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|Number of Players
||Dan Kazmaier, Connie Kazmaier
In Chai, you step into the shoes of a tea merchant, combining tea flavours to make a perfect blend. Specializing in either rooibos, green, oolong, black or white tea, you buy and collect ingredients to fulfill your customers’ orders.
Each turn you will do one of the following:
Visit the Market – The player immediately receives a gold coin and picks a tea flavour tile (mint, jasmine, lemon, ginger, berries, and lavender), adding to their tea box. If the flavour tile is touching tiles of the same type these tiles are taken as well. Payment (gold, silver, or a copper coin) goes in the money pouch corresponding to the furthest-right column the tiles were in. Players' tea box cannot contain more than 12 flavour tiles at any time.
Select Additives – Tea additive cards (milk, sugar, honey, vanilla, and chai spices) are also needed to finish most orders. A player may perform two actions in the additive area: selecting all of the additive cards of one type (with new cards drawn after the first action), resetting the visible cards, or drawing a card from the additive deck. Players cannot hold more than 6 additive cards in their tea box at any time.
Reserve a Customer – Players may also reserve a customer card from the customer pool from the visible cards or draw deck. If drawing a visible card, a new card is immediately drawn into the customer pool, faceup, to replace the card taken. Players cannot have more than 3 unfulfilled customer cards at any time in their tea box. If a player has more than 3 cards, a card must be discarded and placed face up in the customer pool with a copper coin from the money pouch placed on top.
At the end of each turn, a player may complete a tea order from one customer card in their hand or visible in the pool. A base tea token, tea flavours and additives shown on the card are needed ingredients, and all are placed in an empty tea cup. The player flips over a tip and receives a bonus coin, moving the thermometer round tracker up one notch if all cups are filled.
The game is over when five rounds of cups have been fulfilled. When the final order is completed, other players complete their last turn so that each player has the same number of turns. To score, players add up their victory points from fulfilled orders, and add their leftover money to this total. In 3-5 player games, more points are awarded to the player(s) who fulfilled the most orders and most diverse tea recipes. Ties are friendly with each winner receiving 5 points.
The person with the most victory points (from customer orders, money, and awards) wins the game as best tea merchant! In the case of a tie, the player with the least number of fulfilled customer cards wins. If still tied, the player with the least amount of money wins. If there is still a tie, the victory is shared.