How To Play: Ora et Labora – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Ora et Labora is a strategic board game that challenges players to meticulously manage resources, construct buildings, and devise long-term plans to secure victory. With its dynamic gameplay, diverse strategies, and immersive mechanics, this game offers a rich and rewarding experience for strategic enthusiasts.

Engage in efficient resource allocation and production optimization to fuel your empire's growth. Plan and construct building chains to enhance your capabilities and achieve synergies that lead to prosperity. Strategically select actions to outmaneuver your opponents and hinder their progress, all while adapting your plans to the ever-changing game state. Nail down long-term objectives, anticipate your opponents' moves, and pivot your strategy when necessary.

With stunning components and captivating artwork, Ora et Labora immerses players in the world of medieval Europe, challenging them to build grand monastic settlements from scratch. Delve into the depths of resource management, masterful building construction, and shrewd decision-making to rise above your adversaries and emerge as the dominant force.

Prepare to unlock the secrets of strategic success as you navigate the intricacies of Ora et Labora. Will you tactically outmaneuver your opponents, cultivate prosperity through well-crafted building chains, and claim victory as the master of medieval colonization? The choice is yours, and the road to triumph begins now.


Welcome to our comprehensive guide for Ora et Labora, where we will delve into the intricacies of this strategic board game and explore the most effective strategies for emerging victorious. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to refine your skills or new to the game and eager to conquer, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and techniques to elevate your gameplay.

Ora et Labora is a game that demands both careful planning and adaptability. With its unique blend of resource management, building construction, and long-term strategy, the road to success is paved with intelligent decision-making and exploiting opportunities that arise during gameplay.

In this guide, we will begin by providing a concise overview of the game rules, ensuring that you have a solid foundation of knowledge to build upon. We will then dive into the best strategies and tactics for each aspect of the game, including resource management, building chains, action selection, long-term planning, and player interaction.

Whether you aspire to construct an empire of interlinked buildings, outwit your opponents through cunning actions, or engage in shrewd resource allocation, this guide is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to triumph in Ora et Labora. So, let us embark on this strategic journey together, and discover the secrets to maximized success, unrivaled strategy, and triumphant domination.

What’s in the box

  • Main Game Board
  • Action Boards
  • Player Boards (4)
  • Building Tiles
  • Resource Tokens
  • Cards
  • Coins

How To Play Ora et Labora: Rules Summary

1. Game Setup:
  1. Place the main game board in the center of the table.
  2. Give each player a player board and place it in front of them.
  3. Shuffle the building tiles and create a supply facedown near the board.
  4. Shuffle the cards and build a deck for each card type near the board.
  5. Distribute starting resources and coins to each player according to the setup guide.
2. Game Flow:
  1. The game is played in a series of rounds, with each round consisting of three phases: the action phase, the maintenance phase, and the rounding phase.
  2. During the action phase, players take turns selecting and executing an action by placing their action marker on an available action space.
  3. After all players have taken actions, the maintenance phase begins, where players receive income, pay maintenance costs for buildings, and adjust their production levels.
  4. In the rounding phase, players advance their pieces on certain tracks and clean up the current round’s cards.
  5. The game continues until a predetermined number of rounds have been completed.
3. Victory Points and Winning:
  1. Players earn victory points by constructing buildings, converting goods, achieving specific objectives, and more.
  2. The game ends after the final round, and the player with the most victory points is declared the winner.
4. Building Rules:
  1. Acquire building tiles by selecting the appropriate action during the action phase.
  2. Each building requires specific resources to construct. Pay the required resources to build the selected building.
  3. Some buildings offer abilities, bonuses, or victory points.
  4. Connected buildings form chains, which can improve their production output or provide additional benefits.

By following these rules and understanding the flow of gameplay, you are ready to begin your journey in the captivating world of Ora et Labora. Embrace resource management, strategic building construction, and long-term planning to compete with fellow players and emerge as the most prosperous and successful ruler.

Best Ora Et Labora Strategies

Mastering Resource Management for Victorious Gameplay

In Ora et Labora, efficient resource management is the key to success. Managing your resources effectively allows you to build and expand your settlement, produce valuable goods, and ultimately dominate the game. Here are some strategies to optimize your resource management:

Prioritization of Resources:
  1. Identify the most crucial resources for your strategy, such as wood for construction or grain for conversion into more valuable goods.
  2. Favor actions that allow you to gather the prioritized resources, ensuring a steady supply throughout the game.
  3. Balance your resource acquisitions to avoid shortages and seize opportunities.
Production Optimization:
  1. Strategically construct buildings that optimize production chains, allowing the efficient conversion of resources into higher-value goods.
  2. Create a balanced production flow, ensuring each resource is utilized effectively without waste or bottlenecks.
Maximizing Resource Efficiency:
  1. Plan your resource consumption wisely, avoiding unnecessary expenses and ensuring a surplus for future actions.
  2. Use special abilities and advanced buildings to reduce resource costs and increase efficiency.

Transitioning smoothly from one resource management strategy to another based on the ever-changing board state and player interactions will greatly influence your chances of victory. With optimal resource management, your path to triumph in Ora et Labora is within reach.

Constructing Powerful Building Chains for Victorious Triumph

In Ora et Labora, building chains play a crucial role in paving your path to victory. Strategically constructing buildings and linking them together unlocks a myriad of advantages and strengthens your overall gameplay. Here are some strategies for optimizing your building chains:

Planning Commencing:
  1. Map out your building chain strategy early in the game, taking into account the resources and goods that will be available to you.
  2. Identify key buildings that complement and support each other, such as production buildings that generate resources needed by other production lines.
Development Sequence:
  1. Sequence the construction of your buildings thoughtfully, ensuring an efficient flow and progressive advancement.
  2. Focus on building chains that yield high-value goods or provide valuable actions and abilities beneficial to your overall strategy.
Synergy and Expansion:
  1. Discover synergies between buildings, where the components of one building chain can support the efficiency or production of another.
  2. Expand and consolidate your building chains by continuously adding new buildings that enhance and reinforce your existing chains.
Long-Term Planning:

Think ahead and plan for future expansions of your building chains. Consider the long-term benefits of specific building placements to position yourself for success later in the game. Assess the potential ramifications of certain buildings and how they align with your overall objectives.

By skillfully crafting and nurturing your building chains, you will establish a strong foundation for victory. Execute your building chain strategy with precision, adapt to the changing game state, and watch as your grand plans unfold in Ora et Labora.

Mastering Action Selection for Strategic Dominance

In Ora et Labora, choosing the right actions is crucial to outmaneuvering your opponents and positioning yourself for victory. Thoughtful action selection can provide you with a significant advantage throughout the game. Here are some strategies to maximize the impact of your actions:

Prioritizing High-Value Actions:
  1. Identify and prioritize the most valuable and strategic actions available on the communal board.
  2. Choose actions that align with your overall strategy and contribute to your long-term goals.
Timing and Execution:
  1. Observe the flow of gameplay and strategically time your actions to disrupt your opponents’ plans or secure advantageous positions.
  2. Evaluate the potential impact of each action and its influence on both your own position and your opponents’ positions.
Anticipation and Adaptation:
  1. Anticipate your opponents’ actions and plan your moves accordingly, considering potential blockades or alternative actions in case your preferred choice is no longer available.
  2. Be adaptable and ready to adjust your strategy based on the actions taken by your opponents or changes in the game state, seizing opportunities as they arise.
Comparing and Contrasting:

Evaluate the available actions in terms of their efficiency, impact, and potential risks. Compare and contrast similar actions to determine which best align with your overall game plan. Assess the benefits and drawbacks of each action to make informed decisions for optimal gameplay.

By carefully selecting actions and utilizing them strategically, you can gain a significant edge over your rivals. Master the art of action selection, and you’ll find yourself consistently outwitting and outmaneuvering your opponents throughout Ora et Labora.

Strategic Long-Term Planning for Triumphant Success

In Ora et Labora, long-term planning is the cornerstone of victory. A well-crafted and flexible long-term strategy can provide you with a significant advantage as the game unfolds. Here are some strategies to master long-term planning:

Goal Setting:
  1. Establish clear goals based on the available victory point opportunities and your chosen strategy.
  2. Identify the required resources, buildings, and goods needed to achieve these goals.
Resource Allocation:
  1. Allocate your resources efficiently, balancing immediate resource needs with long-term requirements.
  2. Consider trade-offs between short-term benefits and long-term investments, prioritizing resources that contribute to your overall strategy.
Building Sequence:
  1. Plan your building sequence carefully, taking into account the synergies between buildings and their long-term benefits.
  2. Prioritize buildings that generate victory points, provide special abilities, or enhance your production capabilities for sustained success.
Adaptability and Flexibility:
  1. Remain adaptable to changes in the game state and adjust your long-term plans accordingly.
  2. Be mindful of your opponents’ strategies and react accordingly to maximize your chances of success.

A well-executed long-term plan will guide your decision-making process and lay a solid foundation for victory in Ora et Labora. Invest time and strategic thinking in long-term planning, and watch your carefully crafted strategy unfold as you find yourself dominating the game.

Strategic Player Interaction for Dominant Gameplay

Player interaction is a critical factor in achieving victory in Ora et Labora. Understanding and navigating the dynamics of player interaction will allow you to outmaneuver your opponents and gain a competitive edge. Here are some strategies to master player interaction:

Resource Competition:
  1. Recognize the resources that are scarce or high in demand, and strategically compete for control over them.
  2. Take actions to deny your opponents access to crucial resources, limiting their options and disrupting their plans.
Action Blocking:
  1. Occlude your opponents’ choices by selecting actions they desire, limiting their opportunities and forcing them to adapt their strategies.
  2. Strategically time your actions to block or hinder your opponents’ gaining advantages in resource allocation, building construction, or production.
Strategic Timing:
  1. Observe your opponents’ actions and timing to anticipate their strategies and react accordingly.
  2. Stay vigilant and ready to adjust your plans to take advantage of actions or openings provided by your opponents’ moves.
Grasp of Opponents’ Objectives:
  1. Accurately assess your opponents’ goals, playing style, and progress to inform your decisions.
  2. Exploit their weaknesses, disrupt their plans, and strategize accordingly to take full advantage of their actions.

Mindful and strategic player interaction can be the deciding factor between victory and defeat in Ora et Labora. By understanding the different aspects of player interaction and implementing thoughtful strategies, you increase your chances of success and solidify your position as the dominant player.


Congratulations! You have now mastered the essential strategies and rules of Ora et Labora. Armed with this knowledge, you are well-equipped to embark on an epic journey of strategic decision-making, resource management, and building construction.

Remember that successful gameplay in Ora et Labora requires careful planning, adaptability, and a keen understanding of your opponents’ moves. Take advantage of all the available tools at your disposal – from building chains to action selection – to maximize your chances of victory.

As you navigate the challenging landscape of medieval Europe, always strive for efficient resource allocation, leverage building synergies, and choose actions wisely. Long-term planning and anticipating your opponents’ strategies will play a crucial role in leading you towards triumph.

Whether you choose to employ an aggressive approach, focusing on impeding your adversaries, or adopt a more peaceful strategy, cultivating prosperous settlements, Ora et Labora offers a wealth of possibilities for strategic enthusiasts.

Now that you have a firm grasp on the rules and strategies behind this captivating game, gather your friends, prepare your strategy, and let the race for victory commence. May your settlements flourish, and your name be remembered as a master of Ora et Labora!

Want to know what we think of Ora et Labora? Read our detailed review of Ora et Labora here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.