Prepare for the Storm
The waves crash into the dike, threatening to overflow it as more dark clouds gather on the horizon
The low lands on the coast of the North Sea are a rough area but full of potential. A hard-working farmer can make a good living if the land is tended properly. However, the ever-present threat of a storm looms. The rumbling thunder is a constant reminder to prepare for a potential flood. The community must rally together and build the dike to protect their livelihood. Will you help build the dike or focus on your own farm? Make your choice in Lowlands, available for pre-order from our website or your local retailer.
Turn of the Tide
The waves crash against the dike, splashing up over the sides where the dike isn’t tall enough. The tide continues to rise, threatening to spill over and flood the farmland. The citizens rush to the dike, quickly adding more protection to keep the water at bay.
In Lowlands, the three stages of gameplay consist of six phases resolved in the following order: Turn of the Tide, Work, Upkeep, Work, Upkeep, High Tide. After the three stages, the storm surges, possibly wiping away some of your flock from your farmland if the dike doesn’t hold.
During the Turn of the Tide phase, the flood cards are added to the sea spaces at the top of the board. The number shown on the card is how many water pieces will be added to the board. The back of each flood card shows the range of possible values for that card, helping you to prepare and decide if you should build more of the dike. Will you leave it up to your rivals to protect the town or will you help?
Contribute to the Dike
With only six chances to place your farmers and take actions, you have to be strategic with your choices. You can focus on your own farmland, customizing it with features and buildings, building fences to contain your flock, and buying or selling sheep. Or you can choose to build the dike, creating more protection for everyone from the oncoming storm.
If you choose to work on the dike for the greater good, place one of your farmers on the dike space on your player board. To construct a dike segment, spend one or more action points and pay an equal number of a single type of resource. This moves the marker up on the construction yard track.
After construction for a dike segment has begun with a certain resource, that same resource must be used to finish the segment before a new piece can be started. If that dike segment’s construction is started with the stone, for example, the next player to add to the construction must also use stone.
For each resource you spend to construct the dike segment, gain a point on the dike track. Even though building the dike does help everyone, staying ahead on the dike track is advantageous for you individually.
High Tide and the Surging Storm
The sky has gotten darker. The tide is rising and the waves rush in, threatening to topple the dike. During the High Tide phase, players check to see if the dike breaks or holds. Compare the level of the flood pieces with the level of the dike segments. If the dike is higher than the flood then the dike holds. If the flood level is higher then the dike breaks.
If the dike breaks, each player gains one dike breach token for each point they are behind the leader on the dike point track.
Here the row of flood pieces is longer than the dike. The water spills over and the dike breaks. The blue and yellow players contributed less to the dike than the red player, so they must take dike breach tokens for each point they are behind. The blue player takes one breach token and the yellow player takes two.
When the storm surges, players will again check the dike. If the dike breaks, each player discards one sheep from their farmyard for every dike breach token. If there aren’t any sheep left, players must pay coins equal to the current value of the sheep. The player with the most victory points wins.
The flocks in your field need tending, but the storm threatens to overflow the dike. Will you focus on your own farmland or contribute to the greater good to protect everyone? Make your choice in Lowlands!