Sunday, April 5, 2020

Voyage of the Pandora

With all of us now working from home, self isolating or whatever system is in place trying to stem the Pandemic, I had someone come to the door.

Imagine my surprise when my friend Bruce was standing on the walkway, & after greeting me, pointed to a small parcel he had left on the step. It seems Bruce was determined that we keep our group gaming during this time.

My first thought was OH...a play be email campaign. But upon removing the items within the envelope, it was soon discovered that this was a solo affair.

Bruce took the original counters & made his own versions of them, creating much nicer & easier to figure crew, creature & equipment counters. Your provided with the choice of either a 10 year (45min), 20 year (2 hr) or 30 year mission. Your given your space with various planets you will be able to explore.

I would start with a 10 year mission. 

You must then roll a d6 to determine the Intelligence of each crew member. The higher the dice, the higher the Int stat.

Now I must state that this is a system from the Grognard Wargame era. Even with Bruce giving us a set of crib notes, I was soon to be a bit boggled with wording....

Anyway off I went. The Pandora flew to the nearest planet - Mephisto.

The game works with a list of 232 paragraphs, each numbered. As you perform various things, you consult the specified paragraph to determine the situation.

I orbited Mephisto & determined that the Gravity was Light, Atmosphere Normal, Geology Active, etc. There are counters to track this. You will also be informed that if you wish to explore there are 3 locations you may get by the roll of a die.

This is where it gets convoluted. You decide what you want to take down to the surface on your shuttle. The shuttle has so many portage points of equipment & people it can take to the surface. However once there you will then send out your group. I went with the Ground Survey member with 3 pieces of gear & 3 supplies. Supplies will be used once you reach a certain threshold & roll a die.

I decided I would walk. Now it states that the hex you land in must be explored. Each time I search or move it consumes time (in hours). Based on the chart it would cost me 3 hours to explore my hex.

There is a chart that you roll on to determine which paragraph will be read. There are generally 3 listed events per paragraph based on what terrain your in. If none of the 3 fits your location, you get to perform an Expedition Action. 

As this is the result I got, I moved to the next hex (costing a further 2 hours) 

I got the same result again & now found myself entering the cave, which is where I was headed anyway.

I discovered an energy creature, which I opted to try to communicate with. Its a good thing I didn't have a robot with me, or he would have been damaged by the electrical surge of the creature.

Due to its lack of intelligence I was able to capture the critter in an E-cage. 

From there it was back to the shuttle & up to the Pandora. This took me more than 45 minutes just to get through 1 expedition. I am sure once I play more, it will move faster.

This finds me with 5VP for my first year of the voyage.

I will be contacting Bruce to get some clarifications & hopefully get further into my voyage next week!


  1. That looked like a great way to spend some time.

    1. Thanks Michael, getting some answers to questions to hopefully make it play smoother next round.