A New Home Among the Ruins
Restore Civilization to Nebula Valley
Nebula Valley is finally free of the darkness that descended on the land and drove the people out of their grand cities. The ancestors of those who fled their homes in the Valley have finally returned to reclaim their rightful land and rebuild upon the ruins of their once glorious civilization. Among the Valley’s relics, the inhabitants will work to restore what has been lost to the corruption that once ravaged their lands.
While the bulk of the dangers have receded, Nebula Valley is still fraught with peril, and four brave guild leaders have emerged to lead the way in this reconstruction. Our last preview focused on how the guilds’ craftsmen and explorers tap into the land’s riches while charting safe passage through the mists and petrified forests. With paths plotted and resources in hand, it’s a race to the ruins to see which of the four guilds can be the first to erect five buildings on the foundations of Nebula Valley’s former glory. In this preview, we’ll examine how to go about fulfilling building contracts and what it takes to win the day in Via Nebula!
Contracts and Construction
Before construction can begin, a guild leader must stake their claim on any ruin that they consider particularly promising. Placing a building site token uses one of a player’s two actions during their turn and covers half of a ruin tile. Each ruin tile has room for two building sites, and a savvy guild leader will learn to piggyback on the work of his or her opponents. If your competition is headed to the same ruin as you are, they may just pave the way for you by clearing fog or forests. If you can pay close attention to the paths that are already being cleared through Nebula Valley, you will be able to use your turns wisely, maximizing the work of others as you seek to fulfill the available contracts.
Of course, there is plenty of work to be done in Nebula Valley. At any time during the game, four building contracts will be available to all players to complete on a first-come, first-serve basis. In order to do so, guild leaders must transport goods over a clear path to a building site, fulfilling a contract’s requirements. Once all of a contract's resources are collected on a building site, that player may use an action to place a building on their site and collect that contract card for their guild. Each contract card is not only worth Victory Points, but most have a special ability that can aid your guild in the race to restore Nebula Valley.
Contracting a team of Adventurers will allow a guild to turn a forbidden space into a meadow, potentially opening new routes to resources. Building a Distillery gives your guild an extra action that turn to get even further ahead. Each completed contract makes the Architect worth another Victory Point, so sign a contract with him if you’re confident in your ability to build!
The public contracts are the centerpiece of the race, and all the guild leaders are competing for the same resources and rewards. However, no guild leader would be able to get ahead without trying to leverage some good business connections. At the beginning of the game, each player is also given two private contracts that only their guild may attempt to fill. These secret contracts allow your guild to plot their path without tipping their hand to the competition. No one in the Valley can be sure if you’re transporting clay to complete that Distillery or if you have a Secret Plan up your sleeve. Keep your opponents guessing!
Become the Hero of Nebula Valley
As the ruins are replaced by buildings in this reborn and bustling metropolis, the rush to rebuild will eventually subside. As soon as any guild has erected their fifth building, the game's end will be triggered. The first player to five buildings gets two Victory Points from the End of Game Card, and the remaining players are allowed one last turn to try and use up excess resources or complete a final contract.
The hero of Nebula Valley is not determined solely by the number of architectural marvels they were able to complete. Exploring the valley and being the first to exploit resources can contribute significantly to your position as the true Hero of Nebula Valley. Each guild will also lose points for any unused resources that they exploited or transported, so all your hard earned merit could be quickly wiped out by sloppy planning. Keep an eye on the competition and lead your guild to glory as you explore, exploit, and rebuild a lost land in Via Nebula!