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Merchants of Araby» Forums » General

Subject: Do I have to start a caravan? rss

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Tahsin Shamma
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The wording in the rulebook versus the reference card is unclear.

On the first turn of the game, I have no caravan, so I skip caravan resolution.

Then #2 on the reference card says I "Draw a new caravan"

When I play the rest of my turn, I'm only able to place 2 camels.

My opponent (2p) doesn't place a camel on my caravan.

Then my turn comes around again. Since I do not have a full column on my caravan, the resolution of the caravan ends up producing nothing.

I'm clearly missing something in the rules here.
 
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Gianluca Casu
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No you are not, this is in fact what happens when you do not place camels.

This game is about making money, does not matter if on your caravan of in the one of the others.

You have to talk the people in filling in your caravan or in joining theirs, but if a caravan is not full it does not leave and this is all good money wasted.
 
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Tahsin Shamma
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So my next question is, what if I and my opponent together (after we both place camels) are unable to complete columns on the caravan cards? They just go away and we get new ones next turn?
 
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Gianluca Casu
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Nope, you calculate for stray camels only once a caravan is sent.

A caravan is sent if at least ONE vertical or horizzontal line is filled when the "sending" phase arrives.

At that precise moment you get rid of all stray camels.

So summing up:

- No caravan is sent unless one line at least is filled
- Stray camels are shooed away as soon this happens
- Till one line at least is not completely filled all Camels are ready to go, but not there yet.

Hope this makes sense to you
 
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Tahsin Shamma
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Yes, this makes sense but is not at all what is listed in the Rules reference card.

 
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Gianluca Casu
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From the rule book, page 7:

Quote:

When your turn ends, your caravan becomes
locked to you. You may not add more of your
camels to it unless the currently active player
grants you permission to do so (through some
negotiation). Each time the turn passes to the
next player, your caravan is re-locked, so you’ll
have to negotiate with the new active player
to access your caravan. Your caravan is never
locked to opponents wishing to place camels on
it, but they must have your permission (usually
obtained through negotiation) to do so.


This means that your caravan can be locked down to you even more than a turn.

Just to be clear, there is absolutely no problem if the caravan that is resolved is the one of your opponent assuming that there are your camels too.

In this game maybe you give him a camel, but what do you get in return is what makes the difference between a good sale and a bad one.
 
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Tahsin Shamma
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Yeah, Gianluca, I think you're missing the point of my question.

Nowhere in the rules does it say that your caravan needs 3 camels (minimum) to be resolved at the beginning of your turn. It says your caravan resolves.

To me, that means that every round my caravan does not have enough camels, the caravan card goes away (resolves for 0 points) at the beginning of my turn and then I receive a new caravan card from one of the piles.

My son and I looked over and over the rules, the idea that the caravan stays in play until there are enough camels on it is not explained.

The reference card says that the caravans resolve so (in my reading) it means you must resolve all your caravans.

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David @DailyMagicGames
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Tahsin...

Page 9 and 10 in the rulebook explain how caravans resolve. The first section there says...

Quote:
1: Stranded Camels - Only camels that are part of a complete column or row will pay out when the caravan resolves. In this image, the camels on position 2 and 4 are stranded. Return those camels to their owners.


So, if your caravan contains no camels after you have removed all of the stranded camels (camels that are not part of a complete row or a complete column), then your caravan earns 0 coins and it is discarded. You take a new caravan card and your new turn begins.

This situation highlights the importance of negotiating with your opponents to get them to invest in your caravans or getting their permission for you to invest in your own caravan on their turns.

You did not say it specifically, but it sounds like you might be playing a 2-player game. If so, there is a rule adjustment that may make things better for you. For a 2-player game, give each player TWO merchant persona cards. This will allow more products to get into the economy fast and should help make caravans profitable in the first round of the game.

Let us know if you have more questions. Always happy to help.
 
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Tahsin Shamma
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WDavidMac wrote:
Tahsin...

Page 9 and 10 in the rulebook explain how caravans resolve. The first section there says...

Quote:
1: Stranded Camels - Only camels that are part of a complete column or row will pay out when the caravan resolves. In this image, the camels on position 2 and 4 are stranded. Return those camels to their owners.


So, if your caravan contains no camels after you have removed all of the stranded camels (camels that are not part of a complete row or a complete column), then your caravan earns 0 coins and it is discarded. You take a new caravan card and your new turn begins.

This situation highlights the importance of negotiating with your opponents to get them to invest in your caravans or getting their permission for you to invest in your own caravan on their turns.

You did not say it specifically, but it sounds like you might be playing a 2-player game. If so, there is a rule adjustment that may make things better for you. For a 2-player game, give each player TWO merchant persona cards. This will allow more products to get into the economy fast and should help make caravans profitable in the first round of the game.

Let us know if you have more questions. Always happy to help.


Yes, this is exactly what I wanted to know. I mentioned 2p in the first post but didn't say it specifically later.

I also wanted to know what's the significance of layout of the caravan cards to the several piles. I'm not sure why that layout instead of a stack of caravan cards.

 
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Tahsin Shamma
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Just to be clear, this section (page 4) of the rules is the main source of my confusion:

Quote:
Starting Your Turn
• Resolve the caravan you started on your last turn, if any (see Caravan Resolution).
• Take the next card off a caravan stack as your new caravan, and place it face up in front of you.
• Refresh all the cards in your entourage.


The "if any" mention in the first statement begs the question, when is there a case when I would not have a caravan started since my last turn?
 
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Gianluca Casu
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WDavidMac wrote:


So, if your caravan contains no camels after you have removed all of the stranded camels (camels that are not part of a complete row or a complete column), then your caravan earns 0 coins and it is discarded. You take a new caravan card and your new turn begins.



Oh well, what do you know? I seem to have misunderstood the phrasing. To me a caravan with stranded camels without any completed rows was not played and remained in play till you finished at least a row.

Seems i was playing wrongly, thanks for the explanation David
 
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Jay Treat
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Yup. At the beginning of your second and following turns, your previous caravan card will be replaced by a new one whether you manage to profit from it or not.

The "if any" clause is there because you won't have a caravan to resolve at the beginning of your first turn.

The reason caravan cards are sorted into four piles on the board is to help players visualize how many rounds of play remain at any given time.
 
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