Construct machines and collect resources from your new airships.
2–4 Players | Playing Time 60–90 | Min Age: 14+
Time to get building because the waters rising in Whistle Mountain, the board game. You are using Airships to construct machines and collect resources deep in the Rocky Mountains. Watch out- all this building is melting the snow, and your workers could get sweep into a whirlpool and need to be rescued. Building swiftly will gain victory points. However, a clever opponent can also sabotage that plan.
Every player gets a different starting ability that amps up the strategy. In your turn, there are two actions.
Collect or Forge.
In collecting, you use your three Airships to dock on the board to grab resources; gold, iron, water, coal, and whistle (they are wild.)
Now that you have resources to spend, you can dock an Airship to purchase scaffolding which is needed to support machines; once built, these activate resources when the airship is docked adjacent. The machines are small, medium, and large, and each machine perks varies. The variety is clever.
Collecting Bonus cards- players can get one for free, or spend one or two resources to get multiple cards. Players can use one Bonus action per turn, and these cards have some vast benefits like bumping another player back to their home dock or moving a worker out of the Whirlpool.
The last option to purchase is to upgrade gears. They give abilities each turn and score Victory Points at the end of the game. Victory points awards are accrued throughout gameplay.
Forging- you call all your Airships back to your board. You can build up build scaffolding or build a machine both gain Victory Points. Scaffolding has to touch at least one side of another—no floating scaffolds. The more sides touching, the more points. The Machines are built over the scaffolding. If you have a worker there- move them over to the Tower.
The other action is Forge is to move working from barracks to scaffolding or save them from Whirlpool.
Now, if you build over the tower line- the water rises. Have a worker, and they fall to Whirlpool and need to be rescued, or worth -5 pts at end game.
The game end is triggered by all the workers moved to the Tower or in the dreaded Whirlpool. The player with the most Victory Points wins.
Mechanics That Work for Us
We tend to get the Upgrade gears early to take advantage of their abilities. Each has a point value, and we race to get the higher value first. These points are added up for Victory Points at the game's end.
Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. Make sure that you have the resources to build and move workers before heading the Forge action. When I did not plan ahead and placed scaffolding and not a Machine, my hubby would swoop in and set his Machine and scored the points. Lesson learned. If I had resources to complete building and move workers, I would pull my Airships (even if they were not all deployed) and head to the Forge actions.
Some bonus cards have an action to move a worker up the Tower, which scores higher and allows the player to grab the Blue Ribbon. Having fruitful Bonus cards to use each round is vital. We collected cards proportionate to resources.
I was laser-focused on not losing a worker to the Whirlpool that I missed opportunities to build a machine and gain points. There are multiple ways to rescue the worker and even a free dock on the board to rescue the worker.
Bits & Bobs
· 1 Gameboard (4 pieces)
· 1 Rulebook
· 1 Duplicator Token
· 4 Player Boards
· 24 Awards
· 8 Water Bars
· 2 Water Bar Holders
· 42 Scaffolds
· 17 Starting Abilities
· 24 Upgrades
· 16 Small Machines
· 20 Medium Machines
· 18 Large Machines
· 4 Hot Air Balloon Airships (4 Player Colors)
· 4 Blimp Airships (4 Player Colors)
· 4 Dreadnought Airships (4 Player Colors)
· 36 Workers (9 each in 4 Player Colors)
· 16 Coal Tokens
· 16 Iron Tokens
· 16 Water Tokens
· 16 Gold Tokens
· 16 Whistle Tokens
· 40 1 VP Stars
· 16 5 VP Stars
· 23 10 VP Stars
· 13 50 VP Stars
· 40 Bonus Cards
Whistle Mountain is straightforward with two actions per turn, Collect or Forge, but the game is much more dexterous. It may take a few plays to appreciate the multitude of tracks to collect, build and keep one step ahead of opponents.
The game mechanics are noteworthy and engaging. It is the puzzle of fitting the machines and variety of strategies that keeps Whistle Mountain on the table.
The rules are pristinely clear, and that made for swift learning of the game and oodles of time to plan tactical strategies.
The gameplay was original and satisfying!
Designers: Scott Caputo, Luke Laurie
Artists: Alanna Kelsey, Mila Harbar, Taylor Bogle
Publishers: Bézier Games
Mechanisms: Tile Placement, Variable Player Powers, Worker Placement
Let’s be honest; there is still a bit of drama when we play. Sit Down -Grab a Drink – Join the Game Suzzan