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Ebenezer’s Ponderous Chain

AUDIO INTRODUCTION


INTRODUCTION

Ebenezer’s Ponderous Chain is a board game that begins precisely where Charles Dickens’ legendary tale, A Christmas Carol, ends.

Early in the book Ebenezer Scrooge is confronted by the ghost of his deceased partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge asks Jacob why he is “fettered”.

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you? [yours] was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a Ponderous Chain!”

The book ends the day after Christmas with Scrooge back in his office, filled with joy and generosity, giving Bob Cratchit a raise.

This is where the board game, Ebenezer’s Ponderous Chain, begins. While Scrooge is no longer adding links to the chain around his soul, the existing chain, which has corrupted many of London’s finest industries, must now be dismantled. When all is said and done and the last link has been removed, only one question remains; whose Christmas pudding will Ebenezer douse in brandy and set ablaze to celebrate the victory?

GOAL

Cooperate with other players in removing chain links from around the board while competing to have the most valuable Christmas Pudding by the end of the game. 

GAMEPLAY OVERVIEW

Ebenezer’s Ponderous Chain is a semi-cooperative board game for 2 to 5 players. During the game, players cooperate, as members of the Cratchit family, removing the chain links that encircle the central board of London. This board is made up of 9 districts, each with its own unique action. There are multiple spaces where you may place your pawn. Each space provides access to 2 or 3 actions. Deciding which space to occupy and when is a strategic decision. Action spaces are either the districts themselves or designated spaces between districts. On your turn, perform any combination of moving 1 time and performing up to 2 actions.

During the game purchase Londoner cards from a central card market. Discard matching sets of cards to remove black and white cubes (corruption and apathy) from 7 industry tiles. Gain chain links from around the edge of the board when removing corruption cubes. Each industry produces an ingredient essential to making Christmas pudding. Purchase these ingredient tokens and place them on your player board. Each column, row, and diagonal you fill in with ingredient tokens triggers a unique reward. As industrial corruption decreases, your pudding’s value increases. The final round of the game is triggered when all the chain links have been removed from the board. The player with the most valuable Christmas pudding is the winner .


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