On the 11th of July, 1899 at 10 a.m., the Union Pacific Express has left Folsom, New Mexico, with 47 passengers on board. After a few minutes, gunfire and hurrying footsteps on the roof can be heard. Heavily armed bandits have come to rob honest citizens of their wallets and jewels. Will they succeed in stealing the suitcase holding the Nice Valley Coal Company’s weekly pay, despite it having been placed under the supervision of Marshal Samuel Ford? Will these bandits hinder one another more than the Marshal since only the richest one of them can come out on top?
Catan: Explorers & Pirates is the fourth major expansion for The Settlers of Catan (following Seafarers, Cities & Knights and Traders & Barbarians) and it includes five scenarios and three missions; some of the scenarios make use of the missions while others do not.
In Catan (formerly The Settlers of Catan), players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards)—wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone—to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.
Players take on the role of newcomers to Catan and learn how the adventurous life in the first settlement played itself out. They explore, using a new movement mechanic, for the raw materials they need to build the settlement. Along the way, they discover useful natural products – but also encounter wild animals and are confronted with adventurous situations. Those who survive these encounters obtain the raw materials they sought as well as experience points that improve the abilities of the player’s character. Over time, then, the player becomes stronger, smarter or more charismatic and is better and better suited for the dangers of the wild.
Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of his meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.
What was that thing about the gift horse? In this two-player variant of Bohnanza, both bean farmers give each other gifts of beans they can‘t use themselves – to make life harder for their opponent, if possible. Trying to fulfill their secret “bo(h)nus” requirements, they both need to keep a vigilant eye on the other player’s bean fields. Give as good as you get in Bohnanza – Das Duell, there can be only one winner!
In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria…one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, having built Neuschwanstein (the castle that inspired the Disney theme park castles) and others, but now he’s commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever — subject, of course, to his ever-changing whims. Each player acts as a building contractor who is adding rooms to the castle he’s building while also selling his services to other players.