GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
8,916 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
18 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
25 Posts

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar» Forums » Rules

Subject: Tzolk'in - Idiots guide to the rules rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
Evening all

I hope you can help a newbie to the serious board gaming world.

My experience of board gaming has consisted of your family games Risk, scrabble etc), but over the last few weeks i have ventured into the more strategic aspect of gaming and have decided to go for it in a big way.

To start with i have been playing co-operative games such as Pandemic (which i love), Lord of the Rings with Sauron expansion and the new family favourite, Carcassonne with 6 expansions.

However, i have tried to broaden my knowledge of games and have taken the plunge and bought Tzolk'in (one small leap and all that.....).

My daughter and I are excited to play this but are worried that we are not going to pick up the rules and hence spoil our experience and enjoyment.

I have pre-read the rules online (game arrives tomorrow) and watched many YouTube videos along with reading on these forums should i have any questions.

Yet i was wondering whether anyone knew of any step by step "idiots" guide to the rules to help pick this up quicker? I have read that the rules for this are not that clear compared to similar games and any help for a newbie would be much appreciated.

Looking forward to your help and thanks in advance.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexandre Santos
Belgium
Brussels
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First watch this great rules video:



Then I suggest you watch a playthrough, to ease you into the game.

There are many possibilities:



or



5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexandre Santos
Belgium
Brussels
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And the most important: happy gaming, it's a great game! thumbsup
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
Thanks Alex, I will make sure I watch some more and especially the play through’s.

Was hoping someone on here may have put together a beginners summary of the rules?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grant
United States
Cuyahoga Falls
Ohio
flag msg tools
One of the best gaming weekends in Ohio since 2010. Search facebook for "BOGA Weekend Retreat" for more info!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Crabstix110 wrote:
Thanks Alex, I will make sure I watch some more and especially the play through’s.

Was hoping someone on here may have put together a beginners summary of the rules?

Have you checked out the stuff in the "Files" section? There might be some good stuff there like what you're looking for. Here's a couple that look promising:

Tzolk'in - F.A.Q. (english)

Tzolkin_Short Guide_Game Summary

New player aide

Tzolk'in Reminders.pdf
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Idiot's Guide to Tzolk'in:

Pay corn, place workers.
Or, remove workers, collect stuff and do stuff.
Repeat until the wheel of life has turned once.

whistle
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexandre Santos
Belgium
Brussels
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are many player aids in the files section.

A guide for the beginner is hard to write, and is not usually what people do, they rather write player aids to refresh rules. Still there is teaching support material, but rather intended to the teacher than to the learner (who usually does not come to BGG). Some examples :

Tzolkin_Short Guide_Game Summary

High Quality Player Aid

ninja'd!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
Cheers Geoff, lets hope the wheel does!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
Grant thank you so much these are a massive help
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
AlexFS wrote:
There are many player aids in the files section.

A guide for the beginner is hard to write, and is not usually what people do, they rather write player aids to refresh rules. Still there is teaching support material, but rather intended to the teacher than to the learner (who usually does not come to BGG). Some examples :

Tzolkin_Short Guide_Game Summary

High Quality Player Aid

ninja'd!


Thanks Alex, these are exactly what i am looking for. You have been a big help cheers
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter S.
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Not sure if there is, though I'd probably explain it this way:

1. On your turn, you'll be deciding whether to place one or more workers, or retrieve one or more workers. You must do one or the other: if you can't place at least one, you must retrieve at least one, and vice versa.

2. Placing more than one worker costs corn. The more you place, the higher the cost, as shown on your board.

3. Workers must go on the lowest available spot on a gear. If this isn't on the "ground floor" because someone else is there, you can climb on top of those "blockers" at a cost of one corn per step.

4. Retrieving workers normally won't have a cost in and of itself, but you might be asking a worker to do something that does have a cost (like building a building). That said, similar to climbing up if you're blocked, if you really want to use a space below the worker you're retrieving you can pay one corn per step to reach back to that action. Also, if you can't do the space the worker is at (for example, it's at a "build a building" space and you don't have the right stuff), you can just pull it back without gaining anything.

5. At the end of each round the gears turn, advancing all placed workers by one step. You have a one-off ability to make the gears advance by two steps (shown by flipping your tile), provided one of your workers has taken the start player headdress on your behalf this round and it doesn't make a worker fall off a gear. In theory this can be recharged by reaching the top of a temple track though in practice it's tough to do that.

Also, note that a few cogs on the main gear show where we'll have "food days" at the middle and end of each Age; I'll explain what happens there when I talk about scoring.

Then I'd go into describing each gear:

0. Before anything else, notice that everything is color coded. This goes for the gears, the building tiles, the tech tracks, everything. When in doubt, pay attention to the colors.

0b. Also note that each gear has a "whoops, if you stayed on this long, go ahead and take any action on the gear" spot at the top; if you end up there accidentally, yay! If you move past even that space, you fall off and head back home empty-handed.

1. First we have Palenque, your basic resource gear. This one gets you corn and wood; corn is both food and money, while wood is merely a building material. Note that you can always go fishing, but other spots get depleted as resources are taken: when you harvest the wood, you have a field left that can grow corn, and once you grab that corn, that's it, the land's depleted. Note also that you can burn away the forest to clear it for corn, if you want that corn right away, but as mentioned that wood does not come back (plus it Angers the Gods, which is a thing).

2. Next we have Yaxchilan, your advanced resource gear. This one mainly gets you stone and gold, and is one way to get crystal skulls (which you need for Chichen Itza, the purple gear).

3. Next is Tikal, your spend resources & make stuff gear. This is how you turn resources into buildings, monuments, and advancements on the tech track. You can see the icons here are pretty straightforward: advance a tech once, build one building, advance tech twice, build two buildings or one monument. This top one lets you spend resources to advance on the deity tracks, which can be worth points and a few bonus materials.

4. Next is Ixmal, the "screw the rules, I have money" gear. This lets you climb the temple tracks using corn, buy a building outright using corn, exchange resources, and acquire new workers (who will eventually require corn). It also has a "pay one to use any other action on any gear except the big one" space.

5. Last is Chichen Itza, the points & bonuses gear. This one's different in that each space can only be claimed once, and a crystal skull is required to claim a space and get its points and bonuses.

6. Start Player post-script: you can also place a worker here and grab Start Player for the next round. Unlike every other spot in the game, you'll get your worker back at the end of the round. Plus, it might be worth some corn if someone hasn't grabbed it in a while - every round it goes unclaimed, a corn is added to the wheel here, until someone's hungry enough to grab the headdress and the corn. Lastly, if you want to double-tick the gears, you'll have to grab this space: it's not enough to have the headdress passed to you, you have to have a worker here. Note that you can't double-tick if that second tick would make a worker fall off a gear (meaning they'd be advanced past a gear's last space).

7. Angering the Gods post-script: there are two things you can do that Anger the Gods: begging and burning. If you have two or fewer corn at the start of your turn, you can beg for corn and receive three corn for "free" from the bank (note the scare quotes). If you retrieve a worker from a Palenque space with wood, but what you really want is the corn underneath that wood, you can burn the wood off for "free" to get at that corn. In both of these cases the god's scorn (or at least the public's scorn) for your lack of foresight means moving down one space on a temple track of your choice - also, you must be able to move down a rung to do either of these, as no one would risk invoking so much divine/public wrath.

Note that if you have no workers on gears and can't afford to place a worker on a gear, then you may be forced to beg for corn in order to afford placing a worker on a gear. If you have insufficient corn to place a worker and no workers on gears and are at the bottom of all three temples, there is an exception that kicks in that forces you to place a single worker on the cheapest space available on the board and forfeiting whatever corn you may happen to have.

Then explain the temple track advancements, the tech track advancements, and the building and monuments that are showing (including their color coding). After explaining buildings, it's a natural segue into explaining the food days and scoring rounds, including the transition to the second Age and the pricier (and more effective) building tiles.

At the very end, say, "Now, after all that, one thing that ensures we each start on a slightly different path are these start of game bonus tiles." Explain 'em, hand 'em out and you're good to go.

Anyway, that's my top-of-the-head script.

EDIT: added the criteria that the double-advance requires the headdress. And just added the Anger of the Gods for good measure.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Catley
United Kingdom
Hull
East Yorkshire
flag msg tools
That's excellent, I wish my explanations were as succinct! You forgot to say, though, that flipping your tile to advance the gear 2 spaces can only be done when you occupy the Take Start Player space. I don't think the iconography is very easy to grasp in Tzolk'in, especially at Uxmal, and that tends to bog down my explanation.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Perkinson
msg tools
I love this game.

That said: playing correctly is not hard. As others have said: pick up at least one, or place at least one. Not both. If it's your first time, keep the rule book nearby to reference for individual space actions (it is quite well written (ImHO)

The beauty of the game is in developing long term effective strategies, and the agility to deal with other players decisions. This comes only after repeated play sessions.

My advise: dive in and don't worry to much about optimizing. Learn as you go.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
ErsatzDragon wrote:
Not sure if there is, though I'd probably explain it this way:

1. On your turn, you'll be deciding whether to place one or more workers, or retrieve one or more workers. You must do one or the other: if you can't place at least one, you must retrieve at least one, and vice versa.

2. Placing more than one worker costs corn. The more you place, the higher the cost, as shown on your board.

3. Workers must go on the lowest available spot on a gear. If this isn't on the "ground floor" because someone else is there, you can climb on top of those "blockers" at a cost of one corn per step.

4. Retrieving workers normally won't have a cost in and of itself, but you might be asking a worker to do something that does have a cost (like building a building). That said, similar to climbing up if you're blocked, if you really want to use a space below the worker you're retrieving you can pay one corn per step to reach back to that action. Also, if you can't do the space the worker is at (for example, it's at a "build a building" space and you don't have the right stuff), you can just pull it back without gaining anything.

5. At the end of each round the gears turn, advancing all placed workers by one step. You have a one-off ability to make the gears advance by two steps (shown by flipping your tile), and in theory this can be recharged by reaching the top of a temple track though in practice it's tough to do that.

Also, note that a few cogs on the main gear show where we'll have "food days" at the middle and end of each Age; I'll explain what happens there when I talk about scoring.

Then I'd go into describing each gear:

0. Before anything else, notice that everything is color coded. This goes for the gears, the building tiles, the tech tracks, everything. When in doubt, pay attention to the colors.

0b. Also note that each gear has a "whoops, if you stayed on this long, go ahead and take any action on the gear" spot at the top; if you end up there accidentally, yay! If you move past even that space, you fall off and head back home empty-handed.

1. First we have Palenque, your basic resource gear. This one gets you corn and wood; corn is both food and money, while wood is merely a building material. Note that you can always go fishing, but other spots get depleted as resources are taken: when you harvest the wood, you have a field left that can grow corn, and once you grab that corn, that's it, the land's depleted. Note also that you can burn away the forest to clear it for corn, if you want that corn right away, but as mentioned that wood does not come back.

2. Next we have Yaxchilan, your advanced resource gear. This one mainly gets you stone and gold, and is one way to get crystal skulls (which you need for Chichen Itza, the purple gear).

3. Next is Tikal, your spend resources & make stuff gear. This is how you turn resources into buildings, monuments, and advancements on the tech track. You can see the icons here are pretty straightforward: advance a tech once, build one building, advance tech twice, build two buildings or one monument. This one lets you spend resources to advance on the deity tracks, which can be worth points and a few bonus materials.

4. Next is Ixmal, the "screw the rules, I have money" gear. This lets you climb the temple tracks using corn, buy a building outright using corn, exchange resources, and acquire new workers. It also has a "pay one to use any other action on any gear except the big one" space.

5. Last is Chichen Itza, the points & bonuses gear. This one's different in that each space can only be claimed once, and a crystal skull is required to claim a space and get its points and bonuses.

6. Post-script: you can also place a worker here and grab Start Player for the next round. Unlike every other spot in the game, you'll get your worker back at the end of the round. Plus, it might be worth some corn if someone hasn't grabbed it in a while - every round it goes unclaimed, a corn is added to the wheel here, until someone's hungry enough to grab the headdress and the corn.

Then explain the temple track advancements, the tech track advancements, and the building and monuments that are showing (including their color coding). After explaining buildings, it's a natural segue into explaining the food days and scoring rounds, including the transition to the second Age and the pricier (and more effective) building tiles.

At the very end, say, "Now, after all that, one thing that ensures we each start on a slightly different path are these start of game bonus tiles.

Anyway, that's my top-of-the-head script.



Peter this is amazing thank you and makes it much simpler. The game has just arrived and i am going to use this and videos mentioned and have a run through. fingers crossed it goes well. Thanks again
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
lelechuck wrote:
I love this game.

That said: playing correctly is not hard. As others have said: pick up at least one, or place at least one. Not both. If it's your first time, keep the rule book nearby to reference for individual space actions (it is quite well written (ImHO)

The beauty of the game is in developing long term effective strategies, and the agility to deal with other players decisions. This comes only after repeated play sessions.

My advise: dive in and don't worry to much about optimizing. Learn as you go.



Thanks for the advice Jim. Once i have a grasp of the game and the mechanics behind it, i will be looking into the strategies. With any type of these games i am assuming this is a must to win.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter S.
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Moose Malloy wrote:
That's excellent, I wish my explanations were as succinct! You forgot to say, though, that flipping your tile to advance the gear 2 spaces can only be done when you occupy the Take Start Player space. I don't think the iconography is very easy to grasp in Tzolk'in, especially at Uxmal, and that tends to bog down my explanation.

Good catch, thank you! I've incorporated. If work is slow today I may come back and add explanations for the tech and temple tracks.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
ErsatzDragon wrote:
Moose Malloy wrote:
That's excellent, I wish my explanations were as succinct! You forgot to say, though, that flipping your tile to advance the gear 2 spaces can only be done when you occupy the Take Start Player space. I don't think the iconography is very easy to grasp in Tzolk'in, especially at Uxmal, and that tends to bog down my explanation.

Good catch, thank you! I've incorporated. If work is slow today I may come back and add explanations for the tech and temple tracks.


Appreciate it cheers thumbsup
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Compton
United States
Rochester Hills
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
How did it go?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
Hi Brian

Thanks for asking. Played a few times and loved it. Had to keep referring to the rules but mainly for peace of mind and actually got it right. Have another gamed planned tomorrow and looking to try a different strategy.

I have loved it that much, have painted my gears and foam cored my box.

So getting back into games again, even the wife enjoyed the game and she isnt in to board games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools


Just loving this game! Thought I would show how I have pimped my game! Be kind
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
Well guys after a few games, I have tried to go to the rules when I have been stuck but have 3 questions I hope you can help with please:

1. Am I right in believing you leave the dummy players on when they pass the highest level on each cog/wheel?

2. Can you not take back a worker off Chichen Itza if you do not have a skull laid or get to the highest level?

3. If on your go you find all the lower value placements are taken up and don’t have enough corn, can you only place your worker on the start tile placement (even if there is no corn to collect) and determine this as your go?

Cheers in advance
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
- - - - - -
Romania
Bucharest
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1. Yes.

2. You can take any worker back from any wheel. If you don't pay the cost you just don't get the benefit, that's all.

3. Remember you can beg for corn from the Gods. (And you should if you are in that situation.)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd McCorkle
United States
Anderson
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
adrim wrote:
1. Yes.

2. You can take any worker back from any wheel. If you don't pay the cost you just don't get the benefit, that's all.

3. Remember you can beg for corn from the Gods. (And you should if you are in that situation.)


For 3 - you must beg for corn in order to place workers in that situation (assuming you have no worker already on gears to remove).

There is a weird special case though. From the rulebook, pg 11:

Rare Special Case: At the beginning of your turn, if you have no workers on the gears, then you must place workers. And if you do not have enough corn to place a worker, then you must beg for corn. But if you are already at the bottom step of every temple, then you cannot beg for corn. Do not worry. In this situation, the gods will take pity on you and allow you to place exactly 1 worker. You place the worker on an action space with the lowest possible cost and give all your corn to the bank.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
adrim wrote:
1. Yes.

2. You can take any worker back from any wheel. If you don't pay the cost you just don't get the benefit, that's all.

3. Remember you can beg for corn from the Gods. (And you should if you are in that situation.)


Fantastic thanks adrim.

With Q3, I was trying to see if there was a way of not taking the penalty for angering the gods. Every point counts ha
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Crabtree
msg tools
kusinohki wrote:
adrim wrote:
1. Yes.

2. You can take any worker back from any wheel. If you don't pay the cost you just don't get the benefit, that's all.

3. Remember you can beg for corn from the Gods. (And you should if you are in that situation.)


For 3 - you must beg for corn in order to place workers in that situation (assuming you have no worker already on gears to remove).

There is a weird special case though. From the rulebook, pg 11:

Rare Special Case: At the beginning of your turn, if you have no workers on the gears, then you must place workers. And if you do not have enough corn to place a worker, then you must beg for corn. But if you are already at the bottom step of every temple, then you cannot beg for corn. Do not worry. In this situation, the gods will take pity on you and allow you to place exactly 1 worker. You place the worker on an action space with the lowest possible cost and give all your corn to the bank.


Thanks Todd, I had completely missed that rule on page 11. That makes sense and hope not to have to use it
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.