It is an age of great battles, valiant leaders, and unscrupulous mercenary armies. The Italian landscape is littered with noble houses vying for economic and territorial supremacy. The most cunning Captains of Fortune (Capitani di Ventura) have the power to lead the most ambitious of these houses to victory.
Ventura is a strategic board game for 2-4 players. Each player leads a noble family, mustering armies, hurling them into battle, conquering territories, and managing their wealth and resources wisely. Whoever has the best army stands the best chance of conquering. But the best armies are also the most expensive!
The Warring Families
Each player assumes command over a unique and historical noble family: Este, Gonzaga, Medici, and Visconti. Who will you call your family? The oldest of the four, the Este family was known for their political importance. Ruthless in their scheming for control, they were rewarded by the pope, who bestowed upon them the office of vicar. The Gonzaga family, previously landowners, gained power through a coup d’état. They were known for their civil and intellectual splendor, and diverse skills. Arising from a lineage of bankers, the Medici family gained and consolidated power through cunning and charisma. With a multitude of supporters, the family overthrew the territory’s republic and established a dukedom.The Visconti family were preeminent and powerful artistocrats. They successfully spread their dominion over other cities through the “Visconti strategy.” Is your chosen family strong enough to eliminate your enemies?
Each family has its own Garrison card to represent the military Company in charge of the defense of each player’s City, as well as plastic Domain, Army, Company, and Score markers to keep track of various information during the game. In addition, players have their own territory tiles which are used to construct the game board, because the arrangement changes every game, players have the opportunity to study different placement strategies. Each player can also use their Family Board to assemble armies and plan out battles.
In order to lead their house to glory, players will have to balance their finances with the development of their armies, while also establishing control across the map. Gameplay unfolds over a series of rounds broken up into phases, with each player recruiting, annexing, expanding, conscripting, mobilizing, and managing their troops before moving on to the next round.
Soldiers of Fortune
“Dove l’oro parla, ogni lingua tace.” or “Where gold speaks, every tongue is silent.”
Conquest cannot be achieved without an army, and mercenaries do not fight for honor, but with the right incentive they will fight for anyone. While your family’s wealth may be bountiful, choose your forces wisely, or you might find your troops are nothing more than a drain on the family coffers.
At the beginning of each round, your family can recruit troops to their service, for a fee. The Captains of Fortune or Companies found within the Ventura deck will stay loyal to your family for as long as you pay. These cards are put into play on a player’s Family Board on one of the available slots. These slots correspond with Company markers and Army markers, which are used to indicate where that Troop currently is on the board. Companies are a type of Troop that consist of a single Company, while Armies contain a Captain of Fortune and up to five Companies. These Troops can move around the board and engage other players in combat.
Prepare for Battle
“E un gran pacier la morte.” or “Death is a great peacemaker.”
In the world of conquest, territory is everything. Whenever an opposing Troop enters another player’s Territory, a battle ensues. Gather your cards and prepare for the assault. Both players involved in the battle simultaneously unfold their Family Boards and secretly arranges their Companies in the provided spaces, assigning one card to each available spot - one spot for the Captain of Fortune (if present) and five spots for individual Companies.
Will your Captains of Fortune live up to their title, or is defeat imminent? Players resolve the battle by revealing their cards and carrying out two waves of assaults: Ranged and Melee. When Companies are defeated, they fall off the board and are replaced by any Companies behind them. This continues until one player retreats or is defeated.
“Chi la dura la vince.” or “He who perseveres wins at last.”
In order to win the game, a player must conquer an opponent’s City or acquire 30 Victory Points. Players can purchase Victory Points with their Florins. However, they must also use these Florins to pay for their growing armies, which will allow them to conquer new Territories.
How will you spend your fortune?
The copyrightable portions of Ventura are © 2011 Giochi Uniti - Italy. Ventura is a trademark of Giochi Uniti - Italy. Fantasy Flight Supply is a trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.