Moa is a fantasy interpretation of the clash between the original inhabitants of New Zealand and the wave of settlers from over the seas. The inhabitants are birds, re-imagined with human traits. Thus they talk, wear clothes and use tools.
The invaders are a motley bunch made up of dogs, possums, rats and weasels. Each mammalian invader has its own characteristics - the dogs are more peaceable, but powerful if pushed to fight, while the weasel is rapacious, attacking whenever possible.
You control tribes of birds, and seek to control as much of the board as possible.
The bird 'tribes' are represented by the hands of cards each player is dealt. Different birds provide different talents to the tribe. There are eight different birds in all, and each brings unique skills to the tribe.
Players are dealt a hand of nine bird cards at the start of each period which become the players' tribes. A tribe must last a player for all seven rounds, so careful decisions must be made about when and how to play each bird.
Two new terrain cards are revealed at the start of each round. These dictate which zones players can act in that round, whether mammals appear or attack, or the volcano marker moves.
Birds can be placed into territories with one of the two active terrain types, one bird per icon spent.
Leaders break ties when deciding which player controls a territory. Like other actions, leaders can only be placed into territories with one of the two active terrain types.
Terrain cards can cause mammals to invade territories. Players can wrestle control back by attacking mammal-controlled zones, and take control of the territory by placing their own birds.
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