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Vast: The Crystal Caverns» Forums » Rules

Subject: Knight Movement rss

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Matthew Sigal
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Just a quick question: If the Knight has multiple movement points, can she move over a dark tile onto another dark tile without having an encounter on the intermediary tile?

So, for example: LDD (she starts on L, uses 2 movement to move to the second D). Or must she have an encounter on every dark tile she crosses?
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Kyle
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The Knight must always reveal dark tiles that she enters or tries to pass through. Each requires 1 encounter.
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Matthew Sigal
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That's what we thought/how we played it, but I wanted to confirm. Thanks!
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Ponder Stibbons
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Woelf wrote:
The Knight must always reveal dark tiles that she enters or tries to pass through. Each requires 1 encounter.
i really, really want to play this way, but where does it say that? i sat down to take someone's spot as Cave for a game in progress at my flgs today and the first thing the Knight did was walk three dark spaces to swipe a treasure, then walk back without even revealing the tile. i politely challenged that, but no one could find it in the rules (sheet, board, or book). he did the actions he wanted and it didn't list the others as mandatory, so where is the foul? i had to agree that maybe I'd interpreted the rules without evidence. can you quote the text for always revealing dark tiles?
 
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Patrick Leder
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I have my crack team working on this.
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Patrick Leder
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Well I guess I have to eat some crow here. The rules need to be clarified here.

The Knight is required to:
Reveal and Resolvee Tiles
Resolve Encounter Tokens
Attack Goblin Tribe
Attack Surfaced Dragon

The Knight may pass through:
Underground Dragon
The Thief
Treasures and Gems

It does say it is optional or may in the text of the optional ones suggesting the others are mandatory but this should be spelled out.
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Benji
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Agreed, this is definitely missing and needs to be added.

That way, the turn end condition for the knight also makes sense (see the 'playing the knight solo'-thread) .
 
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Patrick Leder
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And it is definitely how we tested and taught the game.
 
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AJ Harris
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Rumbelow wrote:
Woelf wrote:
The Knight must always reveal dark tiles that she enters or tries to pass through. Each requires 1 encounter.
i really, really want to play this way, but where does it say that? i sat down to take someone's spot as Cave for a game in progress at my flgs today and the first thing the Knight did was walk three dark spaces to swipe a treasure, then walk back without even revealing the tile. i politely challenged that, but no one could find it in the rules (sheet, board, or book). he did the actions he wanted and it didn't list the others as mandatory, so where is the foul? i had to agree that maybe I'd interpreted the rules without evidence. can you quote the text for always revealing dark tiles?


Another clarifying question: Did he have 2 encounters or just one? If he only had 1 encounter available, he could not have moved back, since if you run out of EITHER stat, your turn is done...
 
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Patrick Leder
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Everything you do on a tile is 1 encounter, unless you repeat attacking the Dragon (which is only available once it has surface).

If you flip over a tile, have an event, fight a tribe, and pick up a treasure on one tile that is one encounter.
 
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Ponder Stibbons
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GreenM wrote:
Everything you do on a tile is 1 encounter, unless you repeat attacking the Dragon (which is only available once it has surface).

If you flip over a tile, have an event, fight a tribe, and pick up a treasure on one tile that is one encounter.
I think much0gust0 was saying that the Knight's turn might have ended on the unresolved treasure tile if he ran out of perception while picking up treasure (he did not). I think you're saying that the Knight would have had to reveal/resolve the tile before taking treasure (all with only one encounter spent). Combining those two, the intent was obviously that the Knight should never find herself in a dark tile: resolve the tile upon entering or else don't go in. That's how I'll teach it for now, but I look forward to something solid I can point at (a sticker maybe?) if this comes up again.
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Chris
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GreenM wrote:
I have my crack team working on this.


Does this mean you're making a new set of rules that actually make sense?
 
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Patrick Leder
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I don't know. There are clearly issues I need to fix, but without any practical advice on how to organize the rules I feel like we are just doomed to continually edit this while people ask questions. At some point there will be more than too much going on in the rules and it will head back to unreadable.

I have an editor and Kyle W building a list from the forums and trying to clarify those situations but at what point are we just clarifying what wasn't read?

Clearly the Knight needs to be strongly worded, how she consumes encounters though.

The part that kills me is I feel the rules are far more daunting and complex when people are reading it versus when I am teaching it and I don't know how the game I teach turns into 20 pages of rules but here we are.
 
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Jonathan Chaffer
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GreenM wrote:
The part that kills me is I feel the rules are far more daunting and complex when people are reading it versus when I am teaching it and I don't know how the game I teach turns into 20 pages of rules but here we are.
The eternal hell of a rules writer!

The rulebook is actually very good considering the significant hurdles of having what is essentially a disjoint set of rules for each character. I think an online document that gives a more in-depth explanation of each card would help (much like Dominion does in its rulebook). The interaction summary you've hinted at also sounds like a great resource. Other than that, there aren't too many things that really need revision except what has been thoroughly covered on this forum, which mostly revolve around turn sequence (like the Knight end-of-turn rule).

Just wanted to throw some encouragement your way. The team has done a great job, even if there is more work to be done.
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Peter Rabinowitz
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IMHO...

The rules are very well written from the standpoint of being concise. Being able to hand each player a single sheet of paper instead of a book is an accomplishment.

However...

There are two school of thought on rulebook writing:
a] precise and concise, never saying twice what could be said once and never using more words than necessary
b] verbose and redundant, spelling everything out, providing lots of examples, repeating things in different contexts

The benefits of [a] are less to read, easier to go back and reference. The drawbacks are people missing things, assumptions going unwritten, asking the reader to do more of the mental work (I guess I can infer A since B and C but not D).

The benefits of [b] are easier to learn, holding the reader's hand, the players make less mistakes and have less questions. The drawbacks are more to read, and it's harder to look up specific rules later.

Personally, I like a verbose rulebook, a tutorial if you will, as well as a concise reference sheet. It's the best of both worlds.

Often a game will come packaged with one and then the other gets made later on BGG. If the game comes with a long rulebook, people post quick reference sheets to the files section. If the game comes with a short rulebook, people ask lots of questions and FAQs get made.

Writing rulebooks is hard. I don't know of any game designer that would say otherwise.

All that said, there ARE things clearly missing from the rulebook. Getting those bits in there should be your top priority.

Second priority should be making a FAQ. Lots of games have FAQs. They're nothing to be ashamed of. Start by taking all these questions people are asking and compiling them into a document organized by player.

Third priority should be looking at some of the common stumbling blocks players have and asking if this could be fixed by a change in the rules or something in the graphic design. The goal should be to have rules be as smooth and intuitive and possible.

Quote:
There are clearly issues I need to fix, but without any practical advice on how to organize the rules I feel like we are just doomed to continually edit this while people ask questions.

Top of the document: stuff that was accidentally left out of the rules that should have been there. Stuff everyone needs to read. (I can't believe the rules don't say the Knight must encounter a dark tile when entering it.)

Next: Maybe some overarching principles about the game and each player. Stuff to help point everyone in the right direction. (Orcs hit and run, Cave keeps any one player from getting too far ahead, etc.)

Next: everyone's questions sorted by player. If I have a question pertaining to the knight, I shouldn't have to read through pages of forum discussion to find it.

Quote:
At some point there will be more than too much going on in the rules and it will head back to unreadable.

At that point you have to ask yourself if the game is too complicated. Sometimes you can take a perfectly functional part of the game, chop it out, and still have a fun game that's now less complicated. Chopping things out is also part of the design process.

The complexity of a game should correlate to it's depth. A light game should haven't complicated rules.

Quote:
The part that kills me is I feel the rules are far more daunting and complex when people are reading it versus when I am teaching it and I don't know how the game I teach turns into 20 pages of rules but here we are.

Yeah. Blind playtesting, dude. It can't be overlooked. Every time you make a major revision to the game, you have to find a group of people who have never seen the game before and have them try to play it without your help. Some guy is going to buy your game off a shelf, take it home, and only have the rulebook. They aren't going to have you standing there. They aren't going to have BGG. The rulebook needs to be able to do the job. Again, writing a good rulebook is really hard.

*hugs*
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David Fenton
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I think you've done a very wonderful job taking 5 completely separate roles with immensely different play styles (and even mechanics) and combining them into what I've experienced as a well balanced and thoroughly entertaining game with tons of replay value. That said, that many mechanics leads to a lot of rules and interactions, which in turn can cause a bit of confusion. I've played a lot of various complicated games, so 90-95% of the time my interpretation as to the intent has match what you've said on this board. But for a new person there's a bit of a learning curve.


Some ideas that might help if you rewrite the rules for a later version:

1. Include a section that has basic rules. You have some of it on the Getting starting page, but add more.
Things like "revealing a tile": 1) reveal all affected tiles, 2) for each: player who reveals tile aligns it per rules, 3) place Treasures / Gems / Tokens, 4) fill open edges, 5) continue with turn). Right now what happens when a tile is revealed is defined on the Knight page (place tokens except Event), Dragon (talks about placing tokens), Thief page (which talks about flipping tile, but not placing any tokens). Knight mentions aligning tile opening to the tile Knight came from (regardless of if it connects to Entrance), Dragon mentions aligning connecting to Entrance, Thief does not mention specific alignment at all.
"Remove a tile": 1) move players off in X order with Y criteria, if impossible, tile cannot be removed...if it was a choice, another must be chosen, 2) remove all tokens, 3) remove tile and recycle it or discard it. Currently, "Cave is collapsing card" includes what to do with players ("that player must move"), Dragon Wrath does ("Move all other"), Cave-in/Hatred don't and just say "Collapse" or "Remove".
Even moving other players (Wisp / Giant Bats / Claw / Slap). All but Wisp do not allow moving Knight to space "with another player". Wisp uses "unoccupied". To a new users, these may be just different wording of the same thing (see "unoccupied" issues below), but rules concerning moving other players could be spelled out somewhere (with Wisp specifically adding additional criteria above "standard" rules).

Other key definitions as well (Collapse, Shoot, Attack...see below)

Putting common concepts (those intended to have the same consequence regardless of who uses them) in a shared section (and referring to) would go a long way towards consistency, as well as emphasize when something is "special" for a character.


2. Simplify some things to make it less Role specific. Tied to above, you don't have to change the rules, just the wording.

For example, no matter who reveals a tile, have them immediately place a Treasure / Crystal / Event token / Vault / etc. Then fill in any open edges. End tile placement...same for everyone regardless of how it's uncovered. Then, in the Knight section, state that when on a tile with an Event token, they get an Event (whether it was added to a tile they just explored, they moved onto one, or were moved onto one). This is better than saying that when the Knight uncovers a tile they immediately do the Event without placing the token, unless, they reveal it in a way that isn't an encounter, etc. Placing the token is unnecessary in practice (same with a Treasure you immediately intend to pick up, but saying that everyone does it simplifies the game. Ditto with Goblin ambushes. The Goblin is revealed on the tile and automatically attacks, then is scattered. You don't actually have to place the Goblin (in practice), but until then, it gets people remembering everything.

Collecting Treasures as the Dragon is another case. As written, you return one immediately, and keep the rest on your board to turn in later. Once Greed is gone, return any picked up. It does not say how to turn them in later, nor how many total you can have on your board. Once you've satisfied Greed, you end up with a bunch of Treasure on your board and turn in any you pick up afterward with no effect (no telling what to do with what you've already picked up). Rephrasing it, add treasures up to remaining Greed to board (return rest). Once per turn, return Treasure to cave in exchange for Greed cube.


3. Use unique terminology for things with different effects. Experienced gamers often assume things phrased a different way (using a different term) are intended to act differently. Inexperienced
gamers may think something that sounds similar is the same thing.

A common one on this forum is "Attack", what is an Attack, what isn't, why are some things "Attacks" on Goblins, but aren't "Attacks" on the Thief (i.e. Soporific Spores). Instead, define "Attack" as Knight Encounters, Goblin Attack/Ambush, Thief Pickpoket/Backstab, and Dragon Claw/Scratch (Soporific Spores would not be included since it doesn't let Thief dodge, neither would Bow / Enchanted Bow). Now instead of saying "Goblins Rage increases when attacked" say "Goblins Rage increases whenever they are made to lose Population on another player's turn" (Flame Wall is automatically excepted since that acts on the Goblins' turn, but Bow and Soporific Spores would function). Instead of saying you can't move another player in a way that would cause an "attack", either spell out what counts, or say "in a way that would violate normal movement or force an attack" (i.e Knight can't move to Goblin or Surfaced Dragon since that A) requires certain strength, B) requires an Encounter, and C) forces an attack; Goblins can't move to Knight since they either can't move or must attack; Thief is exempt since nothing forces an attack). Then be clear in various player sections to refer to when an attack is FORCED (with that word in bold). Likewise, avoid ever saying something like "Attacking a Tribe with a bow" (as it does in the rulebook), since using a bow is not, in any place an Attack. "Shooting" a bow is used on the Sidequest card, Goblin Rage section, and Knight player mat, so here it should say "Shooting a Tribe with a bow" (ironically, the term "shooting" never appears in the Rulebook in either the Bow or Enchanted Bow section).

"Collapse" is also used several times. It's both an event (the main Collapse that is the Caves goal) leading to Knight and Dragon referring to "the collapse has begun". But there's also Cave-in, which "collapses" a number of tiles. Hatred, on the other hand, says "during Collapse" (notice the capitalization in this case), "remove" a tile. I recommend that things "remove" tiles, one of those being "the Collapse" (always capitalized).

"Unoccupied" is another good example. It seems to mean tile with no tokens whatsoever (player or otherwise). It's referenced in Gnome, Wisp, Secret Tunnels, and Ogre. However, the only place "occupied" appears in the Rulebook is "occupied by other players" in the Thief section. The intended use is described as "with no components on it" under the Past Plunder (which is interestingly different from Place Treasures in the Rulebook, which allows Treasure placement on a Dragon Gem). The fact that Past Plunder does not use the term "unoccupied" would make me think that "unoccupied" must mean something else.
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Matthew Sigal
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These have been really detailed and on point suggestions. One thing I would like to add is the repeated use of "Revealed" - I know, as having played the Cave, that using this to both mean "reveal a tile" (for the Knight/Cave/Dragon), but also to mean "place a Goblin Horde on the map" can be a bit confusing. There must be another word for the Goblin action that could be used to avoid this.
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David Fenton
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Twitch_City wrote:
These have been really detailed and on point suggestions. One thing I would like to add is the repeated use of "Revealed" - I know, as having played the Cave, that using this to both mean "reveal a tile" (for the Knight/Cave/Dragon), but also to mean "place a Goblin Horde on the map" can be a bit confusing. There must be another word for the Goblin action that could be used to avoid this.

Possibilities for this include the simple "unhide", though "unhidden Goblins" sounds a bit funny. I like also "activate", which sounds simple but actually has some interesting connotations. Hidden goblins are "inactive" (except for the occasional ambush) while they gather their forces, then become "active" (in the military sense) when they go on patrol. Hence inactive goblins can't do anything other than "activate" (and "ambush", though ambushing is pretty much activating on an Ambush tile and immediately Attacking).

Though I think some cards may use the term "revealed", so this might be harder to change in later printings.
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Peter Rabinowitz
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Lots of good suggestions here. I agree that using the term "reveal" for goblins always struck me as wierd. "Activate" is mechanically sound but thematically awkward. Maybe "go hunting" vs "go home"?

Regardless, using "reveal" for both goblins and cave tiles is unnecessarily confusing.
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Ponder Stibbons
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dsdhornet wrote:
Twitch_City wrote:
These have been really detailed and on point suggestions. One thing I would like to add is the repeated use of "Revealed" - I know, as having played the Cave, that using this to both mean "reveal a tile" (for the Knight/Cave/Dragon), but also to mean "place a Goblin Horde on the map" can be a bit confusing. There must be another word for the Goblin action that could be used to avoid this.

Possibilities for this include the simple "unhide", though "unhidden Goblins" sounds a bit funny. I like also "activate", which sounds simple but actually has some interesting connotations. Hidden goblins are "inactive" (except for the occasional ambush) while they gather their forces, then become "active" (in the military sense) when they go on patrol. Hence inactive goblins can't do anything other than "activate" (and "ambush", though ambushing is pretty much activating on an Ambush tile and immediately Attacking).

Though I think some cards may use the term "revealed", so this might be harder to change in later printings.

"Revealed" goblins are usually still in dark tiles, so they're not necessarily "unhidden," but rather... Roaming, Hunting, Scavenging, Scouting, Patrolling, etc.
 
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David Fenton
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I'd been thinking "activate" and "active" as in "active duty" or "inactive duty" for the military. If a Tribe is considered like a (rather dysfunctional) patrol, it makes some degree of sense.
 
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Peter Rabinowitz
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Deployed?
 
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David Fenton
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kc2dpt wrote:
Deployed?

I like.
 
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Matthew Sigal
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kc2dpt wrote:
Deployed?


Or maybe rally/rallied? Marshalled?
 
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