10/07/2013

Madeira - Pearl of the Atlantic - Description

Madeira (Portuguese for wood) is an island officially discovered in early XV century by Portuguese seafarers. The wild fertile landscape covered by a dense forest and the importance of the strategic position in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean made this a place of huge significance in the Portuguese discoveries. What happened in Madeira was the “laboratory” of what would later be known as the Portuguese Empire.

Wheat plantations were the first means for the survival in the island. After that, when D. Henrique decided to increase the economy of the Empire, sugar became the core business of Madeira. With the offer of sugar coming from other places of the world (such as Africa and Brazil) the financial results of sugar were not enough and the production of the very famous Madeira wine became the most important economic product of the island.

Players try to gain prestige and money adapting themselves to these constraints, working their way to find better fields for farming the right goods and obtaining the precious wood, essential to put up new structures in the cities and build ships for trading in foreign markets, and taking part of new expeditions.

Madeira: Pearl of the Atlantic is a heavy strategic game, settled in the original administrative division of the island in 3 captaincies (Funchal, Machico and Porto Santo), where the ultimate goal is to develop the Island gaining the most prestige in the Portuguese Crown.

Game play is tight and tense, full of difficult choices with everybody getting engaged in a dynamic set of mechanics that allow for a great replayability.

The game revolves around a new dice mechanic, where players will use Guilds and Royal Army dice to have access to the different captaincies, hire the five influent characters hosted in the main buildings of the island and determine the cost to perform the action of the building currently associated to the hired character.

The King will assign a series of tasks regarding settlements, enlistments, expeditions, trades and urbanization of the island. Each round, players must choose one of the tasks to pursue. For 3 times, the King will check the assigned tasks and give prestige points accordingly. Players must carefully choose the correct timing to show him their achievements. Too early and you’ll gain not enough prestige, too late and you risk someone else will stole you the best opportunities. Will you have what it takes to overcome all of these endeavors ?

Beware, wheat may become scarce, money is never enough, the population is hungry and the shadow of piracy is growing…