Orleans is what we call a bag building game. Over the course of play you will add tokens, representing various job types, into your bag hoping to draw out the ones you want to further your plans.
On your turn you will draw tokens from your bag, starting at four and going up to a potential eight, placing them into a marketplace on your player board before assigning them to various tasks. The various jobs are represented by different colours to help speed up identification as well as jolly little pictures.
To take an action on your player board you generally need to assign two to three of your job tokens, to take the associated action. Gaining a new scholar for example might take a black and a grey token, where as moving along the river would take a white, red and blue token. Gaining extra job tokens also moves you up the same coloured track which can earn you benefits such as extra draws, buildings - which act as extra tasks for you to assign too, money, goods and more.
The best way to get points in the game is by gaining development points through your scholars, while earning citizens and building trade houses. Trade houses can be built on the map on the main board, though you will need to move a merchant around by assigning your job tokens. Earning development points can be done in various ways but the easiest is recruit more scholars. Whereas citizens are won for reaching certain points on the various tracks and tasks. Be warned though - these citizens can only be won by the first player to reach them. Why is all this important? Because a big part of your final score is your total citizens and trade houses multiplied by the last number you passed on the development track.
Orleans combines some bag building strategy with a little push your luck and a lot of tactics. It is not a gateway game by any means, but those who have a few games under their belts will find a lot of richness in this box.
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 90 Minutes