The Map represents a part of the Alps and is divided horizontally into three areas: Mountains, Hills and Plains (from top to bottom). Each area is identified by a different background and a specific symbol.
There are a number of basins in each of the three areas. Each basin has building spaces where players can build their structures. Basins are naturally connected by rivers; colored conduits connect the dams of a basin to the powerhouses of another basin.
There are 4 basins in the Mountains, each containing two spaces for Bases and two spaces for Conduits.
There are 3 basins in the Hills, each containing two spaces for Powerhouses, two spaces for Bases and two spaces for Conduits.
There are 3 basins on the top of the Plains, each containing three spaces for Powerhouses, two spaces for Bases and two spaces for Conduits.
There are 2 basins on the bottom of the Plains, each containing four spaces for Powerhouses.
Players can build three types of structures on the Map: Dams, Conduits and Powerhouses.
Two different structure pieces are used to create Dams: Bases and Elevations. Bases can only be built on building spaces with the related icon. Elevations can only be built over Bases or other Elevations.
A Dam is thus made of a Base upon which there can be up to two Elevations (0, 1 or 2). Its level can therefore vary from 1 (Base only) to 3 (Base plus 2 Elevations). There are two types of Dams: neutral and personal.
Neutral Dams are placed at the beginning of the game and stay there the entire game: players cannot modify Neutral Dams. On the contrary, Personal Dams are built by players. Each Personal Dam belongs to one particular player: you cannot build an Elevation over a Base belonging to another player.
Conduits and Powerhouses are made of one piece only and can only be built in building spaces with the related icons.
The building space for Powerhouses (on the left) and Conduits (on the right) and their symbols on the Map.
Water is the most precious resource in the game. Players don't own water but they will try to control it. Water Drops enter the game at the Headstreams at the top of the Map.
Some Water Drops are placed according to the indications on the Headstream tiles during the Headstream Phase, and others are placed by players through actions and other effects.
Water normally flows following the natural course of rivers travelling downhill.
Basins are connected to one another by rivers which serve to indicate the natural movement of water. When a Water Drop passes over a basin at the bottom of the Map, it will then be removed. The natural flow of water is interrupted by the presence of Dams.
The level of a Dam (the number of pieces it is made of) corresponds to the exact amount of Water Drops that it can hold.
If a Water Drop reaches a Dam as it flows along its natural course it will, then, stop behind it, until the Dam reaches its maximum capacity, that is to say, as long as it does not already have a number of Water Drops equal to its level.
If the Dam is already full, Water Drops pass through and continue their natural flow beyond the Dam. Water Drops are moved one at a time.
Two Water Drops are flowing into a basin where there is a level 2 Neutral Dam already holding one Water Drop (on the left). This Dam will hold one flowing Water Drop, while the other will pass the Dam and continue to flow (on the right).
Water Drops being held in a Dam cannot be moved until a player performs a production action.
The key of the game is the production of energy.
In order to produce energy you need three elements: a Powerhouse, a Dam holding at least one Water Drop and a Conduit connecting them.
For the sake of production, you must find out whether a Dam is connected to a Powerhouse. To do so you can look at the basins containing structures (the grey tubes in the basins help showing the Dams and the connected Conduits.
The colored tubes illustrated on the Map represent possible connections that only become active when a player places a Conduit piece in the corresponding building space).
Players must build Conduits to connect the various structures. An active Conduit connects all the Dams on the originating basin to all the Powerhouses on the ending basin. A Dam and a Powerhouse in the same basin are not considered connected.
In this example, the red Powerhouse on the right is connected to the red Dam and to the neutral Dam in the upper-left basin via a red Conduit. The red Powerhouse on the left is connected to the same Dams via a green Conduit.
The structures involved in production
The Powerhouse must belong to the player performing the production action.
The Dam holding one (or more) Water Drop must belong to the player performing the action, or be neutral.
The Conduit connecting the two structures can belong to any player. If it belongs to the player performing the action there are no extra costs; if it belongs to another player, the player performing the action must pay 1 Credit to the player who owns the Conduit, while the player owning it will score 1 Victory Point, for every Water Drop that was moved through the Conduit.
In order to produce energy, you must move Water Drops from a Dam to a connected Powerhouse.
Each Conduit has a production value depicted on the Map. Each Water Drop travelling along a Conduit generates an amount of Energy Units equal to its production value.
When production is over the Water Drops leave the Powerhouse used for production and follow their natural course along rivers, other basins and possibly on to other Dams.
The red Powerhouse drains one Water Drop from the connected red Dam through a red Conduit of value 3: Paul (red) produces 3 Energy Units (before applying any bonus or malus).
The red Powerhouse drains two Water Drops from a Neutral Dam through a black Conduit of value 3: Paul (red) produces 6 Energy Units and gives Joanna (black) 2 Credits; Joanna also scores 2 VPs.
When you produce Energy Units, they are recorded on the Energy Track. All the Energy Units produced in each round are recorded on the Energy Track.
This determines: the amount of Credits you gain for that round, your eligibilty to score Victory Points for the Bonus tile and Victory Points for those players who produced the most Energy Units during the corrent round.
The Energy markers are used to record the amount of Energy Units produced during the round.
In addition to being recorded on the Energy Track, the energy produced can be used to fulfill a Contract. The necessary Energy Unit required to fulfill the Contract is indicated on its left side.
If the amount of produced Energy Units either reaches or exceeds that value, the player immediately obtains the reward shown on the right part of the Contract.
The reward can be a gain of VPs, Credits or Machineries, or an immediate special action. Each Contract can only be fulfilled once in the game.
It is possible to fulfill only one Contract per single production.