Michael Eckenfels, 12 December 2018
One other element of setting up the game involves placing the first Active Villain on the board, in the space with an Artifact with the highest Fortune value. The Mine of Lost Souls in Greece is that by a landslide, so we place Herr Teufel and two Nazi goon stormtroopers in the space with him.
If left unchecked, he might very well carry off a great deal of Fortune. Since the Villain Track goes up by 1 for every 3 Fortune gathered, that’s a potential +2 on the Track, and then some.
TURN ONE INITIATIVE
Normally, we roll initiative here to see who the First Player is. I’ve arbitrarily decided that Grant Jackson will go first, followed by Nigel, then Li Mei, and finally, the good Doctor.
TURN ONE MOVE PHASE
During this Phase, each player rolls a die and moves that many spaces. Some sea spaces require more than one movement point. We’re going to start with Grant Jackson, in Cape Town, South Africa.
Grant has had enough of the Soldier of Fortune lifestyle; he’s made some money but is still pretty cheap, as he wants his ‘nest egg’ to remain until he’s had enough of the shoot-and-scoot life. Rumors flew about for weeks of strange ancient artifacts that were popping up across the globe, which Grant did not pay much attention to. What did grab his attention were the Nazis’ interest in said artifacts. The stories then circulated soon after; scouting parties heading into the interior of Africa, or stopping in at Cape Town to restock supplies before moving on to other parts of the world. The rumors built to a point where Grant couldn’t ignore them anymore, and he decided to take action.
The closest Artifact is The Shield of Illusion, in the Amazon Jungle – just a skip across the South Atlantic. The Nazi threat in Greece is 5 spaces away, probably insurmountable for Grant. Keep in mind that in the Cooperative Game, more than one Hero can go on an adventure to get an Artifact (or Fortune in a Temple).
Unfortunately, Grant rolls a 2. This does him no good for the moment – he can’t get to an Artifact space though he can move into the South Atlantic space (slow boat to Brazil, I guess). Or, he can just stay put and try to do something either in Cape Town, or at the Docks.
The Docks counters you see are add-ons from the Treasure Hunters expansion; you simply flip them over to see what happens. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes bad. I’ve added a few extra Docks counters to the game (e.g., in Egypt) to add a few more options.
Right now, there’s no point to go into the City, unless he wants to try his hand at an encounter. Any time a player stays in a City, they draw a City Card – this can result in bad or good things, depending. The City itself allows a player to heal, buy Gear or hire Allies, and sell Artifacts. He has no Glory to buy Gear or hire Allies, has no wounds to heal, and no Artifacts to sell – so there’s not much of a point to do that right now.
Grant reluctantly leaves the confines of Cape Town, but the usual busy shipping traffic in and out of this area is somewhat slow right now. All he can find is a beat-up trawler that a buddy of him owns, so he grabs a beat-down cot on board and heads across the Atlantic, on his way to the Amazon jungles.
Moving on to Nigel Harrington, the famous Big Game Hunter in Bombay, we find him at the center of a rather vast network of intelligence. He’d made lifelong friends among the British military, and the transient lifestyle of some officers meant he was constantly aware of the goings-on in the Empire…and among the Nazis, as well. He’d heard the rumors of Nazi agents infiltrating India’s colonial government, seeking support from the people to overthrow British rule, there. How preposterous! There’s nothing the Indian people liked more than dressing up in cricket outfits or guiding elephants through the jungle, or so Nigel thought.
The rumors of Nazi treasure hunters came and went, but they were certainly on the rise – so much so that Nigel could hardly ignore them, any longer. He decided to take action when he heard word of a Nazi expedition heading to Greece to find some ominously-named locale called ‘the Mine of Lost Souls.’ Packing his elephant rifle and several other hunting implements, he decided he’d start going after the most dangerous game of all – Nazi fanatics.
Bad luck continues to dog our Heroes; Nigel’s grand solo campaign begins with a movement die roll of 1, which barely gets him out of Bombay and into India.
He’s not going to get anywhere near Greece this turn, unfortunately.
And what’s more, there’s an Event he has to draw; this happens whenever you move into a space that’s not a City nor an Artifact. Grant was lucky to avoid one, but Nigel gets one. Fortunately it’s ‘Too Close,’ a card that he can play on himself, another Hero, or a Villain, to force a re-roll. That can come in handy.
Now, we move to Li Mei Chen. In Hong Kong, she is one of the biggest night club draws around; the club is one of the largest, most lavish, and visited in the region. As such, she knows a great many people, hears a great many stories, and knows full well the dangers of the Nazis. She is only a short distance from Siberia; the rumors she’s heard of the Jar of Hades lurking up there means she packs her travel bag, her shrink-wrapped copy of Holland ’44, and heads out.
This time, our Hero rolls a 4; Siberia is 3 spaces away, so she makes it with room to spare.
Thank goodness, because now we’ll have at least one Adventure to complete in the Adventure Phase. It would have made for a boring Turn 1 if nobody reached an Artifact!
Finally, we close out the Move Phase for Turn 1 with Doctor Zhukov, in Moscow. His brilliance is only mitigated by the silly Soviet system. The threat of the Nazis, he believes, is a threat to the Motherland as well as the world. If the leadership could not see it (or at least, not admit to it), then the good Doctor would take his mad experiments and take matters into his own hands!
Greece is very close – only 2 spaces away. Western Europe and the Book of Poseidon is three spaces away. He could also go to Siberia to help Li Mei, which is only 2 spaces away, too. I think I’ll move him off on his own adventure, and might have him fight the Nazis in Greece.
I roll a 5, so he can pretty much go to any of the three locales just mentioned, but I’ll move him to Greece. We gotta stop the frog-like Herr Teufel and claim the Fortune for good!
Greece is getting a little crowded!
Now that we’ve moved, the Adventure Phase is calling. We’ll get to that in the next episode!