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Game #9/12 - Reactor No.4 - Rescue your comrades and perform well enough to avoid being sent to the Gulag!

rn4 - play

ReactorNo.4

An 18 card PnP game for 1-4 players about coping with a major disaster at a Soviet Nuclear Power Plant.

Files for playing:
Rules:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/2lwaadn3qpxel9s/reactpr_no4_rules_01.pdf/file

Cards:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/n4ix01j0ljqdno0/reactor_no4_cards_01.pdf/file

Additional resources needed:
1 D6
1 Cube/player (VP tracking)
1 Black cube (disappointment tracking)
1 Pawn/player
8 Green Cubes (radiation)
9 Blue Cubes (water)
9 Orange Cubes (fire)
10 Pink Cubes (comrades)

Game play:
In Reactor No.4 players take turns to mitigate disasters occurring as a result of an explosion in a Nuclear Power Plant. Each round the map is modified by wind blows fires and nuclear fallout across a map as well as new fires and floods breaking out.

The players then take two of the following actions in an attempt to score points:
• Move up to 2 adjacent locations
• Evacuate survivors (score 1 VP per survivor)
• Extinguish fires (score 1 VP per fire)
• Pump out flood water (score 1 VP per flood)
• Clean up radiation (score 1 VP per radiation)

The available actions change each round and some locations provide modifications to scoring, or allow additional actions to be taken.

At the end of each round the level of disappointment felt by the Soviet High Command is modified based on the number of deaths as well as unresolved disasters on prized locations. Once the disappointment level reaches 20 the game ends and the lowest scoring player is sent to the Gulag.

Reflection:
This was the first challenge I was torn between two ideas a really liked. The theme for this one was “you can’t save them all” and of all the ideas I had down I struggled between the Chernobyl power plat disaster and the battle for Zion from the Matrix Revolutions. In the end my love of Soviet propaganda poster art won through.

I decided against doing a proper, accurate portrayal of the Chernobyl disaster mainly because I felt being accurate would affect making the game fun, but also I wanted to use the art style of the propaganda posters from the early 20th century, and not that of the 1980s.

Balancing this game was tough. On one side I wanted it to be punishing and difficult, but on the other side it had to be enjoyable so I didn’t want players to feel hopeless. I wanted the players to feel as helpless as the authorities in 1986, but I didn’t want them to feel that the game was unfair. So this meant limiting the amount of luck in the game and providing the players with a range of tools/actions to use in the game to mitigate the bad luck.

The end game also troubled me. I really felt having a “winner” at the end didn’t work thematically. The players were the authorities and, therefore, responsible for the human casualties so I wanted something more appropriate. In the end I decided to opt for only declaring a loser. The set up being, the Soviet high command are looking for someone to punish for the disaster so the players need to work hard to avoid being sentenced to the Gulag. Which I think fits thematically.

Anyway, I'd love to hear how others feel it plays.

If you're curious, here's the link to the other game so far:
Game#8: “Rendezvous over Triton”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/322141/rendezvous-over-triton
cards: http://www.mediafire.com/file/73q8xcji257m6vc/rendezvous_over_triton_car...
rules: http://www.mediafire.com/file/8l116378h1ywv1h/rendezvous_over_triton_rul...

Game#7: “Hand2Hand”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/322140/hand2hand
cards: http://www.mediafire.com/file/0bjs2mylwjw3zgr/hand2hand_cards_01.pdf/file
rules: http://www.mediafire.com/file/jc1tl6ih1dd0w76/hand2hand_rules_01.pdf/file

Game#6: “The Skurge”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/319429/skurge
cards: https://www.mediafire.com/file/tin84rd8qcgrjfd/the_skurge_cards_01.pdf/file
rules: https://www.mediafire.com/file/kqradtyxjv8oc61/the_skurge_rules_01.pdf/file

Game#5: “Green, Chems & Steel”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/319032/green-chems-steel
cards: https://www.mediafire.com/file/5g4t1pz6084v80b/money_drugs+guns_cards_03...
rules: https://www.mediafire.com/file/5u9ezmwc877ftto/money_drugs+guns_rules_02...

Game#4: “Those Magnificent Men”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/318760/those-magnificent-men
cards: https://www.mediafire.com/file/q2bptjpkqgx2r34/those_magnificent_men_car...
rules: https://www.mediafire.com/file/62ifvf6ihzlv3ui/those_magnificent_men_rul...

Game#3: “Anisoptera”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/318713/anisoptera
cards: https://www.mediafire.com/file/3eznffiwsg6la9d/anisoptera_cards_01.pdf/file
rules: https://www.mediafire.com/file/yltl0cu438mtzc1/anisoptera_rules_02.pdf/file

Game#2: “Dyadic”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/318565/dyadic
cards: https://www.mediafire.com/file/bhceed33r1za0d5/dyadic_cards_01.pdf/file
rules: https://www.mediafire.com/file/xevx4z5jll69ae2/dyadic_rules_01.pdf/file

Game#1: “Gene Dreams”
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/318089/gene-dreams
cards: https://www.mediafire.com/file/gnoyog6ylt5qtrz/gene_dreams_cards_05.pdf/...
rules: https://www.mediafire.com/file/opo9fv2mda5nuid/gene_dreams_rules_04.pdf/...

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blog | by Dr. Radut