In Al Rashid, players will take the role of the heads of powerful families, and will use the members of their families for trading, travelling, and ultimately trying to exercise influence over the court of the powerful ruler. Al Rashid is a mostly deterministic strategy game, with a slight hint of randomness, based on worker placement, influence, resource management, and the efficient scoring of prestige points.
As heads of families, players will have three different worker types at their disposal: the Sage, the Merchant and the Pasha. The three different types of workers, each with a different influence value, can be placed on the map of ancient Middle East to gain resources, or can be placed on the corporations to get more workers, or on government and imperial offices. The corporations represent several powers at the court of the Caliph: Intrigue, War, Science, Commerce, and Politics. The game takes place over five turns, with turns split into two main phases: the placement phase and the resolution phase. Each phase is split in several rounds.
Resolving geographical areas will give a player resources. The resources come in five flavors: Wood, Pottery, Metal, Spice and Silk, and they can be used in trades. The dominating player will get three different resources, or all of the resources of one type, the second player will get two different resources and the third player just one. The resources gained by resolving geographical areas can be used in the corporations to buy more workers or get government offices. Government offices work more or less like buildings in other placement games. Some give permanent advantages, some have a one-shot effect, and some can be used every turn. As for the geographical areas, having more influence will be advantageous, and dominating players will get cheaper workers or better effects out of the corporations.
The game contains no currency, so players will need to be careful when they combine resources to get money because if they pay more than they should, no change will be returned. Every turn raiders will spontaneously appear on random locations on the map, so players will need to use some of their actions to hire mercenaries that can be used to combat the raiders and give them access to resources. Players accumulate Prestige points when they buy offices and workers, and at the end of the fifth turn the player with more prestige points is declared the winner.
Ages: 13 and up
Players: 2 to 5
Playing Time: 100 minutes