In ancient times, the realm of Hyperborea was a place of magic and light, ruled by powerful wizards and mages. Over the years, they dug deep into the earth, mining the magical crystals that powered their civilization. A few wise mages saw the dangers and constructed an indestructible magical barrier to protect the few who listened. When the unharnessed magical energies were unleashed, the Hyperborean civilization was destroyed, with only those behind the magical barriers surviving unscathed. Now, the magical barriers have fallen, leaving the civilizations that grew behind their walls to explore and grow in the ruined land of Hyperborea!
Hyperborea is a game of exploration and civilization-building for two to six players. Over the course of the game, you must lead and develop your civilization, expanding the technology at your disposal and exploring the ruins of the ancient Hyperboreans. With six different races, twelve unique powers, a modular board setup, and a range of possible endgame conditions, Hyperborea feels wholly new, every time you play.
Exploring the Ruins
As the onset of a game of Hyperborea, you only occupy your homeland—a few hexagons with your capital city and three of your miniatures. The rest of the board, the lands that once lay beyond the magical barrier, is shrouded in the fog of war, and won’t be revealed until the first brave explorers venture out into that expanse. The apocalypse has surely reshaped the world, and you’ll find barren deserts, primordial forests, fetid swamps, and towering mountains as you move deeper into the realm.
Each of the hexes in this wilderness are filled with the ruins of ancient Hyperborea, and the ruins in turn are haunted by the ghosts of the dead. To claim the treasure and insight that these ruins can offer, you’ll need to march your armies into the wastes, destroying the ghosts and fighting your rival empires for whatever rewards you can prize from the ruins of the past. In order to command your armies and advance your civilization, you’ll need to harness your technologies.
The Power of Progress
At the beginning of each turn in a game of Hyperborea, you draw three random colored cubes from your individual cloth bag. These cubes let you fuel your actions over the course of the turn. Each player has a board with six basic technologies printed on it: exploration, warfare, growth, progress, trade, and science. These basic technologies have two unique effects, and in order to gain an effect, you need to place the correct colored cubes in the spaces adjacent to the actions.
For instance, you may want to use the Exploration action. In order to gain this effect, you must first place a green cube and a purple cube on the technology’s activation spaces. Once this technology has been triggered, you can immediately move one of your units a single space and place a new miniature in the same hex as your capital city!
The technologies on your board form the backbone of everything you do in a game of Hyperborea, and they provide you with a variety of actions. Some technologies grant movement points, allowing you to move your miniatures around the map, exploring ruins and revealing facedown hexes. Other technologies allow you to attack, killing ghosts or enemy miniatures, or build fortresses, which absorb attacks before they can kill your figures. You may replenish your forces with new miniatures, unlock new actions by acquiring Advanced Technology cards, or even claim victory points.
No matter which technologies you choose to activate, you must allocate all of the cubes that you’ve drawn out of your bag. Of course, if you’re drawing three cubes, you’ll often have one left over, because the basic technologies only require two cubes to activate. You can either place the third cube in your used pile, forgoing the opportunity to use it, or start activating another technology by placing the cube in one of that technology’s activation spaces. Then, on a later turn, you can complete the activation with another cube from your bag.
Of course, you will want to increase the number of cubes in your bag to help you specialize your civilization. In order to do this, you’ll take advantage of technologies that let you develop. Whenever you develop, you can advance one of your six development tracks, each of which corresponds to a different color of cube. Once you’ve advanced far enough along a track, you may reset the marker to add cubes of the corresponding color to your bag. If you prefer to focus on warlike activities, you may quickly advance your red development marker, but if you want to earn your victory points more peacefully, you may choose to push your yellow marker forward. No matter what strategy you pursue, your development tracks can unlock its full potential.
You’ll also need to move beyond the basic technologies if you want to win the race for domination in Hyperborea. At any given time, there are eight Advanced Technology cards on display. By activating the Advanced Technology action, you can take one of these Advanced Technology cards. Each Advanced Technology card gives you a new action that you can activate, as well as an influx of victory points. Unfortunately, as your empire advances, it also produces more waste. Whenever you take an Advanced Technology, you must also take a grey cube and add it to your bag. In most cases, grey cubes can’t be used to activate any technologies, meaning they are essentially worthless when you draw them from your bag.
Magic Will Rise Once More
The world of Hyperborea is yours to explore and to conquer. Decide if you want to pursue victory through technological superiority, through military might, or through trade and commerce, and develop your civilization accordingly. Only one empire can rise from the ashes of Hyperborea!
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