Spotlight on Games
The film Mountains
of the Moon shows
what the quest
for the Nile was
Source of the Nile
Sequences of Play:
Discovery Games version ·
Avalon Hill revision of the Discovery Games version ·
Avalon Hill version
One player performs all phases:
- Draw Disaster Card (unless in port or Cape Colony)
- Check if able to move:
Move a Hex:
- Entering a hex costs 1 for an explored hex, 2 for unknown hexes.
- Movement Allowances:
- On Foot: 2
- Mounted: 4
- Canoe (costs doubled in swamp):
- 8 rowers/canoe: 4
- 4-7 rowers/canoe: 3
- 2-3 rowers/canoe: 2
- 1 rower/canoe: 1
- 0 rowers/canoe: drift 1 hex downstream
- If a new hex, without a guide and not traveling downstream:
- Roll a die, add in the following modifiers and become lost if
final result is zero or less:
- Leaving (pick one):
- Going Upstream: -1
- Desert: -1
- Jungle: -3
- Jungle/Mountain: -5
- Jungle/Swamp: -5
- Lake: -1
- Mountains: -2
- Swamp: -2
- Veldt: -1
- If guide hired from adjacent hex: +1
- If Explorer sick, wounded or starving: -1
- If Lost:
- Cannot move any further this turn.
- Determine Hex Characteristics:
- If no terrain:
- Roll a die to determine an adjacent hex. This hex will
be the of the same terrain type. If the indicated hex is blank,
- Roll again. If this hex is also blank,
- Roll vs. the Terrain Key to get type. Also, if
the type was Jungle, Mountain or Swamp,
- Roll again vs. the Terrain Key.
If the result can be combined into
Jungle/Swamp or Jungle/Mountain,
do so. [Note: players may wish
to speed things up by always rolling
4 dice of different colors in a
specified order, e.g. red,
white, blue and black.]
- If river must exit the hex, roll a die to determine
- Count the number of Rivers which flow out of the hex
and choose the corresponding section below:
- It must be one of Lake, Swamp or Jungle/Swamp
-- re-roll until one is obtained.
- If multiple rivers come in, connect them all.
- If no river comes in, roll die and
connect if direction is Lake, Swamp,
Jungle/Swamp or unknown (unless it would
cause the river to loop), otherwise terminate
the river if it has met the minimum length
rule, otherwise branch the river.
- If multiple rivers come in:
- If all adjacent hexes explored and none
are Lake, Swamp or Jungle/Swamp, the
hex is then a great salt lake (i.e. a lake
without outlet) instead
of the above generated terrain.
- Otherwise, roll die to
determine to which unexplored hex or lake,
swamp or swamp/jungle hex the river(s) goes.
- If no river comes in, roll die:
- If even, roll die for direction. If direction
is unexplored or is lake, swamp, or
swamp/jungle, a new river flows from the
new hex in that direction. (If in a desert,
an oasis is found instead of a river).
- If Mountains, determine height
as follows: take the product of 3 dice
plus 100, all multiplied by 100. It is
considered "spectacular" only if 15,000+ feet.
- If an extra hex of a Lake, draw
Spectacular Discovery card. Note square
mileage on sheet. Only last hex of lake counts.
- If River present, roll die to determine if Cataract:
Jungle or Veldt (1), Desert (1-2), Mountains (2-4).
- If Cataract, determine height by taking the product of 4 dice.
Record for points if over 400 feet.
- If discovered while canoeing downstream, roll a die, subtract
3 and lose that many canoes.
- If Desert with no river, roll a die. An oasis
is present if odd. Future explorers must roll an odd number to find it.
- If no previous natives and this is the first time you have
entered this unpublished hex, roll 2 dice to find them:
River or Oasis (7), Veldt, Swamp or Jungle (2-4), Mountains (5-6),
in or adjacent to Lake (2-3).
- Take the product of 3 dice to determine
tribe size. If the shortest distance to port
is less than one of the highest die rolls, change one roll to the distance.
- Set initial tribe attitude number to 0 (zero).
- Encounter the Natives:
- Select Native Policy from 1-5.
- Determine tribe's Attitude as follows:
- Determine distance from port.
- Add the policy number.
- If no askaris and policy is 4 or 5, add 2.
If also no muskets, add 3 instead.
- If one or more of the below apply, add 1:
- If policy is 3 or 5 and guide hired in adjacent hex.
- If explorer has negotiated with this tribe before.
- If the hex has been published.
- Add current native attitude.
- Roll 3 dice. If result is greater than current sum, tribe is hostile, otherwise they hide
and are neutral.
- Neutral tribe is available for an optional negotiation:
- Roll 2 dice and take the higher one.
- Multiply by the number of gifts offered.
- If result is less than number of natives, chief is insulted. Go to (5) and
if the result there is to Hide, the chief tries poison:
- Roll one die: 1-2: Explorer dies; 3: Explorer recovers;
4-6: Attempt fails.
- Tribes can only give up items equal to the number in the tribe (10 gifts count as 1 item).
- Hostile tribes take action as follows:
- Multiply number of askaris plus 1
by the distance to port.
result by the policy number. If result is
greater than the number of natives,
they hide and do nothing. Otherwise, they
- Roll a pair of dice and
modify the higher die as follows.
If the expedition is mounted
and not in the desert, add 1.
If the expedition is not mounted
and in the desert, subtract 1.
If the result is less than the
policy number, the natives ambush.
Otherwise, they charge.
- Ambush and Charge are the same except
in the latter the player gets first fire.
In either case, attacks alternate
between players and natives until
one side is wiped out or defeated.
- In first fire, one native is
killed for each askari and armed explorer.
Then, multiply this by one die
roll. If the result is greater than
the number of surviving natives,
they are defeated. Proceed to
- Natives attack
by dividing the number of warriors by the
roll of 1 die (drop fractions).
This is the number of askaris
killed. Multiply this by 1 die. If
greater than the original number
of askaris who encountered this
tribe, the askaris break and run.
If this happens, or if all are
killed, proceed to Defeat.
- The player counter-attacks by dividing
the number of askaris by the roll of 1 die (drop fractions)
and adds 1. This is the number of natives killed.
Multiply this by 1 die. If greater than the original number
of tribe members left, proceed to Victory. Otherwise return
- Roll 1 die.
- Subtract die pips from the number of surviving
askaris to get number of prisoners taken.
Exception, if 6 is rolled, no prisoners.
Prisoners can be used as bearers
or released. If all of the
prisoners are released, add 3
to the tribe's attitude for this explorer.
- Add the policy number to this.
- Roll 2 dice. If the dice result
is greater than the sum, the village is
- If original die result is
6 and village is found, the askaris
loot the village instead
(even if explorer objects):
- Make looting die
rolls equal to the original
number of natives encountered.
Results: 1-4: find
this number of food
rations; 5: 1 gift;
6: camel (if in
desert) or canoe
(if on river)
- Subtract 1 from the tribe's attitude.
- Roll 1 die:
1-Explorer killed (subtract another 1 from the tribe's attitude);
2-Explorer a prisoner;
3-Explorer escapes alone and
empty-handed; 4-Explorer escapes
with musket and 9 rations; 5-Explorer
escapes with musket, 9 rations and
one roll on Table A; 6-Explorer
escapes with musket, 9 rations and
two rolls on Table A.
- Table A:
- If result has an asterisk (*), also roll 1 die to
see what is carried:
1-3: 10 rations (food and/or water);
4-5: 10 gifts; 6: 10 muskets.
- If a prisoner, each turn roll a die
and subtract 3 until escaping or killed
(results less than 1 are treated
as 1). Doctors and Missionaries
may try their talents (see below)
on the first full turn of capture.
Any change in attitude is added or
subtracted from that turn's and
subsequent escape rolls.
If terrain new:
If new friendly tribe encountered:
- Roll one die, apply following modifiers and consult Hunting Table below:
- Desert: -4
- Jungle: +1
- Lake: -3
- Swamp: -1
- River/Oasis: +2
- Zoologist: +1 for one hunter
- Hunting Table:
- Adjust rations and water.
- Consult Recovery Table for Sick members.
- Adjust for
Easily Missed Rules:
Each time people die in disaster, roll dice. On a "12", explorer
dies instead. If named person is not present, happens on "11" or "12".
Once an explorer has lost the respect of the askaris by acting as a bearer,
can only regain it by killing an animal or defeating natives.
Recovered caches have disappeared on a roll of "1".
Unowned caches can only be found if hex is published.
Each time trading with natives, roll die. On a "1", explorer
dies, poisoned by a witch doctor.
Missionaries and doctors must release captives and may not loot.
Rations from natives are actually not perishable.
Animals may be shot to provide 10 rations.
The only specialties are Evangelism, Medicine, Zoology, and Geology. Each
explorer start with any number (0-4) of these specialties. Specialties may
not be "forgotten".
- If launching new expedition:
- Spend turn outfitting. (Without a free ticket, transport cost is $500.)
- The next turn starts with the destination port in Africa.
- If not launching a new expedition:
- Discard all free tickets.
- Discard donations in excess of 5. (All donations are public.)
- Draw a donation.
- Publish any hexes you wish according to this schedule:
||Defeat the Natives||+1
- Draw a donation for every 4 victory points published.
- Epic Transits are Khartoum to/from Cape Colony, East to/from West coast port,
Khartoum to/from East coast port, and Khartoum to/from West coast port.
- Earn bonus VP for each unexplored hex published when first completing each of
the 4 transits.
- First transit scores 1/hex bonus; second: half/hex; third: quarter/hex; fourth:
Thu Feb 28 11:13:53 PST 2002
Thanks for the extensive assistance of Gordon Hua.