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  • Macao and 8 Ports
  • 131 Cargo tokens and 1 bag
  • 24 "Smuggler's Edge" Cards
  • 30 "Victory Spoils" Cards
  • 5 Family sheets
  • 25 Cargo ships
  • 60 Gold coins
  • 1 Game Turn marker
  • 1 First player marker
  • Rulebook


Place Macao and the surrounding Ports 1 in the center of your game table. Depending on the number of players in your game, some Ports may be closed for business:

If a number (or more) appears in the lower left corner of a Port, make sure it matches your number of players.

If it doesn't, flip this Port over to its other side so that it now does 2.

Take as many Wild tokens as you have players and mix these, along with all remaining (non-Wild) Cargo tokens, into the Cargo Noir bag 3. Place the other Wild tokens into the box; they are not used in this game.

Now randomly draw as many tokens from the bag as needed to fill all the Cargo slots in Macao and Ports 4.

Give each player a Family sheet of his choice, 3 Cargo Ships of matching color, and 7 Gold coins to place in his Family Safe 5. Place all remaining coins into a common Pile of Money within easy reach of the players.

Sort the Smuggler's Edge cards into 3 separate decks (Cargo Ship, Warehouses and Syndicate) and place them within easy reach of the players. Take the remaining 2 Cargo Ships of each player's color and place them next to the Cargo Ship deck 6.

Sort all Victory Spoils cards into separate decks and place them within easy reach of the players 7.

The player that most recently visited a port in real life begins the game. He takes the 1st player marker and will be tasked with moving the Game Turn marker one spot forward on the Game Turn track at the beginning of each of his turns 8.

Initially the Game Turn marker is placed on the empty (unnumbered) spot at the start of the Game Turn track.

Object of the Game

The player with the most points on his Victory cards at the end of the game wins.

Players acquire Victory cards throughout the game by sending their Cargo ships to the most lucrative destinations; successfully smuggling Cargo tokens out of Ports and into their Warehouses; and unloading this cargo at the right time to acquire the most valuable Victory cards.

Note: For the sake of simplicity, throughout these rules when we refer to Cargo, we mean Cargo tokens; and Ships refers to Cargo ships.

Game Play

The 1st player starts the game, moves the Turn marker forward one spot on the Game Turn track, and takes his first turn. The game then proceeds clockwise, from player to player.

Once all players have had a turn, a new turn begins: The 1st player moves the Turn marker forward again and proceeds with his next turn, followed by the others.

When the Turn marker reaches the last spot on the Game Turn track, all players get one final turn and the game ends. The player with the most Victory points is declared the winner. Game Turn

Each player's turn is usually composed of 3 distinct phases, all accomplished in order before the next player takes his turn. These 3 phases are:

  1. Resolve Ships' actions
  2. Trade Cargo for Victory cards & discard excess Cargo if need be
  3. Send Ships out to new destinations

If this is your first time reading these rules, or your first turn of the game, skip the Phase 1 and Phase 2 sections and go directly to Phase 3 - Sending Ships Outon p. 7, where the game actually starts.

Come back here once you've read and played through Phase 3 of the 1st turn and are ready to start the 2nd turn of the game.

I. Resolving Ships' Actions

The 2nd turn and all subsequent turns start with a resolution of the actions of the Ships that were sent out in Phase 3 of the prior turn.

All actions are resolved in the order of the player's choice and each action takes effect immediately upon being resolved, so coins gained from one action can immediately be used for another, etc...

Important: When you have resolved the action of a ship, immediately place it in front of you next to your player's sheet, to get this ship ready for redeployment later on, during Phase 3 of this turn.

The Casino

Each Ship moored in front of the Casino in Macao earns its player 2 coins, taken from the common Pile of Money and placed in the player's Family Safe.

Note on the Black Market and Ports

The following actions may earn the player Cargo tokens, which should be placed in the Warehouse slots on his Family sheet (or Warehouses card, if any), one Cargo per slot.

If an action earns more Cargo than a player's Warehouses can currently store, the player may keep this excess cargo for now. However, it will need to be traded away or discarded during Phase 2 of the game turn - Trading Cargo for Victory.

The Black Market

Each Ship docked in front of the Black Market in Macao lets the player either:

  • Swap one Cargo currently in his possession with one Cargo taken from the Black Market OR
  • Draw one Cargo at random from those in the Cargo bag, to add to those in his possession.

The Ports

For each of his Ships placed atop a stack of coins in a Port, the player either:

  • Purchases ALL the Cargo in this Port, if his stack of coins is the only one (remaining) there. The coins spent to acquire this Cargo go into the common Pile of Money.

    The (now-empty) warehouses in the Port are immediately refilled with new Cargo tokens drawn from the bag. If the bag runs empty, reshuffle all Cargo tokens discarded in Phase 2 of prior turns back into the bag. OR

  • Was outbid by a competitor whose ship in this Port is atop a larger stack of coins. In this case, the player must either:

    • Keep his ship there for another turn by adding coins to his stack to make it larger than anyone else's in this Port. OR

    • Abandon this Port's Cargo to the competition by removing his Ship and taking his coins back into his Safe.

      Important: By doing so, the player forfeits any chance to get this Cargo (unless other players keep the competition alive for another turn). He is not allowed to send ships back to this Port when redeploying his ships during Phase 3 of this turn, though he may still do so in later turns.

II. Trading Cargo for Victory

If you have not already read it, go directly to Phase 3 - Sending Ships Out, where the game actually starts. Come back here only once you've read and played through Phase 3 of the 1st turn and Phase 1 of the 2nd turn of the game.

There are 54 Victory cards, each with two numbers on them: In the upper left corner, the Cost, representing the amount of contraband value needed - gained by trading Cargo out of your Warehouse - to acquire them; and, in the upper right corner, the number of Victory points this card will give the player at game's end.

Certain Victory cards provide players with a "Smuggler's Edge", giving them both Victory Points and a competitive advantage in the game.

Trading Cargo for Victory Cards

To acquire a Victory card, a player must pay its cost by trad- ing the right combination(s) of Cargo out of his warehouses.

Two rows of numbers at the bottom of the player's Family sheet indicate how much contraband value the trading of various cargo combinations will yield.

The top line shows the amount of contraband value gained by trading Cargo tokens that are each of a different type, while the lower line shows the amount generated when Cargo are all of the same type.

The more Cargo in a combination, the more contraband value this combination is worth (up to the limit of 9 Cargo tokens per combination). Combinations that are all the same type are more valuable - and harder to acquire.

Wild tokens represent any type of Cargo and may be traded in any combination, including one made up of all Wilds.

A player may trade in any combination(s) of Cargo he wishes to acquire as many Victory cards as he can afford, in any given turn.

The player does all his contraband trading at once, discarding the Cargo into a common pile next to the bag and immediately taking the corresponding Victory cards.

When any Smuggler's Edge cards are acquired, the player places them face up, visible to the other players. All other Victory cards are stacked together next to the player's sheet. Other players may ask to look at them at any time during the game.

Important Notes on Contraband Trading

Change is never given back -When trading Cargo, you receive no change in return, so it is in your interest to try and turn in combination(s) of Cargo that are the closest to the total cost of the Victory cards you wish to acquire this turn.

Any excess Cargo must be traded in for Victory cards or dis- carded at the end of this phase.

When successful in taking a Port's Cargo, a player might find himself temporarily holding more Cargo than he has Warehouse slots available on his Sheet (or Warehouses cards ).

When this occurs, the player must either use the excess Cargo for contraband trading, so that his remaining Cargo fits in his warehouse slots; or discard his excess Cargo in a pile next to the Cargo bag at the end of this Phase.

Smuggler's Edge Cards

The Cargo Ship, Warehouses and Syndicate cards are Smuggler's Edge cards. They cost more than the Victory points they offer but make up for it by giving an edge to the players who own them.

There are 8 copies of each type of Smuggler's Edge card and each player may acquire a maximum of only 2 copies of each card during a game. This means that in a 5 player game, some players may not get the cards they want if they wait too long to acquire them!

Smuggler's Edge cards go into effect immediately upon being acquired.

These cards offer the following benefits:

  • Cargo Ship (x8)

    The larger your
    flotilla, the better!

    The player that acquires this card immediately adds one Cargo ship to his fleet by taking a ship of matching color from those set in reserve next to the deck.

    The more ships you have in your fleet, the more actions you will be able to take.

  • Warehouses (x8)

    This card increases the player's Warehouses by 2 slots, allowing the player to keep an additional 2 Cargo tokens from one turn to the next.

    This is particularly helpful since any Cargo in excess of the player's Warehouses must be discarded at the end of this phase. Lay the card to the right or left of the player's sheet, to expand his Warehouses.

    Building new Warehouses - It's better than
    throwing cargo overboard

  • Syndicate (x8)

    When you need
    some extra dough,
    turn to the Syndicate!

    Each Syndicate card lets the player who owns it collect 2 coins once per turn when he abandons a Port's cargo to a higher bidding Competitor (during Phase 1 of a turn).

    These coins are taken from the common Pile of Money, and added to the Player's Safe, along with his coins withdrawn from the abandoned Port.

    This card is one of only two ways to acquire more coins in this game - along with sending a Ship to the Casino in Macao - making it quite useful. A player in possession of 2 Syndicate cards may collect up to 4 coins during a turn, but only if he abandons 2 different Ports.

Victory Spoils Cards

Common Cards (4x6)

Four types of cards, the Villa, Yacht, Dive Bar and Night Club are worth as many Victory points as they cost to acquire. There are 6 copies of each, and a player may acquire as many as he can afford.

Unique Cards (6x1)

There are an additional 6 unique cards, each worth more Victory points than its cost. These cards are not only extremely valuable but also act as a tie-breaker at game's end.

III. Sending Ships Out

Each player begins the game here (Phase 1 and 2 are skipped during the Players' first turn), by sending the three (later he may have more) Cargo ships in his possession to the destination(s) of his choice. The ships will arrive at their destination - and begin benefiting the player - at the start of the next turn.

The Ships' possible destinations are:

The Casino In Macao

For each Ship he sends there, the player will gain 2 coins from the Pile of Money to stack up in his Safe, in Phase 1 of his next turn.

Having a big stack of coins is always a good thing. Since these coins will only come into play during the next turn, watching your (and your opponents') coin count is often the key to successfully grabbing Cargo from under the nose of your opponents!

The Black Market in Macao

For each of his Ships there, the player may either draw 1 Cargo token at random from the bag to add to his own; OR swap one Cargo already in his possession with one he wants from those in the Black Market, in Phase 1 of his next turn.

Visiting the Black Market can be an attractive proposition when you: really covet a Cargo currently there; are low on Cargo; or fear the competition in surrounding Ports!

Any of the Surrounding Ports

To capture a Port's Cargo your Ship must be the only Ship left standing on a stack of Coins in this Port when the action gets resolved in Phase 1 of a future turn.

To send a Ship to a Port, the player places his Ship atop the stack of Coins he wishes to spend to buy this Port's Cargo. If there are already other players' Ships in this Port, the player must place a stack of coins that is at least 1 Coin greater than any of them.

Stacking up the coins and placing the various players' stacks side-by-side makes it easy to visualize who's got the biggest.

The bigger a stack of coins, the more likely it is to discourage the competition from venturing in these waters. But over-paying might leave you low on coins for other places or the next turn, so watch out!

Once a player has sent all his Ships out, the game proceeds to the next player until all players have finished their turn. The next game turn then begins, with the 1st player playing Phase 1 through 3 of his turn, and other players following in succession until the game ends.

End of the Game

Once the 1st player moves the Turn marker into the last spot (for the number of players in the game) on the Game Turn track, there is one final turn for all players and the game stops.

During this final turn, players may use any coins in their Safe to help pay for the cost of any Victory cards they may wish to acquire this turn. So a player with 9 different Cargo tokens in his possession and 4 coins in his Safe may purchase the Cronies card worth 49.

During all other game turns, coins may only be used to acquire Cargo that is in a Port, never to acquire Victory points directly. Also, any unused coins, whether in a player's Safe or in Ports, all become worthless at games end; they are not added to the players' tally of Victory points.

When tallying up the players' Victory points at the end of the game, players should not forget the Smuggler's Edge cards in their possession (including the Warehouses laid next to their Family sheet).

The player with the most points is declared the winner of the game.

If some players are tied, the player with the high- est valued Victory card is the winner.

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