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Empires of the North GDJ - Drafting cards

In this series of very short articles, I discuss rule differences and design choices we made when working on Imperial Settlers. There is so many of you sending us questions about how Imperial Settlers compares to Empires of the North. I hope this series of articles will answer this question.

#3 - Drafting cards

Some geeks might assume I a not a big fan of Terraforming Mars. Two games about Mars were released in 2017; one reached Top5 Best games according to BGG and became a bestseller, the other got on sale everywhere with the bad press all over the Internet. Terraforming Mars is the one with success. First Martians, the game I designed, is the other one.

The fact is, I love Terraforming Mars. I play it quite regularly, I have all expansions, and the disappointment I had with the reception of my First Martians has nothing to do here. Terraforming Mars is a great game.

We designers respect great games. And we love to get inspired by great games.


I probably never ended a game of Terraforming Mars with less than 15 cards left in my hands.

I cannot help it. During the draft phase, when I get all these interesting cards into my hand, and I can keep them all if I only want...

Yeah, I keep them. I keep them all.

Draft phase in the Empires of the North is a draft phase directly inspired by Terraforming Mars. At the beginning of the round, you gain 4 cards. You can keep any of these by just spending a worker. The same worker, you'll need later, in the main phase of the game, phase in which you activate cards.

That's a tough choice. Keep cards or keep workers.

The draft phase is so much more exciting compared to what was happening in the Imperial Settlers. You have all these awesome cards in your hand, you look at your pool of workers, and you count. I need to spend one dude to activate Tavern. I need one to activate Port. I need one to activate the Northern Festival card. I have only two to spare, but these four cards I have in hand can make a difference. If I don't do Tavern this round and keep this card instead...

Want to keep this awesome card?
Want to have workers to activate cards abilities?
You have 4 cards in your hand - make a choice.

Learn more about Empires of the North here.
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