Here is the draft of the new rulebook. Photo illustrated draft coming soon! I made a few changes in wording and descriptions and order of the text. Let me know what y’all think! (I changed Nest Activities to just straight Actions and Action Cards to Ant Action cards. I am not sure I like this change but felt it was clunky before and hard to describe.) Okay back to the photoshoot!
March of the Ants
As spring dawns the great thaw begins. Deep beneath the lush meadow grasses the queen stirs in her nest and the colony comes to life. Soldiers venture forth, battling centipedes while competing for territory with opposing colonies. Workers dig an ever-expanding network of tunnels as they search for food. As the first larvae hatch it is clear this generation will be different: the young colonies are rapidly evolving into a multitude of new forms, and they are hungry to expand their homeland…
Center Meadow Board
30 Meadow Hexes
-4 starting hexes
-4 special hexes
-22 regular hexes
54 Ant Cards
4 Nest Mats
9 Victory Tiles
144 larvae/ant cubes – 36 in each player color
(Red, Yellow, Black, White)
50 food counters (brown cubes)
5 x 5 food counters
Victory Point (VP) Tokens –15x1V, 5x5V,5x10V
8 x Centipede/Wormhole counters/blockers
1 Round Marker
1 Starting Player Marker
- Give each player one nest mat, the starting hex of their desired color, and all of the larvae/ant cubes of that color.
- Place the Center Meadow board in the middle of the table.
- Shuffle the Meadow Hex tiles and place them face down on the Center Meadow.
- Shuffle Ant Cards, deal three to each player, then place them next to play area.
- Place food, victory and centipede/wormhole counters next to play area.
- Place the Round Marker on the center meadow hex on the spot indicated by the number of players.
- Randomly stack the Victory Tiles and reveal one tile per player. All Victory Tiles are available to all players.
Start of Game (Standard Game):
The oldest player is the starting player. Beginning with the starting player and rotating clockwise, players place their starting meadow hex on a location they want to explore. Each player places one ant from his or her supply onto the starting meadow hex. Players may not place starting hexes adjacent to other starting hexes. Each player then adds 8 larvae to the larvae chamber and 3 food tokens to his or her food stores. Each player places the remaining larvae/ant cubes next to the Nest Mat.
March of the Ants is played over several rounds that represent the passing time. Each round has three phases: The Worker Phase, the bulk of gameplay in which all actions are undertaken, the Soldier Phase wherein battles in contested hexes are resolved, and the Queen Phase where resources are collected, ants must be fed and Victory cards are stashed.
The player with the most Victory points at the end of the game is the winner. Nests acquire Victory by harvesting Crown sites, battling ants and centipedes and completing the conditions on the shared Victory tiles and private Victory Cards. Players will have to manage their larvae and food and decide to pursue exploration, evolution or war in order to win Victory for their queen.
During the Worker Phase players take turns in clockwise order beginning with the starting player. Play continues until a majority of players have passed. Each turn a player may perform an Action, play an Ant Action Card from their hand, or Pass.
Actions are activities undertaken by the entire nest and include Explore, Forage, March of the Ants and Evolve. Each Action has a primary action performed by the player who chose it and a secondary action which all other players may perform. Primary Actions cost one food to play. Secondary actions are free and are performed in clockwise order from the player who chose the Action.
Primary: Draw and place one meadow hex. If the tile is placed adjacent to the Center Meadow you may place one larva from your Egg Chamber onto the explored meadow hex. Explored meadow hexes must be placed with at least one tunnel that connects it to a tunnel in a meadow hex that you inhabit. If a hex has a Centipede symbol place a Centipede counter on it.
Secondary: Place one larva from your Larvae Chamber on any meadow hex you inhabit.
Primary: Draw 3 Ant Cards from the Ant Deck.
Secondary: Draw 1 Ant Card from the Ant Deck.
March of the Ants
Primary: Move five steps, moving larvae first and then ants. With one step you may move one larva from your Egg Chamber to any meadow hex where you inhabit a collection site, or you may move one ant from any meadow hex to any adjacent meadow hex that is connected by tunnels. Any larvae you wish to move must be moved first, and then ants are moved.
(When larvae or ants are placed in a meadow hex they immediately inhabit any empty collection sites. If no collection sites are empty they are placed in the tunnels of that meadow hex.)
Secondary: Move an ant one step. (Cannot move larvae from your Egg Chamber.)
(Diagram of Hexes showing explore and movement on this page. Italic notes can be placed next to diagrams.)
Primary: Play up to 2 evolution cards from your hand. Pay the card(s) cost in larvae and/or ants and place the evolutions in the corresponding body segment. New evolutions are placed on top of any previously played evolutions in each body segment.
Secondary: Gain one larvae.
Evolutions – Grant a permanent upgrade to the nest. Each evolution offers a unique bonus as well as a static bonus based on which body segment it occupies. Only the topmost evolution in each body section grants its unique bonus. Segment bonuses are counted for all evolutions played.
Head – Add one to your army count for each head evolution.
Thorax – The cost to play Ant Action Cards is reduced by one for each thorax evolution.
Abdomen – Gain one larva at the start of the Queen Phase for each abdomen evolution.
(Example: Diagram of Nest with different number of evolutions showing what bonuses are awarded and how they stack.)
(Diagram illustrating card cost and bang value and action or Evolution or Victory on this page.)
Ant Action Cards – Play one Ant Action Card from your hand. Pay the card’s cost in larvae and/or ants and resolve the cards effect.
Ant Actions are unique one time effects that represent the actions of individual, heroic ants or the natural forces. Ant Action Cards do not cost food but instead require the player to pay a number of larvae and/or ants to play. To pay for a card a player must sacrifice an amount of larvae and/or ants equal to the cost of the card. Once an action card is resolved it is placed in the discard pile.
The cost of Ant Action Cards are reduced by one for each Thorax evolution in your ant body.
Gain one larva.
If you are the first player to pass gain the starting player marker.
You may not take any Actions for the rest of this Worker Phase. A player who has passed may still perform secondary actions.
On subsequent turns you may Pass or play an Ant Action Card.
The Worker Phase ends immediately once a majority of players pass. After a player has passed they are considered to have passed regardless of if they play an action card or pass on subsequent turns.
(In a two player game, when one player passes the other player may take one final turn before the round ends.)
Resolve all Centipede Attacks in numerical order by hex number.
Resolve all Ant Battles in numerical order by hex number.
Centipedes attack any and all ants that are in the same hex. Discard the top card of the Ant Deck. Each player with ants in that meadow hex must sacrifice a number of ants equal to the Bang value of the card +1. If there are still ants present in the hex than the centipede is destroyed and the player gains 1 food and 1 Victory. If two nests are still present after the centipede is defeated each nest gains 1 food.
Ant battle ensues in all contested hexes. A hex is contested if there are ants from two or more nests present in the hex and there are more ants than collection sites.
Each player announces there army size.
Army size = # ants + # head evolutions.
Attacking army may discard a card face down.
Defending army may discard a card face down.
Reveal discarded cards and add the Bang value of the cards to each player’s army size.
Subtract the attacking army size from the defending army size and resolve according to the Battle Spectrum.
The Battle Spectrum
2: Destroy all Attackers and Defender gains 1 Crown.
1: Attacker loses 3 Ants and Defender loses 1 Ant.
0: Reveal top Ant Card and each player loses Ants equal to Bang.
-1: Attacker steals 1 Collection Site and loses 1 Ant.
-2: Defender loses 4 and Attacker loses 2 Ants.
-3: Destroy all Defenders, Attacker loses 1 ant and gains 1 Crown.
In each hex the defending player is the player who controls the premium collection site.
If three or more nests are present in a hex the attacking player is the player with the most ants, who is not already the defender. If case of a tie, the defender chooses who is the attacker.
Ant Battle occurs only once in each meadow hex during each Soldier Phase even if the hex continues to be contested after the Battle is resolved. If the Battle Spectrum total is greater than +2 or less than -3 it is considered to be +2 and -3 respectively.
[Diagram 2a- ANT BATTLE]- Photos but we better eventually make them in photoshop.
Example 1. An Example of -1 result where a large number of ants are in a hex with 4 feeding sites. In this example there is a third person present who isn’t affected because they have less ants than the attacker. Also shows who is defender and who is attacker.
[Diagram 2b- ANT BATTLE]- Photos but we might eventually make them in photoshop.
Example 2. An example of 0 result where a bunch of ants are killed and it causes one player to snatch collection sites from the other.
Queen Phase: During this phase all players Collect resources, decide the Queen’s Choice, Feed Ants and Slumber.
At the start of the Queen Phase gain 1 larva for each Abdomen evolution in your ant body.
Collect: Collect resources from all collection sites you inhabit. Each ant in a collection site will collect the resources indicated for that site. Collection sites yield one resource unless indicated with a numeral in the icon circle.
Queens Choice: Gain 5 larvae or 2 food. You may Stash one Victory Card from your hand.
Queen’s choice is resolved in clockwise order beginning with the starting player.
There is no Queen’s choice in the final round.
Stashing a card has no cost. A total of two cards may be stashed in each nest. Stashed cards are worth double if their condition is met. Once a card is stashed it may not be exchanged or removed.
Feed Ants: Each five ants require one food. Each player must feed all of their ants.
When counting ants for feeding round up
(5 ants = 1 food, 7 ants = 2 food, 10 ants = 2 food).
Slumber: Advance the Round Marker one space. All players must discard down to 4 cards. Victory tokens are awarded from any +2 Victory Tiles.
Diagram of resource collection, description of some resources give you two of that resource. Queen’s choice is resolved starting with the starting player and rotating clockwise.
Stashing Cards Diagram of Victory Cards and Stashing
Autumn, Game End and Victory:
The ants build their nests as spring thaws the snow and continue to expand, evolve and grow their civilizations until the winter rain and snow returns. The success of each Nest is judged on the Victory Points they have achieved. Victory Points are counted at the end of the final round after all Queen Phase collection and feeding has occurred. There is no Queen’s choice in the final round.
Scoring Victory Points:
Each player determines their score by first adding up Victory Tokens, Victory Points from Victory Cards (worth double if they are stashed) and any earned Victory Points from the Victory Tiles. In the event of a tie the player with the most ants wins.
Strategy and Tactics
Each Nest will need to carefully manage its Larvae and Food, ensuring that it has enough of each to perform Actions, Ant Action Cards, and evolutions. Exploring to secure food collection sites is very important as food is what allows your nest to continue expanding and evolving. Nests may pursue strategies that focus on expansion, evolution, collection, or war and will likely need some combination of all to become the most successful Nest. In the Queen Phase choose carefully whether your Queen will produce Larvae or Food as you need the right balance of both to thrive. The Victory Tiles will give you a clue as to what strategy to pursue and some Victory Tiles give prizes for the first player to complete them.
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by redwizard.