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 ready, they will receive income from their buildings and rail tracks.
- 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 a player 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 available in the same order, but the other auction lots are randomly chosen from that stage (Settlement, Town, City).
2-Player game: The player with the first player tile will always begin the Auction round by placing the dummy Bid token on one of the 2 auctions at the current Dummy bid value. When the dummy Bid token is outbid, the Dummy Bid counter is raised When the dummy Bid token wins a round, the Dummy Bid counter is lowered The Dummy Bid counter is tracked in the Auction 3 Bid area
The winner of the first auction will also get the 1st player token (to start bidding in next round).
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.
2-player game: the first player token will move if neither player wins the Auction 1 lot
After the 10th round there is a Final Income and Scoring round in which players repeat the Income phase one final time, and then use the Marketplace as much as they like in order to pay off Debt and convert their Trade chips, Silver, and resources into Victory Points.
Each player calculates their score by adding up the following:
- Victory Point chips collected during the game,
- Point values of their buildings,
- Point values of all bonuses on their buildings.
- 2 Victory Points for each Gold, Livestock, and Copper resource.
- Wood, Food, and Steel are worth nothing.
Debt chips can be paid off for 5 Silver. Players lose points as a penalty for unpaid debt. The number of Victory Points lost increases the more debt the player has: -1 point for the first Debt chit, -2 Victory Points for the second, -3 Victory Points for the third, etc… Five unpaid Debt chips would be worth a total of -15 Victory Points.
The player with the most Victory Points will have the city named after them, and be declared the winner! In case of a tie, the winner is the tied player with the most Silver. If this is also tied, then all tied players win!