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Subject: Additional Q&As and Strategy Hints from the Designer rss

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Tom Lehmann
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Here are the extra Q&As (including some strategy hints) that used to be posted on the (now defunct) Prism website.

Errata: None (but do note the errata on p. 15 of the Historical Guide).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can a player look at outfitting cards before making decisions about leaders, ships and starting base?
A: Yes, certainly all the ones that he or she initially starts with.

Q: If one's leader dies and the second in command makes it back, does the player draw a new leader for free?
A: Yes. (See section 11, step 3.) The dead leader is removed from the game by placing the second in command in the retired pool.
Note that this case is different from the case when an expedition is aborted (while the leader is still alive). In that case, the leader is placed in the retired pool and the player still gets a new leader for free but may not take the leader that he or she just had.

Q: Can an inland expedition be launched from a New World Base? If so, how? In particular, how does it get rid of its ships -- by scuttling them?
A: An inland expedition can launched from any New World Base by simply forming it as such on the expedition mat without taking any ships. (See 5.1 and 5.2). An expedition without ships is considered to have them "scuttled" when cards #173, 174 and 92 (Dissension) are drawn.

Q: Does Dissension give a player the option to scuttle ships if that player hasn't already done so?
A: No.

Q: Can an inland expedition which failed to scuttle its ships when it formed and which is no longer in the same land space as its ships are, scuttle its ships?
A: No. It normally must go back and rejoin its ships in order to do so. However, card #87 (Rival Conquistador in the Civ. deck) does give a player the option to do this (after a successful Personal Arms check).

Q: The Civilization Exploration cards say "Lose 1 provisions" instead of "Lose 1 provisions (men)" as on other cards. Does this mean that if no provisions are available, no men are lost?
A: Yes, no men are lost. The chart on taking losses explicitly discusses this.

Q: Does getting to Malacca have the same affect as getting to another Base or Europe? What about for Circumnavigation? Or the Northwest Passage Expedition?
A: You can report in at Malacca like any other Base but may not launch from there. This will earn you the Northwest Passage major expedition points but not the Circumnavigation points (as stated on the mapboard and Rules section 12).

Q: Many of the Civilization Exploration cards say 1 Progress except into the Capital. Does this apply even if that player holds a Capital Entry chit?
A: No, having a capital entry chit (or seizing the Ruler) overrides the card restriction preventing entry to the capital (see Rules 12.22).

Q: When during a turn can a sea expedition be converted to a land expedition and vice-versa?
A: A sea expedition may convert to an inland expedition during movement as noted in the Detailed Turn Sequence. Note the distinction between expedition type and the type of space that the expedition is in. A sea expedition may enter a land space on the coast -- remaining a sea expedition -- via a status change.

Q: When a Trade Goods is used to help a negotiation, is it lost? If not, what is the point of carrying two Trade Goods?
A: Trade Goods are not expended by being used unless the card indicates so (see Civilization cards #68, 69, 85, 86 and the discussion under Game Notes in the Historical Guide).

Q: How do the gray lines between areas (between NWP5/NWP6, NWP6/NWP7 and between the coast and the mouth of the St. Lawrence River) differ from white lines between areas?
A: Gray lines (see map legend) indicate that there is some additional requirement to move across those lines other than normal Progress. To enter the Bay that the St. Lawrence empties into requires discovery of the Bay off Newfoundland (as indicated by the arrow from the discovery to that space (see Let's Play Figure 11)). Movement between the other spaces require additional checks as indicated in the nearby white boxes on the map.

Strategy Hints

Q: Only 10-20% of our campaign game missions succeed and only 50% survive. What can we do to improve these odds?
A: These numbers are low. Most experienced players have 50%+ success rates with major expeditions and a 75-90% survival rate (depending on how much they push their luck). Here are some suggestions:

Study the boxed section "Taking Losses" on the reference sheet carefully. Note the rules on Leader combat intervention (to save that last man in combat) -- often, this is how Conquistadors keep their expeditions alive.

For example, a recent game saw Pizarro, one crew, a missionary and 0-1 food rafting down the Mississippi river; Pizarro could cover most combat losses by intervening and, with the missionary, has a modified leadership of 9 (no food) to cover starvation losses; this translates into 11/12 and 5/6 checks which has a lot of resiliency to them.

Remember that you can often construct rafts to get back to either the CB or Panama Base if you need to.

Also remember to consolidate ships when heading back to Europe (it's actually fairly fast if you have an extra ship or two to burn since you can run with a storm; get damaged; consolidate ships with 5/6 chance of getting another crew (if you have none) and keep going).

Finally, you may not always succeed with your intended plan but you can often get decent VPs if you cut it short. For example, I recently halted an attempt to circumnavigate at the Malaccan base when I was down to my second-in-command, one (damaged) ship and no crew; taking 5 VPs for Pacific by Sea, extending SSA progress and a spice discovery instead. I then found 3 more VPs to win on my next expedition.

Similarly, an attempt vs the Astecs or Incans can often abort fairly quickly (rafting back to the CB or Panama base if you previously scuttled your ships or formed as an inland expedition) to gain 3 VPs (2 for Contact and usually 1 VP for several gold). If you only needed 8 VPs to win (not 9), the Mississippi now starts to look real good...

Good Luck! Learning to manage your resources and when to cut your losses is the key to winning the Campaign Game.
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Chris Dorrell
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Thanks for unearthing the Q&As and taking the time to post them here. I'll study them with interest.

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