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Subject: BGG's Collected Wisdom - yes, it's the Goa FAQ! rss

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Ben Bateson
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Please note: this FAQ was written for Goa 1st edition and does not include any of the rule-changes for the long-awaited 2nd edition.

This hopefully includes the answers from the official FAQ and pretty much everything from this forum.

If you think I’ve mis-interpreted anything (and I don’t claim to be an expert), please shout and I’ll correct it. I also need to see about getting this Stickied: does anyone know the best Admin to talk to?



General Advice

Don’t feel foolish or embarrassed reading this. EVERYONE manages to get the rules wrong for Goa. It’s part of learning the game!

If you feel you have got all the rules correct, permit yourself a smug grin and a slap on the back.

I have used the words 'round' (of which there are eight) and 'action' (of which there are three per round, plus extras) in preference to the word 'turn', which crops up elsewhere and is too vague.



Game Start

The starting player gains the flag, but not an additional action card.



Resources

Most resources (cards or spices) are not finite. If you run out, substitute by accounting on paper or using other tokens.

Expedition cards and colony tiles are finite and should not be substituted. The expedition discard pile is re-shuffled when the draw deck is exhausted.

Trading resources is a 'house rule', and not permitted by the base rules.



Cards

Ships and Colonist cards are open information and are not kept in your hand.

Expedition and Money cards are closed information and are hidden.



Auctions

The flag is placed along the outside border of the tiles OR in a space left by a previous auction. It must be placed orthogonally adjacent to at least one tile, not diagonally. The flag is never placed on top of a tile.

The person who owned and has just placed the flag puts his '1' marker on it. It will be auctioned first.

If the flag is placed in an empty space (ie. not along the borders) on the tile grid, it is considered to be orthogonally adjacent to all four orthogonal squares (if they are occupied)

Players may place their numbered markers orthogonally OR diagonally with respect to the previous one.

Clarification Although the flag MUST be placed orthogonally to a tile, the Number 2 marker does not have to be placed on that tile: it may be placed diagonally.

The highest numbered marker should be (number of players + 1). In a 2-player game, the highest-numbered marker is always 3.

The player whose numbered marker is on the tile to be auctioned starts the bidding with zero ducats, not one.

Each player may only bid ONCE for each tile, except the player with the numbered marker, who bids (normally zero) first and then has another bid to finish the auction.

Players are not permitted to bid more ducats than they have in their hand!

Players may bid for as many or as few tiles as they wish.

The winning bidder pays the player whose marker is on the tile, unless that player wins the auction, in which case he pays the bank.

The winner of the flag takes an additional action card along with the flag, even if the winning bid was zero (this is currently a moot point, but as has been rightly pointed out, it would be foolish not to bid a single ducat for the extra action).

Winning any other tile does not enable the player to take an action card, unless the tile specifically states that you can collect one.



Part ‘A’ Tiles

The 'take 1 spice' tile is used in addition to an action in each round, not as a part of any actions you take in that round. You cannot use it to re-stock a colony or plantation halfway through paying spices.

The orange coloured tiles are played in addition to an action, and do not constitute an action in themselves. You can play as many as you are able at once (ie. they are not like expedition cards).

You cannot play the orange tiles during the auction; only in addition to a subsequent action (notably the 4 ducat tile).

Orange tiles remain active throughout all eight rounds of the game. They can be played during extra actions as well as the stipulated three actions.



Part ‘B’ Tiles

The blue coloured tiles are played in addition to an action, once only, and do not constitute an action in themselves. You may play as many as you are able at once.

The Swap tile is the exception to the above. It may be used more than once by being re-purchased and re-used. The Swap tile may be used on the same round as when it is purchased.

In some editions of the rules, the Swap tile is referred to as Trade. They are the same thing.

Blue tiles cannot be played as part of an action (specific case: you cannot pay half of the requisite spices, then use Swap/Resupply to stock up on the others required). They cannot be modified by using expedition cards.

The ‘Resupply’ tile allows you to draw a number of spices/colonists/ships based on the total number on two expedition cards drawn from the deck. You are not permitted to split that number: you must draw ALL spices, or ALL colonists, or ALL ships. The expedition cards drawn are discarded and not kept.

The Vice King tile advances your least developed track, not the most developed.

The Espionage tile allows you to use the most advanced track of another player, in the same way that you would use your own (to build ships, harvest spices, raise taxes, or count extra colonists towards a colonisation, but NOT draw expedition cards). This is not an action in itself and is taken in addition to an action of your own.

You could effectively take the same action twice by using the Espionage tile immediately before choosing to perform the same action on your own board.

When using the Espionage tile to found colonies, you do not include the number of colonists on your own board.

The Espionage tile cannot be enhanced with an expedition card in the manner of a normal action.

The Extra Harvest tile allows you to completely fill three plantations/colonies, even if some or all of them are already part-full.

The Duty tile requires you to discard six spices to earn four victory points. This can be done at any point before the game end.



The Development Board

All spices paid to advance along the development board must be paid as one lump sum. You cannot pay a portion and then use an expedition card to account for any missing spices.

The first player, and the first player only, to reach the fourth level in each of the five different tracks receives a bonus expedition card. The same applies to the fifth level, making ten bonus cards available in all. For example, if Adam has already reached the fourth level on the shipbuilding track, Bernard cannot claim a bonus card for reaching the fourth level of the shipbuilding track. Bernard could claim a bonus card for reaching the fourth level of the harvest track, as long as no other player had done so before him. Bernard could then claim another bonus card for advancing the harvest track to the fifth level before anyone else.

When all five tracks of your development board reach the second level (and third, fourth and fifth), you may take a bonus action card, regardless of how many other players have already done so. You do not have to have all your markers lined up on the row together to take the action card. The little action card icon on the right of the board is to remind you of this, and not connected specifically with the colonist track.

You may perform the same action multiple times within the same round.



Plantations

If you have a board with the maximum four plantations, and buy another one in the auction, you continue to have the maximum four plantations, but can decide which to discard. Any spices on the plantations are discarded along with it. If you wish to discard a single-spice plantation with a victory point, you still retain the victory point.

Plantations, when purchased, come with a full complement of the appropriate spices.



Founding Colonies

If you fail to found a colony, then you take an additional single colonist card. You do not discard any colonists from hand.

You may choose not to found the colony and take one colonist card if you wish.

Like plantations, colonies come with a full complement of the appropriate spices. Colonies with two spaces for spices can carry a mixture or both the same.

Expedition cards drawn to help you colonise are discarded and not kept, regardless of whether the colonisation was successful or not.

The colonist track does not award you colonist cards. The number of colonists currently showing on the track should be added to the number from the drawn expedition cards, and then - if necessary - the balance made up from the colonist cards in your hand.

It is not permitted to re-arrange spices on plantations and/or colonies.



Harvesting

Each plantation/colony must only ever have the appropriate coloured spices played on it (for example, you can’t place nutmeg on a pepper plantation, or cinnamon on a clove/ginger colony)

When harvesting, you may choose which spaces on plantations or colonies to top up with the appropriate spices. You do not have to fill up a double or triple plantation all at once.

All spices won by other routes must be placed onto plantations/colonies or discarded immediately.

You may not discard a spice from a plantation or colony to make room for new ones.



Expedition Cards

The expedition cards drawn to decide the starting player are not shuffled back into the deck before the start of play. They remain on the discard pile.

You may never draw expedition cards over your hand limit. A draw-then-discard-excess-cards play is disallowed. You may draw fewer cards than indicated by your development board if drawing the full number would take you over your hand limit or you may discard excess cards before drawing.

You can only play one expedition card per action: one without an ‘A’ either before or after the action, OR one with an ‘A’ during the action.

Exception to the above - the expedition card that allows you to take two colonists may be played during a colonisation action, after drawing for colonists if you find that you are short of the total required.

The card that allows you to draw an extra expedition card for colonising must be played before drawing any of the cards. You cannot draw two, then play the card to draw another one.

The expedition card that allows you to pay ducats to advance on the development board is used for a single advance only. You cannot use it to advance two rows or two tracks, even if you have the money.

The card that allows you to take harvest in part as ships or colonists should be interpreted as allowing you to take the number or resources shown on your development board, not just the number of spice spaces you have. Eg: if you play this card showing 6 on your harvest track, but you only have four vacant spaces for spices, you may take (for example) four spices and 2 ships.

Your hand limit for expedition cards only applies when drawing new cards as an action. If you receive them by any other route, including from an auctioned tile, you can hold more than your hand limit.

It is permitted to play an expedition card that you have just drawn.

The discard stack is closed information and should not be searched by a player.



Action Cards

You may play extra actions by discarding action cards at the end of a round. You are allowed to play more than one extra action per round, but you must only retain a maximum of one action card into the next round. The wording in the game manual is intended to prevent the starting player taking all his additional actions at once before passing round the next player.

Additional actions, as far as possible, continue with turn order around the table.



Game End

Your expedition cards are scored in ‘sets’. If you have two cards with different symbols, you score that as two ‘sets’ of size one, worth two points total.
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Matt Albritton
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ousgg wrote:
The ‘Resupply’ tile ... You are not permitted to split that number: you must draw ALL spices, or ALL colonists, or ALL ships.


Wow, I've been playing this tile wrong for years.
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Ben Bateson
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Join the club. I learnt a couple of things putting this together.
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Chris Shaffer
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ousgg wrote:
If the flag is placed in an empty space on the tile grid, it is considered to be orthogonally adjacent to all four orthogonal squares (if they are occupied)

I believe this is incorrect. The flag is adjacent only to (up to) three squares - the one directly in front of it and the two diagonally in front of it.

ousgg wrote:
Winning any other tile does not enable the player to take an action card.

The Settlement and Additional Actions tiles enable the player to take an action card.

ousgg wrote:
The Vice King tile advances your least developed tile, not the most developed.

The Vice King tile advances your least developed technology.

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Matt Albritton
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TheCat wrote:
ousgg wrote:
If the flag is placed in an empty space on the tile grid, it is considered to be orthogonally adjacent to all four orthogonal squares (if they are occupied)

I believe this is incorrect. The flag is adjacent only to (up to) three squares - the one directly in front of it and the two diagonally in front of it.


No, he is right. He is talking about when someone puts the flag in a "hole" near the center of the board from where a previously bought tile came from.

The other points you made are correct.
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Peter Mumford
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Kubigaruma wrote:
TheCat wrote:
ousgg wrote:
If the flag is placed in an empty space on the tile grid, it is considered to be orthogonally adjacent to all four orthogonal squares (if they are occupied)

I believe this is incorrect. The flag is adjacent only to (up to) three squares - the one directly in front of it and the two diagonally in front of it.


No, he is right. He is talking about when someone puts the flag in a "hole" near the center of the board from where a previously bought tile came from.

So if the flag is on the edge of the board you can place a token orthogonally or diagonally. But if the flag is in the middle of the board, you may token only orthogonally, and not diagonally? Doesn't sound right.
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Rod Spade
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photocurio wrote:

So if the flag is on the edge of the board you can place a token orthogonally or diagonally. But if the flag is in the middle of the board, you may token only orthogonally, and not diagonally? Doesn't sound right.


The flag must be placed orthogonally adjacent to some available tile. But the "2" token can go on any tile that is adjacent either orthogonally or diagonally. Whether the flag is on the edge of the board or in the middle is not relevant.
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Steve Duff
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Rod has it right. Thus, you could not put the flag in a hole in the centre if the only tiles available were diagonal. (IE, the N, S, E, and W positions from the flag were empty).

The diagram in the middle of page 4 is the relevant one: the flag is in a hole, there are 6 possible positions for the red 2 to be placed.
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Ben Bateson
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Thanks fellas. I have made some clarifications as suggested. All feedback very welcome.
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Jeff Thornsen
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Your use of the phrase in addition when explaining how to use the blue tiles confuses me.

Quote:
The Espionage card allows you to use the most advanced track of another player, in the same way that you would use your own (to build ships, harvest spices, raise taxes, or count extra colonists towards a colonisation, but NOT draw expedition cards). This is not an action in itself and is taken in addition to an action of your own.

You could effectively take the same action twice by using the Espionage tile.


I was under the impression that the following is how the tile is played:

1. Use Espionage Tile, take 5 Ships (assume some other player advanced their Ship Track to 5)
2. I still have all 3 of my Regular Actions left, and I can do whatever I want with them.

"You could effectively take the same action twice" is just confusing and should probably be deleted or re-phrased.
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Chris B
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Kubigaruma wrote:
ousgg wrote:
The ‘Resupply’ tile ... You are not permitted to split that number: you must draw ALL spices, or ALL colonists, or ALL ships.


Wow, I've been playing this tile wrong for years.


Umm, yeah, me too!
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Quote:
You can only play one expedition card per action: one without an ‘A’ either before or after the action, OR one with an ‘A’ during the action.


This is the consensus here (and I made my rules summary that way), but I've yet to find a solid reference for this. In fact, the 2nd ed rules say specifically that a card without an 'A' can be played during an action.
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Rod Spade
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elcomadreja2 wrote:
Quote:
You can only play one expedition card per action: one without an ‘A’ either before or after the action, OR one with an ‘A’ during the action.


This is the consensus here (and I made my rules summary that way), but I've yet to find a solid reference for this. In fact, the 2nd ed rules say specifically that a card without an 'A' can be played during an action.

The designer has clarified that "2 colonists" is the only card that may be played during an action:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/47064#47064
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Kubigaruma wrote:
ousgg wrote:
The ‘Resupply’ tile ... You are not permitted to split that number: you must draw ALL spices, or ALL colonists, or ALL ships.


Wow, I've been playing this tile wrong for years.


It's extra confusing because of the card which works in the exact opposite manner: you must take a mixture of items for that one.
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Chris Shaffer
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tommynomad wrote:
It's extra confusing because of the card which works in the exact opposite manner: you must take a mixture of items for that one.


I don't think so. Do you have a rules reference?
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In reference to discarding expedition cards before drawing new ones.

If I have 3 cards in hand and I am on the "draw 2, hold 3" space.
May I discard one before drawing and just take one card?
OR
Do I have to discard two to take two.
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Ben Bateson
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No, you can discard one and take one. I shall clarify this in the FAQ.

If anyone has a definitive line on the expedition card, above that, I will add that too.
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Liz Burton
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Great list! Looks like I've been playing auctions incorrectly the entire time (using the typical "keep going around the table to find the highest bid" mechanic).

This is going to shake things up. shake
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Ben Bateson
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manutd03 wrote:
Great list! Looks like I've been playing auctions incorrectly the entire time (using the typical "keep going around the table to find the highest bid" mechanic).


Yup, I reckon most of us started off like that. The rules booklet for this game is notoriously obtuse.
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Just played my first game today with 3 other first timers. I spent about half an hour reading the rules and then dove in. The only thing we got wrong was the bidding mechanic. We also kept going around the table until everyone passed. Also the rule book says that the king-vice tile advances your most developed track so that was how we played it. Makes more sense advancing the least developed but I was just following the rules. I'd have to agree that the rule book is pretty vague/ambiguous at certain points. We couldn't figure out how you could wind up with 6 matching expedition cards at game end when 5 is the hand limit. Final scores were 45, 38, 31, 21. I won! Are these scores reflective of a typical game?
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Stephen
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troybowers wrote:
We couldn't figure out how you could wind up with 6 matching expedition cards at game end when 5 is the hand limit. Final scores were 45, 38, 31, 21. I won! Are these scores reflective of a typical game?


The hand limit only applies when using an action to draw expedition cards. You ignore it if you get cards by winning an auction or by being the first player to advance to the fourth or fifth row spot in a given track. An extra 20 points is crazy but I've never seen anyone manage it.

Experienced players (at least the ones I play with) usually get a score in the 40's or low 50's.
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So it goes.
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People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.
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aaxiom wrote:
troybowers wrote:
Also the rule book says that the king-vice tile advances your most developed track (sic) so that was how we played it. Makes more sense advancing the least developed but I was just following the rules.


The rulebook does NOT state "most developed", it says "highest" -- as in track where the cube is NEAREST TO THE TOP... which would be "LEAST developed."

Yes, the rulebook is quite ambiguous, but this has been well-established in the FAQ for some time now.

Just an FYI...


Well I only had access to the original rulebook and half an hour to read it. The guy in my game group that brought it had only played it once about 3 years ago and literally didn't remember anything concerning the rules. I'm happy with how close to the actual rules we were able to play all things considered. And a score of 45 seems to be pretty decent for a first time player so I'm pretty happy with that too!
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Chef D
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Thanks for the FAQ. It is a shame that a game of this caliber can sometimes be quite obtuse from reading the rules. Here are a few more clarifications.

Player Actions -- There really are only two possible actions

1) Progress on the Development Board
2) Found Colonies

That being said. There are five different ways to execute the first actions

1) Build Ships
2) Harvest
3) Taxes
4) Expedition
5) Colonists

This is pretty easy. Pay for the cost in spices and ships. The one that is the most confusing is the last one. The rules never state this as a possible action although it gives two examples of increasing the "colonists" development track. I am surprised that I have not seen more talk about this last issue. It is obvious once you play the game, but for someone learning from the rules it can be quite confusing.

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Liz Burton
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ousgg wrote:
Plantations, when purchased, come with a full complement of the appropriate spices.


Where does it say this in the rules? I see that the rules explicitly say that when you found a colony, you get to fill it with the appropriate spices, but I don't see anything like that for plantations.

Clarification, anyone?
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Steve Duff
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The rules example on page 11 has it in the example for section 2:

Quote:
Yellow bought:
• the cloves plantation and placed it on her supply board with 2 cloves

Red bought:
• the colonists and immediately traded it for colonist cards

Green bought:
• the ginger plantation and placed it on his supply board with 1 ginger
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