In the board game Belfort (Amazon), you are trying to complete the building of a city before the snow season arrives, along with the accompanying yeti attacks. This gives you seven months (or rounds) to prove your mettle by completing more of the project than your rival architects.
Toward this end, you carry out the following activities:
- Recruit a team of elves and dwarves to gather wood, stone, and metal resources, as well as gold coins
- Buy and sell resources at the trading post
- Buy property cards, representing new properties you can build
- Earn income from your properties and pay taxes
- Use wood, stone, and metal resources to build new properties within the town, which provide various benefits
- Hire gnomes to work at your properties to gain the benefits from them
- Send your elves or dwarves to guilds (randomly determined each game) to gain benefits
To get a sense for the flow of the game, you may also check out this YouTube video. The graphics of the game are fun and engaging, giving it a lot of personality compared to other games of this type and even inspiring a charming comic book (read the digital version here) that brings the dwarf/elf rivalry to life.
The creators of Belfort are now releasing an expansion – currently funding on Kickstarter until May 9 – which will allow you to hire Assistants that provide special benefits. Or you can forego the Assistant benefit to get an expansion permit which augments an existing property, such as adding a Pool to the Inn or an Archives onto the Library. These property expansions provide scoring bonuses for those who have them, giving the potential edge you need to win the game.