Valletta - General game info
Valletta
2-4 players, 40-80 minutes, 10 years and older
AuthorStefan Dorra
IllustratorKlemens Franz
Published byHans im Glück
Z-Man Games
Online since 2018-08-18
Developed byYannis Zoulias (Karmiris)
Boardgamegeek218920
Yucata.de owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Valletta - Rules
→ "Rules (pdf)
If you are reading these rules for the first time, ignore the text along the right hand side. These rules serve as a summary to help you quickly familiarize yourself with the game.

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Valletta

In 1566, Jean Parisot de Valette, 49th Grand Master of the Order of Malta, laid the foundation for the construction of a new city on the Mediterranean island of Malta. 2 to 4 players contribute to this construction project which will result in the future capital city of Valletta. The players earn points by constructing important buildings and using the influence of powerful characters.
Beginning with the Start Player, each player on his turn will play 3 cards and perform the actions shown on them. At the end of his turn, he draws back up to 5 cards, and then the next player takes his turn.
Play continues round by round until a player triggers the final phase.
This is followed by a final scoring. The player with the most victory points wins the game.
In this rule book, we will explain the basic concepts of the game. You will be acquiring goods, constructing buildings and taking other actions available on your cards. In the rules supplement you will find detailed information on the individual actions shown on the cards.

Game Components
1
Street board (in 2 parts)
25
Barrel tokens
4
25/50 Point tokens
4
75/100Point tokens
37
Building cards
73
4
Player boards
32
Houses, 8 each in 4 colors (Blue, Yellow, Green and Red)
4
Player figures, 1 each in 4 colors (Blue, Yellow, Green and Red)
42
Gold tokens
30
Wood pieces
30
Stone pieces
30
Brick pieces
1
Jean Parisot de Valette figure (Purple)
Game setup
  1. First, assemble the Street board and place it in the center of the table.
  2. Mix the Barrel tokens face down and place 1 above each space on the Street board as shown.
  3. Stack the 25/50-Point tokens on one of the towers at the end of the Street board. Stack the 75/100-Point tokens on the other tower.
  4. Create a deck of Building cards for the game. Sort the Building cards by color, shuffle each set separately, and take the following number of cards according to number of players:
    Green Blue Yellow
    2 Players 6 8 6
    3 Players 8 10 7
    4 Players 10 12 8
    Now shuffle all of the taken Building cards together into 1 stack, which will be dealt out onto the table in a display. Make sure that all cards are face up, with the front side showing a parchment in the upper left corner. (The backs of the cards show the town coat-of-arms for Valletta.)
    To create the display, first deal 5 cards in a row above the Street board. Then deal a row of 5 cards below the Street board. Continue dealing rows of 5 cards, alternating above and below the Street board, until all Building cards have been placed. Depending on the number of players, there will now be either 4, 5 or 6 rows of Building cards. You will not need the remaining Building cards for this game.
  5. [Bild Setup]
  6. Each player chooses a color, takes the corresponding Player board and places it in front of him.
  7. Next, you will prepare the Character cards for the game. All Character cards show a door on their backs.
    Find all cards with a player icon in the bottom right corner and give each player the 8 cards with the icon in his color. (In addition to the colors, these icons also show a Greek letter to assist those who may be colorblind.) These are the starting cards for each player.
    Each player then shuffles his 8 starting cards and places them face down as a draw stack on the left side of his Player board (on the closed door) and draws the top 5 cards into his hand.
  8. From the remaining Character cards, find the 4 red Builders (without a player icon) and place them next to the Street board as a general supply.
  9. The rest of Characters cards are now placed on their matching Building cards. Both types of cards show a letter in a colored circle. These letters indicate which Character belongs to which Building. Even though some Characters and Buildings appear more than once in the game, only 1 Character is placed on each Building card. Place the Character cards over the top right corner of the Building cards so all symbols and numbers remain visible on the left and bottom sides of the Building cards. Once this is done, you will not need the leftover Character cards for this game.
    Note: For the sake of a better overview, we are only showing the Banker on his Building in the image above. At the start of the game, there are many different Character cards in the display, with many different functions. We recommend taking a few minutes before starting the game to review the functions of the cards with all of the players.
  10. Next, each player takes the Player figure in his color and places it next to the Street board in front of the gate. He places the 8 Houses in his color in front of him as well.
  11. Now place all of the Goods (Gold, Wood, Stone and Brick) as a general supply next to the play area. Each player takes 1 complete set of goods: 1 Gold, 1 Wood, 1 Stone and 1 Brick.
  12. Place the Jean Parisot de Valette figure on the tower space on the left side of the Street board.

At the start of the Game the last player in player order takes 1 additional full set of goods, selects 1 of them to keep, and passes the remaining goods to the player on his right. That player selects one of those goods to keep, passes the rest to the right, and so on until all players have taken 1 additional good.

  1. The player who was most recently on an island will be the Start Player, with play order continuing clockwise.
    The last player takes 1 additional full set of goods, selects 1 of them to keep, and passes the remaining goods to the player on his right. That player selects one of those goods to keep, passes the rest to the right, and so on until all players have taken 1 additional good. With less than 4 players, the remaining goods are returned to the supply.
Game variants

Start Player variant

At game start, each player takes 1 wood, 1 stone, 1 brick and 1 gold.

No extra goods are taken, rather: The starting player plays only one card from his hand. The next player plays only two cards. From then on, each player plays normally three cards per turn.

At game start, each player takes 1 wood, 1 stone, 1 brick and 1 gold, as in the regular game.

No extra goods are taken.

Then the starting player plays only one card from his hand. The next player plays only two cards. From then on, each player plays normally three cards per turn.

Fewer Barrel Tiles (2-player only)

This variant is for 2 player games only: Just 13 Barrel Tiles will be used. These will be positioned on the odd positions of the street (1, 3, 5, … 25).

When a “Jean de la Valette” card is played, the purple figure will always move to the next Barrel.

This variant is for 2 player games only: Just 13 Barrel Tiles will be used. These will be positioned on the odd positions of the street (1, 3, 5, … 25).

When a “Jean de la Valette” card is played, the purple figure will always move to the next Barrel.

A Player's Turn

You play three Character cards from your hand and perform the actions shown on the played cards.

You cannot choose to not play a card.

Draw cards from your draw stack until you once again have 5 cards in your hand.

If your draw stack is depleted, shuffle your discard stack and place it as a new draw stack.

The next player in clockwise order then takes his turn. This continues until a player triggers the final phase.

On your turn, you first play a Character card from your hand and place it on the “1” space on your Player board. You then perform the action shown on the played card.

Example: You play the Woodcutter card and take 1 Wood as shown on the card. (See the supplement for more information on the cards.)

This was your first action.

Note: When you play a card, you may only use its action once.

In the same way, you then play a second and a third card.

Therefore, you always play 3 cards on your turn. You cannot choose to not play a card.

Exception: On your last turn of the game you may have less than 3 cards in your hand. In this case, you only play your remaining hand cards.

After you have played your 3 Character cards and performed their actions, place the 3 cards on the discard space shown on the right side of your Player board (the open door).

Finally, draw cards from your draw stack until you once again have 5 cards in your hand.

Note: Normally you will play 3 cards on a turn. However, certain actions may cause you to discard additional cards, or take new ones, on your turn. Sometimes, you will also draw more or fewer cards than normal.

If your draw stack is depleted, shuffle your discard stack and place it as a new draw stack.

The next player in clockwise order then takes his turn.
This continues until a player triggers the final phase.

Endphase

The final phase is triggered when a player meets one of the following conditions:

  1. The player moves Jean Parisot de Valette to the last Barrel on the Street board path.
  2. The player moves his Player figure to space 25 on the Street board path.
  3. The player builds his 8th House.

After that player completes his turn and draws back up to 5 hand cards, all players then shuffle their draw stack AND discard stack together, to create a final draw stack.


The final phase continues for several rounds of play, where each player will play through his entire final draw stack exactly one more time

When the last player plays his last hand card, the game ends.

The final phase is triggered when a player meets one of the following conditions:

  1. The player moves Jean Parisot de Valette to the last Barrel on the Street board path.
  2. The player moves his Player figure to space 25 on the Street board path.
  3. The player builds his 8th House.

After that player completes his turn and draws back up to 5 hand cards, all players then shuffle their draw stack AND discard stack together, to create a final draw stack.

Note: The 5 hand cards each player should already be holding (from his previous turn) remain in hand. They are NOT shuffled with the other cards when creating the final draw stack.

The final phase continues for several rounds of play.

Each player will play through his entire final draw stack exactly one more time.

The rounds of the final phase are played exactly as in previous rounds, with the following 2 exceptions:

  • If you cannot refill your hand to 5 cards at the end of your turn, you only draw the remaining cards from your draw stack. You do not create a new draw stack from your discard stack again.
  • Once you have played your final card, you will take no more turns in the game. For the rest of the game, you are simply skipped in player order.

When the last player plays his last hand card, the game ends.

Reaching the End of the Scoring Path

During the final phase, it is very likely that your Player figure will reach the 25th space on the Street board scoring path. If you earn additional points after that (which is to be hoped for), take one of the 25/50-Point tokens and place it in front of you with the 25 side face up.

You then place your Player figure back on the 1 space of the path.

If you reach the end of the path a second time, turn your token over to the 50 side. If you reach the end of the path a third or even fourth time, take a 75/100-point token and place it in front of you with the appropriate side face up.

Game End and Final Scoring

In the final scoring, you will earn the number of points shown on the bottom right of each of your Building cards. For every 3 goods remaining, you score 1 point.

The player with the most points is the winner of the game. IN case of a tie, the one among them who has built the most Houses is the winner. If there is still a tie, all tied players share in the victory.

In the final scoring, you will earn the number of points shown on the bottom right of each of your Building cards. Move your Player figure along the Street board scoring track accordingly.

Finally, you earn points for your remaining goods (Gold, Wood, Stone and Brick). For every 3 goods remaining, you score 1 point.


The player with the most points is the winner of the game. If several players are tied for the most points, the one among them who has built the most Houses is the winner. If there is still a tie, all tied players share in the victory.

Red and Purple Character Cards

Each player begins the game with the same set of these 8 Character cards. These cards allow you to perform the necessary basic actions in the game. Most of the other Character cards acquired during the game allow you to perform more powerful actions; however, they are all based on the basic set of actions.

Shopkeeper, Lumberjack, Stone Sculpter and Brick Worker

When you play one of these 4 cards, you take exactly 1 of the specified goods from the general supply and place it your personal supply.

Example: Play the Shopkeeper and take 1 Gold

Maid

Choose any one of the 4 goods (Wood, Stone, Brick, or Gold), take 1 of that good from the general supply and place it your personal supply.

Builder

You may either build a new building in Valletta or upgrade one of your existing buildings. The building colors are not related to the player colors; any player may build buildings of any color.

Apprentice

The hard-working apprentice eagerly takes on any task assigned to him—as long as that task is a specific type and has just been performed.

The Apprentice “copies” the action of a red or green Character card that has just been played as the previous card. You will usually play the Apprentice as the second or third card on your turn. If the previously played card was red or green, the action of that Character card will be performed a second time.

The Apprentice has no function if it is played as the first card on your turn, or after a card that is neither red nor green.

Build or Upgrade a Building

Building costs

To build a new building, perform the following 4 steps:

  1. Choose a Building card that does not yet have a House on it.
  2. Pay the construction costs from your personal goods supply, as indicated in the upper left corner of the Building card.
  3. Take the Character card from the Building card and add it to your hand. This is the main way that players will be acquiring new Character cards. This Character is now part of your card deck.
    Note: When building a new building, you may have more than 2 cards in your hand at the end of your turn. Remember that you always refill your hand to 5 cards maximum (except when not possible during the final phase).
  4. Finally, place one of your wooden Houses on the square box on the Building card, to indicate that this building now belongs to you.
Upgrading costs

An upgraded building will give you twice the goods income (see the green and blue character cards) and twice the points at the end of the game.

To upgrade one of your existing buildings, perform the following 3 steps:

  1. Choose one of your buildings (i.e., one that contains a House of your color) to upgrade. You cannot upgrade a building that has already been upgraded.
  2. Pay the construction costs indicated. However, only pay the Wood, Stone and/or Brick shown. The upgrading of a building does not cost Gold.
  3. Remove your House from the Building card, turn the Building card to its upgraded side (showing the Valletta coat-of-arms), and return your House to the Building card.

Other important rules for building:

Building adjacent to other buildings

If you build a new building that is orthoganally adjacent to one or more of your own buildings, you pay 1 less Gold for each of them. However, you never pay less than 0 Gold.
Buildings on the opposite side of the Street board from each other are not considered to be adjacent.

Substituting goods

When building or upgrading a building, you may substitute one or more items in the construction costs. For each item you cannot or wish not to pay, you may instead pay 3 of any other goods (same or different).
You are only allowed to make this substitution when paying goods for building or upgrading; you may not simply exchange goods to and from the supply.

Construction bonus

Jean Parisot de Valette is overseeing the construction of buildings in Valletta, and will award a bonus of 2 points if he “sees” a player build or upgrade a building. This occurs when the purple Jean Parisot de Valette figure is in the same area as the building being built or upgraded. An “area” is defined by a 5-space portion of the Street board path, and all Building cards above or below thoses spaces. In the figure to the right, this area is noted by the dashed red line.

Jean Parisot de Valette

Jean Parisot de Valette was the 49th Grand Master of the Order of Malta. He commissioned the planning of the town of Valletta, laid the foundations of the city on March 28, 1566 and supervised the first construction sites. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the completion of the city, which became the capital of Malta.


When playing Jean Parisot de Valette, you first move his figure 1 space forward on the Street board scoring path. You then reveal the Barrel tile on that space, take the good depicted on it, and return the Barrel tile to the game box. (Should the general supply of goods become scarce during the game, you can use the discarded Barrel tiles as a substitute for the necessary goods.)


You may now either dismiss a Character from your hand or hire a new Character.

To dismiss a Character, select 1 card from your hand and place it in a general Character supply stack.
Important: You do not perform the action on the dismissed Character card.

To hire a new Character, you select one of the Character cards from the general Character supply stack and place it in your hand. As with building a new building, this will result in an additional card in your deck. You may hire any Character in the general Character supply stack, even a starting card from another player that they have dismissed.

Note: By dismissing Characters, it can happen that your entire Character deck contains less than 5 cards. In this case, you simply draw as many cards as possible at the end of your turns.

Note: If Jean de la Valette is already on the final space of the Street board scoring path, he does not move any further, and no additional Barrel tiles are available to take. However, you may still play his card to dismiss or hire a Character.

Green Character Cards

The green Characters allow you to gain goods, but they are usually more powerful than the red Characters described above.

Banker, Woodworker, Carver, Mason

When one of these cards is played, first count the number of goods icons in the lower left corner of all buildings you own (not only green buildings) matching the Character card’s good. Only count the goods icons in the lower left corner of each card; you do not include any matching goods icons that are a part of the Building card’s construction costs.

You then take that number of goods of that type from the general supply and place them in front of you.

Note: If none of your buildings show the appropriate goods icon, you do not receive any goods.

Blue Character Cards

The blue Characters offer a variety of actions, from the gaining of goods, to the construction of buildings, and even a few to annoy the other players.

Monk

Each of your opponents counts the total number of goods (Gold, Wood, Stone and Brick) they have in their supply. Each of them who has 4 or more total goods must choose one of them and give it to you. No player gives up more than one good. In a 2-player game, you may also choose to take 1 good of your choice from the general supply.

Bricklayer

You may build or upgrade 1 building. However, the construction or upgrade costs as indicated on the Building card are reduced by 2 Bricks. If the costs include only 0, 1 or 2 Bricks, you do not pay any Bricks. (You never take Bricks from the general supply.)

Trader

Return 1 Wood, 1 Stone, or 1 Brick to the general supply, and take 3 Gold.

Seamstress

Take any 2 goods from the general supply. These may be the same or different goods.

Merchant

Return 1 Gold to the general supply, and take 1 Wood, 1 Stone and 1 Brick.

Artisan

Choose one of the 4 goods. Then, just as with the green Character cards, you count how often that good is depicted on your buildings. Take that number of goods from the general supply and place them in your supply.

Chamberlain

Count the number of green buildings you own (the number of green buildings with a House of your color on them). It is irrelevant whether the building are upgraded or not, simply count them all. Then take that number of Gold from the general supply.

Stonemason

You may build or upgrade 1 building. However, the construction or upgrade costs as indicated on the Building card are reduced by 2 Stones. If the costs include only 0, 1 or 2 Stones, you do not pay any Stones. (You never take Stones from the general supply.)

Innkeeper

Each of the other players counts how much Gold he has. Each of them who has 2 or more total Gold must give you 1 Gold. No player gives up more than 1 Gold. In a 2-player game, you may also choose to take 1 Gold from the general supply.

Nun

First you choose 1 of the 4 goods (Gold, Wood, Stone or Brick), and take 3 of the chosen good from the general supply. Then, each of the other players takes 1 of that same chosen good from the general supply.

Carpenter

You may build or upgrade 1 building. However, the construction or upgrade costs as indicated on the Building card are reduced by 2 Wood. If the costs include only 0, 1 or 2 Wood, you do not pay any Wood. (You never take Wood from the general supply.)

Tax Collector

Each of the other players counts their Wood, Stone and Bricks separately. For each type of good of which he has 3 or more, each player must give you 1 of them. It is therefore possible for a player to give you more than 1 good, but never more than 1 of the same type.

The Tax Collector never takes Gold.

In a 2-player game, you may also choose to take 1 Wood, 1 Stone or 1 Brick from the general supply.

Yellow Character Cards

The yellow Character cards represent important figures who contributed to the construction of the city of Valletta. These Character give players points throughout the game.

There are 2 copies of some of these cards, so more than 1 player may benefit from them during a game. Of course, it is also possible for 1 player to gain both copies of the same yellow Character card by building the appropriate buildings, and thus gain that Character’s benefit twice.

Architect Francesco Laparelli

This fortress architect and former student of Michaelangelo had previously supervised the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In Valletta, he was responsible for implementing the plans of the Grand Master Jean de la Valette.

Choose Wood, Stone or Brick (you may not choose Gold). Return 4 of the chosen good to the general supply and move your Player figure forward by 4 spaces on the Street board scoring track.

Grand Bailiff Georg Schilling von Cannstatt

The Order of Malta was divided into individual groups, called tongues, based on the language of its members. Georg Schilling von Cannstatt presided over the German tongue. The German-speaking Grand Bailiff was responsible for the maintenance of Malta’s fortifications.

Pay exactly 4 Gold to the general supply and move your Player figure forward by 4 spaces on the Street board scoring track.

Grand Master Pietro del Monte

Pietro del Monte was a leading member of the Order of Malta. After the death of Jean Parisot de Valette, del Monte continued the further development of Valletta as the Order’s 50th Grand Master.

Pay exactly 1 Wood, 1 Stone, 1 Brick and 1 Gold to the general supply and move your Player figure forward by 5 spaces on the Street board scoring track.

Philip II of Spain

The son of Emperor Karl V, Philip continued the support of the Order of Malta as an ardent Catholic, and strengthened the independence of the Order of Malta by conferring certain rights and privileges on the Order.

First count the number of green buildings you own (green buildings containing a House in your player color). It does not matter whether these buildings are upgraded or not. Then move your Player figure forward on the Street board scoring track by that number of spaces.

Emperor Charles V

In 1530, Emperor Charles V handed over the island of Malta to the Order of St. John. During the course of the Reformation period, the Protestant section of the order split off and moved its headquarters to Germany, where it still bears the name of the Order of St. John. The Catholic section remained in Malta and changed its name to the Order of Malta. Emperor Karl V financed the first efforts to expand Malta into a fortress for the Order.

First count the number of blue buildings you own (blue buildings containing a House in your player color). It does not matter whether these buildings are upgraded or not. Then move your Player figure forward on the Street board scoring track by that number of spaces.

Pope Pius V

After Malta was besieged by the Ottomans in 1565, Pope Pius V sent architect Laparelli there to assess the condition of the fortifications and report back to him. The Pope had an interest in establishing Malta as a bastion of Catholicism in the central Mediterranean. On the basis of the report, it was decided to build a new fortified city on the peninsula of Sciberra with papal assistance. Pope Pius V is still honored in Malta today on his feast day of April 30th, even though he is also known for mercilessly persecuting other free thinkers during the Inquisition.

First count the number of upgraded buildings you own (upgraded buildings containing a House in your color). The color of the buildings are irrelevant. Then move your Player figure forward on the Street board scoring track by that number of spaces.

Knight Hieronymus von Rekuk

The great siege of Malta in 1565 cost countless lives on both sides of the conflict. Hieronymus von Rekuk was one of the many knights who lost their lives defending the island. However, the loss of life on the part of the Ottoman besiegers was just as significant. One of the most important questions throughout history is whether the use of warfare justifies its price. For now, we can only hope that humanity will one day find better ways of solving conflicts... ...by playing board games, perhaps?

When you play this card, move your Player figure forward by 2 spaces on the Street board scoring track.

The Player info

The hand card icon is only displayed in your own playerinfo. With a click on it, you get a pop up with enlarged hand cards. You can play your Character card from out of that pop up.
The VP symbol shows a player's current and predicted points. When you click this icon, a points analysis window appears.
The house icon shows how many houses a player has built already.
When you click on the door icon in any player info, an analysis of all cards in the player's deck is displayed. The numbers below the icon are: "Cards in draw pile" + "Cards on Board or in Hand" ( "Discarded Cards" )
Number of goods obtained. In parenthesis, number of icons for the specific good the player has in his houses. This number determines how many goods the player gets when using a green card.

Jean Parisot de Valette

Once you play a "Jean Parisot de Valette" card you are given the chance to hire or dismiss a card (or do neither).

To dismiss a card just click on any of your hand cards as when you play it.

To hire a card, first click the doors icon (see on the left) to see all cards in the supply, then click any of them.

To do neither, use the Pass button in the blue button ribbon.

End phase

All fulfilled end game triggers are displayed in red colour.
As soon as the End Phase is triggered, the text in the silver ribbon is shown in red colour.
 
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