When I hear the word, “explorers,” the first thing that comes to my mind are the Spanish explorers. Nowadays, I often think of archeologists such as Indiana Jones in the context of explorers with the adventure element. For the most part my mind is still captivated by the wooden ships of the high seas discovering unknown and exotic far away destinations during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.
I love history and it began for me in early childhood during the 1950’s with the Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone stories. Then in fifth grade we studied world history and the chapter on the Spanish explorers still rings in my mind. I recall memorizing names such as Columbus, Balboa, Pizarro, Cortes, Ponce de Leon, Magellan and many others. The picture in our schoolbook introducing that chapter had a colorful picture of the Spanish with their swords and muskets strapped to their belts standing on the sandy seashore with the masts of their ships in the nearby blue ocean behind them. One of the men held the Spanish flag. They looked like they were about to embark on an adventure. They also had those cool helmets.
We all know the wealth in gold, silver and gems that Spain acquired from the New World and the fortunes to be found. Stories of fabled gold such as El Dorado in South America and Coronado’s golden Seven Cities of Cibolo in western Texas continue to intrigue us. Not to mention tales of pirate treasure that also emerged during that same period of European exploration in the context of world history.
When I was creating the board game TreasureTrove I wanted to give players an option of choosing a player token representing what they might want to be if they were searching the world for fabled treasure. For some, that might be like Indiana Jones and therefore they would want to be an archeologist. Someone else may be fascinated with underwater diving and they might want to SCUBA for wealth such as a deep sea diver. Others my think of an oil man exploring for black gold such as a wildcatter of the early 20th century. A tycoon with money to invest in treasure hunts is in many ways the adventuresome individual of modern times. For me though it will always be pirates and Spanish explorers that come to my mind when treasure is to be found. Player tokens representing each of these give participants a choice in what they would want to be if they could travel the world hunting for treasure.
I choose to use a purple helmet to represent the conquistador. You had to be of royalty to be given ships to explore the high seas and purple represents royalty. I thought the helmet more than anything represents the Spanish explorer. I also think conquistador is a cool name.
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