Anno General

Game Play – Answers and Lessons Learned

Guide and Video

Before I get into things, I want to be clear that some things here are discussed in the Guide and Video. It is the list of most common questions and hiccups in learning that I have encountered teaching our testers how to play. Call this a helpful supplement to everything else.

Table of Anno Matches

Blue Moon Cards

  • Blue Moons, have the unique feature of being the only cards that are never matched. This means that they cannot directly score you any points. They still count as -5 points as do all cards that remain in your hand when the round ends.
  • A Blue Moon card in your hand can be exchanged for any card in the Community-8. This can only be done as the first thing you do when your turn begins. You must have received the Blue Moon card in some previous turn to play it.
  • You do not have to use the card you exchanged the Blue Moon card for in the same turn. You can make the exchange and then sit on the new card.
  • A Blue Moon can be exchanged for a Blue Moon.
  • A Blue Moon must be burned, like any other card, if it is the only card in your hand at the end of your turn.
  • Even if you do not score any points, you can use a Blue Moon card to take a card you think another player wants from the Community-8. Even if it is taken just to be Burned at the end of the same Turn.

Weather Cards

Gravis Tempestatis Anno Card
  • Weather cards have the same point values as any other card. +5 matched and -5 unmatched at the end of the round.
  • The 1 or 3+ Matching rule still applies. A Weather card must be matched with the adjusted Season and at least one other card to make three total.
  • Look at the symbol on Weather cards, they will tell you how it changes a month’s season when it is matched with the altered season. I.E. Snowstorm/Nivis: Changes Both Spring and Fall into Winter. Imagine a fall or spring day with an unseasonable snowstorm blowing through. The month is still the same but the “feel” of the Season has changed.

Cusp Cards

Anno Cusp Card
  • Cusp cards have the same point values as any other card. +5 matched and -5 unmatched at the end of the round.
  • Usually a declared (played) Month card can only have one of its two Zodiac cards matched to it at a time. The other Zodiac card that could Match to that Month is forbidden to.
  • Cusp cards allow you to ‘unlock’ the second spot for a Zodiac card to match to a Month.
  • The 1 or 3+ matching rule still applies. You must Match three total This gives you two options:
    • (x2 Both) Matchable Zodiac Cards & (x1) Cusp Card
    • (x1 Single) Matchable Zodiac Cards, (x1) Cusp Card, (x1+ Other Matchable Card)
  • The first option describes a Month that had no previous Zodiacs matched that round. The second option describes adding the second Zodiac to a Month that already had its first Matched during a previous turn.


  • Burn and Turn can only be the last thing that you do in your turn.
  • Some of the testers have used the phrase, “Sorting the Board” to refer to replacing all the Community-8 cards as soon as possible. I have seen a few reorder the Community-8, sorting them. I don’t really recommend this. It is more effort than it is worth to me. Keeping everything simple and making it easy to back track moves in case mistakes is really helps during the learning curve.
  • You must Burn before you draw the new card. Make sure you replace all the cards in the Community-8 before Burning and Turning to not mix up the order in which the cards were disbursed.
  • Check to see what has been played and what has not. Let’s say you have a Zodiac card in your Hand and other players have already Declared both of the Months that your Zodiac card is matchable to. You will never be able to Declare one of those Month cards so there is no reason for you to hang on to that Zodiac card. If you have a Spring card and March, April and May Month cards have been Declared by other players, there is no way for you to use that Spring card.
  • Before you Burn a card, double check that you are not missing a score. It is common for players of all levels to miss scoring opportunities.
  • A card that Matches is only useful if you have, will or could, Declare(d) a Month card that is Matchable to it.
  • If you have no Month cards and you are Burning and Turning looking for a Month to Match to, it can be helpful to concentrate on Season or Quarters. If you hold all of one kind, any Month card you draw will be guaranteed to Match.
  • Four months have 30 days, seven months have 31. Good to remember.

Coming Soon!

If you are a big fan of math, then you can look forward to my statistical analysis of Anno this week. It is by no means exhaustive, but it will be able to express a lot of the basic strategies and things to look for in a way that is more subjective and more able to be put in order. I will end this with a critical reminder that most of Anno is luck. You can, by observation infer to a certain extent what is likely and not likely to be drawn next. It can help you figure out which Cards to hold on to and which to Burn. You can use these strategies in general but sometimes you got to go with a gut feeling and take a risk.

Croatian-American Businessman with professional backgrounds in American civil litigation and N.A.T.O. centric military contracting. Creator of Anno the Card Game and Managing Partner of N.R.B.M. Corp.