The Archipelago Board Game
The Archipelago board game is an interesting game created by Christophe Boelinger. The game is set during the era of Caribbean colonialization, and you are one of the powers who invade.
The number of players varies from 2-5, and it would take you about 30 minutes to even 4 hours to complete a game.
The game is an exploration of the Pacific or Caribbean Archipelago, and the players represent the Renaissance European powers. The purpose of these different powers is to explore territories, harvest resources and use these resources for local use or to export it for money. You also build markets, cities and temples, make negotiations and betray.
Ultimately, it comes down to how clever you are in politics. Each player harbors a secret objective. If the opponents are able to guess what this objective is, they can take advantage. The objective cards will give each player an endgame condition, and each player must try to fulfill that.
And as you make negotiations with foreign powers, you also have to take care of the natives living under you. Keeping them unhappy or unemployed for too long will cause revolts for independence, and you will lose your position!
The creator of the board game has created a ‘German’ economic-worker placement game. This game includes a lot of potential backstabbing, political involvement, practical leadership and a portrayal of political reality.
The game reflects the uneasy balance between political control, foreign negotiations and fulfilling the needs of the natives to prevent a bloody revolution.
The game has three objectives to choose from. And depending on the objective you choose, the game will differ from short, medium and long.
In the Archipelago board game, you have to score as many points as possible to win. You gain points when you develop the infrastructure of the land, building harbors, churches and towns.
The game contains color-coded meeples, ships, player screens, coinage, and action disks. Players will start the game by placing the blank sea tile and ship of each color next to it. There are evolution cards, cards with bonuses and powers.
The Archipelago board game can end in two ways. Either there is a revolution when the rebellion marker moves past the population marker on the population board. Then the game ends immediately. If a player has a Separatist card, he will win the game. If no one has a Separatist card, then all will lose.
The Separatist card is a private objective card. Their job is to tank the game as soon as they can.
Another way the game ends is when one of the end game objectives of a player is met.
The game begins with players placing the hexagonal tiles adjacent to the sea and placing two of their workers on that tile. Then the game begins building, negotiating and trading. Players place one action disk at a time on the action board until all players have placed their disks.
The Archipelago board game: Conclusion
The Archipelago board game is an intricate game that has many ways to win. It is complex but entertaining. You will have to play the game many times before you master its ways.
The game has a lot to do with everyday politics. You bribe, manipulate, make negotiations and then break them. You have to succumb to foreign pressure, make money, build your city as well as avoid a possible revolution.
There is much more to the Archipelago board game than what meets the eye. There are real-life messages that the board teaches us, themes we can relate to. It also relates to certain issues regarding the role of religion in the lives of people, racism, tyranny, colonialization and its effects and moral justice. When you play the Archipelago board game, be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. The game will shake you up!
*All pics are taken from Unsplash.com