Rules - Main Body

A. Introduction to GoCaine

While the war on drugs trudges along its futile course, the war for control of the drug trade continues at full throttle.  The stakes are high.  Forget about the frivolities of excessive wealth such as pet tigers and gold-plated AK-47s.  Drug lords at the very top of the food chain will eventually grow bored with such trappings.  Those with the grandest ambitions have their sights set on something bigger: total domination of the drug trade, wielding power that can force political leaders to their knees, dictate terms of trade, and even see armies march to enforce one’s will. 

In GoCaine, players compete to establish control of cocaine supply centers in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, transit zones in the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, and look to dominate the premium import markets throughout the US and Canada.  GoCaine uses area control mechanics from the ancient game of surrounding stones known as Weiqi in China, Baduk in Korea, and Go in Japan (and most of the rest of the world).

GoCaine is a game of both area control and of logistical and economic efficiency.  Deploy multipurpose security cells to gain control of territory.  Use your territories to buy, ship, or sell your product.  Build smuggling pipeline infrastructure so you can move more product more quickly to more locations.  Buy political influence to help protect your shipments from interdiction operations and to utilize law enforcement to disrupt your opponents’ supply lines.   Whoever can move the most product the most efficiently and the most profitably will be victorious.  Alliances can be made and broken throughout the game, making for lively player interactions.  In the end there can be only one victor, so watch your back!

This game is not about glorifying the drug trade.  If anything, it provides insight into the utter futility of the present War on Drugs strategy which has resulted in an ever increasing circle of violence ruining far too many lives.  Our collective human history over the past century has shown that demand is simply too high, profits too large, poverty, corruption and greed too rampant for the existing flawed strategy to ever succeed.

Yes, cocaine is often destructive to people’s lives, so do your best to stay away from it.  If you have a drug addiction, talk to your doctor.  As for selling cocaine (or any other drugs), unless you are a drug rep for a licensed pharmaceutical company, it is illegal and at times can be a very dangerous occupation.  Instead, use this game to live out your cocaine empire fantasies in the safety of your own home (or a friend's!) and leave the gritty world of real drugs to others; it is a rather nasty business and you are advised to avoid it.


B. Opening Scenario

Since the extradition of Joaquín Guzmán Loera (aka: El Chapo) to the US in 2017, the Sinaloa Cartel has been experiencing adjustment pains as various factions vie for control.  This has created opportunities for competing DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organizations).  Many importing wholesalers, distributors, and retailers throughout the US and Canada are looking to expand their base of suppliers. Meanwhile, suppliers in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru and traffickers throughout the region are all looking to expand and vertically integrate their supply chains.

You, the players, represent mid-level traffickers ready to expand your operations and build your very own cocaine trafficking empire.  Eager investors have lined up and have given you access to enormous startup capital.  Thus, the stage is set for an epic battle.  Let the fun begin!


C. Objectives

Win by having the most lucrative cocaine trafficking network.  This is demonstrated by having the most money at the end of the game.  The end of the game is reached when a player with at least $1 billion (or more) in cash knocks. 

  • If you have $1 billion or more and you think you have the most money, then at the end of your turn, knock on the table and announce that you are ready to claim victory. The other players then take one last turn. Then everyone counts their cash.  Whoever has the most cash wins.

Depending on the number of players, in most games, one of the players will reach the billion dollar threshold at some point between 30 to 40 turns.


D. Game Components

Up to 6 players can play this game, each taking one of the following colors: blue, green, black, yellow, red, and white.  Each player should have:

  • 50 circular chips/discs. Each chip is a cell in your network, serving dual functions: as a security unit for your area control, and as a node in your trafficking network.
  • 75 interlocking cubes. Each cube represents 1 metric ton (mt) of cocaine.

I have done my best to accommodate color-blindness by using these particular color shades.  If you have players whose color-blindness prevents them from distinguishing the colors, try using a felt marker to put tiny dots on whichever color set is confusing.  If you must resort to such measures, please let me know what colors are causing you issues and let me know your suggestions for alternate colors in future game editions.

Common game pieces are as follows:

  • The game board.
  • 51 Task Force chips. Each of these chips shows the stylized black/gold star that forms part of the emblem of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in the US. These task forces consist of personnel from DEA, Coast Guard, CBP, ICE, FBI, ATF, IRS, US Marshals Service, US Attorneys’ Offices, Postal Service, and local police forces.  They regularly conduct operations both domestically and in conjunction with law enforcement agencies in other countries.  Each of these Task Force chips allows a player to perform 1 Task Force Interdiction Action through which law enforcement agencies attempt to seize shipments in whichever zone you target.
  • 6 bank loan chips. These are the black circular chips with the white dollar sign on them.  Each represents a bank loan of $50 million.
  • Cash in the following bill denominations:
    • 40 x $5 million
    • 50 x $20 million
    • 50 x $100 million
  • 2 six-sided dice (2D6)

E. The Game Board

The board is an abstract representation of North America and the coca-producing regions of South America.  It is divided into 15 zones:  4 supply zones, 5 transit zones, and 6 premium import zones in the US & Canada. 

GoCaine game board viewed from the top.  Board is empty, showing all the supply zone, transit zones, and premium selling zones along with political influence panel and smuggling infrastructure dash board.

A regular grid has been laid over the map, 10 lines by 12 lines.  This grid is the Go board.  Each intersection is a location where you can place a cell. 

When you place a cell on an intersection, your cell controls that point/node.  From that node, your cell can purchase product at the market price for that zone, can transport or receive product, or can sell product at the market price for that zone. 


F.  Strategic Overview

In a nutshell, your task is to build a network of cells that enables you to buy cocaine from a zone with a lower price, move it to a zone with a higher price, and then sell it for a profit.  Generally speaking, the prices get higher as you move further north.  However, moving it over longer distances through several zones takes time and the only way to do it faster is to increase your Smuggling Infrastructure (which costs money).

Your challenge is to develop a network that enables you to move your product efficiently with sufficiently high profit margin.  You could win with less profit per sale if you can manage to move enough product, or you could win by moving less product but with a higher profit margin.  And, of course, your chances of winning are even greater if you can develop a network that enables you to do both (i.e. move a large volume of product at higher profit margins).

Meanwhile, your opponents will be trying to develop their own networks and will also be trying to take territory away from you and to deny you access to territory.  The competition over territory is where the Go play becomes a central part of the game.

If you surround an opponent’s cells by occupying all the adjacent intersections, then you capture these surrounded cells and they are removed from the board.  These mechanics are explained in detail below in Appendix 2 (Area Control & The Go Part of GoCaine). 

The other way that players try to hinder each other is through Task Force Interdiction Actions.  When you spend money to gain political influence, you acquire two things: (1) a certain amount of protection for your shipments, and; (2) you get a Task Force chip which you can subsequently use to launch a Task Force Interdiction Action to try to seize any shipments in a particular zone. 


G. Starting Resources

Each player starts with:

  • 10 cells
  • $50 million cash
  • Level 1 Smuggling Infrastructure
  • 1 Task Force chip

On one side of the board you will find the Smuggling Infrastructure panel.  On the other side of the board is the Political Influence control panel.  You will keep track of your smuggling transportation capacity and your political influence by using the same colored cubes that represent your product. 

Take 10 cells and 1 cube from your bag of pieces.  Place the cube on the Level 1 box of the Smuggling Infrastructure panel. 

Each turn when you deploy a cell to the game board, take it from this initial pile of 10 cells.  To get more cells you will have to buy them.  So, keep the ones you’ve bought separate from the ones in your bag of pieces!


H. Turn Sequence

Draw a random cube to determine who goes first.  After the first player has gone, the next player in a clockwise direction goes.   

On your turn you may do the following:

H1.   Choose 1 of the following actions:

  • Build & Buy
  • Transport Product
  • Sell Product.

H2.   Deploy 1 Cell.  Once you have placed your cell, your turn is over.

+       At any time you may launch a Task Force Interdiction Action.  You may do so either during your turn or during another player’s turn.

You must do your H1 action first, then deploy your cell (if you are deploying one).  Once you place your cell your turn is over.  If you are not placing a cell, announce that and state that your turn has finished.


H.1. Option 1:  Build & Buy

When you select the Build & Buy option, you can buy the following resources: cocaine, cells, smuggling infrastructure, and political influence.  You can buy as much as you want and can afford.

Table 1:  Resource Prices & Descriptions





 Cocaine product cubes in the six player colors.  Each cube represents 1 metric ton (mt) of cocaine.

Price is determined by the zone that your cell is in.


Prices range from $2.5 million per mt in Bolivia to $30 million per mt in Central zone.

This is the wholesale price of cocaine per metric ton in each zone.  Each cube represents 1 mt (metric ton).  A metric ton is equal to 1,000 kilograms which equals 2,205 pounds.

If you have chosen to perform the “Build & Buy” action, every cell that you have on the board is entitled to buy as much cocaine as you can afford (and deem wise to do so).  When you buy cocaine, join the appropriate number of cubes together and place them on the cell that made the purchase. 

For example, you have 2 cells in Peru and you want to make one 3 mt shipment and one 4 mt shipment.  To do this you would buy 7 mt at the Peruvian price ($5 million/mt).  You join 3 cubes together, place them on one of the cells, then join 4 cubes together and place those on the other cell.

Note that the price in Bolivia is $2.5 million/mt.  The lowest denomination of money in the game is $5 million, so any purchase of cocaine that you make in Bolivia has to be done in multiples of 2 mt.  In other words, you can spend $5 million in Bolivia and get 2 mt or spend $10 million and get 4 mt, etc.


GoCaine security force cells.  Each chip represents a multi-functional team used for security and as a node in a trafficking network.

$5 million

per cell

Each circular chip represents a cell/team of multifunctional personnel.  Cell members perform both security and distribution functions; they are responsible for buying, transporting, and/or selling your product. 

When you buy cells, you do not place them directly onto the game board.  You place them into your pile of purchased cells.  Then in step 2 of your turn (Deploy 1 Cell) you are entitled to take one of these purchased cells and place it onto an unoccupied intersection anywhere on the board.

Remember, your cell can connect and work with your other cells to secure your territory and protect it from takeover by your opponents.  At the same time, your cells are used to try to get territory from your opponents.

Housekeeping/Game Management Tip

It is often a good policy for players to keep their bag of unpurchased cells closed and only open it when they buy new cells. This practice will help avoid the inadvertent (or advertent) acquisition of unpurchased cells.


Smuggling Infrastructure


$20 million per level


You start the game at Level 1 on the Smuggling Infrastructure panel.  Each level gives you the ability to move one shipment from one cell in one zone to one cell in an adjacent zone.  To move the shipment you need a cell in each of the zones you are moving from, through, or to.  




Political Influence

Task Force token.  Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces are comprised of various US governmental agencies involved in the war on drugs.




$20 million per asset


Each zone on the game board has three Political Influence assets that can be purchased. Buying a Political Influence asset provides two benefits:

(1)    It lowers the seizure probability of any shipments you have in that zone.  When a zone is hit with a Task Force Interdiction Action, all shipments in that zone must roll on the Seizure Probability table to determine whether the shipment is seized.  If you are the owner of one of these shipments, you want a higher number to be rolled.  Having one asset in a zone adds +1 to the dice roll.  Having two assets in the zone adds +2, and having three assets in the zone adds +3.  This benefit is permanent, lasting until the end of the game.

(2)    When you buy a Political Influence asset you also receive one Task Force chip.  Each Task Force chip enables you to execute one Task Force Interdiction Action.


H.1. Option 2:  Transport Product

As noted above, you start the game at Level 1 on the Smuggling Infrastructure panel.  Each level gives you 1 unit of movement, allowing you to move one shipment from one cell in one zone to one cell in an adjacent zone.  To move the shipment you need a cell in each of the zones you are moving from, through, or to.

Note that the size of the shipment does not influence the transportation cost per se.  In other words, if you want to transport product from, say, a particular cell in Peru to another cell in the Tropical Pacific, it costs 1 unit of movement regardless of whether your shipment consists of 1 mt, 2 mt, or even 16 mt.  Also note, that in these rules, whenever we talk about transportation cost, we are referring to the cost in terms of the number of movement units that are needed.  We are not talking about a $ cost.

If you want to move a shipment two zones, for example from Western Colombia to Southwest, that will take 2 units of movement and to do so you would need to have one cell in Western Colombia, one cell in Southern Gateway, and one cell in Southwest.  If you have Level 2 Smuggling Infrastructure, you could move the same shipment those 2 units of movement in one turn.  However, if you only have Level 1 for Smuggling Infrastructure, then it is going to take you two turns to complete the transportation job.

The total movement cost (in terms of units of movement) equals the sum of the zones moved by each shipment. For example with Level 4, you could move two shipments two zones each, or four shipments one zone each, or two shipments one zone each and a third shipment two zones. 

A cell can process more than one shipment for transportation service.  Sometimes you have a bottleneck with only one cell in a zone you need to move through.  You can still send multiple shipments through that one cell, but doing so presents a risk in terms of interdiction vulnerability.  If an opponent hits that zone with a Task Force Interdiction Action during your turn, any shipments you send through that one cell will risk being seized.

Players should count their units of movement aloud with each step.  This helps ensure the movement is being done properly and gives all players a clear understanding of what is happening.  You are allowed to merge shipments together into a larger shipment and you can also split larger shipments up into several smaller ones.  You can use movement units to move shipments between cells in the same zone but generally speaking that would be a waste of movement; if you want to merge shipments it is more efficient to move them to a common cell in an adjacent zone.    

Appendix 1: Transport Product contains detailed examples illustrating various ways you can move product.  Although the examples shown in Appendix 1 are detailed, when you actually sit down to play, after a few turns you will find the system is very straightforward—it just takes a while to explain through diagrams!

On our website you can also find video examples explaining this part of the game. 


H.1. Option 3:  Sell Product

If you select Sell Product as your action, you may sell any product shipments that you presently have on the board provided the shipment is still controlled by one of your cells.  In other words, if the shipment is sitting on one of your cells, then you may sell part or all of that shipment at the specified price for that zone. 

So, for example, let’s say you have 4 mt on a cell in Southwest and you have another shipment of 3 mt on a cell in Northwest zone.  If you are choosing Sell Product as your action, you can sell 1-4 mt at the price for the Southwest zone (i.e. $20 million/mt), and you can sell 1-3 mt at the price for the Northwest zone (i.e. $25 million/mt).  Typically (almost always) you will want to sell your full shipment.  Doing so minimizes your risk because each turn it is on the board is another turn that an opponent might target it with an Interdiction Action.  Also, since you only get one action (from the buy, transport, or sell menu) per turn, it is more efficient for you to sell it all at once.  Still, there could be a time when perhaps you want to sell just 1 mt to get some money quickly and then continue to move the remainder of the shipment further north to get a better price.

When a player loses a shipment because their cell gets removed in a turf war, the shipment stays on that intersection.  The player who places a cell there first takes control of the abandoned shipment and it can subsequently then be sold during the new owner’s Sell Product action.


H.2.  Deploy 1 Cell

Cell Placement

During this action simply take one of your cells from your pile of purchased cells and place it onto any unoccupied intersection on the board.  Once placed, resolve any area control that needs tending to.  For example, if placing your cell surrounds an opponent’s cell (or group of cells) then they have been captured and must be removed.  Such captured cells are out of play for the remainder of the game.  Resolving area control is explained with detailed diagrams in Appendix 2 (Area Control & The Go Part of GoCaine).

Note that the cell you deploy must be taken from the ones you have already bought.  If your pile of purchased cells is empty, then you cannot place one that turn.  You will have to wait until you buy more cells.  In general, it can be quite devastating to you in your turf war if are unable to deploy/place a cell during your turn.  Therefore, be careful!  Always plan your buying action strategically to that you are not caught without any cells to place on your turn.

Capturing an Opponent’s Shipment

Sometimes the cell that must be removed has a product shipment on it.  When this happens, the shipment stays on that intersection.  Let’s say Blue had a shipment of 3 mt (i.e. 3 cubes) on a cell that became surrounded.  Blue removes the cell but must leave the shipment of 3 blue cubes there.  If another player then places a cell on that intersection, that player takes possession of that shipment and you then switch the cubes to that player’s color.  So, in the above example, if Red places a cell on the intersection with the 3 Blue cubes, Red replaces the 3 blue cubes with 3 red cubes and gives the 3 blue cubes back to the Blue player.  These 3 blue cubes would then go into Blue’s supply bag of unpurchased resources.


H.+.  Task Force Interdiction Actions

Overview of Interdiction Actions

At any point players may launch Task Force Interdiction Actions.  You may do so either during your turn or during another player’s turn.  The purpose of an Interdiction Action is to have law enforcement seize shipments in a specified zone.  The fate of each shipment in that zone during the current player’s turn is determined by the roll of two six-sided dice on the Seizure Probability table.  Larger shipments stand a higher probability of being seized.  Having political influence in the targeted zone lessens the risk of a player’s shipment being seized.

A Task Force Interdiction Action can target only one zone and you cannot use multiple Task Force chips on the same zone at the same time.  For example if you have three Task Force chips and you want to use them all, you could target three separate zones with Interdiction Actions but you could not use all three in one particular zone at the same time.

All shipments either currently in that zone or that attempt to pass through that zone during the current player’s turn are subject to seizure.  Any shipments failing the dice roll on the Interdiction Seizure Probability table are seized by law enforcement agencies.  They are removed from the board and returned to the appropriate player’s pile of unpurchased product.  Note, if you yourself have any shipments in a zone that you are targeting with an Interdiction Action, just like your opponents’ shipments, yours too will be subject to interdiction and you will have to roll two six-sided dice to see if they are seized.

As mentioned above, you may play one or more Task Force chips to launch Interdiction Actions at any point in the game, either during your turn or during an opponent’s turn.  You simply announce you are launching an Interdiction Action and place your Task Force chip on whatever zone you are targeting.

The Task Force chip remains there until whoever the current player is has finished their turn.  At that point, the used Task Force chip is removed from the game.  Each Task Force chip can therefore only be used once.

Note:  there are only 51 Task Force chips in the game so use them wisely.  You each start with one Task Force chip and then you acquire one additional chip each time you buy political influence.  There are 15 zones in which political influence can be bought and three Political Influence assets per zone.  If you want to have political influence in a given zone, you are advised not to wait too long to buy it.  As the game goes on and players come in to more money, Political Influence assets can be bought up quickly.

How to Use the Seizure Probability Table

For each shipment either currently in the targeted zone or any shipments that move through that zone during the current player’s turn, roll two six-sided dice (2D6) and consult the Seizure Probability table at the bottom right corner of the game board.

Interdiction Action: Seizure Probability

Note: a roll of “2” (snake eyes) results in seizure regardless of political influence.

1 mt

2 mt

3 mt

4 mt

5-6 mt

7-8 mt

9-11 mt

12+ mt










Adjust the roll based on the extent to which the player owning the shipment has political influence in that zone.  Each Political Influence asset in that zone adds +1 to the dice roll, thereby making it harder to seize the shipment.

If the number you roll on two six-sided dice plus any adjustments for political influence falls within the specified range on the table, then the shipment has been seized.  When that happens, remove those cubes from the board and return them to the player’s stash of unpurchased pieces.

From a quick glance at the table you will see that larger shipments stand a higher chance of being seized.  For example, if a shipment is only 1 mt (i.e. 1 cube), it will be seized only on a roll of 2-3 on 2D6 (two six-sided dice).  With a 2 mt shipment (i.e. 2 cubes), the chance increases to a roll of 2-4 on 2D6.  With a 3 mt shipment, the chance increases to a roll of 2-5 and continues to increase with larger shipments up to 12+ mt at which point the chances of having the shipment seized is a roll of 2-11 on 2D6.  After 12 cubes, the probability of having them seized does not change.  Generally speaking, you want to avoid such large shipment unless you have adequate political influence in the zones you are moving through or if you know that your opponents have no Task Force chips left to play.

Also note that a roll of snake-eyes (i.e. a “1” on each die) results in the shipment being seized regardless of how much political influence you have in that zone.

Here are a few examples to illustrate how the Interdiction Actions are resolved.


Example 1: Small shipment, no political influence

Shipment size: 2 mt

Political influence: 0 assets in that zone

Roll result on 2D6:  2 on one die and a 2 on the other die, so the total roll is 4.

Result:  From the Seizure Probability table, we see that a roll of 2-4 is needed.  Since the player who owns the shipment does not have any political influence in that zone, the roll of “4” remains.  It is within the 2-4 range, so the shipment is seized.  The cubes are removed and returned to that player’s pile of unpurchased cubes.


Example 2: Small shipment, 1 asset for political influence

Shipment size: 2 mt

Political influence: 1 asset in that zone

Roll result on 2D6:  3 on one die and a 1 on the other die, so the total roll is 4.

Result: 4 +1 = 5.  Safe.


Example 3:  Small shipment, 2 assets for political influence

Shipment size:  3 mt

Political Influence:  2 assets in that zone (will therefore get +2 to dice roll)

Roll result on 2D6:  2 on one die and a 1 on the other die, so the total roll is 3.

Result:  3+2 =  5.   Seized.


Example 4:  Small shipment, 3 assets for political influence

Shipment size:  3 mt

Political Influence:  3 assets in that zone

Roll result on 2D6:  3

Result:  3 + 3 = 6.  Safe.


Example 5:  Medium shipment, 2 assets for political influence

Shipment size:  5 mt

Political Influence:  2 assets in that zone

Roll result on 2D6:  7

Result:  7 + 2 = 9.  Safe.


I. Bank Loan

If a player mismanages their business, spends all of their money and does not buy enough product and then gets hit with a disastrous product seizure, that player could end up with no money and no product, which in turn would mean they would have no way of making more money. 

Such a player would be doomed, but thankfully in GoCaine they can get a second chance by taking a bank loan.  The bank loan is in the amount of $50 million.  The catch is that the player must pay back the amount of the loan plus $5 million in interest (so a total of $55 million).  Players must pay back the loan as soon as they sell enough product to have enough cash to do so.  If the player attains $55 million or more, that player must pay back the loan and cannot buy anything else until the loan is paid.

Only a player who has no money and no product left may get a loan.  This is a bailout tool and cannot be used by players who still have money or product.  Also, a player who is broke can only get one loan at a time.  If you get a loan and then lose the product that you’ve just purchased with that loan, you are doomed.  All you can do is keep playing by deploying one cell per turn until you run out of purchased cells and you can continue to execute Interdiction Actions until you run out of Task Force chips.  At that point, with a defaulted loan, no purchased cells left to deploy and no Task Force chips, you may want to concede defeat and leave the game.

In terms of game mechanics, the procedure for getting a loan is simple.  On your turn, if you are out of money and have no product, then you get a $50 million loan from the bank and receive one of the loan markers (circular token with the dollar sign on it).  When you pay back the $55 million, you give this loan marker back to the bank.


J.  Early Departure of Defeated Players

If you are conceding defeat either because you are in default on a loan and have no product to sell (and therefore no way of making more money), leave your deployed cells on the board, and then ideally do something useful such as make snacks or drinks for the remaining players.

If you are not bankrupt but realize that your situation is hopeless, you can also voluntarily concede defeat and leave the game early.  Note, however, that when this occurs, it often benefits one of the remaining players more than the others and is therefore usually not appreciated by the rest of the players.  It should not be done lightly.  Be a good sport and try to keep fighting until the end! 

The situation on the board can change very dramatically in GoCaine.  The multiplayer Go aspect can result in situations where one player with a large territory can quickly be surrounded by the cells of opposing players and then suddenly such a player can lose a tremendous amount of territory which then becomes available for the rest of the players to fight over.  So, if you have a setback early in the game, do not despair.  Try to make some allies, buy yourself some time and lay your plans for striking back.


K. Alliances, Deals, and Backstabbing

In GoCaine, players who make one or two allies typically fare better than players who are unable to do so.  You can help an ally in the following ways:

  • Where you place your cells. Avoiding placing your cells in your ally’s territory, particularly in locations that might contribute to them being surrounded can be of great benefit to your ally.  Similarly, deploying your cells to locations that put pressure on a mutual opponent can benefit both you and your ally.
  • What zones you target with Task Force Interdiction Actions.

You are not allowed to give money or other resources to each other.  It does not matter whether it is just a gift or whether it is being given in exchange for something else.   Transferring money or resources to another player is against the rules.

You are not allowed to buy or build resources for each other.

You are not allowed to move product for each other. 

While players are generally encouraged to honor deals, at some point in the game there may arise the opportunity to surge ahead and secure victory by betraying an ally and not honoring a deal. 

Be very careful though.  Just like in real life, a backstab in the game can result in a brutal vendetta war for the rest of the game.  If done too soon, the ensuing war will likely weaken you both and create opportunities for another player to secure victory.

Here are the typical ways that backstabs may occur:

  • You (or your “ally”) may start placing cells into locations that jeopardize the other’s territorial security.
  • You (or your “ally”) may target the other with Task Force Interdiction Actions.

Very Important:  Remember that this is a game.  Undoubtedly there will be temporary hurt feelings and tempers may flare, but do not let such feelings extend outside of the game.  If they linger, you must bottle them up and save them to unleash in the next game at which time you can seek your revenge.  Depending on your group dynamics, you may find it helpful to copy the Players Covenant (see Appendix 4) and have players sign that before starting games.


L.  Playing for Points or Money

Some groups may want to play for points or for money and utilize a scoring system in which the 1st place winner gets the most points (or wins the most money), the 2nd place player gets less points or money, the 3rd player gets something, and the 4th, 5th, and 6th players get nothing.  Playing with such a system can be interesting because it creates extra incentive to try to do well even if you realize you are not going to finish in 1st place.

Here is an example of a six player game in which everybody contributes $1 to the pot at the start of the game.  At the end of the game, you could divide the winnings up as follows:

1st place: $3

2nd place: $2

3rd place: $1

4th, 5th, and 6th place: nothin


M.  Credits

Game Designer: Richard Nguyen-Marshall

Copyright: Kharitago Games Inc.

GoCaine Trademark is owned by Kharitago Games Inc.

Artwork: Devisha Binns

Game Testers:  I am very grateful to the many people who spent their time testing the many variations of this game as it was being developed.  Thank you to the following gamers for your constructive feedback, enthusiasm, and for making the game testing and development process fun:  Joe, Tyler, Evan, CJ, Mike, Kevin, Maikol, Josh, Sarah, Jay, Shelby, Chris, Sergei, Richard, Brad, Kevin, Stephanie, David, Steve, Meaghan, Rory, Josh, Marek, Corey, Evan, David, Richard, Peter, Dana, Finis, Marit, Mike, Nabeel, Taimbur, Elaine, Cameron, Zack, Joules, Brianna, Kara, Hung, Richard, Dianna, Constantine, John, Gil, Graham, Michael, Jack, Earle, Nicola, Linnea, Kristen, Ian, Jaime, Jeremy, Tim, Steve, David, Lorenzo, Dylan, Chris, William, Arnold, Asher, Liz, Nigel, Ashley, Al, Tim, Mark, Candice, Matthew, Sarah, Brad, Lisa, Chester, David, Marlene, Pierre, Colin, Dan, Adrian, Jolie, Rob, Rowan, Ben, Carly, Alexeivich, Cmdr Bob, Sophie, Brian, Trinh, Sam, Emily, Amanda, Tony, Khang, Minh, Gillian, Jojo, Jamie, Jacqueline, Nadia, Mariam, Devisha, Xuan, and Van. Sorry, but I’ve probably forgotten a few people.  To any unnamed people who shared their time and opinions in developing this game, Thank You!

Thank you to Snakes & Lattes for regularly hosting game designers night and also to Board Game Bliss for hosting their designer days, and to A Game Cafe for being so welcoming.  Thank you to the many game designers in Toronto who shared their opinions and who were busy testing their own creations.  It has been an inspirational experience to see so many talented, creative people at work.

Thank you to Hung and Richard from the Toronto Go Meetup group for testing out an early version of this game and for improving my limited knowledge of traditional Go. 

Special thank you to Michelle and Matt of BoardAgain Games for being so welcoming and always helping find players for me.  And also a very special thanks to Matt for suggesting the name GoCaine.

Thank you, Dev, for coming to my rescue when I was approaching crunch time and was in desperate need of a skilled artist to help bring the theme to life in the game zone patterns.

I am very grateful for the enthusiasm my daughter, Xuan, had for this project and for the feedback and guidance she provided.  Thank you, dottir!  And lastly, special thanks to my lovely wife, Van, for her support, patience, and proofreading.  This was a long project—thank you for putting up with me!