of the Beast, so he knows what he’s talking about here. So go ahead and ask him; he’ll drop knowledge on you like an atom bomb.


“Is it OK to peek at your face-down animals in your pen during other player’s turns?”

If everyone agrees at the start of a game, players may peek at face-down troop cards in their pens while waiting for their turn. This can speed up the game, but can be used as an slight advantage (for example, when deciding not to flip over every face-down card in one’s pen). Remember, that troop cards CANNOT be dismissed or deferred until they are FACE-UP in your pen. Personally, I suggested that they sell ‘I like to peek.’ buttons on this website, but they didn’t bite. Wolverines? They bite.

“Can an animal activate two different abilities or actions with one tilt?”

You greedy, double-dipping punk. NO. A tilt activates a SINGLE event. Maybe it is using equipment, maybe it is declaring an attack, maybe it is using an inherent ability, maybe it is… well, you get the point.

“What can I do to or with animals in the pen?”

The only thing you can do to animals in the pen is recruit, defer, or dismiss them. Animals do not have their special abilities until they are in play in your field. For example, it would be a keen idea to use Illia’s power to give animals in the pen extra movement vectors… if it wasn’t ILLEGAL! Another example is the Abandoned Kitten. She can climb on another animal, but she can’t do that right out of the pen. She needs to be on the field first. Nor can you play a card that gives animals in the pen special abilities or give it items. Got it?

Animals can group up to combine their Clout when recruiting. Can they group up to combine their Rank to dismiss? ”

An animal can ONLY be dismissed by a single animal of greater Rank. Maybe that is a sad commentary on the hierarchical nature of modern society. Maybe not.

Is there a limit on the number of cards in your hand?”

Sky’s the limit… as long as the sky is five cards high. At the END of your turn, you must discard until your hand size down to five card if you somehow wound up with more than that.

“Some card games require that I say how many cards are in my hand when asked. What is the NOB party line?”

1-800-NOT-BGAM. Heh. Get it… ‘party line’. Eh, whatever. If someone asks you how many cards are in your hand, you tell them to mind their own beeswax. NOB does not require you to admit how many cards you are holding. But remember, under most conditions you must discard any extra cards above FIVE in your hand. If you deliberately cheat about this, then you’ve really got it coming to you when they find out… and don’t think I won’t tell them. Because I will.

“Nickel, I understand that animals only get half their clout (rounded down) when recruiting outside of their own habitat. However, what if they gain Clout bonuses through items, locations, leader status, etc.?”

N.O.T.B. likes to adhere to the school of K.I.S.S. Not the rock band, the acronym: ‘;Keep It Simple, Stupid’. Total ALL clout bonuses an animal could gain and add it to their original clout. Cut that total half, rounding down if recruiting outside their own Habitat. See? Simple.

“What happens when you run out of Troops or Tricks? Can you reshuffle?”

Nope! Horde your resources like a pack rat, ‘cause once they’re gone, they’re gone.


“Hi Nickel! I was playing the ‘Junkyard Dog’, who upon recruitment can come into play onto any unoccupied city Location. Do I need to move him into the field first, then jump him to the location?”

You must keep this fact in mind; animals’ powers are not active until they ENTER the playing field (unless of course otherwise noted). The Junkyard Dog must have space to move into your field according to his vectors. Once in your field, he may then immediately move to the city location. This goes for every animal!

“Nickel, the card states that ‘after a Nomadic Sheep moves, another one can move into the vacated field space.’ Since it does not specify it has to be a sheep, can I move any animal I want?”

You’re kidding, right? The sky is blue. Water is wet. Sheep follow sheep. Here endeth the lesson.

“My friend says that the Peregrine Falcon’s ability to be considered a forest animal for recruitment can be used for other forest-related stuff too. Is that true?”

The Falcon’s ability extends to anything that requires a forest trait (like bringing in forest locations). However, the Falcon cannot be considered simultaneously a forest and a city animal. She must choose what habitat she sides with for each case.

“Ok, what’s the deal with this ‘Infinite Rooster Loop’ I keep hearing about?”

Whoops! Chalk up one mistake. The Rooster Herald should only be able to tilt to untilt any animal in his vectors ONCE PER TURN. The card does not specify that, so two Roosters can keep untilting each other. Mostly it’s just annoying, but with the right, rare combo of other cards it can be problematic. Don’t judge… stones first cast and all that…

Legends and Leaders:

“Hey rat. I’m looking at page 10 and page 11 in the handbook and they seem to contradict each other as far as the handling of leader cards.”

That has all been cleaned up and vastly simplified. If you flip a legend on top of a leader (or even more rare: leader on leader), then you can dismiss or defer either one, but not both.

“Nickel, your special ability is that you can move in any direction, regardless of your Vectors. Does this include coming into play from the Pen?”

Like I said before; an animal’s ability is not active until they enter your playing field. I must enter the field according to my printed Vectors. Once I’m in the field, however, all bets are off, baby!

“Nickel, how exactly does Lukas gain his ‘Battle Tokens’? ”

Lukas… now that is a bird that I never want to tangle with. He gains a Battle Token if you leave him tilted for your entire turn. This means he began your turn tilted and did not untilt for anything for the entire turn. He does not continue to gain tokens during your opponents’ turns!


“Nickel, how is it shaking? Quick question… what are civilized and wild locations?”

I am shaking well, thank you. The fact that I almost got bitten in half by a grizzly bear this morning might have something to do with it. Civilized locations mean that mankind has a significant presence. These include the city, suburb, and farm locations. Wild means humanity hasn’t managed to screw them up yet (but give them time… those humans are persistent…). Right now, only the forest locations qualify as wild. The company is working on a new Battle Box which will feature two more wild habitats… prairie and polar.

“Imagine this Nickel… you have a Leader card matched up with an Animal on a ‘Mystical Burial Ground’ or ‘Animal Hospital’. That animal gets trashed on that location. If I resurrect the animal, does it keep the leader card?”

Eh. The Animal Hospital is ok, in fact I think the Vet is kind of cute… but that Burial Ground gives me the willies. I’d rather stay dead then wake up buried beneath six inches of freshly shoveled dirt. Regardless, I’ve decided we’ll Keep It Simple, Stupid again. The animal comes back… the leader card doesn’t.


“Can I use the TV Journalist to lower the Favor cost of equipment?”

No. Listen, the Journalist’s ability does not extend to the retail sector. Darn it, Jim, she’s a reporter, not a wholesaler.


“Nickel, if an animal is tilted can it equip an item?”

No. Tilted animals are useless in a wide variety of ways; this is another example. An animal must be untilted to equip an item.

“N-dawg, the rules state that you can bring out a ‘Dark Nature’ item even before you are in Dark Nature, but you cannot use it until you are in Dark Nature. Is this true for the ‘Human Child’ card?”

True, but you may NOT play the Human Child card until you are in Dark Nature. You cannot kidnap someone just to have him sitting around in case you go evil and want some collateral. Call me old-fashioned. Just do not call me ‘N-dawg.’


“Say someone plays ‘Animal Control’ against one of my legends. The card says no tricks can be played as a defender. Can I burn tricks to raise my combat value?”

Burning a trick for a legend boost is not the same as playing a trick, so it is allowed. Of course, you did ask a legend, so what do you think I’d say?

Other Questions:

“The handbook states that there can be a maximum of 30 troops in a deck. However, the Battle Boxes ship with 33 troops per deck! What gives?”

Jeez, two mistakes. The new rule reads ‘A custom deck can have up to 35 troop cards.’ Happy now?

“Does the counter card count against your 70 card limit?”

Nope. So every standard deck has room for one additional card. Might I suggest a ‘Nickel’ card?

“Five Cent, I think you’re the bomb. Anywho, here’s my problem. After I unwrapped my starting decks, once I put them back in the box, they keep getting mixed up. My forest is getting in my farm and my farm is getting in my forest.”

Just put the second deck into the box so that it is facing the opposite way than the first deck. That way if there is any mingling, you can tell easily next time you open the box. Or download one of the nifty deck holder templates.

“Nickel, what is your idea of a perfect evening?”

I don’t know, maybe world peace and a huge wheel of government surplus cheddar. In a pinch, you could skip the world peace thing.

“Wise One, what is the sound of one hand clapping?”

Keep up the wise-cracking and you’ll hear the sound of one rat leaving.

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