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matt tolman
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Playtesters, please ask any rules questions you have here, and I'll answer them in this post.

We will only ever use 9 Improvements in a single session, correct?

It's actually 10, and it's always 10. They are static for the entire game.

No matter the number of players, we always have 4 Countries face up? However, based on the number of players, we have a variable number of spaces open in the lane.

Correct.

The components list shows 80 colonies. If we have 7 rounds with 11 colonies getting placed, that is 77 plus the 8th round "special" colonies makes 80. But you didn't count the 15 starting colonies so there is actually 95 total, correct?

There are several errors in the components section of the of the rulebook currently. These will be fixed in a future version of the rules. There are actually 11 Special colonies for the last round, bring it to 88, plus the 15 starting colonies brings the total number to 103.

The rulebook says there are wooden discs, but I have wooden cubes instead, and my colonists are purple, instead of white.

I have limited components, so some copies of the game have wooden cubes in place of the wooden discs, and a little puerto rico style cannister for the income track. Also I ran short on the exact colors for the resources as well. Just know that the meeples are always colonists, and the cubes that came in that same bag are wood and iron.

The game board indicates 3 resources can be bought and sold: brown wood, gray metal, and white. Are these the settlers, and can they be bought and sold? Or is this an artifact from an earlier version? Also, are the numbers hard numbers to their values?

You can buy/hire and sell all the resource types. The white track represents labor (settlers), and the brown is wood, while the grey is iron.

Seeing the components now, the Countries are "generic" in that they can accept any set of Colonies as long as they are all from the same continent, correct?

Correct.

Country cards are meant to be refreshed immediately after one is taken? All other components are refreshed during 1. Round preparation. Just want to make sure this is intentional.

Yes, this is intentional.

When spending Colonies to found a Country, can we use face-down Colonies that we had resources gathered this turn (i.e. those that are face-down)?

Yes.

Merchant ship in general: Here's how it seems to me to work: I have a merchant ship with speed 5. I place it in a lane, gaining me a merchant action. I now have to decided a resource type, and then whether to buy or sell. I choose to buy wood. I can now decide to buy UP TO 5 wood, but no more. After I buy, the price for wood increases by a step. You can never buy or sell in the same step, and Advanced Storage doesn't change the maximum amount of resources you can buy, just allows you to do different types (EG, with this ship and A.S., I could buy 2 wood and 3 steel, buy 2 wood and sell 3 steel, or any other combo of buying/selling 2 different types of resources that doesn't go above 5). I adjust each market separately once I'm done.


Correct.

What is the significance of the question mark over some settlements on the colonies?

Any settlement (from the same continent) can be used there when creating that colony.

Can I use my starting settlements on colonies?

No, you may never get rid of your starting settlements.

When discarding unused settlements, do they form a faceup discard pile, or get re-shuffled back into the stack?

Discard them out of play. They will not be needed again.

In a track that is 4 ships long, currently containing [ ][3][2][2], and someone wants to play a 2, what happens? What if someone wants to play a 3?

The "2" goes behind them all, shifting all three ships forward, the "3" goes behind the "3" shifting it forward.

Are you able to send that canoe to a continent?

Yes.

I have pictures from some of the plays...alright to post?

Yes. Please do! It's alright to share anything online besides the rules.

Improvements

Steam Power/Advanced Storage: What is a "cargo" ship? We have Canoe, Wooden, Merchant, and Steel. Is this all 3 that require a Settler?

That is an artifact from a previous version, and the names of the ships is changing again next week. blush Here's a breakdown of the ships as they are and will most likely become.

Cargo = Merchant -> Galleon
Steele -> Steamship
Wood -> Carrack
Canoe -> Caravel


Infrastructure: Costs are reduced by $2. Is this $2 per colony or $2 off the total bill. For example, round 5 and I have 6 colonies. Does it cost me $6 total ($3 - $2) x 6 col. Or is it $16 total (6 col. x $3) - $2?

Infrastructure reduces the cost per colony. This reduces the first upkeep to $0 per colony, the second to $1 per colony, and the last to $2 per colony.

Ship Contract: Is the VP affected by things like Majestic Navy? Do I get an extra $10 per Wooden Ship I return?

No, Ship Contract refers to the number of VPs shown on the boat, not the current value.

Ship Contract: I also assume "Player Board" means back into the space it belongs to either purchase or upgrade it later? Or do you mean the "Spent Ships" area?

The first example is correct, you are taking the ship out of your fleet permanently. Whenever an Improvement asks for a ship, it may be any ship in your fleet, including ones in your deck and on the board. If you choose to look through your unplayed ships in this fashion, your remaining ships are reshuffled afterwards, even if you choose not to use one of them.

Decommission/Pirates: Same question on where this ship goes.

Pirates permanently remove a ship from your opponents fleet. This means it is returned to it's place on the player board where it may be bought or upgraded to later.

Eiffel Tower: Can your income go negative or are you capped at $0?

Income is capped at $0. Anyone who can't go back the required amount is placed on the $0 income space.

Embargo: Does this affect starting colonies? Also, the way it is worded, I assume it also hits the player who activated it? Is this both during Phase 2 and Phase 4? Or are Canoes exempt?

This does not hit the player who activated it, but it does affect starting colonies. It is only active during phase 4. It does not affect canoes.

Advanced Storage: Must both actions be the same type (sell 2 or buy 2)? Or can I sell 1 good and buy another? If I can do 1 of each, can I buy and sell (or sell and buy) the same good?

You may do 1 of each if you have a 2 ship. The only thing you may not do is by and sell the same type of resource with the same market transaction (a later market transaction with a different ship will allow you to sell or buy something you have already bought or sold).

Port Authority: OK, so I pay $1 to get rid of what I just drew and ... do what? Is that my impulse for phase 3, next player goes? Or do I immediately draw another Ship? If I don't like that ship, can I pay another $1 and keep drawing?

You immediately draw another ship and place that ship. You may pay $1 again to place that ship underneath and draw a different one. You may repeat this process as many times as you can afford.

Master Merchant: when combined with Advanced Storage-do I get 2 free resources if I buy twice?

Yes, for now.

Iron forge: when "using the market" you may adjust the iron cube-I assume that means when trading and refers to steel. Probably should be reworded. Can you perform this action even if you're buying something else? Unlike Wood empire, it doesn't specify "before" trading. Can I buy steel and then move the market cube up 2x (once per normal rules, once for forge)?

Iron has replaced Steel in the game. No, you must do it before using the market and you must be buying or selling Iron to do so. I'll update the wording on the card.

Wood empire: same as above. Can you move the wood cube even if buying settlers/steel?

Same as above.

Port Authority: Players may interpret fleet instructions in the round phase differently. They specify a "pile", not necessarily a single stack (eg, I could have them all face down in a single layer and choose one randomly each time). This interacts oddly with Port Authority, in that with one method, you KNOW exactly when that ship will come up (I placed it on the bottom of my fleet draw deck) versus the other method where there's a chance it will come back up next time. How should fleets be arranged? Is there a difference between a single stack of unchanging (but random) order versus a bag that you could draw tiles from randomly each time?

Port Authority should say "on the bottom of your fleet". Your fleet is a single stack that you have mixed. Using port authority changes the order of your deck and helps you know exactly what's coming up later as the ships you place under your fleet are now known information. I'll check the rules and update as necessary. Good catch.

Retrofitting: Where is the new ship placed?

When you build the retrofitting improvement, you may use any wooden ship in your fleet that there is an equivalent speed Iron ship available for. The new iron ship takes the place of the old wooden ship, wherever that was. If you look at your unspent ships (you may, when you build Retrofitting), you must shuffle your unspent ships afterward, regardless of whether or not you replaced a ship from there or somewhere else.

Canoe: When acquiring this new canoe, does it get placed it in your fleet stack, or your ships spent stack?

Spent ships area.
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brian
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Wanted confirmation on these assumptions based on the rules:

1) We will only ever use 9 Improvements in a single session, correct?

2) No matter the number of players, we always have 4 Countries face up? However, based on the number of players, we have a variable number of spaces open in the lane.

3) The components list shows 80 colonies. If we have 7 rounds with 11 colonies getting placed, that is 77 plus the 8th round "special" colonies makes 80. But you didn't count the 15 starting colonies so there is actually 95 total, correct?

4) The game board indicates 3 resources can be bought and sold: brown wood, gray metal, and white. Are these the settlers, and can they be bought and sold? Or is this an artifact from an earlier version? Also, are the numbers hard numbers to their values?

5) Seeing the components now, the Countries are "generic" in that they can accept any set of Colonies as long as they are all from the same continent, correct?

6) Country cards are meant to be refreshed immediately after one is taken? All other components are refreshed during 1. Round preparation. Just want to make sure this is intentional.

7) When spending Colonies to found a Country, can we use face-down Colonies that we had resources gathered this turn (i.e. those that are face-down)?

8) Consideration for components: It might make more sense to have the starting colonies a different shape than the regular colonies. They are already exempt from upkeep and cannot be turned in for founding Countries. Changing shape might reinforce the iconography you are using. From a thematic standpoint, these starting Colonies seem more like your mother country anyway. Just a thought.

9) Improvements: I think these are going to generate the most questions since they "break the rules" and will be the most variable factor in the games. In addition, these may produce some combos that need interpretation.

a) Immediate and Passive should probably be identified with some terminology and in bold. For example, I assume Canoe is an immediate effect only granted when you place your token(s). Whereas Loyal Colonists happen each time you take a resource from Colonies. It may also be a good idea to list the specific phases an Improvement would take effect.

b) Steam Power/Advanced Storage: What is a "cargo" ship? We have Canoe, Wooden, Merchant, and Steel. Is this all 3 that require a Settler?

c) Ports: Recommend coming up with different names since they all do something different.

d) Infrastructure: Costs are reduced by $2. Is this $2 per colony or $2 off the total bill. For example, round 5 and I have 6 colonies. Does it cost me $6 total ($3 - $2) x 6 col. Or is it $16 total (6 col. x $3) - $2?

e) Ship Contract: Is the VP affected by things like Majestic Navy? Do I get an extra $10 per Wooden Ship I return?
I also assume "Player Board" means back into the space it belongs to either purchase or upgrade it later? Or do you mean the "Spent Ships" area?

f) Decommission/Pirates: Same question on where this ship goes.

g) Eiffel Tower: Can your income go negative or are you capped at $0?

h) Embargo: Does this affect starting colonies? Also, the way it is worded, I assume it also hits the player who activated it? Is this both during Phase 2 and Phase 4? Or are Canoes exempt?

i) Advanced Storage: Must both actions be the same type (sell 2 or buy 2)? Or can I sell 1 good and buy another? If I can do 1 of each, can I buy and sell (or sell and buy) the same good?

j) Port Authority: OK, so I pay $1 to get rid of what I just drew and ... do what? Is that my impulse for phase 3, next player goes? Or do I immediately draw another Ship? If I don't like that ship, can I pay another $1 and keep drawing?
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matt tolman
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Moved this post to the suggestions thread, found here: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/8579398#8579398
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matt tolman
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Thanks for the Great work Brian, you clearly have a great ability for putting a game in your mind from just the rules.
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mopeymatt wrote:
Thanks for the Great work Brian, you clearly have a great ability for putting a game in your mind from just the rules.

blush Thanks!
 
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Jordan S.
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Wow, Brian was quick! Got some of my questions answered. I have a couple more:

Iron forge-when "using the market" you may adjust the iron cube-I assume that means when trading and refers to steel. Probably should be reworded. Can you perform this action even if you're buying something else? Unlike Wood empire, it doesn't specify "before" trading. Can I buy steel and then move the market cube up 2x (once per normal rules, once for forge)?

Wood empire-same as above. Can you move the wood cube even if buying settlers/steel?

Port Authority: Players may interpret fleet instructions in the round phase differently. They specify a "pile", not necessarily a single stack (eg, I could have them all face down in a single layer and choose one randomly each time). This interacts oddly with Port Authority, in that with one method, you KNOW exactly when that ship will come up (I placed it on the bottom of my fleet draw deck) versus the other method where there's a chance it will come back up next time. How should fleets be arranged? Is there a difference between a single stack of unchanging (but random) order versus a bag that you could draw tiles from randomly each time?

Master Merchant when combined with Advanced Storage-do I get 2 free resources if I buy twice?

Merchant ship in general: Here's how it seems to me to work: I have a merchant ship with speed 5. I place it in a lane, gaining me a merchant action. I now have to decided a resource type, and then whether to buy or sell. I choose to buy wood. I can now decide to buy UP TO 5 wood, but no more. After I buy, the price for wood increases by a step. You can never buy or sell in the same step, and Advanced Storage doesn't change the maximum amount of resources you can buy, just allows you to do different types (EG, with this ship and A.S., I could buy 2 wood and 3 steel, buy 2 wood and sell 3 steel, or any other combo of buying/selling 2 different types of resources that doesn't go above 5). I adjust each market separately once I'm done.

That's all for now. On another note, balancing all the improvements with regards to cost/benefit/number of players that can purchase/number of times that it can be purchased is going to be insanely difficult, especially since you play with only a random subset of improvements. I understand the overwhelming need for a blind playtest now.
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Quick questions on the components you sent.

I have 5 "extra" North American Settlements and 4 extra South American. No extra for Australia. Is this on purpose and meant for some to not be in the game?

I only have 24 colonists while I have 25 iron and 25 wood. Is this correct? Also, are these numbers a hard limit? What happens if we run out? Use a substitute?

What is the number of cubes we should have in each player color? I see you have an octagonal piece for tracking income. Rules state I should have 7 left over for claiming Improvements. But my Blue, Green, and Orange came with 11 cubes and Red and Yellow came with 12. Should I reduce this to a standard number? Are these also hard limits?

Also, the #2 Merchant (Galleon) has two different VPs. Did you meant o do this? And if so, which is your starting one?

Component suggestions:
Differentiate the starting ships with some Icon so they are easy to pick out when they are face up.

On the Player boards, mark the left-most column as the "construction column, and everything else as the upgrades (with the exception of the canoe/caravel, of course). Even just a simple outline around the first column with "construction" as the header would help remind people.

And I guess a new question on this: Can I "construct" any ship as long as I pay the leftmost construction fee and the associated upgrades? Or does upgrade only occur during Phase 3?
 
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Jordan S.
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Echo the merchant ship questions above. Also, there were some printing errors in the green component set that we got. Can you give a list of each ship and its victory point value?

Improvement Clarifications:

Canoe:
When acquiring this new canoe, does it get placed it in your fleet stack, or your ships spent stack?

Retrofitting:
Does this retrofit apply to the ship spent to acquire the improvement, or another ship, or your choice? (EDIT: Oops, forgot this was answerd. Any time an improvement specifies a ship in your fleet, it can come from ANYWHERE). Does the upgraded ship return to your fleet or go to the ships spent track? (EDIT: now that I know the first question) Does the upgraded ship return to where it came from (upgraded automagically wherever it may be?), or does it get removed from the board/fleet and placed in the ships spent track?

Piracy:
Can an opponent choose a ship they've already used this round to return? If not, and if their fleet is empty does it affect them?
(EDIT: Darned already asked questions)
 
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metaridley18 wrote:
Does the upgraded ship return to where it came from (upgraded automagically wherever it may be?), or does it get removed from the board/fleet and placed in the ships spent track?

You take the ship in hand and upgrade it before you place it. So if you draw a 2-Wood ship, you can upgrade it to a 3+ ship. The 2-Wood ship is placed back on the board in the 2-Wood spot, you can now spend the 3-Wood ship as you would had you drawn it.
 
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matt tolman
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Added:
Quote:
Retrofitting: Where is the new ship placed?

When you build the retrofitting improvement, you may use any wooden ship in your fleet that there is an equivalent speed Iron ship available for. The new iron ship takes the place of the old wooden ship, wherever that was. If you look at your unspent ships (you may, when you build Retrofitting), you must shuffle your unspent ships afterward, regardless of whether or not you replaced a ship from there or somewhere else.

Canoe: When acquiring this new canoe, does it get placed it in your fleet stack, or your ships spent stack?

Spent ships area.
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Craig Phillips
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I have a couple of questions.

What is the significance of the question mark over some settlements on the colonies?

Can I use my starting settlements on colonies?
 
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matt tolman
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Added:

Quote:
What is the significance of the question mark over some settlements on the colonies?

Any settlement (from the same continent) can be used there when creating that colony.

Can I use my starting settlements on colonies?

No, you may never get rid of your starting settlements.
 
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Added:

Quote:
When discarding unused settlements, do they form a faceup discard pile, or get re-shuffled back into the stack?

Discard them out of play. They will not be needed again.
 
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Added:
Quote:
In a track that is 4 ships long, currently containing [ ][3][2][2], and someone wants to play a 2, what happens? What if someone wants to play a 3?

The "2" goes behind them all, shifting all three ships forward, the "3" goes behind the "3" shifting it forward.
 
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Added:

Quote:
Are you able to send that canoe to a continent?

Yes.
 
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Added:
Quote:
I have pictures from some of the plays...alright to post?

Yes. Please do! It's alright to share anything online besides the rules.
 
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Hmm, I just noticed something in the rules that I have been playing wrong but didn't think it made much difference. And how we have played it, it didn't make a difference for anything except the Event. I see our mistake now.

Based on the how I read the rules, We always placed ships in shipping lanes from the east and stopped at the first vacant space. So this meant on the events, first one there got the weakest column. Then if another ship came along that was less "powerful" than it was, it would push it to the west. So this would increase your Event pay out only if others went there too.

This was "confirmed" in my mind because Steamers were special and they pushed people to the east.

Obviously this had not impact on the settlement collection or colony founding. But it did limit us on the resources collected in the event phase - especially in the 2-player game. Not so much in the 4-player as we always filled the event up any way so it mostly got us back to the same net result.

So I just want to confirm this. If in the new version, in a 4-player, even if only one person goes to the event lane, they still get the full 4 resources, not the single one, correct?
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
Hmm, I just noticed something in the rules that I have been playing wrong but didn't think it made much difference. And how we have played it, it didn't make a difference for anything except the Event. I see our mistake now.

Based on the how I read the rules, We always placed ships in shipping lanes from the east and stopped at the first vacant space. So this meant on the events, first one there got the weakest column. Then if another ship came along that was less "powerful" than it was, it would push it to the west. So this would increase your Event pay out only if others went there too.

This was "confirmed" in my mind because Steamers were special and they pushed people to the east.

Obviously this had not impact on the settlement collection or colony founding. But it did limit us on the resources collected in the event phase - especially in the 2-player game. Not so much in the 4-player as we always filled the event up any way so it mostly got us back to the same net result.

So I just want to confirm this. If in the new version, in a 4-player, even if only one person goes to the event lane, they still get the full 4 resources, not the single one, correct?
Correct.
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New improvements:

You need to be careful on the Iron Forge and Wood Empire. They say shift the market +/- $1. Do you mean one space now (possibly keeping it at the same value) or do you really mean $1?
 
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After our last play through, these are our questions, mostly involving the Improvements.

1) Do you gain anything for going to the round marker shipping lane in the 7th round? We didn't think so though I missed the ability to do free upgrades. It just seemed odd that nothing was gained. It was also a pain that we lost additional spaces in the last round. Maybe this should be a place to gain VPs? In the 4-player game, the 3-3-2-1 in VPs would have been nice.

2) Embargo: Where does the money go? We played to the bank. Does the owner of this get penalized? We played yes.

3) Actions: Do these stay on the board? We had above and beyond. Since there was no cost (except losing the sloop) and no VP associated with it, we left it on the board and used it multiple times but multiple players. I see other Actions have costs but no VP.

4) Above and Beyond: Where does the sloop come from? Can it come from the used pile? Can it come from the board? Can it come from your pile? Or must you use the Sloop to activate it?
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