In 1845, Sir John Franklin led an expedition on behalf of the British Royal Navy to find and explore the last portion of the Northwest Passage, regardless of the cost. The Royal Navy gave Franklin two heavy Ships (HMS Terror and HMS Erebus), filled with scientific equipment, 1000 books, a crew of 128 men, and enough food to last for three years. They left England in May and encountered whalers along the west coast of Greenland in August. There, they waited for more favorable weather conditions for the crossing of the Lancaster Sound. Once the weather improved, they sailed into unknown waters, and no-one ever heard from them again … Their disappearance provoked a great deal of turmoil in public opinion, and numerous British and American expeditions attempted to find their trail.
As leaders of these expeditions, players must venture into these hazardous Arctic waters in order to discover Franklin’s fate and succeed where he failed: by finding the Northwest Passage.
Goal of the game
The game takes place over ten rounds of Exploration. Each round, players allocate their Crewmen to maneuver their Ships and Sleds through the icy maze of islands which make up the Arctic archipelago. During their journey, expeditions must survive the endless arctic winter, send out their Sleds to make observations, and wait for the ice to melt again. At the end of the last Exploration round, the expeditions which successfully return from this adventure will earn prestige from their discoveries and the progress they made.