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Subject: Question about free black cube when you don´t have any cubes in Available Stock box rss

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Oscar Garcia
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In order to illustrate my question, I am copying below an excerpt from page 6 of Ships rule book. You can download it here:
http://www.treefroggames.com/wp-content/uploads/rules/ships_...


"Under all circumstances, if you do not have enough merchant cubes in your available stock then you take what you can. You do not make up the shortfall later in the turn, thus your number of actions will be reduced by the number of merchant cubes that you were not able to place in your ‘Action cubes’ section.
If at the start of your turn you are unable to take any cubes then you take one free action cube from the pool. Thus, you will always be able to perform one action."


I understand the rule about taking black cubes from the pool and putting them on your "Action Cubes" box (one black cube during the Sailing Era and two black cubes during the Steamship Era). I also understand that: a) black free cubes are limited in nature, b) you can hoard them during the entire game and never spend them, c) you can spend them all at once if that is your wish (not restricted to the quantity of black cubes printed on the Action Cubes cardboard tableau.
So far, we are good (I think...)


My question is what exactly happens when you don´t have any cubes left (merchants cubes and black free cubes) at the beginning of your turn and you are either on the Sailing or the Steamship Era.


A) Do you take 3 black free cubes (e.g. Steamship Era) from the pool? One black cube (simply because you don´t have any more cubes in your Available Stock box), plus two more black free cubes because you are indeed entitled to them based on the Steamship Era benefits?


B) Do you just take one black free cube from the pool?


C) Is the rule book implying that in the rare case that you definitely can´t take merchant cubes from your Available Stock nor any black free cubes from the pool (because the pool is depleted), that is when you actually are allowed to grab this one and exceptional black free cube?


Thank you in advance for your input.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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oscargarciaosuna wrote:
So far, we are good (I think...)
We are good.

Quote:
My question is what exactly happens when you don´t have any cubes left (merchants cubes and black free cubes) at the beginning of your turn and you are either on the Sailing or the Steamship Era.
You get one or two black cubes from the supply, respectively, because that is what you always get at the beginning of your turn. And those cubes will be all you've got to perform actions with.

Quote:
C) Is the rule book implying that in the rare case that you definitely can´t take merchant cubes from your Available Stock nor any black free cubes from the pool (because the pool is depleted), that is when you actually are allowed to grab this one and exceptional black free cube?
Yes, that's how I read it, because of the free action cubes which always come your way in the Sailing and Steamship eras. It doesn't make sense to have the cited paragraph in the rulebook otherwise (especially if you consider the Steamship Era, where you get two free actions).

There has already been some discussion on how to deal with the situation when you have no cubes of your own, nor free actions, and face a depleted pool of the latter. You can follow the rulebook, and create a 'virtual cube' of sorts which you can spend any way you see fit (though it would be smart to spend it on a recall). You can scrap the rule in the rulebook and state that once you're out, you're out, tough luck, take care to manage stuff better the next time and / or wait until there are free cubes in the supply again (which is my opinion). Some are also starting to consider limiting the amout of free actions you can hoard so that pool depletion never becomes an issue. Pick your own interpretation: this is a rare case to begin with, and I honestly don't think that your choice will have a noticable impact on the game as cube hoarding doesn't seem to be a particularly attractive strategy.
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Oscar Garcia
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Thank you very much Maarten meeple
That´s what I originally thought, since to me it makes more sense under the context that black free cubes are limited in nature, ... but I needed reaffirmation from my BGG fellows.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Rod Spade
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oscargarciaosuna wrote:
If at the start of your turn you are unable to take any cubes then you take one free action cube from the pool.
What if it's the Galley era and you have no merchant cubes in your available stock, but you do have one or more free action cubes that you've been saving? Since you are not otherwise "taking" any cubes, do you get the extra free one? (The rule literally says so, but I doubt that's the intent.)
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William Springer
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rodspade wrote:
oscargarciaosuna wrote:
If at the start of your turn you are unable to take any cubes then you take one free action cube from the pool.
What if it's the Galley era and you have no merchant cubes in your available stock, but you do have one or more free action cubes that you've been saving? Since you are not otherwise "taking" any cubes, do you get the extra free one? (The rule literally says so, but I doubt that's the intent.)
I think that IS the intent, actually. Since you're not taking any cubes, you don't have any more actions for this turn (just the leftover from last turn), so the rule ensures that each turn you'll get at least one new action.
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MC Crispy
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wmspringer wrote:
rodspade wrote:
oscargarciaosuna wrote:
If at the start of your turn you are unable to take any cubes then you take one free action cube from the pool.
What if it's the Galley era and you have no merchant cubes in your available stock, but you do have one or more free action cubes that you've been saving? Since you are not otherwise "taking" any cubes, do you get the extra free one? (The rule literally says so, but I doubt that's the intent.)
I think that IS the intent, actually. Since you're not taking any cubes, you don't have any more actions for this turn (just the leftover from last turn), so the rule ensures that each turn you'll get at least one new action.
The point of the free cube rule is
Quote:
If at the start of your turn you are unable to take any cubes
then you take one free action cube from the pool. Thus, you will
always be able to perform one action.
That is the intent. So if you have any cubes at all in your available stock you don't get a free cube. (I accept the rules talk about merchant cubes, but then the intent of the rule is clearly set out in the quoted clause). At least that's how I read it. I thought Mr Wallace had answered this somewhere on the forum...

[EDIT: nope, different question about cubes, my misremembering, sorry)
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Andrew Kranak
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Okay, it appears that I am very confused about black cubes in general. We played our first game yesterday, and there was a big enough problem that I figured I should check on here for some kind of ruling. this thread seems to address it a bit, so I thought I should ask here.

You start the game with nine of your own cubes in available stock, and two free black ones. When you take your cubes to start your turn, we were taking our cubes from here. When we advanced to new eras, we were taking our black cubes from here, which meant that we barely got to use any at all. I took the initiative to grab some whenever I could, so that I could use them more than my opponent, but even doing so I barely got to use any.

From reading above, I get the feeling that this was almost completely incorrect.
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Mokey D Luffy wrote:
You start the game with nine of your own cubes in available stock, and two free black ones. When you take your cubes to start your turn, we were taking our cubes from here. When we advanced to new eras, we were taking our black cubes from here, which meant that we barely got to use any at all.
An easy error to make.

From page 6 of the rules: "During the Sailing Ship era you take two merchant cubes from your available stock box and one free action cube from the pool and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section.

During the Steamship era you take two merchant cubes and two free action cubes and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section."

Hoarding cubes shouldn't be too difficult if you are getting 1-2 each turn starting about 1/3 of the way through the game.
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Froggy McFrogface
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Relax wrote:
Mokey D Luffy wrote:
You start the game with nine of your own cubes in available stock, and two free black ones. When you take your cubes to start your turn, we were taking our cubes from here. When we advanced to new eras, we were taking our black cubes from here, which meant that we barely got to use any at all.
An easy error to make.

From page 6 of the rules: "During the Sailing Ship era you take two merchant cubes from your available stock box and one free action cube from the pool and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section.

During the Steamship era you take two merchant cubes and two free action cubes and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section."

Hoarding cubes shouldn't be too difficult if you are getting 1-2 each turn starting about 1/3 of the way through the game.
Whoah! We made the exact same mistake. But why then would you have two black cubes at the start? You can't even use them until you move into the era of sailing ships?
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mfl134
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LennyS wrote:
Relax wrote:
Mokey D Luffy wrote:
You start the game with nine of your own cubes in available stock, and two free black ones. When you take your cubes to start your turn, we were taking our cubes from here. When we advanced to new eras, we were taking our black cubes from here, which meant that we barely got to use any at all.
An easy error to make.

From page 6 of the rules: "During the Sailing Ship era you take two merchant cubes from your available stock box and one free action cube from the pool and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section.

During the Steamship era you take two merchant cubes and two free action cubes and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section."

Hoarding cubes shouldn't be too difficult if you are getting 1-2 each turn starting about 1/3 of the way through the game.
Whoah! We made the exact same mistake. But why then would you have two black cubes at the start? You can't even use them until you move into the era of sailing ships?
you can play black cubes from either spot.
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Froggy McFrogface
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mfl134 wrote:
LennyS wrote:
Relax wrote:
Mokey D Luffy wrote:
You start the game with nine of your own cubes in available stock, and two free black ones. When you take your cubes to start your turn, we were taking our cubes from here. When we advanced to new eras, we were taking our black cubes from here, which meant that we barely got to use any at all.
An easy error to make.

From page 6 of the rules: "During the Sailing Ship era you take two merchant cubes from your available stock box and one free action cube from the pool and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section.

During the Steamship era you take two merchant cubes and two free action cubes and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section."

Hoarding cubes shouldn't be too difficult if you are getting 1-2 each turn starting about 1/3 of the way through the game.
Whoah! We made the exact same mistake. But why then would you have two black cubes at the start? You can't even use them until you move into the era of sailing ships?
you can play black cubes from either spot.
But you take new cubes from the pool at the beginning of your turn? I was aware they are returned to the pool once used, but missed the first part.
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LennyS wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
LennyS wrote:
Relax wrote:
Mokey D Luffy wrote:
You start the game with nine of your own cubes in available stock, and two free black ones. When you take your cubes to start your turn, we were taking our cubes from here. When we advanced to new eras, we were taking our black cubes from here, which meant that we barely got to use any at all.
An easy error to make.

From page 6 of the rules: "During the Sailing Ship era you take two merchant cubes from your available stock box and one free action cube from the pool and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section.

During the Steamship era you take two merchant cubes and two free action cubes and place them in your ‘Action cubes’ section."

Hoarding cubes shouldn't be too difficult if you are getting 1-2 each turn starting about 1/3 of the way through the game.
Whoah! We made the exact same mistake. But why then would you have two black cubes at the start? You can't even use them until you move into the era of sailing ships?
you can play black cubes from either spot.
But you take new cubes from the pool at the beginning of your turn? I was aware they are returned to the pool once used, but missed the first part.
yes, you take black cubes from the pool and put them in the action cubes section. You may spend black cubes from the actions cubes or from the available stock.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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LennyS wrote:
But you take new cubes from the pool at the beginning of your turn? I was aware they are returned to the pool once used, but missed the first part.
All you wanted to know about the black cubes.
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cymric wrote:
LennyS wrote:
But you take new cubes from the pool at the beginning of your turn? I was aware they are returned to the pool once used, but missed the first part.
All you wanted to know about the black cubes.
That is excellent. Not sure why that wasn't statement more succinctly in the rules.
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