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The Voyages of Marco Polo» Forums » Rules

Subject: Questions about black dice... rss

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SPACEBOY
Ecuador
Quito
Pichincha
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Hi. I'm still confused about black dice. My doubts are:

#1. I guess black dice can be bought only by a player who still has at least one unused die of her color (rulebook says that if a player doesn't have any die in her color she automatically passes). What drives me to...

#2: If all players but one have passed, may the last player (who still owns, let's say one die) use an "extra action" to buy one black die, then use it to perform an action; after that (and since all other players have previously passed) may she, in her next player turn, buy another black dice, then perform an action with it, etc, etc...? (while keeping at least one unused die in her color).

Thanks for helping me. I'm seriously confused about this shake

meeple
 
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Erik Burigo
Italy
Belluno
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“Don't try the paranormal until you know what's normal.” - Granny Weatherwax
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Hi! ^_^

#1. You can buy a black die even after having used the last die in your reserve, but you must do before passing. As long as you have at least 1 die of any color in your reserve at the end of your turn, you will have another turn later in this round and vice versa.

(You are not required to have colored dice in your reserve in order to buy a black die.)

#2. As answered above, if you end your turn and have 0 dice in your reserve, you won't get another turn. But, if all other player passed you can continue to buy 1 black die and perform an action (or perform an action and buy a black die) until you run out of black dice.
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Matt D
United States
Peachtree corners
Georgia
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It gets slightly tricky because you auto-pass if you are out of dice, so you'd have to plan ahead. Assuming this scenario ever presents itself -- I've only ever been in one game where the black dice weren't gobbled up fairly quickly. Maybe not one every turn, but usually they don't go unclaimed all the way through.

You would need to have at least one die at the end of your turn, otherwise you pass.

So, if there are three black dice left, everyone has passed, and you have one of your own dice (or a fourth black die for some reason), you can buy a black die and spend it or your other one. Then your turn would end, with you have one die. The next turn starts, you can buy another one, to have at the end of your turn. You could even, in theory, use the one die that you have as an action to GAIN the camels to be able to then buy the black die, as long as you don't end your turn.

The key thing is, if you only have one die in hand, buy a black die, and then spend both (say on silk or travel), even if you have 9 camels left and there are two black dice still unclaimed, the round is over because at the end of your turn you're out of dice.

Does that make sense?
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Mauricio Montoya
Colombia
Medellín
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Yes, and remember that you can buy that black die before or after your main action, but you're still limited to buying only 1 per turn. Hence the example stated above, where you can have a lot of camels left, but if you buy a black die and on that same turn you spend every dice you have (i.e. on travel, or gold), you're autocmatically out because you cannot get another black on that same turn, and you're ending your turn empty-handed.

You can, however, hoard black dice if the other players are not getting them (you are limited to BUYING one per turn, but you can get more as a contract or city reward on the same turn, and there is no limit on how many you can have at a time). So you can buy a back die on a turn, and on the next turn buy another one without spending the first and also claim another one with a contract to have three at the same time. This is key if you want to re-use the multi-dice action spaces, like the travel action or some of the resources.
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SPACEBOY
Ecuador
Quito
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Thanks Erik, Matt and Mauricio meeple

Excuses for the next apparently off-topic: is this game a little unbalanced in favor of the contracts strategy? According to my short experience it seems that the "travelers" could have a hard time trying to catch up the "contracts guys". It'd be a shame, since this is called The Voyages of Marco Polo... whistle
 
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Kelly Bass
United States
Venice
California
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There are many threads here, with a lot of discussion, that question whether Contracts is better than Travel. imho, if you read those, or play more games, it will be obvious.
 
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Klaus Knechtskern
Germany
Groebenzell
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It seems that contracts are favoured when you start to explore the game. However with more excperience it gets easier to travel
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