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The Colonists FAQ

This FAQ (for the moment, at least) is copied from Extensive Colonists Errata & FAQ. It'll be more useful if Ponton updates this one in preference to the other; but it should be correct as of the last edit in any event.

List of game FAQs

Table of Contents

1. Errata

1.1. Appendix

In order to avoid confusion, all instances of "produce", "produces", and "producing" should be replaced with "make", "makes", and "making", respectively. (This affects pages 5, 9, 10, and 11.)

1.1.1. p3 Industrialist Colony

For level IV, the table is missing the iron exchange and showing an incorrect coal limit. Iron is made from 2 ore and either 6 wood or 1 coal. The coal exchange can be made once, not twice.

1.1.2. p5 Trader Colony

Goods exchanged via this ability may be immediately exchanged further via the abilities of the Alchemist Colony, provided you do not exchange goods back (e.g., you cannot exchange Food for Ore via the Alchemist Colony after exchanging Ore for Food via the Trader Colony).


1.2 Cards

1.2.1. #117 Building Contract

The depicted Forester's House says "Försterei" (which is the German term).

1.2.2. #234 Apprentice

The card is missing the first sentence: "Place the paid goods on this card."

1.2.3. #235 Ticket

The card text is off-center. There is a sentence that should not be there: "At the end of each year, remove a good from here."


1.3. Colony Overviews

1.3.1. Alchemist Colony

The text about the Alchemist special ambassador should read: you can move him once per half-year at the start or end of one of your three turns (range 2)

1.3.2. Altruist Colony

The text about the Altruist special ambassador should read: you can move him once per half-year at the start of one of your three turns (range 2)

1.3.3. Industrialist Colony

Level II shows an incorrect brick ratio. The correct one is 1 wood and 2 clay for 1 brick.

1.3.4. Laborer Colony

The text about the Laborer special ambassador should read: you can move him once per half-year at the end of your third turn (range 2)


1.4. Embassy Tiles

1.4.1. Altruist Colony

The level IV embassy is missing the title ("Altruist Colony").


1.5. Introductory Game

In order to avoid confusion, all instances of "produce" and "producing" should be replaced with "make" and "making", respectively. (This affects pages 7, 13, 14, and 16.)

1.5.1. p2

The first place should be the Builder for Pubs and not Flats. This error spans throughout the entire rule book.

1.5.2. p5

The illustration at the bottom of the page is supposed to say "Alice" instead of "supply".

1.5.3. p8

The text should read “Holiday Cabin” and not “Cottage” when speaking of the cards Bob drew.


1.6. Rule Book

1.6.1. p9

You Must End Your Turn on a Different Place than You Started

This section uses “turn” ambiguously in two places, the title and the text box. “Turn” is always supposed to mean one of the three turns you get per half-year. There is no term for the entirety of your three turns. A better title for this section would have probably been Limited Backtracking.

1.6.2. p12

The examples use "produce" when they should use "make" instead.

1.6.3. p19

The example uses "produce" when it should use "make" instead.

1.6.4. p21

In section c, "produce" should be replaced with "generate".

1.6.5. p22

In section 5, "produced" should be replaced with "generated".


2. FAQ

2.1. Buildings in General

2.1.1. Do I have to discard or move buffered goods to my storage or warehouse when remodeling a sustenance building?

Yes, unless you immediately employ a worker in the new building, provided the new buffer size is sufficiently big enough. Otherwise you do have to move or discard the excess goods.

2.1.2. Is a building without a worker worth any dollars at the end of the game?

Yes. Every building is worth the printed amount of dollars. It does not matter whether or not someone works there. Workers are scored separately.

2.1.3. Is zero included when it says I could build any number of buildings?

No. You must build at least one building, regardless of whether you are at a Builder (including the market action of the same name) or playing a Building Contract.

2.1.4. May I move unemployed colonists between residences at any time?

Yes. Colonists are not bound to the residence they come with. Even if you get a colonist from an improvement, you may move him to a residence on your community board, e.g., in order to remodel (or raze) the residence.

2.1.5. May I rearrange buildings on my community board?

Yes. You may rearrange your buildings at any time. For instance, even if a building was built on a building spot for storage facilities, you may move it out of the way (provided you have room elsewhere) to make room for a storage facility.

2.1.6. May I remodel (or raze) a building without a worker?

Yes. It does not matter whether or not someone works there. If there is a worker, he goes home, as stated in the rule book.

2.1.7. What is the timing on moving buffered goods to my storage or warehouse when I remodel (or raze) a building storing these goods in its buffer?

Before you may move goods, you must complete the action. Paying for the remodeled (or razed) building is part of the action, so it happens first. Usually, you then have enough storage space to move the goods.


2.2. Buildings in Particular

2.2.1. Factory

2.2.1.1. Does its effect stack with the Industrialist Colony?

Yes.


2.2.2. Institute

2.2.2.1. Does it reduce the tool cost of both improvements I play?

Yes.

2.2.2.2. Does it reduce the tool cost of Building Contracts?

Yes.

2.2.2.3. How does it work?

The Institute has two effects once it has been activated. Whenever you play an improvement, you may play a second one right after. Playing the second improvement is an additional action (not turn), so you may rearrange goods in-between the plays. Its second effect reduces the cost of every improvement you play by 1 tool, provided the improvement costs tools.


2.2.3. Library

2.2.3.1 How does the Training improvement card (#133) work with the Library?

It lets you draw and keep one additional card. At the Librarian place, you draw five cards and keep three of them. Taking the Librarian action at a market, you draw four cards and keep two of them.

2.2.3.2. How many cards do I draw and keep when taking the Librarian action at a market?

You draw three cards and keep one of them. The icon on the Library, unfortunately, only shows what happens at the Librarian place.

2.2.3.3. What is the exact procedure when drawing cards while already having five or six cards in hand?

First draw the required number of cards (e.g., three at a market and four at the Librarian). Then discard two of them and add the rest to your hand. If you then have seven or more cards in hand, discard down to six cards. It does not matter which cards you discard. (You may even discard the ones you just got.)


2.3. Colonies in General

2.3.1. How does "once per half-year" affect the special ambassadors' movement?

Each player with access to a special ambassador may move that ambassador once per half-year. Consequently, a special ambassador can be moved multiple times per half-year, but at most once by each player.

2.3.2. May I raze an embassy?

Yes. Obviously, you lose all benefits from the corresponding colony.


2.4. Colonies in Particular

2.4.1. Alchemist Colony

2.4.1.1. Can I exchange goods I get from a fee payment?

Yes.

2.4.1.2. Can I exchange goods I get from an improvement?

Yes, unless they are being generated at the end of the year (e.g., via the Beaver’s Lodge, #126). You may exchange goods you get for free (e.g., via a Stone Axe, #101/102) or goods you make from other goods (e.g., via the Panel Saw, #214).

2.4.1.3. Can I exchange goods I get from the Laborer?

Yes.

2.4.1.4. Do the Alchemist and Trader Colonies allow me to triple ore?

No. You may not exchange goods back and forth on the same turn. If you use the Trader Colony to exchange ore for food at a market, you may not exchange that food back to ore, even though the first exchange was not caused by the Alchemist Colony.

2.4.1.5. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits from the Alchemist Colony, namely:

  • the ability to exchange goods on receipt,
  • access to the alternative market action,
  • access to the Alchemist special ambassador.

Leave the special ambassador in play, even if you were the only one to control him.


2.4.2. Altruist Colony

2.4.2.1. Can I get free dollars from the Altruist special ambassador when selling goods at a market?

Yes.

Example: The Altruist is at a Clay Pit. The market lets you sell clay for $1 per clay. If you take the Sale action at a market, you get $2 for free, even if you do not sell any clay (or the other good) at all.

2.4.2.2. Do I benefit from the Altruist special ambassador even if I do not move him?

Yes.

2.4.2.3. Do I benefit from the Altruist special ambassador when exchanging goods via the Trader colony at a market?

Yes. Exchanging goods via the Trader colony is an action, therefore you can benefit from the Altruist special ambassador.

2.4.2.4. Does the Altruist special ambassador affect the Industrialist Colony’s exchange actions?

Yes. Because the exchange actions are separate actions, the Altruist affects each of them individually, which may result in a greater net discount.

Example: You are at level II in both colonies. The Altruist is at a market providing 1 wood and 1 clay. At the end of the year, you make 2 planks and 1 brick. You save 1 wood making the planks, and 1 wood and 1 clay making the brick. In total, you save 2 wood and 1 clay.

2.4.2.5. Does the Altruist special ambassador reduce the fee?

No.

2.4.2.6. Does the embassy have a buffer for the charity good?

No. This is why it comes with a warehouse extension—to make up for that.

2.4.2.7. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits from the Altruist Colony, namely

  • the additional warehouse lot,
  • access to charity goods every year,
  • access to goods generated by the embassy,
  • access to the Alchemist special ambassador.

Reduce your warehouse by 1 lot. Move any buffered goods to your storage or warehouse, or discard them. Leave the special ambassador in play, even if you were the only one to control him.


2.4.3. Envoy Colony

2.4.3.1. How long does the increased range at level II last?

The range increase lasts for the entire half-year. The phrase “once per half-year” may be misleading. It is there to prevent you from increasing your range indefinitely, especially if you benefit from a reduced fee or if you do not have to pay the fee at all.

2.4.3.2. Is the level II range upgrade free once I have the Customs Office or established relations with the Lord Colony on level II?

Yes.

2.4.3.3. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits of the Envoy Colony, namely

  • access to an additional steward,
  • the optional and permanent range increase,
  • the tweaks to the Diplomat place.

Remove one of your stewards from play, unless you have only one in play.


2.4.4. Industrialist Colony

2.4.4.1. Am I required to use the exchange actions?

No.

2.4.4.2. Are the exchange actions considered separate actions?

Yes. Every exchange for one final product is an action of its own. For instance, at level IV, there are four exchange actions you can take: one for planks (for up to three planks), one for bricks (for up to two bricks), one for coal, and one for iron. You can take these actions in any order and rearrange goods in-between.

2.4.4.3. Can I make iron at level IV?

Yes. The table in the appendix is missing this option, but the colony overview shows it correctly.

2.4.4.4. Does its effect stack with the Factory?

Yes.

2.4.4.5. Does the Altruist special ambassador affect the exchange actions?

Yes. Because the exchange actions are separate actions, the Altruist affects each of them individually, which may result in a greater net discount.

Example: You are at level II in both colonies. The Altruist is at a market providing 1 wood and 1 clay. At the end of the year, you make 2 planks and 1 brick. You save 1 wood making the planks, and 1 wood and 1 clay making the brick. In total, you save 2 wood and 1 clay.

2.4.4.6. In which order do I have to take the exchange actions?

You can take them in any order. For instance, at level IV, you can make coal first and then use that coal to make iron.

2.4.4.7. May I use buffered goods for the exchange actions?

No, at least not directly from buffers. If you move them to your storage first, you may use them indeed.

2.4.4.8. May I use goods that have just been generated to exchange them via the Industrialist Colony?

Yes, provided you have enough storage space.

2.4.4.9. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits from the Industrialist Colony, namely

  • the additional warehouse lots it provides,
  • access to the various exchange actions,
  • the ability to boost the output of your production buildings.

Reduce your warehouse by 1 lot. Reduce it by another 1 lot, if you had relations with this colony on level III or higher. If the embassy employed a worker, return him home and decrease the buffer size of all affected production buildings. As a consequence, you may have to move goods to your storage or warehouse, or discard them.

2.4.4.10. What is the correct brick ratio at level II?

It is 1 wood and 2 clay for 1 brick. The action is limited to 1 brick. The colony overview has it wrong, unfortunately.

2.4.4.11. What is the correct coal limit at level IV?

You can make the exchange once. It costs 3 wood to make 1 coal, and 5 wood to make 2 coal.


2.4.5. Laborer Colony

2.4.5.1. Do I benefit from the Laborer special ambassador even if I do not move him?

Yes.

2.4.5.2. Do I get goods from the Laborer special ambassador when another player is paying the fee at that place?

No. The Laborer does not care for player interactions.

2.4.5.3. Do I get goods from the Laborer special ambassador when another player uses the Trader colony at a market?

Yes.

2.4.5.4. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits from the Laborer Colony, namely

  • the ability to employ “incorrect” workers,
  • the ability to remodel Estates to Apartments,
  • access to the Laborer special ambassador.

Return any “incorrectly” placed workers home and suffer the consequences from that, unless you employ “correct” workers right away. Leave the special ambassador in play, even if you were the only one to control him.


2.4.6. Lord Colony

2.4.6.1. Can ignoring a place and taking a good trigger the effect of the Axe (#123), Spade (#124), and Iron Pickaxe (#216) improvement cards?

Yes. The Lord Colony allows you to replace a place’s action with an alternative, thus triggering any effects that require a place to be used.

2.4.6.2. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits from the Lord Colony, namely

  • the ability to ignore a place and take a good instead,
  • the ability to ignore the fee,
  • the ability to swap adjacent places.


2.4.7. Scholar Colony

2.4.7.1. Does the Library effect also apply to the Librarian action at a market?

Yes. The depiction on the colony overview is misleading in that it only shows the Librarian place.

2.4.7.2. How does Training (#133) work with the Scholar Colony’s Library effect?

It lets you draw and keep one additional card. At the Librarian place, you draw five cards and keep three of them. Taking the Librarian action at a market, you draw four cards and keep two of them.

2.4.7.3. How many cards do I draw and keep when taking the Librarian action at a market?

You draw three cards and keep one of them.

2.4.7.4. Is there any difference between the Scholar Colony at level I and the Library, apart from the fact that the Scholar Colony also lets me draw a card at the end of every year?

No. Both do exactly the same in regard to drawing and keeping cards.

2.4.7.5. May I play a card before discarding once I am on level II?

No. Discarding cards is part of drawing them. You must be finished drawing (and discarding) cards before you can play one.

2.4.7.6. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits from the Scholar Colony, namely

  • the ability to draw cards at the end of every year,
  • access to the Library effects, unless you also have the Library,
  • the ability to play an improvement upon drawing one,
  • the ability to jump to the Developer,
  • having improvements not cost tools.

2.4.7.7. What is the exact procedure when drawing cards while already having five or six cards in hand?

First draw the required number of cards (e.g., two at the end of a year, three at a market, and four at the Librarian). Then discard the required number (e.g., one at the end of a year, two at a market, and two at the Librarian) and add the rest to your hand. If you then have seven or more cards in hand, discard down to six cards. When discarding down to six cards, you may discard cards that you just got.


2.4.8. Storekeeper Colony

2.4.8.1. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose all benefits from the Storekeeper Colony, namely

  • the additional 3 warehouse lots,
  • the storage space increase,
  • the ability to exchange storage facilities for other buildings,
  • having the warehouse be part of your storage.

Reduce your warehouse by 3 lots. Turn all of your storage facilities to the front side (showing fewer storage spaces). Return the basic storage upgrade. As a consequence, you may lose a lot of goods due to lack of storage space.


2.4.9. Trader Colony

2.4.9.1. Do I benefit from the Altruist special ambassador when exchanging goods at a market?

Yes. Exchanging goods at a market is an action, therefore you can benefit from the Altruist special ambassador.

2.4.9.2. Do the Alchemist and Trader Colonies allow me to triple ore?

No. If you exchange ore to food at a market, you may not exchange the food back to ore right away. Since the Alchemist Colony only allows you to exchange goods the moment you get them, you may not exchange the food back to ore later either (unless you do it via the Trader Colony, in which case you gain nothing).

2.4.9.3. What happens when I raze the embassy?

You immediately lose access to the alternative market action of trading goods.


2.5. Goods

2.5.1. Can I use planks in place of wood, bricks in place of clay, and iron in place of ore?

No. Every good is exactly what it is and cannot replace another good.

2.5.2. Is the supply of goods limited to the provided number of counters?

No. If you run out, replace the goods with something else.


2.6. Improvements in General

2.6.1. Am I required to use my permanent improvements?

No. Whether or not you use your permanent improvements is entirely up to you. For instance, if you have the Kiln (#215) you are not required to make bricks every single year.

2.6.2. Do I have to remove cards from previous eras when shuffling the discard pile?

No, but you can if you want to.

2.6.3. What happens when I play an immediate improvement from a previous era?

You place it on the discard pile, as usual.

2.6.4. What is the cost of an improvement?

Permanent and limited improvements show their cost at the top of the card. Immediate improvements either have no cost (if they give you goods for free) or the cost is part of the effect and, as such, shown in the effect portion of the card. The cost of an immediate improvement may even depend on your choices. For instance, the cost of the Handsaw (#112) is at least 2 wood, depending on how much wood you decide to exchange.

2.6.5. Does a discount (of any sort) affect the number of uses of a limited improvement that tells you to place the paid goods on the card?

No. Every limited improvement has three uses no matter what. If another effect discounts the cost to play a limited improvement (e. g., the Institute), take the discounted goods from the general supply and place them on the card so that there are three goods in total on it.


2.7. Improvements in Particular

2.7.1. #109,#206,#207 Anvil

2.7.1.1. Do I have to buy the additional tool?

No. You get a free tool. Whether or not you spend 1 wood and 1 clay to buy an additional tool does not matter. Unfortunately, the card fails to communicate this.


2.7.2. #123 Axe, #216 Iron Pickaxe, and #124 Spade

2.7.2.1. Do they increase the output of my Forester’s Houses, Iron Mines, and Hollows, respectively?

No. They only work with places, not buildings.

2.7.2.2. Do they work with playing an immediate improvement at the Developer?

Yes. For instance, if you have the Axe and play the Stone Axe (#101/102), you will get 5 wood.

2.7.2.3. Do they work with the Lord Colony?

Yes. For instance, if you have the Spade and ignore a place’s action to take clay, you would get 2 clay.

2.7.2.4. Do they work with the Subsidy action at markets?

Yes. For instance, if you have the Axe and the Spade and the market is providing 1 wood and 1 clay, you will get 2 wood and 2 clay.


2.7.3. #228,#230,#229,#433,#227 Clay/Food/Ore/Robe/Wood Warehouse

2.7.3.1. Do they come pre-filled with the depicted goods?

No.

2.7.3.2. How do they work?

You can store the depicted goods in them. As the name suggests, these improvements count as warehouse extensions that are limited to a specific type of good.


2.7.4. #134 Deed Registration and #333 Realtor’s License

2.7.4.1. When do I build the residences—before or after the required building?

It does not matter, as long as you build at least one building required by the place.


2.7.5. #133 Training

2.7.5.1. Does it also work with the Librarian action at a market?

Yes. You simply draw two cards instead of one. If you also have the Library or relations with the Scholar Colony, you draw four cards and keep two.


2.7.6. #234 Apprentice

2.7.6.1. What happens when I play the Apprentice via the Institute?

The Institute allows you to play the Apprentice without paying the tool cost. The Apprentice has three uses no matter how you get it into play. The uses are tracked via the goods that the card costs. Because you are not paying the tool when you play the Apprentice via the Institute, you should take a tool from the supply and place it on the card. You do not lose out on one use due to the discount.


2.7.7. #324 Butchery

2.7.7.1. What do the + mean before the production on the Butchery?

They're a typo: please ignore them.


2.8. Movement

2.8.1. Do I have to pay the fee when having increased range and moving through a place with other stewards?

No. You only pay the fee at the place you end your movement, unless it is a market.

2.8.2. May a steward jump to the same market he is already at?

Yes.

2.8.3. May I move through a place containing another of my stewards?

Yes.

2.8.4. May I move to a place another one of my stewards has just left?

Yes. This does not violate the backtracking rule.

2.8.5. May I move to a place for which I do not have enough goods if I discard the goods I do have?

No. You must carry out the action at least once. For instance, if you move to a Joiner, you must spend at least 2 wood to make 1 plank. You cannot move to the Joiner while only having 1 wood, even if you discard the wood in a failed attempt to make a plank.

2.8.6. May I move to the same place I am already at if I have enough range?

No. You must always move to a different place. It takes two turns to return to a place you were at. As usual, all of this does not apply to markets.

2.8.7. May two stewards swap places within a single half-year?

Yes. To do so, they must move in a circle (B => C, A => B, C => A).


2.9. Places

2.9.1. Builders

2.9.1.1. Is zero included when it says I could build any number of buildings?

No. You must build at least one building.


2.9.2. Markets

2.9.2.1. Are markets considered places?

Yes, see page 7 of the rule book.

2.9.2.2. Is a market tile considered a single piece or two separate hexes?

A market tile is a single piece. You may enter a market from any side and leave it from any side.

2.9.2.3. May I swap markets, e.g., via the Chief Officer?

No. Even though markets are places, they cannot change their position.


2.10. Solo Game

2.10.1. How does the solo game work?

You play by yourself, trying to beat your own high score. There are no special rules for solo play. We are aware of the fact that some game elements lose their effect in the solo game, like the starting player, the fee, and some special ambassadors.

2.10.2. How many dollars are considered a good score?

This is a tricky question, as it depends on how many eras you play and in which era you start. If you insist: scoring 60, 125, 220, and 350 dollars at the end of eras I, II, III, and IV, respectively, should be considered a good score.

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