Our How to Play videos are designed to be short (but still complete) instructional videos, mainly for people who want an overview before playing with someone who knows how to play (in place of that person teaching the rules). Setup and refresh is usually in a separate video, since only one person needs to know the details.
Hi! This is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and today, I'm gonna show you how to play Trajan.
The goal of the game is to get a lot of points.
Every turn, you’re going to move around your action markers like mancala. You choose any circle and pick up all of the markers and drop them clockwise one by one.
You move the round tracker the amount of spaces that you moved in your mancala track. For example, if I move these two markers on my turn, I’ll move the round tracker two spaces. When the round tracker hits or passes the start space, the round ends after the current player’s turn. At the end of each of the first three rounds, a demand tile will come out, and the quarter will end at the end of the 4th round. The game lasts 4 quarters, or 16 rounds total.
At the end of each quarter, each player will need to satisfy the three demands shown, which can be any combination of bread, games, and religion, by spending a matching tile for each. You lose 4 points if you’re missing one, 9 for 2, and 15 for 3
When you move your action markers on your turn, the space you land indicates which action you will be doing. For example, if you land here, you can do this action. The action is optional, but you have to move your markers.
Each one of these spaces does something different: Shipping, Forum, Military, Senate, Trajan, and Building
This is the shipping action. At the beginning of the game, you’ll start with three commodity cards. You can choose one of four options for the shipping action:
You can draw two face down cards, then discard one from your hand face up to one of the two discard piles.
Or you can pick up the top commodity card from one of the face up discard piles.
Or you can play one or two cards from your hand in front of you. This will count for bonus tiles at the end game. If you play cards, you draw as many as you played from the face down pile.
Lastly, you can ship commodities on one of the three ships by playing the cards. For this ship you have to have 1-4 of the same card, This one is up to 3 different pairs, and this one is 1-4 different cards. If you’re the first to use the ship, you get the points listed for the number of cards you played, and then flip the ship over. Everyone else who uses the ship gets the lower points on the gray side. When you ship cards, they are also counted for bonus tiles at the end game.
When doing the Forum action, you take one tile of your choice from this section and place it on your player board.
If you do the Military action, you can do one of three things:
You can move one of your legionnaires from your personal supply to the military camp
Or You can move your leader to an adjacent province. If you encounter a tile, you get it. For example, if you move here, you get to keep this tile.
Lastly, you can move one of your legionnaires to the leader. This allows you to claim the victory points of the province. These legionnaires never move afterwards, and each player can only have one legionnaire per province. The first player to place a legionnaire in a province gets the full points. The other players get 3 points less per each legionnaire in the province. For example, if blue has a legionnaire here, and red places a legionnaire, then red will get 10 - 3, or 7 points. The next player will get 4 points.
When you do the Trajan action, you get to take the top tile from one of the stacks and put it where the arch of Trajan is. Then you move the Arch of Trajan to the next free clockwise slot. If there’s no free slot, you just put it in the center and it will move to the next spot that opens up.
You start the game with three Trajan tiles.
The reason why you want Trajan tiles is that any time you land with the mancala pieces, not only can you do the action, but if the colors match up with the Trajan tile, you must immediately score it before taking your action. For example, if I have this Trajan tile and move these markers on my turn, these colors will match with the tile and I will get a bonus 9 points before taking the shipping action.
If you do the Senate action, you advance your disk one space on the Senate track. You get the points shown on that space. For example, the first time you do the action you’ll get two points. The next time you’ll get 3 additional points. If someone is already on the space, your token goes on top. You cannot do this action after reaching the last spot.
If you do the Building action, you have two options.
-You can either put one of your workers from your personal supply to the worker camp on the game board,
-Or you can move one of the workers from the camp to the construction site. You can place your worker on any space. If you already have a worker down, you must place it adjacent to your own worker, not diagonal. As soon as you place your worker down, you receive the tile, you get the points, and the first time you get a tile of a certain symbol, you get to take that corresponding action immediately. For example if I place my worker here, I’ll get this tile and score 5 points. I then place it on my player board and since it’s the first tile of this type, I get to do the Senate action. You can place your worker on a non-empty space, but you won’t get any bonus for it. This way you can’t get blocked in.
Here are the types of tiles you can get from the Forum or Military action. There are four main types - demand tiles, senate tiles, extra action tiles, and wilds. Demand tiles fulfill corresponding demands - bread, games, and religion and are discarded when used. Senate tiles count as votes for the senate and are discarded at the end of each quarter. If you have an extra action tile, you can discard it after doing the action pictured to do the same action again. You can only do this once per turn. These are wild tiles. This counts as a wild demand tile. This counts as a wild card for shipping and is discarded when used, or kept until the end of the game for scoring. This counts as any construction tile at the end of the game for scoring. This is a wild extra action tile.
These are the Trajan tiles. When you score these, you remove them from the game. This one gives you 3 points and lets you draw 2 cards from the draw pile. This one gives you 9 points. This one gives you 5 or 2 points and lets you put one or two workers from your personal supply to the work camp. This one is similar, but for the military camp. This one gives you 4 points and gives you a 2x marker that you assign to one of your extra action spaces. You cannot move this later. If you use an extra action tile, this lets you do the action two extra times instead of one. These tiles give you one point and aren’t removed from the game. They each permanently meet one of the corresponding demands - bread, games, or religion.
At the beginning of the game, each player will get one of these Bonus tiles, which give you points at the end of the game.
These give you 3 points for each matching card you’ve played from the shipping actions. If you have a wild commodity card tile, you can use it for this.
These give you 9 points if you have at least one matching demand tile left over.
This gives you 1 point for each worker placed in the construction area.
This gives you 2 points for each legionnaire placed in a province.
This gives you 3 points for each bonus tile you have.
The back grey sides are similar but give you fewer points.
At the end of each quarter, each player must satisfy the three demands by having a matching Trajan tile or spending a demand tile for each. If you can satisfy a demand, you must - you cannot choose to lose points to keep a tile. Then, the Senate track will be scored. The player with the most Senate influence, counted by the votes on the track plus the votes from the tiles, will get their choice of the two Bonus tiles on the board. Ties are broken by position on the Senate track, with the player on top winning. The second player will get the weaker grey side of the other bonus tile. - update video
Each quarter, the ships, forum tiles, and Senate track will be reset. Military spaces without player pieces will also be replenished.
After the final quarter, there is end game scoring. In addition to the bonus tiles, you get a point for each unplayed card in your hand, each worker, and each legionnaire in the camps. For each set of 3 identical construction tiles, you get 10 points, and 20 points for a set of 4. The player with the most points wins, with ties broken by the Senate track.
Have fun playing Trajan! Let me know what games you want explained in the future. Thanks for watching Board Game Blitz!
Each player gets a player board and all the pieces of their color. The big leader and two of the meeples are set aside, along with the two disks. The rest of the meeples are placed on the player board. Each player also gets an Arch of Trajan, which is placed on the Roman Numeral One, and 2 action markers of each color. Players place two action markers of any color on each tray of their player mat. This happens before the Trajan tiles are set up on the board.
Set out the main board. Shuffle the green-backed forum tiles and randomly fill all the military territory spots with one tile each. Every tile placed on the board will be face up. Place more green-backed tiles in the forum area - 6 for 2 players, 9 for 3 players, and 12 for 4 players. Shuffle the orange-backed extra action tiles and place three in the designated forum spaces. Shuffle the 20 brown construction tiles and place them randomly in the construction spaces. Shuffle the circular demand tiles and remove three of them from the game without looking. The rest go in a face-down stack by the board. The four quarter markers also go by the board. Place the time marker on the start space of the track for the correct number of players: here for 2 players, here for 3, and here for 4. Place the three ships blue side up in the shipping area. Place the big leader and one small meeple of each color in the military camp, and one small meeple of each color in the worker camp. Shuffle the Trajan tiles of each type and place the six stacks on the Trajan area of the game board. Determine a start player. In player order, players place one disc on the start space of the senate track, so the start player is on the bottom. Put the other player dics on the start space of the victory point track in any order. Shuffle the commodity cards and place the pile face down next to the game board. Take the top two cards and create two face up discard piles, one on each side of the pile. Shuffle the bonus tiles in the black bag. Draw two and place them by the senate track, yellow side up.
Each player also draws a bonus tile and gets the yellow side up. In player order, players draw three commodity cards each, from either the draw pile or the face-up discard piles. Whenever a discard pile is empty, replace it with the top card from the draw pile. In player order, each player selects 3 Trajan tiles from the top of the stacks, all from a different category. They place the tiles on the 2, 4, and 6 spaces in any order.
At the end of a quarter, after scoring the Senate track, everything will be replenished. Any spent tiles for demands and any senate tiles that players had are removed. Put two more bonus tiles from the bag onto the Senate track. Stack all the player markers back at the start space of the Senate track, with the person with the most votes on top. Remove all the tiles from the forum and replace them with new tiles. If ships were used, flip them back to the blue side. Put a new forum tile on each territory without a player piece.