Vanuatu board game
In Vanuatu, you are a Vanuatuan who wants to prosper during the eight turns of the game. In order to prosper, you have to manage with natural resources, rare items, vatus (local currency), and tourists. To earn money or prosperity points, you may also draw on the sand, carry tourist all over Vanuatu's islands, or trade cargo with foreign countries.

On each turn, the archipelago expands and you have to program your actions with five tokens. You put one or more of them on the chosen actions spaces, and on your turn, you will only be able to play an action if you have the majority on its space. Thus, sometimes you must wait for other players to remove their tokens. If you are not in majority anywhere, you have to remove all of your tokens from an action and give up hope of plying this action. A good strategy lets you block other players; for example, they won't be able to sell fish if they haven't caught them first, order matters! Island and sea resources are rare, so be quick and take them first!

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • --Nov2011-- Very nice design: choose actions, and in the process force a computable but nontrivial precedence order for those actions. Then try to optimize the best one can in the actions available. While I did terribly my first time out, I really enjoyed the experience.--Jun2012-- Still not convinced I can read the precedences cleanly - but very happy to own a copy (and now to have finally played mine!)
  • Minimalist 3x game with exploration, expansion, exploitation plus area influence plus role selection topped off with a uniquely vicious action selection auction mechanic. Whew!Fans of Tammany Hall should also enjoy this game. Fans of Archipleago may prefer the minimalism of Vanuatu. The designer has uploaded an official 2 player variant that plays great and feels possibly even more vicious than the 3+ player game!
  • Most brutal euro!
  • If you are ok with being forced to play (if you want to be competitive) as a complete dick then this is the game for you. I get that that is the way the game is designed. But, like the people who say they don't like to play games that force them to lie, I do not like games that force me to be an ass. I also ABSOLUTELY HATE that almost every round, if not every round is based on getting that 1st player status. Every other decision seems to be completely secondary to that. Otherwise you could have a completely useless round the turn after, and not get to do anything you want to do. That feeling of necessity in getting that one thing (1st player) seems too funneled and completely broken to me. The game is much too long in my opinion for a take-that game. After one round of, wow that was "fun" I just got completely screwed over, I have a hard time looking forward to future rounds that promise similar results. That is of course unless you (as mentioned above) focus on getting the 1st player marker for the next round, and very likely trashing your current round in the process (ie often spending 3+ actions) to reach for that goal. Also during the game I played, there were multiple rounds where options were not even available. By that I mean: oh I could take the build action, but wait there are absolutely no places to build. Not because I'm not in the right spot and need to move. There are simply no spots available anywhere. I could take the fish action, but wait there are no fish at all etc etc. This was definitely the case with even the little special power tiles that you select at the beginning of each round also. It seemed like there were a couple of obvious choices. Then there were a handful that were just not useful (because of board limitations etc), as just mentioned. I did like, however, that you had to recycle those powers each turn and likely a power or 2 would be unused for at least one turn. So in summary, if you have someone you don't like, introduce them to this game. You can almost bank on really pissing them off, and will likely never see them again. Just rename the game "Wanna be a Dick?" and the game is now complete. Maybe that is what Vanuatu really means?? Also if you like games that look nice and have stuff that seems interesting to do, but really everyone's sole focus is on 1 spot on the board and winning that, everything else is just a distraction. Awesome, this is your game! If you also like games where half of the options you are allowed/want to do might not even be on the board, so now you have even less options... Well then do I have a game for you .... look no further... Welcome to Vanuatu! Enjoy!
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