Odysseus: Rules

Jumbo, 2001, designed by Dominique Erhard, translated by Pitt Crandlemire, for 3-6 players

The players slip into the role of Greek gods. They are upset about Odysseus. He asked them to challenged him. In order to punish him for his arrogance, they play a dangerous game with his fate. His ship is tossed about the sea by the Gods as if it were their plaything. Divine omnipotence is behind its seemingly aimless drifting, however. Everyone in the Heavens wants to lead Odysseus into other adventures. Zeus for example, wishes to conduct Odysseus to the seductive sirens. Hades, on the other hand, wants to lure the ship into the Underworld. Athena strives to bring Odysseus to the one-eyed Cyclops. When a dispute erupts among the Gods where no methods are shunned, Odysseus can only navigate in his own mind!

42 Wind cards (5 x "5", 8 x "3", 11 x "2", 10 x "1", 8 x "Dionysus/1")
  1 wooden ship for Odysseus
  6 Task cards
  1 gameboard
  6 God cards
30 large adventure disks (5 x 6 different adventures)
  6 wooden disks for the divine powers

Before the first game, carefully punch out the 30 adventure disks and the 6 God cards.

Place the gameboard in the middle of the table.

From the 30 adventure disks, remove three disks of each adventure. These 18 (3 x 6) disks are distributed randomly onto the 18 circles on the gameboard. One disk is placed face-up on each circle. The remaining 12 disks are placed in a face-up reserve next to the gameboard.

Each God card has a symbol which is also portrayed on the wooden disks. These disks show the corresponding divine power. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1
For example, the divine power of the God Poseidon is shown by the "Trident" symbol.

Based on the number of players, some God cards and their matching wooden disks are removed from the game:
With 3 players, Hermes, Aphrodite and Hades.
With 4 players, Hermes and Aphrodite.
With 5 players, Hermes.
With 6 players, all Gods are in the game.

The God cards are shuffled and dealt face-down, one to a player. Players examine their God card, take the matching divine power disk, and place the God card face-up with the disk in front of them.

The Task cards (with a ship on the back) are also shuffled and dealt face-down, one to a player. There will be cards left over with less than 6 players. These cards are put back into the box unseen. Players secretly examine their task cards and then set them face-down in front of them. (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2
Task cards and Wind cards

The 42 Wind cards are shuffled and three are dealt to each player. These cards are held in hand. The remaining Wind cards are placed into a face-down draw pile next to the gameboard. (Fig. 2)

The player with the Zeus card sets Odysseus' ship on an any circle of his choice on the gameboard. The adventure disk that was on that circle is put into the reserve.

Goal of the game
Each player has a Task card with three illustrations which is known only to him. These illustrations stand for the different adventures that Odysseus experiences. These adventures are also pictured on the disks on the gameboard. Each player tries to steer the ship to the adventure disks which match those on his Task card and thus earn the corresponding 1, 2, or 3 points. Whoever first earns 10 or more points wins the game.

Play of the game
Each round, Odysseus' ship sails over the sea. By using Wind cards, players try to influence the direction of the ship. Additionally, each player can use his divine power to further influence the event.
1. Movement of the ship (generally)
In each round, Odysseus' ship moves, at most, three spaces over the colored lines (red, green, yellow). (Fig.3)

Maximum of three movement spaces

Three ships (1, 2, & 3) are depicted along the edge of the gameboard. The numbers correspond to each movement step. Movement direction (that is, which color line will be used) is determined by the colored spaces in the background of each ship. Each player plays his Wind card onto one of these colored spaces. The color with the highest wind strength (sum of the card numbers) determines the direction in which the ship will be moved on that movement step. (Fig. 4)

Fig. 4
Odysseus' ship makes its first movement step using the yellow line because the highest wind strength (most points) is on the yellow space.

If more than one color has the same highest strength, the leftmost color is used, i.e. yellow before green before red. (Fig. 5)

Fig. 5
With the same wind strength/points, green takes precedence over red.

If there are no Wind cards played at one of the ships, then this movement step (and any that come after it) are not executed this round. Thus, if no cards are played at the first ship (Number 1), then Odysseus' ship doesn't move this round. If no cards are played at the second ship (Number 2), then only the first movement step is executed; neither the second or third step will be executed this round. (Fig.6)

Fig. 6
Only the first movement step is executed

2. Placing Wind cards and divine powers
The player to the left of Zeus always begins a placement round and play then continues clockwise. When it is his turn, a player must choose one of the four possible options:
Play a Wind card.
Play his divine power.
Play a Dionysus card.

2.1. Playing a Wind card
The player chooses a Wind card from his hand and places it face-up one of the nine colored spaces behind the three ships. More than one card (from other players or from the same player in later rounds) may be played at the same space by overlapping them. (Fig. 7)

Fig. 7
Wind cards on the colored spaces

2.2. Playing a divine power
The player uses his divine power by playing his wooden disk. The details of each divine power are outlined later in these rules.

2.3. Playing a Dionysus card
The player chooses a Dionysus card from his hand and places it just like a normal Wind card with a value of 1 on any colored space of his choice. (Fig.8)

There is a second possible use of this card, however. The player places the card on the stack of Wind cards and then trades his God card with the God card of another player. The divine powers (wooden disks) are also traded. The following guidelines apply:
- If the divine power of the God has already been used (the wooden disk has been played or turned over), then it is not available again this round. The new owner will first be able to use it in the next round.
- If the divine power of the God has not yet been used this round, (the wooden disk is still unplayed and face-up on the God card), then it may still be used later in the round. It may not be used by the new owner until his turn to play in the next phase, however.

Fig. 8
Dionysus card

2.4. Pass
The player says "Pass" loudly and doesn't play in this phase any further. He may still play in other phases later in this placement round. Players who don't have any more Wind cards and who have used their divine power must pass. Only when all players have passed in sequence does the round end and appraisal take place.

3. Movement of the ship (specifically)
As soon as all players have passed in sequence, the played Wind cards are appraised. Ship 1 is evaluated first, then Ship 2 and, finally, Ship 3. Each ship is checked to see which colored space has the highest wind strength (sum of Wind card points). Odysseus' ship moves using the appropriately colored line.

Note: Odysseus' ship might not always execute all three movement steps. It might even remain in place. Refer to the previous rules on ship movement.

If Odysseus' ship reaches an adventure disk at the end of movement, this disk is removed from the gameboard and placed face-up next to it. Important: This disk should not be mixed with the reserve of adventure disks. It is best to place completed adventure disks on the other side of the gameboard. These disks are used to determine scores for each of the players. The Task cards indicate how many points each player gets for a completed adventure. Everyone keeps this information secret, however, until he has earned enough points to win the game. (Fig. 9)

Fig. 9
If Odysseus' ship lands on this adventure, player A earns 3 points, Player B earns 1 point.

Zeus now chooses a new adventure disk from the reserve and places it on the empty space where Odysseus' ship started the round.

If Odysseus' ship ends movement on the same space where it started the round, i.e. the empty space, no adventure occurs this round and no disk is removed from the gameboard. In either case, whether an adventure disk was removed or not, the Zeus player shuffles the played Wind cards into the rest of the stack and deals two new cards to each player. Players may have a different number of Wind cards depending on how many they played in the previous round. Finally, each player places his divine power disk face-up on his God card again. He will be able to use his divine power again in the next round. The next round begins with the player to Zeus' left.

4. Meaning of the divine powers
The symbol for the divine power is portrayed on each God card. The matching wooden disk is placed face-up on the symbol. When a player uses his divine power, the wooden disk is turned face-down or is placed on the gameboard (for Aphrodite and Poseidon). [Trans. note: this sentence is contradicted in the specifics of each power rules below, where there are several ways that disks are placed to indicate use – PC] The meaning of each divine power is:

Zeus (fig. 10)
If it is Zeus' turn to play and the Zeus player uses his divine power, he ends the round immediately and the Wind cards are appraised. Zeus can do this on his first turn, even if hardly any Wind cards have been played. [Trans. note: it makes no sense for Zeus to use his power if no cards have been played, so I assume that’s why the rules say “hardly any” instead of none – PC] If Zeus uses his divine power, he turns over his wooden disk. Athena can prevent Zeus from doing this by using her divine power. In either case, at the end of the round, Zeus may place a new adventure disk on the gameboard if one was removed.

Hades (fig. 11)
If Hades uses his divine power, he is allowed to play his Wind cards face-down. To indicate that he has done so, he places his wooden disk clearly visible face-up next to his God card. Athena can prevent Hades from doing this by using her divine power. Then Hades must turn his wooden disk face-down and play his cards face-up.

Aphrodite (fig. 12)
If Aphrodite uses her power, she places her wooden disk face-up on one of the nine colored spaces behind the ships. That sum of the Wind cards played at that space are then doubled during appraisal. If Athena blocks Aphrodite, Aphrodite must take back her disk and place it face-down on her God card.

Hermes (fig. 13)
If Hermes uses his divine power, he may move any one Wind card already played, e.g. from one colored space to another, even on a different ship. When it is his turn to play, he turns over his wooden disk and shifts the card. If Athena stops Hermes, he still turns over his disk but doesn't get to move a card.

Poseidon (fig. 14)
If Poseidon uses divine power, he can create a storm. He can then block one of the nine movement options. To do this, Poseidon places his wooden disk face-up on one of the nine colored spaces. This movement option is blocked and doesn't count during appraisal. If Athena prevents Poseidon's storm, Poseidon places his wooden face-down on his God card.

Athena (fig. 15)
Only Athena may use her divine power when it is not her turn. She always uses her power immediately after another player has used his divine power. Athena cannot later block divine powers used on a previous turn. Like the other gods, Athena can also only use her divine power once a round. She then turns her wooden disk face-down. If Athena blocks a player, play passes to the player on his left. During her own turn, Athena can only either play a Wind card or a Dionysus card or Pass. Athena cannot prevent players from playing Wind cards, including Dionysus cards. Also, she cannot prevent Zeus from placing a new adventure disk on the gameboard.

End of the game
Each player has a Task card with three adventures which have values of 1, 2, or 3. As soon as the completed adventure disks next to the gameboard earn a player a total of 10 or more points based on his Task card, he announces this to the other players. He reveals Task card and wins the game.

If more than one player has reached this victory condition simultaneously, the player with the higher total wins. If there is still a tie, the player that scored the most points on the last completed adventure wins.

Description of a sample round
Each player slips into the role of one of the Gods and gets:
- the corresponding God card
- the corresponding wooden disk showing the divine power
- a Task card
- 3 Wind cards
- 18 disks are placed on the gameboard: three of each adventure. Zeus chooses one disk to put back in the reserve and places the ship in the vacant space.

1. Poseidon sits to the left of Zeus and starts the game.
2. Poseidon plays a card on the yellow space of the first ship with a Wind strength of 1. At the moment, the ship would move over the yellow line in the first movement step, landing on disk (A).
3. This is a good result for Hades, so he passes. This way he keeps his Wind cards for later use.
4. Athena plays a card on the green space of the second ship with a Wind strength of 3. Now the ship would move over the yellow line in the first movement step and over the green line in the second movement step, landing on disk (B).
5. Zeus plays a card on the yellow space of the third ship with a Wind-strength of 1. The ship would now move first over yellow, then green, and finally yellow, landing on disk (C).
6. Poseidon passes. At the moment, he would get 2 points and he's happy with that.
7. Hades uses his divine power and plays a card face-down on the green space of the first ship.
8. Athena plays a card on the red space of the first ship with a Wind strength of 5. Now the ship's course is changed to a very different direction and it would land on disk (D).
9. Zeus plays a card on the green space of the third ship with a Wind strength of 5.
10. The ship would now move over red, green and then green again. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades win points if this happens. Poseidon doesn't completely trust the face-down card that Hades played, however, and uses his divine power to block this direction.
11. Hades passes.
12. Athena is not happy about the way things are going and plays a card on the yellow space of the third ship with a Wind strength of 2. This is her last card.
13. Zeus uses his divine strength in order to end the round.
14. Athena immediately uses her divine power to block Zeus' divine power, so the round continues.
15. Poseidon passes.
16. Hades passes.
17. Athena must pass because she has no more cards.
18. Zeus passes. Since all four players have passed, the round ends and is appraised.
19. The ship moves over red, then green, and then green again, landing on disk (E). Zeus gets 3 points, Poseidon 2, and Hades 1.
20. By looking at Poseidon's Task card, you can see that he now has 9 points (including the just completed adventure). If he gets 1 more point, he will win.

The Divine Powers

God Power Use when Do what with disk
Zeus End the round immediately On his turn Turn over on God card
Hades Play Wind cards face-down On his turn Face-up next to God card
Aphrodite Double Wind cards at one of the colored movement spaces On her turn Place at that space
Hermes Move a Wind card On his turn Turn over on God card
Poseidon Block one of the colored movement On his turn Place at that space
Athena Block another God's divine power Immediately after the other power is used Turn over on God card

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