HOME BUILDERS (c) 1997, Jim Deacove
AGES: 5 to 9
PLAYERS: 2 to 8, although It can be played solitaire.
CONTENTS: Board, Rules, l 0 Homes to choose from, 4 Natural Disaster, 2 Safety Measures and 2 Rebuild Cards.
OBJECT: Players are a construction crew building as many Homes as they can on the Building Lots.
1. Before you take apart the pieces, look over the Homes. Each Home has 4 parts and its own colored border. The bottom two parts have people in them and the top two have the name of the Home to help you tell which parts go where. This is important to know especially for the Harder Game.
2. Look over the Special Cards. Natural Disasters show 4 elements of disaster; Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth. The Safety Measures show 4 remedies to match the 4 disaster elements; boarding up windows against tornadoes, water to fight fires, sandbags to deal with floods and bridges to span earthquake crevices. The Rebuild Cards show a hardhat and some tools. The way these Special Cards are used is explained later.
3. Carefully separate the Homes and Special Cards, keeping each Home in its own pile and the Special Cards in their own pile. It is important not to damage the backs of the cards, so use scissors, if necessary, to separate.
4. Look over the Building Lots on the board. There are 9 Lots of 4 spaces each. Each Lot is separated from the others by a grassy border. One Home can be built per Lot and it is up to the players to decide which Home goes on which Lot. It can be different each game. A Home can be built facing any side of the board. They don't all have to face in the same direction.
5. Decide which Homes to build. Homes not to be built are put aside. Start with 3 Homes for younger players and all beginners. The more Homes you try for, the harder the game. No one player is responsible for making a particular Home. Everyone helps to build all the Homes. The maximum number of Homes to try for is 9, since there are only 9 Building Lots available. 10 are provided to allow a choice.
6. Add the parts of the Homes you picked for building to the Special Cards pile. Someone, say the youngest player, turn these Homes and Special Cards face down and mix them up really well, keeping them face down and without peeking at any. Peeking spoils it for everyone.
7. Decide on an order of turns to be kept for the whole game.
8. Look over the ring of spaces around the Building Lots. Note that each space has an arrow. What
these arrows mean is fully explained later. But first let us start to play.
PLAYING THE BASIC GAME (Using 3 Homes)
9. Everyone help put the shuffled cards face down on the ring of spaces around the outside of the board. One card per space. Fill the corners first and then the spaces out from the corners. You should end up with two empty spaces on each side. When all the cards are out, each player takes a turn.
TAKING A TURN
10. On your turn, expose any two cards, one at a time, and leave them face up on their respective spaces before taking any action. You must have two cards facing up before you do anything. Think over what to do. Ask for help, if you are not sure. You can play your two cards in any order. This is important to remember, especially when playing the Harder Game. (Note: Sometimes, only one card is left at the end of the game. Not to worry. Turn it up and make your play.)
PLAYING THE CARDS WHICH GET EXPOSED
11. HOME CARDS TURNED UP are put on a Building Lot. If a new Home is being started, then you pick which Lot to start on. Only parts belonging to the same Home can be put on the same Lot. Top Home parts go on corresponding top Lot spaces, leaving bottom spaces open for when the bottom parts for that Home are found later. And vice versa. If any of the parts turned belong to a Home already started, then just add on.
12. A NATURAL DISASTER TURNED causes damage to Homes. You must remove any Home parts on its path. The arrow on the space shows its path. A Disaster Card on a side space moves in a straight line in the direction of the arrow right across the board and removes every Home part on that line of 6 spaces. A Natural Disaster exposed in a corner space removes any Home parts on the 6 diagonal spaces from corner to corner. Sometimes there are no cards in its path. Sometimes many. Only the Home parts on its path in a Building Lot are removed. Cards on the ring spaces are not affected. The Disaster Card is then put aside and not used again. The wrecked Home parts are put to the side of the board nearby. They are eligible to be Rebuilt with a Rebuild Card.
13. TURN A REBUILD CARD and use it or save it. You can use it to restore any one or two wrecked Home parts back to their Building Lots. A Rebuild Card can be used once only. After use put it away. But you don't have to use it right away. You may want to save it for later or there may not be any wrecked parts to rebuild. If so, turn it back face down on its space and help each other remember where it is for later.
14. TURN A SAFETY MEASURES CARD and use it or save it as well. This card can be used to stop a Natural Disaster. BUT, it can only do so if it is exposed on the same turn as a Natural Disaster Card. One Safety Measures cancels one Disaster. Both are removed from the game. No damage done! If the Safety Measures is turned over with any other card, all you can do is turn it back over and remember where it is for later use. Turning it up later makes it one of your two cards allowed.
15. When you have done something with both of your cards, then your turn is over. Now the next player turns two cards face up and makes his or her moves! Happy building!
16. ENDING THE GAME The game ends in two ways.
First, game is over if players get all 3 Homes built either before or after all the cards are turned up.
Good job! You might want to try again, but with more Homes.
Secondly, game is over if all the cards have been turned up and played, but all the Homes didn't get done. How many Homes did we manage to build? Some? None? Could we have done something differently to get a better result? Talk it over and try again!
17. ADDING MORE HOMES TO BUILD
If you build as many as 5 Homes, when setting up all the spaces available on the outer ring will get filled. If you build 6 or more, then you will need to do the following. After the outer ring spaces have been filled, make a Supply Deck of the remaining cards, still with faces down. When a player takes a turn that empties one or two ring spaces, the player finishes the turn by filling the empty spaces with cards from the top of the Supply Deck.
18. HARDER VERSION Just one rule change raises the challenge level considerably, whether trying for the Basic Game of 3 Homes or for additional ones up to the maximum of 9.
The change to make is: You must have the two bottom parts of a Home in place on the Building Lot before you can play any of the two top parts. Foundations must come before roofs! Thus if you turn up any top part before the two bottom parts are in place, then that top part cannot be used. Turn it back down and help each other remember where it is. Someone will want to turn it up later when its bottom parts are in place. The game still ends in one of the two ways described above.
19. FINAL REMARKS
In a co-operative game, no one person is the winner or loser. We are all part of the building crew, sort of like Habitat. When the game is over we all get to cheer for however much we managed to accomplish. Be proud of what we all did. Each player made a contribution to the best of his/her ability. Also, remember that the game plays better if we talk over decisions, share our ideas, and plan some strategies together. Often one player on a turn will be setting up the next player for a good move. Next time round, you may get help from someone else. That's the fun of co-operative playl
Send comments and inquiries to: FAMILY PASTIMES, RR. 4, Perth, Ontario, Canada K7H 3C6. Be sure to ask for our illustrated catalog of the many other cooperative games that we make for all ages and all situations.
SOME RECOMMENDED READING
HOUSES AND HOMES, Ann Morris & Ken Heyman, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1992 HOUSES AROUND THE WORLD, National Geographic, 1995
HOW A HOUSE IS BUILT, Gall Gibbons, Holiday House, 1990
SHELTERS, Harvey Weiss, Thomas Y. Crowell, 1988