The year is 1870. For centuries, sails have ruled the seas, but now the steam engine is beginning to dominate. Shipbuilders are experimenting with new designs, competing for the prestigious Blue Riband, which honors the fastest ship to cross the Atlantic. Their efforts are watched closely by the world’s imperial powers; for the strength of every empire depends on its commercial and military fleet. It is an exciting time to run a shipyard.

Found a company. Build a fleet. Show the world that your ships are the fastest, the safest, and the best.

You take the role of a shipyard owner. Your goal is to build the best ships within the allotted time. As your completed ships leave the yard, they are evaluated on many criteria and your company’s stock rises. You decide whether to build fast merchant ships, trans-ocean steamers, or small sailing yachts, while keeping in mind the bonuses you can receive from your secret government contracts.

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“Round and Round We Go!”

In Shipyard, you are building ships.

Essentially Shipyard is a rondel style action selection game where you are collecting ship parts and crew, hiring employees and trying to build the best ships possible. Each ship will score points when you take it on the shakedown cruise and the government contracts you have will give a bonus at the end of the game and the player with the most points wins.
The Basics:
Each turn you will select one of the 8 actions by moving your piece to the appropriate Action Card on the Action Track. You will then move a marker on the associated rondel and carry out the action. The number of actions you will get each round will depend how fast the players go around the Action Track.
The Actions are:
• Build Ships – Get bows, middles or Stern tiles. The ship parts will tell you what you can add to the ship. Cabins for crew, mounting points for equipment (you can’t have a gun on the ship if there is no gun mount!). The ship parts will also have other things that may score you points during the Shakedown Cruise (Lanterns, Lifeboats, etc.)
• Purchase Commodities – Get a Freight Train tile. These tiles will have a combination of 3 good that you can trade in for money, crew or equipment.
• Rent Canal – Get a shipping canal tile. These will be placed together to create a canal for a ship’s Shakedown Cruise. The canal will tell you what the inspectors are looking for (Speed, lanterns, Soldiers, etc) and you will score additional points for having the appropriate thing.
• Manufacture Equipment – Get a Sail, Smokestack, Crane or Gun Tile. Sails and Smokestacks will increase the speed of you ship while Crane and Guns will give you points.
• Recruit Crew – Get a Captain, Soldier, Businessman or Propeller tile. Propellers will increase the speed of you ship. Businessmen and soldiers will give you points. Captain also give points, but every ship needs 1 Captain (additional captains are considered crew)
• Hire Employee – Get an Employee card. These do not go on the ship, but instead give a permanent ability to use for the rest of the game
• Exchange Commodities – Trade a Freight Train for money or tiles. If you have the right good on the freight car you can get pretty much anything you need. Also, if you time is right you can get a decent amount of coins.
• Receive Subsidy – Gain 2 coins from the bank.
These actions will be combined together to create a ship and a canal to test it in. Creating the ship (along with the points earned during the Shakedown Cruise) gives you the main source of points during the game. But the government contracts will give you an end game scoring bonus. You will start with six contracts (3 green and 3 blue) and as the games progresses you will discard down until you have one of each.

The Components:
There are A TON of components in this game! This can make the game a little fiddly and make the setup a little long. Everything is good quality and the art is good. Nothing fancy here, but everything works and carries the theme of the game.

The Fun:
This one is a brain burner and has very low player interaction but I really enjoy it. Figuring out what your opponent’s contract is can increase the interaction, as you might want to take ship parts or canal parts so they do not get them. Also, the end game scoring can be big so even if you take an early lead, if you don’t supply the government what it needs, you still may come up short.

My Opinion:
This is a great game. It has a puzzle-like fell to it and you need to make the best of every action you take.

 

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