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January 2010
"Mistakes Were Made!" or "5th Time's a Charm!"...Cargo Noir Rules Blunders! Thu, 20 October 2011 08:12
Hey all!

I thought I'd share with you the mistakes we made in our interpretation of the Cargo Noir rules during the first few plays of the game. I was lucky enough to win it at a games auction during FallCon 2011 (Calgary, Alberta) last weekend. Got it for a steal! (which seems to go along with the theme quite well! Wink )

Whether these mistakes and misinterpretations of the rules were due to our excitement to get playing, our poor reading skills, the rules themselves, or a combination of all of these things, all I know is we had a ball even while playing the game WRONG! Laughing goes:

1. Cargo can NEVER be traded in for coins. Coins can ONLY be generated from the casino in Macao.

2. Only CARGO tiles can be used to buy Cards. Coins can only be used to buy Cards during the LAST TURN.

3. The 1st player NEVER CHANGES throughout the game. To start the game, the 1st plays their Phase 3 (Sending Ships Out) followed by each player in turn order. After everyone sends out their ships, the 1st player (always the SAME person...the PRIMUS ships stays with them the whole game) then moves the Turn Marker to "1" and plays through their Phase 1, 2, and 3. After they completes ALL THREE phases, the next player in turn order does the same. Rinse, Repeat until all players have played their three consecutive phases and it's back to the 1st Player who moves the Turn Marker (the PRIMUS ship is there to remind them!) to "2" and the whole process repeats itself. Once again: ALL THREE PHASES are played before moving on to the next player.

4. Warehouse slots hold just ONE cargo tile. JUST ONE! As tempting as it is, you CANNOT stack the same good on a single slot in your warehouse. If you want to go for 6-of-a-Kind, it will take ALL SIX of your warehouse slots. If you wanna shoot for the coveted 9-of-a-Kind you're probably gonna have to expand your warehouse by purchasing a couple Warehouse "Smuggler's Edge" cards for 10 cargo points each. You can acquire as many EXTRA cargo tiles as you want during a turn but this "overflow" must be either cashed-in for Cards or discarded at the end of your current turn.

5. On the LAST turn, after you've cashed in your cargo for as many points in Victory Spoils Cards as you can, use any leftover coins that you didn't use for supplementing the Card purchases to BLOCK as many PORTS as you can. If you have THREE coins left and your opponent is sitting in Hong Kong on a stack of TWO coins, slide on in there and block them from getting that cargo! I know, pretty slimy right? But HEY! this is Cargo NOIR, not RAINBOW! Laughing

6. This VERY common problem we seemed to avoid for some crazy reason:
You can trade-in Cargo for Cards in just TWO configurations:
1) ALL DIFFERENT (note the A...B...C... icons to the left of the first scoring track)
2) ALL the SAME (note the A...A...A... icons to the left of the second scoring track)
All "Different" tiles you trade in have to be just that: DIFFERENT! NOT 1 Jewels, 2 Cars, 1 Weapons, 3 Gold BUT 1 Jewels, 1 Cars, 1 Weapons, 1 Gold

7. We avoided THIS one as well:
You can only have TWO max of any one type of the Smuggler's Edge cards (it's in small print on the cards as well...maybe that's why we caught this one!) So TWO ships, TWO Syndicates, and TWO Warehouses MAXIMUM!

8. The Syndicate card only activates ONCE per turn! You are either going to collect TWO coins or FOUR coins (if you have 1 or 2 Syndicate cards) when you pull your ships out (abandon) a port. It DOESN'T stack according to how many ports you happen to abandon during a given turn! You will only ever receive 2 or 4 coins MAXIMUM in one turn from the Syndicate Card(s).

Well, there you go! After roughly 5 plays I think we have MOST of the kinks ironed out! We've played 2/3/4 player games and have throughly enjoyed every session, even WITH all the screw-ups! The 2-Player game I had with my son this evening was particularly memorable for two reasons:
1) We finally played the game EXACTLY as it was intended by the designers (...knocks wood!...) and 2) We had to take a break at the halfway point to rescue a soot-covered squirrel from our fireplace chimney then chase it around the living room once our flue-pull/squirrel-catch maneuver failed!
Good Times...Good Times. Laughing

Thanks to Serge, Miguel, DOW and the whole Design Team for making another awesome game my family and I will be enjoying for years to come!

Robb Wynn

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