Minecraft: Builders & Biomes
November 15, 2019
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Minecraft: Builders & Biomes is a board game published by Mojang Studios and Ravensburger. In the game, players explore the Overworld and build structures while defeating hostile mobs, with the goal being to score as many experience points as possible. Players are also allowed to collect blocks and weapons.
- 1 Player board
- 2 Equipment
- 3 Rules
- 4 Related games
- 5 References
Each player board consists of an experience point tracker that runs across the edge, totaling fifty experience points, as well as nine squares containing random biomes.
A standard set of Minecraft: Builders & Biomes includes:
A set of sixty-four wooden blocks which comprise the following materials:
- Sixteen wood
- Fourteen sand
- Twelve stone
- Twelve emerald
- Ten obsidian
The blocks are used to form a cube (four blocks long, four blocks wide, four blocks high) which is made by putting them on a block base.
A set of sixty-four tiles which are divided into sixteen stacks of four tiles each. Half contain buildings, and the other half contain hostile mobs.
A set of thirty-six weapon tokens; sixteen are colorless and are placed on the ends of the stacks of tiles. The remaining twenty are colored for players, consisting of the following items for each player:
- One stone sword
- One wooden sword
- Three poisonous potatoes
Four character skins for players, consisting of Steve, Alex, Hex, and Valorie.
Twelve overview cards, which consist of info on scoring rounds.
The player who recently found a diamond in Minecraft is the starting player. Otherwise, the youngest player is the starting player.
During a turn, the player must perform two different actions. The same action cannot be performed twice. Once the actions have been performed, play proceeds to the left of the starting player.
Players are allowed to take two blocks from the cube. Blocks can only be collected if their top side plus at least two other sides are exposed. The emerald blocks are wildcards (e.g. they can be used as a substitute for other blocks when building structures). Players are also free to rotate the block base to find any blocks they need for structures.
Exploring the Overworld
Players are allowed to move their character anywhere between zero, one, or two spaces. "Spaces" are the crossing points in the grid of tiles and weapon tokens. Characters are not to be placed on a tile or token.
Once the character has been moved, the player is to reveal the top tiles of the stacks around the character's position. Tiles that are already face-up are to remain as is.
Crossing points can be occupied by multiple characters. Tile stacks / weapon tokens may also be depleted during the course of the game. Nonetheless, players can move their character, even if stacks are empty.
Players may only build a structure if their character is next to a building tile on the grid. The number of blocks needed to build the structure are shown on the bottom right of the tile. Players must possess the necessary blocks to build the structure. Any blocks used are to be returned to the game box.
Emerald blocks can be used as a substitute for any other block (e.g. if the structure requires three wood blocks, and the player has two wood blocks and one emerald block, the emerald block can also be used in addition to the two wood blocks).
Once the structure is built, it can be placed on any space on the player board.
Some structures will require several blocks and have an icon consisting of a lightning bolt and an experience counter on the top right of the tile. When said structure is built, the player immediately gains that many experience points, and is to move their experience counter that many spaces on their experience point tracker.
Structures can be built in any biome (e.g. a forest structure doesn't have to be placed on a forest space), however, players may place structures next to spaces that share the same characteristic (e.g. the same biome) to gain more experience points. Players may also build over existing structures by placing the structure tile over one they no longer need.
Fighting hostile mobs
If the character is next to a revealed mob tile, the player may attempt to defeat it. To fight a hostile mob, the player is to shuffle their weapon tokens face-down and reveal three of them. Then, the player is to compare the number of hearts on the revealed weapon tokens to the number of hearts on the mob tile. Poisonous potatoes have no hearts and are considered "blank".
If the number of hearts on the weapon tokens are equal or greater than the hearts on the revealed mob tile, the mob is defeated. The player is to then remove the mob tile from the grid and place it face-down next to their player board. In addition, the player immediately gains the number of experience points printed next to the lightning bolt and experience counter.
However, if the number of hearts on the weapon tokens are less than the hearts on the revealed mob tile, the mob stays where it is.
After the fight, the player shuffles their revealed weapon tokens back into their pile.
There are two kinds of mob tiles:
- A mob tile with a hunger icon () can be traded to gain one additional action during a turn (e.g. when its the player's turn, the player executes their two different actions as usual; then, the player returns as many mob tiles with the hunger icon to the game box, allowing them to execute additional actions. As opposed to a normal turn, the player is allowed to execute an action that had already been executed earlier in the same turn).
- A mob tile with an experience counter and icon are to be kept until the end of the game, in which they will gain the player additional experience points for all spaces with matching characteristics (e.g. mob tiles with an experience counter of two and a forest biome gain the player two experience points for each forest space on the player board).
Players are allowed to collect a weapon token if their character is next to a weapon token. Once collected, it is shuffled into their pile of weapon tokens.
Players are allowed to look at their weapon tokens at any time during the game, such as making sure they have enough hearts to defeat a mob.
There are four weapons with special abilities:
- Bow: The player can reveal one additional weapon token.
- Golden hoe: The player immediately gains two experience points.
- Stone pickaxe: The player may collect one additional block from the cube.
- TNT: The player is allowed to detonate TNT if necessary. TNT tokens have five hearts.
The first scoring round (biomes) happens when any player completely mines the first layer of blocks of the cube. The second scoring round (materials) happens when any player completely mines the second layer of blocks of the cube. The third scoring round (type) happens when any player completely mines the third layer of blocks of the cube.
The player who finishes their turn is the first to score.
After each player scores, the overview cards for that scoring round are returned to the game box, and play proceeds to the left of the player who initiated scoring.
Scoring round A (Biome)
In the first scoring round, players choose one of the four biomes: forest, desert, mountains, or snowy tundra. Then, the players identify the largest group of connected spaces that share the same biome. For each space that shares the same biome, the players gain the number of experience points printed on the overview card. Spaces that are diagonal from connected spaces do not count towards the total.
For example: A player has four connected spaces of desert, forming the largest biome on their player board. For each desert space, they gain four experience points, for a total of sixteen experience points.
Scoring round B (Materials)
In the second scoring round, players choose from one of four materials: wood, sand, stone, or obsidian. Then, the players identify the largest group of connected spaces that share the same material, and so on.
For example: A player has five connected spaces of wood structures, which gives them three experience points each, for a total of fifteen experience points.
Scoring round C (Type)
In the third scoring round, players choose from one of four structures: decoration, dwelling, animal house, or bridge. Then, the players identify the largest group of connected spaces that share the same structure, and so on.
For example: A player has three connected spaces of bridges, which gives them six experience points each, for a total of eighteen experience points.
End of the game
After the third scoring round, players score each mob tile with an experience counter and icon. As opposed to the three scoring rounds, mob tiles count all spaces of a characteristic, regardless if the spaces are connected or not.
For example: A player defeated four mobs throughout the game. The scoring is as follows.
- The player gained two experience points for each forest space, for a total of four.
- The player gained three experience points for their obsidian structure.
- The player gained three experience points for their two animal houses, a total of six.
- The player had no sand structure, so no points are awarded (if they did, it would be two experience points for each).
In total, the player gained thirteen experience points.
After each mob tile with an experience counter and icon is scored, experience points are compared among the players. The player with the most experience points is the winner. If there is a tie, the player with the most blocks from the cube is the winner. If there is still a tie, the tied players are the winners.
An add-on to the base game, titled Minecraft Builders & Biomes: Farmer's Market was released on October 1, 2020 throughout Europe, and October 15, 2020 worldwide. The add-on allows players to grow crops, trade crops with villagers, and obtain items with abilities to use for their player board.
- Minecraft: Builders & Biomes - minecraft.net, November 15, 2019
- Minecraft: Builders & Biomes game rules
- Farmer's Market: Builders & Biomes gets an expansion! - minecraft.net, October 13, 2020