Gameday First Play – Valdora
Valdora… We adore her…
I’m still sulking that I didn’t get to play Purple.
Hidden far away from our time lies a valley of unimaginable riches. Drawn by the lure of gold, silver, and precious jewels, adventurers from all over the world soon find their way there. While some of them still carefully choose commissions and provisions, others quickly rush off to bring valuable gems back to their patrons. But those who wish for fame and fortune will have to be cleverer than their opponents!
So you collect gems, buy contracts, trade contracts in with the correct gems to gain points. Most points wins.
This is one of those simple games that is VERY fun. There are only a few things you can do each turn and you wish you could do all of them! That’s how it should be.
You move point to point, anywhere on the board along a path, but you can’t move through a City unless you have Provisions. The Cities break the paths up into 5 sections around the board.
After moving you do one of the following…
- If you are in a city, buy Equipment or a Contract
- Load Gemstones
- Complete Commissions
- Replenish Silver
- Replenish Provisions
Equipment and Commissions are stacked in each City and are laid out like a book, rather than drawing from a stack. So to find the Equipment or Contract you need you turn the pages of the deck until you see one you want to buy, or not. The first turn of the page is free, each additional page costs one Silver.
If you are at a location where you can pick up Gemstones, you pick up one for each relevant equipment you have. You start with a pan that can hold a Gold gemstone. If you also have Equipment to pick up a Blue and a Purple one and they are available, you can pick those up as well.
Once you have the Gemstones and a Contract that requires gemstones you are carrying you can cash them in at the relevant house. Cashing them in gives you points and a Craftsmen token of that colour. Multiples of the same colour can lead to gaining a bonus tile if you get enough of that colour first. But, at the same time, you gain bonus points for having a variety of different colour Craftsmen at the end of the game too.
Silver is your money, you start with 6 but it goes very quickly. You can just stop at a Silver mine to top back up to 6.
Remember I said you can’t move through a city unless you have provisions? Moving to a city and spending this turns action gaining Provisions can really REALLY benefit you in later turns when you need to move to a place that requires movement through a city. It feels like a waste of a turn and probably is short term, but when you have Provisions available to you, it’s a good feeling.
I enjoyed this one. It has a great balance of simplicity and complexity, choice and restriction. Will play again.