Nemesis is a 1-5 player semi-cooperative survival horror sci-fi game by Awaken Realms. Players are woken from hibernation as the crew of a spaceship. The emergency procedure states there is a critical system failure and the spaceship cannot continue its cruise. The crew’s aim is to find the cause of this failure,fix the situation and safely return back to Earth. To the crew’s dismay they find that one crew member is dead. Someone (or something) tore apart his hibernation chamber and dragged his lifeless body out. In addition, if you listen closely, some additional noises and sounds can be heard. New ones, strange ones, ones that were never heard before…
When setting up the board for the first time, make sure you use the basic side shown in picture above. There are two types of room tiles; room one tiles are always used and provide the essential ship functions whereas room two tiles add flavour to the game and only five are used in a game. Shuffle all room one and room two tiles face down in their respective piles and place them on the board on their indicated spaces. Place the leftover room two tiles back in the box without looking, then shuffle and place the exploration tokens onto the room tiles face down. Again you will have some left over and these are returned to the box.
Take the coordinates cards, shuffle them and place one face down on the indicated space on the board then place a status marker on the “B” space on the destination track. Then place escape pods tokens on the board according to the players; 1/2 players get two escape pods, 3/4 players get three escape pods and 5 players get 4 escape pods.
Take the engine tokens (one working and one damaged for each of the three engines), shuffle the tokens face down and place each of the stacks on their locations on the board. Then place the intruder board next to the main board, and add five eggs to it and 3 random intruder weakness cards face down on it.
You then place 1 Blank token, 4 Larvae, 1 Creeper, 1 Queen, 3 Adults and then 1 additional adult per player in the game into the intruder bag. Then shuffle the four decks of item cards, put them close the the board for easy access during gameplay and put a status marker on the green space on the time track.
To determine player order, take help cards (starting with number one) equivalent to the number of players, shuffle them and give one to each player. Take the matching number card holder and remove any objective cards that don’t apply to your player count. Shuffle the remaining objective cards, deal each player one corporate and one personal objective and keep these hidden from all other players. You will have to pick one when you have your first encounter.
Shuffle the character draft cards and deal two to the starting player. They pick a character and return the other to the deck. Repeat in player order until everyone has a character. Each player should then claim the corresponding player board, miniature, action deck and starting weapon and item cards. Player one then gets first player token (space cat!) and place the blue character corpse token in the Hibernatorium. You are then ready to start your adventure on-board the Nemesis.
The basic gameplay of nemesis is very simple but the additional side rules add a level of complication. You start with a deck of ten action cards, drawing five per round. You can either spend them for basic actions or use for the action written on the card. Every time you move into a room without anyone in it, you roll to determine which direction your character hears noise from and add a marker to that location. If at any point you have to add a second noise marker, remove all other noise tokens at the location, draw a intruder token out of the bag and place the miniature into your location (unless it’s a blank token which causes you to add a noise marker in all corridors connected to the room you are in. As you move around the board, you discover room tiles and uncover exploration tiles. Exploration tiles can cause special effects like covering you in slime, causing a fire to break out, creating a malfunction in the room, making you have to roll for noise or close a door behind you.
The main objective of the game is to fix the engines and make sure the ship is heading to earth but there’s a lot of things trying to stop you; even your other teammates could be trying to blow up the ship or even send it to Mars. When you are in one of the engine rooms you can to take an action to check the status of the engine (keep it hidden from other players – your objectives may be different). If the engine is broken (or working if you want it broken) you have to take a repair action. The same applies for checking coordinates but when you check them you can set the destination.
Seems simple so far right? The whole time you’re moving around the ship noise is being added and once intruders start coming onto the board, the fun really begins. You only have limited ammo and intruders aren’t the easiest to kill. When you are attacked, you can get contaminated. An infection card is added to your deck of action cards, clogging up your hand and can even cause a creeper to burst out of your chest! You can check the contamination cards in 3 of the rooms to see if you are infected by taking the rooms action. If you are infected, you must place a larva on your card and I suggest head to the surgery room as soon as you can!
The game ends after 15 rounds. You can win by deciding to return to cryosleep and leave the intruders to face the dangers of hyperspace or you can abandon ship via the handy escape pods. These are either unlocked manually at given locations or automatically when another crew member dies. The game can end quicker if someone sets the ship to self-destruct, then you have 6 rounds to make it to an escape pod.
There is a lot more to the game but this is just a basic overview. There are some parts I feel you should find out for yourself during your first game
Designer: Adam Kwapiński
Publisher: Awaken Realms
1 – 5 players
Weight (according to Boardgamegeek) : 3.35 / 5 (Medium)
This game is a very intense game, you never know if the other players are trying to kill you or help you. The developers definitely used lots of ideas from the movie Alien and I’m glad they did. This game is dripping with theme, all the components are of great quality and the detail on the miniatures is mostly great except for two exceptions; the soldier miniature lacked detail due to a manufacturing fault which seemed to be an issue for many Kickstarter backers. Also my scientist figure wasn’t glued together properly, leaving massive gaps where his arms were meant to be touching. However I contacted the publisher, Awaken Realms and they sent out replacements that are perfect.
I really like this game and would definitely put it in my top 5 games. With more plays I think this could become my number one game.
Meeples People’s Circus rating 9 out of 10