New Bedford: A Boardgame of Historic Whaling & Town Building
Change the scope of history in the mid-1800s by building up New Bedford, Massachusetts - "the city that lit the world."
Set in the mid-1800s, the age of whaling, New Bedford gives 2 to 4 players the chance to build the Massachusetts town of the same name into a thriving community. Gather resources to add buildings with new actions and launch ships to go whaling. Go out longest for the best choice, but wait too long and the whales become harder to catch. And don't forget to pay your crew when ships return! Carefully balance time management and timing to earn the most points in this medium-weight worker placement and resource management game.
A bit more detail: Over twelve rounds players take turns placing their two workers. The town board and whaling board contain basic game actions: taking goods (food, wood, brick), selling goods, constructing buildings, docking ships, and launching ships. These actions can be used multiple times per round, with the first player to do so in a round receiving a bonus or more goods or reducing the number of goods paid.
Most buildings add extra action spaces with new actions, combined actions, and more powerful versions of basic actions. You own whatever you build, with others needing to pay to use them and you earning points from them at game's end.
You need to pay to send ships whaling, choosing how far out to send them. At the end of the round, ships move closer to shore and whale tokens are drawn randomly. Ships that are farthest out have first chance to pick the valuable sperm whales, but as they move in, others have the opportunity to launch farther out and get a better pick, possibly leaving you with only empty seas. Over the course of the game, whales become more rare and empty seas more common - an historical reflection of the toll that whaling had on the environment. Once a ship reaches shore, a percentage of the profits (the "lay") must be paid in order to keep the whales selected.
Custom wooden ship meeples
After twelve rounds, all ships must return, and players total their points from buildings, whales, and extra money.
Gen Con 2014 - New Bedford Prototype Demo
Unpub LIVE PLAY of New Bedford
New Bedford will offer the same hallmark replay value as other Dice Hate Me Games titles, with high-quality components, thick punchboard bits, and lots and lots of wood. Here's a list of what you'll find inside the box:
- 1 punchboard Town board
- 4 punchboard player boards
- 1 punchboard Whaling board
- 8 wooden Worker meeples
- 8 wooden Ships (four with two-tone colored sails)
- 1 wooden Ships Wheel (Start Player) token
- 1 wooden Anchor (Round Marker) token
4 punchboard sperm whale tokens
- 20 punchboard bowhead whale tokens
- 36 punchboard right whale tokens
- 16 punchboard empty sea tokens
- 20 punchboard town Building tiles
- 50 punchboard Coins
- 25 wooden Wood tokens
- 30 wooden Food tokens
- 20 wooden Brick cubes
- 1 canvas whale token bag
New Bedford will come in the Dice Hate Me Games "Rooster"-sized box - the same size as Compounded and VivaJava Dice. What's this crazy talk? Take a look here for more information on our box sizes and game categories!
New Bedford is a game for 2-4 players, ages 12 and up, and designed by Nat Levan. New Bedford is a distinguished alum of the Unpub program - a series of public and private playtest events held each year to help designers present, hone and polish their game designs with the gaming public, as well as board game production professionals.
If you'd like to know more about the design process behind New Bedford, designer Nat Levan has extensively chronicled the game's development on the Oakleaf Games blog, which you can read right here. Nat also sat down with the Dice Hate Me crew on episode 74 of The State of Games podcast to talk about the game. You can listen to that right over here; the New Bedford portion begins at the 25 minute mark.
If you'd like to dive deeper into New Bedford, you can download the print-and-play version of the game right here. You can also check out the rules for the game in the PnP download files.
The print-and-play includes all the buildings, whales, the town board, the player boards and the whaling board. You'll need to provide bits to represent the wood, food, brick, meeples, ships, and money (cubes, coins, toy boats - whatever you'd like).
By 1848 New Bedford, Massachusetts had become the most powerful city in the whaling industry and, soon, one of the richest cities in the world. Whale oil exported from New Bedford helped to fuel the world and, eventually, usher in the Industrial Revolution; it would eventually be referred to as "the city that lit the world".
in 1841, Herman Melville sailed out from New Bedford working as a whaler on the ship Acushnet. His experiences in whaling eventually lead him to write the novel Moby-Dick. It was published in 1851, and New Bedford is the initial setting for the novel.
Achieving our base funding goal ensures that Dice Hate Me Games will be able to publish New Bedford with the quality that we all have come to expect. The base game of New Bedford is priced according to our initial funding goal; however, if we exceed that funding goal we will be able to add more to the game, like possibly a card inspansion, improvements to the turn and first player markers, and maybe even a microgame!
Here are a couple of sneak peeks into what we have planned for stretch goals!
First off, we want to upgrade the wooden ship tokens - or, shipeeples, if you prefer. We’ve priced out a token upgrade that has two parts - the main body of the ship, and the sails which are attached. The ship body is wider than the sails which gives it great stability and a more realistic, constructed look. If we can push this campaign beyond our funding goal, we’d love to upgrade to these!
Next up - more buildings! These expansion buildings would be included as a Kickstarter promotional outside the box, not immediately available for retail sale after Kickstarter backers receive their copies. This is one of the most exciting things we had planned for stretching out the campaign, so if this excites you all, as well, let’s put some wind in these sails!
Please help spread the word of New Bedford to family, friends and anyone else you think would enjoy the game so that we can reach our funding goal and roll out those stretch goals!
"The theme is wonderful and absolutely fitting. It’s well integrated and unique... The bottom line... New Bedford is a town worth visiting." - John Moller, Cartrunk Entertainment (click to read his full review)
“Before I even had the chance to crack open New Bedford, the game caught my attention because someone had mentioned that it was like a more concise and elegant version of Le Havre. While I’ll agree that the two games do share some similarities, saying that New Bedford is essentially Le Havre light does it a great disservice. New Bedford offers its own unique experience that feels fresh and not borrowed.” - Kyle Chivers, Euro Board Game Blog (click to read his full review)
"New Bedford does a lot of things right - but the best thing about the game is that it is one of those games that is easy to both learn and teach, but will surprise you with its depth after you dive in for subsequent plays." - James Flemming, Board Game Reviews by Josh (click to read his full review)
“Beyond the theme, I like New Bedford for several game-play reasons. I am reminded of Puerto Rico from the standpoint that players can score through the staple process of whaling as well as from buying buildings to augment the town of New Bedford. Likewise, New Bedford includes the worker-placement-building quality of Le Havre with buildings that facilitate collecting materials, constructing buildings, or sending out whaling ships. I actually find New Bedford cleaner and more elegant than Le Havre.” - Paul Owen, Man Overboard (click to see more comments)
“Solid worker placement game. The two different elements to the game, building the village and the whaling, complement each other nicely. I got to play this at Grand Con at an Unpub event. Multiple victory paths and some interesting combos can be made with some of the village tiles. Can't wait for this one to come out.” - David Taylor, To the Table
“When I played New Bedford when it was printer paper and glue I fell in love with the concept and game play. Now that I see the final product the game has been brought to life in a whole new way and still sits in my top five to play as two player with my hubby or with a group of friends!” - Lesley Louder, The Chalkboard Gamer
"New Bedford has all the strategizing of a game like Agricola without the stress. It wonderfully meshes worker placement, town building, and tile drawing in such a way that it plays fast without comprising any depth.” - Scott King, game photographer and blogger
"Such a smooth, engaging gaming experience. New Bedford is a great low-cost-of-entry euro that has enough game for game night, but is still completely accessible for my family." - Matt Riddle, co-designer of Fleet and person of no consequence
"When I played this game at an Unpub over a year ago, I was unsure if I would like a game about whaling. That was quickly proven wrong, and I told Nat when he was done with New Bedford I wanted a copy of it." - Derrick Vidal, Baked Fresh Daily Games
“From the moment I sat down with New Bedford and took my first turn, I knew that I was seeing something special. While I’ve had the privilege of playing several games in the Unpub program, only a few of them make me want to drop money on the spot. New Bedford was exactly that. The cool thing is, I’ve only seen it get even better! Take my money now!” - Greg Miller, Baked Fresh Daily Games
"One of those rare occasions where everyone at the table was lost in the world and loving every minute." - Josh Mills, game designer
Without our Kickstarter Backers, Dice Hate Me Games would not be able to bring quality games to market. To show our respect and appreciation, DHMG promises that backer copies of New Bedford will be shipped out before copies are available for purchase at retailers or conventions. DHMG also pledges to keep all backers informed at every step in the development, printing and delivery processes. We love staying in touch with all of our supporters, so please never hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.
New Bedford’s design was influenced by a time when whaling was a part of daily life - and that eventually lead to a modern crisis for many species of whales. To make it clear, we don’t condone modern whaling. But we think that the history of New Bedford and the whaling industry is an important subject. Just like our chemistry game, Compounded, we believe that games designed for entertainment can also be educational - and, in this case, foster discussion about a controversial topic. For more information on modern whaling and conservation efforts, please check out the overview from the World Wildlife Fund.
We knew that the theme of historic whaling could be considered a bit controversial by some, but we believe in New Bedford and in the theme. As Herman Melville once wrote about his novel, Moby-Dick, "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme." We think New Bedford is a mighty little game, and we are proud to present it to all of you.
Thanks, as always, for the continued support for Dice Hate Me Games from our Kickstarter family. You continue to amaze and humble us.
Let's keep sailing,
Chris & Nat
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves the production and manufacture of a good to be delivered, there is certainly a real chance for hiccups, delays and more than one or two gremlins gumming up the works along the way. Many boardgame projects on Kickstarter have been seriously hampered by art production delays, problems with an overseas factory, missing units and one shipping snafu after another.
Luckily, we have a few projects under our belt, and have dealt with many of those snafus and gremlins along the way. We have a good working relationship with our overseas manufacturer and have become accustomed to their protocols, communication styles and general idiosyncrasies. We try to plan for all contingencies, and have worked through - and learned from - any kinks encountered in our past projects.
We won't lie - stuff happens. Delays can occur. Sometimes you have to go back and forth on color samples six times just to get the color right, and even then the color isn't perfect. Sometimes even personal life events can blindside you. But what we do promise is that we will hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from other board game publishers, and we will be completely honest and open with each of you every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)