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The Plum Island Horror

$ 95.00
SKU: GMT2318
The Plum Island Horror is a 1 to 4 player game featuring cooperative play that combines tactical-level unit management with a tower-defense style survival mechanic. Each player will control one of six unique factions which represent the various groups that populate Plum Island. Each of these Factions has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the system encourages you to optimize for the group鈥檚 strengths and marginalize its weaknesses. Players must coordinate with one another, and the resulting synergy will hopefully be enough to successfully evacuate a city under siege and contain the horrific outbreak that threatens to spread beyond the island itself. If the players can succeed, they will win together, and the world will most likely be none the wiser to the averted crisis. If not, they will lose together and share the blame equally for failing humankind. The Plum Island Horror features a variable turn order system accomplished by drawing Turn Order Cubes from a bag made up of four faction-activation cubes, three Horror-activation cubes, and one 鈥淚mpending Doom鈥 cube. When a player鈥檚 activation cube is drawn, they may move each of their units and then select actions to perform. If a Horrors Cube is drawn, the players must Spawn and Activate a number of Horrors units depending on a Fate Card draw. With the Impending Doom Cube, an Event Card is drawn and immediately resolved. There are always eight Turn Order Cubes in the Turn Order Bag regardless of the player count. For the solo mode, the player will simply play the 2-player version and control both Factions. The 2-player mode has each player controlling one Faction. However, each player also has two faction-activation cubes in the bag (two for each faction). In the 3-player game, each player plays one Faction, but there is a 鈥淲ild鈥 faction-activation cube added to the bag; when it鈥檚 drawn, the players must decide which faction will take the extra activation. Finally, in the 4-player game, each player controls one Faction that receives one Turn Order Cube. The Plum Island Horror features six unique player Factions to choose from, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. The Factions are Neighborhood Watch, Greenport Township, Plum Island Constabulary, Islanders Athletic Club, P.I.R.L. Security Services, and National Guard. Each Faction has a leader, five basic units, and a Compound unit (a fortified base). I鈥檒l cover each of these Factions in further detail in future articles, but for now, suffice it to say that each faction has unique flavor and all of the tools needed to get 80% of the job done. The Plum Island Horror also features a 鈥渇ollow鈥 mechanic, which adds an extra layer of strategy and a 鈥減ush-your-luck鈥 element that increases the game鈥檚 tension (not that it really needs more tension but making players as nervous and anxious as possible is very satisfying to me). After a faction finishes their normal activation, players have an option to Follow. If they choose not to, nothing happens鈥攊mpending doom is waylaid for the time being, and the next Turn Order Cube is drawn. If a player does choose to Follow however, they may immediately conduct an out of turn Action with an eligible unit. If that sounds too good to be true, well, that鈥檚 because it is. After each Follow action, a player must draw a Fate Card. If the entry indicates 鈥淣o Event,鈥 then nothing further happens, and the next player has the option to Follow. If, however, the entry shows 鈥淒raw Event Card,鈥 then all Hell breaks loose. First, no further Follow actions may occur during this round. Second, and perhaps the worst part, the players must draw and resolve the top Event Card, which is almost always pure evil. All of that to say, the Follow mechanic does add an integral layer of cooperative tactical strategy that keeps the whole table on the edge of their seats. The Plum Island Horror features three unique decks of cards that each drive the game along in different ways. Fate Deck: The central driving force in the game is the Fate Deck. This deck of cards directs the Horrors鈥 actions, determines if an event occurs, and provides a random number to resolve various actions. Let鈥檚 break each of those down. First, when a Horrors Turn Order Cube is drawn, a Fate Card is drawn, and the two main boxes on the card effectively provide the Horrors鈥 marching orders. As can be seen in the Fate Card graphic, the top box indicates the track on which new Horrors 鈥淪pawn.鈥 Then the second box triggers a track to 鈥淎ctivate,鈥 which moves Horrors further into the heart of Greenport and regularly leads to an attack on颅 players鈥 units. Second, all Fate Cards have an 鈥淓vent鈥 determinant which is used when Following (see above). Finally, each card has a random number listed in the lower right known as the 鈥淔ate Number.鈥 The numbers emulate the roll of a die with numbers ranging from 鈥1鈥 through 鈥6鈥 that are evenly spread throughout the deck. Whether you are delving the wreckage of a shop for supplies, trying to steer clear of Horrors, or trying to team up with a buddy to get a key location up and running again, this deck of cards often determines the outcome. Event Deck: These cards are almost always bad news for the players. The two main times an Event Card is drawn are when the 鈥淚mpending Doom鈥 Turn Order Cube is drawn or when a player takes a Follow action and gets the 鈥淒raw Event Card鈥 instruction. These cards can spawn new Horrors, bring in a super-Horror, 鈥淢utation鈥 unit, affect the Biohazard Track, and create all sorts of other dangerous conditions. Search Deck: Players can do a 鈥淪earch鈥 Location Action in certain designated areas. If they choose to use one of their precious action points to search, they get to draw two Search Cards and pick one to keep. These come in a variety of narrative styles鈥攕ome are choices, some are tests, and others report something that just happens. They provide generally positive news for the players, and deciding on where and when a player uses an action to dip into these waters can be the difference between victory and defeat. Game Contents One Mounted Map (22鈥 x 34鈥) Rulebook 135 Playing Cards 7 Faction Player Mats 4 Player Aids 1 Game Track Sideboard 2 Cloth Bags 6 Custom Combat Dice 70 Horrors Tiles 36 Cardboard Standees 102 Wooden Pieces 162 Cardboard Counters