Blood and Gold (1492 - 1763 AD)
Fast Play Rules for Students

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By Matt Unsworth
 

INTRODUCTION

Blood and Gold is an abstract simulation of exploration and conquest from the voyages of Columbus to the Seven Years War. You control a country and use its resources to develop an empire in the Americas. You earn Victory Points (VPs) by reaching certain objectives. The player with the most Victory Points at the end of the game wins. This is a variant of Academic Gaming Review's Age of Discovery simulation.

HOW TO START PLAY

The players are divided into groups. Each group has a moderator who runs the game and keeps records for that group. Each remaining player takes a country. Print out the playing pieces in the Blood and Gold Resources PDF (right-click to save) or create your own.

HOW TO PLAY

BG is played in Game-turns. A Game-turn proceeds as follows:

First, the players check the Scenario Instructions for any special rules which apply to a particular Game-turn. Then, up to 10 minutes per turn are allocated for negotiation among the players.

Next, the first player receives Resource Factors (RFs) and deploys them. The number of RFs each player receives is specified in the Scenario Instructions. The remaining players receive RFs, deploy RFs.

After RFís are deployed, the players make attacks with their RFs in the sequence given in the Scenario Instructions. When all of the players have resolved their attacks, one Game-turn has been completed.

Each game lasts 6 Game-turns. The game is over after all of these have been completed. The players total their Victory Points and the winner is determined.

RESOURCE FACTORS

Resource Factors (RFs) represent a country's military, political, diplomatic and economic strength, and its willingness to use it. RFs are similar to the pieces in Risk and checkers.

Your goal is to attain the objectives listed for your country in the Scenario Instructions. You do this by deploying RFs. Each turn you receive a certain number of RFs. You then deploy your RFs wherever you wish. You may put RFs in any region. You must use all RFs received on that turn in that turn. After deployment, you cannot move RFs. You cannot give them to another player. After deployment you may use your RFs to attack RFs belonging to another player.

To deploy RFs, tell the moderator where you want to put them. The moderator will then record your deployments on the Game Chart in your country's column in accordance with your orders. Note that it is possible to start the game with a negative number of RFs in an area.

Navies: RFs in navies can remain indefinitely or be transferred to an area during the deployment phase.  RFs transferred in this manner cannot be returned to a navyís strength.  Players MAY attack each otherís navies as per the combat rules.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Players must declare a state of war at the beginning of the deployment phase.  Players cannot attack each other unless a state of war exists between them.

One of your goals is to control areas. You do this by using RFs to attack your opponents. These attacks represent everything from diplomatic threats to major invasions. Attacking is never required. Attacks can be made when you and another player have RFs in the same area. You attack by first indicating your target (the defender). Both you and the defender then remove an equal number of RFs. You decide how many RFs are removed. The moderator records these activities on the Game Chart.

After you are finished with this attack, you may attack a different opponent's RFs in that area if you have any RFs left there. You may attack in as many areas as you wish, as long as you have RFs in them. You cannot attack a player unless he has a positive number of RFs in that particular area. You cannot reduce a player to less than zero RFs through an attack.

PRESENCES

You usually achieve Victory Points by obtaining a Presence in certain areas. In some cases, you can earn Victory Points by preventing a Presence. The Scenario Instructions will tell each Player where to win VPs.

You have a Presence in an area when you have at least 5 RFs there at the end of the game. A Presence represents situations such as trade agreements, protectorates, economic activity, spheres of influence, alliances, satellites, or annexations. More than one player can have a Presence in an area, but you can never have more than one Presence in any area.

Dominance: If you have 10 RFs in an area, and there are no other RFs from other players, you now dominate that area.  Players cannot place any RFs in an area you dominate.  Areas that fall below 10 RFs are no longer dominated.

NEGATIVE RFS

Several areas start the game with a negative number of RFs in them. These usually indicate local opposition to your plans. To establish Presences in these regions, you must deploy enough RFs to overcome this. For example, if a power wants to get a Presence in Mexico and the Southwest, an area that begins the game with a  -10, the players must deploy a combined total of at least 10 RFs if any one power is to have a presence. In effect, you must attack the negative RFs and remove them before doing anything else in that area.

CHANCE CARDS

Each power receives 1 Chance card at the beginning of the simulation.  These cards trump simulation rules and require players to adapt to random events beyond their control.  Unless stated otherwise, Chance cards are played during a playerís turn.  No power can play more than 1 card in a turn.  Players draw an additional card after they resolve the cardís events.  No other cards are drawn after this second card is played.  The Chance Cards are in the Blood and Gold Resources PDF (right-click to save).

HOW TO WIN

A game of BG lasts 6 Game-turns, unless specified otherwise in the scenario. After the last Game-turn, the players compare their RF deployments with their objectives listed in the Scenario Instructions to determine their Victory Points. More than one player can receive Victory Points for a region. The player with the most Victory Points at the end wins.

OPTIONAL COMBAT SYSTEM

To make Conflict Resolution more unpredictable, resolve attacks as follows:

After RF deployment, the attacker identifies the defender. The number of the attacker's RFs is compared to the number of the defender's RFs and the odds are computed. Divide the number of the attacker's RFs by the number of the defender's RFs to get a ratio. For example, 10 RFs attacking 5 RFs would be 2 to 1. Always drop fractions. For example, 14 RFs against 5 RFs would still be 2 to 1. 15 vs. 5 would be 3 to 1. Attacks greater than 5-1 are an automatic D result; attacks at less than 1-2 are not allowed.

After computation, roll 2 dice and resolve attacks on the following table:

Die Roll

1-2

1-1

2-1

3-1

4-1

5-1

11-12

AX

D

D

D

D

D

8-10

DX

AX

D

D

D

D

7

DX

DX

AX

D

D

D

4-6

A

DX

DX

AX

D

D

2-3

A

A

DX

DX

DX

AX

 

Blood and Gold

Scenario Instructions

Order of Play:

  1. Spain receives 20 Resource Factors (RFs) per turn.
  2. Holland receives 15 RFs per turn.
  3. France receives 20 RFs per turn.
  4. England receives 15 RFs per turn.

Game Length: 6 Game-turns

SPECIAL RULES

Turn 1 (1500-1600): Holland and Spain must each deploy at least 4 RFs in Europe; Spain receives an additional 3 free RFs to their navy.

Turn 2 (1600-1630): Holland and France must deploy at least 4 RFs in Europe, England and Spain 2 (Thirty Years War begins)

Turn 3 (1630-1660):  England reduced to 10 RFs for this turn (English Civil War); all other countries must spend at least 3 RFs in Europe (Thirty Years War ends).

Turn 4 (1660-1690):  France must deploy at least 5 RFs in Europe; England and Holland receive 5 additional RFs to spend in Caribbean.

Turn 5 (1690-1720):  Each country must deploy at least 8 RFs in Europe. (War of the League of Augsburg 1688-97, War of the Spanish Succession 1701-13, and Great Northern War 1700-21).

Turn 6 (1720-1763):  England and France must deploy at least 6 RFs to Europe (War of the Austrian Succession 1740-48, and Seven Years' War, 1756-63).

 

Blood and Gold

Chronology

Turn 1 (1492-1600)

Turn 2 (1600-1630)

Turn 3 (1630-1660)

Turn 4 (1660-1690)

Turn 5 (1690-1720)

Turn 6 (1720-1763)

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