AuZtralia is set in the 1930's and presents an alternative history for Australia, one which is Cthulhu-based and the Old Ones are causing chaos and destruction. Time is a precious resource as you extend your railroads, set-up farms and mine for commodities. However, if you don't also invest in you military power, you'll regret it when the Old Ones awaken and destroy everything you've worked for.
The core of AuZtralia's gameplay is manipulating the worker spaces on your player board in order to perform actions on the main board. You have a selection of actions that let you gather resources, build train lines, recruit armies and fight the forces of Cthulhu. The key thing is each action takes time, there is a time track along the outside of the board and every time you perform an action it moves your token forward on it. Some actions take longer than others and it's always the turn of the player further back, so turn order isn't always as simple as you go, then I go.
You get points in AuZtralia based on how many of Cthulhu's forces you slay, and how many farms you have operational at the end of the game. At first everything is nice and easy with lots of space to expand and relatively few Old Ones to worry about. That is until your time marker passes Cthulhu's.
At this point the forces of the elder god begin to stir; event cards start getting drawn when it's Cthulhu's turn to act, which awaken the unidentified enemies on the board. Awakened enemies start advancing towards you and blighting your farms.
You'll have to fight these forces back, and you'll have to work together, because if Cthulhu gets the most points at the end of the game then everyone loses. To counteract this you’ll need to defend all farms and enter into combat. Combat is done using a series of cards. When you fight an enemy you choose which of your forces to send against it, your player board gives you a rough idea of how effective each unit is against each type of enemy.
You then draw a card and look at the row related to the enemy that you are facing. This will tell you if your units take or deal damage and if you lose sanity. All units can take two damage and you can spread it out, so it’s beneficial to take a varied army, but should your sanity be drained fully your troops flee, leaving the injured to be devoured!
AuZtralia - Coming Soon
AuZtralia was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign back in March 2018, and has also been picked up by Stronghold Games for wider distribution, so AuZtralia will be easy to get hold of later this year or in early 2019.
If you're at all intrigued by the theme, or even if the theme isn’t your bag, we'd really encourage you to check this one out! It stands out to us for its interesting time mechanisms and integration of the semi-cooperative aspect and we’re really excited for its wider release.