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Subject: Trying to Survive Hurricane Robinson rss

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Matt Williams
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Penkridge
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Robinson Crusoe, Adventures on the Cursed Island
Session Report – Scenario 1: Castaways, Solo Player
Date: Monday 30th September 2013

Background
This is my 5th Play through of Robinson and my 4th Attempt at Castaways, so far my record has been 2 wins and 2 losses for this scenario.
Due to the level of theme and the immersion in that theme that this game creates, I have chosen to present the rest of this session report in character (with comments in brackets to help explain what is happening in a slightly less thematic way)



Day 1
(Event)
In the aftermath of a storm I washed up on the shores of an unknown island, very far from civilisation. I had always thought of myself as an explorer (character card) but perhaps this would be my greatest challenge yet. Whilst roaming the beach of this new world, I met a native man who I have decided to call Friday, he speaks very little English but he seems to want to help. He also has a dog that seems to follow him around.

We set about combing through the wreckage of my ship and found my pistol and a flask of rum (Randomly drawn wreckage cards). I also noted some food crates (starting event) but they were quite far off and I am not sure if I will be able to get them or not.

I remember that the second ship in our expedition was sailing around ten to twelve days behind us I hope that if I can build a large enough fire before they arrive (scenario objective), there may be a chance of rescue. I know it is a slim hope but it is all I have.

(Morale)
Obviously I was shaken by the shipwreck, but having met Friday and the Dog I feel a bit better and my morale increases and I feel a small amount of determination (take one determination token) for the day ahead.

(Production)
Whilst combing the beach we found some food and wood which I use to start the large wood pile we will need for the signal fire.

(Actions)
Today I felt that the best course of action was to explore my new surroundings, I asked Friday to help out and I think he understood, anyway he headed off north with his dog so I thought it was best to explore East and South. To the east I successfully discovered a river which seemed to have a good supply of logs and fish. Unfortunately I felt a cold winter wind (adventure card) blowing on my back and I can only think that this a portent of bad weather to come (green adventure card shuffled into deck). But on the plus side I also found a large branch (discovery token – 1 wood) lying around that I managed to drag back to camp before setting off on my second exploration.

To the south I successfully discovered some hills and did not even have an adventure. I did discover some oil (2 wood for the woodpile) which will be very useful for the wood pile and may make the signal fire that bit more effective.
Friday and the Dog successfully explored and found a mountain with a cave which we could use as a camp. He also discovered some big leaves (-1 Rain cloud) which could be used to protect us from the rain that is looming in the distance. He also made some sort of animal noises that I think means there is something up in the mountains that we may be able to hunt (1 beast added to beast deck).

(Weather)
The sky is still looking clear so there is no bad weather to contend with today.

(Night)
Friday leads me off to the mountains and helps me set up camp in the cave, sheltered from the elements I offer Friday some food but he just wanders off, I hope he comes back tomorrow.
After eating the food I get a good nights sleep

Day 2
(Event)
After a very successful first day on the island things are looking good, that is until I hear ‘Predators in the Woods’ (event card) it looks like it will be more dangerous to go exploring and I will need weapons to protect me, I am sure to have an adventure if I try.

(Morale)
Despite the worrying presence of those predators, I am feeling very positive and my morale increases (giving me two determination tokens).

(Production)
Before starting anything else today I have managed to gather an extra branch from outside the cave. I also ran back to the beach to add the oil to the wood pile (+2 wood for pile discovery token).

(Actions)
Those predators in the woods are occupying my thoughts today so I decide to make a knife and then to go on an expedition for food (event card). I successfully make the knife (+1 weapons) but it is ‘Dangerous Work’ (adventure card – add a reroll success and ? token to build action). Then I set out with Friday to find those food crates that I spotted yesterday and we recover enough food to last me for a couple of days.

(Weather)
Another dry day.

(Night)
Night finds me back in my cave, Friday has gone home and left me with the food we found earlier, I eat the perishable food and leave the non-perishable for tomorrow.

Day 3

(Event)
This island is giving me Chronic Tiredness (each player must eat 1 additional food during the night phase + green ?) and making me very hungry, I guess I should eat a bit more today to rebuild my strength.

(Morale)
My morale is now as good as it is going to get and I am feeling really determined to survive (take 2 determination tokens). Using some of my determination I have a quick exploration of my mountain (discard 3 determination to draw 2 discovery tokens and keep 1) and find a bush with some edible berries, they will not last long but will be enough to satisfy my hunger today (+2 food).

(Production)
I also find some branches lying around that could be useful (+1 wood). They look like they will be more use for tools so I decide not to put them on the wood pile.

(Actions)
I decide to try and make a spear, it looks like I will succeed but in the end I broke the branch and cut myself (1 wound) and had to stop (Fail after rerolling success), I also noticed a monkey hanging around (monkey see monkey do adventure card – shuffled into event deck). The failure makes me more determined to succeed at my next task (+2 determination tokens)

After the failure with the spear I thought I would use the broken spear to make a hatchet, this worked but I am beginning to think I shouldn’t work with sharp objects as I cut myself again (1 wound). The hatchet will help me to collect some more wood round the camp (+1 wood on camp hex)

As night was drawing in I packed up my new hatchet and headed back to my cave where I found Friday waiting. He handed me a crude map he had drawn of the island and then ran off, as he left I noticed he too had injured himself (1 wound) which made me think that the island is dangerous regardless of how well you know it.

(Weather)
Another peaceful day but I can see clouds building on the horizon again, it looks like the storm is coming this way.

(Night)
I eat the berries I found earlier and settle in for the night.



Day 4:

(Event)
I am feeling weak today (weakness event card), there will be no quick scout around for food today (can’t use determination skills). On the plus side, I can’t hear those predators in the woods any more but it looks like my cut from yesterday is worse than I thought (event discarded, +1 wound)

(Morale)
I manage to make a crude dressing for the wound though and feel a bit better (+1 health)

(Production)
I head out to the see if I can get some more wood and the hatchet proves really useful (+2 wood). I carry one branch down to the beach and add it to the wood pile.

(Actions)
Using the remaining wood I construct a makeshift roof over the entrance to the cave to protect me from the rain, while I am working I notice ‘Dark Clouds in the Sky’ (adventure card – add 1 rain cloud to weather space) and in my haste to finish the job I managed to injure myself again (1 wound).

After I had finished that job Friday showed up and together we made a spear, things are much easier with two people.
(Weather)

After three days of calm the heavens have opened (3 rain clouds) and despite me adding those big leaves to my new roof it wasn’t enough and the rain lashed into the cave and soaked everything, including my last remaining food. Being cold and wet is making me feel ill (1 wound)
(Night)
I settle in for the night but without anything to eat and with the rain pouring in it is going to be a miserable night. I am starving (2 wounds).

Day 5:

(Event)
As I emerge from my cave for my fifth day on this cursed island the storm is still raging and it looks like it will be Awful Weather (event card – add rain cloud to weather space – again!) and I am feeling really ill from my wet night in the cave (Chronic tiredness discarded – 1 wound)

(Morale)
Despite all the hardships I am still glad to be alive and that makes me feel a bit better (+1 health)

(Production)
Using the hatchet I manage to gather a further 2 logs.

(Actions)
The storm last night destroyed the big leaves so I know that I need to improve my roof, Friday helps and we manage to improve on my efforts yesterday although it does use all the wood I found today.

Friday then headed off but asked me to look after his dog. The dog looks pretty fierce and so I thought we would go hunting, together we head off down the mountain and against all odds we found a rare mountain dwelling alligator. With a combination of spear, knife and a well-aimed pistol shot we killed the gator. It damaged the spear quite badly (-2 weapons level) but at least we have plenty of food for tonight (3 food).

(Weather)
The storm was no better than yesterday (3 rain clouds), the improved roof was still not good enough, the rain got in a washed away a third of the alligator meat (-1 food) but with no wood left to plug the gaps it looks like another cold wet night (1 wound).

Night
Despite the rain I manage to eat enough alligator meat to satisfy my hunger, although I would not recommend raw alligator. Overnight the remaining meat goes pretty bad and I have to discard it.

Day 6

(Event)
I awake to a break in the storm and spot ‘Smoke on the horizon’ (cover plains terrain tiles – non revealed) which is odd due to all the rain. I decide it is best not to investigate. I still feel weak though (Discard weakness – no special determination skills available this round)

(Morale)
The break in the storm makes me feel a bit better (+ 1 health).

(Production)
I manage to find another 2 branches

(Actions)
Friday and his dog offer to go exploring to the east with the map, fill in some of the blank spaces, when he returns he has drawn in a river and a rather strange sketch of some sort of animal (1 beast). He has also dragged back a goat and a thorny bush which I can use to protect the cave (+1 Palisade). He also hands me an old machete which I can use as a weapon (+ 1 weapon). The bush has taken its toll however and he looks badly scratched (1 wound from forced adventure card)

While Friday is off exploring I go gathering, I have a successful morning gathering wood (1 wood) and also manage to find some nestlings (adventure card), with my current lack of food I have no choice but to kill the poor creatures for food (1 food), I just hope their mother doesn’t come looking for me (shuffle into event deck).

After Friday returns I borrow the new improved map and manage to find a shortcut to the river to the south of the mountains. I fall and injure myself on the way (1 wound) but as I recover from the fall I notice some herbs, these look like they may have medicinal properties so I pull them up to take back with me. Under the herbs I find a greater treasure, a medallion with a picture of a lady. The image gives me faith and I am determined to survive (3 determination tokens). I hurry back to camp (adventure card ‘In a Hurry’ – draw 2 discovery tokens and shuffle into event deck)

(Weather)
The storm has passed but a new cold front has brought with it a steady snow fall, I burn some wood to stay warm (even though I don’t have a fire yet!)

(Night)
I cook the nestlings on the fire and they taste good, I settle in for the night.

Day 7:

(Event)
I awaken to a white world, the snow from the night before leaves the island looking beautiful but I notice some tracks in the snow, whatever the creature was looks big, hunting may be dangerous today (Call of the wild +1 on hunting). Just as I think awful weather has passed (discarded awful weather card) I notice more snow on the horizon (add snow cloud to weather space).

(Morale)
The white world lifts my spirits, I think of Christmas and it makes me feel better (+1 health)

(Production)
Using the shortcut and my hatchet I gather 3 more branches and add 2 of them to the wood pile.
I also slaughter the goat and skin it. I will eat well tonight, and the hide will be useful to improve my roof.

(Actions)
With Fridays help I manage to use the goat skin to waterproof most of the roof. Then in the afternoon I take the dog hunting, we follow the tracks and find a large Tapir, it breaks my knife in the fight (-1 weapons) nearly breaks my arm (1 wound) but I kill it without using the last pistol shot. I get more meat for tonight’s feast (2 food) and an more hides I can use to finish the waterproofing on the roof.

(Weather)
The snow last night just a precursor to tonight’s onslaught, a mixture of heavy rain and snow (2 rain clouds and 3 snow clouds) makes my roof look drastically inadequate (roof level 3 with 5 clouds), I burn all my wood to stay warm (-3 wood for snow clouds), but I can’t keep the driving rain out and it washes away all of the tapir meat (-2 food). I have no wood left to build any form of shelter from the rain and I get soaked (2 wounds).

(Night)
The goat meat survives the rain and I manage to eat it before settling in for another uncomfortable night.

Day 8:

(Event)
Heavy clouds are here again, rain wakes me up and it seems it will rain the whole day (+ 1 rain cloud) The storm is showing no signs of breaking and things are starting to look pretty dire.

(Morale)
After a week on the island I take some comfort that I am still alive (+1 health)

(Production)
I start the day by gathering 2 branches which I put on the pile. Then I do a quick spot of fishing in the river to get some food for tonight.

(Actions)
After the storm last night I know that I need to finish the roof so with a little help from Friday we secure the Tapir skin in place to complete the roof.

After the roof is finished I take Fridays map and set out to explore with the dog, we map out some hills and find some candles which may let us work for longer and get a bit more done. I also find some vegetables that may make a nourishing soup – if only I had a pot to cook them in!

(Weather)
The storm has quietened a bit tonight with lighter rain and only a bit of snow (2 rain clouds and 1 snow cloud) but without any wood to burn I am in for a cold night (no wood so 1 wound). The cold must be getting to the animals as something was prowling around and damaged the thorny bushes (-1 palisade).

(Night)
I eat the fish and settle down for the night, knowing that my improved roof will protect me from the rain.



Day 9:

(Event)
The night was crazy, first I thought thorny bushes had been trashed by whatever animal was roaming around yesterday evening, but on closer inspection they were ok (Shelter card + 1 palisade)

Then as things were calming down monkeys came and tried to trash the bushes again (lose half rounded down = no damage) but they failed as well.

Then the mother bird showed up and finished the job (-1 palisade)
I am beginning to think this island is cursed (add ? to exploration action) as I have spotted more snow on the horizon (add snow cloud to weather space) and despite all the rain I have witnessed over the last few days, the rivers seem to have dried up! (Drought – cover rivers and treat as unexplored) which means my short cut is useless.

I also think that the beasts in the woods are sounding more ferocious, probably due to the drought (Fierce hunting discarded + red skull to hunting)

(Morale)
Once again a new dawn has reinvigorated me slightly (health +1).

(Production)
With the shortcut gone I have only managed to gather 2 branches today which I have added to the pile, it is getting bigger but we are not there yet.

(Actions)
With no food at camp I set out with Friday’s dog to hunt some game, we followed the tracks left by the monkeys into the woods but before we could track them down we were set upon by a bear!

This bear was clearly ravenous and more ferocious than I would have expected (+1 on hunting action meaning it had a strength of 7). As I stood there facing a bear armed only with a machete, a broken spear and a pistol with a single shot left (weapons level 2 and pistol with one use left), I thought it was all over, but quick thinking, a well-aimed shot and a distraction offered by the dog worked in my favour and the bear was dead, leaving me only slightly maimed (2 wounds) and minus a broken spear (weapons level -1). I hauled the carcass back to the cave and set about butchering it (5 food, 2 hides)

Following the encounter with the bear I drank all the rum to take away the pain (+2 health).


After a short break I took the dog exploring with the map, we found some grassland, there was some evidence of animal activity (add 1 beast to beast deck) and we managed to catch a goat (discovery token), find some tobacco (increase to morale discovery token) and we even found a map to some treasure (discovery token with treasure icon drawn now but resolved at start of weather stage)

Meanwhile, Friday managed to build a shovel with the help of the candles (don’t ask how that works).

(Weather)
The storm is back and it is looking worse than ever (2 rain, 3 snow). I have no wood to burn to stay warm so I am freezing (3 wounds due to snow with no wood). The rain is falling heavier as I write this and I don’t think the roof will hold (roof level 4 with 5 clouds), The rain has washed away some of my food and I really wish I had some extra wood to shelter me from the last of the rain but I am far too weak now to go out and find some. I am soaked through and freezing, I don’t think I can go on. (The lack of wood needed to deal with the final rain cloud resulted in death – game over).


Conclusion
Thanks for reading, I hope this gives you some idea of how brutal this game can be. The weather was horrendous and completely battered my poor explorer. Looking back as I typed this I can see a few areas where I could have done things differently (eg. It would have been better to make a pot on day 9 as I could have used it with some of the discovery tokens to provide quite a bit of healing but sometimes these things are much easier to see after the fact). As you can probably guess from reading this, the game is amazing, the story it tells from a few cards and dice is incredibly detailed and for the most part (mountain dwelling alligators and drought during a storm excepted) that story makes sense. While I have tried to tell the game as a story here and have elaborated a bit, everything is generated by the game and that is what makes the game experience so immersive. I hope to write more of these session reports as I continue to explore the game so please let me know what you think.
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danny stoll
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wow, this was a great read man.

I think this is the single post that tipped me over the edge of me needing to acquire the game myself.

Thanks!

Sjtollie
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Matt Williams
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Penkridge
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Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy the game when you get to play it.

RassilonsGhost
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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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Great report, thanks!
 
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