A Guide to the Madeira Board Game – Rules, Instructions & Strategy


Madeira is a board game with elements strategy, planning, and a bit of luck. It’s set on the beautiful island of Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago known for its wine and stunning landscapes. The game was created by Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade and first hit the shelves in 2013. It’s a game for 2 to 4 players, and it usually takes a couple of hours to play.

The idea of the game is to score points by producing resources like sugar, wine, and wheat, and then shipping them off to meet the demands of different cities. Trading is always a mechanic that goes down well in my experience. You also have to manage your workers, build structures, and keep an eye on the crown’s requests. It’s a bit like running your own little empire on an island. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Now, let’s dive into the details so you can get your game on!

Quick Tip for Madeira

Always plan a couple of moves ahead and keep an eye on what your opponents are up to. It can make all the difference!

Rules for playing Madeira

Alright, let’s talk rules. Madeira has a bunch of them, but don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it step by step. First off, the game is played over several rounds, each with a bunch of phases. You’ll be doing things like choosing roles that give you special actions, producing resources, and shipping goods. There’s also a neat dice mechanic where you use dice to perform actions, but the number on the die determines the cost of the action.

You’ve got to manage your workers too. They can be placed on different spots on the board to do various tasks, like harvesting resources or constructing buildings. But here’s the kicker: at the end of each round, you have to feed your workers, so make sure you’ve got enough food!

There are also these things called “Crown Requests.” These are objectives that you need to fulfill to score points. They change every game, so you’ve got to stay on your toes and adapt your strategy.

And don’t forget about pirates! They can mess with your plans, so you’ll need to defend your ships or risk losing goods.

That’s the gist of it, but there’s a lot more to the rules, so let’s keep going.

Equipment and Setup for Madeira

Before you start playing Madeira, you need to set up the game. You’ll need the game board, which shows the island and all the different areas where you can place workers and take actions. You’ll also need dice, wooden pieces for workers, buildings, ships, and tokens for resources like bread, sugar, wine, and wood.

If you don’t have the official game, you could try making your own version with some DIY spirit. Use cardboard for the board and tiles, and anything handy for the pieces and tokens. Just make sure everything is clear and distinct so you don’t get mixed up during the game.

The types of tiles in Madeira include resource tiles, city tiles, and crown request tiles. You’ll use these to keep track of your goods and objectives throughout the game.

How to Play Madeira and Game Mechanics

Playing Madeira involves a few key game mechanics. Here’s a rundown:

  1. Setup: Place the board in the middle of the table. Each player gets a player board, workers, ships, and starting resources. Set up the resource tiles, city tiles, and crown request tiles on their respective spots on the game board.
  2. Gameplay: Each round has several phases. You’ll choose roles, take actions with your workers, produce resources, and ship goods. The dice determine what actions you can take and their cost.
  3. End of the Game: After the last round, players score points for their fulfilled crown requests, shipped goods, and other achievements. The player with the most points wins.

Here’s a list of gameplay phases with a brief description:

  1. Role Selection: Choose a role that gives you a special action for the round.
  2. Worker Actions: Place workers on the board to take actions like harvesting or building.
  3. Production: Produce resources based on where your workers are placed.
  4. Shipping: Ship goods to fulfill city demands and score points.
  5. Feeding Workers: Make sure you have enough food to feed your workers.
  6. Crown Requests: Fulfill objectives to score points.
  7. Pirate Defense: Protect your ships from pirates or risk losing goods.

How to Win at Madeira

Winning at Madeira is all about strategy. As a beginner, focus on learning how the different roles and actions work together. Try to fulfill crown requests early on, as they can guide your strategy for the rest of the game.

As you get more comfortable, start planning your moves in advance. Look at what resources will be in demand and position your workers to take advantage of that. Also, keep an eye on your opponents. If you can predict their moves, you can block them or beat them to the punch.

For advanced players, it’s all about efficiency. Optimize every action to get the most out of your workers and resources. And don’t forget to adapt. If something isn’t working, switch up your strategy before it’s too late.

Best Strategies for playing Madeira game

Now, let’s talk about some top strategies for playing Madeira. First, balance is key. You want to spread your efforts across producing resources, fulfilling crown requests, and shipping goods. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Next, timing is everything. Pay attention to the timing of different actions and how they can set you up for future turns. For example, building a structure at the right time can give you a big advantage later on.

Also, consider sneaky tactics. Sometimes, it pays to be a bit underhanded. Block your opponents’ moves, or take a role just to keep it away from someone else. It’s all fair in love and board games!


Let’s say you’re in a tight spot with not enough food to feed your workers. Don’t panic! Look for actions that can get you food quickly, or consider taking a penalty to keep your other plans on track.

On the flip side, if you’re doing well with lots of resources, think about how you can convert that into points. Maybe it’s time to ship goods or go after a high-scoring crown request.

In both good and bad scenarios, always think about how you can turn the situation to your advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Madeira game

Here are some common questions and answers:

  1. Q: How many rounds are in a game of Madeira?
    A: The game is played over several rounds, usually five.
  2. Q: Can I change my strategy mid-game?
    A: Absolutely! Adaptability is key in Madeira.
  3. Q: What happens if I can’t feed my workers?
    A: You’ll take a penalty, which could be losing points or resources.
  4. Q: Is it better to focus on one type of resource?
    A: Not really. It’s best to have a balance and keep your options open.
  5. Q: Can I block other players’ actions?
    A: Yes, by placing your workers strategically, you can block spaces on the board.

For more information on Madeira and to get your hands on the official rulebook, check out these links:

What’s Eric Playing – Madeira Review
How to Play Madeira – YouTube Tutorial

And there you have it! I hope this guide helps you become a Madeira master. Good luck, and have fun!