Outlive : Journey to the end of the Night

²Greetings travellers, explorers of these devastated lands and heroes of an abandoned world. This is Benwa from Shelter 21. Now, I know what you’re thinking? Did Matthew not make it back ? Don’t worry, his group ran into a tad of trouble at the dam the other day but he’ll be fine…I think. The doc (we call him “doc” but it’s not like there’s somewhere giving out diplomas nowadays) says he just needs a few days’ rest. He’s a bit of an oddball but I think the shelter is better with people like him around! Anyways he told me about this whole radio broadcast thing and him not wanting to keep his “listeners” waiting, so here I am! He told me that you guys covered moving around outside last time so why don’t we talk about something a bit closer to home? After all, everything that our guys and gals out there bring back helps us keep this dump running just a little bit longer. Oh, and of course it stops us needing to eat one another… I jest, we’d never do that here, although one time I did hear about a tribe that….




The “Night” Phase is where players look to the needs of their people and the shelters that keep them safe. The different stages of this phase are:

  1. Resolve events
  2. Feed survivors
  3. Manage radioactivity
  4. Recruit new survivors
  5. Build rooms and activate their bonuses
  6. Repair equipment
  7. Clean up.


1/ Trapped like rats


Before anything else players will have to face off against the different events that are threatening them. At the beginning of each turn an event card is flipped which can have a negative effect on the board or the players’ scouting groups and shelters. At the beginning of the night phase players can decide, starting with the first player, if they would like to resolve the event. Resolving this event does of course require precious supplies however its resolution does award victory points at the end of the game. So, do you spend some of your hard fought gains in exchange for some victory points or do you refuse and hope that one of the following players takes care of it.


Whether a card is resolved or not, a new one will be revealed at the beginning of the next turn and their effects stack, becoming more and more dangerous!




In this example we can see that a large infestation of rats is threatening food supplies in shelters.If nobody spends the resources to get rid of the card then the event will activate next turn too, causing more damage to your supplies! The clan that decides to tackle this task will loose some resources but gain 5victory points for the end of the game!



2/ Haute Cuisine




Out of all the men and women that live in your shelter, not all of them are brave or capable enough to set foot on the surface but that doesn’t mean that they don’t pull their weight, making sure the shelter is clean and in good working order. Wars were never won on an empty stomach and make no mistake; this is a war for survival! The members of your clan need to be fed every day or they’ll leave to find somewhere else that can sustain them. Each room indicates a food requirement and if that room contains at least one survivor you’ll need to pay that cost during this phase if you don’t want the people inside to leave. On top of that those stationed in the airlock, a vital part of the shelter that keeps radiation out, need water as well or they too will leave. For every resource you can’t pay during this phase, one survivor will leave your shelter.




In this example the player has managed to bring back enough food for the clan:

6 survivors in the airlock and one inhabited toom with a cost of 3

Water wise things are a bit tight but it will suffice for this turn.



3/ The unseen killer

The airlock is possibly the most important part of the shelter. It’s what keeps us safe from the radiation that now infests the surface. This room requires a bit more attention as the workers assigned there play a big part in keeping the rest of the shelter radiation free.




27761052ae3ed8738c533d0f9ca184124c11.pngAs the game progresses, the outside radiation will become stronger and stronger. Each survivor assigned here will block 1 point of radiation. During this stage we compare the strength of the radiation to the number of workers in the airlock. For each point of radiation not “absorbed” by a worker, you increase the shelters radiation gauge by one point. At the end of the game, radiation can have a very detrimental effect on your final score. If you manage it well however you can even scrape a few bonus points!


Each night you’ll be faced with the same dilemma: Send survivors to work in the shelter or have them stationed in the airlock? If you don’t have enough for both you’ll have to decide what’s more important; keeping radiation is out or getting more bonuses from the different rooms you’ve built?


4/ Manpower

After having fed your people, you may have some reserves left over. Didn’t have enough survivors to keep all the radiaytion out this turn? Well, you’re in luck. Stockpiled food (canned and fresh) and water can be used to recruit new survivors at the cost of one resource per person. These becomers arrive via the airlock (which can hold up to 7 people).


In our previous example the player had two canned food resources left after feeding the rest of his clan. He can now decide whether he’d prefer to recruit more individuals to his clan or keep those resources for next turn. More survivors means more radiaction blocked and more active rooms, hwoever it also means you need to bring back even more goods next turn!


5/ Home is where the Heart is

This shelter, without which you’d all just be a pile of sun bleached bones, is no spring chicken. It’s been around for a while and hasn’t aged well. At the beginning of the game, only the airlock and one other room will be in working order. For the rest, you’ll have to hope your scouts bring back enough wood, metal and tech in order to get them working again.




Each player has access to a set of fixed rooms as well as a set of randomly distributed ones at the beginning of each game. Each of these rooms has a special effect as well as being able to contain up to 3 or 4 survivors. Completed and inhabited rooms also bring you victory points at the end of the game!


If the player built this room that requires 3 matrials, he could then send 3 survivors to man it and receive extra water every turn!



6/ Like Grandpa always said…


Dawn is near and it’l soon be time for your scouts to step out into the world once more. You can’t just send them out there with a pair of sunglasses and a smile though. Staying alive in such an world requires special equipment. Luckily the shelter contains a lot of the necessary tools which aren’t too hard to maintain either. However, during your expeditions you may come across special items that could be of great use to you if you can get them back into working order, which of course is going to cost you resources. The bonuses it can bring you are not to be sniffed at however, plus they’ll score you more points at the end of the game.



If the repairs this pickaxe with 2 wood and 1 metal, it will allow him to collect two additional metal resources each time he visits the mine location.


7/ Waste not want not

You can try as hard as you like but Shelters are never going to be the cleanest places on earth and refrigerators are a dream long since gone. As such, before beginning a new day, a shelter must discard any surplus good. Up to 2 water and any number of canned goods can be kept. Fresh food is a goner however and cannot be kept. Keep this in mind when you decide how to spend your resources during the night phase.




Well, that took a bit longer then expected, it’s almost daytime which means I need to strapp on this gasmask and meet up with the rest of my group! Some guys from Shelter 16 beat us to the forest last time and scared all the game away. We’ll need to get there first this time unless everyone want’s to be eating beans again tonight!


Take care out there folks



Comments (1)

  • This is a solid euro style game with a very ameritrash theme...Think the "Fallout Shelter" app. I have enjoyed playing it but teaching it can be a handful. I really wish players would stop asking questions while I am explaining!!!

    Planing is key. Shuffling between the other players to get what you want to survive is artful. And sacrifices are sad but sometime necessary.

    It's gonna appeal to all you Agricola and Stone Age fans...(and Fallout fans too)
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