Hands On Canadian History: Habitant – a New France Game

In the mid- to late 1600s, France attempted to retain its grasp of New France (aka Canada) by creating a colony here. Nobles and Clergy from France were granted sections of land along the St. Lawrence River which were called seigneuries. The Seigneurs (or Lords), divided up their property and rented it to settlers to farm and live on.

Canadian History - Habitant, a New France Game

Habitant: A New France Adventure Game

This game can be played with 2 to 6 players, plus a narrator.

Goal: To successfully clear, plant and harvest your land, while surviving the challenges of New France. The first person to successfully harvest the land is the winner.

To play this game, you need the detailed instructions, printable cards, and player worksheets, a dice, and pencils and erasers. It’s designed to be similar to a table based role-playing game, where you keep track of all your levels, health, and experiences right on your own personalized page.

Basically, there are 2 seasons – summer and winter. In the summer, you work on clearing and farming your land. In the winter, you have to just survive. In addition to the work, there are different challenges and events that help or hinder your success. Things like supply ships, illness, wild animals, native encounters, weather, wives, and taxes for the Seigneur all affect your chances of survival.

This game gives plenty of opportunity for learning about the experience of colonialists of New France: the Seigneur – settler relationship, les Filles du Roi, and encounters with local natives – both as allies and as enemies, as well as an appreciation for the amount of work it would have taken to successfully work your farmland and some insight into how hard it could be to survive the harsh Canadian winter.

I created this game with collaboration from my oldest son, who is an avid gamer. With his input, we’ve designed something we are incredibly proud of and think is a fun way to learn about a period of time that was important to our Canadian history.

When you’ve played it, please make sure to pop back here with your feedback and reviews. We’d love to have it be perfect fun for everyone!

See all 31 Days of  Hands-on Canadian History.

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