The game is played over 12 rounds, or 10 in a 4 player game. The players each get 12 or 10 camps and each turn they will put a camp on the board. When all players have played all their camps, there is one last turn and the game ends.
Each turn, players must perform 3 steps in the following order:
- Activate its supply track
- Use metals, if the player has any
- Build or Loot
On the last turn, there is no Build or Loot step.
Activate Supply Track
The player must select a section with resources on their player board and takes all the resources in that section. They must then leave one resource in each lower sections.
For example, if the player activates section 2 with 4 resources, they must leave 1 in section 1 and another in section 0. They will then have 2 resources for the next steps.
It's possible for the player to have no resources for the next steps at the end of this process.
If the player does not have metal resources from the previous step, this step is skipped. Metals are: Gold, Silver and Copper.
Metal resources can be spent in 3 ways.
- Investments, only once per turn: With the right resources, the player can buy an investment card that gives points, and sometimes special bonuses. The first players to buy an investment card also get a bonus tile. In a 4 player game, there are 5 bonus tiles (that score 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point). In a 3 player game there are 4 bonus tiles and in a 2 player game there are 3.
- BoomTown, only once per turn: To place an influence token in BoomTown to get the bonus of an office, the player must pay 2 resources: one matching the resource above the office, and one matching the resource to the right of the office. Most offices give points at the end of the game but the 1x1 tile is different and give 4 points immediately. (In the Trading Post mini expansion, this 1x1 tile instead gives a resource that can be used on the current turn or placed in the supply track for points.)
- Shipping Track: Metal resources can be used to advance the player's stagecoach. Each resource advance 1 step. Some steps give 2 or 3 points. There are also steps with bonus tiles, which give additional points to the first two players to cross. The stagecoach does not stop on the steps with the bonus tiles.
Build or Loot
In this step, the player takes a visible mining token from the board but will get different bonuses depending on the remaining Wood or Stone resources in hand:
- The player has no Wood nor Stone: In this case, one of the player's camp goes into the Wanted Area and the player looses 1 point.
- The player has Wood or Stone but not both: In this case, one of the player's camp goes on the board, on the spot where the mining token was taken. The mining token is placed on the influence track in the player board, in the row of the mining terrain type.
- The player has both Wood and Stone: In this case, one of the player's camp goes on the board, on the spot where the mining token was taken. An influence token is placed under the camp and this is now a Settlement. The mining token is placed on the influence track in the player board, in the row of the mining terrain type and an additional influence token is placed in the same row.
No resources can be keep for a next round, any remaining resources are lost.
After this, the player must choose only one section in its supply track to place the resources from the mining token. The player scores 3 points if they are placed in section 3, 2 points for section 2, 1 point for section 1 and 0 points for section 0.
The face down mining tokens around the chosen token are then revealed and its the next player turn.
At the end of the game, the following are taken into account for each player to calculate the final score:
- Building groups: 2 points per building (camp or settlement) in the player's largest contiguous group.
- Each office in BoomTown is scored.
- The player with the most camps in the Wanted Area looses 1 point per camp. The player with the second most camps looses 1 point per 2 camps.
- The 1st and 2nd most influence in each terrain is scored.