Cargo Noir Board Game
In Serge Laget’s Cargo Noir, his fourth standalone box game from Days of Wonder, players represent “families” that traffic in smuggled goods in a 1950s noir setting. Each turn, you’ll set sail to various ports where cargo is known to get “lost” for the right price, Hong Kong, Bombay, Rotterdam, New York and more, and you’ll make an offer for the goods on display
In Serge Laget’s Cargo Noir, his fourth standalone box game from Days of Wonder, players represent “families” that traffic in smuggled goods in a 1950s noir setting. Each turn, you’ll set sail to various ports where cargo is known to get “lost” for the right price, Hong Kong, Bombay, Rotterdam, New York and more, and you’ll make an offer for the goods on display.
If another family then offers more in that port, you’ll need to up your bid or take your money and slink away to look for goods elsewhere. Stand alone in a port, though, and you’ll be able to discretely move the goods from the dock to your personal warehouse. Says Laget in a press release accompanying the game announcement, “Everything in Cargo Noir grew from a core auction mechanism that is simple and trivial to explain, you can only bid up, and the last bidder standing gets the goods.”
Once you collect goods, you can trade them in to add more ships to your fleet, allowing you to scout for wares in more locations, purchase Victory Spoils, or take other actions. The more goods you collect, the more valuable they can be. The player with the most Spoils at game end wins.
Game play revolves around a changing set of notorious smuggling ports around the world, each filled with contraband. Players dispatch cargo ships loaded with gold to these ports – hoping to acquire goods that will later be traded for Victory Spoils.
The successful smuggler will learn to dispatch his cargo ships to the safest or richest ports; accurately judge which contraband is the hottest; and outmaneuver his competitors with an ample supply of gold—pouncing when the time is right to take the cargo he wants. The game’s rich and immersive atmosphere is filled with evocative illustrations of the dark and seedy smuggling world of the 1950s—YOU are the lead character in a classic film noir!
Cargo Noir is quickly learned, but offers many routes to victory; and is the rare trading game that works equally well with 2 players as well as more.
– Age: 8 years and older
– Players: 2-5 players
– Duration: 60 minutes
– Learn time: 20 minutes
– 131 Cargo tokens
– 54 Victory cards
– 5 Family game sheets
– 25 sculpted Cargo ships
– 60 gold coins
– Cargo Noir token bag
– First Turn and Player markers
– A detailed rules booklet
AWARDS & HONORS
2011/2012 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Winner
2011/2012 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Nominee
Find similar games under our Board Games section!
Summary of the Gameplay
In Cargo Noir you bid in auctions for 9 types of goods, then turn those goods in as sets of similar or different elements to earn points.
The Auction: Cargo Noir centers on an auction which is handled in a somewhat unusual (and innovative) manner. Individual auctions are held at locations, each of which holds 1-4 goods. On your turn, you can choose to participate in an auction by placing one of your three ships atop a pile of coins at a locale. If other players are already there, you must use more coins than any other player has.
Then, on your next turn, you check to see if you’ve won. If you’re now the only player at the locale, you get all the goods (and pay your coins). However, if other people are still there, you must either withdraw or increase the number of coins you’re bidding.
Thus, auctions sort of occur in real-time, with their length determined by how high people are willing to bid things. (Though auctions rarely go for more than a round or two, because an increase of even a couple of coins is a lot in the game.)
After an auction is completed, new goods are put at the locale.
Other Actions: Each of your three ships represents an action you can take. Most of the time you’ll use them to bid in auctions, but you can alternatively send them to the casino at Macao (where you earn 2 coins) or to the black market at Macao (where you can exchange a good with one from a face-up set; or else draw a good blindly from the bag).
Making Sets: The whole object of the game is to collect sets of goods. Sets that are composed of all different goods (e.g., ivory, cars, alcohol, gold, and jewels, which would be worth 15) are less valuable. Sets that are composed of all the same good (e.g., gold, gold, gold, gold, and gold, which would be worth 25) are more valuable.
You can turn in one or more sets of goods and then immediately convert those points into victory spoils, which are victory-point cards representing things like villas and principalities, which are worth victory points.
You can also turn them in for “smuggler’s edge” cards, which are worth fewer victory points, but give you in-game bonuses. The cargo ship gives you an extra ship to play each turn; the syndicate rewards you for abandoning auctions; and the warehouse gives you more spaces to store goods.
What’s this about storing goods? You can actually only carry over 6 goods from one turn to another–which can sometimes force you to turn in sets which are worth less than you’d like.
Ending Games: The game goes for a set number of turns. Because of the way that the auctions are structured, some auctions will never end. At the end of the game, whoever has the most points of Smuggler’s Edge and Victory Spoils cards wins the game.
|Dimensions||29.85 × 29.85 × 7.62 cm|