How to Play Innovation

How to Play Innovation


Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Arounda Table, and this
is Innovation, an engine-building card game for 2-4 players. Let me show you how to play! You and your friends play leaders of rival
civilizations who are racing to develop ever more advanced technology to edge each other
out of the history books. The central pool of cards represents 10 different
epochs in your civilization’s development. At first, you’ll be building a tableau of
rudimentary tech like pottery and archery, but as you grow, you’ll develop satellites
and software. The cards let you enact Dogmas that force
your opponents to do different things, as long as your tableau has the majority number
of icons showing. And certain cards let you splay your tech
in different directions to reveal more icons, which helps you push your opponents around. The game ends when one player dominates a
certain number of time periods or domains, or when someone has to draw a card higher
than the 10th epoch, or when the dogma on a certain late-stage card tells you the game
ends. If the game ends with no immediate victor
or because you’ve run out of epochs, you tally up the Influence points you’ve collected to
see who’s won. TAKING ACTIONS The cards are laid out in a circle around
the table, with one card from eras 1 through 9 stacked in the center. The 5 domain cards go nearby. Everyone starts with 2 cards from the first
era. You put one into play in front of you, and
keep the other one in your hand. On your turn, you get to take 2 actions from
this suite of available moves: Draw, Play, Dominate, or Activate. Your two actions can be different, or you
can do the same thing twice. Let’s take a look at what each one does. When you take the Play action, you play a
card from your hand into your Zone, which is the game’s word for your tableau. The cards come in five different colours:
blue, red, green, purple, and yellow. You can only have one top card in any given
colour, so if you have a yellow card in your Zone and you want to play another yellow card,
it goes on top of the first one. If the card is a different colour, it goes
in its own stack. So later in the game you’ll have, at most,
5 stacks of cards. The card on the top of each stack is called
the Active card. When you take the Draw action, you pull a
card from one of the epoch piles into your hand. You get to draw from the pile that matches
the highest numbered Active card in your Zone. So if that’s a 1, you draw from epoch 1. If one of your Active cards was a 3, you’d
draw from epoch 3. If you have an empty Zone, you draw from epoch
1. If you need to draw a card from a pile, and
that pile is empty, you draw from the next available pile. So if your highest active card is 1, but epoch
1 and epoch 2 are both empty, you draw your card from epoch 3. When you take the Activate action, you choose
one of your Active cards and do the stuff on it. The stuff is called a Dogma, and Dogmas come
in two flavours: Supremacy, which has a square with a single white arrow, and Cooperative,
which has a square with four white arrows. Supremacy Dogmas only help you, while multiple
players can benefit when you activate a cooperative Dogma. There are 6 different Icons in the game: castles,
crowns, clocks, wangs, broccolis, and military haircuts. When you fire off a Supremacy Dogma, you look
at the icon inside the box. The dogma affects all players who have a lower
number of those icons showing in their Zones than you do. So this Supremacy Dogma on the Archery card
says “I demand you draw a 1! Then, transfer the highest card from your
Hand to my Hand!” (and you have to use that voice – otherwise, you immediately lose the
game) Now, this Dogma is only going to work on players who have fewer castle icons in
their Zone than you do. The Archery card gives you 2 castles. Working your way clockwise, Player 2 has 3
castles, so he can tell you to go take a hike. Player 3 is rockin’ the pottery with zero
castles, and Player 4 has the same number of castle icons that you do. So of all your opponents, only Player 3 has
to bend to your steely will. Activating a cooperative dogma works similarly,
but this time, any players with as many or more of the given icon showing in their zones
get to participate. If you activate the Dogma on your Mysticism
card, which lets you draw an epoch 1 card and put it into play if it matches the colour
of one of your Active cards, then any other player who has as many or more castles as
you gets to do the same. So in our previous example, Player 2, with
his 3 castles, could do what this card says too. Going clockwise, no other player has 3 or
more castles, so no one else can choose to participate. If any player benefits from a cooperative
dogma that you Activate, like Player 2 did, you get a free Draw action. The last Action you can choose to take is
to Dominate. This means that you really killed it in a
certain period of history. Dogmas on certain cards will let you stash
cards in this Influence area at the side of your board. In the center of the table, there’s a face-down
card representing epochs 1 through 9. To Dominate an era, you need to have 5 times
as many Influence points as the number on the epoch card. So to Dominate epoch 1, you need to have 5
Influence points banked – then you get to take the card, and put it on the Dominations
side of your board. You don’t spend your Influence points to do
this – they’re more like a prerequisite. And don’t look at what’s on the other side
of that Dominated era – it doesn’t matter because you can’t use it, and it’s supposed
to stay secret anyway. There are also these five green Domain cards
on the table. If you meet the requirements on one of these
cards, you take it and stow it with your other Dominations. It doesn’t cost an action to do this. Each of these cards has a corresponding Epoch
card that lets you dominate it – so for example, Activating your Masonry card lets you put
any card with a castle icon on it into play in front of you, and if you get 4 cards out
in one go, you get to Dominate the Technology card. Each Domain card also has a second condition
that isn’t tied to a specific card. For example, you can also Dominate the Technology
Domain if you archive or score six cards in the same turn. (We’ll see what it means by “archiving” later
in the video). If you manage to Dominate a certain number
of Domains and/or eras, you instantly win the game. You need 6 Dominations in a 2 player game,
5 in a 3-player game, or 4 in a 4-player game to pull off a Domination win. TERMINOLOGY That’s the whole game. Pretty simple, right? The complexity in Innovation comes from what
the individual cards themselves do. i won’t go over every single one, but there
are some keywords that you’ll want to be familiar with before you play. “Discard” means you yeet the card right out
of the game. “Exchange” means you give a card to a player,
and take a card from that player. You can exchange even if the other player
doesn’t have any cards. To “Recycle” is to put a card at the bottom
of its epoch deck. When you “Score” a card, you put it face-down
on the Influence side of your board. To “Splay” a stack is to spread out your cards
in a certain direction so that the icons on one edge show up, and count towards your Dogma
totals. Certain splay directions are more valuable
than others. If you’re told to splay your stack left or
right, you’re going to reveal one or two icons on each card beneath the Active card in the
stack that you splay. But if you get to splay up, you’ll reveal
up to three icons on each card. If you play a card to a splayed stack, the
added card gets splayed too. If you whittle a stack down to one or zero
cards, it loses its splay-ness – when you build it back up, you don’t get to build it
splayed. And to “Archive” a card means to sink it to
the bottom of its coloured pile, while also splaying it if the stack is splayed. ENDGAME A game of Innovation can end in three ways:
either someone Dominates a certain number of cards for the player counts, someone successfully
Activates a Dogma on a late-stage card that says “You win,” or the game ends when someone
activates a Dogma that says “the game ends,” or someone has to draw a card from pile 10,
and there are no cards in pile 10. In that case, whoever has the most Influence
points wins the game. Dominations break ties, and if there’s still
a tie, all tied players win. SETUP To set up the game, shuffle all of the numbered
piles of cards and arrange them in a circle on the table. Take one card from epochs 1 through 9 and
place them face-down in the middle, and have the Domain cards ready nearby. Everyone gets a player board, and 2 cards
dealt randomly from epoch 1. Put one of these cards into play in your Zone,
and keep the other one in your hand. There’s no hand limit in the game. And now, you’re ready to play Innovation! Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe,
then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson
Creighton]

10 thoughts on “How to Play Innovation

  1. Wow, the Iello version is so freaking weird and different than the Asmadi version. "Dominance" and "Influence" and "Recycle"? Try, "Achievements" and "Score" and "Return". And those full color cards are really bizarre.

  2. This is a fun game. I approach this card game the way I would tieing shoes. Don’t over think every step. I always have a good time.

  3. Did we play this on one of the family camping trips? It seemed so familiar but I cant think of where else I might have played it… plus I can wrap my head around you consenting to letting one of your card games being played so close to a large body of water…

  4. What luck! I thought “I’m gonna learn Innovation and play it on BGA,” and the next day you upload this video! Your vids are my fave way to learn games, so this is a huge relief.

  5. Okay, can you tell me where you got the game and for how much? Since this video is new, I assumed I could get the game at a reasonable price, and I have not found one online. Is it making the rounds on Kickstarter right now, or something? If not, then I guess I’ll stick to playing on BGA…

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