In "El Gaucho", you take the role of a cattle baron sending your gauchos to the Pampa to collect as much and as stately cattle as possible.
Your gauchos exercise their abilities at the dice rodeo. The better they do during training, the easier they catch cattle in the field. Be smart and get in your opponents' way with mean tricks by snatching the most valuable cattle from under their noses, or swing your lasso to abduct one of their animals.
At home, sort your cattle by race and assemble them in herds only to sell them later for as many Pesos as possible.
Object of the Game
Make the most money by selling Herds of Cattle throughout the game and at its end. The bigger your Herd, the more money you will get. However, selling a lot of small Herds should not be underestimated. Also, use the Special Actions whenever possible!
- 1 game board showing the Pampa, 6 Action Areas and the Dice Rodeo.
- 4 fences
- 60 Cattle Tiles: 12 tiles in each of the 5 races
- 4 Scoring Tiles (money bags) in the 4 player colors with values 100/200
- 32 Gaucho Tokens (8 per player color)
- 4 Money Indicators (wooden discs, 1 per player color)
- 9 dice
- 1 black Start Player Token
Place the game board on the table. Assemble the 4 fence pieces
1 such that they fit in the indentations on the game board 1. This fence surrounds the Dice Rodeo 2.
In a 2-player game, remove 4 dice from the game. In a 3-player game, remove 2 dice from the game.
Place the remaining dice
3 in the fenced-in area.
In a 2-player game only: Take the 12 Cattle Tiles of one race and place 6 of them face down on the 6 Pasture Spaces with the "not used in 2-player games" symbol to indicate these spaces are not available. Put the remaining 6 tiles of that race back into the game box.
Shuffle the remaining Cattle Tiles face down and place them in the Pampa as follows: Fill the Pastures one by one with Cattle Tiles beginning with the smallest Pasture
4 (i.e. the bottom row).
In each Pasture, place one face-up Cattle Tile after another on each Pasture Space
5 of that Pasture. Constraint: Stop placing any more Cattle Tiles in a Pasture as soon as the total Cattle Value (i.e. the big numbers) of all the placed tiles in that Pasture is 20 or more.
In a 3-player game, do not place any tiles on the spaces with the "not used in 3-player games" symbol.
Example of how to place Cattle Tiles on the Pastures:
A) The total Cattle Value of the tiles in the second Pasture from the top is below 20. However, no more tiles are placed in this Pasture as it is already full.
B) In the largest Pasture, the first two Cattle Tiles have a total value of 18, so another tile has to be added. This tile has a value of 5, so the total value is now greater than 20. Therefore, no more Cattle Tiles are placed in this Pasture.
Place 4 face-down Cattle Tiles in a pile on the Steppe space
6. Place the leftover Cattle Tiles in a face-down draw pile 7 next to the game board.
Choose your player color. Take the Scoring Tile and 7 Gauchos of the chosen color. In a 2- and 3-player game, take all 8 Gauchos of your color.
Place your Money Indicator on space "0" of the Pesos Track
8. The player who most recently was in South America or who rolls highest with 2 dice becomes the Start Player and receives the Start Player Token.
Tip: Before you start the game, you should now take the time to explain it to all participants.
Each player draw 3 Cattle Tiles (5 in a 2-player game, 4 in a 3-player game) from the draw pile and look at them. You may keep up to 3 of the drawn tiles. If you keep three, they all must be of value 4 or lower. If you keep two, they both must be of value 8 or lower. Only if you keep just one, it may be of any value. Remove the tiles you did not choose from the game.
After all players have chosen their tiles to keep, place them face up in front of you. These are the first members of your Herdfs) of Cattle. Place each race in its own separate row.
In a 3-player game, use 2 of the discarded Cattle Tiles to cover the unused Pasture Spaces.
Placing A Gaucho On An Unoccupied Action Space:
Beginning with the player to the right of the Start Player and in counter-clockwise order, place 1 of your Gauchos on an Action Space of your color. In this preliminary round only, each player must choose a different Action Area.
Course of Play
The Start Player rolls all the dice in the Dice Rodeo. On your turn, you choose 2 of the available dice, place them in front of you and carry out your actions. Then the player to your left takes his turn by choosing 2 dice etc.
The number of available dice decreases for each subsequent player. Usually, the last player in turn order can only choose from 3 dice. At the end of the round, the player to the left of the Start Player becomes new Start Player and another round is played in the same fashion.
You try to collect Cattle Tiles. Using the dice, you can claim Cattle Tiles in the Pampa. At the end of the round, you can collect the claimed tiles if all of the tiles in that Pasture are claimed.
For each die you choose, you can carry out one of the following actions. If you like, you can combine your dice to carry out an action according to the total value of those dice. However, then you will only carry out a single action.
Actions In The Pampa
This is where your Gauchos catch Cattle. You have 3 options:
A) Place a Gaucho from your supply upright on an unoccupied Cattle Tile.
To do so, you must use 1 or 2 dice with a total value equal to the big number on the tile.
B) Lay a Gaucho from your supply flat on an unoccupied Cattle Tile.
To do so, you must use 1 or 2 dice with a total value equal to the small number on the tile.
C) Raise one of your lying Gauchos on a Cattle Tile.
To do so, you must use 1 or 2 dice with a total value equal to the small number on the tile.
Example 1 of an entire turn: ou use a 5 and a 6 to place a Gaucho on a Cattle Tile of value 11. See A).
Example 2: You can achieve the same result by doing the following: You use a 5 to lay a Gaucho on the Cattle Tile of value 11. See B). You then use another 5 to raise that Gaucho. See C).
Actions In The Action Areas
This is where you can claim Special Actions for future turns. Tip: Special Actions are the key to victory.
Place one of your Gauchos on the unoccupied Action Space of your color in one of the Action Areas.
With a 1, 2 or 3 on a die, you can occupy the Sort, Wish or Immediate Sale Action Space. The other Action Spaces require a specific dice value to occupy them.
Reminder: You can combine two dice (2+3) to occupy an Action Space (=5).
Constraint: You cannot place more than one Gaucho on any Action Space. You cannot occupy an Action Space and use it on the same turn. In other words: you may not use a Gaucho right after you placed him. Also, you cannot place a Gaucho on an Action Space that you have just used. However, you may place a Gaucho on one Action Space and use another on the same turn.
No Gauchos left: If you run low on Gauchos in your supply, you may remove any of your Gauchos from Action Spaces and any of your lying Gauchos from the Pampa.
Reminder: The dice you use must always match the required values exactly. If there are no matching dice available for the action you wish to take, you are out of luck. Place the dice you use in front of you.
Collecting Cattle at the End of the Round
After the last player has carried out his actions, for each Pasture in the Pampa, check if all of the Cattle Tiles in that Pasture are occupied. From each such completely occupied Pasture, remove your standing Gauchos and the tiles they are standing on.
Note: Cattle Tiles with lying Gauchos remain in their Pasture.
In this Pasture, players do not collect their Cattle as not all of the tiles are occupied.
In this Pasture, the standing Gauchos return to their owners together with the Cattle Tiles they are standing on. The lying Gauchos stay in the Pasture.
In this Pasture, all the tiles are occupied but none of them has a standing Gaucho on it. Therefore, nothing happens here this round.
Return the removed Gauchos to your personal supply. You can use them again later. Organize the collected Cattle Tiles in rows in front of you, one row per race. Each row represents a Herd of Cattle. Continue Herds from previous rounds, if possible. Always add new tiles to the right of a Herd.
If you receive more than one tile of the same race (from one or from multiple Pastures), you may choose the order in which you add the tiles to the Herd.
Definition Of A Herd:
A Herd consists of Cattle of the same race, which are either organized in ascending (example A: 3, 5, 6, 9) or descending order (example B: 11, 10, 8, 2, 1) from left to right.
As soon as you would have to add an inappropriate tile to a Herd, you have to start a new Herd with that tile and sell the Herd you could not add the tile to (see Handling a Sale).
Example: The white Herd has to be sold now. The black Herd could still grow. The brown Herd cannot grow any more by adding collected Cattle, but it will only be sold when another Cattle Tile of the same race is about to be added (or at the end of the game). (Exception: Special Actions, see there).
Tip: Usually, you want to sell as often as possible. However, sometimes it is wise to wait until a Herd grows bigger before selling it.
Handling A Sale
When you are about to add an inappropriate tile to a Herd, you have to sell the Herd. All the tiles in a Herd have to be in either ascending or descending order. When selling a Herd, each tile in the Herd is worth a number of Pesos equal to the single highest Cattle Value in that Herd. In other words, multiply the number of tiles in the Herd with the single highest Cattle Value of that Herd.
Move your Money Indicator on the Pesos Track accordingly. When you complete a full circle around the track for the first time, place your Scoring Tile with the "100" facing up on the space of your color next to the "0" space. When you complete a full circle for the second time, turn your Scoring Tile to "200".
Remove the sold Cattle Tiles from the game. Keep the inappropriate tile as it is the first member of a new Herd now.
Refill The Pastures In The Pampa:
Start with the smallest Pasture that needs to be refilled. Draw tiles from the draw pile and place them one by one on the empty Pasture Spaces. Stop adding more tiles to a Pasture when the total Cattle Value of that Pasture is 20 or more, or when it is full.
Cattle Tiles that are already there (due to lying Gauchos) count towards the total Cattle Value of the Pasture. It is even possible that a Pasture cannot be refilled at all due to the tiles that are already there.
Using Special Actions
On your turn, aside from your regular dice actions, you can use one or more of the Special Actions (except Sort) that you have claimed during previous rounds (including the preliminary round).
You can take your actions (i.e. regular dice and special actions) in any order you like. Before using a Special Action, remove the Gaucho from the Action Space you use and return him to your personal supply. You can use that Gaucho right away during this or another action. You may even remove a Gaucho from an Action Space without taking the action associated with that space.
The Actions In Detail:
Reminder: Except Sort, you can only carry out actions on your turn.
You can place one Cattle Tile that you have just collected anywhere within its Herd, even at the very beginning.
This is the only action that you can take outside your turn, namely when collecting Cattle at the end of the round or at the end of game.
Example: Normally, you could only add Cattle of value 10 or higher to this Herd. By using the "Sort" action, however, you can add Cattle of any value (but of the same race!) anywhere in the row, where it is appropriate.
wish (hero Of The Rodeo):
You may pretend to have an additional die showing any number you like (between 1-6).
Example 1: You pretend to have a 6, so you can place a Gaucho on the Steppe action without using a physical die.
Example 2: Using two physical 4's and a pretended 4, you can claim a Cattle Tile of value 12.
immediate Sale (estancia):
Immediately sell one of your Herds with at least 2 Cattle in it and receive an additional 5 Pesos.
steal Cattle (cattle Thief):
You use a lasso to steal a Cattle Tile of your choice from one of your opponents. Add the stolen tile to the right of your Herd of the same race. If the stolen tile is inappropriate, immediately sell that Herd and start a new one with the stolen tile.
(In this case, you cannot combine this action with Immediate Sale as both trigger a sale).
If you do not have any Cattle of the same race as the stolen animal, simply start a new Herd in a new row with it. (You cannot combine this action with Sort as the latter can only be used when collecting Cattle at the end of a round).
The player you stole from receives indemnity from his insurance. He may immediately move his Money Indicator on the Pesos Track by a number of spaces equal to the value of the stolen animal.
Example of Immediate Sale and Steal Cattle: You remove your Gaucho from the Steal Cattle Action Space and steal a Cattle Tile of value 10 from one of your opponents. He receives 10 Pesos. You add the stolen tile to the appropriate Herd, which now looks like 4-6-9-10.
You then remove your Gaucho from the Immediate Sale Action Space to sell that Herd. You receive 4x10+5=45 Pesos and move your Money Indicator accordingly. The Gauchos you removed return to your supply.
raise/replace Gauchos (overseer):
When using this Special Action, you can either: raise 1 or 2 of your lying Gauchos in the Pampa OR replace 1 of your opponent's lying Gauchos with a standing one of your own.
Your opponent takes his Gaucho back and receives indemnity from his insurance. He may immediately move his Money Indicator by a number of spaces equal to the value (big number) of the lost Cattle Tile.
Example 1: You remove your Gaucho from the Action Space and raise 2 of your Gauchos lying on a Cattle Tile of value 10 and 9. You return the removed Gaucho to your supply.
Example 2: You remove your Gaucho from the Action Space and place him on a Cattle Tile of value 11, where an opponent's Gaucho is lying. Your opponent receives 11 Pesos and returns that Gaucho to his supply.
secret Cattle (steppe):
Secretly look at all of the tiles in the Steppe and choose 1 or 2 of them. If you choose 2, they both must be of value 4 or lower. Place the chosen tiles on empty Pasture Spaces in the Pampa.
Then place one of your Gauchos on each of the chosen tiles. (In the very unlikely situation that there are not enough Pasture Spaces left, you cannot carry out this action to its full extent). After that, replenish the Steppe from the draw pile so that there are 4 available tiles again.
Example: You remove your Gaucho from the Action Space and look at the 4 tiles of the Steppe. You choose 2 tiles of small value (4 or lower), namely a "1" and a "3". You then place these tiles on empty Pasture Spaces, namely one of them in the smallest Pasture and the other one in the second smallest Pasture. Finally, you place a Gaucho on each of those 2 tiles.
End of the Game
As soon as the draw pile of Cattle Tiles is empty, finish the current round and then play one more regular round.
(So, if this happens during a round because you had to replenish the Steppe, finish that round and then play another one. If it happens at the end of a round when collecting Cattle, only play one more regular round). Since the draw pile is empty, you do not add any more tiles to the game board.
After that last regular round, there is a final round without dice. It is played like a regular round but no dice are rolled in the Dice Rodeo. This means, each player can only use the Action Spaces he has claimed before but not used yet.
Example of the end of a 3-player game:
Red is the Start Player, followed by Blue and Green. Blue uses the Secret Cattle action. When replenishing the Steppe, he draws the last tile from the draw pile. Since the draw pile is empty now, the end of the game is triggered.
Green carries out his turn. Then the round is over. The three players play another regular round with Blue as the Start Player. After all players have finished their turn, the final round without dice is played.
In this, Green is the Start Player. He uses the Raise Gauchos action and raises 2 of his lying Gauchos so that he can collect the Cattle Tiles they were lying one. Red uses the Cattle Thief to steal a Cattle Tile from Green. He then sells a Herd via the Immediate Sale action.
Blue uses the WISH action to place a Gaucho on a Cattle Tile of value 6. In one of the Pastures, all the Cattle Tiles have been claimed, so they are now being collected. Then the players proceed with the Final Scoring.
After the final round without dice, collect the remaining Cattle Tiles from the Pampa that have standing Gauchos on them and add them to your Herds (selling Herds you cannot add to and forming new ones as described in "Collecting Cattle at the End of the Round", see above). Ignore Cattle Tiles with lying Gauchos on them as well as remaining Gauchos on Action Spaces, if any.
Finally, sell all of your remaining Herds. Single Cattle Tiles (i.e. Herds with only one tile) are sold for face value, e.g. a single Cattle Tile of value 9 is worth 9 Pesos (=1x9 as per the normal rules).
Note: Only after the game is over can you sell single Cattle Tiles. (During the course of the game, you can only sell Herds with at least 2 Cattle).
The player with the most Pesos wins. In case of a tie, there are multiple winners.
Tip: When taking a Gaucho off an Action Space or placing him on one, also place a Marker on that Action Space. This way, you will not forget you have used the Action Space already. At the end of your turn, remove all of the Markers.