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The year is 1566. The Order of Malta has placed the first stone of what will become a powerful city in the Mediterranean.

Two to four players will undertake the building projects that will make Valletta the future capital of Malta. Players will score points by constructing buildings and enlisting the aid of historical characters.

On your turn, you play three cards, one after the other, and use each card's effect. After you have played and resolved three cards, draw until you have five cards in your hand, then play passes to the player to your left. This continues until the final phase is triggered.


  • 1 Street Board, in 2 pieces
  • 25 Barrel Tokens
  • 4 x 25/50 and 4 x 75/100 Tokens
  • 37 Building Cards
  • 73 Character Cards
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 32 Houses
  • 4 Player Figures
  • 42 Coins
  • 30 Wood
  • 30 Stones
  • 30 Bricks
  • 1 Jean Parisot de Valette Figure
  • 1 Card Reference

Object of the Game

Once the final phase is completed, players move on to the game end phase after which the player with the most points wins the game.


  1. Assemble the street board and place it in the center of the play area.

  2. Shuffle the 25 barrel tokens and place one token facedown on each space of the street, as shown.

  3. Place the 25/50 tokens on top of one of the towers at the end of the street.

    Place the 75/100 tokens on top of the other tower.

  4. Sort all building cards by color. Then, randomly take a number of cards of each color based on the number of players as shown here:

    2 players686
    3 players8107
    4 players10128

    Shuffle these cards together; you will use these cards to prepare the display. When preparing the display, make sure you place the building cards faceup, with the parchment showing in the top-left corner.

    Start by placing a row of five cards above the street as shown. Then place a row of five cards below the street.

    Continue placing rows of five cards, alternating above and below the street, until all building cards have been placed. There will be four/five/six rows with 2/3/4 players respectively.

    Return the remaining building cards to the box.

  5. Each player chooses a color and takes the matching player board, placing it in front of him.

  6. Each player takes the eight characters cards showing his colored player icon in the bottom- right corner (each icon also shows a Greek letter to help differentiate them).

    Each player shuffles his cards and places them facedown on the closed door space of his player board to create his deck.

    Then, each player draws five cards from his deck to create his initial hand of cards.

  7. Take out the four red Builders (without an icon in their bottom- right corner) and place them faceup next to the street to create a supply.

  8. Each building is paired with a character; both are identified with the same letter in their bottom-right corner (e.g., the "A" building is paired with the "A" character).

    For each building in play, find the matching character card and place it faceup on the top-right corner of its building (the icons on the left and bottom of the building must remain visible).

    Even though some characters appear more than once, place only one character on each building. Return the remaining character cards to the box.

    Note: For clarity, this setup shows only the Banker. The complete setup will include one character on each building. Since each character has a different effect, we suggest you take a moment to go over the various characters before starting the game.

  9. Each player takes the figure and the eight houses of his color. The figures are placed in front of the "1" space of the street.

  10. Place all goods (gold, wood, stone, and brick ) next to the street board to create a supply. Then each player takes one good of each of the four types.

  11. Place the Jean Parisot de Valette figure on the tower left of the barrels.

  12. The player who was most recently on an island is the first player.

    Place one good of each type near the street board. Starting with the player to the right of the first player and proceeding counterclockwise, each player takes one of those goods until all players have taken one.

    When playing with fewer than four players, return the remaining goods to the supply.

Game Play

During your turn, you must play three cards from your hand, one at a time. To play a card, place it faceup in the lowest-numbered empty space on your player board, then you may use its effect. You can choose not to use an effect.

Example: You play the Lumberjack, which instructs you to take 1 You place the Lumberjack card on space "1" of your player board and take 1 wood from the supply.

Exception: When you play the Jean Parisot de Valette card, you must advance his figure.

Each turn you must play exactly three cards; you cannot pass your turn.

Exception: On your last turn, you may find yourself with fewer than three cards in your hand. In this case, play your remaining cards.

After playing your three cards and using their effects, move them from their spaces to your discard pile.

Finally, draw cards from your deck until you have five cards in your hand.

Note: When you need to draw a card and your deck is empty, shuffle your discard pile and place it facedown on your player board to create your new deck.

After your turn, the next player in clockwise order takes her turn.

Final Phase

The final phase is triggered when a player does one of the following:

  • Moves Jean Parisot de Valette onto the last barrel.

  • Moves his figure onto space 25.

  • Places his eighth house.

After the player has finished his turn by drawing up to five cards in hand, the final phase begins.

Each player shuffles his deck and discard pile together and places the cards facedown on his board to create a new deck.

Note: The cards in a player's hand are not shuffled together with his deck and discard pile.

The final phase is played over several turns, over the course of which each player will play his entire deck exactly once. During the final phase, player turns are played exactly as before with the following two changes:

  • If you cannot draw until you have five cards, draw only the cards remaining in your deck. Do not create a new deck from your discard pile.

  • Once you have played your last card, your turn will be skipped for the rest of the game.

Scoring Points

Some effects allow you to score points during the game. Whenever you score points, advance your player figure that many spaces on the street board.

During the final phase, you will most likely advance your figure past space "25": continue advancing it from space "1" and use a 25/50 or 75/100 token to track your points above 25.

End of the Game

The game ends when all players have played all of their cards. Each player scores the points shown in the bottom-right corner of each of his buildings.

Example: At the end of the game, Red has the buildings shown here: She scores 25 points (2+3+4+4+3+1+8).

Then, each player scores 1 point for every three of his goods, rounded down, regardless of type.

Example: Red still has 4 gold 1 wood^^, and 2 stones '(11 for a total of seven goods.

She scores 2 points.

The player with the most points wins.

In case of a tie, the tied player who built the most houses wins. If the tie persists, the tied players share the victory.

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