Nemo Builds his Legacy

I've decided to keep a journal of some of my new Nemo's War second edition Booster Packs playtesting. I hope this turns out to be something you're interested in. - Alan Emrich

In this first journal, I am trying out the Nautilus Upgrades booster and a new Motive: Legacy Building. You will see the new Upgrade cards available for the Nautilus later; for now, let me set the stage for this Motive (very much subject to change as playtesting develops these ideas):

Nemo motive: Legacy Building playtest idea

With a Legacy Building Motive, Captain Nemo (i.e., you) try to sink Warships, avoid non-Warships, and find as many Adventure scoring opportunities as you can. Although your special rule is an immunity to Notoriety Defeat, each Defeat! level reached on the Notoriety Track is -1 Nemo… and that can add up very quickly, indeed!

Preparing to Shove Off

The initial Adventure deck is arranged per the Explore Motive, although I'm thinking that the Anti-Imperialism Motive's deck design might also work; this is something that only testing will tell.

I opt to start with Strengthened Prow (+1 to non-Torpedo attacks, which is interesting as one of the new Motives presents a new type of attack for which this still works, thematically), but it costs 4 Resources instead of the 3 we're used to from other Motives. Since my Nemo resources could become quite scarce while Legacy Building, I opt to give up 2 Crew and 2 Hull at the outset, so the Nautilus "isn't what she used to be" before we ever pull out of port!

The high price of a Strengthened Prow!

The only old upgrade card available is Monstrous Design, but I'm not sure how useful keeping my Notoriety down will be in this Motive (where I cannot be defeated by it); still… it's always handy and I score Adventure VPs with it, which are highly bonused (I'm playing +2 Bonus VPs per instance, but my note says that maybe it should be +3; again, that's why we playtest).

New Nautilus Upgrade cards being playtested

The three new upgrades include Nemo Cell Batteries (+1 Action Point during a Lull; 1 Science); Crystalline  Sensors (a placement die reroll each turn, but expensive at 4 and yields Treasure VPs that give me no bonus with this Motive); and the Clockwork Cipher (once per Action Phase I can flip a revealed Ship Token, and boy do I want that as I’m after Warships and want to avoid Non-Warships!).

Setting Sail

Fate launches our voyage as it does in 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, in the North Atlantic. Thanks to the last +3 Crew Resource I left myself during setup, I pass the Shortage of Air TEST giving me 4 Adventure VPs (2 from the card +2 for the Legacy Motive) and 4 Science VPs. That’s 8 of my 10 per turn quota (the approximate amount required for any Motive's Success). Yet, a slow start from there occurs as I roll a 4-4 Lull turn. I use my available Action Point (AP) to Adventure, looking for a good Treasure draw and more Adventure VPs. We venture into An Underwater Forest where Nemo and the Crew combine to easily Pass, and so there are 2 more Adventure VPs (from the Legacy Motive’s +2 bonus) and four Treasure draws (1 for the gemstone setup on the Adventure Pile, 1 more added for the Lull turn, and 2 more for Pass reward!). The Treasure draws are all money: 2, 2, 3, and 3. I’ll take it. My score right now is a thumping 20 VPs on the first turn, a sure sign of good luck (which won’t last, I'm sure…).

Instead of quitting at this point and basking in the glow of my record first turn score, I proceed through Act I. There is A Capital Encounter next (we both missed, which is worse for me as I bet my last +3 Crew against it). My Bold Attack in the North Atlantic to right my wrongs produces the Lord Clyde Ironclad who dings my Crew but perishes into Tonnage for it. Next is a rematch on the Cerberus (who hits the Crew and the Hull) but is also reduced to Tonnage. Next up is the Clyde (no relation to Lord Clyde, presumably), and that Freighter splashes into the Salvage box ending my Bold Attack. I’ve only got 7 Warship VPs to show for this turn, but I still have 1 Action left, so I Search the North Atlantic whose Gemstone yields a double draw that becomes a 3 VP Treasure and 1 Wonder (worth 4 VPs in this Motive). "Right," I say out load, "so that’s 14 VPs this turn but the Nautilus is looking like a hunk of electrified Swiss cheese with 60% the Crew and 40% of the Hull gone. Not an entirely satisfactory state of affairs for only the second turn!"

I Passed through Troubled Dreams and made a Stalk Attack into the Hidden Ships again building up in the North Atlantic. The Clipper Taeping went down like the price of tea in China, but we Salvaged her and now have enough to acquire the Clockwork Cipher when we have time to refit the Nautilus. To help with that, I save my last AP. No VPs this turn, but I’m still 7 over quota, so I’m not too worried just yet.

The Arabian Tunnel is the next Adventure card, which is perfect for this situation. I was planning on going to the European Seas next anyway, so the timing is very good. With my 3 APs this turn I scoot to Europe and get my Clockwork Cipher at a discount (so I still have 1 Salvage left). That’s only 4 VPs this turn (for the Wonder that is the Clockwork Cipher), but technically I’m still 1 VP “over par” right now, with a tricked out Nautilus and the Arabian Tunnel waiting. Things look promising.

With Conseil alive, As Master Wishes affords some Treasure-hunting options, but it’s a Keep card so I wait to see what the placement dice have in store.… Okay, 2 APs. I opt to make 1 Treasure draw via Conseil, placing that card in the Fail pile as instructed and drawing a Retain 2 VP/+1 AP Treasure token. Cool. I save the other AP to see what the next turn brings.

It’s hot at 42 Degrees Centigrade, but my luck holds. Passing, the Adventure and Science VPs total 6, plus a Hull comes back (we’re back in the Science VP Zone, but it won’t last, I’m sure). Finally, 3 more APs for a total of 4 APs on the track this turn. "Let’s rack up some points, people!" A Bold Attack in Europe sees the Armored Frigate Jylland miss us and sink with the help of Ned Land for Tonnage; thanks to the Clockwork Cipher, the Clipper Ariel is revealed to be the Armored Frigate Minotaur that misses us and we barely put her down as more Tonnage; pressing on we are up against the Passenger ship Napoleon III (named after the French Emperor who is being defeated this year in a war with Prussia) which is quickly dispatched for Salvage while the Notoriety gain for doing so adds the Blue Warships to the draw bag. I’m sure if I had a plan, everything would be going according to it, but right now I use 2 APs to (barely) Refit the Nemo Cell Batteries onto the Nautilus (and costing me a 2 VP Treasure token, darn it). We (that's the "Royal we," of course, but I always think about the Crew and passengers) spent the last AP to use The Arabian Tunnel and rack up some big time VPs (7 of them) for doing so.

Here ends Act I. At the moment, I’m praying for Lull turns and try to get some Crew back onboard. Let me return to my journal at the end of Act II.

One Rest Action, 2 Slavers, and The Coral Realm later, the Crew is completely topped off, but a late loss near the end of Act II has it down only one from the top. The Hull and Nemo Resources both have 3 damage, which puts Nemo at Steady (+3 DRMs), but with two more Notoriety Defeat levels looming, that will leave Nemo perilously close to the brink. My Bold Attacks are yielding results, so I’m going for a “Danger” level on the Tonnage Track and thus am currently halfway through another world tour to score the remaining Tonnage I need. I’ve refitted the Nautilus with Monstrous Design and will be Stalk Attacking my way to the “Danger” level and try not to rush into those last two Notoriety Levels (the marker is currently at 42).

For the Act III card punctuating the end of Act II, I’m keeping my Motive (since I’m playtesting it) and carefully selected Nemo’s Sanctorum for the next potential upgrade. I really need it, as I can spend 1 Nemo for 2 APs or (more importantly in my situation) vice-versa. Unfortunately, I currently have no Salvage for its 2 point cost, so Act III is going to be a near-run thing!

Here ends Act II. Can the Nautilus complete its second World Tour before Nemo is broken and the game is lost? Stay tuned.…

As the Nautilus Returns to Mystery Island in the Finale, we failed to get Nemo’s Diaries published, which (as it turns out) doomed our mission! Our final score was 243, but had we found an agent and a decent publisher for Nemo’s notes, that would have pushed our score to 251! So close!!

Well, I ended up with a very tricked out Nautilus (adding on Nemo’s Sanctorum and Magnetic Mines, the latter which proved useless as a metal-hulled ship never came after me, proving its acquisition a waste of energy when I was so close to winning). Still, the Clockwork Cipher proved its usefulness at the end of the game, as I was flipping the Warships I Stalked down from Purple-colored to their "natural state," which improved my chances a bit.

I would say my luck was pretty good overall, I only rerolled twice, both on snake eyes, and sucked up everything else that came my way. I had some good Adventure cards, and with a +2 modifier for each adventure scoring opportunity, I almost made it. I’m debating whether to make that +3 for Adventure VPs for this Legacy Building Motive (which would have netted me another 28 Adventure VPs; giving me a high scoring Success, nearly a Triumph). I felt that I "did that well” to have earned it, but that might be too generous a reward.

This requires more playtesting!

Legend Building playtest 1 endgame