Board game “Dessert home – Immigration”

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I use shipping boxes, tin cans and expired calendars in the making. The cube cup is made from a tin can and foam rubber. The fan-like shelters are made of plywood and biscuit tins.
The game is non-violent and encourages complex thinking, thanks to its extensive rule system. The game pieces have magnetic feet, which ensures stability on the iron-painted camp and on the shelters.

Game rules

1. Aim of the game

A fan-like object made of six rounded triangles, on each level there are coloured circles and a tent, colours: black, white, green, yellow, red and blue.

The place of refuge when the game is won

  • The first player to bring at least 5 play figures of each colour to a place of refuge is the winner.
  • One tent counts as many as three game figures.
  • Blue game figures can replace missing figures of another colour.

2. Structure of the playing field

Graphic of a complete playing field with all way fields

This is what the fully constructed playing field looks like. The beige octagons with one or three cacti are called path fields. They are placed during the course of the game. At the beginning of the game, the board is therefore still quite empty. When setting up the playing field, you have to leave space for four path fields between the two places of refuge (left) and the starting field (marked with “1”). There is a grey entry field in front of each place of refuge. Play figures must be guided into the place of refuge via the entry field.

3. Play figures and colours

There are 6 groups of play figures: Blue, White, Red, Yellow, Brown and Green. One figure represents 100 people. One tent stands for 3 figures or 300 people. If you have formed a group of three figures of the same colour, you should replace them with a tent to make them easier to pick up and move.

4. The dice system

Action points by rolling the dice

The dice are rolled with 6 dice. A dice arena with felt muffles the sound of falling dice on a tabletop and protects the dice.
You receive action points for your dice result, which you can use to create new squares or to move pieces. As long as this is possible, all action points must be used up. The only exception to this is reaching the goal with one or more playing pieces.
You decide which colour and thus which dice result you convert into action points. Example: You have rolled a white and a red 6, but you really want to move a green piece out of a danger zone. The green die shows only a 3. You decide to roll green anyway and thus forego a larger number of action points in favour of other colours.
The dice of your desired colour and other dice show the same number. This gives you bonuses (⬈ Bonus award). You can use your action points on pieces in the colours of the dice involved. You decide freely on the distribution of points for each colour. Example: Your desired colour is red. The red die shows 6. The white and black dice also show 6. The resulting 8 action points (⬈ bonus allocation) may be freely distributed among red, white and black playing pieces.
If the dice that come out of the dice cup at the same time during a roll show three identical numbers, you may roll the dice again. You can lay out as many dice as you like (leave them on the table). You can also roll the dice again with all six dice at the same time. Tip: Laying out the dice and rolling them again increases the chance of getting bonuses.

Awarding bonuses

  • Double and triple dice results in a small bonus (+1).
    • Example 1: two dice show a 6: The player receives 7 action points (6 + 1).
    • Example 2: three dice show a 4: the player receives 6 action points (4 + 1 + 1)
  • Quadruple and sixfold numbers (two or three pairs) result in a big bonus (x2)
    • Example 1: four dice show a 5: the player receives 10 points (2 pairs; 5 + 5)
    • Example 2: five dice show a 6: the player receives 13 points (6 + 6 + 1)
  • The highest possible number of action points is 18. For this, all dice must show the number 6 (6 + 6 + 6).

5. Starting fields, path fields, entry fields

  • Pieces can only be moved over the octagonal fields “entry field”, “path field” and “entry field”. This requires ⬈ action points.
  • A new way field costs one action point and must be placed either on an entry field or on an already existing way field.
  • Entry fields are marked with a “1”. A single piece (cost: 1 action point) or a single tent (3 action points) may be placed on an entry field.
  • Only water bearers (blue game pieces) may skip an occupied entry field. All other colours must bypass it.
  • Several figures or tents of the same colour may be grouped together on path squares.
  • At the beginning of the game, there are no path squares between the camp and the place of refuge. Path squares must be drawn and placed face down. A regular pattern must be created (⬈ Building the playing field).
  • New way squares are drawn at random. To do this, they must be shuffled and placed with the black side facing upwards, for example in the game box.
  • Playing pieces must be guided into the place of refuge via the entry field.

6. Moving play figures with action points

  • It costs one action point to move a piece or a group of pieces one space.
  • A playing figure or group may be moved up and down, left and right to an adjacent path square. Diagonal movements up, down, left or right are not permitted.
  • Fields with one or more pieces of a different colour cannot be jumped over. Only playing pieces accompanied by a ⬈ water bearer can do this.

7. Water bearer

  • Blue figures are called water bearers. They are trained in the refuges and sent by them to control the migration flows.
  • At the beginning of the game, the refuges are empty. As soon as a water bearer has reached the place of refuge, he can be sent to any path field with only one action point.
  • Water bearers accompany migrant groups. In this way, all other colours can also be moved with blue action points (number of points on the blue cube, ⬈ cube system). To do this, either a water bearer must already be with the other-coloured piece or group, or a free water bearer must first be sent from the place of refuge to the other-coloured piece or group.
  • Groups accompanied by a water bearer can skip squares with differently coloured pieces. Figures or groups without a water bearer must bypass them.
  • A water bearer can only carry out one mission per game round: If a water bearer arrives at the place of refuge alone or with a group and there are still action points for blue afterwards, the same blue playing piece cannot be sent. Only a second water bearer from the place of refuge or a new water bearer from the camp may be moved.
  • In the refuges, water bearer can replace the game pieces of the other colours. However, this can lead to a shortage of blue pieces in the game. When the last water bearer leaves the camp and all blue pieces are in the desert or in a refuge, the player with the most water bearers in the refuge must exchange half of them for other coloured pieces in the camp.

8. Influx – The lowest number

  • People are constantly pushing out of the camp to reach the place of refuge. This movement is represented by the smallest number of the dice result of each game round. The colour or colours of the dice with the smallest number determine the colour(s) of the following playing piece(s), whereby the blue dice do not count – if the blue dice shows the lowest number, no blue playing piece has to be placed on an entry field for this.
  • A piece that enters the playing field in this way can displace an existing piece of the same colour from the entry field. The occupied entry square becomes free and the displaced piece is moved to the horizontally adjacent path square.
  • If two dice show the lowest number and neither of them is the blue dice, two playing pieces with the colours shown must each be placed on an entry square.
  • If at least three dice, including the blue dice, show the lowest number, you may choose one of the colours (except blue) to move only one piece of that colour.

9. Small and large street

  • An uninterrupted row of 5 consecutive numbers when rolling the dice is a Small Road. It brings either 3 additional spaces or a movement boost of 3 spaces.
  • If the dice show a row from 1 to 6, you have rolled a rare Big Road. It brings you an additional 5 way squares or a movement boost of up to 5 squares.
  • Option “Path fields”: The additional fields must be placed as a road, i.e. in the immediate vicinity of each other. Small and large roads do not have to be straight. You can change the direction several times by 90 degrees each time you place squares or move pieces.
  • Option “Movement boost”: Select an already existing stretch of 5 contiguous way squares. All the pieces standing on it, whether individually or in groups, are each moved 3 fields (small road) or 5 fields (large road) towards the goal.
  • Tip: If there are several groups of pieces on the row of the ⬈ input field, they can all be moved to or into the goal with one movement boost.
  • Small and Big Road are bonuses. That is, you get them in addition to your ⬈ action points. You must also perform the ⬈ influx according to the colour of the smallest number.

10. Dying of thirst and protection

  • Playing pieces can also die. If a piece or group lands on a red field (3 red cacti), nothing happens in the same game round, but in the next round and the round after that.
  • At the beginning of the next game round, the red path field is turned over and then shows a black area. You should move the people from there as quickly as possible!
  • In the next game round at the latest, the game pieces must be moved away from a black field – by using suitable action points or with the help of a water bearer – otherwise they will die of thirst.
  • Failed figures are put back into the camp and the black field is turned over again.
  • There is protection against dying of thirst: If there is at least one blue figure in your place of refuge, you can place a golden protection card on any red path field for 3 blue ⬈ action points. The protection lasts until the end of the game.

Strategy tips

  • The path squares immediately next to the entry squares should consist of black (safe) path squares. You can hinder your opponent by placing red squares in these places at the beginning of the game.
  • As individual figures push out of the camp, groups of moving figures accumulate next to the entry squares. Only after a certain group size is it worthwhile to move them into the place of refuge, so figures of different colours can block your paths. Make sure that at least one path between the camp and the place of refuge remains free so that you can use your action points in the best possible way.

Creating the game

You can create your own board game “Dessert home – Immigration” with a small budget. Let’s take a look on what you need for it:

Handicraft accessories on a wooden table top: pliers, brushes, 5 paint flasks, binding wire, cardboard, plywood, a fretsaw, a long screw with nut

Materials: Magnetic tape, thick paper (e. g. from an old wall calendar), double-walled cardboard, binding wire, a long screw with nut, sheet steel (e.g. from biscuit tin)
Tools: a pair of scissors, small pliers, paint brush, paint bottles, a scroll saw, a wood file