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Scythe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Need clarification regarding the Mill rss

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Dave Moser
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I thought I understood how the Mill works, which was:

When you take the Produce action, you can choose to produce on the hex containing the Mill, in addition to the two or three producing hexes showing in the action space. If you do, any workers present there will produce one resource each as normal, and the Mill will also produce a resource as if it were a worker.

Then I saw this on the Stonemeier Games Sythe FAQ:

Quote:
How does the Mill work?

It’s similar to the upgrade on the Produce action, with a bonus. If you upgrade the Produce action, you get to produce on 3 different territories, right? The Mill does the exact same thing–it’s a third territory for production (or a fourth if you’ve already upgraded the Produce action). In addition to that, if you choose the Mill’s territory as 1 of the 3 territories where you produce, the Mill itself produces as if it is a worker.

If you choose to produce on the Mill’s territory (say, a mountain) and you have 1 worker there, the Mill produces 1 metal and the worker produces 1 metal. You could even choose the Mill’s territory if there are no workers there, and the Mill would still produce 1 metal (in that example) as if it were a worker.


This is slightly different than what I thought, because it allows this:

If I have upgraded the Produce action and have four workers, each on a different hex, and the Mill on a fifth hex, the rule as stated in the FAQ would allow all four of my workers to produce, without producing anything on the Mill hex.

If that's legal (based on the FAQ), I'm fine with that. But is that interpretation supported by the actual text in the rulebook? (Sorry, I don't have it with me at the moment.) If not, I don't relish the thought of trying it during a game, and then having to convince someone that "Jamey says it's OK, even though the rulebook doesn't."

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Niko
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dmoser22 wrote:
I thought I understood how the Mill works, which was:

When you take the Produce action, you can choose to produce on the hex containing the Mill, in addition to the two or three producing hexes showing in the action space. If you do, any workers present there will produce one resource each as normal, and the Mill will also produce a resource as if it were a worker.

Then I saw this on the Stonemeier Games Sythe FAQ:

Quote:
How does the Mill work?

It’s similar to the upgrade on the Produce action, with a bonus. If you upgrade the Produce action, you get to produce on 3 different territories, right? The Mill does the exact same thing–it’s a third territory for production (or a fourth if you’ve already upgraded the Produce action). In addition to that, if you choose the Mill’s territory as 1 of the 3 territories where you produce, the Mill itself produces as if it is a worker.

If you choose to produce on the Mill’s territory (say, a mountain) and you have 1 worker there, the Mill produces 1 metal and the worker produces 1 metal. You could even choose the Mill’s territory if there are no workers there, and the Mill would still produce 1 metal (in that example) as if it were a worker.


This is slightly different than what I thought, because it allows this:

If I have upgraded the Produce action and have four workers, each on a different hex, and the Mill on a fifth hex, the rule as stated in the FAQ would allow all four of my workers to produce, without producing anything on the Mill hex.

If that's legal (based on the FAQ), I'm fine with that. But is that interpretation supported by the actual text in the rulebook? (Sorry, I don't have it with me at the moment.) If not, I don't relish the thought of trying it during a game, and then having to convince someone that "Jamey says it's OK, even though the rulebook doesn't."
You are misunderstanding the FAQ. Building the mill lets you produce on one more region, just like the upgrade. However, when you build the mill the extra region has to be the one with the mill on it while when you upgrade the action you can freely chose a third region on which you have workers.

When you have build the mill and upgraded the produce action you can freely chose 3 regions and may produce on the region with the mill as a 4th region (unless the mill is occupied by an enemy, that ruling didn't make it's way into the FAQ yet though)
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Trevor Schadt
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You're misreading the FAQ. It doesn't say "[the Mill] allows a third territory for production," it says (emphasis mine) "[the Mill] is a third territory for production."

When you take the Produce action, the first thing you do is build a pool of "hexes that can produce if the player wants them to." If the Mill has been built, the hex with the Mill is automatically added to that pool. The player then adds 0, 1 or 2 (or 3 if Produce has been upgraded) more hexes to that pool.

The player then chooses how many hexes from that pool (none, some or all) they want to produce.

Each of those hexes now produce one thing (resource or worker) for each (worker or Mill) that is on that hex.

EDIT: ninja
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Aaron Silverman
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The phrase "the exact same thing" in the FAQ is a little misleading, but the "it's a third territory for production" part makes the intent clear. You can't use the Mill to produce on a different hex.
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I played the mill the same way you did and was also a little bit confused by Jamey's explanation in the FAQ, however, I still think that we were playing it correctly and the FAQ should be reworded.

Quote:
The Mill does the exact same thing–it’s a third territory for production (or a fourth if you’ve already upgraded the Produce action)


When Jamey says the above I do not think he means that it is exactly like upgrading the produce action. You can't build a mill and then just pick any three territories to produce on, one of them has to be the mill. Where I think some of the confusion is coming from is that Jamey says:

Quote:
If you choose to produce on the Mill’s territory


By this I believe he is referring to the fact that you don't have to produce on the mill just because you are able to, remember, whenever you have the option to gain something it is optional. He is not saying if you choose to select the mill as one of the territories you are producing on.

They way I explain the mill when I teach the game is that it is an always on territory when you are producing and the mill itself generates one resource. So the territory the mill is on produces regardless, and you can then select two or three other territories to produce on. Hopefully I've been playing this right.
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Dave Moser
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
You are misunderstanding the FAQ. Building the mill lets you produce on one more region, just like the upgrade. However, when you build the mill the extra region has to be the one with the mill on it while when you upgrade the action you can freely chose a third region on which you have workers.

When you have build the mill and upgraded the produce action you can freely chose 3 regions and may produce on the region with the mill as a 4th region (unless the mill is occupied by an enemy, that ruling didn't make it's way into the FAQ yet though)


Yes, that's the way I understood it before reading the FAQ, but there are two odd things.

First, it says that the Mill works exactly like an upgrade, which adds one to the number of hexes on which you can produce, with the only requirement that they contain a worker.

Second (and more importantly), there are two places where it says "If you choose.." If the rule is as you state, why would you ever not use the Mill to produce?

I agree that these two observations merely suggest that the scenario I described is legal; they do not conclusively state it. Which is why I requested clarification.
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J
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I too believe that the FAQ was misworded and thus is misleading, probably like how a game of telephone works where one person hears a rule said and someone else copies it down possibly incorrectly as it seems the FAQ was taken directly from the language of the watch it played video.

On the grounds that the Symbol you reveal underneath the mill is just like the regular produce symbol except it shows the mill on the territory I think it's safe to say the usual interpretation is correct. Otherwise you'd reveal a symbol identical to the one you normally reveal with possibly an additional symbol reflecting that the mill can produce like a worker.
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Lee Fisher
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dmoser22 wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
You are misunderstanding the FAQ. Building the mill lets you produce on one more region, just like the upgrade. However, when you build the mill the extra region has to be the one with the mill on it while when you upgrade the action you can freely chose a third region on which you have workers.

When you have build the mill and upgraded the produce action you can freely chose 3 regions and may produce on the region with the mill as a 4th region (unless the mill is occupied by an enemy, that ruling didn't make it's way into the FAQ yet though)


Yes, that's the way I understood it before reading the FAQ, but there are two odd things.

First, it says that the Mill works exactly like an upgrade, which adds one to the number of hexes on which you can produce, with the only requirement that they contain a worker.

Second (and more importantly), there are two places where it says "If you choose.." If the rule is as you state, why would you ever not use the Mill to produce?

I agree that these two observations merely suggest that the scenario I described is legal; they do not conclusively state it. Which is why I requested clarification.


There are plenty of reasons to not produce on mill, especially if your opponents will steal the resources.
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Dave Moser
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OK, cool. So the general consensus is that:
1) I understood it correctly in the first place
2) The FAQ is correct but somewhat open to misinterpretation by annoying rules lawyers like me.

Fair enough - back to the table! Thanks for all of your polite responses.
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Per Fischer
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Whoa, I had no idea the Mill could create such confusion - perhaps even my own. I thought the rules were quite clear, tbo.

As I understand, the mill produces one resource (according to its hex) every time the Production action is taken, even if the hex it's on was not chosen by the acting player.

(IF the mill somehow triggers other workers on its hex to produce as well, even if the hex was not chosen for production, that's a whole new crazy venture, and quite powerful, I have not played it like that until now).

EDIT: A quick re-read assures me that it's only the mill itself that produces a resource.
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Niko
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pfischer wrote:
EDIT: A quick re-read assures me that it's only the mill itself that produces a resource.
Re-read the second paragraph of the quoted FAQ entry in the original post. Your workers on the space with the mill most definitely also produce resources when you select the space with the mill for production.

It is option though, if you don't want to produce on that region than neither the mill nor workers on it produce resources that turn.
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Randal Divinski
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dmoser22 wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
You are misunderstanding the FAQ. Building the mill lets you produce on one more region, just like the upgrade. However, when you build the mill the extra region has to be the one with the mill on it while when you upgrade the action you can freely chose a third region on which you have workers.

When you have build the mill and upgraded the produce action you can freely chose 3 regions and may produce on the region with the mill as a 4th region (unless the mill is occupied by an enemy, that ruling didn't make it's way into the FAQ yet though)


Yes, that's the way I understood it before reading the FAQ, but there are two odd things.

First, it says that the Mill works exactly like an upgrade, which adds one to the number of hexes on which you can produce, with the only requirement that they contain a worker.

Second (and more importantly), there are two places where it says "If you choose.." If the rule is as you state, why would you ever not use the Mill to produce?

I agree that these two observations merely suggest that the scenario I described is legal; they do not conclusively state it. Which is why I requested clarification.

Assuming the OP quote of JS is accurate, then I agree that the specific wording flagged above seems very deliberate and clear. The Mill:
1) allows for an extra hex to produce during a production action, and
2) if (optionally) the mill hex is one of those chosen, then the Mill counts as if it were a worker for figuring production (i.e. +1 resource).

That's how I will play it unless the FAQ answer is retracted.
 
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Trevor Schadt
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randiv wrote:
That's how I will play it unless the FAQ answer is retracted.
Your choice, but you'll be playing it wrong.
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Greg
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DJ Kuul A wrote:
The phrase "the exact same thing" in the FAQ is a little misleading, but the "it's a third territory for production" part makes the intent clear. You can't use the Mill to produce on a different hex.


Yes, right after it says "the exact same thing" it says "it’s a third territory for production (or a fourth if you’ve already upgraded the Produce action)."

"it's", meaning the mill, is a 3rd or 4th territory for production. So the territory the mill is on is the 3rd or 4th option for production.
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Per Fischer
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
pfischer wrote:
EDIT: A quick re-read assures me that it's only the mill itself that produces a resource.
Re-read the second paragraph of the quoted FAQ entry in the original post. Your workers on the space with the mill most definitely also produce resources when you select the space with the mill for production.

It is option though, if you don't want to produce on that region than neither the mill nor workers on it produce resources that turn.


But it says, "if you choose to produce on the Mill's territory" - I get that, the question is, what about the Mill's territory if you don't choose to produce on it? Does it:
a. Produce a resource for the mill only?
b. Make the territory into a production territory (so, if there are three workers and a mill, it produces 4 resources if not chosen for production).

I think a, and I hope I'm right. If not, whoa, the mill is the bomb (I like it, though).
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Trevor Schadt
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pfischer wrote:
But it says, "if you choose to produce on the Mill's territory" - I get that, the question is, what about the Mill's territory if you don't choose to produce on it? Does it:
a. Produce a resource for the mill only?
b. Make the territory into a production territory (so, if there are three workers and a mill, it produces 4 resources if not chosen for production).

I think a, and I hope I'm right. If not, whoa, the mill is the bomb (I like it, though).
If you choose not to produce on the Mill's territory, nothing gets produced on the Mill's territory.
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Ken B.
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We played that the Mill was essentially a free produce whenever you chose that action, and any workers there produced as well. That...sounds like it's not the case? I can't tell from the discussion here which is right.
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Lee Fisher
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franklincobb wrote:
We played that the Mill was essentially a free produce whenever you chose that action, and any workers there produced as well. That...sounds like it's not the case? I can't tell from the discussion here which is right.


That's pretty much accurate.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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franklincobb wrote:
We played that the Mill was essentially a free produce whenever you chose that action, and any workers there produced as well. That...sounds like it's not the case? I can't tell from the discussion here which is right.


This is absolutely right. You can produce on the number of spaces triggered by your produce action, plus the mill space. If you choose to produce on the mill space, the mill itself, plus any workers on the mill space, can produce resources.

This is clear from the rules themselves.

Rules, page 18:

"Mill: Whenever you take the Produce action, the Mill may produce as if it were 1 worker. If there are workers on the Mill's territory, they may also produce (it's an extra territory for production)."

Just take the sentence from the faq to read "the mill is a third territory for production (or a fourth if you’ve already upgraded the Produce action)" instead of "it’s a third territory for production (or a fourth if you’ve already upgraded the Produce action)" and it is also pretty clear.

It doesn't say the Mill "allows" a third territory (or fourth if produce is upgraded) it says it IS a third territory (or fourth if produce is upgraded).

Any other interpretation of this is some serious rules lawyering, IMO. In fact it is some faq lawyering as the rules themselves leave no ambiguity
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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randiv wrote:
dmoser22 wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
You are misunderstanding the FAQ. Building the mill lets you produce on one more region, just like the upgrade. However, when you build the mill the extra region has to be the one with the mill on it while when you upgrade the action you can freely chose a third region on which you have workers.

When you have build the mill and upgraded the produce action you can freely chose 3 regions and may produce on the region with the mill as a 4th region (unless the mill is occupied by an enemy, that ruling didn't make it's way into the FAQ yet though)


Yes, that's the way I understood it before reading the FAQ, but there are two odd things.

First, it says that the Mill works exactly like an upgrade, which adds one to the number of hexes on which you can produce, with the only requirement that they contain a worker.

Second (and more importantly), there are two places where it says "If you choose.." If the rule is as you state, why would you ever not use the Mill to produce?

I agree that these two observations merely suggest that the scenario I described is legal; they do not conclusively state it. Which is why I requested clarification.

Assuming the OP quote of JS is accurate, then I agree that the specific wording flagged above seems very deliberate and clear. The Mill:
1) allows for an extra hex to produce during a production action, and
2) if (optionally) the mill hex is one of those chosen, then the Mill counts as if it were a worker for figuring production (i.e. +1 resource).

That's how I will play it unless the FAQ answer is retracted.


This is a seriously incorrect interpretation of the faq and the rules. The rule itself is quite clear, and it takes some mental gymnastics to take a slight ambiguity in Jamey's clarification and use it to overturn the original rule.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Re: Need clarification regarding the Mill
pfischer wrote:

EDIT: A quick re-read assures me that it's only the mill itself that produces a resource.


Totally incorrect. The mill plus any workers on the mill space, can produce.

Rules, Page 18 again:

"If there are workers on the Mill's territory they may also produce."

Crystal clear. No possible confusion there.
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Per Fischer
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
pfischer wrote:

EDIT: A quick re-read assures me that it's only the mill itself that produces a resource.


Totally incorrect. The mill plus any workers on the mill space, can produce.

Rules, Page 18 again:

"If there are workers on the Mill's territory they may also produce."

Crystal clear. No possible confusion there.


I guess there was a possible confusion there, hence this thread

But I did not realise that at all, it suddenly makes the mill the best building of them all, love it!
 
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Trevor Schadt
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pfischer wrote:
I guess there was a possible confusion there, hence this thread :)
It is a common occurrence on BGG that "This wording is confusing" is actually code for "I really want the rules to work this way that I know full well that they don't. And if I look at the rules in a mirror while hanging upside-down, then after enough blood rushes to my head I can convince myself that it's possible in some alien universe to construe them so that they could theoretically mean what I want them to mean. Now I'm going to post my 'conclusion' in a thread because I think I've found a loophole in the designer's game, not only because I want confirmation that I'm right (while disregarding either refutation or lack of recognition thereof) but also because I want everyone to know that I'm smarter than the designer."

Not saying that that's what you or the OP have done in this case, but it's hardly rare around here. So "a thread saying this thing is confusing" is not necessarily proof that the thing is, in fact, confusing.
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Nathan Clegg
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The problem is that the FAQ actually detracts from the clarity of the rules. It should be updated or at least removed.
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Trevor Schadt
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moramis wrote:
The problem is that the FAQ actually detracts from the clarity of the rules. It should be updated or at least removed.
Only if people grossly misread it.
 
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