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New England
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New England

original German edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60-90 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Alan R Moon, Aaron Weissblum

Publisher(s): Goldsieber

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Product Description

In 1620 British emigrants traveled to the New World and settled in an area they called New England. In order to survive, they had to quickly build shelter and grow crops.

Players start with a few small plots of land and some development cards. Land tiles are auctioned off to expand existing lots and eventually score victory points. Other cards give players higher income or other bonus options, or they can be kept for victory points.

The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Game of the Year, 2004
Deutscher Spiele Preis
8th Place, 2003

Product Information


  • 1 game board
  • 60 land tiles
  • 1 cloth bag
  • 58 development cards
  • 13 Pilgrim tokens
  • 11 barn tokens
  • 10 ship tokens
  • 4 marker tokens
  • 3 victory point cards
  • 1 start player marker
  • 12 start tiles
  • 4 family markers
  • 60 money chips (30 x 1 shilling, 30 x 5 shillings)
  • 1 rule book
  • 1 overview

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.1 in 11 reviews

Your collection is incomplete...
October 03, 2004
Your game collection is incomplete without a copy of this game. New England has been a favorite in my gaming group since I got my copy when it was first released in 2003. There are tough decisions to be made and no lead seems safe in this game. Most games tend to be a nail-biter to the end. Great mechanics and nice flow of play make this one a winner.
Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Very Abstract
July 10, 2004

New England is an OK game that doesn't live up to the hype. Forget about the theme, the game is an abstract tile-laying game, with a little extra flavor added by the barns, ships and pilgrims. The auction doesn't lend much to the game, as the group that I played it with found that there isn't much that is make-or-break coming out. Hence, most of the bids selected were straightforward 4-3-2-1, with maybe occasionally the five being chosen. There are some tough decisions that need to be made about when to develop tiles for victory points - do it now for a few points, or hold off for more later but with the possibility of being boxed in, but the most critical phase seems to be the initial tile placement.

Many people seem to either love the game or hate it. To me, it's an OK game, but there are many other games that I'd rather play. I'd say try before you buy.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Best game design since Acquire, Alan +Aaron's gift to gaming
June 11, 2004

I have alway felt that Acquire was the best multi-player strategy game. I must admit that games such as Tigris & Euphrates and Settlers of Catan have given me some good gaming hours, but Mr. Sackson's boardgame I always saw as a standard to be reached. New England is a simple yet skillful game that is playable, colorful and well produced. Alan Moon has come a long way since the Avalon Hill days. When he teams up with Aaron W. the end results are some of the best in the genre at this time. I was worried that when this game received Games Magazines 'Game of the Year' it would be the kiss of death. Remember Pipeline and Trumpet? This game deserves it's kudos. It will be a mandatory play on the holidays right after a round of Acquire. (Sorry Alan and Aaron, but Sid's masterpiece came first).

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Wonderful Game
March 03, 2004

Terrific design and nice mechanics in this abstract tile-laying game. I bought it in June 2003 without knowing much about it. Man, was I surprised! This has been my 'game of choice' ever since. Very balanced and very little luck involved. Plenty of strategy to go around. This one is well worth the investment.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Fine Game
December 08, 2003

Played this game several times and enjoyed it each time. Some reviewers have given the game a lower rating and I can see their point. If you don't care for these abstract, tile laying, bidding type games, fine. But if you have enjoyed Aladdins Dragons, Carolus Magnus, Settlers, Amun-Ri, Tigris & Eur., and other similar types of games, you would most likely enjoy this game too. The various options to score points, to develop you lands, to plan for future moves, makes this fun and challenging. A bit dry perahps with the somewhat abstract board and tiles, but not boring at all. There is interaction, there is tough choices, the quality components, a fine package altogether.

Is it so good as to be Game Of The Year? No. But that is not to say it is a bad game at all. I certainly would play again. Fine game if this type is your cup of tea...

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Middle-Weight Game With One Problem...
November 30, 2003

I pondered for several hours whether to give 2 or 3 stars. It seemed sacrilegious to give the 'Game of the Year' 2 stars. Three stars, to my way of thinking, is an average game that is fun, and has replay value, but I would be content to play my friend's copy instead of buying my own. Two stars is somewhat less than that and one star is a complete dud. In my heart I want to like this game but there is a problem.

I bought this game several months before it was named 'Game of the Year' by Games Magazine. There was an internet buzz about New England and I had anticipated the arrival of this game more than any other in recent history. It arrived, I had the rules down in just one or two readings, and we played it twice the next game night. I found New England to be very dry (read: not fun), with a pasted on theme (which is not necessarilly bad, but in this instance it doesn't work at all). I can see how it could appeal to certain hard-core gamers but.....'Game of the Year'?

I was disappointed to say the least, but thought I would like it better on subsequent plays.

Therein lies the problem. There have been no subsequent plays. Nobody in the group will play it again. There is a collective rolling of the eyes and groaning whenever I suggest playing New England. People are unmoved when I point out that the critics love it. To be fair, I didn't think it was a bad game, it was dry with some potential, but not a complete dud. I would love to have the opportunity to revise my rating upward but no one else seems the least bit willing to play. Truth be told, there is a chance my rating would go lower given the chance to play again.

Definitely play before buying.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Perfect game for Thanksgiving!
November 06, 2003

This game is perfect for Thanksgiving. It captures the feeling of settling in the new world, and building a settlement, while offering a unique bidding mechanism, and fairly easy gameplay. The only downside is that it leads up to 4 people.

I would put this game in the same class as Puerto Rico, although odds are people would rank Puerto Rico as being better.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Chad
Not any game of the year...
November 03, 2003

but an ok game none the less.

I didn't think there was anything there to really hold the players' attention. The game mechanics work very well, but the game has a pasted on theme. It doesn't really feel like I'm settling New England, but rather placing tiles on a grid. May be good for a play or two, but gets stale quickly.

If you really want to play, I'd advise playing a friend's copy rather than buying your own.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Simple Rules, Perfect Balance
November 03, 2003

Other have already done a fine job a describing this game, but I would just like to point out what perfect balance the game has. There are few obvious choices, and all your choices have consequences, that directly affect you and the other players. There is almost no down time when it's not your turn, although as with any game with this much open info, there can be some lag for thinking. Great game, tons of replay value. Definitely a fine choice for Game of the Year.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Takes 5 minutes to learn, still fun and challenging
June 07, 2003

New England is a fine game that's not getting the recognition it deserves. I've now taught the game to 6 people, and everyone has enjoyed the game. It's a meaty game with excellent components that can be played in 1 1/2 hours. However the big plus is that the rules are very simple. The sequence of play contains just 3 simple steps. The game can be explained in just 5 minutes, and newcomers will understand the game by the 2nd turn.

Despite the simplicity of the rules, the game has interesting play and strategy. After 3 plays, I have no idea what the best strategy is. I need a lot more experimenting. For example, I was explaining the game and telling people that that I didn't think the ship development card was a good buy. Naturally, on the very 1st turn, it turned out that buying a ship development card was an excellent play.

I won't go into a detailed description of the game. The basic idea is this. You need to buy land tiles which you hope to develop. To develop the land, you must also buy development tiles. There is a very simple bidding system which determines the order of selection of the 9 tiles (land and development) offered for sale each turn. What you bid is also the amount that you pay per tile. You can buy up to 2 tiles per turn. For example, if you bid 6 and you buy 2 tiles, it will cost you 12. Therefore if you want the 1st selection you will have to bid a higher amount and therefore pay more per tile. So money management is important. In my 3 games, half the time I bid low to save money, and half the time I bid a higher amount to get 1st or 2nd choice. If you are last, the pickings will usually be slim.

It's important to see what development cards an opponent needs. This is one reason why having a barn is useful. Normally, when you buy a development card, you must have the correct configuration of undeveloped land and develop it immediately. If you can't use a card, you can't buy it- that is unless you have a barn. Having a barn enables you to buy and store one development card even if you can't use it on the turn it is purchased. Therefore, if it's the last turn, you can be nasty, buy a development card that an opponent needs (maybe a 10 point development card), and store it in your barn.

I think this game fills an important niche; certainly it does in my gaming library. I have over a hundred games, but when I went to a gaming session, I was at a loss as to what games to bring. I would bring a simple, quick game like Carcassonne where most people know the game or could learn it quickly. Now I can bring New England which is a longer game, is a true board game, and is even easier to learn.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
'Time in New England, took me away, to long rocky beaches..
May 23, 2003

NO NO anything but Barry M. Actually got my first real 'kiss' *wink* from a girl named 'Jandee' because of a Manilow song, so Barry's ok with me. So is this Moon / Weisblum game.

New England follows four families in the year 1621 as they develop unsettled lands into crops, grazing fields, and settlements. By adding barns, pilgrims and ships to their holdings, they increase their development as well. When there is no more land to develop, the game ends with the most prosperous family winning. Players bid on three distinct lands; crops (dark brown tiles), livestock (green tiles), and settlements (reddish brown tiles). These are placed on the board orthogonal to each player's starting properties. At the SAME time, players bid on development cards (the actual VP in the game) that allow them to cultivate their lands, erect barns, house pilgrims and build ships. Add to the fact you may only buy two things at the time add to the excruciating decision making process. The bidding process is perfect Alan Moon balance. Bid high? Go first and get the best, but at a price. Bid low? Save money for later, but get less pickings now. There will always be 3 - 6 lands tiles along with 3 - 6 development cards to bid on. The starting player establishes the tile/card ratio and makes the first bid. Whatever you buy, you immediately put it to use. Adding pilgrims to your undeveloped lands add to your base income of 4 coins; Barns allow you to hold a development card for later use; ships an extra tile or card to look at. They also provide VP's for having them and extra if you have the majority.

New England shares a lot of its 'feel' to Moon/Wiesblum's Capitol. Both involve deciding the right time to build your holdings (buy tiles) vs. advancing your VP's (buying development cards). In Capitol, do you erect higher buildings vs. get them on the board or save your cards for the auction?. In NE, do you go for the pilgrims to increase your cash flow or turn your undeveloped land into developed one. Barns give you more development options but 'lock' up undeveloped land. Ships give you more purchasing options, but could aid your opposing families. All of these choices are presented to you every turn. There is very little interaction per se between players other than the bidding process, but the quickness of each turn limits AP. The board, tiles, cards and wooden pieces are nice, but whats with the tiddlely wink money ( think Clippers). Surely rustic looking paper money would have cost the same as plastic chits and looked better, but its a minor point.

All in all, New England is just another tile-laying game, but has some fun, challenging aspects to it. Couple that with the simplest set of rules for a game this size I've seen in a while, New England is a fine addition for your 'Yankee' dollar. BGoR rate it a 'buy'.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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