The bombs have fallen. The Earth lies in ruins. In an instant, 99% of the world's population was dead or would be soon. Life as we knew it was over, and those of us who were "lucky" enough to survive the initial nuclear fires have had to adapt quickly to our harsh environment, or join the fallen. It has been said that no person has ever been promised a tomorrow, but now, the same could be said for the entire human race.
This post apocalyptic setting is the world of Downfall, a brand new game from designer John D. Clair (Mystic Vale). In this 4X strategy game, each player will take control of a unique faction in the year 2213. It is a bleak and unforgiving future where survival is never certain and there is no prize for second place - you either rise to the top, or you fall into ruin and decay.
Using a unique card drafting mechanism, players will have several options on their turn. Will they forage for resources, abate radiation, or travel and explore the desolated wasteland with their citizens and airships? As the game proceeds, will they spend time researching new technologies or triggering conflicts with their opponents? All of these choices can earn a player points, albeit in different ways.
Cards have consistent major actions and different minor actions:
When you choose a major Gather action, turn 1 raw resource token to its gathered side in every space with a regular survivor (equipped survivors do not Gather). Gathered resources can be stored or used to feed, Build, and remove radiation.
When you choose a major Regrow + Excavate action, first place 1 raw food on each plains and clean water space you occupy. Second, place a raw matching resource on each space with one of your outposts.
When you choose a major Bunker action, choose to either A: gain 1 survivor, B: gain 1 raw building resource, C: gain 1 culture point, or D: all of the above. Be careful not to gain more survivors than you can feed!
When you choose a Build action, you may spend gathered resources from your storage or any space you control to equip survivors (1 metal), build airships (1 metal), bunkers (3 stone), or outposts (1 stone). You may also remove adjacent radiation (2 oil).
When you choose a Command action, first place a command token on any space. Next, spend up to 2 movement points on separate units (airships may carry up to 2 survivors). Lastly, you may spend 1 oil to place an additional command token, or to gain an additional movement point.
When you choose a Research / War card, you'll decide between the two options. If you choose Research, you'll look at your 10 technology cards, select one, pay its cost, then slide it under the corresponding column of your player board. That technology will be available every time you choose that action in the future.
If you choose War, you initiate conflicts in every space you occupy. First, battle strength is compared: the player with the most battle strength gains 2 victory points, and the loser gains 1. Command tokens are removed, and the winner may then either convert 1 enemy structure or airship to their own or kill 1 survivor. Any remaining survivors must then retreat to an adjacent space. (In the example above, the blue player gains a total of 5 vp, green and yellow gain 1, and red gains 2.)
Once all of the actions are completed, the cards chosen are discarded, and a new one is drawn by every player. If a "Winter" card is drawn, the game timer advances, causing a myriad of events (such as the spread of radiation, or having to feed your starving citizens) that will affect everyone. Once the Winter Track reaches the end, the game is over, and a winner is determined.
Downfall will be published in glorious Deluxified™ format, with all the quality you have come to expect from TMG.
First, why don't we let the designer, John D. Clair, tell us in his own words what was behind his creation of Downfall:
The design of Downfall came from a desire to create the perfect game for me and my tastes as a gamer. An epic, main-event, true 4X game. I wanted it set on an earth-based board (not space), with primarily economy based area control, but with the constant tension of tactical, non-luck based combat. I wanted it to play for a high player count without adding downtime, and I wanted the game to maintain a constant urgency in every decision beginning with turn one. It was a long road to go from initial concepts for a game this scale to a finely tuned game. Along that road there were quite a few major redesigns and months of sitting on the shelf while I worked on other games, but in the end I ended up with a game that I am more excited to pull off that shelf and play than any other game. The satisfying difficulty in each decision, the tension filled fast pace of each round, and the story arc building to a climactic ending make for a game that will take a really long time before I get tired of it. But take all of that with an ounce of salt because I designed the game for me. Hopefully it sounds like something that will fit for you as well!
Tasty Minstrel Games is committed to not only publishing amazing and excellent games, we also want those games to look amazing and excellent as well. Our past Kickstarters for Orleans and Yokohama have set a high mark for Deluxified™ components, and we will continue that standard of quality with Downfall.
In the year 2213 the world order, as it had been known for a century and a half, came to an abrupt end over a 19 day war. The bombs started falling on the 3rd day, and by the 19th day ninety-nine percent of the earth’s population was dead or would be soon. Wars and conflicts had raged now and again for decades prior, populations rising up, and the global government seeking to quell the conflict and maintain the status quo. But in the most recent 5 year period, the conflicts escalated rapidly, and the world order began to come apart—leaders became scared and trigger fingers twitchy. No one knows who pressed the button first, and in the harsh realities of the world that followed, no one cared. What mattered was surviving and, if possible, rebuilding.
Each turn, players will draft and simultaneously play a card from their hand ("pack") to indicate their action for the turn. This may be moving citizens or airships to explore or expand around the modular board, building structures, researching technology, initiating conflict, producing or gathering resources, and abating radiation. All of these things can earn you points in different ways. If you cannot store resources, they are left on the ground and are available for anyone present to use. Each card has an action and a lesser version of another action, so you're never stuck being entirely unable to do a particular thing, and you can also store cards for future.
Once all actions are complete, hands are passed to the next player and a new card is added to each one. If a "Winter" card is added, it is discarded and replaced, and the game timer advances. As the game timer advances, both expected events (spread of radiation, combat, feeding your citizens) and unexpected events may occur. When the Winter track reaches the end, the game is over, and points are scored.
Check out this fantastic How To Play video from Paul Grogan at "Gaming Rules!"
Still want more?
Reach these stretch goals one at a time and help rescue civilization from its Downfall!
Downfall is an epic 4X game about trying to prevent the end of humanity. For something of this magnitude, and for those of you who have the space on your table, we are offering Upsized Map Tiles!
The artwork will be identical to the standard tiles, but enlarged to give you plenty of extra play space and to show off the incredible detail.