General info and comments
The Messengers (Mini #2), formerly known as The Messages or Dispatches in the 1st. edition, was released by Hans im Glück for the new edition in 2017, bundled as part of Big Box 6.
Message tile front
Message tile back
Shuffle the message tiles and stack them facedown within easy reach of all players. Each player places the messenger of their color on the 0 space on the scoreboard. Each player should now have one meeple and one messenger on the scoreboard.
There are no land tiles specific to this expansion.
The figures in this expansion are not placed on the standard land tiles as part of the game.
Whenever you score points, you must choose to move either your scoring meeple or your messenger forward along the scoreboard. If, during your turn (and only during your turn), your scoring meeple or your messenger moves to and stops on one of the dark spaces (0, 5, 10, 15, etc.),  immediately draw and resolve one message. To resolve a message, you must either:
- Perform the action shown on the message.
- Score 2 points (as shown in the bottom-right of the message tile.)
In both cases, the message tile is then placed facedown at the bottom of the stack.
The Messages tiles
|| (1) Shortest Road: Choose a road on which you have a highwayman (you do not need to control the road). If you have a highwayman on more than one road, you must choose the road that would be worth the fewest points. Determine the chosen road's score as you would during final scoring, and you score that many points. Your highwayman remains on the road.
|| (2) Smallest City: The same as Message 1, but for cities, instead of roads.
|| (3) Smallest Monastery: The same as Message 1, but for monasteries, instead of roads.
|(4) Add a Landscape Tile:
Draw one tile and place it, using normal rules. You may also place a meeple (or other special figure) on it, also using normal rules. [N1 1]
The placement of this tile follows a normal turn with all its phases. The player may also receive additional messages.
|| (5) 2 Points per Coat of Arms: For each coat of arms in cities where you have at least one knight (you do not need to control the city), you score 2 points.
|| (6) 2 Points per Knight: You score 2 points for each of your knights. Your knights remain on their cities.
|| (7) 2 Points per Farmer: You score 2 points for each of your farmers. Your farmers remain on their fields.
|(8) Score a Meeple and Return it to your Supply:
Choose one of your meeples in the play area. If you have the majority in the feature where this meeple is, 
score the area as you would at the end of the game but only you get points. Then return only your
meeple that was on the feature back to your supply, even if it didn't score any points. [N2 1]
Any other meeples belonging to you or other players remain on the feature, as it is still incomplete.
[WICA.0232.0201 / CAR.427]
- When you score points, you must move either your scoring meeple or your messenger accordingly. [N3 1] [N3 2]
- You can only draw one message from a round of scoring.  [N3 3] Even if both your meeple and your messenger land on dark spaces during one turn (by scoring two features), you will still only draw one message tile.
- Whenever tracking the points scored from a message tile earlier this turn, if either your scoring meeple or your messenger lands on a dark space, you may draw and resolve a second message. [N3 4]
In other words, both scoring figures are considered equally, with no differences between the two.
[WICA.0232.0301 / CAR.432]
If, for example, a city and a road are completed and scored by the active player, a different scoring figure (the scoring meeple or the messenger) could be moved for each feature. However, all points scored by that city must be moved by one scoring figure, and all points scored by that road must be moved by one scoring figure.
[WICA.0232.0302 / CAR.428]
The mechanics associated to "rounds of scoring" are detailed in section Rounds of Scoring, including an up-to-date summary of the clarifications provided in 5/2014 and 10/2014.
The 1st edition also indicated that if you get points from a Message, it is possible that you could move a scoring figure and receive another Message, playing it in the same turn. Chains of scoring in this way can continue indefinitely.
CAUTION: Only the active player can draw messages, therefore any other players with a scoring figure landing on a scoreboard dark space do not receive messages.
At the end of the game but before starting final scoring, total the score of both your scoring meeple and your messenger, then place your scoring meeple on the space corresponding to that total. Then, return your messenger to your supply and proceed with final scoring as normal. No message tiles are drawn during final scoring.
If playing with other expansions, please take the following notes into consideration:
- Message 1:
- The scoring for these Messages only considers those points related to the road. No bonus associated to any figures placed on the feature are taken into consideration, since the focus of this message is scoring the feature. Those bonus points for figures would be scored when the feature is properly scored.
- Message 2:
- The scoring for this Message only considers those points related to the city. No bonus associated to any figures placed on the feature are taken into consideration, since the focus of this message is scoring the feature. Those bonus points for figures would be scored when the feature is properly scored.
- Message 3:
- It applies to all features considered proper monasteries:
- Shrines / cult places
- German monasteries with meeples as placed as a monk or as an abbot [N4 1]
- Dutch & Belgian monasteries with meeples as placed as a monk or as an abbot [N4 1]
- Japanese buildings with meeples as placed as a monk or as an abbot [N4 1]
- Darmstadt churches
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2
There is no official clarification stating whether this message should consider special monasteries (German monasteries, Dutch & Belgian monasteries and Japanese buildings) with a meeple placed as an abbot. The original rules were created before the special monasteries where released, so this case is not considered. However, the rules contain no limitations that would prevent players from considering special monasteries with a meeple placed as an abbot. In this case, we will apply the general rule provided by Georg Wild: "If an older expansion only mentions the word monk, this does not exclude meeples placed as an abbot on a German monastery." (7/2014)
This will also apply to Japanese Buildings and Dutch & Belgian monasteries.
- The scoring for this Message only considers those points related to the feature. No bonus associated to any figures placed on the feature are taken into consideration, since the focus of this message is scoring the feature. Those bonus points for figures would be scored when the feature is properly scored.
- Message 4:
- The placement the additional tile follows a normal turn with all its phases. As indicated in other clarification, the placement of this extra tile may even become a double turn. The player may also receive additional messages.
- As in a normal turn, players may decide to use a tile in their supply instead of drawing a new one, such as:
- Message 8:
- You can score 0 points in various scenarios:
- A highwayman on road with an inn
- A knight in city with a cathedral
- A knight on besieged city
- A farmer in field with no completed cities
- A mayor in city with no coats of arms
- A mayor on castle token
- A lord/lady on castle token
- You do not have the majority
- Of course, choosing to do this rather than take the 2 points in the seal would be an odd tactical decision... [CAR.426]
- Any bonus points associated to the figure being removed will be scored as if at the end of the game, such as, the fairy 3-point scoring bonus or the ringmaster bonus.
Inns & Cathedrals
- Interactions with messages:
- Message 1: A road with an inn on it is worth 0 points if it is incomplete.
- Message 2: A city with a cathedral in it is worth 0 points if it is incomplete.
- Messages 6 and 7:  The large meeple is counted as only 1 knight or farmer.
Traders & Builders
- Getting a double turn with the builder: You can draw a message tile during each 3. Scoring a Feature action, so long as either your meeple or messenger is moving to and stopping on a dark space each time.
Rounds of Scoring
The rules refer to "rounds of scoring," since all features (and figures) scored in one "round of scoring" are counted together, and only at the end of a "round of scoring" is it determined if a scoring figure is on a dark space, as per the clarifications from 5/2014 and 10/2014.
The active player can receive only one Message from a round of scoring (even if, for example, both scoring figures end up on dark number fields after the scoring of several finished features). However, if the active player gets points from a Message, it is possible that he or she could move a scoring figure and receive another Message, playing it in the same turn. Chains of scoring in this way can continue indefinitely. [N5 1] [N5 2]
If there is a double turn because of a builder, the placement of the second tile would create at least another round of scoring (at the end of 3. Scoring a feature), and thus another opportunity (or several, depending on the expansions used) to get a Message. (1/2013, updated 2/2020)
[WICA.0232.0501 / CAR.430]
If a tile is added to a feature with a builder and triggers the drawing of Message 4, The Message extra tile comes before the builder extra turn. If the extra tile from the Message is put on the builder's feature, this will create another builder extra turn. Thus, the events would be: initial turn => Message 4 turn => Message 4 builder turn => original tile's builder turn. (11/2013)
[WICA.0232.0502 / CAR.425]
In order to trigger a Message, the landing on a dark space will take into consideration any scoring moving forward a scoring figure on the scoreboard (including stolen points or payments received). No backwards movements of scoring figures landing on a dark space (due to payments) will be considered.
When playing with the base game alone, there is only one round of scoring taking place in phase 3. Scoring feature, identified as Round 3 below.
Depending on the number of expansions used, there are a number of different rounds of scoring that could occur over the course of a turn. Payment of points, as with bidding in a bazaar, or ransoming of a meeple captured by a tower, or paying a meeple back from a bathhouse, does not count as a round of scoring.
In this case, the dispatch may interrupt the current turn, so the active player might need to keep track and resume the turn where he or she left off. The active player doesn't lose any phase of their regular turn when receiving a message.
>> Conventional turn [N6 1]
1. Placing a tile
- Round 1A - Beginning of turn:
- Round 1B - After drawing tile, before placing tile:
- Round 1C - After drawing and placing tile:
2. Placing a meeple
- Round 2 - End of “move wood” phase:
- Abbot removal scoring
- Shepherd after "Guide flock to the stable" action
- Acrobat pyramid scoring
- Fruit-bearing tree action
3. Scoring a feature
- Round 3 - Scoring phase:
- Bonus scoring (pre): Watchtower, Tollhouse
- Feature scoring: City, Road, Monastery, Castle, etc.
- Bonus scoring (post): Markets of Leipzig, Fairy 3 points, Ringmaster points, Teacher
- Circus scoring
4. Additional actions
The rounds of scoring are numbered to match the Order of Play.
Scoring 1 point for possession of the fairy is a separate scoring event, so it can trigger an opportunity to receive a Message by itself. In this case the dispatch may interrupt your turn, so you might have to keep track and resume the turn where you left it. You don't lose a phase of your regular turn. (updated 5/2014)
[WICA.0232.0602 / CAR.431.a]
Scoring 3 points for placement of a Windrose is a separate event and can also can trigger an opportunity to receive a Message by itself. In this case the dispatch may interrupt your turn, so you might have to keep track and resume the turn where you left it. You don't lose a phase of your regular turn. (updated 5/2014)
[WICA.0232.0603 / CAR.431.b]
>> Double turn from builder
- As in conventional turn, except Fairy point is omitted in second part of the turn [N7 1]
Some other actions may only take place once during a double turn but they will not affect messages:
- Prisoner ransom
- Claiming an unclaimed tunnel portal.
- Taking flight from the Plague (once an infestation is active).
- Spreading the plague by placing a flea token (once an infestation is active), if the tile placed is not a new plague source.
- Points from the action of a message
Total Tiles: 8
For Icons licensing and explanation please visit Icons page.
The ZMG rules include an additional constraint not present in the original rules by HiG: You can only draw message tiles when your scoring meeple and messenger are alone. If another player's scoring meeple or messenger is on a dark space when you land there, you do not draw a message tile.
The ZMG rules allowed the active player to score a feature even without having the majority. This may be due to a mistranslation of the German rules.
The ZMG rules read "You can only draw one message when scoring features," what is less specific than the original ones by HiG, that introduced the concept of round of scoring clarified to a large extent in 10/2014.
This clarification referred to Messages 5 and 6 by mistake in the PDF rules available. The HiG printed rules corrected this error. In fact:
- Message 5 refers to coats of arms.
- Messages 5 and 6 only refer to cities, so the mention of farmers doesn't make sense for any of them.
- Message 7 does involve farmers.