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Old Jul 15 2006, 05:28 PM   #1
Nefermiw
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Lund, Sweden

Fan of: The Crystal Singer series
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Default About playing the boardgame

So, I finally have a bit of time on my hands, and have actually uploaded a couple of photos of the game being played.
I played the game for the second time today with Lindsey and her husband Justin. The first time I played the game was with Lindsey and my husband Anders. The pics are from both sessions.

The game is a bit complicated, and it doesn't help that the board is too small compared to how many pieces you have to fit on it.
I have the '83 version of the game, and the board of that version is put together of 6 big "puzzle pieces"; it looks like this:


It says in the Designer Notes that the game was designed to accomplish three things: "First, to be entertain(sic.), both for people who have read and loved Anne McCaffrey' Dragonrider series of books and for those who have yet to read them. Second, for those who wish to learn more about the people of and places of Pern, the game can be used as a reference work. Finally the game was designed to recreate the atmosphere and events in the books. The players are presented with the same dilemma that faced the Weyrleaders; to choose between personal ambition or the protection and safety of Pern."

Well, I won't go as far as to say it recreates the atmosphere and events when it comes to what the weyrleaders have to face, but you do leatn a bit about where the different places are on Pern.
Some of the smaller holds I have never heard of, but Menolly's birth hold is on there so some at least I am familiar with.
You also get to see pictures of some of the characters that appear in the books - you can see some of the character cards in this pic:


The game takes place shortly after Lessa has brought back the oldtimers, so I was a bit surprised to see see a youngish looking Robinton, although he does have a few silver streaks in his hair (I'm sorry I didn't take a pic of that).

The goal of the game is to get as many lord holders as possible allied and to fight thread. The game ends when all lord holders are allied or if thread has burrowed at 10 places at the end of a turn.

When you are 3 players you get to play 2 weyrs each. Each weyr has 3 wings, a weyrwoman and a weyrleader.

There are several phases to a turn:
-Everybody takes an event card.
-You place a weyrleader and/or weyrwoman at a hold and bid on their allegiance. If more bid on the same hold, the highest bidder wins the chance to allegiance. The outcome is decided by the roll of two dice.
-A thread card is turned and thread tokens are placed on the affected holds.
-The weyr that has the same colour of a hold under threadfall send out wings to combat thread. You can invite other weyrs to help you fight thread. The outcome is decided by rolling two dice. A red die is rolled to determine if anybody hurt.
-If you fought succesfully you get awarded marks. If thread burrowed all players has to pay a markand the weyr that had a hold burrowed doesn't collect any awards this round eventhough it was succesful at other holds.
-You now get to heal wings that didn't fight this round. Healing costs 1 mark.

These are a very short version of the basic rules. There is also advanced rules and the game can be played as a single player. We only tried playing the basic game, but as far as I know you can time it in the advanced rules and Robinton is apparently an important character. Actually, the mastercrafters don't get used at all in the basic game.

As I said, the game is rather complicated. First time we played we only played two turns, 'cause it took extremely long to understand the rules. Today we also only played a couple of turns. It can get a bit tedius having to roll dice all the time and consulting a table with numbers to see the outcome of an allegiance, fight or injury. You also have a tendency to forget playing your eventcards, but I guess that will only be a matter of practise.

I'll leave you with a picture of thread being fought over Benden and some other holds:
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Last edited by Nefermiw; Jul 16 2006 at 03:24 PM.
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