Voyages Extraordinaires is a neat miniature battle game that captures the feel of Victorian fiction – whether your particular fancy is H. Rider Haggard, Jules Verne, or Arthur Conan Doyle. The mechanics are simple to grasp, flexible and intuitive (the rules take up a mere 8 pages). The rules are intended for “narrative” games, where all players are working together to tell an entertaining story, rather than beat the daylights out of each other. There is a suggestion that you might use an umpire or referee to either moderate the game or run the bad guys, though there are no rules to guide you. Players take control of one or more characters and each character is defined by their Archetype, movement and Wounds. The important bit is the Archetype, and each character can be a Hero, Stalwart, Soldier or Rabble. The Archetype will determine how easily you can attack other characters, and how easily they can attack you, using a simple matrix.
The majority of the book is taken up with example characters, broken into European Humans, Native Humans, Other Humanoids, Wild Creatures, Prehistoric Creatures, Mythical Creatures and Alien Creatures – some 22 pages in total! As well as their Archetype, Movement and Wounds, many of the characters have special rules that help evoke the right flavour, and were really entertaining.
This is a great, rules light wargame. The variety of characters and creatures described make it a felxible system and a good option, whether you want to play out a Holmes versus Moriarty mystery, a big game hunt in the Lost World, or the exploits of John Carter!