- 88 Islands
- 4 Player boards
- 32 Special islands
- Action boards
- 4 Starting islands
- 4 Player tokens
- 4 Player markers
- 24 Victory point markers
- 1 Supply board
- 60 Inhabitants
- 1 Scoring pad
The world of Skylands has failed, leaving behind only the fragments of floating islands. However, using their skills as mystics, the inhabitants can rebuild the islands and cities of their home world.
To do so, they will need to harness the energy of the woods, mountains, and crystals, enabling them to create special new islands and supply energy to their cities.
Each player creates their own world of islands by placing island tiles on their player board, forging new islands made entirely of woods, mountains, or crystals; or cities used for scoring victory points.
On their turn, a player will take one of the four possible actions. Not only will that player perform the action, but also the other players, although the active player will gain a bonus.
The actions allow players to place new island tiles, fill completed islands with inhabitants, construct special islands, and generate victory points by powering their cities with crystals.
Object of the Game
The game ends after one player has covered the penultimate square on their board or when the supply of islands or victory points has been exhausted. All players will add together their victory points (VPs), and whoever scored the most wins the game.
Place the supply board in the center of the playing area and add the 4 action boards like a jigsaw puzzle. Place the 60 inhabitants on the supply board, according to their color.
Assemble the stack of islands: Depending on the number of players, remove island tiles with these symbols:
Return all unused tiles to the game box. Mix all remaining island tiles well, face down, and stack them next to the action board U Discover islands.
Place the following number of Victory point markers in a common supply next to the board:
Return all unused markers to the game box
The Islands of Skylands:
There are four different types of islands in Skylands:
A complete island is made of adjacent tiles of the same type in which a complete border can be drawn around the terrain type.
Assemble the display of special islands:
Sort the special island tiles by the color shown on the back of the tiles and mix each stack separately. Then draw 4 tiles from each stack forming a display of 16 tiles placing them next to the board U Create islands, as shown in the illustration.
Return all unused special island tiles back into the game box.
The details of all the different special island tiles are described in detail on page 8 in the special islands overview.
For your first game of Skylands, or if playing with new players, the 16 tiles depicted in the set-up picture are recommended as an introductory game.
If there are any open edges, the island is incomplete.
The actions "Deploy inhabitants" and "Convert energy" can only be performed on complete islands, and only complete islands will score victory points according to the number of their spaces at the end of the game.
Depending on their structure, the islands have differing numbers of spaces.
Individual Player Components:
Each player takes a player marker and a player token of a chosen color. All players turn their player marker on its active side.
Each player chooses a player board:
Place the board on the table with the side with the pre-printed islands facing up. These squares count like 3 tiles already placed for the complete game.
Variant: Tactical start
Use the empty side of the player board. Each player takes one starting island tile and 3 islands tiles from the supply, keeping two of these.
Then, all players place their starting island tiles and the other two islands on their player board). Each player may freely choose which side of their starting island to use. Form a discard pile from the unused island tiles.
Fill in the names of all players into the first row of the chart on the scoring pad, according to their chosen player color.
Setup is complete and the game is ready to start.
Rules for Placing Tiles
The rules for placing tiles apply to all island and all special island tiles. Once placed, tiles are not allowed to be turned or relocated.
Tiles may be placed on any empty square of a player's own player board.
Each edge of a placed tile must match the type (woods, mountains, crystals, city, or clouds) of adjacent tiles.
Before adding the tile to their player board, the player may rotate it to any orientation.
Edge of the Board:
There is no restriction for tiles placed at the edge of the player board, any type of island or clouds fit here.
Important: Islands that are placed with an open edge adjacent to the edge of the player board can never be completed!
Example: This picture shows 5 examples of tiles placed adjacent to the edge of the player board.
First, choose a starting player at random.
Skylands is played over a series of game rounds. During each round, the starting player begins, and the other players follow in a clockwise direction. A player performing their turn is referred to as the active player.
When starting their turn, the active player relocates their player token from its current position on one action board to one of the three other action boards.
First game round: During the first round, the active player puts their player token on any action board of their choice. Any number of player tokens may be on the same action board.
Example: Felix's player token is standing on the action board "Deploy inhabitants". He can now choose one of the other three actions and move his token to the corresponding board.
Next, all players perform the active player's chosen action, beginning with the active player, and continuing clockwise. The active player will receive a bonus that the other players will not.
After all players have completed the action, play continues to the next player. After all players have been active player once, a new round begins.
Once per game, a player may repeat their previous action and keep their token on the same action board. They must flip their player marker to its passive side to do so.
Example: Laura is the active player. In the first game round, she has chosen to U Discover Islands. To repeat this action in the second round she flips over her player marker and does not move her player token.
The Actions in Detail
The active player reveals as many island tiles as the number of players plus one, displaying them in a good view of all players.
Starting with the active player, each player takes one of the revealed islands and adds it to their player board, according to the rules for placing tiles.
In case a player cannot place an island according to the rules, or does not want to, they pass and take no island from the display.
The Active Player's Bonus:
After all players have taken one island tile, or have passed, the active player may take one more island tile or pass.
Return any remaining islands from the display to the discard pile.
Example: In a game of four players, Maria reveals 5 tiles from the stack. She then has the first pick, choosing the large wood island fragment. She immediately places it on her player board.
Starting with the active player, each player chooses one complete island of woods, mountains, or crystals on their player board with at least one space not occupied by an inhabitant (you cannot choose cities).
Then, the player places one inhabitant of the matching color from the common supply on each unoccupied space of that complete island. If the number of required inhabitants in the common sup- ply is insufficient, any remaining spaces are left empty.
The Active Player's Bonus:
The active player may choose two complete islands instead of one and deploy inhabitants immediately on both islands.
Starting with the active player, each player may choose one special island tile from the display.
In order to take a special island, the player must return the inhabitants shown on that tile from their player board to the supply. The white inhabitant represents one inhabitant of any color (green, purple, or blue).
Example: Max puts the depicted inhabitants from his board back into the supply, using a blue one for the white inhabitant of any color.
Then he places the chosen tile on his player board.
The tiles must be placed on the player's board according to the rules for placing tiles (see page 4). If a player does not have the required number and/or types of inhabitants to return, cannot place any tile according to the rules or does not want any, they must pass.
The Active Player's Bonus:
The active player does not have to return the undefined white inhabitant when taking the special island.
Example: Laura chooses the depicted special island tile and puts one green and one purple inhabitant back to the supply. She is the active player, thus ignores the undefined white inhabitant. Then she places the special island tile on her player board.
There are 4 different types of special islands:
No effect: These tiles count like any other island you get from the "Discover islands" action.
One time effect: Each tile has a one time effect that is either triggered when placed on the board or if a certain condition is met.
Ongoing effect: As soon as the tile is placed on the board, the player gains the effect for the rest of the game.
Scoring effect: Each tile shows a condition that scores victory points to the player for each time it is met.
Important: The condition can be met multiple times.
In given player order, each player selects one of their completed crystal islands with at least one inhabitant and one of their completed city islands. Then, the player moves the inhabitants from the crystal
island to the spaces of the city island until each space on the city island is occupied or until all inhabitants from the crystal island have been moved. Finally, the player gains 1 VP from the supply for each occupied space on the city island, and all inhabitants of the city are returned to the supply.
Important: If the supply of victory point markers is exhausted during this action, players record all victory points that couldn't be rewarded to the players with markers on the scoring pad in the section matching their player color (put them in brackets). The game ends after this action.
Example: Felix puts two inhabitants from his crystal island onto the two spaces of his city islands. He gains 2 VP from the supply for this. Then he removes the two inhabitants from the city.
The Active Player's Bonus:
The active player may either move inhabitants:
from one or two crystal islands to one city island or
from one crystal island to one or two city islands.
The active player also receives 2 additional VPs (at least one blue inhabitant must have been moved to get these VPs).
End of the Game
The game ends after a player's turn, if:
- at least one player has only one or no empty square left on their player board.
- the supply of VP markers is exhausted.
Game end exception: If the required number of island tiles cannot be revealed from the stack in the action "Discover islands", the game ends at once without performing the action.
The players gain VPs for the following categories, recording them on the scoring pad:
For each empty square on their player board the player loses 2 VPs (- 2 VPs).
For every 2 inhabitants on their player board the player gains 1 VP (+1 VP).
Each space on completed islands is worth 1 VP.
Each special island tile that is part of a complete island is worth as many VPs as shown in the upper right corner of the tile. A special island that is surrounded by clouds on its tile is complete in itself.
For special islands showing a "?" a variable amount of VPs is awarded (see page 8: Special islands with scoring effect).
Players add up the following points:
- VPs collected in form of markers.
- 2 VPs, if their player marker is still on its active side.
- VPs written down in brackets here, if any.
Add up the points of all categories for each player. The player with the most victory points is the winner of the game!
In case of a tie for the most points, the tied players share the victory.