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Subject: into the dark - an explanatory session report rss

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Jan Schröder

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into the dark play through:

This session report orignially appeared on my WIP thread for the 2017 Solitaire Print and Play Contest to show how this rather hard to build game plays.

to make following the pictures easier, here a brief summary about how the game works:

In into the dark you will enter a strange land to find a certain secret site and hopefully return to the exit.
To find out where this site is, you will have to venture "into the dark" - which in this game is the bottom of the board.
Here you can find information about possible sites to visit and how the land will react to you entering them.

Apart from you there is one local inhabitant roaming that land.
It will try to reach you. If it does, the game is over.

The land is a landscape of dark (shadow) and light (no shadow) spaces.
You can move freely as long as you do not use a dark connection (dotted line between spaces in shadow) or enter a dark space.
In the last case you would become scared and have to add a despair cube to your cup of action cubes.

These cubes are drawn during the game and placed onto the action display.
Each round you will choose one column or row of cubes in that display. The cubes chosen will define whose turn it is: Yours (white cube), a tower´s (yellow cube) or the Inhabitant´s (black cube).

In your turns you can either move from light space to light space or modify the board by pushing towers to the left or right.
This will change the distribution of shadows on the board an through that your movement possibilities.

Round 1:

Since the Inhabitant is rather far away and there are not too many black cubes on the action display it might be a good idea to use the quiet moment to find out about what awaits us in the darkness.

We can do that by moving onto a space next to a tower (touched by red shadow) and wil do that in turn 1.
We discover a possible secret site: a light space with two dark spaces diagonally adjacent to it - that´s very lucky! this site is the easiest to find!
Turn 2: Let´s find out more about the landscape´s possible reactions, better to be prepared. We do that by moving into the next red shadowed space (its lucky again, that they are so well connected!).
And we find out: as soon as we entered that particular secret site, the exit would move as far away as possible (again: could be worse!).

In turn 3 the tower behind us moves toward us to throw its shadow upon us - but it fails: our space is still light!

Round 2:

What we found out about that secret site looks good - so let´s not waste more time with exploring the other possibilities but go for it:
first we have to clear the way by removing the shadows obstructing it:

we use both our turns to move the appropriate towers.
in Turn 3 the tower comes back - but not far enough to reach us!

Round 3:

Let´s do it and risk using up most of our actions!

Turn 1: Selecting the goal by reaching the corresponding darkness space.
Turn 2: Hmm, the site in question seems to be missing on the board - so we will have to manufacture it by moving one of the boards - here it is! also close to the exit!
Turn 3: just to be safe, and since the red shadow is so convenient to reach: Lets find out what rule change awaits us when we reach the site!

What we find will be interesting later: as soon as we reached the site, we will have to swich over to the other side: only move in dark spaces and recieve despair cubes in the light!

Round 4:

Now its time for some cube management and get rid of some of the black cubes - otherwise the inhabitant might become too powerful later in the game.

Its safe to do that since we will move far in turn 1 - up to the secret site!
As soon as we reach it the Consquence triggers and the exit moves as far away as possible without breaking up the board.

And since we ended our movement on a light space (which normally would have been a good thing) we now have to add a despair cube to the cup - the rule chance is in effect immediately as well!

Turn 2 and 3: Now its time for the inhabitant to move closer. It always moves towards us, prefering vertical movement to horizontal - very close now, but not there yet!

Round 5:

Its time to build a dark path to the exit.
For that it is too far away though. We are not allowed to move the landscape board containing the exit anymore (part of the Consequence) but we could have it come to us!

Turn 1: The tower behind us (and the exit...) comes closer. No shadow on our space = +1 Despair cube.
Turn 2: the tower tries to come closer again but cannot, it has already reached its destination = + another despair cube. That starts to become a little scary...
Turn 3: now we have the possibility to construct our escape path by moving the tower of light itself!
The top row of the game board works slightly differently than the others: here a sequence of white and black cubes on the tower of light define whether a space below is light or dark. In this case we are lucky since there are a few dark spaces next to each other:
enough for creating a closed dark path to the exit!

Round 6:

Lots of black cubes on the action display - we have to find a way to move without the inhabitant moving as well - its too close!
So lets use the row blocked by the first despair cube and only take a single turn this round (despair cubes can never moved outside the action display).

turn 1: as always we have to draw a cube first and place in into the display ....
- and its a blue despair cube! which means that we have to skip that single turn that would have meant victory for us!
(Edit: i´ve marked the wrong blue cube in the picture, should have been the left on, which is the newly drawn one)

Round 7:

But there is still one last chance:
We still can move first, but the inhabitant gets to move twice afterwards!
And also there are two blue cubes in the neighbouring row on the display: Should we draw a despair cube and have to place it orthognonally next to one of them, the Inhabitant would get an additional action...
And of course, should we draw a blue cube during our turn, we would have to skip it again...

Turn 1: But we don´t! Exit reached! Now lets see how fast the inhabitant moves.
Turn 2: not so fast... (and no extra turn yet)
Turn 3: and too slow again! We won!

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