PLS2: January, year 71
Having played the introduction game “Prologue” (which did not require any changes to the game), we embarked on the month of January. We had two set objectives for the month – build 3 new supply centers and recon North America. Supply centers cost five City cards (I’ll talk more about this later) of the same color and can only be built in one of the cities of that color. The Recon (reconnaisance) of North America required us to build a supply center in Washington DC, then accumulate four additional blue city cards to do the recon. We’ll talk more about how our month went later after I describe some of the other aspects of the game.
First, I’d like to talk about more of the games components.
Included with the game were 36 gray supply cubes. At the start of each gaming session, there is a set number of these available (declining over time) to deploy to the cities on the map. The first game there were 9 cities, so this worked out to 4 cubes per city. Supply cubes are removed from cities when infection cards for that city are drawn. Additional supply cubes are delivered to cities by our team as actions allow.
At the start of the game there are 3 infection cards for each of the 9 cities, so the infection card deck is 36 cards. After the supply cubes are allocated, nine infection cards are drawn and discarded with a supply cube removed from each city in question. At the end of each player’s turn, additional infection cards are drawn. The number of cards drawn starts at 2, but builds up to 4 (and possibly 5) during the game. For each card drawn a supply cube is removed from the city in question.
If an infection card is drawn and there are no supplies in a city, one of these lovely green plague cubes is put on the city instead. Additionally, the incident tracker (shown below) is moved forward one place. If there are three plague cubes in a city (and no supply cubes – they can be added after a plague has happened in a city to prevent future infections), an infection occurs on all adjacent cities possibly resulting in more plague cubes (and incidents). One of the ways to lose the game is if the incident tracker makes it to the skull icon, requiring 8 plague cubes.
Jumping back to the game, I wanted to introduce another of the player cards.
Anton is an instructor (more on that capability in a future post) and for the first number of games is played by Dad(Ben). The character “Smith” from the first post is played by Davison, starting with the February game.
An objective for January was to recon North America. We fulfilled this objective and one of the additions to the game was a large sticker to place on the map board. This sticker provided a number of additional cities: Chicago (with a supply route in place to Washington, DC), Atlanta, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Mexico City.
The additions to the game come in a number of different components:
There are 8 sealed boxes (numbered 1 through 8) in the game box. After Davison reconned North America, we were instructed to open Box number 5. This provided a list of “doors” to open.
These included the aforementioned map sticker, but also some new rules for the game. I haven’t gotten into available player actions during a turn yet (hoping to do that next post), but with the introduction of new cities to the map (including ones that were not connected) a couple of additional rules were needed. One of the new rules was a new action possibility for each player. “Establish Supply Line” cost 2 supply cubes and allowed you to establish a supply line to a disconnected city. On the map this entails getting out the sharpie marker and drawing a straight line between the centers of the new city and then adding the new city cards into the discard decks so that the city would be in play during the next gaming session. The second new rule was one that allowed you to perform a search in a new city. This had no cost (other than using an action), but you had to be in the city and have the pertinent city card in your hand.
To illustrate, these are the city cards for the newly discovered (but not yet supply-lined) city of San Francisco. When we build a supply line to San Francisco, for the next game the two infection cards will get added to the infection deck and the City cards to the player deck. One of the San Francisco city cards has two scratchable areas that are searchable.
After the recon of North America was completed, we built the 3rd supply center, thus completing the two objectives for the month and winning the game session. January was completed on the first attempt.