Village - Board Game Box Shot

Village

| Published: 2011

Life in the village is hard – but life here also allows the inhabitants to grow and prosper as they please. One villager might want to become a friar. Another might feel ambitious and strive for a career in public office. A third one might want to seek his luck in distant lands.

Each player will take the reins of a family and have them find fame and glory in many different ways. There is one thing you must not forget, however: Time will not stop for anyone and with time people will vanish. Those who will find themselves immortalized in the village chronicles will bring honor to their family and be one step closer to victory.

Village is a game full of tactical challenges. A smart and unique new action mechanism is responsible for keeping turns short and yet still tactically rich and full of difficult decisions. Also unique is the way this game deals with the delicate subject of death; as a natural and perpetual part of life in the village, thoughts of death will keep you focused on smart time-management.

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I play blue
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“What A Way to Leave a Legacy!”

What Is It About? – An Overview of the Game
Village chronicles the lives of multiple generations in your little medieval village. You hope the family legacy will be spoken about for years to come. There’s grandfather Miller who made a name for himself in crafting goods. Crazy uncle James who traveled far and wide. Some of the family just worked hard and bought the farm but others were pioneers in their field. Players try to earn the most prestige points employed in various areas before either the cemetery or the chronicles fill up.

Village won the prestigious 2012 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel (German Game of the Year in the “Connoisseur” Category). The game plays from 2 to 4 players in about an hour and half to two hours.

What Do I Get? – The Components in the Box
The game comes with a nicely illustrated board showcasing the different aspects of village life, from the church, to the town hall, to the market place, to the city gates leading to faraway lands. These areas represent the different actions available during the round. Each player also gets their own player board in their color to organize and collect resources.

All the coins, grain, goods tiles, market tiles, and miscellaneous start tokens are on quality card board. There are also reference charts for player count and a reminder of the sequence during the end of round mass.

The wooden bits consist of wooden action cubes, scoring discs, and family members in each player color. A sheet of stickers is also supplied to distinguish the different generations. Two cloth bags round out the component list and help to randomize items during the game.

What Do I Do? – Playing the Game
The game is a mixture of worker placement and action selection. Players start with only their first generation (marked with a 1) of meeples and a single coin. The board is seeded each round according to the number of players. The action cubes are drawn from one of the bags and placed at each area.

On a player’s turn, they will select one action cube on the board and may carry out the associated action. They keep the cube as a form of currency to be used in other actions. Fulfilling an action typically requires the placement of a worker, and/or spending collected action cubes/goods/coins, and/or spending time. Players track their individual time spent on the river that runs around their farm. When the time marker passes under the bridge, the player must kill off one of his workers. The meeples will be placed in the Village Chronicles if he was among the first to make a name for himself in his chosen profession or if he misses the book, he is buried in the church cemetery.

Players continue taking one action cube and optionally performing the action one at a time in clock wise order around the table. Once all action cubes are gone, the end of round mass takes place. Players then reseed the board with more action cubes and a new round takes place. As meeples die off, the chronicles or the cemetery will fill up. The game ends as soon as one of these events takes place. A final mass is said, bonus victory points are tabulated and the player with the most prestige points win.

Action Areas
At the wagon space in the middle of the village, you can harvest grain as long as at least one meeple remains in your farmyard. You can harvest more grain if you have a plow and either a horse or ox. Grain will need to be donated to the church to advance the ecclesiastical studies or sold at market for points or turned into profit at the crafts.

Outside the church, you can marry and have kids. This action allows you to take the next available (lowest-numbered) family member from the supply to your farm. They can now be placed in the village to help activate other actions.

In the crafts area, you can either purchase the goods you need (from collected action cubes) or place your family member in an apprenticeship and spend time training them to get you those same goods. These goods can be brought back to your farm (plows/horses/oxen) to make you more efficient or used at the various other locations (wagons for travel, scrolls to get you into government). Any goods you don’t need for yourself might be sold at market, which is another action area.

The market acts a little different in that if this action is selected, it must be taken (you can’t simply pass) and all players may sell to one customer at a time until all customers are satisfied or supply runs out. Customer tokens collected here are scored at game end.

Another means of action is traveling to distant cities. It requires a wagon (produced at the crafts section), time and some form of action cubes to travel to the next city. The more cities that are visited, the more bonus points are awarded at game end.

The town hall requires time and scrolls to advance you up the ranks. Working the system here grants you special privileges like taking the first player marker for the next round or gaining the cubes and goods of your choice. You can also convert money into prestige points towards game end.

What would a medieval village be without a church? You can send your children to the monastery and pay for their way with grain donations. At the end of each round, only 4 new brothers or sisters will enter the covenant. You can bribe the prior to ensure your family is represented or let providence take control. The farther your family makes it up the ranks, the more points they can score.

Finally, there is a wishing well that allows you to turn in 3 of a kind on action cubes to perform any action (even if there are no cubes left in front of that action).

Not all action cubes are beneficial. Mixed in to the bag each round are black plague cubes. They still function for selecting and activating an action. But these are not collected like the other action cubes. Instead, they go back to the supply immediately and cost you 2 units of time, potentially hastening the passing of another meeple.

As meeples pass away in each area, they have the potential to move into the history books. Each section has only so many spots available based on the number of players. You must get at least 3 in the book to score any points and at least 5 meeples need to be in the book to score the most points.

What Do I Think? – Final Thoughts
This is a game we have really come to enjoy. The prospect of killing of your meeples may sound a bit grim but in reality it is just the natural passing of time. The goal is to make a name for yourself and your family, hoping each generation can do a bit more with all respect going back to the generations that have passed.

The action selection process is unique and the main engine of the game. Tense decisions are made between going for the action you need versus the color of the action cube you might need for a different action. Do you grab that last orange cube at the church even though you don’t want to send another meeple to do the good Lord’s work? Or do you grab the last harvest action because you are running low on grain?

There is also a sense of timing that needs to be balanced. You want your meeples to die so they can get the bonus points in the book. But if you kill them off too early, you’ll need to replace them with the next generation to complete their work. Plague cubes are usually the last action cubes taken since they have seemingly negative benefits, but advancing up 2 time may allow you to get in the book before someone else saw it coming. You can also control the pace of the game by filling the chronicles or the cemetery.

The game has scaled extremely well for each player count. Typically 2-player worker placement games feel wide open. But given the time factor that is driving the end game, you still can’t accomplish everything that you wanted to before the round ends. The adjustments for the number of players are how many action cubes go into the bag and get pulled from the bag (capping the number of actions available). Certain spaces in the book and graveyard are also closed off with less than 4 players.

This was a game I was expecting to be a bit ho-hum. But the buzz generated in Europe made me jump at the chance when Tasty Minstrel Games began distributing the English version. This has been a wife-friendly game and is easy enough to introduce to new players.

The only drawbacks are that it does take a couple rounds for new players to see how it all comes together. Trying to figure out why they need certain actions or why they need to pick up certain colored action cubes usually clicks about the middle of the first round.

The other slightly annoying thing was that the meeples are not pre-numbered. You must apply the stickers yourself. Typically this is not a big deal and there aren’t that many of them. However the stickers are mostly clear and hard to see. And while they are small, they don’t have much wiggle room on the meeples themselves. In addition, you must put the completely clear stickers on the black neutral monk meeples (so that you can’t feel a difference when drawing them out for the church).

This is a game I would recommend for families looking for another game to add to their collection. But there is also enough depth for those that enjoy planning out the win. There are a enough paths to victory to make the game interesting each time.

What Next? – Other Recommendations for this Game
The husband and wife designers, Markus and Inka Brand, have made a few other games. Two of the more popular ones are A Castle for All Seasons (another worker placement game) and Guatemala Café.

Being of the worker placement genre, any of those, such as Stone Age or Caylus are games to try out. From the action selection mechanic, especially using the cubes themselves to further accomplish goals in the game, this reminded me of Stefen Feld’s Macao and Trajan.

 
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6
Norway
I play yellow
Asmodee fan
Count / Countess
9
132 of 142 gamers found this helpful
“The life and death of a village”

The word “Village” is probably not a term we use a lot today. Suburbs and towns are more likely used. But if we go back a couple of hundred years, there were towns and cities just as today, but also small villages acting as a small community. That is the setting for this game. You play as one of the families in this village, and you want to make a name for yourself. But the most interesting part in this game, is that your workers actually die as time passes by.

Game components
The board is highly detailed with great artwork. On some areas you’ll find colored spots representing places where you may perform certain actions, just as any other worker placement game. These spots do stand out from the artwork, and seem like an afterthought. I’d prefer if it was a part of the artwork itself. But it is a very minor detail, as the rest of the board is very nice and illustrates a small village very well. You have the blacksmith, church, market, windmill and more.

Each player also gets a homestead handout, with equal quality as the main board. The workers are all marked with a number, representing what generation of your family they are. The homestead is surrounded by a river, and a number of clouds with a sand timer on it. This represents time, and time is an essential part of this game.

The spots on the board will be populated by small cubes of different colors. The cubes are pulled randomly from a bag and placed with a certain quantity on each of these spots.

The board provides for many actions, and you can have many professions. Blacksmiths, monks, travelers, mayors and farmers. On the lower right you’ll find the town record, with a given number of spaces for the avaliable professions in the game.

Gameplay
Each family (player) starts with its first generation workers. On the homestead, you keep your grain and keep track of your own time. When you want to perform an action, you need to pull a cube from one of the spots on the board. If there is no cube avaliable, you cannot perform that action. So, let’s say you want to train a worker to be a blacksmith. You take a cube from the board, and place your worker on the blacksmiths house. Training will of course take some time, so you advance the time track as many spaces as are required. You may at the same turn spend additional time to create something that your new apprentice has learned to make, and you get it at no cost other than time itself. That’s the end of your turn. The cube you picked is placed in your homestead for later use.

When the timer has made a full circle, one of the earliest generation will pass away. And you have to choose which worker that is. This is a very important choice. The village keeps a record of all the greatest artisans and priests, and you want to have made an impression to the village with your family. If your blacksmith pass away, you’d place him in the record, and he will be remembered throughout the ages. But the record has a finite space for these persons. The first blacksmith was a great man (or woman, of course), but later blacksmiths won’t be remembered, as the first ones will always have an elevated position in the towns history. If your blacksmith dies and there’s no more room in the record, he will be placed in an anonymous grave, absent from the records.

Once there are no cubes avaliable for pickup, the round will end. Now you have a chance to make some religious members of your family. But there is only room for 4 apprentices. You may bribe (donate) money to the church to make sure your children are chosen first in line. If not, they are randomly picked from a bag, along with some neutral pieces.

The game ends when either the graveyard or the town record is full. There are many ways to get a final scoring, but the most popular one is the town record, so that your workers don’t die in vain.

The theme
This is a eurogame with both worker placement and pushing of cubes. The cubes are of different colors and may be used in particular areas to purchase whatever produce is available there. Each color is supposed to represent something in the game, such as religion, skill and experience. The areas that you use these cubes are logical for the color, but really, this is one aspect of the game that really falls flat. You don’t feel like you’re picking up religion for use in the church later, but rather a brown cube to spend on the brown action. If you’ve played Lords of Waterdeep, you’ll know what I mean, since it’s basically the same thing.

But what makes the game very special is the time aspect. You get new family members as people get married, and these members are less experiences and pass away after the first generations. And when the third or fourth generation has come to this world, they’ll want to make way for their own benefit, and hoping their grandparents pass away sooner rather than later. And this is an area the game shines on. You’ll have to time your actions, place the correct generations on the spots you want and have them pass away before your opponents family members. If you’re too late, you won’t be remembered.

Conclusion
The game oozes of quality. We’ve played it many times in my gamegroup of about 15 active members, and we named it game of the year last year, with over 250 different games played in all of 2012. So it’s not hard for me to state that this game has great replay value, and a lot of choices to make during play. The random placement of cubes and avaliable merchants in the market adds to the variety, and at the same time doesn’t favor one player above another due to luck.

It’s very easy to learn and get the hang of this game, as it all makes sense. You want to make something? Then you either pay with your resources to get the item there and then, or have your family make it for you at a small time cost. Sometimes you’d probably only want to make time pass so your member pass away at a specific point in the game. You want to travel to other towns or villages? That takes time, of course, but also requires a wagon to travel with. Do you need food? Then a horse or oxen along with a plow will do the trick. But these needs to be bred and trained, which also makes sense.

I enjoy this game still, and it’s always exciting to see what I’m able to do and how my opponents will counter it, and vice versa. And there is no text in the game, making it totally language independent, as long as the rules are known.

Pros:
– Easy to learn
– Great theme
– Unique mechanism
– Good replay value

Cons:
– The spot colors don’t match the artwork

 
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“A welterweight game, with an ordinary theme, that knows how to deliver a strategic knockout punch.”

Primary Mechanics
Action Pool Selection
While technically this may be considered “Worker Placement”, every round there is a pool of cubes in six different locations. Each location usually has a range of choices for you to take. When you take a cube, you’ll usually you’ll place or move a worker (Family Member). Placing a worker doesn’t block other players from that location, as long as a cube remains in the pool for that location. The cubes come in a few different colors and when you take a cube, it will go to your inventory. Later you’ll use these cubes in conjunction with other actions throughout the game. A huge part of the game is being efficient with the order of your actions, the color of cube you take, and how you spend the cubes you gain.

Time & Death
The next mechanic, and probably the more original one that sets this game apart from other games would be the time & death mechanic. All your family members have a number on them that shows their generation. You’ll start with all your 1st generation family members, and throughout the game, they’ll have children, and those children will have children, etc.

Paring with the generation is the concept of time as a resource.. Most actions you take will require some amount of time. You’ll have a marker that revolves around on some hourglass icons around your player board. After it goes around the player board once, a family member of the oldest generation will die. When they die, they’ll go to one of two locations: the village chronicle or the grave of the unknown. The village chronicle has a limited number of spots related to various parts on the board. When a family member dies in a particular location, they’ll fill the associated spot in the village chronicle. If there is no spot left in the chronicle, they’ll go to the grave of the unknown. When either one of these get filled completely filled, the end of the game is triggered.

Theme
Thematically everything usually makes pretty good sense. A lot of it seems to surround around having a prominent family dynasty in an old, if average, medieval european village. There isn’t anything particularly remarkable or inspiring about the setting, as it more of focuses on average lives. There’s no knights, thieves or wizards. Just people trying to make the most of their life. There can be some situations that feel like a possible thematic conflict as you manipulate where you want a family member to be when their time is about to come up. They can spend their whole life being a great craftsman, but in their final hours, they’ll die being known as a great politician. And sometimes you aren’t really trying to have your family members live healthy and fulfilling lives. You are trying to escalate plague and pestilence to get family members to die quicker than anybody else, in the name of gaining Victory Points. Still, the theme and mechanics work well together, despite a rather ordinary theme overall.

Components
Main Board
The Main Board is very functional. It’s separated into a several areas. The graveyard and book for the event of death. Six action spots. And a well that shows you can convert 3 cubes of the same color to take an action in any of the six action areas. Some of the buildings and placements blend in with the art too much, so it isn’t always clear where a player can place a worker. When traveling, you place a marker to show where you’ve been, and the designated spot for the token covers the reward for visiting that location. This sort of thing clears up with multiple plays, but can present a challenge for new players. The board is surrounded by a score tracker, which is quite clear and easy.
Player Board
The player boards are similar thickness as the chipboard. Some things are a little vague at first sight and, similarly to the main board, could benefit from things being a little more distinctive. There is iconography that just blends in with the art a bit too much.
Chipboard
Chipboard is good quality and thickness. There is not a lot of confusion over the pieces.
Meeples
The meeples are good quality wood, but the game requires you to apply very small diamond shaped stickers, and this can be very tricky if you lack dexterity applying small stickers.
Bags
There are two bags that come with the game. They may feel a little small for some larger hands. But their application are great.
Cubes
Mechanically the cubes work very well. Thematically, it’s very dry. They cubes are to represent types of favors and influence, but that never really feels like it comes through. You’re taking an orange or green cube, not using physical skill or persuasiveness. The cubes are very pastel which can make it very challenging for red/green color blind players.

Art
The art is very colorful, but not very stylized. It doesn’t show a very saturated range of colors, so it comes off a little dry. And as mentioned, the art and graphic design seem to blend together a little too much.

Replay Value
The game has a few random elements, such as cube population, the market customers, how the church mechanic works, but it isn’t always up to pure luck, as there are elements to mitigate those elements. So there is a variety in setup, but it’s not modular or significant by any stretch. The real replayability comes with the bevvy of strategies that can pop up. Each area, the Church, Workshops, Market, Traveling, City Council – all play dramatically different and are elegantly intertwined. You have to pay careful attention to what your opponents are doing, what they are trying to accomplish, and when they’ll transition their strategy. Getting in their way while not hurting yourself is a very careful and tight objective. The game seems extremely balanced between drastically different strategies while rewarding the player who executed and adapted their strategy the best.

Final thoughts
The first time I played this game, I was thinking it may have been a mistake purchasing it. It felt all over the board, and it didn’t match my expectations. I’m so glad I gave this more of a chance. It’s a solid game that has deceptive depth and balance. It’s not the thematic experience many look for, and it isn’t a complex algorithm awaiting to be unlocked. It’s a welterweight game that knows how to deliver a strategic knockout. It isn’t a game that I think will have broad appeal, but it a game I would recommend to avid gamers that enjoy many euro-style strategy games.

About my reviews.
The purpose isn’t to teach you how to play the game. This review isn’t to reinforce any type of confirmation bias. I try to judge the game as it is designed. (No house rules, variants and expansions are reviewed separately). While I may apply a numeric rating, it would be my desire you ignore that number while reading my reviews. What I want to do is highlight notable aspects of the game and critique the game to help you decide if you think it may be something that interests you. I don’t believe it is good for people to make uninformed purchases. Thanks for your time.

 
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6
Brazil
I play red
The Gold Heart
9
121 of 132 gamers found this helpful
“What should we do with our lives?”

Village is an incredibly thematic game with a complex resource management, the perfect choice for strategic players who usually avoid the “luck factor”. If you think real life decisions were always hard to make, wait until you play this game.

CONCEPT AND BASE MECHANICS
Every player starts with 4 members of their family’s first generation. They all begin the game as farmers in the player’s wheat farm.

Every turn you are supposed to perform a single action somewhere in the main board (the village), it may be crafting, traveling, trading, making babies, producing/selling wheat, going to church, working on politics and many more. The number of times you may use each action is represented by wooden colored cubes (the green cube is charm, pink is knowledge, orange is skill, brown is faith and black is disease), so every time you perform an action, you need first to take one of the cubes designated to that action and put it in your inventory.

The interesting thing about Village is that, to perform some of the actions, you may choose to pay it with cubes or with time, which is controlled in the player’s farm. After a cycle of 9 times, one meeple of your oldest generation MUST die. After dying, he may be forever remembered in the village’s history or buried in a graveyard and forgotten, depending on his life choices (was he a travelling man? a politician? a bishop?).

At the end of the game, the player with the most family legacy (victory points) wins the game.

Some of the actions in the game may not be performed by everyone in the same round because of the scarce cubes. So you need to plan your decisions ahead in order to make sure you can perform all the actions you need and also get the right cubes.

CONCLUSION
Village is a game with several resources to be managed: Cubes, Meeples, Time, Wheat, Horses, Oxes, Money and many many more. And the cool thing about it is that you are never quite sure which decision can benefit you the most, is like making a decision in real life.

Should I use my faith cubes to put a family member into the church? Or should I spend charm cubes to make him a politician? Maybe I should just spend time training him to become a craftsman and sell plow at the market next turn.

I mean, this game is so open and deep that you are never sure of who’s actually wining until the end of the game when most of the points are scored, it is really challenging!

PROS
– Very thematic
– Challenging
– Exclusive and original mechanics
– Very open and based on 1% luck
– Great Replay value

CONS
– May suffer from Analysis Paralysis
– Can last 2 or 3 hours (for some people that’s a PRO)
– Takes you at least 30 minutes to explain all the rules

 
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4
Gamer - Level 3
Intermediate Grader
9
7 of 7 gamers found this helpful
“Fun, family game, with nice strategic value”

COMPONENTS
Components are of very nice quality. The game includes the main board, farm board and coloured meeples for each player. There are wooden cubes for each influence type, cardboard trading tiles, etc… Anyway, the quality of components is great!

DESIGN
The game has really nice design. The cubes are, just that, cubes, and don’t expect too much on that front, but images are really beautiful.

RULES
In Village, a player controls a family in it’s struggle to reach the top through multiple generations. Yes, this game’s resources are different types of influence and TIME! Pretty much, anything you do, costs time, and when clock ticks, a player needs to “kill” one of his oldest members. But, fear not, even in death, many members bring fame to the family, because they are often remembered in Village Chronicle as first members of council, best craftsmen, famous travelers, etc…
At the beginning of each turn, green bag is used to take influence cubes specified by number of players, and those are randomly set on different village parts. Then, players, take a cube and do action tied to the place a cube was on. These include trading, traveling, crafting, making new family members, rising in church/council…
The game ends when either whole chronicle or graveyard (if there is not enough space in chronicle of that type) is full. Points are tallied and winner is the one who has the most!

FUN
Village is a VERY, VERY fun game… On each turn, there are so many actions the player can do, and each of those actions is very unique. During each session, a player will be confronted with tough choices that will greatly influence his later turns. And if you love a little bit of tension, church mass is a very fun mechanic, where player sends his family member into church, and at the end of each round 4 meeples are randomly drawn from black bag and put into church hierarchy. If you don’t love luck driven mechanics, you can (naturally) buy place in the mass 🙂

REPLAYABILITY
Main random element of this game (and, randomness is really important for replay value) is mostly tied to influence cubes that are put on different actions. This will not dramatically change anyone’s luck, but will definitely change how each game is played. Also, trading tiles are random, and will influence your crafting decisions. Anyway, this game has surprisingly nice replayability.

OVERALL
Aside from having great quality components with nice design, the Village is a smart, and beautiful game with many tough choices, few very interesting and novel minor mechanics, that is not too hard to learn and is thematically great for families.
9

 
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9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Paladin
7
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“Time Marches On”

INTRODUCTION
Village takes place in a middle-ages, well,… village. Each player controls the fate of a family which strives for prominence within the village. Players will send family members to learn a craft, join the clergy, farm, become a Politian, or travel the countryside. The theme is well represented in the game. The object of the game is to develop the career of each of your family members so that they accumulate prestige and thusly, Prestige Points (PPs) during their career and upon their passing. Village is for 2 to 4 players ages 12 and up and plays in about 100 minutes. This game shines with 4 players and I would recommend this game for players ages 17 and up due to its complexity.

COMPONENTS
The components are excellent. The board is mounted on thin cardboard and colorful. There are thick cardboard tokens, wood playing pieces, and two cloth bags. The artwork on the board and playing pieces is beautiful and really sets the theme. The rulebook is 12 pages and fairly well written and organized. It contains some examples of play, but still could be clearer on some aspects.

SET UP
Set-up for Village is quick and easy. Each player receives their farmyard, eleven family members & eight markers in his color, and one starting gold. The family members labeled “1” are placed on the farmyard. The family members are labelled 1 through 4 representing generations of a family tree. There are 4-first generation, 3-second generation, 2-third generation, and 2-fourth generation family members.

The customer tiles are shuffled and drawn to fill the market. The Next Starting Player token is placed on the board and other tokens/cubes are sorted and placed near the board. The oldest player is the starting player and receives the starting player marker.

GAME MECHANICS
Village is played in a series of rounds in which players take turns performing an action. A Round consists of the following three phases:

1. Seed Action Spaces
2. Actions
3. Mass

SEED ACTION SPACES
Influence and Plague cubes are placed in the green bag per the number indicated on the set-up card. Influence cubes consist of orange (skill), green (persuasiveness), brown (faith) and pink (knowledge). Black cubes represent plague cubes. Plague cubes immediately cost two time when chosen. Cubes are drawn from the green bag and placed on the seven action spaces per the indicated number on the set-up card.

ACTIONS
This phase is the heart of the round. Each player in clockwise order chooses a cube from an Action Space and performs the corresponding action. Actions consist of the following:

1. Grain Harvest
2. Family
3. Crafts
4. Market
5. Travel
6. Council Chamber
7. Church
8. Well

Grain Harvest: Family members at your farmyard produce grain. A player produces 2, 3, or 4 grain depending on whether he has equipped his family with a plow and a horse or ox. A maximum of five grain can be stored at the farmyard.

Family: A new family member is born. The new family member is taken from the player’s supply and placed on the player’s farmyard. A player may instead, return a family member on the board to his farmyard.

Crafts: A player can pay the indicated amount of influence cubes or gold to acquire goods OR train a family member to become a blacksmith, wainwright, banker, or stable hand to produce goods. A scroll, wagon, plow, horse, oxen, and grain can be acquired. It costs time to train a family member and time to produce a good. The player keeps time on the Life Track on the farmyard board. Once the time marker has passed a certain point on the time track, a family member passes away. The player must remove one of his oldest (lowest number) family members from the board. Each location on the board is color coded with spaces on the Chronicle. If a space is open on the Chronicle for the corresponding location of the passing family member, then the family member is placed in the available space. A player scores greater PPs for more family members on the Chronicle. If no space is available in the Chronicle for the corresponding location, then the family member is placed in the graveyard.

Market: There is only one Market action per round. However all players participate in buying customer tiles. The player which chose the action buys his first tile without paying an additional green influence cube and time. To serve a customer and acquire the tile, a player must pay the indicated amount of goods, whether it is grain, horses, oxen or a plow. Each customer tile is worth the indicated amount of PPs at the end of the game.

Travel: A player sends a family member out of the village to travel the countryside. If the player already has a family member on the travel map, then the family member continues his journey, earning influence cubes, gold, or PPs at the cost of time.

Council Chamber: A player places a family member in the Council building. The player spends green influence cubes, scrolls and time to acquire a higher standing within the council. The family member can earn, the starting player position, influence cubes, goods, gold and/or PPs.

Church: A player sends a family member off to join the clergy. A family member is placed in the black bag along with several monks. It costs brown influence cubes and time to train a family member to become a monk

Well: Instead of choosing an Influence Cube from the board, a player may return 3 cubes of the same color to take any action listed above.

MASS
When all the Action Spaces are empty (free of cubes), then the Action Phase has ended and Mass is said. First, four figures are drawn from the black bag. Family members are placed on the right most window space of the church. Black monk figures are tossed back into the bag. A player may pay gold prior to the draw to automatically remove his family member from the bag. Next, players may pay the indicated amount of grain to move any family members already on the church one or more window spaces to the left. The higher the family member in the church hierarchy, the more PPs the player earns at the end of the game. Finally, the player with the most family members in the church earns two PPs.

After Mass is completed a new round begins. The game ends when either the Chronicle or the graveyard is filled. Players tally up PPS for family members in the Council Chamber, Church, and Chronicle, and the number of cities visited in the countryside, gold, and customer tiles. The winner is the player with the most PPs.

THOUGHTS
Village is a game that takes a play or two to learn and explore the strategies. I would consider Village to be on the heavy side and recommend it to seasoned Euro gamers. There is a tremendous amount of planning in this game, which could burn your brain. There isn’t a lot of player interaction in this game. A player could pick the cube you wanted, maybe grab the last cube in an Action Space before you or grab the customer tile you had your eye on. That’s about it. I must say that paying for actions with time and preparing workers for their death is a unique mechanic to boardgames. It is a refreshing take on the worker placement mechanic. Despite the cube pushing, the flavor of the theme does shine through and it is fun to develop your family members’ careers. Village is a good game and would make a fine addition to your collection.

 
Player Avatar
6
USA
Mage Wars fan
 
52 of 91 gamers found this helpful
“village”

This is a game of resource management. Your Meeples are a resource – and you breed and nurture them to provide more options. Time is also a resource. As you work your guys harder, you spend time. Spend too much time and your Meeple will pass away. Don’t be too upset though – this provides just another opportunity to score Vips.

The game flow is as follows: Each round, the action spaces are seeded with cubes from a bag – providing a limited number of activations for each part of the board. Four categories of cubes are resources for you to collect and spend. Black, plague cubes also offer the chance to take that action – at the cost of two time – ushering your guys faster towards death.

 
Player Avatar
3
Critic - Level 2
7
65 of 143 gamers found this helpful
“the circle of life :)”

Village is a classic german style game with good mechanics and a very “nice” theme. Generation after generation, your family grows and some members die and you have to decide who to send to the cemetery 🙂 (or in the book of the village if they did something good during their life).
Mechanics is quite simple but there are several things to control and it is necessary to play it 2 or 3 times before you understand all the possibilities the game has.
The components are good but the graphics don’t meet my taste.

 

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