Charterstone – How To Play
(music) Hi. Welcome to Watch it Played. My name is Rodney Smith, and in this video we’re going to learn the one to six player game Charterstone. Designed by Jamey Stegmaier and published by Stonemaier Games. The Kingdom of Greengully has always been a prosperous place to live.
But the Forever King has chosen you, and the other players as special citizens with unique skills to head out beyond the kingdom’s borders and colonize new lands. Charterstone is a competitive legacy experience and that means that over the course of twelve games you’ll be unlocking new elements that will permanently change the way your game is played And this will take the form of stickers that you’ll place and information that you’ll permanently write on different boards and cards. In this way at the end of your twelve sessions you’ll have a copy of Charterstone that’s unique compared to anyone else’s. And although future games that you play will not unlock those new elements, you can continue to play Charterstone just like any other game in your collection and experience it in new ways. Alternatively, you’ll be able to purchase this separate recharge pack that replaces any components that were affected by your first twelve games allowing you to replay from the beginning using the other side of your double-sided game board. You can even play the game solo using these included rules, which I leave you to discover on your own but in the description of this video I’ll include a link to them if you’d like to check it out.
Instead here I’ll be teaching you the rules for two to six players which are covered in what is known as the Chronicle. This booklet is unique as it has the rules required to get you started, but also many empty spaces… … that will get filled in with stickers that you unlock as you play changing the game as you go. Aside from looking at what’s necessary to get your first game started, we won’t be spoiling anything in this video… …that relates to any of the future surprises, that you’ll encounter as you play.
All I want to do here is give you enough information, so you can get started with confidence. So join me at the table and let’s learn “How to Play” As we’re about to see, aside from the rules and these gameboards, there are a variety of smaller boxes in the main box. And you’re not meant to open any of these until you’re instructed.
And we’ll begin by opening up this one called “Index”. Inside here you’ll find a series of individually wrapped decks, and at this time you can take each of them out. Now unwrap the plastic from them without examining the individual cards too closely as they’ll contain secrets for you to explore later. Just be sure not to mix them up because once unwrapped, you’ll be putting these back into the index box in the same order. If you look at the bottom right hand corner of the cards, you’ll find numbers that provide the correct sequential order that these should stay in. Don’t worry if you’re going through the numbers and it seems like some of them are missing.
This was done for production reasons. The main thing is that the cards are put back in order, with the number one here on the far left. Now during the game you’re told to extract or remove certain cards from the Index. And the Chronicle tells us to extract number one at the very beginning of our first game. When you see italicized blue text at the top of a card this is story narration, that should be read aloud to all of players.
Now I’m going to skip over those segments in this video, but make sure you don’t when you’re playing. Instead I’ll focus on explaining the text beneath, which presents you with the rules you’ll need to play the game. In this case we’re being told to place the board in the center of the table, and remember it is double sided, but once you start playing on one side keep using it throughout the entire campaign. Now one thing you might not realize is that this card, like many in the game, is actually a large sticker, which you are now told to peel off, and place onto the matching “Story 1” space on page six of the Chronicle. It’ll look like this when you’re done and then you put this leftover remnant into the box that you’ll find labeled “Archive”. In this way when your campaign is over you’ll know exactly which cards you used, and need to replace in the index if you pick up the recharge pack.
Just ensure that before you archive anything you completely follow any instructions on it. For example, at the bottom of this card it tells us to extract card 2 from the Index, which we have over here. This tells us to open the “Scriptorium” tuck box, where the general components of the game will be stored between sessions.
And you can unpack everything here and set it beside the board. You’ll find 36 metal coins and 12 each of the metal, grain, wood, coal, clay and pumpkin resources. To make it a little easier for me to move things around on the table during this video, I’ll set all of these off to the side and just bring them back out if necessary. There’s also a charterstone die and progress token which you’ll place on the space of this track that matches your number of players. In this video I’m gonna be setting up a three-player game so we place the token on space “3p”. I won’t be showing it each time but just know that I’ll be sticking these new cards into the Chronicle as I finish with each one.
And as we move this one to the Archive we can see that we are now told to extract card number three. this explains that the village board is divided into six main charters, that are separated by the graphical elements built into the artwork. Each will contain six faint hexagonal plots as well as the banner and that charter symbol. Player should now seat themselves by the empty charter that they wish to use throughout the entire campaign… And then go into the game box and find the charter chest that matches your emblem as shown here. Then open and remove its contents Inside you’ll find two workers, one small and one big, as well as twelve influence tokens, and a victory point marker, that you place along with the other players on the zero space of this victory point track. The rest of your components you’ll keep in front of yourself.
You’re then told to extract cards 200 to 205 from the index and give each player the one that matches their charter. This will be you for the rest of the campaign so you can write your name or anything you like into the top space – here. Any characters that will not be used in the campaign you can then place into their matching charter boxes which are then kept in the main game box. We are now told to move on to card four which tells you to also put cards five through ten.
And each player will be given the one that matches their charter. If you have less than six players set aside any unused ones for now. On the card you were given is a sticker which you remove and then place into any of the empty plot spaces within your personal charter. Which space you choose within your charter doesn’t matter just as long as they are all oriented in the same direction. If the building card you removed a sticker from has a crate symbol – like these do, in the upper right-hand corner – … … it is then kept in front of that player as a constructed building card, which can then be used later in the game. If there was no crate here then the card would just be sent to the archive box after the building sticker was placed.
We’re now told to pull out card eleven which says that if you have less than six players, some of the charters will be inactive but those areas are still a part of this growing village, … … Which means that you place the matching stickers from their cards into those charters. So it will look something like this when you’re all done. The leftover constructed building cards from the inactive charters are then placed onto this advancement board which is kept nearby. We’ll come back to see how this works in just a moment. The game will later explain ways for those inactive charters to grow, but if you’d like them to behave like human players, you can read and use the automa rulebook but it is not advised to this… …until after you’ve played your first couple of games and are familiar with the general rules.
Next you’re told to pull card twelve from the index which also tells you to gather cards 206 to 218. Eight of these are Assistants with this back which you’ll then combine with any other cards already on the advancement map, shuffling them together into a single deck. then reveal five of them placing them face up onto the five empty spaces of this board.
Five of the cards are objectives which will have this back and you’ll shuffle these into a facedown pile on the objectives map which is also kept nearby. Then reveal three of them placing them face up. Card twelve now tells you to review the rules explaining how to play, which we’ll go over in a moment. But then it says to put this card into the Archive without removing its sticker and extract card thirteen form the Index, which we’ll come back to a little bit later. For the first game only, each player is given four dollars in coins and then you roll the charterstone die until one of the player symbols is revealed, … …they become the first player and you can give them the die as a reminder of this.
And that’s the setup for game one. In Charterstone you’re gonna be constructing new buildings, gaining assistants, acquiring resources, and trying to complete objectives all in an effort to appease the forever king as you expand the kingdom. While the campaign is played over twelve separate games, each game is broken down into a series of turns Starting with the first player and then going clockwise around and around the table.
On your turn you must either place a worker from your personal supply onto any building or take back all of your workers from the board. And although these are sized differently, they work the same way. Whenever you place a worker you use the building following three steps in order. First, if another worker was already there, even if it’s one of yours, return it to it’s controlling player, then you pay the cost shown towards the left of the building by returning those items from your personal supply back to the general supply. If you can’t pay the cost, then you can’t go to that location.
Then, finally, you gain all, or part, of the benefits shown on the right side of the building. So let’s take a moment right now and learn how the different locations work. First of all, there are the stickered locations that we added to each charter. These all work essentially the same way. After placing a worker there, there is no cost but then you collect the pictured resource. So in this case, the yellow player would gain one piece of iron.
While going here would give the player one piece of coal. When collected, these are put in front of the players in their personal areas. Keep in mind that all of the resources and coins in the game are limited.
And that means that if something is not in the general supply that it cannot be collected until some are returned there again later. In the center of the board is The Commons which has five different buildings that you could assign a worker to. If you go to the Treasury, then you must return any one single resource to the general supply in order to collect a single coin. On the back of the rulebook you’ll find the sack symbol along with every other icon you might come across when playing the game, in case you forget what something means. If you go to the Market you pay one coin and any one resource and then collect any one face up card from the advancement mat. These are placed face up in front of you.
In fact, everything that you collect in the game is considered public information and always kept visible so that anyone can see what you have. I should point out quickly that the first edition printing of the rule book says that you may collect a face down card with this action, but that was a mistake. Only face up cards can be taken. Either way, after a card has been collected you immediately replace it with the top one from this deck. If you take one of these from the advancement mat, it counts as a constructed building card that you can later use to open the crate pictured here. However, you might collect one of these assistants instead.
They will show a bonus here at the bottom that you can collect any time you perform its listed activity. Also, the first time you take one of these, if it doesn’t have a name printed into the area here at the top, you may give it one by writing into that space. Some actions in the game will allow you to discard advancement cards, so you’ll keep an area nearby for that. And if the draw deck would ever run out, shuffle the discard pile into a new one. Also, if a new advancement card would be added to the game while playing you immediately shuffle the new cards and any discards into the draw deck. A variety of different types of cards can end up in this area and they can often be distinguished by the symbols found here at the top.
And if you’re ever told to gain a certain type of advancement you can choose one from those face up here that match that type, if any. If you go to the Grandstand, you place one of your influence tokens onto any one face up objective card, if you satisfy its requirements as printed at the bottom. For example, if I had at least six coins I could go here. And each player may score each objective once per game, then as shown here you gain five victory points.
As you gain points, you show this by moving your marker that number of spaces forward on the victory point track. To complete the Grandstand action you then advance this progress token on the track so that it’s getting closer to this blue light symbol. You’ll also find the objective symbol here as a reminder to always advance this token when one is claimed. On your turn, if you advance the progress token onto a space with this boat symbol, it means you may place one of your influence tokens onto this reputation track found in the upper right hand corner of the board. The first token placed here in each game is put on the space matching the player count. So we’d go on to the 3P space.
Each new token added here is then put on the next empty space that leads towards the ocean end. These will be worth points at the end of the game as we’ll see a little bit later. This is the space for Income but the rules for this symbol are not unlocked yet so you can ignore it for now.
Going back to The Commons, we’ll skip over the Zeppelin for now as it’s used when adding new buildings and you won’t have any of those yet. Likewise, we’ll also come back to the Charterstone in a moment. But for now let’s take a look at this Cloud Port space, which is found in the upper left hand corner of the board. A space like this or any that shows a hand symbol as its benefit will allow you to sell a variable amount of a commodity back to the general supply. And to do this you pick any space within this quota box that doesn’t have an influence token and then place one of yours there returning the listed commodity on the left in the amount shown above it. So to go here, here, or here, I would need to discard three cards that I have with this symbol on their back, like perhaps these three.
Then depending on which of these three spaces I decided to go into I’d either get a bonus point, be able to add an influence token to the reputation track or get nothing extra. However, no matter what space you go into, you’ll always get the three points shown at that location. I also think it would be good to clarify that the influence token you place when taking the Cloud Port action is the one that you paid as a cost to go there.
In other words, if our blue player wanted to go here next, they’d first return the black player’s piece to them and then pay this influence cost by putting it directly onto the quota space that they intend to fulfill. Going back to the card we last pulled from the Index we’re told that an important part of game one is for each player to use the Charterstone building located in The Commons. Doing this will let you unlock the crate that’s shown on the constructed building card that you started with or even on one that you might have collected from the advancement board. Either way, just note that you may never unlock a crate if it still has it’s building sticker here. Now to open your crate, you’ll need to place a worker on the Charterstone space and put two of your influence cubes in the general supply along with four coins.
Now if you’d like you can stop the video right here and just get to playing, coming back once someone has taken this Charterstone action. There’ll even be a link in the description of this video that will return you right to this moment. Or if you want, you can just keep watching.
After paying for the Charterstone action, you’ll refer to the number on the crate that you’re opening and look it up on the index guide which is found both on this sheet and on the inside of the Index lid. The numbers on the row across from your crate number will tell you which cards to collect from the Index and the heading above will tell you what to do with them. For example, with crate two we’re told to pull out cards forty-three, forty-four and two thirty-three which are all listed under the gain column. This means the player adds them to their personal area, unless they get a persona, as indicated here, which is immediately placed inside of their charter chest.
Now that we’ve collected our new cards, the crate is sent to the Archives and we’ll check the benefits side of this action and sure enough we gain five victory points. The progress track also reminds us here that each time a crate is opened, we advance one space. Our card thirteen now tells us that after the first crate is unlocked we should pull card fourteen and then place this one into the Archive. Fourteen provides us with a new sticker to put in the rulebook which explains how to construct a building, which is perfect because one of our players just opened a crate that provided them with two new ones. When doing this, you need to send a worker to the Zeppelin and then pay three influence to the general supply along with the four resources shown on the building that you want to construct. You’ll then remove the sticker from the building you paid for and place it into any of the empty plots of your charter.
This will add a new location where any player can assign workers to gain new benefits. Also, as shown here, placing a new building gains you five victory points. As well, you’ll notice that construction advances the progress token. As a reminder, if the card you’ve peeled a building sticker from has no crate pictured here then send it directly to the Archive box. Otherwise, it stays in your personal area as a crate that you can unlock later by going to the Charterstone building.
I should also point out that any number shown below a building is the victory points it will provide at the end of the campaign. As you’ve noticed we’ve been using these influence tokens to place them on cards, the board, and sometimes to go right into the general supply but the key thing to understand is that these are limited. In other words, when you run out you will not be able to take any actions that would require them. Also, when you place an influence token it cannot be moved or removed until the end of the game. Now that said, there are some effects that may allow you to regain influence but those can only be taken from the general supply, if any are there. And if you do run out of influence then at the start of each of your turns you’ll advance the progress token one space which will still gain you any benefits that might be shown on the progress track.
Alright, well going back to card fourteen we’re now told to extract fifteen which explains the rules for personas. When we gained one of these earlier we put it into our charter box because these cannot be used right away, but you might have noticed these have a special ability at the bottom. And at the start of each new game you play, you can select any one of the personas from your chest to use giving you access to its ability. Later games will also instruct you to mark this triangle in as you use those personas which will grant you additional points at the end of the campaign. Before moving on I’d like to clarify something about abilities like the one that we see here on this persona.
It says that after using a building with a coal cost, you gain a victory point. But, to be clear, this will only trigger if coal is specifically a part of the cost. For example, by going to the building here you must spend one coal and then you get two coins.
So this is a building action that would trigger this ability. But if, instead, we had gone to the Treasury where any resource can be spent, even if we used coal, this ability would not activate, because coal was not specifically a cost. We could have just as easily have gone to this building by using a pumpkin. With personas understood, you’re now instructed to take card sixteen.
This explains that when the progress token advances to this final space of its track, you’ve triggered the final round of the game. So any players left to take turns would do so and then the game is over. Card sixteen is then placed into this guidepost spot where you’ll refer to it once the game actually ends. So again feel free to stop the video, if you’d like, and continue playing, returning once you’ve gotten to that final round or stick with me and we’ll wrap things up right now. After game one is over, the guidepost here instructs us to pull card seventeen while placing this into the Archive.
In player order, you’re now told to gain victory points from the reputation track. The player with the most tokens here will gain ten points, second-most gains seven, and third-most gains four. Players who are tied at any of those positions will each gain the full points offered.
However, players with no tokens on this track can gain nothing here. Next check to see if you have any cards with this symbol on them and if so they will score you points. Now check the victory track to see how many of these glory stars you’ve passed. Including any that you might currently be on, and you’ll find one of these at every ten point space. That means our black player here has gained two and both the blue and yellow player have three each.
Before continuing, card seventeen tells us to pull card eighteen, where we learn that for each star gained, you fill in any one star on the back of your charter chest. At the beginning of each game, you’ll start with the indicated items at the end of any rows that you’ve completely filled in. And again the symbols here are explained on the back of the rulebook and some may even refer to components that won’t be available until later in the campaign.
Now the player or players, if tied, with the most victory points on the track will fill in one of these trophies on the other side of their charter chest and these will be worth a certain number of victory points at the end of the campaign. All non-winners will now name their charter, writing it within their banner, and as a show of humility, each winning charter, as well as each inactive one, will have their banners named by the non-winners, as well. The village banner, which is shown here in the upper left hand corner, will get filled in at a later time.
Now gather all of your player pieces, including any coins, resources and cards you might have as these will carry over into game two. In later games, you won’t always get to take everything with you but for now you can. If you’re taking a break between gaming sessions, you can also store all of this in your charter chest. But at this point, you’re told to extract card nineteen.
However, I think you’re ready to take on the rest all by yourself. So give this a read and continue on from there. I’ll be putting a link in the description of this video to a frequently asked questions document managed by Stonemaier Games where they’ll be addressing any important corrections they found since the release of the game.
And don’t forget to check the front of the Chronicle if you’d like to see rules for how you can add and drop players during a campaign. That said, if you have any questions about anything that you saw here, don’t hesitate to put them in the comments below and I’ll gladly answer them as soon as I get a chance. But until the next episode, thanks for watching. (music)