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Taking my Shot with a Review of Cannon Indeed

Quick Look: Cannon Indeed

Designer: Rayleigh Chan
Artist: Rayleigh Chan
Publisher: Independent
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 1-4 (with multiple decks)
Ages: 7+
Playing Time: 10-20 min.

From the publisher:

Based on a classical weapon used as early as the 12th Century, this is the... CANNON INDEED!

An easy-to-learn Card Game based on math, luck, and logic.

Find more info on BoardGamAleGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Cannon Indeed. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

I received a prototype copy of Cannon Indeed for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine or those of my friends and family.

Review: Cannon Indeed

Overview and Theme:
Cannon Indeed is a light solitaire or multiplayer card game based on the luck and logic of avoiding and taking down colorful cannons and their angsty ammo.

The iconic cannon with gritted teeth sets the tone for this game!

Components and Setup:
The basic deck of Cannon Indeed includes 16 Cannon cards, 16 Ammo cards, 1 Special Event card, and 100 Tower cards. These cards and one six-sided die will allow you to play Cannon Indeed as a 1-player game.

If you want to add players, each will need their own basic deck, plus you'll need a set of 8 Divine Intervention cards and a Monster Cannon card. These will allow you to play in a multiplayer player-vs-player style or in a cooperative style. I will touch on those styles at the end of the review, but my main points will focus on the 1-player version of Cannon Indeed.

You'll need to shuffle each deck separately, then lay out a row of 5 Cannon cards next to the Cannon deck and a row of 5 Ammo cards next to the Ammo deck. Draw 5 Tower cards into your hand, and you're ready to start.

Game Play and Mechanics:
The core of Cannon Indeed revolves around the way that the Cannons can damage you, and the ways in which you can destroy Cannons or Ammo.

Cannons come in 4 colors: cyan, yellow, magenta, and black. (Helpfully labeled with the letters C, Y, M, and K for colorblind players!) The cyan, yellow, and magenta Cannons need matching colored (or wild black) Ammo to be face-up on the table in order to hurt you; wild black Cannons can fire any color of Ammo.

For example, in the photo above:
  • Cannon #11 will do 4 damage (1 from its own card + 1 from Ammo #5 + 2 from Ammo #11)
  • Cannon #6 will do 3 damage (1 from Ammo #5 + 2 from Ammo #11)
  • Cannon #1 will do 2 damage (1 from Ammo #5 + 1 from Ammo #8)
  • Cannon #13 will do 5 damage (1 from Ammo #7 + 1 from Ammo #5 + 2 from Ammo #11 + 1 from Ammo #8)
... for a total of 14 damage, so you'd have to discard the top 14 cards from your Tower deck.

You will be able to destroy Cannons by playing to the table one of each of the (1) Ready, (2) Aim, and (3) Fire cards. When you do, you get to choose a Cannon to destroy. In order to remove Ammo, you'll need to discard a pair of matching cards from your hand.

Each round will look like this:
  • Action Phase (choose 3 actions: draw, play, and/or discard)
  • Special Event Phase (roll the die and apply the result)
  • Enemy Phase (the Cannons fire at you)
In the Action Phase, you can mix and match any of the three actions. Draw a card from the Tower deck up to your hand limit of 3, play a single card onto the table in front of you with a table limit of 3, or discard two matching cards to destroy a single Ammo card.

If at any point you have all 3 types of a card on the table (Ready, Aim, Fire, with wilds as needed), you automatically discard those to destroy a single Cannon card. This is not one of your three actions.

After you have taken your 3 actions, you'll roll the d6 for the Special Event Phase. Special Events include:
  1. Put 1 Cannon into play
  2. Put 1 Ammo into play
  3. Discard 1 Tower card from hand
  4. Discard 1 Tower card from the table
  5. Replace 1 Cannon card with another from the deck
  6. Put the bottom 10 Tower cards from the discard pile under the deck
Obviously, adding Cannons and Ammo is bad for you--the enemy is now stronger! Discarding cards from your hand or the table is bad news, too. But the final two events are better for you: you can swap one Cannon already in play for the one from the top of the deck (get rid of that wild black Cannon and bury it at the bottom of the Cannon deck!) or you can put 10 cards from your discards back under the Tower deck.

This is very important because if your Tower deck runs out, the game is over and you lose!

After you have resolved the Special Event, you will calculate how many hits you take in the Enemy Phase.

Each Cannon's damage is calculated separately. A Cannon can fire with all Ammo of its color and any wild black Ammo. Some Cannons come pre-loaded with a cannonball which they add to their total (but other Cannons of the same color can't use). Calculate the total damage from all Cannons in play, and apply it by discarding that many cards from your Tower deck.

Keep a special eye out, though, as you discard. If you discard a Wild card that has an ankh symbol on the bottom, you get to put 10 cards from the discards back under the Tower deck!

You will continue to run through rounds, taking your Actions, applying the Special Event, and taking damage from the Enemy, until one of three things happens:
  • You have destroyed all Cannons in play (there may still be some in the deck--that's okay): you win!
  • You run out of cards in your Tower deck: you lose!
  • You are unable to take 3 actions on your Action Phase: you lose!

Once you get into the groove of understanding how the Cannons calculate their damage, Cannon Indeed runs along as a smoothly satisfying light solitaire card game. It worked well with my younger friends (about 7 and up) who were interested in the cannon theme and were ready for a little light math and logic practice.

If you're interested in playing multiplayer pvp, you'll need a deck for each person (up to 4). The game is largely the same, but you're attacking and defending with your own Cannons and Ammo and your goal is to wipe out all of the opponents' Cannons and Ammo that are in play. You'll have a chance on each turn to tap some of your Cannons sideways to show they are in defense mode (and will block damage from the other players) and then to attack with the rest.

For the cooperative variant, you still each have your own deck, but you'll be battling the Monster Cannon who does damage to all players and who has 5 Lives each worth 13 points, so taking him down is definitely a challenge!

In both multiplayer versions, there's also a small deck of Divine Intervention cards, which are full of Hail Mary Passes that you can use only once per game and only when your discard pile is higher than your Tower pile! These cards give you a chance to get back in the running.

The Good:
The theme of Cannon Indeed, with its cartoonish Cannons and colorful Ammo, is largely fun and light-hearted. It plays smoothly like a solitaire card game and has the same meditative quality about it once you get into the rhythm of the game.

I like both of the multiplayer variants as well, and it's always good to have a game that is flexible and plays well in a variety of settings and player counts.

As a gameschooling mom, I really enjoy the math and logic pieces underlying Cannon Indeed. There's definitely a decent amount of basic calculation here as you need to calculate the Cannon damage every round. There's plenty of logical strategy, too, as you decide what is the best course of action--to play cards in the hopes of eliminating a Cannon, to discard them to eliminate Ammo or to draw new cards to try and get something more useful. Any engaging 1-player game is a win for gameschoolers with multiple kids because it's something that they can play and learn from independently while you are busy elsewhere.

The rulebook even tosses out a couple quick ideas--that this game is based on a classical weapon used as early as the 12th century and that it is not based on the famous musical piece, "Canon in D." Both of these little facts can lead to fun rabbit trails of discussion and learning for you!

The Bad:
According to designer Rayleigh Chan, Cannon Indeed is based on math, luck, and logic. Somehow that luck part has always been my downfall--I seem to have a terrible time rolling 1's or 2's to pull out more Cannons and Ammo in multiplayer games, and which makes it almost impossible to take down that Monster Cannon in the cooperative mode.

Rayleigh has been very receptive to feedback, though, and is open to making some changes based on what players are saying. It always makes me happy to get to know a designer who has the best interests of his game and his players at heart!

Players Who Like:
Cannon Indeed is a good fit for players who like logical solitaire card games from Spider to Friday. It's also great for kids and families who enjoy interactive card games with a mathy flavor, from Cabo to Fry Thief to Llamagedon.

Final Thoughts:
Cannon Indeed is a bit of a work-in-progress, as designer Rayleigh Chan continues to take feedback and polish the experience as the game heads towards Kickstarter. There is plenty of interest in this quick-playing, smooth, math-luck-and-logic experience to keep us coming back for more!

Check out Cannon Indeed on:


About the Author:

My name is Alexa: I'm a life-long game player and homeschooling mom to two awesome kids. I've loved board games since my early days playing Scrabble and Gin Rummy with my grandmother, and life only got more interesting when I married a Battletech enthusiast and fellow game lover. We've played games with our kids since they were small, and I helped start a thriving homeschool co-op where we have weekly sessions of board games with kids.  In a family with kids raised on Catan and Pandemic, life is sure to be fun! You may run into me on Twitter, BoardGameGeek, and other social media as MamaGames. Be sure to say hi!

See Alexa's reviews HERE.
Taking my Shot with a Review of Cannon Indeed Taking my Shot with a Review of Cannon Indeed Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on March 05, 2020 Rating: 5

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