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Albarrana is a castle building game for 2 to 4 players in 60 to 150 minutes The can be played with more players given you have enough building blocks available

Objective The winner is the player with the largest and greatest castle with the highest towers. In other words the one with most victory points

Components • Standard height rectangular building blocks (for example Lego) in sizes:

1*1, 1*2, 1*3, 1*4, 1*6, 1*8, 2*2, 2*3 & 2*4 with 36 pieces each.

• Similar low 12 pieces each for forests • 48 Standard height round blocks for attacking troops • Six sided dice • 13 building block cards (one suit from Ace to King of ordinary playing cards will do) • 4 building surfaces in size 16*16z • 4 low 1*1 blocks to represent flags

Set-up and forestation The players are given a building surface and a flag. Building cards are shuffled.

Forestation Top most card of the building card deck is turned over like in the building phase described below. The players get a forest tile as described by the card and place it on their surface. This is repeated four times. The players give their building surface to the player on their right and correspondingly accept one from the player on their left. Then they place the flag on the surface wherever they wish, but at least 2 spots away from the edge of the surface. Generally it is a good idea to place it quite near the center. The building cards are reshuffled.

On the left side of the picture there is a building surface with 4 forest tiles as the player may receive after the forestation phase is over. Then on the right side there is an example castle built around and between these blocks with only one building card used to clear a forest tiles.

Course of the game The game consists of three rounds of which each have a building and a battle phase. In the building phase the castle is built for 8 to 13 turns after which a battle phase always follows. In the battle phase the players attack each others castles. After the third round the game ends and victory points are awarded for the castles.

Building phase By turning the top most card from the deck of building cards, a similar building block is randomly selected for all the players to be added to their castles. The table below describes which cards gives you which kind of blocks: Card Block 1-2







2*2 or 1*4


2*3 or 1*6


2*4 or 1*8


Any block

All players have three choices: He can take the block indicated by the table and add it to their castle. He can choose not to take a block, but instead move around or remove from play an existing block He can clear a forest block of the same size as indicated by the table.

The players perform their action simultaneously. The idea of the building is to encircle the flag with a castle that can be easily defended. However, you must leave a single one place wide free path with no walls to the flag. If you form two separate walled areas, the path and the flag must still be on the same side. Blocks that touch each other just from the corners that is diagonally, are considered joined, since the attacker can’t go through them. Wall blocks can’t be placed on the edges of the building surface or on top of forest blocks. When building the second and higher stories, every block must be placed on top of existing blocks, so that no part is left hanging in mid air. When the players have placed the blocks, a die is cast to determine is the building phase ends. You add the current turn number to the die and if the result is at least 14, the building phase ends. Otherwise you continue by turning over the next building card.

Example: After the eight card is built the die brings a 4. 8+4=12 which is less than 14. The building continues.

Castle area The area of the castle is the number of spaces inside its walls, when you imagine the mandatory free path closed with a 1*1 block as far away as possible. In other words from the place that maximizes the area. If the path can’t be closed with a 1*1 block, the castle is unfinished and doesn’t have an area. Possible other walled areas without the flag and path are also included in the area. Forest inside the castle is included in the area.

In the picture the flag has been encircled and the mandatory one space wide path exists. When this path is closed from the place shown, the area of the castle can be calculated to be 10 spaces.

Walls Wall that is one space thick is just a wall and no weapons can be placed on it. Therefore it only slows the attacked down, since they need to break it or climb over it. Two space thick wall can be thought to be wide enough for a defender to walk on top e.g. it has a wall-walk and an archer can be shoot from the top. A cannon requires a three space thick wall, but cannons are available only during the third battle phase. A wall is two or three spaces thick always, if there is a space on the wall that has one or two spaces behind it respectively. Note that this means that even a one space thick wall has an end that easily holds a cannon!

The one space thick wall in the picture hosts a cannon when looked from the end, which can shoot to the red area. To the sides the wall is still just one space thick and can’t thus hold weapons nor shoot in that direction.

Battle phase Preparation of the battle phase The number of attacking troops is selected by casting a die and adding twice the number of the current battle phase. All players have this amount of attackers.

Example: It’s the second battle phase and the die turns up 5. Everyone gets 5+2*2=9 attackers. The castles with no area are attacked first starting from the one with the most building blocks. Next the finished castles are attacked starting from the largest. If two castles are tied, the order is selected randomly. Before each attack other players choose secretly how many troops they are going to send. All of these troops will form the attacking party together. If any troops are still left after the final attack, they are simply removed from play.

Attacking Attacking players work cooperatively by each controlling their own units. First they place all the attackers on the spaces on the border of the defender’s surface. The battle consists of one or more turns in which the defender tries to stop the attack by shooting at the attackers and the attackers move forward towards the flag. Note! This means that after the initial placement it is the defenders turn before the first move of the attackers.

Moving The attackers move two spaces per turn. An attacker can move diagonally from space to another, if the diagonal doesn’t pass through a wall corner. Note! All distances in the game are calculated so that a diagonal move is as long as an orthogonal.

The picture shows a diagonal that passes through the corner of a wall and thus can’t be traversed.

Climbing walls Climbing a wall or a tower is performed by stacking the attackers on top of each other until the top one is above the wall. Stacking an attacker is considered equivalent to moving two spaces, so the attacker can’t also move during the turn. In a way the stacking is used to model the effort required to storm the wall, so the attackers can’t be on top of each other in any other situation. The attackers can always descend from a wall without help from others.

In the series of pictures the three attackers are able to climb a two story high wall. Each picture represents one attacking turn. If the wall forms steps, it is enough to have a single attacker on each step to be climb over.

In the series of pictures the four attackers are able to climb a two story high stepped wall. Each picture represents one attacking turn. The other black attacker could’ve started climbing already on the previous turn (eg. one picture before). It would also reach the top, if the series showed more turns.

Tearing down walls Tearing down walls and towers is done by moving one attacker next to each space on the block to be tore down. Spaces connected diagonally are also next to each other. The attackers need to stay put for one whole turn. For clarification: the attackers need to begin a turn in the spaces next to the block, skip moving and after all other

attackers have moved, the attacking player can remove the block. If this succeeds, the block is removed along with other blocks and attackers on top of it. The attackers tearing the wall down remain in play. Blocks can only be tore by attackers directly on the building surface, since the action is basically digging up its foundations.

Example: 2 attackers move next to a 2*1 block on the first turn so that one of them is next to each part of the block. The defender fails to shoot these attackers on its turn. On the second turn both of them stay put while the other attackers are moved. When the attacking player is done moving, he declares to tear down the block in question. The block is removed from play and the defender’s turn begins.

In the picture the attackers can tear down two walls. The red 1*4 block on the right has each of its spaces accompanied by an attacker as indicated by the green lines. The white 1*2 block which forms the base of a tower on the left is similarly bordered by the attackers. If both of these blocks are tore down, the tower will additionally collapse.

Defending The defender announces for each position, that is wall with two or three spaces in line, which attacker they are going to shoot at. The defender then casts a die and the attacker perishes, if the result is at least six minus the number of positions shooting at it. However, the attacker is always saved with a one. The defender can’t for a shooting position with diagonal spaces. Attackers inside a forest are safe and can’t be targeted.

Example: The defender announces that he is going to shoot an attacker from two positions and casts a 4. The attacker is killed, since 6-2=4, which is not smaller than what was cast. When shooting at attackers on top of each other while climbing a wall, the attack is considered to target the lowest one. If he is hit, one attacker is simply removed from the stack. Each position can shoot at most one attacker at a time. This means that once a space has been part of a position, it can’t participate in another position. For example, a wall that is two space thick can’t shoot on to both sides during the same turn. However, on the next turn the positions are freely formed again.

In the picture there are two optional ways of forming the position of cannons and archers. On the left side one can form a cannon either to the left or upwards, but not both. On the right side in addition to a cannon an archer position is formed either to the right or upwards. The archer needs to be to the same direction with the cannon or one of the spaces would need to participate in both positions which is forbidden.

Weapon ranges and trajectories A wall or a tower that is two spaces thick an archer can shoot up to two spaces away for each story they are above their target. An attacker standing on the building surface is thought to be one story lower than the archer position on a one story high wall eg. on a block directly placed on the building surface.

Example: an archer on the second story can shoot up to four spaces away. In other words there can be three empty spaces between the position and the target. A cannon always has a range of 7 spaces regardless of the height difference. However, cannons are available only during the third battle phase. With more than one story there are positions only in the top most floor, but when forming a position the other spaces besides the first can be under other blocks. Therefore, a stepped wall can host more weapons than a vertical one. One can picture the shooting to happen from the side of the building block, thus the firing arc is 180 degrees wide. The projectiles move with diagonals exactly as the attackers with the trajectory being as straight line as possible. So if this line would need to pass through a wall corner, the shot can’t be made. The projectiles never pass over walls higher than the shooting floor.

In the picture the defender has decided to aim his weapons upwards. On the left he can form position for a cannon and an archer, since two of the spaces required by the cannon are below the second story. This is possible do to the step of the wall even though the same is not possible on the right. The ranges of the archers are illustrated with red and green outlined areas which overlap in the middle.

End of battle phase The battle ends immediately, if the attacking troops reach the defender’s flag or they all die. If they reach the flag, which means one of them moves on top of the flag, the attacking players can each remove a block from the defender’s castle into their own castle. The player who sent most troops gets to choose first. Next one is the player with the second most troops and so on. If tied, the player with the smallest castle chooses first. The blocks chosen can’t be under other blocks. The next battle begins only after the new block has been added to the attackers’ castles.

Game end The game ends immediately after the third battle phase. Players get points according to the area of their castle and the height of their towers. A tower is a square shaped at least 2*2 sized structure that is taller than the surrounding structures even diagonally. There can be asymmetric or smaller parts above it, but the calculated height is the last floor in correct shape and size. This height is multiplied by itself for each tower and summed together. Finally the area of the castle is added to get the total number of victory points.

In the picture the castle is complete and its area is highlighted with a green outline. The total area is 25 giving the same amount of points. In addition there are two towers marked with a green number of their height. Tower that is two stories high gives 2 times 2 points for a total of 4 and the three high gives 9 with the same logic (3*3=9). Adding these to the area points we get 25+4+9=38 points, which is the final score for the player.

The player with most victory points is the winner.

Profile for Topias Uotila

Albarrana rulebook  

Rules for the boardgame Albarrana. Free to play game that needs additional components: common blocks like Legos, six sided dice & a card de...

Albarrana rulebook  

Rules for the boardgame Albarrana. Free to play game that needs additional components: common blocks like Legos, six sided dice & a card de...