Review – Bora Bora
A Dice Placement, Set Collection game.
Title: Bora Bora
Year Published: 2013
Designer: Stefan Feld
Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
Game Time: ~60-120 mins
Set-up Time: ~5 min
Theme: The isle of Bora Bora
Mechanic: Dice Placement, Set Collection
How to win: Score the most points.
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 favour with the gods.
These action tiles are double sided so lay them out based on the player count which is shown on the card. (It only changes for a 2 player game)
You have fish tiles, the board has space for fish… so it seems only right that you randomly place them on their space.
Shuffle the Men and Women tiles and put 6 on their spaces.
Give each player 1 random Light Green and 2 random Dark Green Task tiles, then Put a number of Dark Green tiles on the board depending on the player count.
Randomly place the Jewellery tiles on the board in the Jewellery space.
Put 6 God tiles next to the God track, then shuffle the God cards and reveal 5.
Now you setup up your own player board… You put Huts on each space (Leave the 1st space empty but add 2 on the 12th Space), Buildings on their space (dice side up) and a God Tile on the God Tile space. You also get 2 random god cards and 2 offerings along with your 3 dice.
Randomly deal turn order tokens, then place a score marker on 0,1,2,3 points in turn order with the start player beginning the game with no points.
Place a marker on 0 on the Priest track in turn order with the start player on top.
In reverse turn order, place a hut from the 2nd space on your player board next to a Fish tile and get a Resource or Offering from that Region.
An Offering Tile goes on your player board on it’s space, a Resource token is placed on any of the matching Resources spaces on your board.
A round is played over 3 phases, starting with Phase A – Actions
Players roll their dice then take turns playing one dice onto an action card to take that action. When a die is placed, it must be lower than the lowest dice already on that action card.
There are 6 places to play dice…
Expand – To expand over Water or Land, there must be a path next to your Hut to follow equal to or lower than the value of your die.
Take any Hut from your player board and add it to the region, taking the printed Resource/Offering as before. If there is already an opponents Hut there (you can’t build 2 of your own Huts in the same region), move it off to one side, keeping it in that region.
You can now (and ONLY now) play a Red God Card if you have one to score points equal to the value of the Fish tile in that region.
Woman/Man – Take a tile from the row equal to or less than the number on the placed die.
Add it to a free space on your board, in the top most available section.
Helper – This is a versatile space that allows you to trade for any number of actions depending on the number of pips on the placed die. The actions you can take are printed on your player board. Let’s look at those now…
Tattooing/Shells: For each pip, slide one Man/Woman Tile down on your player board to activate it.
Tattoos move your marker one space on the Status track as printed on a Man tile.
Shells are collected from the supply as printed on the Woman tile and placed in your supply.
VPs: Gain that many Victory Points… easy one.
Offering: For every 2 pips on your die, gain an Offering Tile.
God Card: For every 2 pips on your die, draft one God Card from those available and immediately replace it, or draw blindly from the top of the deck.
While we’re here let’s talk about Gods. To play them you discard a God card and an Offering to play that God. Or, you can discard any 2 matching God cards and an offering to play the effect of ANY God… or discard a God TILE to play any God effect without having to give up an Offering.
So what do they do…
Blue – Let’s you play any die to an action tile, even if the value on it is too high
White – Place a die legally, then use its effect as if it were a ‘6’
Red – Score a Fish tile when expanding as explained earlier
Green – Double the effect of a Man/Woman tile, or Gain an additional Man/Woman activation
Yellow – Replace a Task Tile requirement (More on that one later)
Back to the other actions on the Helper action tile…
Building Materials: For every 2 pips on your die, take any resource and add to your board.
Move Hut: For every 2 pips on your die, move a Hut from any space on your player board to space 12. (Space 12 can get quite busy)
Back to the rest of the action tiles…
Temple – This lets you place a Priest on the temple track UP TO the space on the die. Move priests occupying spaces down the track following the arrows which will knock off Priests if they’re pushed off the end back to their owner.
Build – Place a building on two orthogonally adjacent resources on your board and score points depending on which round it is.
When using the Temple or Build action you have something called a ‘Fire Bonus’. This means when you take these actions you can either take a God card and move a space on the status track, take an Offering and move a space on the status track or take a Shell token…
Just so you know, the Status Track scores you some points and also determines turn order.
Fishing – Of course there has to be a space that lets you play any die regardless of value so you can always go here to gain 2 Victory Points.
Phase B starts once everyone have placed all their dice – Man/Woman Tile Actions
In turn order, activate one Man and one Woman tile for their effect… but you can use multiple Men or Women tiles with the same symbol for a more powerful single action.
These tiles let you take the same actions you could take in the actions phase. Again, Move your tiles down on the player board to show they have been activated.
Next up is Phase C – Assessment
Everyone scores points depending on your position on the Status track, then move the counters back to the beginning keeping them in the same order with 1st on top. This is the new turn order for the next round.
Now score Points for Temple Track, the player with the most Priests gets the top God tile with the player with the leftmost Priest breaking ties.
In the new turn order, players can buy 1 piece of Jewellery for the current rounds row, by paying Shells and putting it face down on their player board.
Now in turn you can complete one of your tasks. You get 6 victory points if you fulfil both conditions on the tile, or you can also use a Yellow God to just fulfil one condition on a tile but you only get 4 points.
If you can’t complete a task at all, you must choose one to discard.
End of Round
Discard any Men, Women and Task tiles on the board that weren’t taken and replace them with new ones.
The game ends after 6 rounds.
You score various things, but first you look at your remaining task tiles and complete as many as you can.
2 points for each remaining God tile you have left.
The value (1-6 points) of each Fish next to a Hut in a region you control.
The value (1-9 points) of each Jewellery tile you have.
A 6 point bonus for each of the following if…
…you completed all 9 of your Tasks.
…you claimed 6 Jewellery tiles in the game.
…you filled all 12 Ceremony spaces on your player board.
…you built all 6 building tiles.
…you added all 12 Huts to islands.
…you filled your player board with 12 Men and Women tiles.
The player with the most points wins with the turn order after round 6 breaking any tie.
I LOVE the dice placement here… In most dice placement games (By most I mean Kingsburg ’cause that’s the only one I know well :)) having all high numbers is a plus. But here, high numbers give you more options, but as each player places a die the actions you can take are reduced.
Of course you can always take the correct God card to get around this…
Also, your options are open as to what to do. Focus on a few things or try and do a bit of everything. It seems I say this a lot in my roundups so I assume this is something I like in a game?
It’s just a very nice game with a lot of bits that work together very well.
Favourite dice placement game so far, Favourite Feld so far…
I give it 7/10