Paris New Eden, by Ludovic Maublanc and Florian Grenier from matagot games is a beautiful looking, dice drafting city building game for 2-4 players, set in a strangely wonderful post-apocalyptic Paris. Will you be able to build the refuge capable of attracting the greatest number of survivors, whilst feeding your ever-growing population. Will your refuge be able to overcome the events that beset the city, with its strange new vegetation covered landmarks? If you build the right mix of refuges and choose the survivors you want to join your refuge carefully, you will gain the most victory points and come Winter be crowned the victor.
Place the board with its beautiful depiction of this strange new Paris on the table.
Shuffle the mission cards, dealing three to each player placing the deck on the space on the board. Missions will be vital come end game scoring and provide the opportunity for some dramatic scoring swings come Winter.
Place the food cans on their space on the board, allowing you to feed your survivors, to ensure you are able to score well during the game.
Place the bat and binocular bonus tokens onto their spaces, these can be taken during the game to resolve ties and change first player respectively.
Add the equipment tokens to their spaces on the board, these can be added to buildings you develop in your refuge, equipping specific types of survivor that will support resolving the event and potentially provide more, in game, scoring opportunities.
Set aside one each of the survivor tokens, there are 5 types of survivor: brawler, farmer, sage, tinkerer and healer. Shuffle the rest of the tokens and place on their space on the board.
Carry on Setting Up!
Roll the dice and depending on player count place the appropriate numbers of dice in the spaces on the board. These will be drafted during each round and added to the player boards and used along with survivor tokens to acquire buildings.
Shuffle the event tiles and place three from the spring event onto their designated space on the board.
Sort out the tinkerer deck of cards splitting out the correct number of end cards for player count shuffling these separately and then shuffle the rest of the dc and place on top of the end cards placing them on their space on the board and revealing two refuge buildings.
Shuffle the other survivor decks and place on their spots on the board drawing the top two cards and placing them face up below the board to provide the pool of available buildings.
Players take it in turns to draw one of the five survivor tokens and place it on their player boards and choose one of the three missions to start the game discarding the other two. The game is now ready to begin.
Turns are simple and follow the same structure throughout the game.
Players first gather survivors (dice) from location on the board. Each time you gather a survivor you perform the action associated with that section of the board. You can choose to flip an event, preventing those who may have been likely to achieve the event and gain the bonus from accessing the additional victory points. A nasty but good strategy to keep scores in check. You can go to the bridge and take a new mission, drawing three and keeping two. These can make the difference between winning and losing as they provide some amazing end game bonuses if you work on completing these rather than focus on in game scoring. They provide either new buildings or secret missions.
You can gather survivors from the restaurant and collect food, vital for feeding your survivors. This is important when it comes to end of round scoring as you cannot gain the score bonus if your survivors are not all fed.
Visit the city centre and collect equipment tokens that can be combined with survivors to complete events and score points you can also collect the bat token that wins ties when trying to acquire new buildings or the binoculars that allows you to become the first player next round or at the end of the game provides two additional victory points.
At the train station you are able to collect a survivor die and, in addition, one of the six survivor tokens to fill your player board with additional survivors to help you when it comes to the end of round.
After all the dice have been collected, you move onto acquire buildings section. This allows you to increase the size of your refuge, supporting you with different powers.
You work through the types of building and each player, starting with the player with binoculars, announces their strength based on the number of survivors they have for a particular type of building, with the wild survivor which can be used to add additional survivors to your number. The highest strength gets first pick for building with first player or the player with the bat winning any ties. As you collect the building, discard used dice and add any survivor tokens to the buildings.
At the end of the round there will be one event card left resolve this and see if any of the players have met the requirements and score the points. Remember the buildings may have survivors printed on them that count towards the required number of survivors and items.
Next you must feed your people, counting all survivors printed on buildings and the additional survivor tokens placed on your refuge. Move your marker on the population track on the board and it will let you know how many farmers you need to feed your people. Farmers are present on farm buildings and tokens. For every farmer you lack you discard food tokens. If you feed your people you gain the victory points for that level.
You then prepare for the next season rerolling the dice and replacing events for the next season and drawing new building cards.
The game plays through from Spring to Winter and once all of the end round scoring has been completed, you can then go through your secret missions and score these. The player with the most points wins, remembering that some of the tinkerer buildings have points associated with them as does the binoculars token.
It should be clear there are a whole lot of options you can use to build your refuge and each will come with potential benefits. Deciding on your strategy is important but adapting strategy throughout the game is vital. As a drafting game with a number of options, your opponents will have competing missions and plans, you may well not have the die available you wanted and will need to change plans throughout the game. Balancing building enough of the survivors you need to go after specific buildings whilst keeping an eye on your opponent is vital.
This is definitely a game that needs you to keep your head up as otherwise you could find yourself falling behind as you realise you have not collected enough resource or perhaps you collect too many survivors and end up unable to feed your people and lose valuable points.
Paris New Eden is clever and thinky enough for most game table but at the same time due to the simple choices, is relatively easy to pick up. It provides a beautiful tension as you plan what you are working towards, only to see your opponents remove the very tile you needed and then you have the challenge of reconsidering quickly a new way to gain vital points. Mastering your strategy will take time and a good few plays.