1-5 players, ages 10+
Playing time: 30-60 minutes
Designer & Artist: Haakon Gaarder
Publisher: Sinister Fish Games
The plague has struck and caused great problems for the population. Your task is to build up a new village, provide food for its citizens and supply the craftsman and traders with the goods they need.
Each round starts with a drafting phase: each player drafts 2 villagers, plus 1 extra for each food symbol visible in their village.
In the build phase, players place new villagers in their village, and again 1 extra for each builder symbol visible. Some villagers are part of a production chain and must be placed on top of specific villagers, as indicated on the card. This way each first villager in a production chain can have 2 different branches on top of him. Villagers showing a padlock require you to unlock it first, by placing 2 money on the unlocking villager or paying it to the bank.
You can also play special villagers, and benefit from their powerful actions.
At the end of each round, you check whether a market phase was triggered: in the first market phase, players receive money equal to the total value of the gold coins present in their village, the second market phase they tally the gold and silver coins. Also the money on their unlocking villagers gains you income. After the second market phase, the game is over and the player with the most money wins!
Villagers is a solid hand management game with open card drafting. Especially the production chain is a feature that’s very neat and definitely adds an extra layer of strategy to the game. It comes with rules that are easy for everyone to understand, and setup is easy as most of the cards are placed while playing. The box also comes with dividers that separate each different type of card and additional modules you can add.
Villagers first was released back in 2019 after a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Later this month, on June 29th, Villagers is coming back to KS not only with a reprint, but also with the new ‘Shifting Seasons’ expansion.
Since I’ve also received a preview copy of the new expansion, I’ll be telling you what it precisely adds to the game, and my thoughts on it soon!