Aim of the game
Each player represents a growing mining operation in 19th-century Cornwall, seeking to profit from the rich tin and copper deposits of the region. Over the course of 4 rounds, players will build mines, acquire developments, extract ore, sell their tin and copper, and invest the proceeds to earn points. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
The game has 4 rounds, and each round has 4 phases:
- Set ore prices - roll the dice to determine the prices of tin and copper.
- Actions - players will take actions by spending work points. The active player is determined by the position of the work markers on the work track
- Sell & Invest - players sell all of their tin and copper, then invest their money to earn points.
- End of round
Players each have 3 tokens in their respective colors:
- Score marker - token that looks like a top hat on the outside track of the game board
- Money marker - rectangular token that looks like a Pound note (£) on the outside track of the game board. This starts the game at £20 for each player.
- Work marker - disc token that starts on the Work track (at the top left of the game board)
Phase 1 - Set Ore Prices
The prices for copper and tin are set by dice rolls, which are determined automatically by Board Game Arena. The current price of an ore may have an effect on the price of the ore in the next round.
Phase 2 - Actions
The Active Player (AP) is always the player who has spent the least Work Points (WP). If players are tied for the least, the player closest to the top of the Work Track is the Active Player. The Active Player takes an action, spending the necessary Work Points and moving their disc accordingly (this is handled by Board Game Arena).
- Build Mine - 2 WP - the AP selects an area that has an area tile, initiating an auction for the right to build a mine in the area. The winner of the auction (not necessarily the AP) will spend 2 work points and build a mine in the area.
- A player can participate in the auction if they:
- have at least 2 WP
- have at least 1 unbuilt mine
- have enough money to pay for any bid they make
- Before the auction begins, the AP may play a Survey Card for no additional cost. These cards improve the mines for whoever wins the auction, but also grant the AP two bonuses:
- Investigation - you may secretly look at the area tile before making your opening bid
- Insurance - if you lose the auction, you receive half the winning bid (rounded up)
- Requirements to play a Survey Card:
- The area tile must be face down
- The card must match the tile's region (or is a wild card)
- There must be at least one other player able to participate in the auction.
- Once a player drops out of the auction, they cannot re-enter the auction.
- After the auction, the winning player must pay the cost of their bid, spend 2 work points, then may play a Survey Card to improve the mine, provided that the AP did not play one at the start of the auction. If a player plays a Survey Card after the auction, they guarantee gaining the benefit rather than risk losing it to the other players, but they must pay the cost shown in the bottom right.
- The cubes shown on the area tile are then placed on the board. Effects of Drainage Tokens and Survey Cards are then applied as necessary, which can result in cubes being added or removed, or developments being added.
- For 2 player auction rules, please check the full rulebook.
- A player can participate in the auction if they:
- Extract Ore - 1 WP - choose one of your mines and take from it a number of tin and copper cubes (in any combination) up to the mine's extraction capacity.
- Each mine has a base extraction capacity of 2. Each miner, port, or train in the area adds 1 to this capacity.
- Each cube you extract costs an amount of money equal to the number of water cubes currently in the mine.
- After extracting, add 1 water cube to the area.
When you take a development action, take the appropriate piece from development board, based on the current round number, and place it on the main board. You may place developments in any area on the board, regardless of whether anyone has built a mine in that area or not. The number of developments is strictly limited. Apart from steam pumps, you may only take a development action if the appropriate piece is available in the column for current round. Developments cannot be moved or removed later in the game.
- Miner - 1 WP - take an available miner from the development board and place it in any area. The miner adds 1 to the mine's extraction capacity. Each area can have a maximum of 1 miner.
- Port - 2 WP - take an available port from the development board and place it in any area that borders the sea. Remove 1 water cube from the area. If the area does not yet have a mine, place 1 drainage token instead. The port adds 1 to a mine's extraction capacity. Each area can have a maximum of 1 port.
- Train - 2 WP - take an available train from the development board and place it in any area. Remove 2 water cubes from the area. If the area does not yet have a mine, place 2 drainage tokens instead. Remove 1 water cube from each adjacent area (place drainage tokens instead where necessary). The train adds 1 to a mine's extraction capacity (no effect on the extraction capacity of adjacent areas).
- Adit - 3 WP - take an available adit from the development board and place it so that it connects two adjacent areas. Remove 1 water cube from each of these areas (place drainage tokens instead where necessary). Add 1 tin and 1 copper cube to each of these areas.
- Steam Pumps - 1 WP - take the rightmost available group of steam pumps. For each pump taken, you may remove 1 water cube from anywhere. If multiple pumps are taken, this can be the same area or different areas. Steam pumps are returned to the supply when used, and are refilled at the end of each round.
- Sell Pasties - 1 WP - earn 1£
- Pass - 0 WP - place your work marker disc in the uppermost empty space in the column next to the Investment Panel. You can no longer take actions this round. If your disc is on the final column of the Work Track, you must pass.
Phase 3 - Sell & Invest
- All players now sell all of the tin and copper they extracted during the round for the current prices, then return the cubes to the supply. Cubes cannot be kept between rounds.
- Players now take turns to make investments, from top to bottom, until all players do not wish to make any further investments. Investments are made in increments of £10 and £5, earning points based both on the row of the player's disc and on the current round. Players may invest as much money as they can afford, taking turns making one investment at a time. Example, in the first round, the player at the top of the investment track might invest £10 to earn 22 points, then another £5 to earn 10 points, for a total of 32 points. In round 3, the player might be 2nd on the investment track, and could invest £10 to earn 15 points.
Phase 4 - End of Round
This is mostly a cleanup phase handled by Board Game Arena, but the 2 players now at the top of the Work Track may each, in turn, look at one face-down area tile of their choice and replace it face down.
End of the Game
After round 4, the player with the most points wins.
- Ties are broken in this order:
- Most money
- Most tin and copper cubes still in mines
- Highest on the work track