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The Dutch Golden Age» Forums » Rules

Subject: FAQ and Summary of Rulings by Leo Colovini rss

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David Byron
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An attempt to put all the rulings and FAQs in one place. Please tell me if I got something wrong or missed something. Rulings are sourced (link).

Setup
Yes, when you have placed your Influence Marker you should have 5 left. Yes, when you have placed your two Movement Tokens, you should have 3 left. Note that the limitations on where you setup your Movement Tokens only apply during setup, not later in the game.

Using A Guild
Using a guild is a two step process. First gain control of the guild. This is a free action that costs one more guilder than the old controller paid, or 3 guilders if nobody owns it. You don't pay this again (unless you lose control of the guild). You must take the Influence Marker from your reserve (not from on the board).

Once you control the guild you may use its special action on the same turn. This costs the same as a province's Special Action (eg 3 to draw a card, 5 for a movement token, 1 to advance a painting). The cost to use the Special Action is NOT the number you paid to take control of the guild. Next turn if you still control the guild you can use the Special Action again.

Brown Special Actions
You may only add a guilder to one painting with each Special Action. You may have several unfinished paintings in play. Sometimes this is useful if you don't want to have to finish a big painting because you don't need that many VPs to win the game. Note: if you win a Brown auction you do not have to pay 3 guilders if you want to draw a card, but you do have to pay the one guilder to advance a painting that is in play.

Moving Influence Markers
If you are using all six Influence Markers you can move an old one, with two restrictions. (1) You cannot move an Influence Marker when it is flipped. (2) You cannot move an Influence Marker to gain control of a guild, but can to create a colony in the Indies or control a province. Once moved you can use its Special Action on the same turn (the same as if it had come from your reserve).

When To Play Cards and Hidden Information
There is no bluffing in the game. All player cards and money stacks are open for any player to inspect. You do not have to play cards immediately but there's no point in delaying because everyone can see you have that Windmill or cash card in your hand. Yes, even if all you have is a cannon card, everyone can see that card.

Timing Issues
There are no timing issues. Everything happens on your own turn and nobody else can do anything while it is your turn. You do anything you can in any order you like. Your turn ends, you announce your total number of VPs, possibly win the game and if not, the next player goes. There are only two exceptions.

Things You Can Do On Someone Else's Turn
1) bid on an auction
2) if you win an auction you must pay the bid and then perform the special Special Action (draw a card, put a coin on to the artist, or place a Movement Token)

In particular you cannot do these things on another player's turn:
You cannot play any card, even one you just drew in an auction. You cannot merge 3 Movement Tokens to create an Influence Marker. You cannot total up your VP score and win the game, even if you managed to increase your VP score to 33 or more as a result of an auction (if this happens you cannot win until your next turn).

Bidding
You cannot bid on your own auctions. (although it might make an interesting 2 player variant?) If nobody bids on an auction the Influence Marker is still flipped

Playing a Card From Your Hand
This is a Free Action and can only happen on your turn. Exception: you can play the dice card instead of rolling the dice on your own turn. (normally you cannot perform a Free Action before the king has been moved).

Dice Card
As above, this card is used instead of rolling the dice on your own turn. You do not get to roll first and then play the card, or play it on another players turn.

Reshuffle
Yes, if you need to draw a card and the deck is empty, just reshuffle the discard pile.

Map Details / Corrections
The numbers in the provinces represent the cost of their usual special action (it's just a reminder). Holland is considered adjacent to Zeeland and Friesland (the two blue provinces) for the purposes of moving Movement Tokens. The blank grey space on the track in the bottom left of the board is supposed to be Vlannderen. The province's crest is correct but in some editions the name was left blank.

VPs
Influence Markers for guilds do not score VPs. This is stated in the English rules but not as clearly as in the original.

My Comments
Some of these rulings contradict the English rules that are uploaded on this site. This is mainly because of mistranslations.

The English rules suggest a variety of timing for playing cards. Yellow and Orange cards played "at any time". Brown cards placed immediately. Blue sets immediately except when they are formed using a joker. Windmills immediately but Stadhouders not. And so on. Given the above rulings it seems that these variations are unintentional. Usually a player will just play all cards as they are drawn on his turn. There is no advantage to keeping cards in hand.

The ruling about all player cards being open for other players to see isn't in the English (or any other?) edition rules, so if you want to ignore it then the question of bluffing arises and so the question of whether some cards such as VP cards can be held in hand or whether they must be played immediately. I suggest playing all the cards by the same rules ; that none need be played immediately. For a more complex, sneaky game play, you could also allow them to be played on other players turns. For that rule to make much sense you'd need to also rule that you can win the game on someone else's turn. And that makes you need to have a timing rule that says if there is a conflict take actions beginning with the current player. eg if two players are close to winning and the roll of the dice gives both enough to have 33 VP then the winner is the first in play order.

Play "at any time" is an ambiguous statement, so I am glad the rulings above clarify that this in effect means "play as a Free Action". If you don't play by that ruling then you have to decide what "at any time" means. Let's say you have a set of blue cards ready and waiting to put down the first colony. But one of the cards is the joker so you don't want to use it if you can help it. Another player takes a blue card and looks like they may place down a colony on the East Indies "2" slot. Does "play at any time" mean:

(1) "Any time" means after any action. You must decide after the player draws a blue card (special action) but before it is put into play (free action) - once they announce they are creating a colony it is too late

(2) "Any time" means you interrupt play. In this case you can wait until the other player says they are creating the East Indies colony and then say "I'll put a colony there first". That player can then take their cards back into their hand as if they never made that play if they wish.

(3) "Any time" means you interrupt play but the action you interrupt cannot be taken back (unless it becomes impossible). In the example above the player must still play their Blue cards but they must choose another colony slot.
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