Source of the Nile: Decision Points in Playing by Email

by Lou Jerkich

Since the gamemaster (GM) will be doing the card drawing and die rolling for the players, there are a limited number of key decision points in which the players need to be involved.  An outline of the play of the game follows.  Every turn we will follow actions 2 through 9, but players need only to focus on those headlined in green with the key decisions indicated by a "K".  Actions 1, and 10 through 12 are only occasionally performed.  Actions 5 and 6 occur only if natives are present.

1. Forming an Expedition (This is done only at the start of a new expedition.)

The player decides where in Africa his expedition will begin,  what occupation the leader will have, and what kind of expedition it will be.

K - Choose a starting city in Africa.
K - Choose an occupation for the expedition's leader.  See the Victory Point Schedule in Cyberboard.  They get the most points as follows:

Ethnologist/Anthropologist - Studies native tribes; wants to discover natives and a Great Native Kingdom.
Journalist - Reports the highest mountains and waterfalls, largest lakes, battles with natives, interviews with other leaders, and finding Dr. Livingstone.
Doctor - Looks for mountains, rivers and oases; can help sick expedition members or tribesmen recover; wants to find a Great Native Kingdom.
Missionary - Looks for mountains, rivers, and oases; may help with relations with native tribes; wants to find Dr. Livingstone.
Explorer - Likes jungles, mountains and swamps; looks for a Lost City, for largest lakes, and for highest mountains and waterfalls.
Zoologist - Likes jungles, swamps, and veldts; looks for largest lakes, and for highest mountains and waterfalls.
Botanist - Likes jungles, deserts, and mountains; looks for largest lakes, and for highest mountains and waterfalls.
Geologist - Likes deserts and mountains; looks for King Solomon's Mine, largest lakes, and for highest mountains and waterfalls.

K - Choose a mode of travel for the expedition using pre-planned $1000 expedition:

2. Select an Activity Level and Direction of Movement

K - Choose one of the following Activity Levels (mp = movement point):
K - Indicate which direction the expedition will be going (examples follow)

3. Disaster Check (GM)

Does not occur if in a port (including Khartoum), or in the Cape Colony.

4. Resolve Movement and Mapping of New Terrain (GM)

5. Decide Native Policy If Natives Have Been Discovered

K - Choose one of six native policies (that is, decide what your attitude to the natives will be).  See below:

1. Expedition remains in hex but goes on the defensive.  It may not draw for bonus or hunt this turn if a Hide result occurs.  It may not leave this hex until next turn.

2. Expedition attempts to retreat back to the hex from which it just came.  It must immediately retreat without combat if it receives a N or C result on the Native Attitude Table.  If ambushed, it undergoes combat and is no longer required to retreat.

3. Expedition attempts to seek contact with the natives with great caution and a great show of force.

4. Expedition continues its turn as though the natives were not there.

5. Expedition approaches the natives in an open and friendly manner.

6. Expedition approaches the natives in an open and friendly manner with a great display of technology.  This policy can only be selected if three or more hexes from a port or another tribe not discovered this turn.

K - Decide how many gifts will be offered if a negotiation must be conducted with the chief.

6. Resolve Encounters with Natives (GM)

7. Optional Trading with Friendly Tribe

K- If a player wants to trade, specify what one will give and for what items.

8. Resolve Hunting and Recovery Die Rolls (GM)

9. Resolve Any Bonus Discoveries (GM)

10. Disband expedition and return to Europe

11. Publish Discoveries and Collect Victory Points (GM)

Victory points for each type of leader ("explorer" in the generic sense) are on the Victory Point Schedule in the chart section of the Cyberboard.  Additional victory points can be gained for discovering the longest rivers, for epic journeys, and for special discoveries (Dr. Livingstone, Lost City, Native Kingdom, and King Solomon's Mine).  Epic journeys (not usually attainable on an initial expedition) provide a bonus for the shortest number of hexes traveled between fixed ports in either direction, as follows:

12. Raise Funds to Travel Back to Africa to Start a New Expedition (GM)

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Created 21 February 2010. 
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