In 1486, Christopher Columbus came to Spain to lobby the royal families to endorse his plan to sail west and discover a new trade route to the Indies. Columbus was not the only one with this idea, though, as during that great age of explorers there was no lack of ambitious sailors willing to risk it all on a grand adventure.
In Voyagers' Venture, players assume the role of Spanish sailors in 1486, working to fund their voyage for a new trade route. In order to succeed, they must win resources, prepare a sturdy fleet, entice the Spanish nobles, and even acquire the patronage of the royal family. After six years of campaigning, who will secure the royal edict of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand to strike out towards the new world? Could you be Columbus? Perhaps you could be even greater? It all starts with one voyager's venture, but to get that permit to sail west and search for land, you need to gain the most reputation.
Each round plays out as below:
- Sponsor from Royal Family: From the common card deck and the fleet deck, draw and display a number of cards.
Dividing Sponsor: Starting with the starting player and moving along the turn order track, each player will declare what they want from the face up and face down cards on offer this year. Starting clockwise from the choosing player, each player decides if they agree or not to give the active player what they chose. There can be two results:
- All the players agree: If all the players agree, the active player immediately recieves all the cards they chose and takes those cards into his or her hand.
One player disagrees: The agreeing phase stops when a player disagrees and the disagreeing player immediately makes a bid on the cards on offer smaller than the bid of the previous player. There are 3 ways to cut a bid:
- Place one of your gold dubloons on one card that the previous player did not choose. If you do this, you may keep the bid the same size and move straight to the agree/disagree phase (2). The gold dubloon is attached to the card it is placed on until a player takes that card, and that player also takes your dubloon.
- Remove 1 or more cards from this bid.
- Remove 2 or more cards from the bid, then add 1 card on display to the bid.
- Assembling Fleets: Each player will receive one bid. After the last player receives his or her bid, this round is over. Check that each player has 8 or less cards in hand. If they have more, they must discard, face-down, down to 8. Take the turn markers from the next round track and move them to the same positions in the current round track. Move the queen marker to the next round. Start the next round.
End of the Game
The game finishes at the end of round 6. At this time, each player has one last chance to use the resources they have in hand to buy ships and nobles. Then discard all remaining ship and noble cards in hands.
- Follow the game tip card to determine end of game bonus reputation.
- Display all ships and noble reputation in front of you, calculate the total and add it to your reputation.
- If a player has the fastest fleet token, add the bonus (2) to his or her reputation.
- If a player has gold coins, each 2 is worth 1 reputation.
- Subtract 1 reputation for each smuggled goods that player has.
The player with the highest reputation wins the game, and the royal edict of Queen Isabella to strike out for new trade routes. If there is a draw, the player with the most ships is the winner, if there still is a draw, the player with the most total resources is the winner, if it is still a tie check the card number on each players' ships. The player with the lowest card number on any ship is the winner.