Roads & Boats PBF recruitment

So hey, how about them roads, & boats?

Last time @pillbox floated the idea, @RossM, @lalunaverde, @Whistle_Pig, @Captbnut, and @Chewy77 expressed interest.

Unlike then, I now have all the tools I need to moderate a Roads & Boats game on the forum.

It’s a tricky game though, so I was wondering how best to tackle it. In increasing order of conflict: A cooperative attempt at a single-player puzzle? A scenario where people start out fairly separated? A scenario where people can get all up in each others business easily?

Who is interested, and for what?

I’m assuming base game “only” (still goes all the way from woodcutting to stock exchanges), but maybe a few of you have enough experience to tackle more?


A single-player puzzle could be a nice intro. I’ve never played before so for a competitive game I’d probably prefer the separate start option


For reference, my experience is 4 attempts at one single player puzzle, each time getting closer to one possibly wrong “solution”, if you see what I mean. Like, getting closer to optimising one approach, without knowing whether it’s the correct one.

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Single puzzle seems good


I’d be up for that. Without getting bogged down it would mean player count doesn’t need to be limited. Go for hive mind


OK, a puzzle it is. And it may as well be the “simplest”, i.e., the one that has me stumped. I do hope though, that people enjoy it and want to play a real game as a result, because that’s my real interest.

Difficult to do much over the weekend, but I’ll see if I can get you all started sometime tomorrow.

For now, the rules.

The player aids I’ve found are a bit shit, maybe I’ll see if I can come up with a better one.

The single player scenarios are just like a regular game, only there’s no one to compete with, the game will end in a fixed 20 turns, with the first 17 turns skipped (kinda, I mean, normally 33 turns is the hard limit).

The flowchart in the scenario book, although intimidating, is better than the popular player aid on BGG because it doesn’t misuse terms or lack important points. Here it is:


OK, here are the rules, slightly more concisely than in the rulebook. I’ll be following this up with a visual guide of components and costs when I can get to a PC. Essentially, there’s a primary producer for different terrain types, and secondary producers for non-desert/sea terrain, transporters with different capacity and movement, and the goods for secondary production, building and research.

  • 3 donkeys, 5 boards, 1 stone, 2 geese on home tile.
    • Rivers spilt a tile into two or more spaces, which are not connected unless bridges are built.


  1. Production
    • Primary producer always produces
    • Secondary producer produces up to capacity if fed input.
    • Transporter producer. New water transporter placed on river or coast (not sea). Max 8 transporters, max 5 of land/water. If exceed, destroy transporter at transporter factory.
    • Livestock (donkeys, geese). If exactly 2 on empty pasture tile (no goods, buildings or transporters), produce 1. Donkey optional.
    • Transporters on same tile may exchange goods freely. Water transporter in river may act as bridge for two land transporters on opposite banks.
    • 2 geese + 1 paper becomes research if transporter present. Else lost.

  2. Movement
    • May pick up / drop goods any time as long as not exceeding capacity. No good may be moved between tiles by more than 1 transporter within the phase.
    • Land transporter: Need road except donkey. Donkey not on road moves 1 only.
    • Water transporter: Docking and leaving dock is 1 move (only necessary between sea and coast, rivers don’t require docking). Must stop once docked. Do not leave goods at sea. May store goods on oil rig.
    • Empty transporter may carry another empty transporter which hasn’t moved. May only unload at start of next Movement phase.
    • Geese: Can follow a transporter. They cannot be left at sea, will always follow any transporter leaving the sea tile, unless they are left at oil rig.

  3. Building. (buildings, roads, bridges)
    • Only when transporter present.
    • Max 1 building per tile (home not counted).
    • Some buildings require specific terrain. No building on desert.
    • Some buildings require research.
    • Mine: seed bag with 3 gold & 3 iron, or a different mix (4/0, 0/4, 5/5) if using specific research.
    • Build new mine shaft (1 iron, 1 fuel) to refill its bag.
    • A road is built from the middle of the building tile to the middle of a neighbouring tile. All roads on a tile are linked to each other, unless there is a river between the roads. Parallel roads can be built on river shores.
    • A bridge links either side of a river.

  4. Wonder
    • May spend goods at home tile with transporter present to buy bricks for wonder. 2 goods for 1st brick, 3 for 2nd, etc., in same phase (because 2 goods brick cost spot already reached in solo).
    • 1 neutral brick added after player is done.
    • After hitting specific spot on Wonder, deserts become pastures.
    • Game ends immediately when last neutral brick used (20th brick with solo rules).

• Gold (10WP), coins (40WP), stock (120WP) on own transporters.
• Wonder contribution 10WP per row with player brick.

• When researching a transporter tech, may immediately upgrade any corresponding factories where own transporter is present. One-time use at the moment of research.
• Conflict and phase order rules are irrelevant for single player.


Here’s the player aid I hurriedly hacked together. Just one additional note: in the single-player game, the mines don’t produce gold or iron randomly, instead always producing whichever there is most of left in the mine. Gold on a tie.

Also note that walls, play order, and wonder brick WP calculation are all irrelevant.

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@pillbox can I assume you’ve tried A River Runs Through It before? Have you solved it?

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I tried it once, failed miserably and then realized my brain only has two approaches for puzzles like that: random thrashing about, or scripting a computer to calculate the optimal solution… Which I just haven’t gotten around to yet


So, are you interested in participating? I think your experience would be nice to give some direction, but if you’d prefer to leave it to the new players that’s OK.

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I’ll chime in occasionally, but will take back seat to new players

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The pbf puzzle is done, how many people are interested in a pbf game? I know @RossM and @Captbnut are in. Anyone else? @pillbox @Whistle_Pig @lalunaverde @Chewy77 @ any lurkers.

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I’m in :grin:

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I never knew you had any interest in this game @pillbox :rofl:

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OK, I think 4 players is a decent number, if I join.

There are many other options, but “Rowing” and “the Valley” look suitable for new players. Any preferences? I think Rowing, because it seems quite hard to me for new players to pick starting locations, but I’m open to correction.

No, PBF. Does this mean you are, or you aren’t interested?

Ah still good. Just wondering how.

OK, it’s just that I typically understand “Okay, I’m good” to mean someone is not joining in =)


Which scenario? (multiple choice)
  • 4-player Rowing
  • 4-player The Valley
  • 5-player Disneyland w/out expansion
  • 5-player Ring Basic
  • Two 3-player scenarios in parallel if someone else expresses an interest
  • 6-player scenario (if…)
  • Something else

0 voters

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Please be aware that a single turn could consist of 4 separate player order phases, with each player having to decide whether or not to change the order prior to each phase. I’m already a little scared of how long a 4-player PBF might take. I mean, I’m fine with it, but just know you might be making a long-term commitment!