Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Bernhard Weber

Schmidt Spiele 2006



Gamebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:


The players settle their buildings in a fertile landscape, part of a roman rural province. But even the noblest houses are worthless without water supply. If a player is not able to provide enough fresh water for his houses before a district is completely occupied, his residents have to move out more or less voluntarily and the player looses victory points. Thus every player tries to supply his own buildings prior to the other players' buildings. By clever exploration of springs and construction of canals (lat. aquae ductus) one can dig off the water from the opponents. The player with the most houses supplied with fresh water at the end of the game wins.


Aquädukt consists of a medium sized game board with small landscape squares separated into 20 districts consisting of 4,5 or 6 squares. Each district contains a number from 1 to 20. Furthermore there are 112 house tiles in four colours with 1, 2, 3 or 4 houses each, 36 wooden canals and 5 springs and 8 mountains available. Depending on the number of participating players not all house tiles and mountains are used. At start up the mountains are distributed randomly on the game board, covering landscape squares which cannot be used during the game anymore. Each player receives the appropriate amount of house tiles in his colour. The springs and canals are laid aside for common access.

The game is played in clockwise turns until all canals are built. Each player has one of the following options during his turn:

  1. Building 1-3 house tiles: Roll the dice (1-20) in order to determine the place where to build the new house according to the corresponding district number. You may decide whether you want to build a house at all as well as which tile (showing 1 up to 4 houses) of your supply you want to place. You can repeat this action up to three times, but your turn immediately ends if you decide not to build any houses on the appropriate field. If the field indicated by the dice roll is completely occupied, you have to repeat your dice roll. If the field you have chosen is already supplied with water you are only allowed to place a house tile with the lowest number of houses in your supply stack. This limits the advantage of placing a house on a field which already counts for the final score. If you occupy the last available field in a certain district, all houses without water supply have to be removed immediately from this district. The free fields can be occupied later again, but the house-tiles are not returned but taken out of the game, thus some players might loose precious victory points at the end of the game.
  2. Building canals: You may build one or two canals per turn. Each canal must start at a spring and can only flow in two directions starting at a spring. It is not allowed to split a canal at any point nor is it possible to let two canals cross each other. A canal has no owner. A canal supplies the fields directly next to it (left and right) with fresh water. It is possible to extend an existing canal with another canal piece (double canal). Such a broader canal can supply the next two fields at its sides (left and right). Only houses with water supply count for victory points at the end of the game.
  3. Building a spring: You may build a spring during your turn. A spring is the source of water for the canals and hence regulates the water supply of the houses. A spring can only flow in two directions (of possible four) determined by the placement of canals. Two springs must have a distance of more or equal to 5 canal elements (borders of a square field) between them; they can be placed also at the border of the game.board A spring has no owner.


Please note that you are not allowed to combine any of these possible options during your turn, they exclude each other. When the last canal is laid out, this last round is completed by all players, but their only possible option is then to build houses in this last round.


Aquädukt is a simple building game with short term tactic elements. Due to the random house placing the only influence players can take is by controlling the building of canals and springs. In the course of the game they have to fulfil the task of connecting their randomly distributed house tiles with the canal system. They have to take care that their most valuable house tiles (3 or 4) are supplied in order to gain a higher evaluation at the end. Once a house tile is supplied with water there is no way to loose the victory points anymore. Thus all players will try to either prevent the opponents' houses from being connected to the water supply or build quickly houses in the same district to throw out some opponents houses, which are not supplied with water. Due to the limited number of springs, controlling the flow of canals is quite important. But there is always the trade off that you can either care for water supply of your existing houses or bring in new houses at already (or easy to be) supplied fields. But you cannot execute both things in one turn and depending on the number of players the choice of the last round might be obsolete in the next round, because a lot might have changed. With two players the variance per round is quite limited, so that the two-player-game has its own charm due to a higher possibility of planning and tactics. With 3 or more players Aquädukt gets more interesting and vivid, but the predictability of moves and scenarios strongly decreases.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany