The film Mountains
of the Moon shows
what the quest
for the Nile was
really like.

Spotlight on Games > Summaries
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:


  1. Select an Activity Level (Cautious, Normal or Reckless)
  2. Draw Disaster Card (unless in port or Cape Colony)
  3. Move a Hex:
    1. If a new hex and not traveling downstream:
      • Roll greater than number of hex exited to avoid being Lost:
        • Expedition traveling upstream has a number of "2" instead.
        • Add 1 to the die roll if a Guide is present.
        • If Cautious, add 1 to the die roll.
        • If Reckless, subtract 1 from the die roll.
      • If Lost:
        • Cannot move any further this turn.
        • One guide deserts.
    2. Determine Hex Characteristics:
      1. If no terrain, draw a Terrain card and a River card.
      2. If no natives, draw Natives card; determine size of village.
      3. If terrain is new:
        • If Desert with no River, check River: B for an Oasis; mark.
        • If River and River: B says Cataract:
          • Mark where river leaves hex.
          • Draw Spectacular Discovery.
          • If Waterfall indicated, note height on map and on sheet.
        • If Mountains, draw Spectacular Discovery. Note any High Mountain.
        • If Lake, draw Spectacular Discovery. Note square mileage on sheet. Only last hex of lake counts.
    3. Encounter the Natives:
      1. If already Friendly, trade with or ignore, otherwise
      2. Select Native Policy and resolve on Native Attitude Table.
  4. Consult Hunting Table.
    1. Adjust rations and water.
    2. Consult Recovery Table for Sick members.
    3. Adjust for desertions.
  5. If terrain or natives are new, draw BONUS Card:
    • Check against explorer's specialty.
    • If listed conditions are met, note victory points.
    • If number of points not listed, roll die to determine amount.
    • Animal bonuses are not available if the expedition has no muskets.
    • Special cases:
      • Animals and plants must be transported -- each weighs 2 units.
      • Tusks must be transported to Europe -- weigh 7 units.
      • These items are not lost to disasters.
      • The same animal or plant can only be published once.

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.
Desert and jungle can never be adjacent; change to veldt instead.
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, doctors and ethnologists must release captives and may not loot.
Rations from natives are actually not perishable.
Animals may be shot to provide 10 rations.
The journalist receives VP if in Africa when any explorer fights a tribe. 2 VP if tribe wins 1 VP if explorer wins. For battles in which the journalist himself is fighting, only once per tribe and 1 vp for loss if it is his own battle. Like plants and animals, only the first to publish a battle gets the points. Journalist interviews of other explorers must be from explorers who have been 4 or more hexes into the interior. Only one interview per opponent.
  1. If launching new expedition:
    1. Spend turn outfitting it. (Without a free ticket, transport cost is $500.)
    2. The next turn starts with the destination port in Africa.
  2. If not launching a new expedition:
    1. Discard all free tickets
    2. Discard donations above 5. (All donations are public.)
    3. Draw one donation.
    4. Publish any victory points you wish.
    5. Draw a donation for every 4 victory points published.

  1. The highest available donation is $500.
  2. Comparative totals of potential VP awards: Journalist: 87
    Explorer: 75
    Botanist: 75
    Geologist: 75
    Zoologist: 73
    Doctor: 71
    Missionary: 71
    Ethnologist: 69


Thu Jul 5 17:31:33 PDT 2001