Evil has blanketed the Nebula Valley for generations, corrupting and corroding the bustling towns that once dotted the lush, green landscape. Now, the worst of the vile fog has finally lifted, and the people who were once driven from their homes now emerge to reclaim what was lost. The ruins of the villages of old still stand, waiting to be remade, but it will be no easy task. Wisps of fog still linger in the valley, swirling through imposing petrified forests, and dangerous creatures born of the darkness still remain. Now, brave guilds lead the charge to restore the land to its former glory.
Available today for those who participated in the pre-order special, Via Nebula places players in the role of one of these intrepid guild leaders trying to outmaneuver the competition in a race to rebuild on the ruins of a bygone era.
Reclaiming the Lost Land
There is no shortage of work to be done in Nebula Valley, but fulfilling contracts takes careful planning and a clever use of the landscape. It’s always a good idea to not let anything go to waste, and the guild leaders have no intention of starting to build from scratch. Each guild leader must erect a building site on top of one of the ancient ruins before attempting to allocate resources for a contract. Each ruin can accommodate two building sites, so you may be sharing space with your rivals.
Thankfully, the land of Nebula Valley is ripe with everything that the building contracts require. Guilds can deploy a craftsman to oversee the extraction of materials from one of these resources sites. Each time a resource is exploited for the first time, the player that opened up the resource gains Victory Points. Scoring Victory Points and freeing up resources may seem like a winning strategy, but take care! Your opponents can also use these new resources, and you will lose points if your craftsmen are left babysitting unused resources at the end of the game.
Safely transporting resources to building sites is the only way to use up these resources and fulfill building contracts. However, while the worst of the land’s corruption is gone, the remaining fog makes it nearly impossible to move goods safely from one part of the valley to another. Guild leaders must deploy bands of brave explorers to clear the fog and the treacherous petrified forests. Once a safe path has been carved between a resource and a building site, materials can be safely moved for the completion of contracts.
Building Your Legacy
There is fierce competition among the guilds to secure the public building contracts. Each fulfilled contract allows a building to be constructed at a building site, but many of the contracts contain additional effects that can help a guild to get ahead. Choose your contracts carefully to maximize your ability to use up resources and use the contract cards’ special abilities to your advantage.
Hire a team of “Adventurers” to open a new path by turning a monster’s lair into a placid meadow. Complete your building and then break up your competition’s ability to move materials by fulfilling the “By Air!” contract to move a safe meadow space to another part of the board. Do you find yourself buried under useless resources? Take on the “Exportation” contract and dump some of that excess baggage.
A Word From the Creator
As if that wasn't enough to get you excited about the pending release of Via Nebula, we got the chance to sit down with Martin Wallace and ask a few questions about what fans should be most excited for.
ANA: Where did the idea for Via Nebula originate?
MW: A friend of mine asked me to playtest one of his designs, which was an attempt to create a game where player actions could be of benefit to other players. After playing that game I realised that I had already designed that game, in the form of games like Brass and Age of Industry. Where I live is about an hour's walk from town, and we only have one car, so sometimes when my wife is out I will take a stroll into town—the scenery on the walk is gorgeous, with the sea, extinct volcanoes, rolling hills, etc. I find that walking helps with my thinking. By the time I had walked to town and back I pretty much had the design of Via Nebula done. I had no idea that Space Cowboys would be interested in the design and only showed it to them after they passed on another game I had in mind for them. I was pleasantly surprised at their response!
ANA: How did you come up with the theme and the art?
MW: The original theme was generic fantasy, it was only there to support the mechanics of the game. Space Cowboys came up with the final theme and artwork.
ANA: What do you think will excite fans the most about Via Nebula?
MW: I would like to think that Via Nebula works well as a family game that a gamer will enjoy. There is just enough meat on the bone to make you think a little, but a small rule set so that you are not always having to check whether you are playing the game correctly.
If you placed your pre-order for Via Nebula, you'll be enjoying your early access to the game and the exclusive promo figure today. Otherwise, stop by the Asmodee booth at Gen Con and pick up your copy there. Additionally, you'll have the chance to meet Martin Wallace himself and have him sign your brand new game.
Strike out to reclaim your home in Via Nebula, available at Gen Con!