How To Play: Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan is a strategic board game that offers a rich and immersive gaming experience. As players trek through the Mongolian Empire, they must carefully manage resources, strategically place dice, plan routes, balance contracts and objectives, and maximize character abilities to achieve victory.

With its high replayability, stunning components, and captivating artwork, Marco Polo II keeps players engaged and entertained throughout every session. The game rewards strategic decision-making, clever resource management, and adaptation to changing circumstances.

To excel in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan, players must master the optimal management of their resources, strategically place their dice to maximize their actions, plan efficient routes for travel and trade, skillfully balance contracts and objectives, and leverage the unique abilities of their chosen character.

In this strategic pursuit of favor from Kublai Khan, victory lies for those who effectively navigate the complexities of the game. So suit up, pack your wagons, and embark on a journey to become the legendary traveler in the Mongolian Empire!


Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan. In this guide, we will provide you with a detailed outline of the game rules and share the best strategies to dominate this captivating board game and emerge as the ultimate victor. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to improve your skills or a newcomer hoping to gain a competitive edge, this guide has you covered.

Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan is a strategic game set in the Mongolian Empire, where players undertake a journey to fulfill contracts, establish wealth, and earn the favor of Kublai Khan. It offers a rich and immersive gaming experience with various paths to victory.

In this guide, we will dive into each aspect of the game, starting with a thorough exploration of the game rules and mechanics. We will then delve into the best techniques and strategies for optimizing your gameplay across key areas, including resource management, dice placement, route planning, contract balancing, and maximizing character abilities.

Whether you’re aiming to fine-tune your skills or seeking an authoritative tutorial on achieving victory, this strategy guide will equip you with everything you need to outsmart your opponents and secure your place as a legendary traveler in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan.

What’s in the Box

  • 4 Player Boards
  • 16 Dice (4 sets of 4 dice)
  • 48 Traveler Tokens (12 per player)
  • 64 Resource Cubes
  • 16 Trading Posts
  • 40 Contracts
  • 10 Character Tiles
  • 54 City Cards
  • 28 Objective Cards
  • 36 Destination Cards
  • 4 First Player Tokens
  • 2 Region Boards
  • 42 Coins
  • 60 Goods Tokens
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan: Rules Summary

  1. Each player receives a Player Board, Set of Dice, and Traveler Tokens.
  2. Assemble the Modular Board using randomized City Cards and Board Tiles.
  3. Shuffle and place the Contracts and Character Tiles within reach of all players.
Game Flow
  1. Roll the dice: Each player rolls their dice and assigns them to their player board.
  2. Place dice and take actions: Players take turns placing their dice on available action spaces of the board to perform various actions, such as acquiring resources, fulfilling contracts, or traveling.
  3. Resolve actions: Starting from the first player, each player resolves their chosen actions in sequence.
  4. Fulfill contracts: Players can spend the required resources to fulfill contracts and collect their rewards.
Turn Order
  1. Income phase: Players receive income based on their trading posts and fulfilled contracts.
  2. Start player moves: The first player token moves clockwise.
  3. Refresh actions: Reset dice and action spaces.
  4. Prepare the new round: Mark a new round using the round marker.
Game End and Scoring
  1. The game ends after 5 or 6 rounds.
  2. Players earn points from fulfilled contracts, trading posts, and character-specific end-game conditions.
  3. The player with the most victory points wins the game.

These rules provide a simplified overview of the gameplay in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan. As you play, refer to the rulebook for more detailed explanations and additional intricacies of the game mechanics. Now, prepare for an exciting adventure in the Mongolian Empire and prove yourself worthy in the service of Kublai Khan!

Best Marco Polo Ii In The Service Of The Khan Strategies

Optimal Resource Management

One of the key strategies in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan is optimal resource management. To succeed in the game, it’s crucial to efficiently gather, trade, and utilize resources. Here are some essential tips for optimal resource management:

Prioritize resource-generating actions
  1. Focus on actions that directly generate resources, such as acquiring goods or claiming trade routes.
  2. Consider the potential value of each resource and prioritize those that are more scarce or in high demand.
Plan ahead and avoid waste
  1. Anticipate your future needs and plan your actions accordingly to prevent resource shortages.
  2. Coordinate your moves to minimize waste and ensure that resources are effectively utilized.
Utilize trade and negotiation
  1. Exploit trading opportunities with other players to obtain necessary resources or negotiate mutually beneficial deals.
  2. Strategically use your resources as leverage, especially when engaging in negotiations or trading for specific goods.
Invest in upgrading abilities and dice
  1. Allocate resources towards character abilities that enhance resource-generation or create economic advantages.
  2. Prioritize upgrading your dice to increase the range of available actions and improve flexibility in managing resources.

By implementing optimal resource management strategies, you can maximize your potential to fulfill contracts, unlock special abilities, and gain an edge over your opponents – paving the way to victory in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan.

Strategic Placement of Dice

Mastering the strategic placement of dice is essential to gain an advantage and secure victory in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan. Make the most out of your actions by employing the following strategies:

Target specific action spaces
  1. Identify the key action spaces that align with your objectives and prioritize placement on those spaces.
  2. Consider the benefits and potential rewards of each action space to optimize your dice placement.
Block opponent’s opportunities
  1. Strategically place your dice in a way that blocks your opponents’ access to critical actions or resources.
  2. Anticipate your opponents’ plans and disrupt their strategies by denying them advantageous placements.
Plan future movements
  1. Look ahead and consider the potential movements and actions you will take on subsequent turns.
  2. Anticipate the impact of your dice placements on your future options and adjust accordingly.
Optimize efficiency
  1. Utilize the flexibility of dice to perform multiple actions on a single turn when possible.
  2. Minimize wasted action points by ensuring that your dice placements align with the actions you intend to take.

By strategically placing your dice, you can maximize your actions, disrupt your opponents’ plans, and gain a strategic advantage. Mastering this key aspect of the game will pave the way for a successful journey in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan.

Route Planning and Optimization

In Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan, strategic route planning and optimization are essential for efficient travel and achieving your objectives. To make the most out of your journeys, consider the following strategies:

Prioritize high-value routes
  1. Identify the routes that offer the most lucrative rewards and prioritize their establishment.
  2. Improve your resource distribution by strategically connecting key cities and taking advantage of valuable trade routes.
Efficiently utilize trading posts
  1. Strategically place your trading posts to maximize your reach and establish effective supply lines.
  2. Consider the placement of your posts in a way that blocks or slows down your opponents’ movements and expansions.
Plan for long-distance travels
  1. Anticipate long-distance journeys and plan your actions to maximize the number of objectives you can fulfill along the route.
  2. Optimize your movement by selecting routes that offer the highest value and enable you to collect valuable goods and complete contracts.
Adapt route plans to changing objectives
  1. Stay flexible and adapt your route planning to changes in your objectives or opportunities in the game.
  2. React promptly to emerging opportunities, such as shifts in contract availability or discovered shortcuts.

By effectively planning and optimizing your routes, you can increase efficiency in your travels, accelerate your progress, and gain an upper hand in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan.

Balancing Contracts and Objectives

In Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan, successfully balancing contracts and objectives is key to achieving victory. To strike the right balance and optimize your gameplay, consider these strategies:

Prioritize lucrative contracts
  1. Evaluate the reward-to-effort ratio of each contract and prioritize the ones that offer the most significant benefits.
  2. Focus on contracts that match your current resources and abilities to increase your chances of successful completion.
Diversify your objectives
  1. Seek a combination of high and moderate-scoring objectives to accumulate points consistently.
  2. Consider the fulfillment requirements and prioritize objectives that can be achieved concurrently or in synergy.
Manage risk and reward
  1. Assess the risks associated with challenging contracts and weigh them against the potential rewards they offer.
  2. Strategically balance high-risk, high-reward contracts with more easily achievable objectives to minimize setbacks.
Take advantage of character abilities
  1. Utilize the unique abilities of your chosen character to capitalize on specific contractual and objective advantages.
  2. Align your contracts and objectives with your character’s strengths to optimize your gameplay strategy.

By skillfully balancing contracts and objectives, you can maximize your point accumulation, adapt to changing game conditions, and increase your chances of emerging victorious in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan.

Maximizing Character Abilities

In Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan, making the most out of your character’s abilities can greatly contribute to your success. To maximize their impact and gain a competitive edge, consider the following strategies:

Select a character that suits your playstyle
  1. Thoroughly assess each character’s unique abilities and choose the one that complements your preferred gameplay style.
  2. Consider how the character’s abilities synergize with the strategies you plan to implement.
Explore the full potential of your abilities
  1. Take the time to thoroughly understand your character’s abilities and identify the best situations to utilize them.
  2. Experiment with different approaches, considering how your abilities can be leveraged for maximum impact.
Align goals and contract choices with character abilities
  1. Choose contracts and objectives that align with your character’s special abilities and strengths.
  2. Strategically pursue opportunities that will allow you to capitalize on your character’s unique skills and increase your chances of success.
Upgrade and unlock character abilities
  1. Invest in upgrading your character’s abilities whenever possible to strengthen your position and improve your capabilities.
  2. Unlock new abilities in a strategic manner to expand your options and unlock advantages as the game progresses.

By maximizing and leveraging your character’s abilities, you’ll unleash their full potential and increase your chances of emerging as the victorious traveler in Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan.

Closing Thoughts

Congratulations! You have now learned the ins and outs of Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan. Armed with an understanding of the game rules and helpful strategies, you are well-equipped to embark on your journey to earn wealth, fulfill contracts, and vie for the favor of Kublai Khan.

Remember, this strategy guide is meant to provide you with a foundation for success, but the true enjoyment lies in discovering your own preferred strategies and adapting to the ever-changing game conditions.

As you navigate the beautiful cities, expand your trading network, and optimize your actions, keep in mind that flexibility and the ability to adapt will be key to your success in this rich and immersive gaming experience.

May this guide empower you to construct clever routes, manage resources wisely, and tactically deploy your dice, unlocking the full potential of your character’s abilities.

Now, fellow traveler, go forth and conquer the Mongolian Empire through strategy, cunning, and a touch of luck. Show the world your skill and become a legend in the service of the illustrious Khan!

Want to know what we think of Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan? Read our detailed review of Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.