Tabletop University Play Report: Red November

The submarine was SINKING…! Our crew, of somewhat sober gnomes, was on the job trying to save the vessel by putting out fires, pumping water, unblocking hatches, and fixing any number of things that could, and did, go wrong with the submarine’s systems. In the cooperative game, Red November, minutes mean everything and it’s important not to drink too much grog…

DSC_4238

DSC_4238

Captain’s Log – dispatching the following gnomes for general & critical repairs to the vessel. Mission: keep the submarine in working order until the time tracker makes it completely around the board.

  • Dominic – gray gnome
  • Curtis – purple
  • Sam – blue
  • Gregg – green
  • Candace – orange
DSC_4253

DSC_4253

The gnomes started out the game by moving and gathering items, which is basically what needs to be done for the first couple of turns so that they are better able to make repairs once something breaks. Event cards may work in their favor and say that nothing happens, or the cards may quickly turn against them by announcing that a fire has started in a random room, followed by a rise in pressure due to rapid descent, followed up quickly by a missile crisis, and/or an attack by the nefarious Kraken.

So, it’s very important to gather useful items like: engine manuals, water pumps, fire extinguishers, deactivation codes, and lucky charms. And, then there was Dominic, who kept drawing crowbars – he had a collection of them – they are useful to unblock hatches so that the gnomes can move from room to room though! Happily, his collection was used during this game!

DSC_4260

DSC_4260

In order to make a repair, the active gnome must estimate how much time he thinks it will take him to fix the problem. For instance, if a fire starts in a room, then the active gnome would have to first run to that room; with each hatch opened, 1 minute is spent. So, let’s say that the active gnome spends 3 minutes opening hatches and running towards the inferno. He has currently spent 3 minutes.

The gnome guesses that he can put the fire out in 4 minutes, and let’s also say that the gnome has a fire extinguisher item card that will allow him to enter the fiery room and receive a bonus of 3 extra minutes to fight it, so he has a total of 7 minutes to get the job done.

He then rolls a D10 and hopes to roll either a 7 or lower in order to complete the job successfully. A higher roll means that the job was not completed and the fire keeps on burning….

Let’s say that the active gnome rolled a 2, which is lower than 7, so he fought the fire within 2 minutes!!! Hooray!

The player would then move his pawn: 3 minutes for opening hatches + 4 minutes fighting the fire (we do not count the minutes offered by the fire extinguisher because they were a bonus) = 7 minutes total movement for his action. The fire token is removed from the board! Game play continues! And it’s just as likely that another fire token will take it’s place or end up in another room very shortly. Disasters are always happening and they happen quickly. How’s that for pessimism and honesty?!?

DSC_4270

DSC_4270

The game seemed to be going pretty well. We were using our tools, fixing problems, kicking booty and taking names. But then, everything seemingly fell to pieces. And, the orange gnome, who would like to remain nameless, but has already been identified in the captain’s log, kept stumbling around the sub losing all of her hard earned equipment. She had to try to fix engine problems without any tools.

On the other hand, there was the blue gnome, who probably also wishes to remain nameless, who kept sipping grog in order to enter a room on fire OR to gain a 3 minute bonus to any fix-it action. He very quickly became intoxicated…. Thus, for each of his future turns, he had to take a sobriety test to see if he faints. Fainting can become dastardly because if a room catches on fire or floods while a gnome is passed out in there, then he dies…

During this first mission, the fires ended up suffocating us all… the asphyxiation track ran out, which meant that too many fires in the submarine degraded the air quality, so much so, that we couldn’t breathe. We lost…

DSC_4266

DSC_4266

A fresh crew came aboard for the second mission, slightly smaller, but just as determined.

Captain’s Log – dispatching the following gnomes for general & critical repairs to the vessel. Let’s try this again:

  • Katie – yellow
  • Sam – blue
  • Gregg – green
  • Candace – orange
DSC_4267

DSC_4267

A couple of the gems we ran into during this mission included the Friendly Fire event card, which causes a fire, a flood to high water, AND a hand limit of 4 to happen ALL at the same time. HARSH!

DSC_4259

DSC_4259

And, also included this fun Overheat card which forced all players to discard a Grog card, if possible, increasing their intoxication level; in essence, each player just took a hefty swig of alcohol and got a little tipsy. This card kept putting our gnomes at risk, causing them to do a faint check after each turn, and hoping that no one would faint, hoping that one lucky gnome would draw the coveted coffee card and sober up!

DSC_4281

DSC_4281

It was not to be… fate was not on our side… for the second mission we lost yet again. The blue AND the green gnome kicked the bucket due to drinking-related accidents, plus we weren’t able to fix the “Oxygen Pumps Down” asphyxiation timed event before it destructed. Sooooo, we lost again to asphyxiation. Unbelievable!

The gnomes fought a good fight, but the grog and the fires just got the best of us. We’ll have to play this game again soon