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Subject: Lost! rss

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Mike D
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This replay is a play-test of my latest Vassal mod for Outdoor Survival. The map and counters aren't great but I wanted to take them from photos of the game to give it that lovely retro AH look. Thanks to whoever took a shot of the board and loaded it on BGG, it's not a perfect shape but it still works and really saved me a lot of trouble in putting the mod together.

So Scenario One of Outdoor Survival sees four players Lost in an inhospitable wilderness. Their objective is simply to make it to any edge of the board before they die of thirst, starvation or whatever else might get you in the outback.

For this game we've got Charlie (light blue), Sally (yellow), Lucy (dark blue) and Linus (green). Let's say they're survivors of a plane crash, although they all start in roughly the same location (Base No. 5), that hex is a mile wide. So we'll assume they aren't aware of each other and hence head of in all different directions.

Day One
Charlie heads north-east, a promising start as he manages three miles and finds a berry patch to provide him some sustenance through the night.

Sally heads south-west then changes her mind after seeing those mountains, and heads north-east to camp for the night in a clearing.

Lucy makes progress to the west, crossing over a river and camping in clear terrain. Unfortunately she takes a tumble during her crossing and twist an ankle (lose 2 life levels).

Linus makes the least distance on the first day, deciding to head south-west through the forest and into the mountains.



Day Two
Charlie continues north-west heading deeper into the woods and camping in the foothills of the spur of a mountain range.

Sally has lost all sense of direction and heads back over the same woods she traversed yesterday.

Lucy continues to make good progress north-west deciding to camp in some light woods, unfortunately she just misses finding a trail that might have led to safety.

Linus can't find his way down the mountain range, he heads back into the woods, then climbs up again at a different point. He isn't making much progress but he's close to a river which would provide a good source of water.

At this point all players are getting thirsty and drop a life level for lack of water. With her hurt leg, Lucy is struggling the hardest.



Day Three
Charlie makes good progress to the south-east and finally manages to clear the forest. He camps in open terrain but disturbs a bee's nest when setting camp and is badly stung. He'll need to spend the next day getting over his hurts (miss a turn).

Sally heads south-east then finds a spot to climb into the mountains. Towards the top she finds herself stuck in a rocky gully and will have to spend the next day figuring how to get out of it (miss a turn).

Lucy makes tracks along the edge of the wood to the south-west. She makes camp early, unaware that another trail head and food are close by.

Linus finally makes his way off the mountain range and camps by the river. He hasn't traveled very far at all but at least he gets a drink water for this evening.



Day Four
Charlie spends the day getting over his bee strings.

Sally finds her way out of the gully and reaches the mountain peak. Unfortunately the effort of the climb took a lot out of her and she's starting to feel the hunger pangs (lose two food levels)

Lucy heads south-west and finally finds the trail, she follows it as far as she can and makes camp where it ends.

Linus tries to follow the river but gets completely lost, he ends up moving south-east through the woods along the line of mountains instead. Not expecting to lose the river he's been drinking too much as he goes (lose one water level).

At this point all players are getting hungry and even more thirsty and most drop another two life levels for lack of food and water. Charlie had some berries on the first day so fares a little better than the others. Linus did find a drink yesterday but didn't conserve properly this day so ends up suffering just as much.



Day Five
Charlie loses his bearings and makes a huge mistake today, heading south straight into a scorching desert.

Sally climbs off the mountain and begins heading south through the woods.

Lucy heads south-west into the foothills. She's lucky tonight, camping by a mountain spring and catching a squirrel as it comes to drink. She grabs it and twists it's neck quickly. Without any means to make fire Lucy decides to eat the squirrel raw, but pays for it later. She wakes with severe stomach cramps and throws it all up again (lose two food levels)

Linus realizes his mistake of yesterday and head south-west back towards the river. He's not far from it but is too weak to reach it this day.

With the exception of Lucy, all players are really suffering from thirst now (losing two life levels to lack of water). Charlie's hunger starts to kick in now (lose 1 life level) and Lucy had a bad meal of raw squirrel which leaves her more hungry than she started.



Day Six
Charlie, still lost and thirsty, heads deeper into the desert.

Sally heads south and manages to clear the woods to camp in open terrain come evening.

Lucy slowly continues south-west along the mountain range looking for a way down.

Linus heads north-west and finds the river again, he turns to follow it but is took weak to move any further this day.

Both Charlie and Sally are now delirious with thirst and Sally is also suffering from hunger pangs (lose 4 and 5 life levels respectively). Lucy is doing little better with all her thirsty climbing through the hills (lose 2 life levels). Linus is hungry but wakes up in the morning no worse for the wear.



Day Seven
Charlie and Sally are suffering from delirium. Charlie can't find a way out of the desert and Sally attempts to wander north back into the woods.

Lucy finally climbs down out the mountains into a patch of dark forest.

Linus heads south and luckily finds a trail, he follows it south to make camp by a pool of water.

The siblings Brown, Charlie and Sally, are both dead come morning. Lucy is now in similar dire straits due to extreme thirst and hunger (losing 5 life levels). Linus is now the only player still mobile.



Day Eight
Too weak to move any further, Lucy crawls into the shade of a big tree and lies quietly beneath it.

Linus continues along the trail and breaks out into clear terrain, with hopes rising, he heads south as quickly as he can. Unfortunately after two miles he finds only more woods ahead of him. Linus begins to lose the will to go on (miss one turn).

With Lucy dead from thirst, it's now Linus' turn to camp dry and hungry (losing 5 life levels).



Day Nine
Linus open his eyes to see the vultures circling overhead.. with a sigh he rolls over and goes back to sleep...




Winners?
Well everyone died so no-one gets the teddy bear... Linus lasted longest by trying to stick close to the river but Lucy was closest to safety by the end of game. At one time I thought Charlie had the best shot at survival but the wrong turn into the desert put an end to that. Sally was simply all over the place and had the worst sense of direction, I'll give her last place.



Conclusions and Reflections
Outdoor Survival has certainly taken a knocking on this forum for it's lack of appealing play. Most people, I'm sure, start with Scenario One: Lost, quickly find how difficult it is to survive in the wilderness and lose interest.
Lost is a harsh scenario as you're given a terrible sense of direction and really don't have any way to replenish food or water as you go. This scenario demands that you have better than average luck with finding your bearings, so you can get off the board as quickly as possible, hoping to land on any food, and especially water sources along your path.
You'll be getting weaker all the time so if you're not near an edge within six or seven turns your movement rate will quickly drop to nothing and it'll be all over soon.
To give your lost wanderers better odds of making it out (and make the first scenario less frustrating), I'd suggest you could give yourself a head start by placing your luckless individuals more randomly. Roll a die for each player and start on the Base indicated (only start on Bases 1-5. If you get a six, roll again).




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Albert Hernandez
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That was an entertaining session report. Where was Snoopy during all this? Was he piloting the plane when he was hit by another flashback of fighting Richthofen in the skies?

I hate saying this, but it's the grim narratives that you make for the hapless hikers that make this scenario so fun.
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Mike D
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Yeah, I'll save Snoopy for the Escaped Prisoner session. It was enough to have Lucy twist the head off a squirrel and eat it raw.
Good Grief! That might have been Woodstock.

You're right that losing yourself in the narrative is what makes the game fun. Given it was one of Avalon Hill's bestsellers I don't think this is such the dog that some people make out, I'll certainly be happy to spend a few hours playing through the rest of the scenarios and variants.
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Gerald McDaniel
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Very good imaginative writing and well illustrated. Great fun to read. I always thought the rules were too harsh for that scenario.

The gameboard was an excellent design and makes for many possible fun homemade scenarios.

Thanks for keeping the game alive.
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Sisyphean Gamestacker
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Reading this SR makes me realize that Outdoor Survival is a perfect base game for a "The Hunger Games" scenario ("The Hunger Games" is a recent YA novel in a post-apocalyptic future where each year a collection of teens are forced to fight it out to the death in a dome as a televised cultural punishment for their forbears having revolted against the ruling city -- it's kind of like "The Lottery" meets "Death Race 2000").
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Albert Hernandez
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atimrogers wrote:
Reading this SR makes me realize that Outdoor Survival is a perfect base game for a "The Hunger Games" scenario ("The Hunger Games" is a recent YA novel in a post-apocalyptic future where each year a collection of teens are forced to fight it out to the death in a dome as a televised cultural punishment for their forbears having revolted against the ruling city -- it's kind of like "The Lottery" meets "Death Race 2000").


"Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon."
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Mike Heine
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Great session report!

Great reading. I have to say though, that reading this is much more fun and satisfying than actually playing the game.

No surprise that Charlie Brown, being the pessimist that he is, was one of the first to perish.
And that the optimist Linus, struggled on as long as he could.

How about the next session report describes the trials of everyone lost on Gilligan's Island.
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Steven Packard
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Fantastic report.

Has anyone ever won this scenario? I tried it several times many, many years ago with no success.

Your interesting report and great presentation have done the unthinkable: I want to pull out my copy of Outdoor Survival and try it again.
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Mike D
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WhiteKnight85 wrote:
Fantastic report.

Has anyone ever won this scenario? I tried it several times many, many years ago with no success.

Thanks Steven, for the kind words and the nice tip.
I've only won this when starting from the other bases 1-4, it seems like only a little extra distance you gain but helps a lot

WhiteKnight85 wrote:
Your interesting report and great presentation have done the unthinkable: I want to pull out my copy of Outdoor Survival and try it again.

Lost is the hardest one of all... don't do it if you want to live!
The Survival or Rescue scenarios might be interesting.

I've still to try some of the other scenarios in the box, and there are a few online and in the General. I did play through GamesGrandpas Off-Road variant and had a real nice time with that. Really shows what you can do with the game.
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Ted Groth
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WhiteKnight85 wrote:
Has anyone ever won this scenario? I tried it several times many, many years ago with no success.

The only way I ever found to survive this scenario was if you could find a space with both food and water somwhere mid-map, then camp there for an extended time - to try and reach full strength again before proceeding. Basically forget about the race to be first, and try to be the only survivor instead. If you are lucky enough to find more than one such space, do the same each time!

Even that strategy can fail, with a couple of wrong turns into the mountains or desert.
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Michael Sammut
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Wonderful review Mike.

I have only recently got this game, and found that your Report captures the frustration action perfectly!!

Tradewinds Ted wrote:

The only way I ever found to survive this scenario was if you could find a space with both food and water somwhere mid-map, then camp there for an extended time - to try and reach full strength again before proceeding.

Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to remain stationary in this 'Lost!' Scenario: You must use your full movement, and you must be lucky enough to camp at Food or Water for it to count (later scenarios allow you to to satisfy your thirst/hunger requirements by simply crossing water/food).

Oh, I have wandered past many a luscious oasis, but have had to say "Sorry, delicious, refreshing water, I can't stop - I'm too busy heading out into the desert to die!!"
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Steven Robinson
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Well hello there mister rabbit, can't stop moving, I'm lost......(what the hell is that sound I been hearing for the past 2 days)...oh, it's my stomach grumbling, I forgot...I"M STARVING!!!!!
 
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