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Subject: Some questions from our game last night rss

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Paul Grogan
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I finally managed to convince a couple of people to try this game last night. I explained that it would be a learning game and that we would spend quite a bit of time hunting for rules.

We got a few wrong along the way which subsequent reading of the rules would clarify. However, I still have a few outstanding.

Ice: We spent 5 minutes looking in the rules for 'Ice'. In my couple of test solo games, I'd never gone into the NWP, so it never came up. The Ice is in a white box - so I said this was an automatic discovery, but since it isnt worth any points, there was no need to mark it. We couldnt find anything in the rules at all about Ice, so we assumed it didnt actually have any effect apart from to give modifiers to certain cards that are drawn.

Channels: This we did mark with a D but we spent ages looking for what they did in the rulebook and eventually gave up. Until someone got back to base and we realised that they give you more outfitting cards next time around.

Discoveries: I got myself confused with Discoveries thinking that the 'D' on the card could be used on spaces before or after movement. I'm now pretty sure this is wrong and that they only apply to the space that you are in BEFORE you move. It is a little counter-intuitive but it is mainly lack of experience. Automatic discoveries however I think ARE discovered on moving into a new space.

For example, a ship is in NWP 1 and draws a card with a 'D' on it. They can mark the channel with a 'D' chit. The card also allows for 1 progress, so they make a navigation check and make it into the bay - which they automatically discover. I think thats right.

Outfitting ship and deciding ship type: I wasnt sure when you had to decide your ship type. On my second attmept (first one failed from scared crew on the way to South America), I chose a Caravel again, but then when I drew my cards I had some cool stuff but no extra ship. So I switched to Carrack to store all the cargo. But then I stayed another turn, drew 2 more cards and got an extra ship, so switched back to Caravel. Was this ok?

Drawing Cards: I'm not sure I understand the exceptions at the start of section 6. "No card is drawn if within the Straits of Magellan, at a New World base or if not intending to leave a mid-Atlantic Island that turn. The 1st and 3rd I understand, but not the New World base one.

For example: Patrick last night launched his 2nd expedition from Hispaniola. He wanted it to be a land expedition to go get some gold from CB2. This seems to be possible "four New World bases appear from which expeditions (including inland ones without ships) may be launched" and also "Launching from a New World base - If an inland expedition, place the land expedition chit in the space containing the base".
So, we did that. But if he doesnt draw a card, how can he then gain any progress to move west?


We played for a couple of hours. 3 players. Patrick did really well, returning to Europe with about 5 discoveries and quite a few points, before launching a land expedition from Hispaniola, getting some gold and returning, before a final expedition where he got to the outskirts of the Aztecs and came home getting a total of 9VP.

Christian went up into NWP, spending a number of turns stuck, but discovering channels, bays, cod banks, etc. He didnt quite make it back home safely losing his last ship just off the coast of Hispaniola (although subsequent reading indicates this is a shipwreck and he should have been ok).

I had no luck. My first expedition got delayed as I was getting hit by scurvy a lot, so I decided to head south for the hardwood. I got most of the way, but my crew got afraid, so I spent most of the game getting back. When I did, I got no VP and then only got 2 cards to re-outfit. So I stayed a few turns getting more cards and set off again. I managed to get some hardwood and then headed further south, trying to extend the Known SSA. But again, my crew got afraid and I headed home. I didnt get back before Patrick finished his 3rd expedition and we ended the game there.
 
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Chris Dorrell
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PaulGrogan wrote:
I finally managed to convince a couple of people to try this game last night. I explained that it would be a learning game and that we would spend quite a bit of time hunting for rules.

We got a few wrong along the way which subsequent reading of the rules would clarify. However, I still have a few outstanding.

Ice: We spent 5 minutes looking in the rules for 'Ice'. In my couple of test solo games, I'd never gone into the NWP, so it never came up. The Ice is in a white box - so I said this was an automatic discovery, but since it isnt worth any points, there was no need to mark it. We couldnt find anything in the rules at all about Ice, so we assumed it didnt actually have any effect apart from to give modifiers to certain cards that are drawn.

I think that’s correct. There are maybe half a dozen Sea/Coastal cards that have Ice modifiers on navigation.


Quote:
Channels: This we did mark with a D but we spent ages looking for what they did in the rulebook and eventually gave up. Until someone got back to base and we realised that they give you more outfitting cards next time around.

Correct – one extra Outfitting card per channel.


Quote:
Discoveries: I got myself confused with Discoveries thinking that the 'D' on the card could be used on spaces before or after movement. I'm now pretty sure this is wrong and that they only apply to the space that you are in BEFORE you move. It is a little counter-intuitive but it is mainly lack of experience. Automatic discoveries however I think ARE discovered on moving into a new space.

Cards are resolved in three stages. Follow instructions based on current location, resolve any Discovery and then if Progress was made you may move if possible. So you discover then possibly move. In theme terms I take this to represent an expedition finding something and moving on, happy with its discovery. If they don’t find what they’re looking for the expedition may decide not to move on and try again on the next turn.


Quote:
For example, a ship is in NWP 1 and draws a card with a 'D' on it. They can mark the channel with a 'D' chit. The card also allows for 1 progress, so they make a navigation check and make it into the bay - which they automatically discover. I think thats right.

Yes I think so too, provided that you pass the navigation check as you say.


Quote:
Outfitting ship and deciding ship type: I wasnt sure when you had to decide your ship type. On my second attmept (first one failed from scared crew on the way to South America), I chose a Caravel again, but then when I drew my cards I had some cool stuff but no extra ship. So I switched to Carrack to store all the cargo. But then I stayed another turn, drew 2 more cards and got an extra ship, so switched back to Caravel. Was this ok?

I have an FAQ from Tom Lehmann that addresses this issue. The question posed was: Can a player look at outfitting cards before making decisions about leaders, ships and starting base. Answer: Yes, certainly all the ones that he or she initially starts with.

This topic is also covered more clearly on page 2 column 2 of the “Rules of Play and Reference” booklet in the section: “Altering Outfitting Decisions”


Quote:
Drawing Cards: I'm not sure I understand the exceptions at the start of section 6. "No card is drawn if within the Straits of Magellan, at a New World base or if not intending to leave a mid-Atlantic Island that turn. The 1st and 3rd I understand, but not the New World base one.

For example: Patrick last night launched his 2nd expedition from Hispaniola. He wanted it to be a land expedition to go get some gold from CB2. This seems to be possible "four New World bases appear from which expeditions (including inland ones without ships) may be launched" and also "Launching from a New World base - If an inland expedition, place the land expedition chit in the space containing the base".
So, we did that. But if he doesnt draw a card, how can he then gain any progress to move west?

I hadn’t picked up on this one. I think I played that you don’t draw a card on the turn you launch the land expedition so you move out of the base into CB1. Then on the next turn you’re not actually in the New World base so draw a Land card. Not sure though?

Hope that helps. It's good to see some activity around this excellent game. I haven't played it for a while so now I have my mind back on the subject I'll give it a go again. I mainly play it solitaire which works extremely well.

Regards
Chris

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Tom Lehmann
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Yes, Ice is an automatic effect (see Map legend). It affects certain checks in those spaces, as described on the cards and noted in the rules under section 6, Map Modifiers.

Channels give extra outfitting cards. Historically, this represents the continuing hope that some newly discovered channel would be the sought after NW passage, which was a major motivation for further expeditions.

"D" discoveries only apply *before* movement and status checks, see Sequence of Play. This is different from automatic discoveries, such as the Amazon river mouth, which are marked after movement (see Discovery under Terms). For why these are handled differently, see the Automatic Discoveries section of the Design Notes.

(From a game play perspective, allowing a player to know that they have a "D" and then move accordingly to discover something makes a mockery of the discovery mechanism.)

Yes, you can switch back and forth between ship type on successive outfitting turns as long as when you do so, you adjust to obey all the limits of the new ship type. See Altering Outfitting Decisions under Outfitting.

While continuing to outfit at a New World base (if that's where you returned to from your previous expedition instead of Europe), you don't draw cards; once you *launch* and become an inland expedition, then you're no longer at the New World base, you're in the land space containing that base and then do draw land cards (to make progress, etc.).
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