Charterstone Hints & Tips – Automa and Game 3

Continued from Charterstone Hints & Tips –  Game 2

But first … Automa

Automa is the System designed to automate game play in Charters that aren’t controlled by a human player. This generally gets introduced at Game 3 if you want to use it, but if you are playing the game Solo, then you will be using Automa from Game 1. I am placing the Automa Information in Spoiler tags at the top of this post, so that a Solo player can read it without worrying about other game **Spoilers**. Those that aren’t interested can scroll down to the next section.

Like the rest of the game, Automa Rules change throughout the Campaign, and as things are revealed, I will include an Automa section in future posts, as necessary. The important ones up to this point of the game are listed below, in their own separate tags.

Automa Information - General
The Automa information is spelled out in its own booklet in Charterstone. I will not be restating the entire Rulebook, but highlighting the important things, that might get missed. If you have not done so, please read the Automa booklet before proceeding.

Charterstone Automa Book

The Automa of Charterstone are assigned turn choices through its own deck of cards. These indicate the different actions that can be taken, and the randomness of the shuffle makes the play of the Automa Charters unpredictable. The one deck is used by all the Automa in the game, and the discard pile is reshuffled, whenever it runs out.

Charterstone Automa

There are 13 cards in the initial Automa deck.

  • 7 cards that pertain to placing workers in the various Charters
  • 2 cards to visit the Grandstand to place an Influence token on the Reputation and the Quota tracks
  • 2 cards to visit the Charterstone to open a Crate
  • 1 card to visit the Zeppelin to construct a Building
  • 1 card to visit the Market, to discard the two highest numbered Advancement cards.

Important notes:

  • The Automa does not pay the cost or gain the benefit of any building in any of the Charters.
  • Influence isn’t placed when the Automa has run out.
  • Buildings aren’t constructed, nor Crates opened, it there are no appropriate cards on the Advancement mat.
  • The Automa still moves to these buildings, gains the VP, and moves the Progress token, even if it cannot gain the benefit.

The Automa gains VP on every turn, save for when it is recalling its workers, according to the number printed on the top right of the card, or according to the current Strength of the Automa.

Charterstone Automa Strength

End of Game

The End of Game scoring is spelled out quite succinctly in the Automa book. The only thing I will spell out is how to reevaluate the Strength of the Automa, which takes place at the end of every game (after Reputation and any other VP bonus has been added) in the following way:

  • Find out the average VP of the players, by …
  • … adding the VP of all human players together, and then dividing that total by the number of human players.
  • For example, if you are playing with 3 players, and they earn 24, 33 and 40 VP, then their total is 97 VP, which averages out to approx 32 VP per player.
  • If that average is higher than all the Automa players (in our example, if all Automa scored 31 VP or less), then increase the Automa Strength by 1.
  • If that average is 10 points lower than that of all Automas (in our example, if all Automas earned 42 VP or more) then decrease the Strength of the Automa by 1 (though never drop it lower than 2).

The Automas placing at each of the Guidepost Goals is explained in the back page of the Automa Book, and I will be touching on the first of these below.

If the Automa wins the right to reveal the option of the Guidepost, the Rule book states that the human players should choose on their behalf. The game designers have explicitly stated, that because these choices are strategic, it was never meant to be made by the Automa. However, you can certainly give them the choice if you prefer, and the instructions are in the Guidepost section of the Automa Rulebook.

Automa Information - End of Game 2

Each Automa has 3 coins/resources, and is beaten by any human player with 4 or more. They do not gain extra VP in either case after the choice has been made, as though they had all coins when they needed resources, or vice versa.

Automa Information - Addition of Rule 16

There are several blank spots in the Automa Rule book that are for future Rules. The back page of the Automa Rule Book spells out what cards should be extracted, when those Rules are added to the Chronicle. I will place an Automa entry in future Blog posts when this happens, to prompt you regarding the changes. In this case, it is when Rule 16 is revealed, when Minions get added to the game.

Charterstone Card 158

Minions

This card has 3 stickers to be added to the Automa Book, clearly labelled for where they are to be placed.

Setup

The Automa gain their Minions after the human players have gained any Minions according to completed rows of Glory on their Charter Chest. In this way an Automa may miss out on having one or more of the Minion types available.

Place 1 Automa Worker

The Building placement is often ignored when an Automa has Minions to place in it’s own Charter. It doesn’t matter which Building an Automas Minion is placed on, though you can follow the instruction on the Card to help select. (i.e. Highest or lowest number, A to Z or reversed, etc)

The other thing that I will highlight, is that if both of an Automas main workers are on the Board, then the Automas move is always to retrieve all its workers, even if it has Minions it might place. You do not reveal a card to see if it instructs the Automa to place a Worker in its own Charter.

Other Notes

Just to clarify, when an Automa places a Minion in its own Charter, it does not gain the VP or any other benefit listed on the card. A placed Minion, no matter what type, will gain 1 VP for the Automa when another player places a worker on that Building.

**This post is an aid for playing a Charterstone Campaign, and is meant to be read after you have played Game 2 but before you play Game 3. In it I talk candidly about things revealed in Games 1 & 2. You have been warned.**

End of Game 2

At the end of the game, the player(s) that achieved the Guidepost goal will have been awarded Glory. Ties will have been adjudicated, if necessary, and someone will have revealed the options on the card, made a choice, and opened a Crate.

VP will have been awarded, Glory will have been selected, and the Winner(s) will have filled in a Trophy on their Chest. 3 new rule cards will have been revealed on cards 125, 126 & 127. Firstly, card 125 replaces Rule 26, and has 4 new points on it.

Charterstone Rule 26

  1. It highlights that we process the Guidepost, and award Glory to the player(s) that achieve(d) it.
  2. The Non-Winner(s), or those that did not achieve the highest number of VP, get to increase the Capacity for 1 type of component on their Chest.
  3. Every player that used their Persona’s ability during Game 2, fills in the triangle next to their Persona’s title.
  4. Every player discards their components down to the Capacity of their Chest.

The Non-Winners get an increase in Capacity, which is a way of handicapping the Winner, to try and keep everyone in the game regarding VP and Glory. Winners will be faster to fill a row of Glory, which means they will be the first to start a new game with some type of bonus. Increasing a Capacity for Non-Winners, means they will also start the next game with another Coin, Resource, Advancement card or Minion, to help them keep up.

It’s important to remember that coins and resources can be picked up with a single move at the start of a game, whilst Advancement cards and Minions are generally more complicated to achieve, and are more subject to availability. The card might not be on show to collect, and the Minion building might not be constructed yet. These are things to keep in mind when increasing the Capacity of your Charter Chest.

Every Persona who’s ability was used is marked, so we know which of them have been used for the end of campaign scoring, and then the extra coins, resources, cards and minions are discarded. Something you should keep in mind, is that on your last turn(s) you can visit the Quota Track, and discard those things you will lose at the end of game anyway, in exchange for some VP.

Setup of Game 3

The other 2 cards that were retrieved from the Index are Setup Rules, and talk about changes made when preparing for a game. Card 126 contains Rule 2, which pertains to Inactive Charters, and how they can be developed moving forward in the Campaign.

Charterstone Rule 2

Any Charter that is not controlled by a Player or an Automa, will currently only have its basic resource building on it. This is an important way to get your Game Board to develop when you are playing with less than 6 players. It also makes it easier to get Crates into the Advancement deck, that can be picked up, and opened by players, to get new content into the game.

Card 127 is a replacement for Rule 4 for Setup: General & Personal Supply, and it has 3 new points on it.

Charterstone Rule 4

  1. Ensure the current Guidepost is placed on the Guidepost space at the bottom right of the board.
  2. Choose a Persona to use for the Game, and layout your Advancement cards face up.
  3. In reverse player order, gain any bonuses for completed rows of glory on your Charter Chest.

Personas and Glory were discussed in my last post. The new Rule 4 also covers up the exception for Game 1, that states each player starts with 4 Coins.

Guidepost Game 3

Charterstone Guidepost3

The Game 3 Guidepost highlights a very easy way for all the players to gain an extra Glory. Simply have all players complete no Objectives. Or if you trust each other, agree to complete the same number of Objectives. 🙂 Either way, it seems like there will be multiple people achieving this goal in Game 3, so keeping track of everyone’s Influence tokens will be key if you want to gain control of this Guidepost card and the choice that is to be revealed.

It’s spelled out in the first paragraph of the story on this card, that they want people to focus on Buildings and Crates in Game 3, as a way of progressing the game, and introducing new content. The second paragraph is a little more enigmatic. It seems like it might be making an important story point … or it could just be a throw away line.

Minions

The Minion Icon has been conspicuous on your Charter Chest since you first chose it, and it is highly likely that by the end of Game 2, there has been at least one Minion added to the Campaign. But I guess it’s still possible that you have not, therefore the rest of this topic will be in Spoiler tag.

Generic Minion Information
There are 6 Minions in total; 1 for each Charter in the game; and they are mostly to be found in 1 of the Crates, that came with the 2 Buildings, that were received when opening the original Crate, that each player got when the very first, original resource Building was placed in your Charter. Feel free to read that sentence a couple of times, or just move on.

When the first Minion was revealed, Card 33 would have been retrieved from the Index, which was for Rule 16.

Charterstone Rule Minions

Each Minion gives a different bonus, and those specifics will be discussed below, but for the moment, I just want to reiterate the important part of using Minions.

  • You can only place your Minions on Buildings in your Charter.
  • You can only place a Minion on a Building that does not currently have a Worker or Minion already on it.
  • You get your Minions bonus when you place it, before you pay the cost of using the building.
  • You get a Minions bonus when another player places their Worker on a Building that already contains one of your Minions.
  • You do not get a Minions bonus when you place a Worker on a Building that already contains one of your Minions.
  • When you recall your Workers, you also recall all of your Minions.

The final thing to keep in mind about the Minions, is that there is only 6 of each type in the game. If you are playing with 6 players, and someone has 2 Golems, then this will prevent another player from getting one. This is part of the reason that you can only keep one of each Minion type in your Charter Chest, and any extras you have procured will be returned to General Supply at the end of each game.

Card 34 would also have been retrieved, and it would have included a Minion Quota sticker, to be placed on the Board, below the other Quotas.

Charterstone Quota Minions

In the same way that you can get rid of extraneous coins, resources & cards near the end of a game, you can now get rid of Minions, to gain some extra VP.

In order to keep things hidden that are not known to all readers (including the names of each of the Minions), each of the individual Minions have been placed in their own Spoiler tags below. I have titled each section according to the originating Charter of the Minion, so you can choose the Minions you have revealed. The originating Charter of the Minion, will be the top 2 resources required to construct the Building, where the Minion can be acquired. If you are unsure, the top of each entry shows the Minion name and a picture of it. If it is a Minion that has not been introduced yet, you can easily click on the header to hide the information before you have read too much.

Minion from Red/Clay Charter
Golem
Charterstone Golem

A Golem costs 2 Clay to purchase, and allows you to gain an extra resource of your choice when you place them, or when another player uses one of your buildings with a Golem on it. Golems are a great way of collecting resources when you want to construct Buildings or complete Objectives (or other cards) that require resources.

Minion from Black/Coal Charter
Ghost
Charterstone Ghost

A Ghost costs 2 Coal, and they are a great way of gaining Reputation as you go about your business in your Charter. It’s important to remember that it is just offering you the opportunity to place an Influence token on the Reputation track, and you are not required to.

Minion from Yellow/Grain Charter
Chef
Charterstone Chef

A Chef costs 2 Coins, and you get 1 VP when you gain a Chef. Chef’s allow you to regain Influence from the General Supply. If you have not sent any Influence to the General Supply then you cannot regain any, but you can still use the Chef as a Worker. You can only regain Influence sent to the General Supply, so you cannot recall it from the Quota Track, the Reputation Track, a completed Objective, etc.

Minion from Blue/Iron Charter
Robot
Charterstone Robot

A Robot costs 2 Coins, and you gain 1 VP when you purchase it. Every time you use a Robot, you gain an Advancement card from those available on the Advancement Mat. This can be a good way of collecting helpful cards, or just getting cards together to turn in to the Quota Track.

Minion from Purple/Pumpkin Charter
Cat
Charterstone Cat

A cat costs 2 Coins, and you gain 1 VP when you buy it. Every time you place a Cat, or another players uses the Building where the Cat resides, you gain 1 VP. And everyone loves VP.

Minion from Green/Wood Charter
Butler
Charterstone Butler

A Butler costs 2 Coins, and you gain 1 VP when you buy it. A Butler gains you a Coin when you place it, or another player uses the Building the Butler is on. Using a Butler on a Building that has a Coin benefit, can be a very quick way of amassing Coins quickly to unlock Crates, complete Objectives, etc.

Extra Cards

The other cool thing that has probably happened in Game 2, is that a group of extra cards have been added to your Campaign. There are 6 groups of extra cards, not surprisingly, 1 for each Charter, and most of them are cards that get added to the Advancement deck. These cards offer some type of bonus when they have been added to your Personal Supply, and the player that opens the Crate that revealed them, gets to draw one at random to use immediately.

Again, these will come into the Campaign at different times, depending on game play, so I have made a Spoiler tag for each of the different sets below. They are grouped according to which Charter the Crate “belonged to”, and the Rule that gets added to the Chronicle with that group. I would recommend checking your Chronicle to see if the Rule has been added, before clicking on the tags below.

Rule 11 - Extra Cards from Red/Clay Charter
Guest Cards

Charterstone Guest

Guests, indicated by the red luggage Icon, give a bonus whenever Income is triggered. Guest cards have 2 benefits shown in the top right corner of the Card. You gain both benefits in a 2 or 3 player game, or you get to choose 1 of the benefits in a 4 to 6 player game. You make the choice when ever Income triggers, so you can choose different things as your needs change.

Income is triggered every time the Progress token moves on to a space that contains the Income Icon, which is shown in the bottom left corner of a Guest card.

Rule 14 - Extra Cards from Black/Coal Charter
Treasure Cards

Charterstone Treasure

Treasure cards are indicated by the grey treasure chest icon next to their name. Treasure cards cost nothing to use and give you a one time bonus. You may play the card at any point during your turn, collect the bonus, and then return the card to the Advancement deck discard pile. The bonuses can be fairly important, and you can play more than one Treasure card per turn. With some careful planning you can chain a few things together to achieve some big moves on a single turn.

Rule 13 - Extra Cards from Yellow/Grain Charter
Friend Cards

Charterstone Friend

Friend cards, indicated by a yellow heart icon, give a bonus when you use a Building in a specific Charter; indicated by the Icon in the top right; for a specific purpose. There is no limit to how many Friends you can collect during a game.

Rule 9 - Extra Cards from Blue/Iron Charter
Building Cards

Charterstone Building

Rule 9 is introduced, when new Buildings, with no Crates attached, are added to the game. Like all Buildings, they can be built in any Charter, and after they are constructed, the cards are placed into the Archive.

Rule 21 - Extra Cards from Purple/Pumpkin Charter
Private Objective Cards

Charterstone Private Objectives

Rule 21 is added when you gain Private Objective Cards. Certain Buildings allow you to gain the top card of the Objective deck into your Personal Supply as a Private Objective Card. As the name suggests, no other player can complete an Objective in another players Personal Supply. There is no penalty for not completing a Private Objective you collect, and all Private Objectives are returned to the Objective deck at the end of the game.

Rule 12 - Extra Cards from Green/Wood Charter
Item Cards

Charterstone Item

Items, indicated by the green spanner icon, are collected from the Advancement deck, and require 3 Resources, listed on the bottom of the card, to “make” them. At any time during your turn, you may return the necessary resources to the General Supply, gain the benefit shown on the card, then discard the card to the Advancement deck discard pile.

Items all need 2 of 1 resource, and 1 of another, and the ability of one of the Minions is very useful in helping collect the necessary resources to complete Item cards. They are exchanged for VP, and sometimes, another bonus, such as a resource, Reputation or retrieving one of your Influence tokens from the General Supply.

The start of Game 3

There is a lot of info in this post, but you will only need a small amount of it right now. Please come back to this post when you unlock new Minions or Extra Card sets, to read up on them. But for the moment, just reread the Guidepost card, and Rules 2, 4 & 5 to Setup for Game 3. I think the next post, for the start of Game 4, should be a bit shorter. Probably …

Continues in Charterstone Hints & Tips – Game 4

7 Replies to “Charterstone Hints & Tips – Automa and Game 3”

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  6. Alex ChurchillNovember 8, 2019 at 10:23 pmReply

    Might be good to clarify inside the “Minion from Blue Charter” section that the… thing taken must be taken from the… available things in the usual way. There’s no option to gain a random one (right?) – it has to be from the ones that are publicly visible (right?)

    Could also clarify inside the “Minion from Yellow Charter” section that it can gain the thing either before or after the effect of the building. So if there aren’t any of those things in the supply but you pay one to use the building, then that minion can get you the thing; and alternatively if you don’t have any in your supply but the general supply does, then you can have the minion get you one before you need to spend it. Same for Red and Brown likewise, I guess.

    1. Shane FletcherNovember 9, 2019 at 3:32 pmReply

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks for your comment. You are correct about the “Blue Minion”, and I will clarify that.

      But you are incorrect about when you gain the benefit of the Yellow Minion. The benefit from all Minions is always collected first. This means you cannot pay the cost of the building, and then collect it back with the Minion. But you can collect the cost with the Minion, and then pay it to use the building. 🙂

      Cheers
      Shane

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