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Subject: Official Errata and FAQ rss

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Cole Wehrle
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Welp, it looks like folks are finally getting their copies of the game, so I thought I'd do my part to gather up a proper Errata and FAQ for the game. At this point, I don't plan on maintaining a set of living rules for John Company. This is mostly because I think the rules are in very good shape and don't require it. However, I will be maintaining an Errata and FAQ.

To that end, I'll be updating this post on this thread with questions that seem worthy of inclusion and certainly and errors in the rules that are found.

Before I get to the FAQ, I just want to say that any new players may want to read Luck in John Company. You may espeically find the low-luck variant (with seniority disks) for the game useful if you usually shy away from games that engage with risk.

Now, without further ado...

John Company Errata and FAQ

Rules Errata

General Rules:

Setup (C3) requires a slight clarification. After all offices have been filled along the ribbon, each player should roll all dice for their remaining starting cubes starting with the chairman and proceeding clockwise.

The Sail Action (F7) requires a slight clarification to close a loophole. Each order can only be filled once per turn.

Timing of Bailouts (G). The original rules suggest that a bailout happens during expenses. However, to eliminate a few edge cases, the bailout should be resolved immediately after the Trade Phase is completed.

A small clarification for G5. The money referred to in the last sentence refers to all of the money allocated to company treasuries.

The Conquest Event (H2) has an error. In the case that a conquest targets a region that is part of an empire, that region's defense is the sum of all defense values in that empire.

Company Failure (J3) omits an important edge case. The game will end immediately in company failure whenever there are no shares in the court of directors. This can happen after the election of a chairman.

Laws and Prizes:

When the Governor General law is passed, the newly combined army has a limit of 9 officers. This is true even if the company only had one remaining presidency when the law was passed.

Family Powers:
The Hastings power can only be used on actions with at least one strength. So you can't just spam it.

Deregulation:

Ships used in trade missions may not be used to sail again that turn.

Orders filled by firms count as filled and may not be filled again by the company. Cubes marking these orders are returned to the players during refresh.

Likewise, disrupted orders will trigger firms to lose the indicated ships on orders they have completed.


Solo Rules:


There are no officers in the solo game so they cannot be paid.

John & Co Scenario:

Manors are worth 3VP as indicated on the board. The rules are incorrect.

Cards ARE used to determine the movement of the elephant.

When bases come up for auction, only firms may bid.

(NOTE: There are a few outstanding rules questions in this scenario which I will get to)

Frequently Asked Questions

General Rules:

If you promote someone else over yourself can you force that player to return a promise cube to you.

Yes.

Does the promoting player count as "one other player" or do you need a third player?

This includes yourself.

If there is a revolt in a region with a vacant provincial office, can the president use police?

No, only a governor can use police.


If a presidency successfully sails in a depressed region and then later the governor sucuessfuly invests in the region, is the company revenue increased?

No, revenue only increases through the sail action. The investment will pay its returns starting in the next turn if another sail is completed.

Can there be multiple bailouts in a single turn?

No. Angry Shareholders can only lead to one bailout per turn.


If the military purchasing send four officers to an army without officers, can they immediately replace one of the new officers?

No.

Can shares be bought in the company after company failure assuming it has been deregulated?

Yes. The company won't operate this turn, but players can use the company to “cash out” of their position at the rate of £3 to 1VP.

Can I send goods to the China Office?

No, the Chinese cared little for shoddy British wares in this period.

Does the Walsh Family Special Power (Well-Connected) change the total number of votes needed to achieve a majority in a chairman election?

No, that is determined only by the number of cubes in the board of directors.

Can the company ever voluntarily lose guns?

Nope, though guns might be lost if a presidency is eliminated due to events in India.

Regarding the logistics action, can the transfer of guns/ships/goods be performed more than once per logistics action and does it require the permission of both presidencies.

Only the president losing the guns/ships/goods must consent to the action. And yes, during the logistics action, the Military Affairs office holder or the Director of Trade only gets a single transfer from one presidency to another.

Laws and Prizes:

When war shortages shows up how long does it stay in effect?

As long as it is the top card on the discard pile.


South East Firm prize. In case of negative income, the player first generates all their revenue and then subtracts SEF negative income, if possible. There is no chance to return promise cubes in the middle (before paying SEF), correct?

Yes and yes.

If the Board of Control law is passed, can the player holding that card fire himself? And does he have to have enough money to pay himself the £2?

Yes he can fire himself. No he does not need to pay himself.


If the Ship Masters Law is passed, can captains in the Director of Trade still purchase ships.

Yes, in fact, the company will probably need them to pick up the slack!

If you are required to promote a writer because of the professorship prize, may you return one of that player's promises.

No. Because there was no choice in the decision, a promise is not returned. However, the player with the professorship could elect not to use it, in which case if they are promoted above another player a promise cube can be returned.

If I have multiple cubes on the Investment Bank prize, do the benefits stack?

Yes.

Is the Monopoly Revoked event treated as a passed law or placed in the discard pile? Including it in a reshuffle after it has already happened will create a null event in the later turns.

It is reshuffled like the rest, but will not have any effect if it comes up again as the company cannot lose its monopoly twice.

What happens if Calico Acts comes up for a vote after deregulation?

The card is clear. It is only discarded when the company deregulates. If the company is already deregulated, it can still be passed and still has the listed effect.

Scenarios:

Is the Revoke Monopoly card included in the Evening Post deck in the campaign game?

It is not.
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Toby Yasutake
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This dropped while I was in the middle of re-reading the rules in preparation for the arrival of my copy!

I have a couple of questions and I think this is the place to post them:

In H.3, The John Company Rulebook wrote:
Eliminated offices should return all ships, goods, captains, and money to the appropriate stocks

Cole Wehrle wrote:
Can the company ever lose guns?

Nope.


What happens to an eliminated presidency's officers and guns?

In I.2, The John Company Rulebook wrote:
For each ship sent on a trade
mission, the owning firm must place a single cube on top of the ship to indicate ownership.


What if a player does not have enough reserve cubes for all of his ships? Can the player simply not take the action, or must he steal the cubes from his manors/prizes like regular family actions?

In J.1, The John Company Rulebook wrote:
The player with the most victory points wins the game.


Does the Jones Family count as a player? I.E. if the Jones player has enough VPs from Manors and Stocks does no human player win?

Also: If the answer is no, is there any impact on the game based on the number of Manors that the Jones Family owns?
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Cole Wehrle
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y-bot wrote:
What happens to an eliminated presidency's officers and guns?


Ack! They are eliminated. I wrote the wrong question, it should be, can a company ever voluntarily lose guns?


In I.2, The John Company Rulebook wrote:
For each ship sent on a trade
mission, the owning firm must place a single cube on top of the ship to indicate ownership.

What if a player does not have enough reserve cubes for all of his ships? Can the player simply not take the action, or must he steal the cubes from his manors/prizes like regular family actions?


If he wants to take the action, he has to steal a cube following the cube limit rules like regular family actions.

In J.1, The John Company Rulebook wrote:
The player with the most victory points wins the game.


Does the Jones Family count as a player? I.E. if the Jones player has enough VPs from Manors and Stocks does no human player win?

Also: If the answer is no, is there any impact on the game based on the number of Manors that the Jones Family owns?[/q]

The Jones family does not count as a player and so cannot win.

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David Lara
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Hi Cole!

Thanks for posting this!

I got confused about this one:

Quote:
Can shares be bought in the company after company failure?

Yes. The company won't operate this turn, but players can use the company to “cash out” of their position at the rate of £3 to 1VP.

If there is company failure the game is over immediately, isn't it? How can players exchange £3 to 1VP? I didn't find that in the rules.

Thanks again for your support!

--David
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Toby Yasutake
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If there is a company failure after deregulation you play one more turn but skip the company phase.
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Cole Wehrle
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y-bot wrote:
If there is a company failure after deregulation you play one more turn but skip the company phase.


That's right. I'll clarify the question.

Thanks!
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Edgar Gallego
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Cole Wehrle wrote:
At this point, I don't plan on maintaining a set of living rules for John Company. This is mostly because I think the rules are in very good shape and don't require it.


Thanks!!! :_)

Being a "Sierra Madre Games" game I feared it could follow the same path of others... although all say that we can play with the rules as written, I feel that I'm losing something if I don't keep up to date with all the Eklund's living rules.

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Steve Carey
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Cole Wehrle wrote:
John & Co Scenario:

Manors are only worth 2VP. The rules are incorrect.


I don't understand, the rules already say that: "In addition, players receive two points for each manor..."

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Cole Wehrle
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Steve Carey wrote:
Cole Wehrle wrote:
John & Co Scenario:

Manors are only worth 2VP. The rules are incorrect.


I don't understand, the rules already say that: "In addition, players receive two points for each manor..."



....hmmmmm. I think there is an incorrect reference somewhere. I had that correction in my notes. I'll look into it, thanks!
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John Curran
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Board misprint: The John & Co board side Manor box is labeled as 3 VP in my copy.
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Cole Wehrle
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mimem wrote:
Board misprint: The John & Co board side Manor box is labeled as 3 VP in my copy.


Ah ha! I think I must have just written my note backwards. I believe the John & Co side of the board is correct and the rules are mistaken. I'll check when I get home tonight.
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Pedro Valle
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"You show hiring preference by promoting the player holding the Promise over at least one other player."

Does the promoting player count as "one other player" or do you need a third player?
Does this mean that you can't recover promises this way on a 2P game?

Thanks
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Keith B
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Pericvs wrote:
"You show hiring preference by promoting the player holding the Promise over at least one other player."

Does the promoting player count as "one other player" or do you need a third player?
Does this mean that you can't recover promises this way on a 2P game?

Thanks


And to add to that: This is mandatory whether or not it was part of a negotiation, right? ex. Blue is chairman, he picks orange (which owns one of his promise cubes) over green (who does not). There was no compensation given to blue. Orange still has to fork over blue's cube back to him, correct?
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Cole Wehrle
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Quote:
"You show hiring preference by promoting the player holding the Promise over at least one other player."

Does the promoting player count as "one other player" or do you need a third player?
Does this mean that you can't recover promises this way on a 2P game?


This includes yourself. Good question!

Quote:

And to add to that: This is mandatory whether or not it was part of a negotiation, right? ex. Blue is chairman, he picks orange (which owns one of his promise cubes) over green (who does not). There was no compensation given to blue. Orange still has to fork over blue's cube back to him, correct?


Correct.
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Dave Peters
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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Transcribed (a bit liberally) into John_Company_FAQ, if it amuses you.
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Cole Wehrle
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rynelf wrote:
Transcribed (a bit liberally) into John_Company_FAQ, if it amuses you.


Thank you! I'll put a link to this in the description and try to keep it updated.
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Michael Wasserman
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I think it would be helpful to add to the rules errata that in a conquest against a non-company dominated region, the defense value is the sum of the defense of the entire Empire.

The rules express the defense value differently in the campaign section and the conquest:

F7 (Campaign action): "If attacking any part of an Empire, the penalty is the sum of every region's defense in that Empire."
H2 (Conquest event): "The target's defense is the sum of its defense value and that of all its dominions."

The latter phrasing suggests that only the dominating region enjoys the combined defense. However, the rule is stated otherwise in this post: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/28080797#28080797
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Chris Clarke
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"Dominions" is definitely troublesome. Suggests only Dominator, for sure.
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Chris Clarke
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Cole Wehrle wrote:
Quote:
"You show hiring preference by promoting the player holding the Promise over at least one other player."

Does the promoting player count as "one other player" or do you need a third player?
Does this mean that you can't recover promises this way on a 2P game?


This includes yourself. Good question!



But if you couldn't promote yourself because you lack enough Promise Cubes, then you wouldn't be eligible, and thus you don't count for "one other player"! (happened in my first game several times)
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Toby Yasutake
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there is no promotion from a lack of cubes. Cubes need to be on the board to be promoted, they are never (I think?) promoted from your reserve to the board.
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Cole Wehrle
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mfwesq wrote:
H2 (Conquest event): "The target's defense is the sum of its defense value and that of all its dominions."

The latter phrasing suggests that only the dominating region enjoys the combined defense. However, the rule is stated otherwise in this post: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/28080797#28080797


Yup. Looks like this rule is incorrect. We have another piece of errata. Thanks!

Edit: interestingly, the script that we used to model events in the game did have this rule correct, which means I probably introduced this error in one of last passes through the rules. Sorry about that!
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Chris Clarke
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y-bot wrote:
there is no promotion from a lack of cubes. Cubes need to be on the board to be promoted, they are never (I think?) promoted from your reserve to the board.


Are you responding to me? I'm a bit confused...
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Asher D.
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y-bot wrote:
there is no promotion from a lack of cubes. Cubes need to be on the board to be promoted, they are never (I think?) promoted from your reserve to the board.


Toby, what Chris means is he doesn't have enough promise cubes to pay the nepotism fine to the other players. Chris, I don't think that matters - the lack of promise cubes doesn't degrade your eligibility, just your choice space. At least that's how we played it.
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Toby Yasutake
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adiamant wrote:
y-bot wrote:
there is no promotion from a lack of cubes. Cubes need to be on the board to be promoted, they are never (I think?) promoted from your reserve to the board.


Toby, what Chris means is he doesn't have enough promise cubes to pay the nepotism fine to the other players. Chris, I don't think that matters - the lack of promise cubes doesn't degrade your eligibility, just your choice space. At least that's how we played it.


ah. I misunderstood.
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Chris Clarke
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adiamant wrote:
y-bot wrote:
there is no promotion from a lack of cubes. Cubes need to be on the board to be promoted, they are never (I think?) promoted from your reserve to the board.


Toby, what Chris means is he doesn't have enough promise cubes to pay the nepotism fine to the other players. Chris, I don't think that matters - the lack of promise cubes doesn't degrade your eligibility, just your choice space. At least that's how we played it.


FAQ above:
Quote:
If you are required to promote a writer because of the professorship prize, may you return one of that player's promises.

No. Because there was no choice in the decision, a promise is not returned. However, the player with the professorship could elect not to use it, in which case if they are promoted above another player a promise cube can be returned.


I realize I'm extrapolating, but I assume if a mechanism disqualifies you from being eligible, in whatever fashion, then you are not being "promoted over" as there was no choice.

Blue has a red promise cube
Blue needs to promote a writer to Purchasing office.
1. One red writer. Red promoted. Cube not returned.
2. One red one yellow writer. Red promoted. Cube returned.
3. One red one blue writer. Red promoted. Cube returned.
4. One red one blue writer. Blue doesn't have enough cubes to promote himself with the Nepotism penalty. Red promoted. Cube not returned.

It also makes sense thematically.

...or maybe not?
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