Preview Series - Part 1

Welcome to the first Preview of Madeira. This strategic game had a long development phase, but I'm sure you all agree to rather to not rush a release and instead give the game the time it needs to be ready. I hope you will like the result we present you, as we from What's Your Game? and the Authors Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade think it is awesome and well worth the wait. ☺

Many have heard some small hints about this game and many are curious what it is all about. So the number one request from each player who has it on their watch list is: "Need to read the rules!" I will not present the full rules today, as we are still tweaking them so that the rulebook will be easy to read and the game easy to learn. But we want to break the "wait and see" approach many of you have, so I show you some elements already today to give you more info.

I start today with the main element of the game: The Dice.


Madeira is a civilization game and it is an economic game, but from its heart it's a worker placement game. Although the game contains worker meeples for each player, the true workers from a mechanic “point of view” are the dice and their placement is the core of the game. Each die is only numbered 1 to 3, and every number is present twice on a six-sided. This reduction of the possible results reduces the variety to a level that the dice result is still important but not game breaking. We like to challenge your mind, not your nerves .

But all dice are of the same color, so how do I know which are mine? We have a small drafting of them. At the start of each of the five rounds in the game, the dice are rolled in groups of three and placed on the Guild Board. In turn order, each player then chooses one group of them as their dice for this round.

(The Guild Board at the beginning of Round 1)

There are several considerations involved in choosing a group of dice.

The first are of course the dice value. You will use your dice to perform the actions and having high-numbered dice is always helpful. The two islands of Madeira are divided into three regions. A die showing a 1 can only be used in Region 1 in theory, unless you pay some bread in order to increase its value. Bread can be considered as the entrance fee you have to pay to perform actions in the other regions of the island. If you have a die showing a 3 you have the freedom to just use it anywhere and save some bread. Btw: We call these dice the Guild Dice.

A bread tile

The second reason is renewing guild favors. The guild board is called this way, as the four rows represents the four guilds in the game. You will get guild favors during the game, which in theory can only be used once each. Choosing one group of dice and with it the guild that offers them, lets you renew your entire guild Favors of that one guild. Giving you an extra advantage.

One of the Guild Favors in the Game.
          She provides more Bread.

The third reason for picking a row is the Crown’s Requests. Each Guild offers you different Requests, made by the crown of Portugal. By choosing your group of dice, you will also choose one Request in the same row. Fulfilling the Requests is the principal way to earn Victory Points, so part of the strategy is getting the right tiles.

One of the Crown's Request.
What it might do?

And last but not least choosing the group of dice also influences the order of the players during the second phase of the game, where we use the dice to perform actions. Taking a group of dice from the first row makes sure that you will be the first to perform the action.

Combining these four elements (Dice, renewing Favors, Crown's Request, and turn Order) is an exciting start into each round.

I hope you like what you have seen so far. Next time I will go into details of the actions you can perform with the dice. And if you already like what you see and read, spread the word and feel free to go here and give us a thumps up on the Spiel 2013 Preview.

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

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