The small town of Boulderville lies on the slope of an old volcano, believed by all to be long dormant. A team of Scientist have been studying the volcano, and have started to come to the conclusion that it is not truly dormant, and may soon erupt. They must convince the sceptical populace that they need to evacuate, before it is too late.


The aim of this game is to save the populace of the local town, and to be the Scientist with the greatest renown at the end of the game.


This game is for 4 players, aged 10+


Place the board on the table. Each player should take a renown marker, and place it on the renown track. Place the eruption marker on the eruption track, and the rescue marker on the rescue track. All markers should be placed on the zero point of the relevant track.

Shuffle the Scientist cards, and deal one face up to each player.

Shuffle the Townspeople deck, and deal cards face up on the board, filling the marked start positions. Randomly fill four of the housing estate positions with townspeople.

Shuffle the Action deck, and deal three Action cards to each player.

The Eruption deck is made up from three smaller decks, the Initial Build -up deck, the Pre-Eruption deck, and the Post Eruption deck. Shuffle each of these decks and deal five cards from each. Add the Eruption card to the dealt Pre-Eruption cards, and shuffle this stack. You should have 3 small stacks totalling 16 cards. Place the Initial Build-up cards on the Pre-Eruption cards, and then place this stack onto the Post-Eruption deck. This is the Eruption deck.

The Scientist Cards

Each player has a single Scientist card. Each card will have a special abilities that aid in gaining renown or evacuating the town. Some Action cards benefit or hinder specific scientists, and some may only be played on a specific Scientist. Scientists are one of two types, Rock based, or Non-rock based. These classifications also have Action cards that benefit or hinder the entire group.

The Townspeople Cards

Each Townspeople Card represents a single resident (or family) from the town of Boulderville. Each card has the following four attributes, which will be explained more fully in the relevant section of the rules.

You can use the Belief and Move tokens to record the state of a particular townsperson

The Eruption Cards

Each Eruption card represents a sign of the oncoming eruption, or an effect of the eruption once it has occurred. Most cards have an Eruption value, once the card is revealed, move the Eruption marker this number of spaces along the Eruption track. They also have an effect on the game, once the card is revealed, immediately carry out this effect.

Playing the game

The game proceeds over a number of turns, and continues until all of the townspeople have left the board. The game ends at the end of the turn the last townsperson leaves the board.

Each turn has a number of phases, as described below:

  1. Perform any ongoing effects, such as Lava spreading.
  2. Reveal next Eruption card.
  3. Perform the effects of the card.
  4. Do Science:
    1. Take lead
    2. Move scientists
    3. Play actions
    4. Draw actions
    5. Claim renown
  5. Move Townspeople
  6. Check non-moving believers to see if they become willing to move
  7. Check non-believers to see if they now believe the Scientists that an Eruption is coming.

Game terms

Space - A space on the board is marked by a black rectangle, large enough to fit a Townsperson or Scientist card in. Each space can fit at most one Townsperson and one Scientist, no more.

Adjacent spaces - Spaces are adjacent if they are connected by a joining line on the board.

Lucky escapes (for some)

Some cards or actions can cause Townspeople and Scientists to die (covered in lava, bridge collapsing etc.). If a Townsperson dies, then they should be removed from the board. Move the rescue marker down a number of spaces equal to the Townsperson’s value.

If a Scientist ‘dies’ then remove them from the board. Thankfully, our heroes are a bit luckier than Townspeople, and will always make a miraculous escape. The Scientist must miss the rest of this turn (the Player cannot take any actions), but can be played to the board during the following Move scientists phase. The Scientist loses any Renown tokens that have not yet been traded in.

Spreading Lava

Some Eruption cards cause a Lava card to be placed on the board. Once this card has been placed, lava will continue to spread from it at the beginning of every turn. At the start of the turn, fill any spaces that are adjacent to a lava filled space with a lava card. If a filled space contains a Townsperson or a Scientist, then they are killed (but don’t forget Lucky Escapes).


Some Eruption cards cause a Rubble card to be placed on the board. Any Townspeople in spaces covered in Rubble are killed. Townspeople cannot move past rubble, but they can move around it, if a another route is available. Scientists can move rubble blocking a road. It takes two turns to remove a Rubble card. The Scientist wishing to move the rubble must move to the space filled by the Rubble card, and the time taken to clear the Rubble means that the Scientist cannot play an action card that turn.

After one turn is spent moving the rubble, flip the Rubble card 180 degrees. Once two turns have been spent, remove the card totally. Different Scientists can spend time moving Rubble, and the two turns used up do not need to follow on from each other immediately.

Rubble cards can also be used to mark totally destroyed areas of the board that cannot be cleared. Place rubble cards at a 90 degree angle to mark such spaces.

The Turn Phases
Reveal next eruption card

Turn over the next Eruption card, and place it next to the Eruption deck, face up. Perform the effects of the card. Increase the Eruption Counter if directed to by the card. If the card gives a bonus to the Eruption Counter based on a Scientist’s position, then that Scientist must be present at the stated location at the beginning of the turn, when the card is revealed, to gain the bonus.

Do Science

The Scientists perform all of their relevant Science in this phase of the game.

Take lead

One Scientist is the leading Scientist, they get to act first in each of the proceeding phases. In the first turn of the game, the lead Scientist role should be taken by the youngest player. After this, each player should take it in turns to be the lead Scientist, passing the role to left one place at the beginning of each Do Science phase.

Each time the lead Scientist scores renown, then he gains one extra renown token.

Move Scientists

Each player takes it in turn to place their Scientist card in a space on the board. Scientists can be placed into any space on the board, so long as it is not filled with lava or rubble. Only one Scientist may be played in each space.

Most action cards allow Scientists to gain renown tokens if they are in one of the Science locations (Science Station, Upper Observation Point, Hot Springs or the Crater). Once they have gained renown in these locations, they must return to the Science Station to turn these tokens to points on the renown track (or the Town Hall if the Science Station is destroyed, see Claim Renown).

Scientists may also spend time in the town, encouraging people to leave, and helping them to move.

For each Scientist in the Town Hall, each Townsperson’s belief score is reduced by one; it is easier to convince them to move.

If a Scientist shares a space with a Townsperson, their belief score is reduced by two, their Willingness score by one and their speed is increased by one. When the Townsperson sharing the space moves later in the turn, the Scientist will move with them. If the Scientist leaves the board with the Townsperson, the Scientist is played back to the board next turn, he keeps any untraded Renown tokens.

Scientists can also spend time moving rubble from the road, as described above.

Play actions

Each player, starting with the lead Scientist, may play a single action card. Immediately resolve the effects described on the card

Draw actions

Each player may discard as many action cards, which they hold, as they wish, and draw new cards to return their hand size to three.

Claim and marking renown

Each time a player scores renown, place renown tokens on their Scientist card. If you choose, it can be easier to mark these tokens with dice in front of each player, rather than using tokens on the cards. Either method is acceptable, but a player must mark all of their renown in the same way. Renown scores are always public, they should never be kept hidden, and the current value must be provided if requested.

During the Claim renown phase, any Scientist in the Science Station can trade in renown tokens to move their renown marker along the renown track.

If the Science Station has been destroyed by lava, it is still possible to trade in renown tokens for a permanent score. The Scientists can then trade tokens at the Town Hall, at a rate of three tokens for two points scored (The facilities at the Town Hall are not so suited to scientific endeavour).

At the end of the game, only renown scored on the track counts towards winning, unclaimed renown tokens will not add to the overall score.

Moving Townspeople

Once Townspeople have started moving, they attempt to flee the city via the Freeway, travelling over the bridge on the map. They move towards this bridge as fast as possible. Move the Townsperson nearest the bridge first. If the bridge is destroyed, then they will instead flee via the Small Country Road. Each point of Speed of Movement the Townsperson has allows them to move from one space to an adjacent empty space. If there are not adjacent empty spaces, any remaining movement is lost.

Check unwilling Townspeople to see if they begin to move

Roll a ten sided die for each Townsperson marked with a Believer token. If this score exceeds their Willingness score, replace the token with a Move token.

Check disbelieving Townspeople

Look at all Townspeople without any tokens, if the Eruption Counter exceeds their Belief score, then they accept that a Volcanic eruption is on the way, mark them with a Believer token.

Winning the game

At the end of the game (after the last Townsperson has left the board), you must determine if the game has been won, and if it has, which Scientist is pre-eminent.

If the Save counter shows a positive score then the game is won, enough Townspeople were saved from the Volcano, and the Scientists are hailed as heroes.

If the game is won, then the player with the most renowned Scientist will be declared pre-eminent, a first amongst equals. Remember, only cashed in renown counts towards the total, any unclaimed renown tokens do not add to your total renown in the final reckoning.