Gameday First Play – Die Baumeister von Arkadia
Placing workers and building things..
Why? Who knows.
Arkadia is a game about building the city and castle of Arkadia.
Players use builders, cards, workers, and neutral workers to build houses in Arkadia. Houses are built with the seal of one of 4 families; this family gave the building order and will get the building player its seal.
In this game you start with a Screen with 4 Pennants on it, 2 workers of your colour and a hand of 4 cards.
The cards indicate a building with a different Tetris-esque shape and a colour seal.
On your turn you can…
Build a Building
By playing a card, taking the building of that ‘shape, and placing it on the board. There are a couple of placement rules such as it being placed next to another building or worker.
Once placed, you put a seal on it of the colour on the card… and if you placed it over any tents printed on the board, you gain a neutral colour worker for each one.
You then draw a card to replace the one you used.
You can place workers on the board, as many as you have available… but they must all be orthogonally adjacent to the same building. This means they can be adjacent to other buildings this way which really works out well for you when a building is completed.
When a building is completed, meaning each orthogonally adjacent space next to it contains either a worker or another building it is ‘scored’.
The player who completed the building keeps the seal on it and then each player gets a seal of that colour for each worker of their colour orthogonally adjacent to that building. This means placing workers in gaps touching 2 or even 3 buildings means they score multiple times over the course of a game.
Also, for each building constructed, you can place a piece of the castle in the middle of the board. Each castle piece adds to the value of a seal of it’s colour but in turn will cover up another seal as the castle is built. The value of each seal will change as the game goes on meaning you need to sell them at the right time.
At the end of your turn you can trade in one of your 4 Pennants to trade your seals for gold. Each seal you trade in will give you the value currently being displayed on the castle. You also get 2 more guys of your colour.
Only being able to do this 4 times leads to interesting choices throughout the game as your seals may be worth little but maybe you need the guys…
So after 2 rounds (a round is when 10 buildings have been built) each player gets 1 turn each and the game ends.
You trade in all your seals at their current value, most gold wins.
It’s a nice game, very simple to play yet very complex. Limited workers make finishing buildings very hard so collecting neutral workers is valuable. Changing the value of seals to help yourself and hinder others is a good move too…
All in all it’s a nice game of interesting yet very limited choices.