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Subject: I'm so confused about bonus cards rss

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Karen Robinson

Colorado
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I found the rules very unclear about the “solo plus advanced bonuses”. There was actually nothing in the rules, so I went to the BGG forum and found that I should follow the Advanced Competitive rules.

I read those and found them very confusing. It says I "randomly draw 3 cards" during setup. Is that instead of being able to purchase them when I reach the round tracker first? Or does that just limit the number of available cards? You say “unique cards with special abilities”. It sounds like those cards are somehow different and special and not the same cards as the bonus cards? I went back to the Competitive rules and found them confusing also.

What does purchasing mean? Does it mean to pay the cost on the side with the star? Then the instructions say “when they purchase a bonus rotate it 180 degrees and place it in the deck just before the round tracker card”. But if I rotate it 180 degrees, that just brings the star to the top. Do you mean “flip it over” instead of “rotate 180 degrees”?

Also, you say “place it in the deck just before the round tracker card” and then “These bonus cards go in the back of your deck directly after the round tracker card.” Then you say “Remember when these are purchased they go right before the round tracker card”. So which is it, before or after? Or do you place it before when you do one thing and after when you do another thing, and what are those two different things? Are the cards you have purchased placed before the round card and the cards you haven’t purchased placed after the round card? And if so, how does that affect game play? Doesn’t flipping (instead of rotating) the card already indicate that it has been purchased? The rules need a major rewrite here to be clear.

By the way, there's a typo in the component list at the end. You say "advanded" instead of "advanced" :-)

I'm really enjoying this game. I'll try to muddle though the solo plus advanced bonuses and see if I can interpret it in a way that works. I have to grade a bunch of calculus finals in the next few days, so I won't get a chance for a while, but I'll look forward to your reply to this query.
 
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Nick Shaw
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Answering from my own experience here... First thing to note is that the bonus cards have 2 sides. One side is for the standard Competitive bonuses (which are merely victory points - the big star) and are all called Outpost, and the other is the Advanced Cometitive bonuses (which have some character art on some and empty placeholder space on others) and all have unique names.

The standard bonuses, "Outposts", are all used together. You can lay them on the table in front of you, or keep them in your hand with the other cards for 'portability' (to keep everything literally in hand). I place them just before the round tracker card (i.e. they will come up before the round tracker when cycling through the deck), and when they do, you have the option to purchase as many of them as you want to and can afford. "Purchasing" is basically paying the rotate cost and rotating them 180 degrees so they have the big star at the top; this indicates you've upgraded the bonus and will get those points at the end of the game. They then go to the back of your deck (and as such "clog up" your deck with a useless card, albeit with VPs, kind of like how in Dominion the VP cards can clog up your hand the more you buy; these would cycle round like a normal card I believe, unlike the unbought ones which aren't technically part of the deck). I would put them at the back as soon as I buy them, then place the unbought bonus cards at the back (keeping their orientation), THEN flip/rotate the round tracker for the next turn as necessary and place that at the back. I don't think it makes a lot of difference if they're in front or behind the round tracker, as long as you remember to optionally purchase some at the end of a round.

The bonus cards on the reverse of the Outpost cards: These are advanced bonuses that activate special abilities (such as 1VP per Housing level upgrade). Jon mentioned in another thread that for solo, you should take out the Attack and Defend ones of these as they don't have any effect in solo play. You can identify the attack/defend ones as they're the ones which have 3 or 4 Big Star VPs on the reverse side [but to specify - take out Warrior, Raider and Scout]. Once you've sorted that out, you shuffle the remaining advanced bonus cards and select 3 to use this game. They can go out on the table to view or be held in your hand like the Big Star bonus cards. Then, when you get to them at the end of the round, you can purchase (upgrade) them, paying the cost shown, and their abilities are activated. You will want to note what abilities they have so you can focus on one or more during the game.

Hope that's helped somewhat. I'm sure Jon will clarify if I've gotten anything wrong.
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Karen Robinson

Colorado
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Thanks Nick. That was amazingly helpful (and fast!) I know in the rules he had pictures of one side of the cards for the competitive rules and the other side for the advanced rules, but somehow I missed the fact that the cards were to be used that way. I think it needs to be spelled out in the rules. I did see that other thread you mentioned, and that got me started, but then I got hung up. Jon is a genius at game design; I really am blown away at how clever this is, but it takes a different skill to explain rules to raw newbies like me.

Now I have another question. It says in the rules that the special ability only lasts for one round. Is there a way to keep track of those extra points? That's one of the things I thought was spectacular about this game, the way the cards themselves automatically kept track of the points.
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Jon Mietling
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I may have answered this through email but either way sorry for the delay in response. There is a distinction between those with an active ability and those without. When you hire a villager you keep them for the rest of the game. Scoring their points, if any, at the end of the game. If you have a villager with an active ability you can choose at the start of the round to use this ability but you cannot use more than one each round.
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Adam Pudliner
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Virginia
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KarenSDR wrote:
I really am blown away at how clever this is, but it takes a different skill to explain rules to raw newbies like me.


I agree! I think it is awesome how complex the game is with such few cards and how it uses them in such a smart way. I too am new to gaming and maybe it is just my lack of experience, but I found the bonus card rules to be confusing. Nick's response to the original question is an awesome answer and cleared it up a lot for me! Maybe add his response to the official rules, in some capacity?

I am still having fun and I'm excited to keep going and include bonus/feat cards!
 
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Adam Pudliner
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I have a few questions about the Navigator.

Does the navigator stay stored until you come around to the villager cards again and activate a new one? In other words, once you use its resources to pay for something, does it use the typical pay action of rotating 90 degrees c.c., or does it stay stored to be used multiple times during the round?

Does the -6 VP only come into play when the card is stored at the end of the game or you get an automatic -6 at the end of the game just for buying the card?
 
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