map excerpt: wind rose

Strategy & Subterfuge

The engine of speed in the game is neither dice nor cardplay, but simply the player's ability to best navigate the given wind situation. Just like real balloonists, players change their altitude by jettisoning ballast or releasing lighter-than-air gas. Cards are used to represent the random local winds by which balloons may change their lane or sometimes that of others. However, ballast, gas and fuel -- needed to fly at the highest altitude -- are finite and if used each turn will not last the entire race. Moreover after having played three cards, players must first use a card on another's balloon. Cards represent the chaos in the system and may also be used to trigger a Misfortune card or even to randomly change the weather in a quadrant. Thus plays on another's balloon may be used to slow down a leader or, conversely, to help a balloon that is lagging, perhaps in exhange for a similar favor in return? Players need to take careful note of resources, positions and card states and not just their own, but also those of their opponents. Also they must not neglect the all-important wind rose which dictates which balloons are currently vulnerable, and which will next be vulnerable. Still to be mentioned are the special Advantage cards which give each player their unique condition, as well as the tricky decision of when to discard them in order to take another player's card off the table. Overall we hope the game offers considerable scope for strategists and tacticians alike.
Up and Away Games