Isla Margarita
(updated April 2006)

The Monarch of the islands that occupy the Straights of Margarita has just returned from his Whirlwind Tour of the United States. Most impressed by countless bridges that intertwine New York City, he has determined that to increase the wealth and beauty of his kingdom, that bridges shall be built to connect the islands help development of internal commerce.  Also, ports shall be built to increase the import/export business with the outside world.  The Monarch has asked you, wealthy landowners, to help fund these projects, and assures you that you will be handsomely rewarded for your investment.

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OBJECT:
Earn Victory Points (VP) by building bridges, investing in islands, and building ports. The player with the most VP at the end of the game wins.

COMPONENTS:  
  • One Gameboard showing the Islands and Straights of Margarita.
  • 17 bridges.
  • 13 Ports.
  • 24 Commerce Cards.
  • 9 Grey Action Cards.
  • 3 Title Cards (King, Bridge Builder, Port Builder).
  • 25 coins (or glass beads) in a different color for each player.
  • 9 Crown Tokens.
  • 9 Prince Pawns (you are on your own to find/beg/steal these from other games).
 
DOWNLOADABLES:  

Quick link to mini gameboard image is here.
Printable .pdf gameboard is downloadable from here.
Counters are downloadable from here.
Game cards are downloadable from here.

 
SETUP:  

Place both gameboards in front of everyone.  Where everyone can reach, place near the game board the deck of Commerce Cards face down, the bridges, the ports, and the Bridge Builder and Port Builder cards.  Each player gets 20 Coins of their color, kept in a small pile near them known as the Bank. Each island gets one face-down Crown token (distributed randomly).  Place one Prince pawn on each island.

 

Shuffle the Commerce Cards, and divide them into four different stacks. Place them face down near the board.

 
INFORMATION:  
Even though the map shows Islands and Coastlines, for the purposes of the game, all land masses will be called Islands.  
It should be noted that even though cardboard tokens are provided for Ports and Bridges, these are not needed for players who can play "neat" and not constantly knock things around. Instead of playing a Bridge or Port token and placing a Coin on them, players can just as easily just place their Coin on the marked space of the board. However, players then need to be careful that those used-to-build-and-show-ownership Coins do not inter-mingle with the rest of the Coins that are Invested in the Island. Some of this might not make sense until the rest of the rules are read. This is understandable.
START:  

Randomly assign the King Title Card to a player. That player discards 3 Coins out of the game.

 
THE GAME:  
The game is played in rounds. At the start of each round, the King (the player with King Title Card), looks though the set of Action Cards, selects one, and passes the Action Card deck to his left. Each player select an Action this way, until all players have selected an Action for the turn.  

Once all players have selected an Action, everyone reveals their Action Cards.

 
PERFORM ACTION:  

Players perform their Actions in the order of the number in the top left corner of their Action Card. The player with Action Card 1 goes first; the player with Action Card 9 goes last.

 
Action cards fall into 3 categories: Investing, Building, and Taking the King.  

Investing Cards are numbered 1,2,3,6, and 7. These cards let you place Coins on a number of Islands determined by the card. Coins are placed on the empty Investment Circle of the chosen island(s).

 
A player can place Coins on an Island only if the Investment Circle of that Island is empty. Each island can only be invested once per turn. This is indicated by using the Investment Circle.
Investment Circle. They have two purposes. First, this is the place you put your Coins on when you invest in a particular Island. Once an Island is invested in on a round, noone else can invest there until the next turn. The second purpose is the number shown within the circle. This is the number of points scored to the player whoever has the most Bridges connected to the Island at the end of the game.  
A player MUST complete the Action as fully as possible. Any card that has a requirement of dividing a Coin amongst X islands MUST try and put at least 1 Coin on that many Islands described on the card.  
Once invested on an Island, Coins are only removed by using them to build Bridges or Ports.  
Build cards are numbered 4,8, and 9. These cards let you build either Bridges or Ports, using the Coins that you have previously invested on the Islands. using coins from the Bank to build is not allowed. You use the Coins that were placed on an Island from previous rounds to build Ports and Bridges.
The Build cards describe the "base value" of what it costs to build. This number can be lowered if the player has in their possession any of the Title Cards. The Bridge Builder reduces the cost of building a Bridge by 1. The Port Builder reduces the cost of building a Port by 1.  
The King can additionally reduce the cost of building either a Port or Bridge by one.  
Building a Bridge: A Bridge connects two Islands. Bridges can only be built on the map shown by the outlined rectangles between islands.  
Bridge site.  
To build a Bridge, a player MUST use Coins that he/she has previously invested on either of the two Islands that are to be connected by the Bridge being built. The player may use Coins from one or the other Island, or any combination of both. The player removes the Coins from those Islands, and puts them back into his/her Bank. The player then takes a Bridge token, and places it on the outlined Bridge space. A Coin from the player's Bank in placed on the Bridge token to indicate ownership.  

The "base cost" of building a Bridge is listed on the Action Card. The base cost can be reduced by the following conditions:

  • Reduce the cost by 1 if the player has the Bridge Builder Title Card at the start of his/her turn.

  • reduce the cost by 1 if the player has the King Title Card at the start of his/her turn.
  • Reduce the cost by 2 if the player has BOTH the Bridge Builder and King Title Cards at the start of his/her turn.
 
If one or more Prince pawns are on one of the Islands that the new Bridge connects, the player MUST select one of them to cross the Bridge. When building a Bridge, a Prince MUST cross the Bridge if at least one is available to do so.
If the Prince crosses to an Island that currently has a Crown token, the player collects the Crown and keeps it's value hidden for the rest of the game.  
After building a Bridge, the player selects one of the Commerce Cards decks, looks through the deck, and secretly selects one of the cards to keep. Placing the deck back when finished.  
Finally, the player then takes the "Bridge Builder" Title card.  
Building a Port: A Port can only be built on an open Port space. Some Islands have two Ports; all Islands have at least one Port.  
Port site. The PV (Port Value) is the amount of points scored to the player at the end of the game to whoever owns the Port.  
To build a Bridge, a player MUST use Coins that he/she has previously invested on the Island where the Port is to be built. The player removes the Coins from that Island, and puts them back into his/her Bank. The player then takes a Port token, and places it on the outlined Port space. A Coin from the player's Bank in placed on the Port token to indicate ownership.  

The "base cost" of building a Port is listed on the Action Card. The base cost can be reduced by the following conditions:

  • Reduce the cost by 2 if the player has the Port Builder Title Card at the start of his/her turn.
  • reduce the cost by 1 if the player has the King Title Card at the start of his/her turn.
  • Reduce the cost by 3 if the player has BOTH the Port Builder and King title Cards at the start of his/her turn.
 

The player MAY move any Prince on the board to the Island that the Port was built on, or may move any Prince on the Island the Port was built on to any other Island. Moving a Prince this way DOES not award a Crown if one is available.

When building a Port, any Prince may "travel using the Port," however, it is not required like when building a Bridge. It is up to the player to decide if they wish to move one.

Finally, the player then takes the "Port Builder" Title Card.  
Taking the King : Whoever plays Action Card #5, simply takes ownership of the King title card.  
END OF A ROUND:  
After all players have had a chance to take their Actions, the player who controls the King title card collects all of the Action Cards. The King also moves all coins from each Island investment Circle and places them on some other area of the Island where all invested Coins are kept from previous rounds. There is no designated space for the common pool of Coins on an Island. This area should just be a logical area that will not get in the way of all the other pieces that are being played on the game board.
The area where the common pool of Invested Coins sits on an Island is up to the players. Ultimately, each Island will have it's own "bank" of Coins that is completely seperated from the Investment Circle.  
   
THE GAME ENDS:  
The last round of the game occurs on the round when either all Bridges or all Ports have been built. All players get to finish their Actions before the game ends.  

SCORING THE GAME:

 
Get out a pad of paper and a pencil to keep track of the points.  
Starting with the player who is King, players should reveal all Commerce Cards that say "Play Before Scoring" and perform the described action now.  
Players earn Victory Points (VP) based on Ports built, Bridges built, Coins left on Islands, Crown tokens, and Commerce Cards.  
Ports score their Port Value (PV) listed on the game board for the Player who owns that Port.  

For each Island, the Player who owns the most Bridges connected to an Island scores the number of VP shown in the Island's Investment Circle. In case of a tie for the number of Bridges, each player in the tie gets one half the VP shown, rounded down.

 
Players reveal any Crown tokens they have and score VP as shown on the tokens.  
For each player who has the most Coins on each Island, that player gets 2 VP for each Prince on the Island. Zero Princes score zero VP. In case of a tie for most Coins, each player in the tie gets one half the possible VP, rounded down.  
All player get additional VP based on the rules shown on the Commerce Cards that they reveal.  

The player with the most VP wins the game. Tie breakers occur in the following order:

  • Most Bridges.
  • Most Ports.
  • Most Coins on the gameboard.
 
COMMERCE CARD DESCRIPTIONS:  
Card #1: +10 VP if you have the King Card.  
Card #2: +8 VP if you have the Bridge Builder Card.  
Card #3: +8 VP if you have the Port Builder Card.  
Card #4: +6 VP if you have the Most Bridges. +2 VP if you tie for Most.  
Card #5: +8 VP if you have the Most Ports. +3 VP if you tie for Most.  
Card #6: +1 VP for each Island you have built a Bridge on.  
Card #7: +2 VP for each Port you have.  
Card #8: +3 VP for each Crown you have.  
Card #9: Play Before Scoring. Steal up to two Crowns. Each Crown must be from a different opponent. You may only steal one Crown if only one other player has Crowns.
Card #10: Play Before Scoring. Steal a Bridge from an opponent.  Remove a Coin from a Bridge on the board, and replace it with one of your own. Place the opponent's Coin back into their Bank. The player may only perform this action if they have a Coin in their Bank.
Card #11: For each Island that you have the most Coins on, each Prince scores an additional 1 VP for you.  
Card #12: Play Before Scoring. Move any two Princes from different islands to a single Island of your choice.  
Card #13: +4 VP for each Island where you own 2 Ports. There are only four Islands that have two Ports.
Card #14: +8 VP for the Most Crowns. +2 if you tie for Most.  
Card #15: +1 VP for every 3 Coins you have on the gameboard.  
Card #16: +1 VP for every 2 Coins you have in your Bank.  
Card #17: Evil Tiki Statue. -3 VP if you have 1 Tiki, 0 VP if you have 2 Tikis, 12 VP if you have 3 Tikis, 25 VP if you have 4 Tikis. The Evil Tiki Statues score VP based on the amount of Tiki Statues you have as a set, not individually. So, if you have 3 Tiki Statue cards, they pay 12 VP total, and not 12 VP for each.
Card #18: Evil Tiki Statue. -3 VP if you have 1 Tiki, 0 VP if you have 2 Tikis, 12 VP if you have 3 Tikis, 25 VP if you have 4 Tikis.
Card #19: Evil Tiki Statue. -3 VP if you have 1 Tiki, 0 VP if you have 2 Tikis, 12VP if you have 3 Tikis, 25VP if you have 4 Tikis.
Card #20: Evil Tiki Statue. -3 VP if you have 1 Tiki, 0 VP if you have 2 Tikis, 12 VP if you have 3 Tikis, 25 VP if you have 4 Tikis.
Card #21: Select a Port you own. The Port Value of that Port is now Doubled. This card is effectively worth the value of a player's highest scoring Port.
Card #22: Select an Island. +3 VP for each Prince on that Island. You do not have to have the most Coins on this Island for this award, or the most Bridges.
Card #23: +2 VP for each Bridge you own that is connected to Isla Maragarita.
 
Card #24: Each Port you own scores +1 VP for each Prince that is on that Port's Island. This card is worth the total amount of Princes on islands that have Port's you own. 1 Vp per Prince.