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In Mad Zeppelin, you're a Traitor trying to throw cargo off of the airship Nostria to your black-market compatriots on the ground. At the beginning of the turn, the current first player throws three dice, which shows what color of Traitors can throw cargo overboard. (The idea is that the dice show the "wind direction," which would be more plausible if the winds weren't capable of blowing north, south, and west at the same time.) So, on any given turn, a Traitor might or might not be able to throw cargo overboard, depending on the colors showing on the dice.

This is well and good until you get to the Crate of Alcohol cargo card; it says that "This card is not thrown overboard." Does that mean that a Traitor can play the Crate of Alcohol even if the wind isn't in their favor? The rules themselves assume that all cargo cards are "thrown overboard," so it's a bit confusing.

A second thought: if playing the Crate of Alcohol doesn't count as being thrown overboard, does that mean you can also play a second cargo card during that Traitor's turn?

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A user on Board Game Geek sent a list of questions to the game designer, and the purpose of the Crate of Alcohol was included. A full list of these can be found here.

Regarding the Crate of Alcohol, game designer Oliver Pauwels replied:

"Crate of Alcohol" pay 3 gold coins (as indicated on the bottom of the card) to activate this effect. Once you've paid the fee, the card is placed in front of you and stays there for the rest of the game. This does not give you any points, but it does lower your cost to throw cargo overboard for the rest of the game. A player can have more than one Crate of Alcohol in play, and the effects are cumulative (so two of them would reduce the cost of all cargo being thrown overboard by 2). Since no level 4 cargo are ever thrown overboard, this cost reduction NEVER applies to level 4 cards (for instance, a 2nd Crate of Alcohol still costs 3).

Additionally, the Crate of Alcohol is a Level 4 cargo. Pauwels also notes

[T]he level 4 are special cargo. NONE of these cargo are thrown overboard and as such the color of the die rolls do NOT apply to use of level 4 cards (use them any time).

So it doesn't matter what color die you roll, but they are never counted as being thrown overboard.

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Wow, I sure wish those rules about all level 4 cargo were actually in the rulebook. I suspect the translation was a wee bit faulty, considering that the designer is French and was apologizing for his English in that thread. –  Paul Marshall Mar 15 '13 at 21:59
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