Here’s a quick setup guide for Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar. If you need a rules refresher, watch our How to Play Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar video.

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table. Here’s how you set up Tzolk’in.

put the board together in this order. Each player picks a colour and takes 3 workers, and a player guide flipped bright-side-up. Everyone places their markers on the scoring track, the second step of each temple track, and the starting spot on the technology track. Deal 4 starting wealth tiles at random to each player. Keep 2 tiles, and return the other 2. The tiles you keep determine the stuff you get off the top of the game. Deal player count plus two monuments to this row, and 6 buildings from the first age to this row. Keep the age 2 buildings at the ready for when the Tzolk’in gear hits the first blue food day. Deal 4 corn chits to all of the jungle spaces, and then cover the last 3 up with wood.

If you’re playing with 2 or 3 players, you need to put dummy workers on the board to make it a little more crowded. Before you decide on your starting wealth tiles, draw the leftover starting wealth tiles one at a time. Each tile mentions a gear, and a spot. Put a non-player-coloured worker on that spot. If this is the first worker to be placed on a gear, block off the spot on the opposite side of the gear too. Continue placing dummy workers until you’ve placed 6 in a 3-player game, or 12 in a 2-player game. 3-player games only use 3 corn-and-wood stacks in the jungle, and 2-player games only use 2. These dummy workers stay on their spots for the entire game, and don’t get pushed off when they go past the last space.

Extra workers go here, skulls go here, resources go here, and corn goes here. Give the starting player token to the player who most recently sacrificed something (i see what you did there), and start the first round. Play goes clockwise.

And now you’re ready to play! If you’d like to know more about how to play, click the link at the end of this video or in the description below to watch my complete How to Play video, which includes the setup segment you just watched. And if you like what i’m doing, click the badge to subscribe, and the bell to get notifications. And now, we dance!

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Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar

The Maya were a highly developed civilization known for its unique art, complex architecture, sophisticated mathematics and advanced knowledge of the stars. At the heart of their society was a mysterious calendar – Tzolk’in. With a length of 260 days, it could predict the right time to plant seeds, the time to build monuments, the day a new baby would be born as well as the movement of the planets. It was the centerpiece of the Mayan cycle of life. We invite you to become one of the ajaw, the leaders of Mayan tribes. Please the gods and lead your clan to prosperity. As in the life of ancient Maya, the center of our game is the Tzolk’in calendar – a set of gears that rotate each round of the game. This unique system helps you to visualize the cyclic flow of time and plan your actions in advance. Harvest crops now, or wait for them to grow a little more for higher yield? All will be clear to see on the wheels of time.

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