23/09/2013

Madeira Preview - Part 2

Last time we learned about the dice we got from the guild board. Now comes the part where the players need to make the decisions what to do with them.

Each die we took lets us perform two actions each round. Yep, that is right: 1 die, 2 actions! Giving us more bang for the buck.

The 3 regions I mentioned last time are home not only to several fields offering goods that can be harvested, but also to 5 buildings. Each building offers an action. But there is more. There are 4 Characters. They travel over the Island offering their services and as these are Nobles, they don’t work in a tent or on the open fields. They are hosted in the buildings. Working together with the local authority.
In game terms it means that each round we have four character tiles (offering an action) we randomly put on the buildings (offering a different action).

So, we have two kinds of actions each guild die nets us: The character action and the building action. And we have a random combination of these actions each round – every game.

Let’s look at this in detail.

- In phase B we place a die on a character and perform his action immediately. We do this one die each in turn order and we can choose the same action again, when it is our turn again and if the character still has space, allowing us to concentrate on certain actions if needed for our strategy, or we can choose a different character showing each of them our love.

One of the 4 Characters: The Commander

- In phase C we look at each building one at a time. If we used the character placed on that building, we can now perform that building action. But only once, even if we used the character in it several times in this round.
Each Building gives you a regular action and a bigger action depending on how many workers you have. And where do these workers need to be? No surprise, but on the fields of the Region of the Building. If you help working doing the most standard job, you get more out of it. Sounds fair.

One of the Buildings: the “Moinho”


The Steward is hosted there for this round. Performing the Building action gives you 2 Bread if you have at least 1 worker in the region or 5 Bread if you have at least 3 workers.

So you have to decide which combination helps you the most and what gives you the most advantages.
And to decide not only means deciding which action to perform, but also to do it at the right time. Each character can only offer their service a limited times before they called it a day. In a four-player game that is four times. As soon as the fourth die is on a character that action is gone for this round and that character closes it’s door. Come back next round if you want his service, wherever he will then be.

Elements like these add a lot to the interaction and tension between the players. If the first two players are going for that one action I was toying with, I might need to perform it now, before it is gone and I would have to wait another round. Sometimes you want to make sure to have access a building action, so you need to adapt your strategy, or you can lure players into actions they wanted to do later.

But that’s not all, folks!
You may have noticed that I was talking about five buildings but only four characters.

Let’s go back to the characters. When we look at them you might notice that icon at the bottom right side. Each character has it.

This is the icon for harvesting sugar, wine, wheat and wood.
Stuff you get from the fields of the island.
This is the icon for harvesting sugar, wine, wheat and wood. Stuff you get from the fields of the island.

Each of the four characters lets you harvest, instead of doing the regular action. To harvest means getting the shown good or wood from each field you have a worker on - guess where? - in the same region as the character is.

But there is a fifth character. You see, announcing four characters and listing five of them is the way we work at What's your Game?! Always giving more to the players.

The fifth character is the Harvester. Each round one building is not visited by any of the Characters. You might call it empty, but there is still the Harvester in front of that building and putting a die there lets you use him and harvest in that Region.
And as you had no chance to do something else, you get a bonus as you can harvest one of the fields a second time giving you one more good.
The Harvester at the “Alfândega”



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Be seeing you,
Matthias from What's Your Game?