Dog Dog DiceIdeas are cheap

Let the rivers flow

article Ideas calendar_today 2021-07-08 11:03:52

Rivers are good way to transport goods. So let’s transport some goods.

Player count: 3-6


Player boards: 6 

Ships: 12 (2x player)

Cards: 102

Goods: 72 (6 different types of goods: bean(brown), garlic(white), banana(yellow), apple(red), orange (orange), pear (green),  12x for each good). 

Coins: 1 coin x100, 2 coins x 50.

Determining first player. Mix the cards, open the top one, the owner of that resource will start the game. In case card doesn’t have a resource on it, draw till you find one. 

Preparation for the game. Give each player his player board, resources and one ship. Ship should be placed on the „loading“ side. In 5 player game, each player additionally gets 2 items of the resource that was not chosen by any player. In 4 player game each player gets 3 of two resources that were not chosen. In 3 player game each player gets one additional resource (all 12 items of it). 

Give each player 3 starter cards. Mix the rest of the cards. Place the deck in the middle of the table, open 5 top cards. 

Playing the game. Player has option of choosing one of three actions: take a card, play a card, reload his hand.

Take a card. Player can take the first card to his hand for free, however if he wants to take second, third and so on card in the row, he has to pay one of his main resource (put it on the card). If there is his main resource on the card, when he took the card previously, he still has to place a new resource. During his turn player can only take one card.

After the first card is taken, cards slide down and new card from the top of the deck put in the fifth place. 

Play a card. Each card has two actions. Player has to put the action he want to use on the top. See cards, for more explanation. 

Reload had. If player has no cards in his hand, he can take top three cards from his discard pile. If player wants to take more than three card from his discard pile he has to pay one of his main resource for each card he takes.

If player has at least one card in his hand and he want to reload his hand, he has to pay one of his main resource for each card he wants take. 

Paying resources for taking cards from discard pile works in the following way. If player want to take just one additional card he has to give one of his main resource to the player siting on the left to him. If he wants to take two cards, he has to give one of his main resource to the player siting on the left to him and one resource to the next player. It means that in three player game third card is free and in the four player game – fourth. 

If player would like to take ten cards (which would be very unwise), in that case he should give each player a resource starting with the player on the left and going around until all ten resources are given away. 

And that is the core of the game. 

End of the game and scoring. The game ends that one of the players doesn’t have any of his main resources. The game ends then player loads his last resource to the ship or then he uses his last resource to pay for a card. 

Each player gets one coin for every card in his hand (Cards in discard pile doesn’t give coins). Players count the coins and player with the most coins is a winner. In case of a tie, player with the least of his main resources is a winner. 

Main resource. During the game player can get resources of all other players, however the main resource is pictured on his player board and only main resource can be used as the payment. 

Ships. Each ship can carry maximum of three resources, they can be the same or different type.

Player boards. Player boards represents ports that belongs to the player. New ships always arrives and docks in “Unloading” part. If player want to load the ship, he can move it to the “Loading” part of the dock (it doesn’t count as action). It doesn’t matter how much cargo ship has, it can be empty, full or in between, player can move it to “Loading” part. He can move the ship at any point of his turn. He can move before he does the action or after he does his action. 

Only ships in “Unloading” part can be unloaded. 

Only ships in “Loading” part can be loaded. 

Ship that are in “Loading” part can’t be moved to “Unloading” part. 



There are exactly the same cards for each resource in the deck. 

Starter cards

Each player starts the game with the same/similar three cards. These starter cards belongs to the player whos’ main resource is pear. 

First card has two actions: top action is to load one pear for one coin; bottom action is to send one ship to the player on the left.

Second card. Top action: to load two pears for one coin, if you have only one pear or only one space on the ship, you still can use this card and in that case the action becomes better because you load one pear, but still get one coin. Bottom action: send two ships to the player on the left.

Third card. Top action: to load one of any resource for one coin. Bottom action: to unload one of any resource for one coin.

Basic cards

All the cards follow the same logic and the same symbols.

First card. Top action: send two ship to the second player on your left. Bottom action load two pears for two coins. 

Second card. Top action: call a ship. If player has only one of his ship, he gets the second one. If player already has two ship, he can take one of his ship from any other player and place it into unloading part of dock. Bottom action: load one pear for two coins. 

Chaos cards


These are special cards and they allow to mess with other players.

First card. Top action: take to cards from your discard pile into your hand. Bottom action: all the ships that are in loading part of everyone's docks leave to their neighbor on the left. 

Second card. Top action: take two cards into your hand from someone else discard pile. Bottom action: all the ships move. Ships that are in loading dock move to unloading dock of the player on the left, ships that are in unloading dock, move to loading dock of the same player. 

Third card. Top action: all players change their discard pile with they hand. Botton action: get one coin.

Design decisions. In this game you transport vegetables because I had pictures of them drawn in the past. Originally I was thinking about transporting coffee, wood, bricks and similar stuff, but that would require me to draw some additional items. As the items that are being transported is not essential I decided to save my time. And this time I didn’t even made a design, just basic functional art for testing purposes. 

In this game you don’t get big scores. You can get from 1 to 3 coins per your turn. You also don’t spend your coins on anything. Coins are just victory points. In such case it seems logical to use progress track instead of coins, however on the progress track everybody knows everybody’s score, everybody knows who is winning and who is loosing. If you have coins, you can guess who is winning and who is losing but you are never quit sure. For this game, it’s better not to know who is winning and how much. 

Can hording ships be a problem? In theory – yes, however I am not so sure about this strategy in real life. I need to do more testing to see if players go for this strategy. 

Would you like to playtest it? PDF file with game cards, however you will need your own ships, items to transport, coins for scoring and to make player boards. Any feedback is welcome.

<- Visiting Kaunas V2 Visiting Vilnius ->
Would you like to discuss Let the rivers flow in discord chat?