Recruit workers, buy projects, build ships. And use the ships to open new commercial routes to eastern Africa and India, to earn money and glory.
This is a resource management game, with an element of risk management, that works like this:
Beginning with the start player, each player takes one numbered disc and places it on top of his own coloured disc in one of the four action areas of the board. A Vasco da Gama tile states a number; everything above this number is free of charge, anything below will have to be paid for, so players will take this into account when taking numbered discs. When all players have placed four discs, a modifier to this 'activation number' is shown, and discs are worked by number. In the crew area players may hire crew and a captain, but this costs money. Each round there is a window of ships. The number on the left is the navigation strength, the number on the right is the required amount of different crew. Players choose a ship, pay for the crew and turn the tile to its other side - with a captain on top. In the navigation area, a player takes his ship and places it in a row of his choice, but he has to take care not to exceed the navigation strength of the ship.
The game lasts five rounds, after which the player with the most points has won.