Steam Time

Designers:  Rudiger Dorn

Artwork: Jacqui Davis

Theme:  The year is 1899. For millennia, people have shared myths of unexplained occurrences at age old monuments around the world.  Recently, reports of bizarre phenomena at these sites have garnered the full attention of the powers that be.  In these places, spacetime is distorted.  Time flows in unexpected ways.  In addition, unusual crystals with supernatural properties have been discovered there.  These discoveries have sparked the invention of fantastic machines that can travel through time.  Now, the rapidly industrializing superpowers of the world are in a race to amass and exploit these valuable resources.

At the center of these endeavors, the newly exptablished Temporal Institute for Monument Exploration (TIME) is sending out steam-powered airships to travel through time and space.  As captain of one of these airships, you will set out to explore the temporal rifts and earn the esteem of your fellow time travelers.  Get ready to embark on an extraordinary time travel adventure with Steam Time!


Game Information

  • Play Time:  90 Minutes
  • Player Count:  2-4 players
  • Ages:  12+
  • Complexity of Rules:  Medium
  • Setup Time:  Medium
  • Replay Value:  Medium High
  • Direct Conflict:  None

How It Plays

  • Game Mechanics:  This is a worker placement,  resource management game.  Players take turns placing airships on one of the monument action spaces then taking the action.  After each monument action they get a bonus action based on the number and type of crystals the player has collected.
  • Round Summary:  
    1. Income Phase:  Each round begins with players receiving income based on ship upgrades they bought on previous turns.
    2. Action Phase:  Players take turns placing one of their three airships on one of the action spaces of a monument.  Each successive airship must be placed on a monument above any the player visited previously (this represents moving further up the time stream.)  Actions include:
      • Take a Mission card - These give end of game bonus points for completing the mission.
        • Bonus action - Earn esteem points based on the number of green crystals on the player's board.
      • Take an Encounter Card - These give immediate bonuses of resources or points.
        • Bonus action - Earn Steam based on the number of blue crystals on the player's board.
      • Visit a Crystal Deposit - Buy 1 or more crystals for 2 gold each.
        • Bonus action - Earn clear crystals based on the number of black crystals on the player's board.
      • Upgrade your ship - Buy an upgrade with crystals as required by the current effort card.
        • Bonus action - Advance the control disc on the player's time portal based on the number of pink crystals the player has.  If the time portal marker reaches the top of the track,  the player immediately takes another action by placing the Mr Time pawn on any monument space.
      • Gain Gold - Receive gold from the bank.
        • Bonus action - Receive extra gold from the bank based on the number of gold crystals on the player's board.
      • Take an Expedition - Pay the expedition costs required by the current effort card and receive the rewards shown on the card.
      • Take the first player tile - This does not require an airship placement.  Chose one of the two actions on the tile.
    3. Supply Phase:  Players take their airships back then clear any unused cards and crystals from the board.  The top monument is moved to the bottom and all monument action spaces are refilled. 
  • End Game:  Game ends after 5 rounds.  Esteem points are awarded for completing end game missions cards.
  • Victory:  Esteem points are awarded for various actions throughout the game.  The player with the most Esteem Points wins.

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Publisher: Kosmos


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