Our preview post below was published on March 7.
Monuments is a 1-4 players area control game in which historical civilizations compete in building a major monument as a testimony to their supremacy. It will launch on Kickstarter on March 8.
In the solo mode, you are playing against AI, either in an Incas vs Maya confrontation or a Greeks vs Egyptians one, with each conflict taking place on a different part of the board. The AI player always takes the first turn. The board is made of hex-shaped tiles, with land tiles featuring specific resources and sea tiles that you can cross with a boat.
In each turn in Monuments, you must either play one of your 10 available action cards or re-shuffle your discard into your deck. Each card is different and allows you to take a different action. As in standard strategy games, you can move your units, build a building, collect resources from the hexes with your workers, recruit either new worker units or military units, and trade resources with the supply. Additionally, you can claim one or two “quest” cards, a secret objective that you can fulfill to get more victory points at the end of the game, but that will score negative points if left unfulfilled. You can also upgrade these action cards to make them more efficient by paying the corresponding cost and flipping them to their upgraded side. Finally, the tenth action is used to add a new layer to your monument. The resource cost increases with each layer and even requires you to sacrifice workers. A new layer in your monument not only brings in victory points, it also grants you permanent bonuses.
The AI player uses a similar system of action cards. It has only 8 and some are specific to the AI, listing different tasks that it will try to undertake in a specific order of priority. The next AI action card will always be visible to you. Even though the card system determines which action the AI is taking, and the rules provide clear specifics regarding how these should be implemented, you will sometimes need to choose for the AI, always to its benefit.
Combat is resolved with custom six-sided dice, featuring 0 to 2 pips. A number of dice equal to the power of each army is rolled and the resulting sums are compared. The army with the lowest score loses a number of units equal to that difference. If the attacking army is successful, it invades the targeted hex tile, and the defender units must withdraw in a neighboring tile.
When a player has finished their monument, and all players have played the same number of turns, the game ends. Each player scores victory points for the quests they fulfilled, the resources they gathered, the hex tiles they control, etc., but essentially from the layers of their monuments. The player with the most victory points wins the game.