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Azul designer’s latest board game is about building borders

Dealing out land with dice.

The designer behind Azul, Michael Kiesling, has an upcoming board game called The Border on its way.

A dice-rolling game for two to four players, The Border is about building walls and claiming as much land as possible. (Thanks BoardGameGeek.) Players use sets of dice in order to establish their borders, rolling them and choosing which results they want to take. Each player has their own designated board which they’ll use to establish their borders. Player boards in The Border contain nine separate areas, with each one being surrounded by sets of different coloured hexagons. Players will want to create borders around as many of these areas as they can throughout the game.

Every turn, one player rolls up to five dice a total of three times, choosing to keep the dice that they want and re-rolling any results they don’t want. Each side of the die corresponds to a different coloured hexagon, with the player crossing off the matching hexagons on their board after three rolls or if they’re happy with their dice results. Players will only be able to mark the amount of matching hexagons around one area and cannot mark off more hexagons than they’ve rolled. Once the current player has taken their turn, their opponents can choose to mark off hexagons on their board using any of the dice results that weren’t used on that turn, but only if the spaces they want to mark are adjacent to already marked ones.

The Border layout image 2

Players are able to score points whenever they successfully finish marking off the hexagons surrounding an area, with the number of points they score depending on the size of the area bordered off – with the maximum amount being 12 points and the minimum four. Any players that manage to surround the same area later on only score half the amount of points given for the first instance of completion. When a player surrounds the sixth area on their board, the game finishes at the end of that turn and players tally their point totals, with the winner being whomever scored the most points.

Apart from co-creating The Border with Reinhard Staupe – the designer behind construction game Havana and co-designing the spin-off co-op game The Game: Extreme – and designing Azul, Kiesling is responsible for creating the other entries in the Azul series and co-designing titles such as Tikal and Torres with fellow games designer Wolfgang Kramer. The Border is set to be published by German-language studio Nürnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag.

Azul is a beginner board game that has players competing to earn the most points by acquiring and laying down tiles on their own boards. Each round begins with players taking turns to draft different coloured and patterned tiles, before placing those tiles on the various rows on their board – with certain combinations of tiles resulting in more points than others.

The Border is set to be released sometime this year, with an English-language version yet to be confirmed.


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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer, Dicebreaker

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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