Minecraft Builders & Biomes How to Play Quick Links | Objective | Setup | Playing the Game | Collect Blocks | Explore the Overworld | Build | Fight A Mob | Collect A Weapon | End of Round | Scoring | End of Game | Beginner Variant
Check out our Minecraft Builders & Builders review for my thoughts on the game.
Objective of Minecraft Builders & Biomes
The objective of Minecraft Builders & Biomes is to acquire the most experience by mining blocks, defeating mobs, and building structures.
Setup For Minecraft Builders & Biomes
- Shuffle the building and mob tiles together. Place the tiles face down on the table into a 4 x 4 grid. Place a stack of four tiles on each space in the grid. Leave enough space between the tiles so the players can place their pieces between the tiles.
- Shuffle the colorless weapon tokens and place one face down along the edges by each tile (don’t place any on the corners).
- Place the block base next to the grid so everyone can easily reach it. Assemble the support structure and place it on top of the block base. Place the wooden blocks into the support structure gently shaking the base so they form a giant cube. Remove the support structure once you have created the giant cube.
- Each player chooses a color and takes a player board. Each player will also take the corresponding game piece base, experience counter, and five colored weapon tokens.
- Place the experience counter on the zero space of your player board.
- Each player will shuffle their five weapon tokens and place them in a face down pile next to their player board.
- Choose a game piece and slide it into your base. Place your game piece in the center of the grid.
- Place the two sets of overview cards in front of the players so everyone can easily see one of the groups of cards.
- The player who most recently found a diamond in Minecraft will start the game. Otherwise the youngest player will start the game.
Playing Minecraft Builders & Biomes
Minecraft Builders & Biomes consists of three scoring rounds. In each round players will take turns performing different actions on their turn.
During your turn you will get to take two actions. You can choose which actions you would like to perform, but you can’t perform the same action twice on their turn. The actions you can choose from are as follows:
- Collect Blocks
- Explore the Overworld
- Fight a Mob
- Collect a Weapon
After you have taken your two actions play will pass to the next player clockwise.
If you choose this action you will get to take two blocks from the large cube. You can choose blocks of any color from any layer of the cube. There are two rules that you must follow when taking blocks though.
- Your chosen block’s top side must be visible. Basically the block can’t have another block on top of it.
- The block must have at least two other sides that are visible.
When you have chosen a block you will take it from the cube and add it to your own supply (place them next to your player board).
Explore the Overworld
When you choose this action you have the ability to move your character zero, one, or two spaces. You can move up, down, left or right. You cannot move diagonally. Each space where two or more tiles meet in the grid is considered a space. Multiple players can be in the same position at a time. Should all of the tiles from a stack been removed from the grid, that space still exists for movement.
After you have finished moving you will reveal the tiles that are next to your current position (this includes both the building/mob tiles and the weapon tokens). If some of these were already revealed, you will leave them face up.
When you choose this action you will be able to build one of the structures that are on an adjacent space to your current location. To build the structure you need to have the blocks shown in the bottom right corner of the tile that you want to build in your own supply.
All green blocks are considered wilds, so they can be used as any other color when building. You will discard these blocks from your supply to the box, and will take your chosen tile.
You will then be able to place the tile on any space on your player board. The tile can be placed on a space even if it features a different biome/environment than the tile you are placing. You may also place a tile on top of another tile that you placed on a previous turn. The covered up tile will no longer count for the rest of the game.
Scoring A Built Structure
If the tile you chose to build has the icon shown below in the top right corner, you will gain the following number of experience points. You will move your experience counter the corresponding number of spaces along the outside of your player board.
Fight a Mob
When you are on a space and there is a mob/monster on one of the adjacent tiles you can choose to fight it. You may look at your weapon tokens before choosing to fight a mob to make sure you can potentially defeat it.
If you choose to take this action you will shuffle your weapons tokens and reveal three of them. You will count up the number of hearts on the tokens that you revealed. If the tokens have as many or more hearts than the mob that you are fighting, you will defeat it. You will remove it from the grid and place it face down near your player board. The number in the top right corner is the amount of experience that you will immediately earn from defeating the mob.
If your revealed tokens have less hearts than the mob, the mob remains where it is and nothing else happens.
In either case you will keep all of the weapon tokens that you revealed. Shuffle them back in with your other tokens.
Types of Mobs
There are two different kinds of mobs which grant you special abilities during the game after you defeat them.
If you defeat a mob with the symbol in the top left corner that is shown below, you can trade it in on a future turn to take a third action on your turn. When you choose to use this mob you will begin by taking your first two actions like normal. You will then return the mob tile to the box in order to take your third action. For this third action you can choose to take one of the actions that you chose for one of your first two actions. You can use multiple mob tiles in this way to take four, five, etc actions on your turn.
Mob tiles that feature the symbol shown in the top left corner below will gain you more experience at the end of the game. You will gain experience equal to the number for each tile on your player board that features the symbol next to the number.
Collect A Weapon
When a player is next to a weapon they can use one of their actions to acquire it. They will add the chosen weapon to the rest of their weapon tokens.
Some of the weapon tokens in the game have special abilities which are activated when they are revealed during a fight. These special tokens are as follows:
Bow: When a player reveals a bow they will get to draw an additional weapon token during the fight. Each additional bow you draw adds another weapon token that you will draw. For example the first bow you draw will allow you to draw four tokens total. You second bow will allow five total tokens and so on.
Golden Hoe: When a golden hoe is revealed during a fight, you will immediately earn two experience points. Move your experience marker two spaces forward on your score track.
Stone Pickaxe: If a stone pickaxe is revealed during a fight you will get to immediately take one block from the big cube. When choosing your block you will have to follow all of the other rules regarding taking a block from the big cube.
TNT: The TNT is the only weapon token in the game that is a one time use weapon. When you draw the TNT during a fight you can choose whether you want to use it. If you choose not to use it, it will count as zero hearts but you get to keep it. If you choose to use it though it will deal five hearts of damage. After using the TNT discard it to the box.
End of Round
During Minecraft Builders & Biomes there will be three scoring rounds. Each scoring round is conducted when the corresponding layer of blocks is completely removed from the big cube. Scoring is not conducted until the current player has completed their full turn.
- First Scoring Round: First Layer
- Second Scoring Round: Second Layer
- Third Scoring Round: Third Layer
A player could trigger multiple scoring rounds at the same time. In this case you will score the first triggered round and then move onto the next scoring round.
After the third scoring round the game will end with some additional end game scoring.
Scoring in Minecraft Builders & Biomes
To score a round you will begin with the player who triggered the scoring round. Each scoring round gives players four different characteristics that they can score from. Each player will choose one of the four characteristics to score. Multiple players can choose the same characteristic.
Once a player has chosen their characteristic they will look for their largest group of connected spaces on their gameboard that feature that characteristic. For a space to be connected to another it needs to share one of it four edges with the other space. Diagonals do not count as a connection. For the first round this includes the tiles printed on your player board. For the second and third rounds only tiles you place on your board will feature the characteristic.
You will multiply the number of connected spaces by the value of the characteristic you chose. You will earn the corresponding amount of experience points. For each experience point earned you will move your marker one space along the experience point track.
See the corresponding sections below to see how to score each round in Minecraft Builders & Biomes.
Once everyone has scored for the current round, the game returns to normal gameplay (unless two scoring rounds were triggered). Play will resume with the player clockwise of the player that triggered the scoring round.
First Round Scoring
In the first round players will score point based on biomes. The biomes score points as follows:
- Forest – 3 experience per tile
- Desert – 4 experience per tile
- Mountain – 5 experience per tile
- Tundra – 6 experience per tile
Second Round Scoring
The second round scores points for structures built using certain materials. The materials score points as follows:
- Wood – 3 experience per tile
- Sand – 4 experience per tile
- Stone – 5 experience per tile
- Obsidian – 6 points per tile
Third Round Scoring
The third and final round of scoring scores points for the type of structures that you build. The structures score points as follows:
- Decoration – 3 experience per tile
- Dwelling – 4 experience per tile
- Animal House – 5 experience per tile
- Bridge – 6 experience per tile
End of Minecraft Builders & Biomes
The game ends after the third scoring round.
Before determining the winner players will score points for the mobs they defeated during the game that have the special scoring symbols. For each visible tile on your player board with the corresponding symbol you will score experience points equal to the number. These spaces do not need to be next to one another in order to score points.
All of the players will then compare their scores. The player with the most experience points wins the game. If there is a tie, the tied player with the most unused blocks in their supply will win. If there is still a tie, the tied players share the victory.
Beginner Minecraft Builders & Biomes Variant
If you would like to play an easier game you can alter the scoring. Instead of only scoring connected tiles with the characteristic, you will score points for each space that has the chosen characteristic.
You can also let some players use this simplified scoring, while others use the normal scoring.
Year: 2019 | Publisher: Ravensburger | Designer: Ulrich Blum
Genres: Family, Strategy, Tile Placement
Ages: 10+ | Number of Players: 2-4 | Length of Game: 30-60 minutes
Difficulty: Light-Moderate | Strategy: Moderate | Luck: Light-Moderate
Components: 64 wooden blocks, 64 building and monster cards, 36 weapon tokens, 4 player boards, 4 experience counters, 4 character skins and bases, 12 overview cards, block base and support structure, instructions
For more board and card game how to plays/rules and reviews, check out our complete alphabetical list of board game posts.