Homesteaders is an auction and resource management game in which players bid on land and develop buildings.
The game will be played in 10 rounds. At the end of the game there is a Final Income and Scoring round (where you can pay off loans).
Each round features 3 phases:
- Setup: in which building and auction tiles are updated (as necessary)
- Income phase: where players acquire resources
- Auction phase: in which players bid for available land and then spend their resources to develop a building on that land.
- auction tiles for the current round are revealed
- bid tokens are removed from the board.
- In Rounds 5 and 9 the building stock will also be updated:
- New buildings will be available
- Existing buildings will no longer be available.
- players will assign workers to their buildings
- once complete, they will receive income from their buildings.
- And then they will have to pay their workers
- either 1 silver per worker -or- 1 gold to pay up to 5 workers.
- Starting with the player with first player tile,
- Players will place their bid on any of the available auctions or pass.
- When bidding players must either outbid other players or make an initial bid on an auction (at any value)
- When passing they will no longer be able to bid in the round, they will instead get to Advance their Railroad Track (and receive a bonus) for free.
- Players who have been outbid will then get another opportunity to bid or pass (and receive bonus),
- This continues until all players are either winning an auction, or have passed.
Note: The lots in Auction 1 are always in the same order, but the other auction lots are randomly chosen from that stage (Settlement, Town, City).
The winner of the first auction will also get the 1st player token (to start bidding in next round).
2-player games: the first player token will move if neither player wins the Auction 1 lot
Starting with the first auction, the winner (if any) takes the following actions:
- They will pay for their lot, using silver and/or gold (as 5 silver).
- They can then choose to build a building to build (if the lot has a build option listed).
- If the lot has a bonus, they can receive that.
- some bonuses require paying a cost, this must be done during this phase, or the bonus is lost.
Note: as build happens in auction order, and the building stock is limited, the order you build can be very important.