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Hui is a word that is common to many Polynesian languages; it simply means “gathering”. It can refer to any gathering, even a gathering of waves when surfing! Today in New Zealand, the word is increasingly being used to describe a business meeting. For example, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia called this year’s convocation a “Theological Hui”.

But for this Arts & Culture card, the word refers to a certain type of celebration. A Hui was a special gathering of people on a marae (a temple platform) with very defined behavior codes and rituals.

In game terms, the card provides one victory point for the player that owns it; the player gets two victory points if he controls a mythical island. You may ask, What is a mythical island? I thought this was a historic simulation game!

Well, after Richard Berg played an earlier version of Conquest of Paradise, he noticed that all of the Discovery Chits where gone after the entire board was explored. He noted that there should be some chits left in the cup when the map was filled, to make the game even more different every time it’s played, and to add an additional level of uncertainty.

I pointed out that the game is geographically correct: there was a corresponding chit for every hex on the board. If additional chits were added, they would have to be open ocean chits, and that would skew the ration of open ocean to island groups. I couldn’t add more island group chits- I couldn’t just make up islands, could I?

You could almost hear the rusty gears grinding in my head. Of course I could make up islands! The Polynesians had legends of their ancestral homeland, an island they called Hawaiki. They were convinced that the island was out there somewhere. Some legends even spoke of Hawaiki’s sister island, Kuporu.

So Conquest of Paradise includes two Mythical Islands: Hawaiki and Kuporu. Historically, their chits never came out of the draw cup! But if you control one of these islands in the game, you gain extra victory points for several Arts & Culture cards, including Hui.

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