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for the piecepack (v0.1b)
Copyright 2001 by James Kyle
4 players - 90 minutes


All parts of one piecepack are needed. Additionally, up to 24 stackable tokens are needed to represent mined silver; pennies or bingo chips work well.


Each player represents a nation of Europe seeking wealth from a newly discovered island during the age of colonial expansion:

Suns England
Moons Pirate Confederation
Crowns Spain
Arms France

After forming the isle, players move colonist crews (coins) across the isle on foot, or around the coast by sea in a ship (pawn). Crews exploring new land on foot claim new property for their port (null tile), may establish a mine (die), and fight enemy colonists. After a mine is established, crews may mine the site and transport silver (tokens) to their colony or their ship. The ship may transport silver and/or crews around the coast of the isle and to Europe (off board).


The game ends when all four silver mines are depleted and all silver is in Europe. The player who transported the most silver to Europe wins. Ties are broken according to the following criteria, in order:

  1. most land tiles controlled
  2. most colonist crews on isle (including ship, if not in Europe)
  3. highest total of crew values on isle
  4. highest single crew value on isle


Remove all four null tiles and set them aside. Shuffle all remaining tiles face-down. Place one of the tiles face-down in the middle of the table and put one pawn on each edge of the tile; this creates an association between each of the isle's coasts with a color (for example: red=north, black=south, green=west, blue=east). Take turns picking a tile and adding it to the isle in the following manner:

Turn the tile over to check its color and value. Add the tile, face-down, to the isle's coast that matches the color of the new tile by placing it in the row or column that contains a number of tiles equal to the new tile's value (for example, the 3 of suns would go on the north end of the column containing three tiles). If there is no row or column with a number of tiles matching the new tile's value, subtract 1 from the value and try again, repeating as needed until you find a proper placement. If there is more than one row that matches, choose the one closest to the starting tile (with the pawns on it). If there is still a tie, choose at will. If there is no suitable row or column (for example, if you draw the ace of crowns and all rows have 2 or more tiles in them), discard the tile from the game.

Once all the tiles have been placed or discarded in this way, the isle is complete. Give one null tile, die, pawn, and six coins, all of matching color, to each player. Roll to see who will be the first player. Starting with the first player, place your null tile (your port) face-up along the coast closest to your side of the table. In other words, slide your port tile from your side of the table (assuming each player sits at a different side of the table) up against the coast of the isle closest to you so that it aligns with any of the "columns" of tiles that make up the isle. Each port must have at least one corner exposed at which ships may dock (see MOVING A SHIP ALONG THE COAST). Leave a small gap between your port tile and the isle to denote your control of your port tile.


As play progresses, the isle will be divided into areas controlled by various players, as well as uncontrolled areas. The borders between areas are demarcated by a small gap. To add a tile to one of your controlled areas, slide the tile so that it abuts your closest controlled tiles, leaving a slight gap between the newly acquired tile and any tiles surrounding it that you do not currently control.

At the start of the game, players control only their respective ports, so the null tiles should be set off from the rest of the isle by slight gaps. Although crews at your port can be attacked, and silver may be taken from it, you can never lose control of your port.


The primary field of play in Silver Isle is the isle created during setup. Each player also maintains resources "in Europe" which can be thought of as each player's hand. Your ship (pawn), your colonist crews (coins), and your mine (die) all begin the game in Europe (with nothing loaded on the ship). The silver tokens begin the game in a pile off to the side.

When your crews or ship are destroyed in combat, they do not leave the game permanently. Remove the crews or ship from the board, and return them to Europe. These may be brought back onto the board through normal play (loading crews onto the ship and moving the ship from Europe to your port).


Starting with the first player, take turns until all silver has been transported to Europe. On your turn, first check to make sure you can feed all of your colonists (see Starvation below). Then, perform any two actions from the following choices (you may perform the same action twice in a turn):


Each turn, before taking any actions, you must check for starvation of your colonist crews. For each crew within a controlled area of the isle, you must have at least one tile within the area. (Note: the crews do NOT need to be distributed one per tile.) If an area you control contains more crews than tiles, you must eliminate the extra crews (your choice). The value of the crews is not significant for starvation purposes.


Each of your coins represents a crew of colonists. Crews travel suit-side up, so that their values remain hidden until involved in an attack. To move a crew, simply move the coin from its current space to any empty adjacent or diagonal space. (Moving one space costs one action.)

If your crew moves onto an uncontrolled tile, you immediately gain control of the tile. If you have not yet discovered your mine, you may discover your mine in this tile.

If your crew moves onto a tile controlled by another player, but that player does not currently have a crew on the tile, you immediately gain control of the tile. Also, if that player has not yet discovered their mine, you may discover their mine in this tile. (See DISCOVERING MINES)

If your crew moves onto a tile controlled by another player and that player has one or more crews on the tile, your crew must immediately attack all of the opponent's crews simultaneously (i.e., the enemy crews fight together with their values combined). This attack does not count as a separate action. If you win the fight, you gain control of the tile. If the fight is a push, your opponent retains control of the tile.

A crew may not move into a space occupied by another crew. A crew may not move into a space occupied by a mine. A crew may not move into an enemy port. Any number of crews may occupy their home port.


Ships travel around the isle from tile corner to tile corner. To show a ship's position, place the pawn (with any crews and silver it is carrying stacked beneath it) on the table next to the corner of a tile that is entirely surrounded by "water" (i.e., the tile's corner does not touch any other tiles). Only tile corners surrounded by water are eligible for ship movement.

To move a ship along the coast, move the pawn (and any crews and/or silver stacked beneath it) from its current tile corner to any other eligible tile corner that is within the ship's sight. In other words, if you were to draw an imaginary line between the ship's current location and its destination, that line must not cross over any part of the isle. If such a line would only touch an interim tile corner, or if the line runs along tile edges, the move is legal (and only takes one action).

Any number of ships may be in a single location. Ships at the same location may attack each other.

If a ship is docked at a port (i.e., an eligible corner of a null tile), it may attack or be attacked by crews at the port.


A ship must arrive at the isle from Europe by docking at its home port.

To move a ship from Europe to your port, move the pawn (and any crews and/or silver stacked beneath it) from the area of the table in front of you to any corner of your port that is surrounded by "water".


A ship must depart for Europe from its home port.

To move a ship to Europe, move the pawn (and any crews and/or silver stacked beneath it) from the port to an area of the table in front of you. Arriving in Europe does NOT automatically unload the contents of the ship. Each item must be moved onto or off of the ship by spending actions (see LOAD SILVER/COLONISTS ONTO A SHIP and UNLOAD SILVER/COLONISTS FROM A SHIP).


To load one of your colonist crews or a silver token onto a ship, the crew or token must occupy the space closest to the ship. Remove the crew or silver from the space and place it beneath the pawn, stacking it with any other crew and silver there. A crew carrying a silver token must be loaded separately from the silver.

Ships may carry any number of crew and silver tokens.


To unload a crew or silver token from your ship, remove the crew or silver token from the stack beneath the ship and place it on the closest space.


To extract silver from a mine, you must control the tile the mine is on, and you must have a colonist crew in a space next to the mine (adjacent or diagonal). The mine need not be your own color. Decrease the value shown on the die by one and place a silver token onto the crew. Each crew can carry only one silver token.

When the last silver token is extracted from a mine, leave the die null-side up in its space.


If a silver token is not being carried by a crew and is not on a ship, it is considered unprotected (even if it is at a port). Any crew or ship that is next to the silver (adjacent or diagonal) may pick up the silver token as an action. A crew can carry only one silver token.


To attack an enemy crew that is next to one of your crews, declare which of your crews is attacking which enemy crew. Turn over the crews and compare the values.

If the value of your crew is higher, the attack is successful. Remove the enemy crew. Your crew, however, will suffer damage equal to the enemy crew's value. If you have any crews left in Europe, you must immediately replace your damaged crew with another crew from Europe with a value no greater than your attacking crew's original value minus the enemy crew's value. If the enemy crew was carrying a silver token, and if your crew was not, place the silver token onto your crew.

If the value of your crew is lower, your attack is not successful. Remove your crew. The enemy crew must suffer damage equal to your crew's value, as described above. If your crew was carrying a silver token and the enemy crew was not, place the silver token on the enemy crew.

If the value of your crew matches the enemy crew's value, remove both crews and leave any silver they were carrying in their respective spaces.

If a null-value crew is ever involved in a fight, it will be eliminated whether it is on the winning or losing side.


A ship may only make an attack if it has one or more colonist crews stacked beneath it. A ship may attack any other ship sharing its location. A ship may also attack a port at which it is docked. A ship may also attack a colonist crew that is in the space closest to the ship's location.

A port may only make an attack if it has one or more colonist crews on it. A port may attack any ship docked at the port. A port may also attack any crew that is next to it (adjacent or diagonal).

When a ship or port is involved in a fight, the result is determined as described above (see ATTACKING AN ENEMY CREW) with the exception that the values of all the crews in the ship or port are added together before comparison with the opponent's crew value(s). When applying damage to a stack of crews, you may choose which units to eliminate, but only one may be devalued by replacement from a crew from Europe.

When a ship loses a fight, it is destroyed (sent back to Europe). The pawn is immediately made available as a new ship in Europe (it does not cost an action to rebuild the ship).


Discovering a mine is not a random process. The following conditions must be met to place a mine:

  1. You must be gaining control of a tile. If the tile is uncontrolled, you may discover your own mine. If the tile is controlled by another player, you may discover that player's mine.
  2. The tile must not already contain a mine (whether or not the mine is still producing silver).
  3. The mine must not already have been placed.

Place the mine in any unoccupied space of the tile. The value shown on the die will be the number of silver tokens the mine will produce throughout the game. Determine the mine's value by counting the smallest number of moves a crew would need to move on foot from the mine's space to the port of matching color.