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In the base game of RftG, if you chose Consume>Trade as the action, do you have to trade on a card that has a $ ability? If it is a +3 and do you get +3 cards in addition to the normal trade value?

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You first sell any one of your available goods for the number of cards indicated by the kind of good (i.e. 2 cards for a Novelty good, up to 5 for an Alien good). Some cards in your tableau may have Trade powers (marked with a $) that may affect what you get from this trade.

Then you must use as many of the Consume powers (marked with a IV) as you have on your cards as possible, on as many of the remaining goods that you have as you can. You can use these powers once only each, but you can use them in any order you like.

From the way you phrase your question, it sounds as though you think that the initial Trade is performed based on one of your Consume powers, somehow. It isn't; the initial Trade is a completely independent bonus and takes place before you refer to the special powers of the cards in your tableau.

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So if you don't have any Consume Trade bonuses on the cards on your tableau, if you choose Consume Trade you get to trade based on the generic consume trade as indicated on the card? I'm guessing another read through the rules would clarify it for me. –  Tuxhedoh Jan 16 '11 at 3:06
    
@Tuxhedoh: Even if you have no cards with Consume powers, you can still Consume>Trade, and convert a good into cards by the power of the Trade bonus alone. Once you've resolved that, you have to start using Consume powers until you have either no Consume powers or no usable Goods left. The RftG rules are quite involved, and take a little bit of work to understand at first, but once you "get" them they soon become second nature! –  thesunneversets Jan 16 '11 at 4:34
    
Part of my problem was I learned from a friend years ago.... played it about 15 times, than shelved it until just recently. So the basic gameplay I still remember, it's just this Consume Trade that's getting me. –  Tuxhedoh Jan 17 '11 at 15:51

Consume > Trade gives you access to a special phase that only players who select Consume > Trade can perform. During that phase, you must sell any one good from any planet in your tableau for 2/3/4/5 (blue/brown/green/yellow) cards. If you have any $ powers, those will change your payout for your single allowed trade, but you do not need any of them and the traded good can come from any world.

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Now this makes it sound to me like Consume >Trade will only allow you to trade one card, regardless of the powers available on the cards on your tableau. I can see I've definitely been remembering the rules incorrectly. So one could play Consume Trade even if not having any cards on their tableau with that ability, unlike normal consume which requires cards to be able to consume there. –  Tuxhedoh Jan 17 '11 at 15:55
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@Tuxhedoh: Consume->Trade does allows you Trade only one card. But then you can (and must) Consume as many cards as able. I think your confusion is understandable: the Trade and Consume halves of the operation work in pretty different ways. But that's just Race for the Galaxy really... –  thesunneversets Jan 17 '11 at 18:12
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That's right, the Trade phase only allows you to Trade one good, unless one of the powers in your tableau overrides it. Most trade powers just increase your payoff for your single trade, though. After Trade is complete, all players (whether they selected Consume or not) perform the Consume phase, where everybody must consume as much as possible. –  jjb Jan 18 '11 at 0:02
    
Its also confusing that it is written as "Consume>Trade", but the Trade happens FIRST, followed by the Consume. –  Chris Dodd Jun 16 at 18:36

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