In Pioneer Days, you'll lead a wagon train and spend 4 weeks heading out west. You'll collect cattle, townsfolk and equipment, pan for gold, and earn favors from the towns you visit along the way. Can you deal with the disasters the wild frontier will throw your way?


Components

  • 2 Game Boards
  • 8 Player Boards
  • 4 Score Markers
  • 4 Disaster Markers
  • 20 Wagon Cards
  • 60 Townsfolk Cards
  • 18 Town Cards
  • 2 Draw Bags
  • 36 Gold tokens
  • 25 Dice
  • 27 Equipment Tiles

Setup

Randomly assign 1 start player token to one player. This token will change hands throughout the game. Put 1 set of dice (1 of each color) plus 1 set per player in the game into the dice bag and return the rest to the box. Give that bag to the start player.

Set the main board and the score board side by side in the play area. Place the 4 score markers near the beginning of the score track. Put the 4 disaster markers at the beginning of the corresponding disaster tracks on the main board.

Keep the 20 wagon cards in a handy supply.

Choose any 2 sets of townsfolk cards, shuffle them together, and return the rest to the box. Then deal out 6 townsfolk, 1 in each townsfolk space beside the board. For your first game we recommend using sets A and B.

Shuffle the town cards and place 9 of them in a stack on the indicated space on the board. Return the rest to the box. Deal 2 town cards face up in the indicated spaces. These represent the needs of the first town you will visit.

Give 2 player boards to each player. From your 2, choose 1 to use and return the other to the box. You may use the unique side or the standard pioneer side of the player board. Take the starting resources listed on your chosen player board.

Note: For your first game, we recommend using the "Pioneer" side of the player board.

Put the tokens representing cattle, medicine, wood, damage, silver, and favors in handy supply piles.

Mix the equipment tiles face down and stack on the General Store space on the board. Turn 1 face up, plus an additional 1 for each player in the game, to form an available supply in the space below the store.

Equipment, wood, medicine and gold tokens must be placed in your wagon spaces. 2 wood or 2 medicine can fit into 1 wagon space. Gold tokens are stored face down, although you may look at your tokens at any time. Cattle, townsfolk, favours and coins don't take up wagon space.

Resources in this game are not intended to be piece limited. In the rare case that something runs out, use a suitable proxy.


Object of the Game

The winner is the player who finishes with the most victory points (VPs). Gold nuggets, cattle and favors will score you VPs either during or at the end of the game, while each townsfolk you have will score you bonus VPs for items you've accumulated.

Accumulate the right items to score your townsfolk, while mitigating the disasters that threaten to scupper your plans.


Game Play

A game of Pioneer Days is played over 4 rounds called WEEKS, each made up of 5 DAYS.

Each player will have 1 turn per day to select a die and use it. At the end of the week, players will arrive in a new town, score points, and earn favors by satisfying the needs of the town.

Note: The disasters (described below) will be an important part of your tactical decisions. Be sure all players understand how they work before you begin play.

Start of a Week

  1. Put 1 set of dice (1 die of each color), plus 1 more set per player, into the dice bag.



  2. Remove any town cards from the previous week and deal 2 new ones from the deck to the indicated spaces. In the last week of the game, reveal the final card in the deck as well, so that all 3 town cards are available in the last week.



  3. Return any remaining face-up equipment from the previous week to the box and reveal 1 new equipment tile, plus 1 more per player in the game.



  4. Discard any remaining townsfolk cards from the previous week and deal out 6 new ones into the townsfolk spaces.





A day in the life of a Pioneer

  1. The start player randomly draws 1 die, plus 1 more die per player, from the dice bag, and rolls them. This is the dice pool.



  2. Starting with the start player and progressing clockwise, each player takes a turn. On your turn...

    1. Take a die from the pool and note the image on the die face.



    2. Check to see if you have any equipment or townsfolk that trigger based on that die face.



    3. You may then pay 3 silver to change the die to any face. Note, this new die face does not trigger equipment or townsfolk!



    4. Use the die in 1 of 3 ways, based on the die face showing. These are described below in more detail:

      • Income: Take silver;
      • Action: Take an action; or
      • Recruit: Take a townsfolk.
    5. Discard the die to the appropriately colored space on the board.



  3. After each player has taken a die, one die will remain. Advance the disaster marker on the track corresponding to the color of the remaining die. If a black die remained, advance ALL of the disaster markers one space each.



    When a marker reaches the end of its track, the corresponding disaster triggers immediately. When more than one disaster triggers at once, resolve them in order from top to bottom.

  4. Pass the start player token clockwise to start the next day, and repeat steps 1-4. After 5 days, the dice bag will be empty, and the week will be over.


Income

Check the main board for the amount of silver you get based on your die face.



Dice Actions

Based on the die face showing on your die, take one of the following actions:

Wild: You may take any one of the other dice actions: Mine, Equip, Cattle, Wood or Medicine.


Mine: Draw 1 gold token from the gold bag and place it face down on a space in one of your wagons. You may look at the token at any time.


Equip: Take any 1 of the available equipment tiles and place it on a space in one of your wagons.


Cattle: Take 1 cattle from the stock and add it to your herd, next to your wagons.


Wood: Take 1 wood from the stock and place it on a space in one of your wagons. Each wagon space can hold 2 wood at a time.


Medicine: Take 1 medicine and place it on a space in one of your wagons. Each wagon space can hold 2 medicine at a time.


Remember: You can take equipment, gold, wood or medicine even if there are not enough free spaces in your wagons; but you must discard any items that you are not able to accommodate by the end of your turn (you can switch items around in your wagons freely at any time).

Certain townsfolk cards may contradict the above rules. In these cases, the individual card supersedes the rules.

Equipment

Equipment must be stored in a space on one of your wagons. Each Equipment tile offers a bonus, often related to choosing specific dice.

For example, this equipment means you may draw 1 gold token when choosing a die showing wood.




Recruit a Townsfolk

Take the townsfolk card from the slot matching the die face on your die. Townsfolk do not take up space in your wagons.



Townsfolk have either an immediate effect (). a triggered effect (), or an ongoing effect ().

Resolve immediate effects when you take the townsfolk. Resolve triggered and ongoing effects according to the game text on the townsfolk card.

At the end of the game, surviving townsfolk will score points based on their endgame scoring conditions.

When disease strikes, you will need to pay medicine for your townsfolk or else discard them.


Buying Wagons

During your turn, you may spend $5 to get a small wagon, or $8 to get a large wagon. You may buy as many wagons as you can afford.



Disasters

When any disaster marker reaches the final space of its track, that disaster will befall all players immediately. At the end of the game, all of the disaster tracks will advance 1 more time, which may trigger additional disasters.

Storms

Pay 1 wood for each wagon or place a damage token covering 2 of that wagon's spaces. No items can be stored on spaces with a damage token, and any items that cannot be stored as a result must be returned to stock.

However, you may rearrange what is in each of your wagons before you discard. Each damage token on your wagons at the end of the game is worth -2 VP.



Raid

Return half of your silver coins, rounded up, back into the stock. You may not buy items prior to resolving the raid.



Famine

For each of your cattle, you must pay 1 silver. Any cattle you cannot pay for are returned to stock.



Disease: For each townsfolk you have, either pay 1 medicine, or discard that townsfolk.



After resolving a disaster, place the disaster marker back on the first space of its track.


End of a Week ~ Visiting a Town

At the end of a day when the dice bag is empty, the week ends, and you arrive at a town, where you do the following three things, in order:

  1. Resolve any card effects that take place at the end of a week.



  2. Gain 1VP for each cattle you have.



  3. Satisfy the needs of the face up town cards in order to earn favors.

Each player may satisfy each card's requirements once, by discarding ALL of the items required. The town rewards any player satisfying the needs of a card with a number of favors indicated on that card.

Remember - favors are not stored on wagons.



Final Disasters

After the 4th and final week of the game, before visiting the town, advance each disaster track one final time. Resolve any disasters triggered from this in order, from top to bottom.

After resolving the final disasters, visit the town one last time.


End of the Game

The game ends after the final town is visited.

Note that the final town has 3 location cards with needs to be satisfied.

Calculate your score as follows:

  • Gain 1 VP per nugget displayed on your gold tokens (each token has 1, 2, or 3 nuggets).

  • Gain 2 VPs per favor. If you have (or are tied for) the most favor tokens, gain 5 VPs.

  • Gain VP according to your townsfolk. Check the bottom of each townsfolk card to see how many VP to gain.

  • Lose 2 VPs for each damage token on one of your wagons.

Note: If your score exceeds 50, flip your score marker over to the "+50" side and continue counting from the beginning of the score track.

The winner is the player with the most VPs.

In the case of a tie, the tied player with the most remaining silver wins. If there is still a tie, then share the victory.


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