The player colors, the turn order/table seating, and the families they will be playing:
@Diddums - Green - the Sykes Family-At the start of the Trade phase, if you have at least 2 cubes in the Writers Box, gain $1
@Matt_W - Blue - the Larkin Family- Shipyards cost $2 instead of $3
@CF_Kane -Yellow- the Benyon Family - Manors cost $4 instead of $5
@Kolbex -Orange-the Paxton Family-At the start of the Trade Phase, for every two ships that have captains, gain $1
@Lantz -Pink-the Walsh Family-During one nomination per Chairman Election, gain two votes
@rho21 -Purple-the Hastings Family-when taking any blue Company Action, roll one additional die for free. (Must have at least one die to get the bonus die)
Each of you starts with 5 starting cubes and 12 in reserve, as well as five dollars.
If nobody objects, I’ll distribute the starting offices randomly-the rules say that experienced players should draft the starting offices, but most of the players are new, so that’s my suggestion.
I’ll be trying to do this through Vassal now, so you’re all spared my beautiful photography
The Company Phase:
A $5 loan, which will cost $1 in interest per turn for the rest of the game, may be taken by the Chairman once at any point in the Company Phase.
Vacancies are filled, either by the Chairman or by the Director of Trade, respectively. This implicates a very important rule, THE NEPOTISM RULE
Nepotism. When filling any office, except the Chairman, players are penalized for Nepotism. If a player promotes their own cube over another player’s
cube, the promoting player must give one of their cubes from their stock as
a promise to every player with at least one eligible candidate.
Giving another player a cube is basically an IOU. It can be redeemed at any time by paying the player holding the promise $2, promoting them over another player, or by mutual agreement. Each cube held by another player is -2 VP at the end of the game, so try and get them back.
The Purchasing Offices each act, spending the money allocated by the Chairman. Then the Directors of Trade and Military Affairs allocate boats, guns, and officers to the various Presidencies. Then, following the red path counterclockwise, the Presidencies take actions. Each President can do multiple actions, as long as there’s money in their treasury, but they must be done in the following order.
Blue actions require a Check
to see if the action is successful. To perform this
Check, a player rolls as many dice as the “strength” of the action minus any
penalty (penalties are described in each individual action). Of the dice that
are rolled, only the lowest die counts. A roll of 1 or 2 is a success. A roll of 3 or
4 has no effect. A roll of 5 or 6 is a failure, and the officeholder is immediately returned to that player’s stock of unused pieces. A vacated office has
no further opportunities to act this game turn. Any blue action may be taken
more than once as long as the Check has not failed.
Campaign-Conquers new regions and opens new offices. The new region will now require the Company to defend it during the Events of India phase (Random events) The President can Exhaust Guns and Officers, each giving one die, and spend money on Mercenaries, $2 for each one-use die. The roll is modified by the Defense value of the Region. Success gives Plunder to the officers involved. Try and get your officer cubes assigned to a President who likes to conquer things.
Open Trade: This makes new regions available to the Presidency. It makes Sailing harder, but it opens up new markets giving more possible revenue.
Sail: This is how the company gets money. President can spend goods and exhaust ships to fulfill Orders. This gives the company Revenue, which is, ideally, large enough to pay out dividends. This gets harder the more regions are in a Presidency.
At this point I suggest we get started, and we can deal with the Events phase as we come to it. Is that agreeable to everyone? I suggest everyone read the rules and ask me any questions they may have-there’s no hidden information in this game so feel free to think out loud.