Warning: Oxygen levels critical! Danger! Asphyxiation! Oxygen levels stable. Warning: Reactors overheating! Danger! Reactors cooled. Warning! Warning! Warning!
Welcome aboard the Red November, a doomed submarine where everything can and does go wrong. The Red November is home to gnomish submariners trapped struggling against a hellish cycle of fire, floods, missile strikes, and nuclear meltdowns. In the face of such catastrophe, sometimes the only choice is a stiff gulp of grog.
Red November is a cooperative board game for one to eight players, and the revised edition includes a larger game board, Item cards, and clarified rules. Control desperate sailors in a frantic race against the clock. Can you survive in the submarine until you are rescued? To prevent destruction, players must work together to complete tasks as efficiently as possible.
Running Out of Time
The game board features a map of the Red November, with ten numbered rooms connected by hatches, each a potential site for calamity. A time track runs around the edge of the board, counting down from 60 to “Rescued!” Whether this last space is a taunt or a promise is for you to discover.
What can go wrong… first? Your gnomish sailors are practically drowning the second they hit the water. Each turn, the submariners move around the board from room to room and take a single action to fix whichever problem is most pressing or to collect item cards. Each movement and action takes a number of precious minutes. The amount of time is tracked by the Ghost Time Keeper around the board’s time track, and at the end of the turn the player’s own Time Keeper advances to reach the Ghost Time Keeper. Every turn is just borrowed time.
The advancing Time Keeper triggers the drawing of Event and Item cards and anxiety in your gnomes, who wait in torturous anticipation for more disasters to be revealed. The more time used during a player’s turn, the more Event cards are drawn during the player’s Time Keeper advancement. Event cards cause fires, floods, make critical systems malfunction, or even lead a horrific kraken to attack the ship. Item cards represent the supplies available on board that gnomes can utilize to accomplish their tasks. Players must continue in this literal one-step-forward-two-steps-back manner until the submarine is rescued… or lost forever.
Hitting the Bottle
Sometimes gnomes are so terrified by the tasks they must perform that they must drink grog to gain the courage to fight on. However, during each turn, players have their gnomes perform a sobriety test. The more grog a gnome has ingested, the more likely he will pass out from drunkenness. A passed out gnome is in danger of dying if he is trapped in a flooded room or a room on fire. Is luck on your side? Can your drunk sailor still save the day?
The Red November is lost if any disaster track marker reaches the end of its track, through a disaster event that wasn’t prevented, of if all the gnomes are killed in the line of duty. To be rescued from the Red November, every gnome must reach the rescued space and have all pending events resolved.
The game also contains optional rules to increase or decrease the difficulty of game play, create paranoia, or try solo play. In a solitaire game of Red November, the player must control at least three gnomes, of course they have the option of controlling more for a greater challenge, and standard rules apply in relation to keeping each gnome’s items separate and trading.
These gnomes don’t want to go down with the ship but their chances are slim. You will enjoy the challenge of balancing time management with which actions to perform. Players must weigh the plague of problems and carefully decide where to send their gnomes. Or players can alternatively hurl their half-drunk gnomes at whatever seems good at the time, seeing how long they can last in the chaos.
The revised edition of Red November introduces a larger game board, Item cards, and clarified rules. While retaining the best aspects of the original Red November, the revised edition of Red November provides players with a few simple updates that will improve their playing experience. The larger game board allows a greater number of players more room and accessibility. The previous Item tokens have been transformed into Item cards, providing an easier handling experience, and eliminating the necessity to check reference sheets during turns.
In Red November there are many ways to die, but only one way to win. Are you gnome enough to face the challenge? Do you need a drink?
1 – 2 hours
1 – 8 players
Red November & Red November Revised Edition are © 2008, 2011 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Red November and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.