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The Golden Wilderness» Forums » Rules

Subject: I'm not the smartest guy on the block. rss

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David Mitchell
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Elk Grove
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In our group I have the most games so I am usually teaching new games to everyone. Not the easiest thing for me as I do forget points and remember them as we are playing. People hate that but everyone knows that the first time we play is going to be wrong if I am teaching. The Golden Wilderness exasperates this with the incremental rules layout. To play the full game I have to learn a section then forget some stuff and learn more then forget stuff and learn more etc., then present the final rules to the group.

How bout a complete final rule set for the advanced game. It would help idiots like me.

But all in all, this is an exceptionally beautiful game. With my limited mental resources, the rules actually make it appear to be an enjoyable game.
 
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Joe Fatula
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I'm glad to hear what you're struggling with, as it helps me think about what to do differently.

Two quick points for you that might help:
1) All the rules are summarized on the back cover. That's what I use for reference when teaching the game to make sure I don't miss anything.
2) You don't have to forget things from one level to the next; each level adds a new mechanic, but doesn't remove any of the mechanics from earlier levels.

Now I'm going to go think about how I'd present the rules without breaking it into levels...
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Joe Fatula
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After some thought, I'd like to recommend you play through each of the levels in order. Each one introduces a few game mechanics. When you proceed to the next level, you learn a new mechanic, but you don't need to forget any of your learning from the previous level. Once you've played through the levels, you'll find that the summary on the back cover shows all the rules you need.

Here's an example of gameplay at the standard level. It features two players, Alice (red) and Bob (blue). I'll explain what they're doing as they take their turns. It might seem like you're getting tons of mechanics thrown at you at once, which is why it might be easier to play through one level at a time so you don't have to absorb so much at once.

Setup
The tiles get divided into two stacks and shuffled, coastal tiles in one, inland tiles in the other. The decks of people cards are each shuffled. The event deck is made (Immigrants, Taxes, both Market: Coast cards) and shuffled. The Standard country card is laid out. Alice and Bob look at the Immigrants entry on the country card to see how many people they should each start with: 2 pioneers, 2 soldiers, and 1 priest. They also pick up $10 each. They look at their people cards to see which was born in the earliest year. Alice has the Juan Cabrillo card (born in 1499) so she goes first.

Alice
Looking at her Cabrillo card, Alice can see that he has a special ability: "$6: Explore three coastal tiles.". She decides to use this ability, so she spends $6 and draws the top three tiles from the coastal tiles stack. They're Alameda, San Jose, and San Francisco. She puts down Alameda first, then connects San Jose to it, then connects San Francisco to San Jose. (All of the tiles in this example will be placed in the layout shown on page 8 of the rules.)
She looks at her other cards and sees that she has the pioneer Luis Quintero. Quintero has a single rake icon in the bottom left corner, meaning that he can be used to place one population on the board. San Jose looks like a nice place to settle, so she discards Quintero and places a red settlement token on San Jose. Looking at the San Jose tile, she can see that it is a farmland (light green with a farm-field texture). She's spending one population to settle there, so she can only do an industry that requires one population. She takes a hides-farmland industry card and puts it face up in front of her.
She decides she's done with her turn now, so she picks up the top two event cards on the event deck. She sees that they are Immigrants and Market: Coast. The market sounds good to her, so she plays it face up on the event discard stack, then puts the Immigrants card back on top of the event deck, face down.
When you play a market card, you have to choose 1) where the market is happening and 2) what good they're buying. Alice chooses San Jose as the location and hides as the good. She looks at the Standard country card to see what coast markets pay for hides. It's $3, so she collects $3 for herself (since she makes hides in San Jose).

Bob
Bob has the James Beckwourth pioneer card, which has two special abilities: "$4: Explore one inland tile." and "$4: Build a mountain road.". Bob spends $4 and draws the top tile off the inland tiles stack. It's Modesto, a plains tile. He places it so it's adjacent to Alameda and San Jose (see page 8 for the map). He then spends an additional $4 to use Beckwourth's other ability, building a road across the mountains from San Jose to Modesto.
Bob discards his other pioneer card, Esteban Munras, to use his one rake icon to place one population on the board. He puts a blue settlement token on Modesto, a plains tile. He looks at the industry cards and sees that the hides-plains card requires one population, so he takes that and puts it out on the table.
He decides to end his turn, so he takes the top two event cards. One of them is Immigrants (which Alice decided not to play) and the other is Taxes. Bob doesn't care much for taxes, so he plays Immigrants. He looks at the Standard country card and sees that Immigrants adds 2 pioneers, 2 soldiers, and 1 priest to the immigrant pool.
Whenever there are at least as many immigrants as there are players, the immigrants get divided up. Bob's the one who played the event, so he gets to take one first. He picks up the priest. Alice takes a pioneer. Bob takes the other pioneer. Alice takes a soldier. Bob takes the last soldier.

Alice
Alice discards a pioneer with a rake icon (for one population), placing a red settlement token on San Francisco. This is her first settlement in the plains, so she takes a hides-plains industry card. She spends $2 to build a road from San Jose to San Francisco.
To keep her settlements safe, Alice wants to build a presidio. A presidio costs two crossed-swords icons plus $5. She discards two soldier cards (each with a crossed-swords icon) and spends $5. She then places a presidio marker on San Francisco, putting it underneath her settlement token.
To keep things simple, she ends her turn here. She draws Taxes and the other Market: Coast. She plays the market and puts Taxes back. Once again, she chooses San Jose as the location and hides as the good. As before, she collects $3 for her hides-producing settlement in San Jose. But now that San Jose is connected to other settlements by roads, other people can join in the market. Bob has a hides-producing settlement one step away (by road) in Modesto, so he collects $2 (as the price drops by $1 for each step traveled). Alice has another hides-producing settlement in San Francisco, so she collects an additional $2.

-----

That's a snippet of what happens during a Standard-level game, where the players are using many different game mechanics. Each level introduces a small set of these:
- Beginner introduces the connection between terrain and industry, and it shows how you use event cards.
- Easy introduces different population levels, cities, and it shows how markets can spread via roads.
- Standard introduces special abilities on people cards, soldiers and presidios, and the mission system.
- Advanced introduces different roles for players, and it allows the country to change.

If any part of this example doesn't make sense, let me know. I'm always happy to answer questions.
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