GF Plays – Lifeboats

Posted on by Jesta

Negotiate to live.

Negotiate to get the game finished…

There’s been a boating accident, and a rag-tag group of six lifeboats is trying to make its way to one of several islands just over the horizon. However only one boat will make any forward progress in a given turn, so players try to convince everyone to vote for his particular favourite. To further complicate matters, the sailors can’t seem to decide which boat they want to be in, so they’re constantly jumping out of boats to swim to another one. As if all that wasn’t enough, one of the boats springs a leak each turn. If the boat is at maximum occupancy when the leak occurs, then players vote to decide who to toss to the sharks!

I’ll quickly go through how to play…

Each player has a boat plus the Black boat is always in the game Each player gets 2 Officers and some crew. The start player gets a stick… (The current player can bang the stick to stop all negotiations.)

Each player in turn puts an Officer or Crew in a boat. Each player does this until all crew are placed.

Each player votes on a boat to get a leak and these are revealed simultaneously.   The majority gets the leak with the current start player breaking ties. This boat gets a ‘leak’ token which takes up one space in the boat. If the boat is full, the players with people on that boat votes to see who gets kicked out and drowns.

If a boat has more leaks that people, the boat sinks and is removed.

Then everyone votes in the same way for a boat to move forward one space. If a boat reaches the end of the board it has reached the island and those Crew survive.

Then people panic, or swim to a better boat or have a ‘Chinese Fire Drill’ as I saw it referred to. Everyone, in turn order, takes one of their people of a boat and puts it behind it. Then, in reverse order players put their guy into a boat other than the one they came out of. If there isn’t room, they drown. Then again, if a boat has more leaks than people, it sinks.

Then at the end of the game you get 1 point for each Crew and 2 for each Officer that survives. Who ever had their boat reach the island sooner breaks tie breakers.

What I like about this game is the Panic bit. It mixes it up, makes allegiances change and if you’re lucky you can screw someone over.

What I don’t like is it is the same thing over and over, it’s vote after vote after vote and it didn’t hold my interest. I played this right after playing Cosmic Encounter and I enjoyed that game so much more.

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