I received a print on demand game of Harbour by Tasty Minstrel Games. I was rather excited to get a pre-production review copy. Keep in mind, this game hasn't been put up on Kickstarter yet, so the pieces you see here, are most likely not the pieces that will come with the game.
To begin, each player chooses a player card. Each card has it's own abilities. This card is where you keep track of which goods you have.
There is a card to keep track of how much each good is needed to purchase more buildings. This will change throughout the game, which is one thing I really like about the game. Here, two stone is worth two dollars, three lumber is worth three dollars, four fish is worth four dollars and five cattle are worth five dollars.
To begin, each player will put their player cards in front of them. You lay out cards (number of players plus three, so a two player game has five cards) face up and the rest are in a draw pile. You can start with either one of each good or any combination of three goods. Here we set up for a combination of three goods. After you choose your goods, randomly place one of each goods cube on the cost of goods card. For the first turn, place your player marker next to your building. We found it's easier to sit next to each other so the cards are easier to see.
On your turn, you can place your player marker on any of the available buildings. The cards in the middle are free for anyone to use. You may use your buildings for free as well. You may use an opponents buildings by giving them any one of your goods. After you place your player marker, do what is on the cards. For example, the first card you can pick any of your goods and double the amount. On the second card, you can pay one cattle for a fish, stone and lumber.
Once you have some goods saved up, you can purchase a building card. The cost of each building is on the top right of the card. I have enough goods saved up to purchase the seven dollar building. Move your player marker to a building that allows you to purchase a building. Each player card allows you to purchase a building.
I would put the three dollar lumber and four dollar fish on the ship space.
Move your tokens on your goods track down to zero. In this game, if you have extra goods (for example, if I had four lumber instead of three) you lose the extra goods. There are ways to be able to keep some goods. We will talk about that in a minute.
Once a building is purchased, the cost of goods will change. You slide the ramaining goods forward.
The lower amount that was paid moves first. It will go on the highest available space.
Keep going until all of the cubes are returned to the cost card. The highest amount that was used, will now be on the lowest amount.
Each card has the cost on the top right. There are the number of points the card is worth on the top left. This top card is worth twelve points. Each building also has a symbol on it. There is either a top hat, a coin, an anchor, or a warehouse. These symbols each have their own ability. The top hat allows that user to use other players buildings for free. The coin allows you to purchase a building for one less dollar per coin card. The anchor cards have special abilities on the building cards. Some cards give you the same number of goods as the number of anchors. The warehouse lets you keep one good when purchasing a building.
Some of the cards have two symbols on it giving you double abilities.
Whoever purchases the fourth building (fifth if you count the player card) triggers the last round. Each other player gets one turn to try and buy another building. Whoever has the most points from their cards, wins the game!
I will be honest, I have had mixed feelings about this game. I have played it as a two player game and also as a four player game. I enjoy it as a two player game. It's not too long, there is plenty of room to move around and to get what you need. You can have some sort of strategy. It is also fun trying to race and see who can get the buildings done first. The game is a little different each time you play it since the cards are random and there are a few player cards to choose from.
I didn't enjoy it as much as a four player game. We had a hard time seeing the cards, it got crowded and wasn't easy getting what you needed. You can't plan in advance because the cost of goods can change multiple times before it gets back around to your turn. That also causes a waste of goods until you are able to get a warehouse or two. As a four player game, I felt it was mostly a game of luck without any strategy.