The game is set in the Burgundy region of High Medieval France. Each player takes on the role of an aristocrat, originally controlling a small princedom. While playing they aim to build settlements and powerful castles, practice trade along the river, exploit silver mines, and use the knowledge of travelers.
The game is about placing settlement tiles into the princedom. Every tile has a function that starts when the tile is placed. The princedom itself consists of several regions, each of which demands its own settlement tile.
The core game mechanism involves two dice. The pips show the kind of action the players are allowed to do (example: roll a 2 and a 5: using the 2 the player buys a watch tower and places it on a 5 city tile which triggers the function of the tower with additional advantages).
It is also possible to influence the dice, so the player is not completely subject to luck.
In this special episode of The Long View, I’m joined by Joel Eddy as we examine the work of game designer Stefan Feld. Is Mr. Feld the shape of things to come? Can you learn to love your point salad? How do you feel about punishment? What makes Mr. Feld such a compelling designer? All of these questions and more will be answered in this designer spotlight episode of The Long View.
The Long View: Stefan Feld
Stake your fortunes in the mysterious island world of Bora Bora. Journey across islands, building huts where the resilient men and women of your tribes can settle, discovering fishing grounds and collecting shells. Send priests to the temples, and gather offerings to curry favor with the gods.
In Bora Bora, players use dice to perform a variety of actions using careful insight and tactical planning. The heart of the game is its action resolution system in which 5-7 actions are available each round, the exact number depending on the number of players. Each player rolls three dice at the start of the round, then they take turns placing one die at a time on one action. Place a high number on an action, and you’ll generally get a better version of that action: more places to build, more choices of people to take, better positioning on the temple track, and so on. Place a low number and you’ll get a worse action – but you’ll possibly block other players from taking the action at all as in order to take an action you must place a die on it with a lower number than any die already on the action.
Three task tiles on a player’s individual game board provide some direction as to what he might want to do, while god tiles allow for special actions and rule-breaking, as gods are wont to do. The player who best watches how the game develops and uses the most effective strategy will prevail.
With “Kaispeicher” there is still more to do in the warehouses and waterways in the warehouse district. New ships call at the port of Hamburg, loaded with valuable goods such as cloth and glass. New orders and building raise your point of yield, and with the many action cards you increase your influence: Will you be a thief or a smuggler hired to your fellow players an obliterate or would rather invest in insurance and fire engine to be delivered to the fires no longer defenseless? also available each of you, another worker is available, which opened in conjunction with an additional auction item brand new tactical possibilities. 25 “real” metal coins round out this diverse extension by the hustle and bustle in the warehouse district is really alive. So what are you waiting for? It is time to do business!
Around the year 1900, Hamburg is the gate to the world. In the center of the harbor there is a unique complex of storage houses: The Speicherstadt (warehouse district). The dense web of loading canals and bridges rapidly develops to become a vast terminal for spices, coffee and carpets from all over the world. You are a wholesale dealer residing in Hamburg at the boom years of the Speicherstadt, buying shiploads and serving your clients. Hire firemen to protect your goods and counting offices from occasional fires. The player doing the best business during the course of one year will be the winner of the game.
~ Z-Man Games