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The rules state that a crew can have a maximum of 6 turf. There are certain claims for each type of crew which are simply called "turf" which I can safely say will count towards a crew's turf. The claim section also states "Some claims count as turf. Others provide special benefits to the crew."

My current reading is that only the claims marked as turf count as turf for the crew. But this means that no crew can ever reach the maximum number of 6 turf - assassin's for instance can only get 2. I realise some crew abilities might allow a crew to act as if they have extra turf (such as the Bravo's Fiends ability), but the wording of the rules implies can actually get 6 physical turf.

Am I missing something? Can crews never reach 6 "physical" turf?

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3 Answers 3

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The map is not the territory.

However, you may attempt to seize any claim on your map, ignoring the paths (or even seek out a special claim not on your map) but these operations will always be especially difficult and require exceptional efforts to discover and achieve. The claim roadmap shows typical paths for advancement, not an absolute restriction on your operations.

Claims, p. 46, emphasis original

So, no, nobody's limited to the turf available on their existing claims map, and every crew could potentially get to 6 natural turf, or even more than that (though it wouldn't count for mechanics). It'd just be rough going getting there.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand your interpretation. It says you can attempt to seize any claim on your map, or even a special claim not on your map. I'm not sure if it is spelled out, but I'm interpreting "special" claim to mean a claim that only appears on specific crews' maps. So I don't think this implies you can go after turf that's not on your map. (Although I wouldn't really argue about it if a GM wanted to allow it.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Costa
    Jan 4, 2019 at 23:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dave Costa I don't interpret "special claim" to have any specific game meaning, no. When you get an allied claim from prison it specifically restricts it to a non-turf claim from any map, and does not use the phrase "special claim". "Special claim" is also not qualified as "non-turf" in the rules text here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Glazius
    Jan 4, 2019 at 23:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, it would be unusual for the rules text to say that the map does not represent an absolute restriction if it was intended to represent an absolute restriction on turf. \$\endgroup\$
    – Glazius
    Jan 4, 2019 at 23:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I think the rules are ambiguous but this is my preferred interpretation. It seems right that the crew can get to (at least) 6 turf, even if it gets harder beyond the roadmap. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2019 at 1:27
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In one of John Harper's (the author) YouTube'd games of Blades in the Dark, the players acquired turf via their machinations, rather than via crew advancement.

John discussed this at the time, essentially saying that they could do so, just that their 'hold' (not the game term) on the turf would be weaker than if they had acquired it through normal advancement. In other words, other crews would view it as a target in a way they wouldn't view the player crew's turf acquired through normal advancement.

This played out in the campaign, as Red-Sashes made an attempt to wrest the turf back from the players, though the attempt ultimately failed.

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It looks like you are correct.

As you say, the Bravos' Fiends ability provides a benefit that is equivalent to having more turf. The text there implies that the maximum of 6 turf (which is another way of saying, a minimum of 6 rep needed to develop) refers to the total of all things that count as turf, not just actual turf claims. So it is not necessarily meant to imply that a crew can actually attain 6 turf claims.

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