Everyone on board the Nemesis talks to the ship when they’re alone, but no one expected it to start whispering back. Now, the crew will have to face a terror unlike anything they have ever experienced, a terror that will have them doubting even their own minds. The Nemesis Void Seeders expansion, published by Awaken Realms, brings a whole new level of eldritch horror to the Nemesis ship. Complete with a brand-new alien race, the Void Seeders, who whisper to the minds of the crew. This expansion comes with new Event and Attack cards and a Panic deck, which players resolve as their characters slowly descend to madness.
Call Of The Void
The most major change from the base Nemesis game is that the Void Seeders players must face don’t actually exist. Instead, they are more a hallucination that the characters manifest themselves due to their failing grip on reality. In the place of the physical Intruders, there is one living Void Seeder: the Despoiler. This creepy creature has three lairs scattered across the ship which are the cause of the crew’s hallucinations.
Only after players have destroyed all three of these lairs does the dastardly Despoiler perish, and things can return to normal (or can they?). This new mechanic allows the game’s theme to really blossom. Now, the hunt for the lairs and destroying the Despoiler feel like a more substantial, cooperative task than in the base game. While the Queen was a terrifying enemy to face in Nemesis, the fact that she could just be killed like any other Intruder felt underwhelming. In Void Seeders, however, the hunt is a grueling process, and completing it feels more momentous.
Along with their lairs, Void Seeders are a trickier adversary than your average alien. During the Event Phase, there is a new step after drawing an Event card: Lurking. Whereas Intruders would only disappear if they scurried into technical corridors, the Void Seekers will lurk. This means that any not in combat or in a room adjacent to a player disappear from the board, but not before placing noise markers in each of the room’s connected corridors. This fills the ship up with noise markers quickly, making movement trickier. This mechanic adds an extra challenge to the core gameplay, making the game feel tighter. Every decision feels crunchier as actions must be well thought out and getting around the board feels like another puzzle to crack.
Come Into My Lair…
Another big change players will notice is the addition of the Panic deck. This is a new type of deck unique to the Void Seeders. Throughout the game, players will be instructed to draw and resolve Panic cards. These represent the irrational decisions characters make as they lash out in terror, such as sabotaging the ship or attacking other characters. Whether these cards are resolved or not is down to the characters level of Insanity, tracked on a card from one to five. Surprise attacks from Void Seeders, infected Contamination cards, and Panic cards can all cause this to shoot up. This track fits beautifully with the theme; every time I played my change in Insanity and drawing of Panic cards all felt natural.
While keeping a character’s Insanity low is a good idea, it can be useful. Players with an Insanity level of three or higher can spend an action in the Laboratory to discover a Void Seeker weakness. Also, unlike in the core game, the type of Void Seeder that is encountered depends on a character’s level of Insanity; the higher the level the more dangerous the Void Seeder. The whole theme of the Void Seeders expansion really comes together beautifully, and every change feels realistic.
There are no stupid twists, everything fits the theme in just the right way. While Nemesis is not technically a narrative game, players can readily build a narrative from the events as they occur. With the thematic card decks, players are encouraged to develop their own story from the game, and this is what really makes Void Seeders. The fact that it is so easy to build a story from gameplay makes playing Void Seeders a truly memorable experience.
The Dawn Of Darkness
The Nemesis Void Seeders expansion adds more than just a new alien species to the mix. It brings exciting new mechanics and a tougher challenge to the core gameplay experience. Not only is the theme-driven perfectly by the new mechanics, such as the Panic deck and the Insanity track. The Void Seeders are a truly terrifying foe and playing against them is no mean feat. For fans of the original Nemesis who are after a bit more challenge from their game, Void Seeders is perfect.
Lovecraftian horror is a theme that is often done but rarely done well, and Void Seeders is an example of how to do it well. This expansion brings Nemesis away from its original gore and blends it nicely with a terrifying eldritch theme. The mechanics of Void Seeders drive the story superbly and encourage players to build their own narrative and make the game their own.