I’ve been grooving on Spirit Island recently via Tabletop Simulator with my regular (online) boardgaming crew, and while it may be slightly crazy to attempt this, I would like to run a play by forum game of it for y’all. I’d administer the game state through the Tabletop Sim module, provide screenshots as appropriate (at least once a phase and on request), process invader turns and power draws, etc.
For those who might not be familiar, Spirit Island is a cooperative game of ancient spirits of nature trying to fend off European settlers from their island, be that by turning the natural forces of the island against them, protecting the local villagers as they fight off the invaders, or scaring the invaders so badly they flee. Each spirit is highly asymmetric in playstyle and abilities, and grows in power as the game goes on, but the Invaders (who have their own special asymmetric abilities based on the nation they’re from) are relentless - each turn they ravage the land where they’ve been building, build where they explored, and explore fresh lands based on their deck of actions. Position is very important - pushing invaders out of lands they’re activating in can be nearly as effective as killing them, and spirits can usually only exert their powers within a certain range of the Presence they add to the board.
I’d ideally like four players of whatever level of experience with the game. (With Jagged Earth it supports as many as six but that seems like it would be overwhelming.) If we’ve only got two-three takers I could possibly step in as a player as well but juggling both roles would be a lot, I think. I propose to use an Adversary which gives the Invaders their national identity powers (basic or level 1 unless folks would like to go higher, as those are still relatively simple) and Blight card, which gives a bit more of a buffer against loss but makes things more challenging once the island is Blighted. The tutorial game uses neither, but they’re fairly core mechanics and it’s pretty possible to win as even new players with both in place, although higher level adversaries get rougher fast. There are also two expansions - Branch and Claw, and Jagged Earth. If our players are mostly or entirely new we may not wish to use either, otherwise I’m generally in favor of incorporating Branch and Claw, which adds a few tokens that make Invaders’ lives harder and random events, as well as adding two more spirits and more cards to every card type. I think it makes the game richer and a bit less predictable for both better and worse, without massively upping complexity. I haven’t played with Jagged Earth yet so can’t weigh in on it but it does add a whole bunch more spirits, so if there’s interest, shoot, why not.
I’ll post links to the rulebooks in the next post, plus spirit summaries. If you’re interested, please post to say so, ideally with pick for spirit and a vote as to whether to include expansion(s). Also if you have opinions on which adversary to use, feel free. Otherwise I’ll probably randomly determine based on what content we’re using.