Quests of Valeria
Quests of Valeria is cardgame for 1 to 5 players designed by Isaias Vallejo and published by Daily Magic Games. In this game you take on the role of one of the famous Guild Masters of Valeria. From the glorious Gutrot Tavern you conduct your business and hire the best citizens to go on quests. But you are not alone, you need to outwit your fellow Guild Masters to win the admiration of the King and citizens of Valeria.
During setup you will receive a Guild Master card which represents your secret role in the game and also denotes a bonus scoring opportunity for the end of the game. In the center of the play area you will form a row with the seven card cost tokens in order from left to right and from low to high (ranging zero to three and one Hire from hand for two). You shuffle all the citizen cards and deal three to each player as their starting hand. Afterwards you deal six cards below the card cost tokens again going from left to right. Place the rest of the citizen cards below the hire from hand token to from the citizen deck. Shuffle all the quest cards and place six quests (only four in a two-player game) above the card cost tokens to form the active quests available in the tavern. The rest makes for the quest deck. Now randomly determine the first player and give them the first player token plus the two action tokens and you’re ready to start playing.
During a player’s turn you have two phases, the Action phase and the End phase. During the Action phase you have to perform two actions. As an action you can perform one of the following: Draw, Hire, Reserve or Quest. You may take the same action twice in the same turn. When you have completed an action you give one of your action tokens to the player on your left. After giving your second action token you proceed to the End phase.
The Draw action lets you draw one card from the citizen deck. The Hire action lets you hire a citizen from the tavern or from your hand to be placed face-up in your guild. The cost is denoted by the cost token above it or is two if it comes from your hand. This can be paid by a discarding cards from your hand and/or from your guild. Once you hired the citizen its Hire power immediately goes off granting you additional things you can perform or get. Its Hire power only activates when you hire a citizen through a Hire action or as a reward for a quest, not when hiring through another Hire power. Each citizen has one or multiple roles and produces one or several resources. These roles and resources are used for completing the different quests.
The Reserve action gives you the choice of two options. The first option is to simply take 1 active quest and place it in your guild as your Reserved quest. The second option is to discard all the active quests and refill them before taking one of the active quests and placing it in your guild as your Reserved quest. This Reserved quest can only be completed by you and not your opponents. You are restricted to having only one Reserved quest so when you take a second one, the first one is immediately discarded.
The last action you can choose from is the Quest action. This lets you complete one of the active quests or your Reserved quest. To complete a quest you need to meet the requirements of the quest by using the citizens in your guild. A citizen can both use its role and its resources produced towards completing a quest. Once you have completed a quest you discard all the citizens used. Afterwards you place it in your victory pile and gain any additional actions it may provide.
After performing your second action you reach your End phase. During the End phase the active quests are refilled from the quest deck. The citizens slide to the left in the Tavern line. The empty space created after shifting everything to the left are refilled from the citizen deck. This means that citizens will get cheaper over time. Now it is time to check for your hand- and guild limit. You can only have eight card in your hand and 8 citizens in your guild. You need to discard any excess cards or citizens.
When a player completes their fifth quest the end game is triggered. This means that players will continue to take turns until the player to the right of the first player has taken its turn. Now count the points you have gathered from your completed quests and add the bonus points you might have gotten from your Guild Master. The player with the most victory points wins the game and will be the envy of the Kingdom of Valeria. The tiebreaker is resolved as follows: first the player with the most citizens in their guild will win, next the player with the most citizens in their hand. If there is still a tie after this, all tied players win.
First thing first, the artwork by the Mico is amazing. We really love his art and it is immediately recognizable. This game is one part of a trilogy of games (for the moment) set in the Valeria kingdom, the others being Valeria Card Kingdoms and Villages of Valeria which are all completely different games. Quests of Valeria does not do anything groundbreaking but what it does, it does superbly. It is so easy to play and understand that it plays like a breeze. The first time we played it we did not start out by using the two action tokens, but soon we saw the error of our ways. After a while we were not even sure if we were still performing our first action or the second one because the actions can start to stack pretty easily. For instance you might hire a citizen that lets you do a quest when hired. With this action you resolve a quest that lets you hire another citizen and draw a card. The newly hired citizen lets you reserve a quest. In this example you actually did five actions with only one action token so… It is this maximizing of actions that is the beauty of this game, trying to do as much as possible with a minimum of actions. It is really satisfying when you start combining action upon action. The Guild Masters give you bonus points for resolving certain types of quest, so you will usually try to resolve those quests but beware of your opponents because they might be going for the same type. It is all too often that you are going for a certain quest to see it being resolved by your opponent just before your turn. You always have the option to reserve a quest but since you can only have one reserved you want to solve it as quickly as possible or let it slide for the next best thing. We really love this game at any player count (although I have not played it solo) and it hits the table often.
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