Game Title: Floating Market
Date: August 17, 2016
Number of Players: 5 (plays 2-5)
Playing Time: 1 hour (game play plus set-up, rule discussion, tear down)
Mechanics: Betting/wagering, Dice rolling, Worker placement
Floating Market is quickly becoming a popular game with the college crowd. I took the market to Clinton Community College Welcome Back Game Night and it was a success.
Setup for the game is easy. Place the board in the center of the table, give each player a different color of dice and a white negative die and three player tokens (fondly dubbed Yodas by everyone I play with).
The game is quick to learn and full of dice. Each player receives three customer tokens, a set of five dice and two coins. The pieces are interesting as you receive one D4, D6, D10 and D12 in the player’s color and one white D6 which represents negative numbers. You will be using these dice to add or subtract points during the Collect Fruit Phase. The customer tokens (grandchildren) will be used to take actions or hopefully gather fruit from boats.
Each turn the players add a customer (grandchild) to an unoccupied space on the board. During your first placement, you must also add one of your die to the pool for the collecting fruit phase. You may choose to either place your customer on an unoccupied boat in hopes of receiving fruit, on an unoccupied dock space in hopes of collecting income or an unoccupied building. The buildings grant you the following options:
1. Temple – Add a +4 die to the dice pool or add a -2 die to the dice pool.
2. Woodworker’s Stall – Add a D12 to the dice pool or block the D12 from being added.
3. Artist’s Hut – Add a –D6 to the dice pool or choose one of your dice to add to the pool
4. Market – Spend four coins to buy a fruit.
5. Boatsman – Retrieve all dice.
6. Fruit Stand – Place the fruit stand token under one of your customers on a boat. That customer will now collect fruit if adjacent to the activated boat.
7. North Trader – Allows customer one or two spaces from activated boat to collect income in a clockwise direction.
8. South Trader – Allows customer one or two spaces from activated boat to collect income in a counterclockwise direction.
9. Tailor – Add two of your dice to the dice pool.
10. Office – Spend one coin to immediately assign your remaining customers to available buildings or boats.
11. Fishmonger – Assign one of your remaining customers to any occupied boat.
If, at the start of the round, you do not have any available dice to place, then you must place a customer at the Boatsman so you can retrieve your dice.
Once everyone has placed their customers, the Collect Fruit phase begins. The Start Player will roll all dice in the dice pool to determine which boat will activate. To determine which boat hits, add and subtract all pips and check the numbers under each boat to see if it falls within that range. If your customer is on that boat, you receive the matching fruit card. It is important to note that you may not collect a fruit that you already have so only place a customer on that boat if you are trying to block someone which I do not recommend as it a waste of a customer. Any customer adjacent to the activated boat receives two coins. If someone had the North or South Trader, they would also receive coins. If a customer is adjacent and has the fruit stand token under them, they receive the fruit card as well. So, depending on where you place your customers, you may or may not get a reward. It can be very frustrating to watch those dice go and find out you get nothing.
At the end of the round, all current player dice are set out of play until they are collected via the Boatsman. All customers are returned to the players and the start player chooses two boats and switches their positions on the game board. Start player is then moved left.
The game ends immediately if a player collects five fruit.
The game went well with the college students and everyone seemed to enjoy their game. There were some grumblings about how much luck is involved in this game and how you can nearly strain yourself trying to guess which boat will hit, only to have the one two down hit instead! It really is a benefit to be the last player each round as you can place your die after everyone else and try to calculate the odds.
At the end of the game, Becky won with her five fruit. She sure has beginners luck as she won during a few other games that night as well.