GTM #220 - Remnants
by Justin De Witt, Fireside Games

The world ended some time ago, but we survived. Our days are dust and sand, but there is still hope. We build what we need to survive from the remnants of the old world.

Remnants is a post-apocalyptic survival game for 2 to 4 players where each player commands a tribe of Survivors and tries to build up their compound while fighting off Raiders and mutant creatures. At its core, the game is organized into 3 different parts: a real-time dice-rolling race for resources, a turn-based build phase where resources are spent for cards, and a battle against threats with the cards that were purchased. One special feature of Remnants is the dice, which can be used to generate resources or points depending on which part of the game they are used for.

In the Scavenge phase at the start of the game, each player commits their survivors to either go Scavenging or Looting by placing them onto different sections of the board. Scavengers allow the player to roll dice to bring back Wood, Metal, Plastic, Rope, and Cloth, the resources used in the game. Looters bring back Loot, which is either Medicine (used to heal injured Survivors), Screwdrivers (used to increase dice rolls), or Scrap (which can be used as a resource of any type).

Once all players have committed their Survivors, they roll and reroll their 4 dice at the same time, as fast as they can with no turns. Each player is trying to get at least 3 of the same resource symbols showing, which allows them to take one resource token of that type from the board and place it onto one of their Scavengers. Each Scavenger can only carry one resource. If a player rolls 3 stars, they may take one of the Bonus tokens on the board, but that ends their Scavenging. Once all the bonus tokens are claimed, the phase ends. Players then roll 1 die for each Looter they committed and count the pips. They advance the cubes on tracks of their player boards by the number of pips rolled.

The Build phase follows, with each player taking turns spending resources to purchase one of the face up Development cards from the grid or to upgrade their Survivors to become Specialists. Development cards can be either Defense, Weapon, or Specials, with the first two giving the player means to fight off the coming Dread cards. The Special cards provide everything from bonus resources to victory points at the end of the game.

After all players have spent all the resources they can, the board is reset with new resource tokens and the first player marker passes. Play continues with a new Scavenge phase.

Each turn, the Dread cube moves one space forward on the Dread track. Every other turn, the current face up Dread card will attack during the Fight phase. Each player must fight the Dread card at full health on their own. Dread cards show the health and special ability of the Creature or Raider as well as the reward for defeating the threat and the punishment for losing the fight.

When fighting a Dread card, a player first applies their Defense cards, counting the number of shield symbols on all their cards and subtracting that from the Dread card’s health. If there is still health remaining, the player fights by counting the number of fist symbols on all their Weapon cards and rolling that number of dice. The player counts the resulting pips and reduces that total from the remaining health of the Dread card. If the Dread card is reduced to zero or less, the player wins and collects the reward shown. Otherwise, they must pay the penalty for being defeated by the threat.

On the last turn of the game, players must fight the Boss. Each Boss has a unique ability and comes with a Power Up card, giving them an unpredictable extra ability.

When all players have battled the Boss, the game ends and scores are totaled. Victory points are ketchup packets (because in the future, flavor is the most valuable commodity). Players score victory points for each Development card in their compound, healthy survivors and specialists they still have, points earned through combat, and any special cards that generate bonus points. The player with the most points has built the most secure compound and is declared the winner.

On July 27th you too can face the challenge of trying to survive the end of the world and rebuild what you can from the Remnants.

Justin De Witt is the Chief Creative Officer and co-owner of Fireside Games with his wife and CEO, Anne-Marie De Witt. As much as he enjoys post-apocalyptic worlds, he is a big fan of indoor plumbing and not being chased by mutant creatures. His previous designs include Castle Panic, Star Trek Panic, and Hotshots.