The Global Condition card is an interesting part of your Planetary Exploration Mission. It makes things a bit more realistic, because we all know that conditions on a planet can change … even within a few hours. Wisconsin weather is like that, so I know first hand!
However, Awaken Realms put A LOT OF STUFF on the Global Condition cards!
It can be confusing if we don’t parcel out all areas on a Global Condition card. Note that not all Global Condition cards include ALL these, but here is one on page 30 that DOES include them all:
Let’s look at all the areas on the card.
Each Global Condition card has a title and that is shown in the top left corner (Close Encounter for this example).
The top right corner has some text that explains something about this condition (crawling mound mites in this example)
Just below them, near the top of the card is where a Dice Combination might be included. If the dice you roll match the symbol(s) shown (a DNA icon AND a Squid icon in our example) then you MAY (if you wish) spend the dice that match that dice combination (move them to the Spent Pool) to achieve the results shown. In this example, there is an arrowhead pointing down below the dice combination and that indicates that we CAN gain 2 Live Specimen Leads. We can choose to NOT spend the dice in this manner if we wish (we might need them for something else).
At the very BOTTOM of the card there sometimes will be a Time Track. At the end of each turn a player draws an Event Card and typically if the icons at the top of the card do not match any icon in the top right of your current Sector, you will be instructed to advance all time tracks (which would include a time track on a Global Condition card). There are other times you might be instructed to advance that time track. Some crewmembers even have a Special Skill that allow them to ignore an event card that advances time tracks:
- Forecast – ignore an event card (thus avoid having to advance the time tracks)
In the middle of the Global Condition card a dice check may be indicated (as seen by the dice check icon in front of it:
Typically, this is required if your crewmember is travelling from one Sector to another and there is a Travel icon on the path:
Our example includes this dice check:
Dice checks are done row by row from top to bottom, so the first thing you would check is if you had rolled an “accident” icon on any of your dice. If so, that first row tells you to look below for the red bracketed instructions, which in this case has you read Log 148. If you did NOT roll an accident, then you’d look at the next row, which is the green row … and that row tells you that you can spend any one die to complete your move along the path to a connected Sector. The “any die” icon they use actually is confusing, because according to page 19 of the rulebook it means that any die can be used to achieve the outcome, and the die you chose to use is placed into the Spent Pool. It is odd that they didn’t just use the “move any die to the Spent Pool icon” as referenced on page 46 of the rulebook (a die with an arrow pointing to the right):
If all these areas are not included on a Global Condition card, some of the areas might appear in slightly different places on the card.
UPDATE NOTE: Thank you Joost, for commenting on this article! The comment stated that spending a die must come from the Crew Board and moving a die from the Roll Pool to the Spent Pool would not use that icon. However … I think this is another example of the rulebook not be clear or even contradicting itself. I found this on page 34:
This clearly states that moving a die from the Roll Pool to the Spent Pool is called Spending a Die.
“Spend a die” moves it directly from your Crew board while the “any die” symbol moves it from your rolled dice. With “Spend a die” you wouldn’t roll, so the “accident” will never occur.
Not so sure about that. This is from page 34 of the rulebook:
9) Spend dice:
Move all Section dice from all players’ Roll Pools to their Spent Pools.
Here we see the rulebook tell us to spend dice from the ROLL POOL. Thus, I think spending a die just means moving a die that is NOT in the spent pool INTO the spent pool (from your hand, from the crew board, from the roll pool). I could be wrong, but if so, the rulebook needs some updating and clarifying.
As I see it there are two distinct definitions here:
1. “Spend dice” step during dice check where you move dice from the Roll Pool to the Spent Pool.
2. “Spend a die” icon that forces you to move a die from your Crew Board to the Spent Pool.
In my eyes these two are completely unrelated. The “Spend a die” icon is not even related to dice checks, hence the need for a separate symbol for “any die”.
So in conclusion I believe the rules are perfectly clear here, I think you’re just mangling two separate use cases of spending dice here.
This whole thing is really quite interesting! Perhaps it boils down to the phrase “Dice Check”. In some games (most games) this means to look at your dice and check if you rolled doubles or something like that. Here in ISS Vanguard, it is a full ten step process. And it is great to have a discussion about it because we will be doing it over and over and over again and hopefully doing it correctly! It is 4am here and I need some sleep, but let’s see if anyone else has a view on this in the meantime!