River Horse's NOLI game available for preorder.
Image Source: River Horse

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a prosperous medieval trade lord? Look no further than River Horse’s newest board game – “Noli”. River Horse is the studio perhaps best known for the “Terminator” board games – “Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance”, “Terminator: Dark Fate – The Card Game”, and “Terminator Genisys: The Miniatures Game – The War Against The Machine”.

“Noli” is designed by Jack Caesar, the mind behind “Terminator: Dark Fate – The Card Game”, and other favorite titles, such as “Pacific Rim: Extinction” and “Highlander: The Board Game”. The illustrations and artwork of the game are thematic with the period the game is set it. Chris Caesar, the game’s artist, really brings a nice heraldic style to the game, which is very eye-pleasing.

NOLI Will Make You a Medieval Merchant Lord

Set in the Middle Ages, “Noli” was a prominent maritime republic, the Republic of Noli. It was under the patronage of the powerful and “benevolent” republic of Genoa, which gave it plenty of riches and commerce. This also meant, however, that it had a lot of competition from neighboring maritime republics, not to mention outside threats. As most of you may know – the Middle Ages were not a fun time to be around. The world was turbulent and dangerous.

And those were just the outside threats! Each of these maritime republics was ruled by powerful merchant families, who were constantly at each other’s throats in attempts to topple the other and gain more political power.

In “Noli”, players will get to play as one of these powerful merchant families. Historically, every September, the Ligurian gozzi (a type of fishing boats) of the four town districts, ran boat races along a path of 1600 meters, on fractions of 400 meters each. This was not done in the spirit of friendly competition, but to determine the fishing rights for the following fishing season. Naturally, whoever won, got the best fishing spots, which meant more riches, and consequently – more power and success.

Gameplay and Mechanics – What to Expect

Between each bidding session, players must frantically roll dice. This is done to simulate the famous boat races! The player who wins the race gets to draw from the best deck of fish cards, whereas other players need to draw from less profitable fish decks. Keep in mind there are other event cards, like “Saracens Attack!” or “Storm!”, which set players back, making the game more interesting.

However, the merchant families are not satisfied with just this single form of competition. “Noli” players will have to compete with one another to build tall red-brick towers, as symbols of the power and wealth of their respective merchant families.

Each game consists of several rounds, in which players will secretly bid on four actions using their riches (coins). The player who bids highest in each action gains a bonus or gets one step closer to victory by building their red-brick tower at a faster rate. Each tower has six total floors, so each bonus counts!

If a player manages to build all 6 of his tower floors, they win! If by the end of the game, no player has managed to build all 6 tower floors, the one who has the most is deemed the winner.

“Noli” can be pre-ordered on the River Horse game store for 40 pounds, with a possible release date set on December 1, 2022.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.


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