The smoke rises as you slowly puff on your pipe, the sweet aroma of your expensive tobacco fills your lungs before slowly being released from you lips. The tavern is quite quiet today, yet it is still early. You see the other Guild Masters sitting in the other corners of the tavern, surrounded by a handful of their Guild. You give each a nod of recognition; while they may be your competition, you do respect them. As the room slowly begins to fill with people looking for work, you must get to work yourself. There are Quests to complete and people to replace. The King only hires the most prestigous Guild Master as his Minister of Quests.
To set up, shuffle the Guild Masters cards and give each player one face-down. You should look at your Guild Master card and then keep it secret from the other players–it shows which two types of quests will give you bonus points.
Shuffle all the Citizen cards together and deal three to each player. Then deal six in a row on the table, forming the Tavern. The Tavern tokens are placed above the cards to indicate the cost of hiring each Citizen. Shuffle the Quest cards and deal six face-up below the Citizens. The rest of the Citizen Cards and Quest cards are set nearby to form two separate decks, with a space for discard piles next to them. Pick a starting player; play will proceed clockwise.
On your turn, you get two actions from the following (you may repeat actions):
- Draw: Draw one card from the Citizen deck.
- Hire: Hire one Citizen from the Tavern or from your hand.
- Reserve: Optionally discard all Quests from the Tavern and refill from the deck, then take one Quest from the Tavern and put it in front of you.
- Complete a Quest: Complete one Quest from the Tavern or your hand.
There are four roles Citizens play. These are shown by the below icons:
To hire a Citizen from the Tavern, you discard cards from your hand equal to the cost shown on the Tavern token, between zero and three. To hire a Citizen from your hand, it costs two cards. When you hire a Citizen, you immediately get the bonus printed on the bottom of the card, if any. Hired Citizens are placed on the table, forming your tableau (also called your Guild).
There are four roles Citizens play. These are shown by the below icons:
Reserving a Quest is like accepting a contract; you place the quest in front of you. You are the only person who can complete that particular Quest. All Quests in the Tavern may be completed by any player. You may only Reserve one Quest at any one time. You may discard your reserved quest without completing it if you wish to Reserve a different Quest.
To complete a Quest, you must have the correct resources required for the quest in your Guild (you may not use cards from your hand). Usually you will need some number of resources, as well as a particular number of specific Citizens of a certain Role. These Citizens are then discarded, and you place the Quest card face-down in your completed Quests area on the table. You also receive any bonus printed on the Quest card. Quests come in four types: Commerce, Battle, Adventure, and Subterfuge.
At the end of your turn, you refill the Tavern. Slide all Citizens into the empty spaces (toward the “0” cost space) and then draw new Citizens from the deck to refill. Quests are also refilled if there are open spaces.
The game end is triggered when any player completes their fifth Quest. The game continues until the end of the round–that is, everyone will have the same number of turns.
Add up all the Victory Points in your completed Quests, and add any bonus points earned from your Guild Master card. The highest score wins. Ties go to the player with the fewest Citizen cards in the Guild, and then to fewest Citizen Cards in hand.
Quests of Valeria is another game in the series from Daily Magic and again I must say ‘Wow’. I really love this series and how they are not just using the game IP and same old game, they are really inventing a whole world. One of the aspects I love about these games is the story it tells. In that regard they feel like different sessions inside a long running Role Playing Game. Daily Magic Games have put as much effort into the Story telling as they have the game itself. I think this is what really sets Daily Magic apart from other publishers; their level of detail is amazing.
So Quests of Valeria I have had for several months and I played it at the same games night as Villages of Valeria. I found that playing Villages and then moving to Quests really made my friends become absorbed into the world of Valeria. Many of this group are avid RPG players and remarked on how much it felt like an RPG, as the level of detail in the story telling were amazing. Though you never have to have played Villages or another Valeria game to enjoy either of those games, I find they are great to play together.
Quests of Valeria for me was amazing, I loved it. I liked that it seemed more personal. You are a guild master; a secret mission and you were sending people to their death, hiring and firing people and for me it was a winner. One of my all-time favorite games is Lords of Waterdeep, and for me this has everything I love about that but in a small box and played half the time.
There are so many elements I like about this game. The art, for one, which is again done by Mihajlo Dimitrievski and is stunning. The characters are stunning; they each have their own little story and I really love the dark overtones. This game being about Guilds really shows the Darker Side of the kingdom and Mihajlo has handled this beautifully. His use of dark and muted tones, along with his minimal highlighting really make these characters jump off the cards yet still keep the air of the dark underbelly of a Guild. I also like that they have carried over some of the Champions from Village of Valeria into this game. It gives a familiarity and an excitement to see old friends of a sort.
One Element I really found clever was that your hand is in a way your currency, but is also playable as well. It seems a little confusing and that it really shouldn’t work, but it really does. It adds so much strategy and another level of complexity to the game, as you have to manage your hand along with what is on the board. I also love how you can reserve quests, and then discharge them. This helps you at the beginning of the game to get those early cheap quests under your belt, but I think this rule comes into its own in the late game. You can burn an action by taking a quest you don’t want or plan to complete because you have worked out what another players Guild Master’s bonus is. I know I had this used on me twice during our game until I realized what he was doing. I didn’t even think of doing that or realize is could be used in that way.
Overall I love this game, it continues the story I enjoyed so much in Villages of Valeria and took us deeper inside the cities. It gave us a look into the Darker side of Valeria and gives you a more personal look into some of the characters of this story. It feels half RPG and half resource management where the resources are people.
This really is an amazing small box game with so much packed into it. If you would like a copy you can pre-order yours here: https://www.dailymagicgames.com/quests-of-valeria/