Notes from New Bedford – Part 4: Bonus Buildings

It’s a busy week for us, getting ready for Congress of Gamers. But here’s a short update anyway. This is the last of the buildings from the base game, for a total of 20. Next time, I look at the game goods/resources.

It was inevitable that there would be a few buildings that have no associated action. Maybe I could have ignored them completely, but the game would have felt like it was missing something. When I needed a way to show points on the whale tokens, I chose a barrel symbol to represent the actual product of whaling. For a while, the barrel symbol also differentiated bonus point buildings, but that didn’t work for gameplay or for the theme.

Church, one of the most important buildings in any town of the time, especially in New England. A bit stereotypical for games that the church gives you points, but none of the other actions in the game is appropriate

Factory, whalebone or baleen was like plastic in its day. Flexible and hard, and used in a wide range of products like umbrellas and corsets. The Factory makes the whale tokens more valuable. Like the Tryworks, it makes less sense that the bowhead whales wouldn’t also be used, since they are also baleen whales.

Office, no real reason why offices should be worth extra points, but it had to be named something. If I had to stretch, the offices represent all the income from the myriad of jobs related to whaling.

Mansion, I wanted a building that gave points for money, but balance was tricky. The Mansion was chosen because one of the ways owners spent their profits was on grand mansions.

Next Part


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  1. #1 by John on November 17, 2014 - 9:43 am

    A Scrimshander might be a more interesting description than “Factory”, and you could even argue that it would thematically prefer sperm whales since the best scrimshaw is from the tooth ivory. But, I have no idea if it would make sense in terms of volume of products. There had to be a lot more corsets from whalebone than artwork from the teeth.

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