The Short Multiplayer Game
You can also play a game of Ora et Labora in just one hour. Use the short game gameboard for both three and four player games. Use the front side of the production wheel (the one whose numbers go 0, 2, 3,4,..)..
Unlike the longer version, each player leaves the two landscape spaces in the upper left hand corner of their heartlands empty. In other words, each player will start with one fewer forest and moor card.
The short version of the game is played over 12 rounds plus a bonus round (indicated on the game board by the 1 symbol) - the same number of spaces that the game board has. It is played with fewer buildings but with higher goods production.
For a three player game, use the two player game buildings; for a four player game, use the two and three player game buildings. If you are playing the France variant with four players, you may choose to remove the C-Quarry from the game.
Each player has only 1 prior and 1 lay brother. Therefore: at the start of each round, all players who have both of their clergymen on buildings get them back.
The increased goods production comes from two special rules that are in effect only in the short version.
Whenever you use the production wheel to produce goods (this also applies to the Shipping Company and the Cooperage), then there is an immediate bonus production of this good: Each player (including yourself) takes one of the corresponding goods from the general supply.
The production wheel spaces for the short game each show two printed goods. At the start of each round, each player receives goods from the general supply corresponding to those printed on the production wheel space that the beam just passed.
If you want, you can distribute the tiles onto the game board before starting the game. Then, at the start of each round, one player takes the goods from the board while the rest take them from the general supply. This makes it easy to verify if the goods have been taken or not. It also makes it easy to fix any mistakes that have been made.
Settlement phases A through D occur at the start of rounds 3,5,7 and 9.
The grapes goods indicator enters the France version of the game in round 4. The stone goods indicator enters both variants of the game in round 6. This information is all shown on the game board.
The bonus round (round 13) and final scoring are carried out in the same manner as the longer game.
You can use the checking numbers to verify who is the starting player for each round. The first number is the starting player in a three player game, the second number is the starting player in a four player game.
The Two Player Game
Use the one to two player game board. Remove all building cards from the game that have a 3+ or 4 symbol in their bottom right corners. Use the back side of the production wheel (the one whose numbers go 0, 1, 2, 2, ).. Place the A through D building cards onto the indicated spaces around the edges of the two player game board.
In the three or four player game, the game is round-based with a rotating starting player. In the two player game the players simply take turns: At the start of each player's turn, rotate the production wheel one space. Then, that player gets to take two actions instead of one, carried out one after the other.
In general, follow the rules of the three or four player game. In the following sections, replace the word "round" with "turn".
The Two Player Game
- You may buy a landscape once per turn and once per settlement phase.
- Whenever the production wheel beam passes by the next pile of building and settlement cards, the game is temporarily interrupted by a settlement phase. This happens at the start of a turn, not the start of a round in the two player game.
- Players get their three clergymen back at the start of a turn (provided they were all used).
- Should a player have placed all three of his clergymen over the course of a turn, then his buildings cannot be used again until the end of his turn. (Exceptions: Priory, Palace, Grand Manor)
The grapes (only in the France variant) and stone goods indicators enter the game in rounds 11 and 18 respectively, which means that stone does not enter the game until the second full rotation of the production wheel (indicated by a 2 in a spiral symbol).
Once you have finished your turn it is the other player's turn. (The players can decide if they want to use the starting player marker to keep track of this).
Each time the turn passes the following counts for both players: Any player who has used all three of his clergymen (1x prior and 2x lay brother) takes all of his clergymen back.
There is no bonus round unlike in the three or four player game.
Important: The two player game has no fixed game end. The game enters its final phase when the D buildings are in the game and there is at most 1 building left in the open display. Play the current turn through to the end. Rotate the production wheel. The other player then gets one final action.
The game is then over without a final settlement phase taking place (as would be the case in three and four player game). Scoring is carried out in the same manner as in the multiplayer game.
The Long Two Player Game
You can also play Ora et Labora as a two player game with nearly all of the buildings. (The game will then last up to 3 hours). The following rules are changed.
The only buildings that are not used are the Carpentry, the C-Grapevine and the C-Quarry in the France variant (represented by the crossed-out 2 on the cards). (All buildings are used in the Ireland variant).
Play according to the normal two player game rules with the following exceptions.
Use the front side of the production wheel (the one whose numbers go 0, 2, 3, 4, )., unlike the normal two player game. (Keep the one to two player game board, however).
The long two player game is round-based, like the multiplayer game. Each round, the starting player first carries out two actions (one after the other), after which the other player carries out one action. The round is then over and the starting player role changes. Rotate the production wheel. The other player then carries out two actions, after which the original starting player carries out one action.
The Long Two Player Game
During your effectively three actions in a row, you can buy up to two landscapes (districts and plots); one during your first action and another in either your second or third action.
There is no bonus round like in the three or four player game.
As with the regular two player game, the long version has no fixed game end. The game enters its final phase when the D buildings are in the game and there are no more than 3 buildings left in the open display. Play the current round through to the end. The game is then over and scoring is carried out.