OBJECT OF UMBRA VIA: The object of Umbra Via is to be the first player to collect 13 Soul flowers.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 players
MATERIALS: 1 Main Board, 1 Altar Board, 4 Player Screens, 4 Bidding Boards, 4 Placement Order Counters, 4 Bags, 20 Path Tiles, 4 soul Tiles, 132 Energy Flowers, and 68 Soul Flowers
TYPE OF GAME: Strategic Board Game
OVERVIEW OF UMBRA VIA
Umbra Via is an awesome game where is player is able to create their own path throughout the game. Be careful though, other players may secretly be ahead of you to rank higher on the path you worked so hard for!
Paths lead to the unknown, but special flowers can be gathered along the way. Each flower has a purpose, but the Soul flowers are the end goal! Use flowers to bid for tiles, and use the frustration of your playmates to win!
To setup the game, place the Main board in the middle of the group so that all players can reach it. The Altar board should be placed above it. Shuffle the Path tiles and then place them facing down, in a stack near the Altar board. The four Placement Order counters may be placed nearby.
Each player should then choose a color and take the following pieces of that color: one bidding board, one player screen, one bag, thirty-three Energy flowers, and seventeen Soul flowers. After gathering the necessities, each player should set aside one Energy flower to act as their tiebreaker marker. The flowers should be placed in a random order on the Tiebreaker track to the right of the Altar board.
Players will then place their Soul tile, with 11 Soul flowers of their color on it, near the board with the x2 side facing down. All player screens should be stood up in front of their corresponding players. Bidding bags, filled with the players’ remaining Soul flowers and Energy flowers, will be placed behind the player screens.
Each game round consists of three phases. After phase one is completed, go immediately into phase two, then into phase three.
Phase 1: Round Setup
Phase one sets up the tiles to make them available for bidding. Draw four tiles from the top of the stack and place them facing up on the Altar board. Do not rotate or change the orientation of any tiles. Place them like they were when they were flipped
Phase 2: Bidding
During Phase two, players will hold two rounds of secret auction to decide who will be allowed to place each of the four Altar tiles on the Main board. All players will draw three flowers from their bag and place them behind their player screen.
In secret, players will allocate their flowers on their bidding board to bid on whichever tile they want to win. In each round of bidding, players must bid all of the three flowers they drew. They may use all three on the same tile, but all three must be used.
When everyone is done allocating, they reveal their bidding boards and place the flowers bid onto the corresponding tiles on the Altar board. Immediately, the next round of bidding may begin, following the same steps as the first round. Once bidding is concluded, the Placement Phase may begin.
During the bidding phase, three random flowers are drawn from the players’ bag both rounds. If Energy flowers are used during bidding, they count for one point. If Soul flowers are used during bidding, they count for two points.
Phase 3: Placement
In Phase three, bidding has closed, and players determine who has won the tiles that were bid on.
To being, any tile on the Altar board that has not been bid on is discarded into the discard pile. Placement Order counters are assigned to each of the remaining tiles. The 1st counter is assigned to the tile with the fewest flowers, the 2nd counter is assigned to the tile with the second fewest flowers and so on, until each tile is assigned a counter. If two tiles have the same number of flowers, then assign the order counters from left to right on the Altar board.
Beginning with the tile that is 1st, tiles are placed on the Main Board. Each players’ total bid is counted, and the player with the highest bid on a tile, wins that tile. If there is a tie, the player whose Tiebreaker Marker is higher on the Tiebreaker track wins the tile. Their marker is then moved to the bottom of the Tiebreaker track.
All Soul flowers are removed from the tiles and are removed from the tiles and discarded permanently from play. Energy flowers will stay on the tiles.
The winner of the tile will place the tile, with all Energy flowers still on top of it, in the same orientation as it was on the Altar board. Tiles may not be rotated. A tile may be placed in one of the four central spaces if there are no other tiles on the board.
If other tiles are on the board, tiles must be placed next to a previously placed tile, sharing an edge. A new tile is not required to continue the path of the old tiles, but it may close off a path instead. Once tiles are placed, check if any paths have been completed. If there is a completed path, a Summoning occurs.
A Summoning occurs when a path has been completed so that it may be scored and removed from the board to allow for additional paths to be made. Each player must first be ranked. Ranking is determined by the total number of energy flowers each player has on the finished path. Players are ranked from most Energy to least Energy.
The top-ranking player earns one Soul flower for every tile on the path. Soul flowers are taken from their Soul tile and placed in their bag. Continuing down the ranking, players earn half the number of Soul flowers as the player above them earned, rounding down.
Players will then clear the path by removing all of their Energy flowers and returning them to their bag. All tiles in the path are then removed from the board and placed in the discard pile. A new round is ready to begin at Phase one!
Special tiles may be added into the game once all players are comfortable with normal gameplay.
Four Point Tile
When a Four Point Tile is placed, the player may move all Energy flowers on it to a tile of their choice adjacent to the original tile. This tile does not have openings, and it does not connect to any paths.
When a player places a Void Tile, they will instead discard the tile. All Energy flowers that were on it are placed on any empty space on the board. Whenever a tile gets placed on the same space, all the flowers are added to that tile.
Block Tiles occupy spots on the Altar board, which reduces the number of tiles that may be auctioned during that round. This tile may not be bid on by any player.
END OF GAME
The game comes to an end when a player claims their Soul Tile. That player becomes the winner!
In order to claim your Soul tile, all other Soul flowers from your Soul tile must be claimed, you must be ranked 1st on the completed path, and the completed path must be at least two tiles long. Players that claim their Soul tile at the same time share the victory!