Hadara: Spotlight Series

Hadara: Spotlight Series

Hadara: Spotlight Series

Hadara is a 2-5 player civilization game from Z-Man Games that released earlier this year. Hadara takes place over three ages, called Epochs. Each Epoch is a chance to grow your civilization in its income, military, culture, and food production. You will be recruiting skilled citizens to your civilization, to help in your endeavor. If you enjoy games like 7 Wonders or Through the Ages, then Hadara is definitely worth checking out!

In each Epoch, there are two phases (A and B). There is a convenient reference sheet that will help guide you through the player turns. Determine the first player based on the initiative shown on the player boards. Starting with them, each player draws two cards in the deck with your corresponding symbol. For example, if the snake symbol on the wheel is facing the yellow deck, then the player with the snake on their player board will draw two cards from that deck. Each player chooses one to discard and may sell or purchase the other. 

When you purchase a card, pay its cost indicated on the bottom left corner. However, you may reduce the cost by one for each card of the same color that you already have. Then, rotate the wheel and repeat this. Continue until there are no cards left in the draw piles. Before moving into Phase B, you will have to resolve a few actions. 

First, collect income based on the income track on your player board. Then, you may take up to one colony card if you meet the requirements located at the bottom. If you do, then you may either plunder or integrate this colony. By plundering, you gain coins and victory points but receive no additional benefits. There is a cost to integrating, but in return you may flip the colony to improve your tracks and possibly gain more victory points. Lastly, players may build statues on their boards if they fulfill the requirements. Statues can either increase one of your four tracks, or earn you additional victory points at the end of the game. After these steps have been completed, move to Phase B. 

During Phase B, players take turns choosing a card from the face-up discard piles. Wheel order does not matter in this phase, but players may only draw from the top card. When there are no cards remaining, perform the same end-steps as Phase A, with two additional steps. First, you will have to feed the people in your civilization. Do this by comparing your food track and the value on your food cards. If the value on your track is equal or greater than your card total, then your people are fed! However, if you are not producing enough food, you must remove cards until the total is less than or equal to your food track. Keep in mind that any benefits from these cards will be removed as well. For example, if a food card was providing you with income, you will reduce back on the income track. 

Next, players may buy Silver or Gold Medals. Silver Medals gain points for specific track values, and Gold Medals will gain you points for your set totals. For example, if you place a Silver Medal next to your military track, then you will gain an additional amount of victory points for that specific track. For Gold Medals, you will gain points for the number of cards for the number of complete sets (each of the tracks). When these steps are complete, it is time to start the next Epoch. There are a total of three Epochs, and after the third players will tally their points to declare the winner! 

Hadara is a lightweight civilization game with interesting mechanics to keep players interacted with each other during phases. There is an additional version of the game, to provide a more complex experience for advanced players. Hadara has a similar feel to 7 Wonders, but is slightly more intricate and uses different drafting mechanics. Overall, Hadara offers a fresh experience to the civilization genre. Stop by the shop this weekend to check it out on the demo table.