Gameday First Play – Red November
Drunk Gnomes on a submarine…
What can go wrong?
Red November is a cooperative game in a gnomish attack submarine where everything is going wrong. The sub is descending and the water pressure increasing, the nuclear reactor is overheating, the nuclear missile launchers are pre-igniting, fires and water leaks are everywhere, there’s a giant Kraken looming nearby and there’s very little oxygen and vodka left. While the storyline feels more and more like a disaster movie, the players must get organized to solve the problems, divide the tasks among themselves to minimize the risks, and sometimes accept to sacrifice themselves for the common cause.
As the blurb says this is a co-op game where you’re constantly fire fighting, sometimes literally fighting fires. You move around the ship, making dice rolls to pass checks to repair stuff, open blocked doors, put out fires, drain floods etc etc
It’s an OK game, nothing special, VERY tiny and quite fun. It’s not in my top 5 co-ops and not something I’m bothered about playing again. The owner didn’t do a great job of the rules by his own admission but we played it pretty much correctly.
However, there was one thing I really did like. the time and turn order system.
Around the board is the time track. Everyone starts at 0 obviously. The goal is to survive until you reach the amount of time required depending on the number of players in your game, 60 minutes in our case.
At periods around the board, usually every 3 spaces is a star, these are indicators as to when you flip over an event card. But the more actions you take on your turn, the more stars you pass, the more events you turn and the worse things get.
But, the more time you spend usually means you’re making you current task easier.
Also, whoever is the furthest behind on the track is the player who’s turn it is next.
It had that Tokaido (and Francis Drake) feel to it in a way and it’s something I would like to see in more games.
So yeah, the time and turn order is great, the rest is meh.