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This is a list of the frequently asked questions for The Manhattan Project, and its expansion The Manhattan Project: Nations Expansion.

List of game FAQs

The Manhattan Project (The Base Game)

Board Game: The Manhattan Project

Q: The rules say that there are 6 starting buildings with special backs but my game only came with 4. How do I set up the game?

A: There was a misprint in the first edition of the game. 2 Universities (one that makes 1 scientist and one that makes 1 engineer) were incorrectly printed with the normal building card back instead of the special building card back. Fortunately, this misprint will only affects the setup of the game, making it slightly more tricky to locate the correct cards. It will not affect the actual gameplay whatsoever. Here is an image of the 6 correct starting buildings which should be randomly placed in the first 6 spaces of the Building Market during setup:

Board Game: The Manhattan Project

Q: Does the value on the Espionage track limit workers or buildings?

A: Buildings. On Step 2 of your turn after you have activated Espionage in Step 1, you may activate as many opponent buildings as your current level on the Espionage track. The number of workers you place in Step 2 is never limited.

Q: If I have a spy on the Espionage track, can I activate an opponent building every turn for the rest of the game?

A: No. You keep your spies throughout the game, but you may only place workers on opponent buildings on the same turn that you place a worker in the Espionage space.

Q: Where does the $1 bribe coin that goes in the ash tray come from?

A: It comes from the General Supply.

Q: Can I use Air Strike to bomb my own buildings?

A: No. You may only bomb opponent buildings.

Q: When do buildings or spaces on the main board activate?

A: They activate only at the moment you place workers on them. Afterwards, that building or space is simply blocked and does not do anything. In order for any player to activate the building or space again, all workers will first have to be removed as a result of a Worker Retrieval turn.

Q: What happens to workers that are on a Building when it is bombed?

A: Absolutely nothing. They simply stay there. They are removed later following the normal Worker Retrieval rules.

Q: Can we play to a higher number of points if we like?

A: Yes. Obviously, this can make the game take longer. Raising the target point totals higher than following is not recommended:

5 players: 60 (5 bombs: 0+9+10+11+12 / 4 loads: 20)
4 players: 80 (6 bombs: 0+9+10+11+12+13 / 5 loads: 25)
3 players: 90 (7 bombs: 0+9+10+11+12+13+13 / 6 loads: 30)
2 players: 150 (10 bombs: 0+9+10+11+12+13+13+14+14+15 / 9 loads: 45)

Q: Whenever someone uses espionage, the game really slows down because that player has to look across the table and re-evaluate all of the other players' buildings. How can this be improved?

A: This problem can be practically eliminated (and the overall quality of the game generally improved) simply by positioning the player boards properly. All of the player boards should be VERY close to the main board - even in contact with it. When you set up the game, you'll do well to think of the main board and the player boards as one large single board. This will keep everything in one place, and will make it clear to players that they should be inspecting the entire play area at all times.


1. Page 7 - example in the lower right. The illustration depicts the activation of a factory that produces fighters, but the example text states the player uses it to create bombers, and a red arrow on the bomber track indicates that the player's bomber inventory has been increased. The incorrect card is shown. It should be a factory that produces bombers. Each Building Card shows exactly what it produces in the output area. There are only a few buildings that have variable outputs, as indicated by the "/" symbol which means a choice between 2 distinct options.

The Manhattan Project Nations Expansion

Board Game: The Manhattan Project: Nations Expansion

Q: What is the second option on the USA's card?

A: The second option on the USA's card ("bomber -> $3") allows you to sell 1 bomber for $3. Move the counter on your bomber track down 1 space and collect $3 from the General Supply.

Q: If I use a permanent laborer to activate China's card, can I use the card's action to immediately retrieve it?

A: No. If you use a permanent laborer to activate the China Nation Card, it must stay on the card. More importantly, the card does not allow you to retrieve scientists or engineers - only laborers. So, if you place a laborer on this card the best it will do will be to retrieve your other 3 laborers. If you place a scientist or an engineer on this card, it could potentially retrieve all 4 of your laborers.

Q: Can Japan always use fighters as bombers? For instance, can it use them as bombers when making an air strike using the main board action space? Can it use a fighter instead of a bomber to load a bomb?

A: No. Japan's fighters can only be used as bombers when it uses its Nation Card to make an air strike. When Japan uses the main board air strike space, it is just a normal air strike. In fact, every nation's special power is limited to the exact moment when its card is activated. All nations play by the same rules any other time.

Q: When using Germany's Nation Card, can I use the retrieved scientist/engineer on the Main Board? Can I use it on the same building that I just retrieved it from to activate it twice?

A: You may not use the scientist or engineer on the Main Board. You are in Step 2 of your turn when you activate the Nation Card. In Step 2 you can only place workers on buildings. You may, however, use the worker you just retrieved on the same building it came from, effectively activating the same building twice in the same turn. This will only work on single-worker buildings, as the other worker(s) on the building would not be retrieved by the Nation Card.

Q: [cont'd] ... Ok. What if, as Germany, I had activated Espionage on Step 1. Then on Step 2, I activate an opponent building that takes either 1 engineer or 1 scientist. Then I use the Nation Card to retrieve that worker. Then I activate the same opponent building again. I understand that with Espionage I am limited to a number of opponent buildings that matches my Spy Level on the track. Does double-activating the same building count as 1 or 2 buildings?

A: As you pointed out, your Spy Level on the Espionage track indicates how many opponent Buildings you may activate on Step 2 of your turn. Double-activating the same building is still only activating 1 building. (It's the same building, see?) So this effectively only uses one of your "spies." You could potentially use this trick the very first time you activate Espionage in the game.

The Manhattan Project: Second Stage Expansion

Board Game: The Manhattan Project: Second Stage

Q: Can I use South Africa's ability to dismantle a bomb that I have already loaded?

A: Yes. You may dismantle a loaded bomb, but you may not load a dismantled bomb.

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