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Dan
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Per the rules, a yellow token is an available "worker" when it's in the available workers spot. Then, when you move it to a card, you call it a "building."

Why the change of terminology? Why can't they always be workers?
 
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Christian K
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It helps understand what happens when they are killed. When one of your mines is destroyed you remove a yellow token from the mine card.

Just imagine exactly one person works in every building.
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LudoH LudoH
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Muemmelmann wrote:
It helps understand what happens when they are killed. When one of your mines is destroyed you remove a yellow token from the mine card.

Just imagine exactly one person works in every building.

Indeed I always explain the game saying that it is a worker, and if you spend resources to build a workplace for him it becomes a worker in a building; the cube now represents the worker and the building at the same time. Cards speak about buildings to distinguish and also because when you destroy a building, the worker becomes unemployed

At least I found this a good way to explain, I am not sure whether it was the intended meaning/terminology.
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Paul Grogan
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I'm pretty sure it is because there is a difference between losing a worker (i.e. something like pestilence) and losing a building.

If you just lose the building, the guy is still alive and goes back to your worker pool.
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Ben Kyo
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If the workers were always workers, what would you be building when you build? A place for the workers? What indicator would there be, on your player board, that the building exists? If you "moved a worker out" (actually, "destroy the building") later, you'd probably assume you could move back in at some point in the future, which is obviously not the case.

There are many rule questions on these forums from people thinking that the card itself represents "a building", which leads to misunderstandings such as the old "what does my best building mean?"

Those are some reasons that come to mind.
 
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Dan
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PaulGrogan wrote:
I'm pretty sure it is because there is a difference between losing a worker (i.e. something like pestilence) and losing a building.

If you just lose the building, the guy is still alive and goes back to your worker pool.


So they add the confusion of calling them workers in one place, and buildings in another place to avoid the confusion of two ways that they can be killed or destroyed?

Benkyo wrote:
If the workers were always workers, what would you be building when you build? A place for the workers?


You could be paying their wages, or building the infrastructure, or signifying the ongoing cost to feed them, or provide tools, or any number of things.

Benkyo wrote:
There are many rule questions on these forums from people thinking that the card itself represents "a building", which leads to misunderstandings such as the old "what does my best building mean?"


Aren't these questions caused by the change of term for the yellow tokens? If we always called them workers, wouldn't that alleviate the confusion about a card or a token representing a building?
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David desJardins
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ytter wrote:
So they add the confusion of calling them workers in one place, and buildings in another place to avoid the confusion of two ways that they can be killed or destroyed?


I don't find it confusing. Yellow tokens on your mat are workers. When you move them to civil cards, they become buildings. If you put them on military cards, they are military units. What the token represents changes, depending on where you put it.
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Dan
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From a person to a building? That's what causes the confusion of losing population. A building isn't population.

They become a building with a single worker inside? That's a good story to remember, but wouldn't it be easier just to call them a worker, instead of adding the building descriptor? If they are a building, then why do I lose them if I lose population?

Seems like it could have been much simpler.

I love the game, and have played it since 2007 when I paid full retail at my FLGS and never regretted it. But this little detail has always confounded me.

Having played so many games, I understand it great, but every time I teach it to new people, this little detail comes up, and I can't explain it. That is, I can explain the rules, but I can't explain why they decided to call them buildings in one place and workers in another.
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Ben Kyo
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ytter wrote:
PaulGrogan wrote:
I'm pretty sure it is because there is a difference between losing a worker (i.e. something like pestilence) and losing a building.

If you just lose the building, the guy is still alive and goes back to your worker pool.


So they add the confusion of calling them workers in one place, and buildings in another place to avoid the confusion of two ways that they can be killed or destroyed?

Or, to put it another way, they add no confusion and gain two ways of removing yellow tokens using simple keywords.

ytter wrote:
Benkyo wrote:
If the workers were always workers, what would you be building when you build? A place for the workers?


You could be paying their wages, or building the infrastructure, or signifying the ongoing cost to feed them, or provide tools, or any number of things.

OK, so ignoring my point about moving "workers", you now have a "worker" and an invention. Are you going to use "worker on an urban invention", "worker on a military invention" every time you refer to them?

ytter wrote:
Benkyo wrote:
There are many rule questions on these forums from people thinking that the card itself represents "a building", which leads to misunderstandings such as the old "what does my best building mean?"


Aren't these questions caused by the change of term for the yellow tokens? If we always called them workers, wouldn't that alleviate the confusion about a card or a token representing a building?

I suppose "best worker on a lab invention" would do the job. Sounds unwieldy to me though.

To take your argument to its conclusion, why do you want to call yellow tokens anything other than yellow tokens?

Yellow token in your worker pool
Yellow token on an urban invention
Yellow token on a military invention
Yellow token in your yellow bank

... surely that is less confusing than changing yellow token to worker after it leaves the yellow bank?
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Paul Grogan
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Ive taught this game to literally hundreds of people and it's never been confusing. I know you are having a hard time with it, and when you teach it, that comes across to the other players trying to learn it.

I did list earlier the reason why, and like I said, I've taught the game to a LOT of poeople and it works. Sorry I'm not able to explain it any more
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Grant
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ytter wrote:
From a person to a building? That's what causes the confusion of losing population. A building isn't population.

They become a building with a single worker inside? That's a good story to remember, but wouldn't it be easier just to call them a worker, instead of adding the building descriptor? If they are a building, then why do I lose them if I lose population?

Seems like it could have been much simpler.

I love the game, and have played it since 2007 when I paid full retail at my FLGS and never regretted it. But this little detail has always confounded me.

Having played so many games, I understand it great, but every time I teach it to new people, this little detail comes up, and I can't explain it. That is, I can explain the rules, but I can't explain why they decided to call them buildings in one place and workers in another.

So when you said "why are they called buildings" what you meant to say was "I'd like to argue with people who are just trying to answer a question for me."
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Dan
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Benkyo wrote:
OK, so ignoring my point about moving "workers"...
Benkyo's point about moving workers wrote:
If you "moved a worker out" (actually, "destroy the building") later, you'd probably assume you could move back in at some point in the future, which is obviously not the case.


Addressing this issue, if we never changed the name from "worker" to "building" then wouldn't that avoid any question about a "building" at all? A worker gets removed, why would you ever think they can go back? Unless you pay the cost to put them there again, anyway.


Benkyo wrote:
Are you going to use "worker on an urban invention", "worker on a military invention" every time you refer to them?

...

I suppose "best worker on a lab invention" would do the job. Sounds unwieldy to me though.


Ah, yes. I bet this is the primary reason! This way they can all have a unique one-word name, so that they are easily identified. This is likely the root reason for the design decision.

PaulGrogan wrote:
Ive taught this game to literally hundreds of people and it's never been confusing. I know you are having a hard time with it, and when you teach it, that comes across to the other players trying to learn it.


On the list of problems, this one definitely ranks extremely low. This is mostly a curiosity on my part, trying to get into the designer's mind to understand why the decision was made. It hasn't really impeded teaching, but it does frequently come up in discussion during the game. "Why do they call them workers here, and buildings there?" and I couldn't come up with a relevant explanation. It seemed to be an unnecessary complication of the rules.

When a rules question comes up about "when a building is destroyed, does the token go to the available worker pool, or the yellow bank?" And you look at the term "Destroy Building", it does not give guidance one way or the other. In fact, the word "Destroy" implies that it would be removed from your available tokens. So I could not see the the rules for destroying buildings, or losing population being the determining factor for making the design decision to change what they are called.

This:

Muemmelmann wrote:
Just imagine exactly one person works in every building.


..seems like a good way to explain it, but seems like you are trying to explain away a poor design decision to unnecessarily change the name of the token. However, after having come to the conclusion that the decision was made to clarify the reference to the token after it was placed on a card, now this imagining of one person working in each building becomes a great way to explain the rules of building buildings, and destroying buildings or losing population.

Often we come up with ways to explain the way things are, instead of examining if things are the way they should be, and I wanted to investigate my own thoughts and see if I was missing something, and all of your comments have been helpful for me to work through my own thought process.

So thanks! I think I now understand why the tokens are called buildings when they are placed on the cards.

However, now I wonder if it would be easier to always refer to them as buildings, and never as workers? whistle
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Dan
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grant5 wrote:
So when you said "why are they called buildings" what you meant to say was "I'd like to argue with people who are just trying to answer a question for me."


I was hoping for discussion. I thought that there might be others who wondered the same thing I do.

I apologize if I appeared confrontational. I enjoyed reading everyone's responses, and I believe I did find the conclusion I was looking for. thumbsup

Any other opinions would certainly be welcome!
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David desJardins
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ytter wrote:
This is mostly a curiosity on my part, trying to get into the designer's mind to understand why the decision was made.


It's pretty straightforward: the designer wants you to be able to build a bunch of stuff, but the amount of stuff you can build is limited by your population. The stuff you can build is quite varied: farms, mines, urban buildings, military units. Calling these all "buildings" would be extremely confusing, because a farm is obviously not a building, and neither is a unit of Swordsmen. So they have different names because they are different things, even though represented by the same tokens. And then you need some name for the tokens that aren't any of these things yet, because they are unallocated. The designer had to pick something and "workers" was the choice. It could be something else, it's pretty arbitrary, but whatever he picked would lead to the same "problem" of the tokens changing their identities when you build with them.
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Joseph Cochran
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FWIW, blue cubes are different based on where they are too, but those aren't an issue I assume?
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Dan
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Yep, the blue tokens also take on a new name when moved to the mines as ore, or to the farms as food. That seems more obvious to change their names, since the different resources are used for different purposes.

This one never seemed weird to me, but the yellow tokens have niggled at my mind for years, so I finally decided to see if I was not the only one.
 
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Snooze Fest
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ytter wrote:
Per the rules, a yellow token is an available "worker" when it's in the available workers spot. Then, when you move it to a card, you call it a "building."

Why the change of terminology? Why can't they always be workers?


I think they always are workers.
rulebook wrote:
actual buildings are represented by workers on the cards.

They're just working at the building you built by paying the resource cost. Thematically, anyway, the main conceit is that a building cannot exist without a worker manning it. You could even think of the worker there as actually building the building first, then manning it as well. If you lose that worker (e.g., killed by pestilence), the building falls into disrepair and is also lost. Each game turn is, after all, many years; how many buildings last that long without people there? If you lose that building (e.g., someone comes along and raids you), the worker survives and goes to the available worker pool.
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Hugh Wyeth
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I thought they were called buildings because you research the tech cards. The cards aren't buildings, they just represent the knowledge you now have. You can't teach someone to be a miner without giving them a mine, how are they going to produce resources? It actually helped my initial games because the intuitive thing to do would be to increase your culture/science production when you put the card down, but you don't because you haven't built the thing! You only have the potential to. You get that production per building you have. Makes more sense than per worker.
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Snooze Fest
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If you want to more fully immerse in the theme, you could get a pile of generic discs. Whenever you build a building, put that on the card; along with a worker to man it. Whenever you pull a worker off a building (for any reason), the building falls into disrepair and you remove it from your play area. It's a lot of todo for no in-game reason, since a building must ALWAYS be with a worker; but maybe it'll be clearer to new players thematically?
 
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Matthew Charlap
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A silly idea, but I could see someone doing this:

Replace the yellow cubes with solid yellow dice, with symbols on each face.

1) a question mark - use this face in the yellow bank, since there is no specific meaning to it yet.
2) a smiley - use this in the unused worker pool, representing that it counts for a missing happy.
3) an ore/grain symbol - use this face for a farmer
4) A sword and shield - use this face for a military unit
5) a house - use this face for an urban building (symbol should match the limit symbol on a government card, without a number in it, or possibly a 1, representing that it counts as 1 towards the limit)
6) a plus symbol - for any cube that has a modified meaning (for example, one mine when you have transcontinental in play, or your labs when you have a science leader in play)

 
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Dan
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Don't get me started on the colonies, which are referred to as colonies everywhere...

except on the cards themselves, which are labeled territories.

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Mikolaj Witkowski
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ytter wrote:
Per the rules, a yellow token is an available "worker" when it's in the available workers spot. Then, when you move it to a card, you call it a "building."

Why the change of terminology? Why can't they always be workers?

I see two reasons:

1. The cubes represent population and as groups of people are useless in game, when you use them to build a building they start producing something, so their status changes. The change in terminology helps understand that.

2. People used to playing euros when hearing "worker" may assume you may move them freely each turn. While you can destroy it, it is a bit more difficult, so calling them building illustrate the permanence nicely.

Whatever the reason - call them what you will, it does not affect gameplay.
 
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