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Overview

In The Networks, you and your opponents are new television networks, and you need new programming. For this, you’ll need Shows, Stars, and Ads.

Shows need Stars and Ads. Stars give you bonus viewers (points), and Ads give you extra money. You’ll need everything you can get; you'll have a small amount of resources and time, and you must grab the latest hot show before your opponents.

And some Stars will give their best effort only if you put them on in the proper conditions. For example, some Stars only want to be put on dramas. Other Stars want to be the only Star on the show. And your Ads will give you the most money only if you put them on in the correct time slot.

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Finally, Shows age and viewers lose interest, so you have to keep your line-up fresh by canceling shows and sending them into reruns. Fortunately, you can get viewers from your reruns, and you'll get bonuses if you get a lot of shows of the same genre throughout the game.

If you need a special push, Network Cards can give you special powers — but will a Network Card be better than another action? You'll have to make that call.

The player with the most viewers after five seasons wins!


How to Play

At the start of each season, a different number of TV program, Star, Advertising and Network cards are placed on the table to be selected by the players this season. The number of each card type available varies based on the number of players in the game.

During your turn, you can do one of the following:

  • Develop a show – take a Show card, pay its cost, and attach the required Star(s) and/or Advertisement(s) to the show from your Green Room (your hand). The show must be placed in one of three time slots (8, 9 or 10 PM). If there is an existing show in that slot, it is moved to your rerun stack.
    • Note: shows get a bonus for being assigned to the time slot it will be best suited for – they do not have to be assigned that time, but they will not score as well if they are not
    • Note 2: every card has at least one to three slots for star(s) and or ad(s) – if
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      the show requires a Star and/or Ad, they must be in your Green Room at the time the Show card is taken, or that card cannot be developed. If they are optional, the Star and/or Ad can be added at a later time.
  • Sign a Star – take a Star card, pay its cost, and place it in your Green Room, where he/she will wait for their opportunity to be attached to a show.
  • Sell Advertising – take an Ad card, collect money for the Ad, and place it in your Green Room, where it will wait for its opportunity to also be attached to a show.
  • Take a Network Card – this is a type of card grants either an immediate bonus, or is held to be used as a one-time bonus later in the game. It may also provide bonus points at the end of the game.
  • Attach a Star or Ad – Take a star or ad and attach it to a show with optional ad/star slots that is currently running in a time slot.
  • Drop and Budget (Pass) – when you do this, you gain money (in the 1st season) or the choice between money and points (seasons two through five), receiving more money or points if you are the first to pass.

Each season a player does one of these actions; the player to the left does their action, repeating until everyone has passed.

End of season actions are then performed, consisting of:

  • Checking your Income – Add the ad revenue generated and subtract the annual costs of the Show and/or Star – if it is positive, collect money, but if it is negative you have to pay the difference, losing points if you cannot cover the difference
  • Scoring your shows and shows in your rerun pile – Add up the points generated by your Shows as well as any Star(s) attached to it and move those in your rerun pile to the archives
  • Aging your shows – each show has four slots for years one through four, showing how many points the show will earn in each of those years – the cube tracking which year the show is in moves down at this point.
  • Determine Player Order – Turn order is changed with the player with the least points going first next season (and so on).
  • Set up the Next Season

After five turns, the player with the most viewers (points) is the winner.

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The Networks - Solo Playthrough


Links and References

BoardGameGeek Review

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