My boyfriend bought his brother a new board game for Christmas. Because we are wonderful people, we cracked it open as soon as it arrived in the mail, to set it up and test it out before giving it to his brother. The game is called Sky Traders.
Sky Traders, from Fantasy Flight Games, is a resource management/economic/commerce game for 2-5 players. The tiles are passed out to each player; moving counterclockwise, you each place a tile down until there are no more left, and your sky track is formed. Then you choose amongst all the ethnically diverse sky traders; such as my personal favorite, Ping Chan, who commands the sky ship “The Flying Rooster”.
Each player’s turn consists of four phases. First, you draw an Ill Wind Card; this card can either help or hinder you–but, more often, it hinders. There are Wind Pirates you need to evade, ’cause if you draw one, you’re gonna have a fight on your hands. If the Sky Patrol is drawn and you’re carrying illegal goods on board, you could be in trouble. During phase two, you get to move your ship around the board, depending on what you want to do.
When you’re in a city, you can buy and sell good. There is a Commodities Exchange Sheet which tells the current market value of each type of good. The value will fluctuate with each round. As in any business, you want to buy low and sell high. At the end of each round, all players roll their dice to decide how the market will change. With your dice results, you can decide if the corresponding good will go up in value or go down, as will your opponents. You can negotiate with each other to try and get them to help you raise the price of a good or team up to help lower the value of a good one of your opponents has a lot of.
The boyfriend and I exchanged high fives when we realized the game puts a two-minute limit on your turn, starting with phase two. We have these particular people in our gaming group: Wanna know how long they take to finish their turns?
And it makes the rest of us want to kill ourselves. So this is pretty exciting.
There seem to be a lot of rules, but they’re very easy to learn, and the game is pretty simple to play. There’s a detailed rule book, and like all Fantasy Flight Games, the artwork and game components are great. The storage for all the pieces leaves much to be desired (there’s basically nothing in the box to hold anything, which is about the only downside to Fantasy Flight Games), but that’s easily fixed with some plastic baggies or containers.
Winning the game is simple: you buy influence, and the first person to get up to 50 influence on the influence track wins. Easy peasy. You can pick up the game on Amazon.