92 8 13 10/19/89
This has spoilers.
Big spoilers that you may not want to know about, even given the title of this blog. If you don't know what the post subject indicates, leave now! If you get what I'm getting at but aren't there yourself, you may still want to leave now.
Was the "Do Not Open. Ever." sign too subtle?
OK, everybody still here who wants to talk about this sucker? Good.
So the boys went and ripped open DNOE after our latest game while I was busy unpackaging the "9 minor cities" packet. We've got the "Unstable Orbit" pack, a set of 6 events with nasty ongoing consequences. My personal favorite is "Eternal Darkness", because it's allowing me to taunt my regular playgroup.
"We opened the DNOE packet!"
"It contains Eternal Darkness."
They've got no idea what to make of me. It sounds so preposterous, devoid of context, and they're not sure whether I'm truthful or just full of it.
It doesn't help that I've also said Eternal Darkness means you have to play the game in a shuttered closet by the light of a cellphone. I think that could make for an interesting variant, though. If you're only allowed to light up stuff around your armies, and so you're not sure what everybody else is doing.... Yeah! Add a GM, have him enforce strict fog-of-war... that may be worth trying as a side game at some point.
Anyway, this DNOE packet (packet H, by the serial numbers) contains 6 Unstable Orbit event cards, all of which include the following text:
If there is an Unstable Orbit card in play, DISCARD it. Place this card on the board. It stays in play until replaced by another Unstable Orbit card.
At the end of the game, the winner may destroy up to 3 Unstable Orbit cards instead of his winner's reward.
* Age of Ice: All three continent bonuses in the Northern Hemisphere are lowered by 2.
* Endless Storms: Attackers can only send a maximum of two troops into battle across sea-lines.
* Blistering Heat: All three continent bonuses in the Southern Hemisphere are lowered by 2, to a minimum of 0.
* Famine: Players must conquer 3 territories to draw a resource card at the end of their turn, regardless of powers.
* Eternal Darkness: Subtract 1 from your resource total when turning in cards for troops.
* Endless Rains: Players can only maneuver troops into an adjacent territory.
Almost none of these are remotely beneficial, except in that Endless Storms may serve as a useful defensive bulwark (provided that you in turn don't need to attack the other way). Greenland-Iceland is the best example of this: not only are they a sea-line border between continents, but as each is itself an island, successfully moving into the one beyond your continent lets you set up defensive depth.
Blistering Heat can absolutely wreck players in the southern continents, as their bonuses will drop to near zero. Age of Ice is no picnic in the north, but those inherently higher bonuses mean that you won't feel the proportional loss as badly.
There are three other versions of DNOE out in the wild.
First is Curses (packet I), where the players have called forth foul forces from the farthest fathoms of the earth. It provides events with blanks for the present players to write in their names. When an event is triggered, the cursed player may either give up a Red Star to DESTROY the card or, on his next turn, determine reinforcements solely from territory, ignoring population, continents, and resources.
There are 5 identical "Cursed" event cards in this packet.
Next is the Virus packet, which has Local and General Outbreak events that DESTROY a territory card from the sideboard and cause casualties in the associated area, plus Vaccine events that DESTROY the Outbreak events in the discard pile (only). Respective quantities of each event have not been provided. I like that the Outbreaks are guaranteed to trigger, since Vaccine is only effective once an Outbreak has occurred in that particular game. This packet has the most widespread effect on the game.
There are two each of the General Outbreak, Local Outbreak, and Vaccine event cards in this packet.
Finally, there's the Blessed/Angels packet. In short, it works like Cursed, but with benefits rather than penalties. When a player's event occurs, the other players are first offered the option of sacrificing 10 troops to DESTROY the card. If that doesn't happen, the player gets choices such as:
* forcing all players to discard their resource cards
* placing 6 troops anywhere controlled
* demolishing an HQ
* declaring that storms prevent attacks across sea-lines