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Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » Rules

Subject: Translation differences rss

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Nicholas
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There seem to be a huge amount of translation differences, leading to different rules. One would have thought, that they might have learned something from the Fief desaster....

Anyhow, heres what I came up with so far. Please note that my French is horrible at best, therefore if I made some mistakes there, please say so.

Heroes/Wonders:

Base game:


I'm happy to say that all the base game heroes and wonders are the same, with the sole exception of the Statue of Zeus.

In the French rules there is an added "et reciproquement". This is missing in both english and german rules, and if I'm not very much mistaken means that not only units of the other player have to go home, but units from the Zeus player, which are located in this enemies provinces, have to go to the Zeus players capital province.

Probably correct rule: Both players units have to leave provinces from the other player.

Atlas:

Chiron:

In the French rules, The centaurs are built in your capital province. In the english and german rules, you can build them in any province. French rules "destroy one enemy legion". English "legion". German rules "destroy one enemy unit".

Probably correct rule: Build in capital. Destroy one Legion before battle.

Medea/Medusa:

French rules: Very clear that it is only one opponent. Units "don't exist for the rest for the turn". Erratad in another thread: Units which enter later are affected too. Fortress not affected.

German rules: "dont exist for the rest of the turn". Enter later affected too.

English rules: "can't move/battle/transport". Enter later affected too.

Probably correct rule: Only one opponent. Units entering later too. Fortress not affected. Unit's don't exist for any game purposes during this turn. (Military track affected?)


Orpheus:

French rules: Legions only. English rules: Units.

Correct rule: Legions only.

Pegasus:

French rule: Travel one extra province (possible to fly over enemy units). If the extra province is a sea zone, no trireme required.

This seems to be correct, according to the FAQ.

Achilles:

French rules: Place in capital province.
English/German rules: Build anywhere.

Probably correct rule: Place in capital province.

Odysseus:

French rules: Once per turn, choose one sea where you don't have triremes. Your units may pass through that sea.

English rules: Once per turn, you may move units through a sea, where you don't have a trireme.

German rule: Once per turn, you may move units through a sea without any triremes.

Probably correct rule: Choose one sea per turn. Treat this sea as if you have a trireme there for transporting.



Battle Phase:

Converting control markers:

English/German rule: If your legion is still on the control marker at the beginning of your next M&B phase, convert it to one of your own. Adjacency is only checked while you are conquering (see english/german faq below, the intent is different to the rules as written).

English rule only FAQ:
Q: A Greek Conqueror occupies an Egyptian Control Marker at the beginning of his Move and Battle Phase. However, the Greek Conqueror no longer controls an adjacent or adjoining Province, since he lost a Trireme connecting him to his controlled Provinces. What happens to the Control Marker that would have been converted?
A: The Egyptian Control Marker is still removed, but the Greek Conqueror does not replace it with one of his own. The Province becomes un-controlled and nobody collects any of its Building Resources.

German rule only FAQ:
Same as english FAQ, with the difference that Egypt keeps their control marker.

French rules: If your legion is still on the control marker at the end of your next M&B Phase, and these 3 conditions are fulfilled, you may exchange it to your own:
-your unit is still on the control marker
-you are still the conqueror in this province
-the province is adjacent or adjoining to another province of yours.

It's not possible for a province to become uncontrolled in French or German rules.

Correct rule: French rules, as stated in another thread by Asyncron Games.

Victory conditions:

French/German rules:
If Perseus or Cultural Leader build the Pyramid or 5th H/W, they win immediately.
If another player builds the Pyramids, he wins at the end of the Buildphase and ties with any other Pyramids. The same is true for 5th H/W.

English rules:
Pyramid wins immediately.

Correct rule: French rule.

Bonus cards:

The French rules have added something important there, which is missing in german and english rules.

In case of a conflict between bonus cards, special unit abilities, hero or wonder abilites, the active player resolves first.

War Elephants:

French: "your legions all roll a 5."
English/German: "Battle Phase: For this Battle, Legions each
automatically roll a 5 Battle Die result."

Correct rule: French. Only your Legions roll a 5. Pretty useless with English or German rules.

Cretan Archers:

English rules added: "Archers destroy an opponent Unit before
Centaurs and other land Units do."

This is not in the French rules and contradicts the French rules above.

Probably correct rule: Active players ability triggers first.

Ressource token Amount:

English rules: Limited to amount in the box (FAQ)
French rules: no mention
German rules: Limited to amount in the box (FAQ)

As the FAQ ruling doesn't make sense (ressource collection is simultaenously, therefore you have no way to decide who doesn't get ressources if they run out, unless you house rule), I'm going to play with unlimited ressource tokens.

That's all I've got so far. Any other known issues?


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Jon Snow
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laugh Hah. See the FAQ thread, which is now 10 pages long (so far)! The question for players will be, which rules will you adopt? While you seem to be adopting the French rules, Academy has yet to weigh in at all with what the "official" English rules will be. And USA and other players will then have to decide which rules they will go with.

So far I've adopted the "French" rules as noted (in English) in the FAQ by Thierry of Asyncron. But's that because we haven't heard from Uwe at all yet.

 
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Nicholas
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Yes, I saw the FAQ. Some of the stuff here is from the faq. However, there is lots of other stuff in the faq and I'm more intersted in the actual difference in the rules as written.

Of course I'm going to go with the French rules, as these have not been meddled by lots of translations and are probably closest to what the designer imagined and it seems to me, that the French rules are clearer than the English/German rules.
 
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Jon Snow
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Then there are the rules that no one has written at all yet. For example, are the Atlantean Heroes to be put in only with Six Players, or whenever Atlantis is used as a player empire, such as in the Variant Four Player set up? When do you put in the three Labyrinth Heroes (if you happen to even own them, especially the promo Theseus, in the future when they may or may not be made available to new buyers).

While 'do as you like' is always a possible default, many gamers are uncomfortable with it, and want a coherant and comfortable default official rule!
 
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Nicholas
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That is actually in the French rules.

Lorsque vous jouez à 6, les 5 tuiles HM
supplémentaires du module Empire
Atlante sont placées sur la piste prévue à
cet effet dans le coin supérieur gauche du
plateau Atlantide.

Free translation: If you are playing with 6, include the 5 Atlantis Heroes. The 4 player variant is right next to it and mentions nothing about the 5 Atlantis heroes.

For the Labyrinth heroes, there is nothing. At least not in the rules.

In the german atlas rules, there's a list of which heroes to use for variant 4/5 player setup. These include Atlas heroes and offer possibilites for one legendary module too.
 
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Erich Neubacher
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Concerning Statue of Zeus we had excactly this situation in a 5p-game: the player ( Carthage ), who wants Rome to withdraw all their legions out of his provinces, proclaims to keep his legion in Sicilia (where Rome has a control marker ), because his wonder only affects his enemy, Rome. Most of us say, that this makes no sense.

But _all_ player agreed, that _if_ Carthage keeps his troop in Sicilia, he couldn’t make an unfriendly action against Rome ( by the power of Statue of Zeus ), therefore especially in Sicilia. OK, logic isn’t disputable <taking deep breath of relief>

This question keeps unresolved … until next turn, where Rome builds the pyramids ... Ooops … ( as it turned out later, Carthage also achieved a winning condition later in turn sequence ) … but because this was our first game, we all don’t know the rules exactly … therefore it is likely that there was a tie between Rome and Carthage … Notice: History always comes back … ( I’m not pretty sure, if I was the winner, because I – as Babylon – and trade-leader ( with Perseus ) did miscount my gold and could build my 5th hero first)

Thanks to the designers to this outstanding game. All ideas of this game are in my mind. I really know all rules ( conscious or unconscious ), I’m in this game and I’m only _playing_ . That’s my holy grail, I found it ( sorry, dear … until something better comes around <g> )


Happy playing
 
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Steven Townshend
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Nicholas M wrote:

Converting control markers:

English/German rule: If your legion is still on the control marker at the beginning of your next M&B phase, convert it to one of your own. Adjacency is only checked while you are conquering.

French rules: If your legion is still on the control marker at the end of your next M&B Phase, and these 3 conditions are fulfilled, you may exchange it to your own:
-your unit is still on the control marker
-you are still the conqueror in this province
-the province is adjacent or adjoining to another province of yours.

Correct rule: French rules, as stated in another thread.

Victory conditions:

French/German rules:
If Perseus or Cultural Leader build the Pyramid or 5th H/W, they win immediately.
If another player builds the Pyramids, he wins at the end of the Buildphase and ties with any other Pyramids. The same is true for 5th H/W.

English rules:
Pyramid wins immediately.

Correct rule: French rule.


Why are these two "correct?"

 
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Jon Snow
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cool Nicholas was one one of the first to log on about MNE, and I always enjoy his posts. He was also the first to share much of the European rules, including things we had no access to here in the USA back then, like the Labryinth Heroes.

Personally, when I make a call, I always caution that it is "my call."
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Nicholas
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The first one, because one from Asyncron said so in another thread. As stated above.
The 2nd one because I trust that the designer can state the victory conditions in his own language accurately. In addition, these rules were in one of the earlier translations of the english rulebook. However, they were messed up so terribly, that they made no sense at all. Then they simplified the english victory conditions in subsequent rule sets.
 
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Nico
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They may have simplified it in the english rules but introduced a kingmaker effect. If two players can build the pyramids and neither of them is the cultural leader, the cultural leader will decide the winner. This kingmaker effect is not present in the original french rules (and the german rules) which is much better.
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Steven Townshend
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FWIW, there ARE intentional differences between the English and French rules in various places. There are also (I'm sure) unintentional differences.

I'd be careful about using "correct rule" in at least those two instances I quoted above. It implies that the English rules were universally poorly translated, and that is definitely not the case. There are deliberate differences. It's a complicated issue, as there are also inconsistencies and places where the French rules clarify things that the English rules do not.
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Nicholas
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As I said - the first one was confirmed by an official representative of Asyncron here in the forum. Unless Serge Laget chimes in, I don't think that you can get something more official.

And, if you check all the differences in the different rule sets, you can see that the rules were universally poorly translated. There's no doubt about it.
If I recall correctly, somewhere it was stated that Asyncron translated the rules to english and then the different language rule sets were created from this file.
I honestly do not care where exactly in this chain the translation was messed up. But if the end result is a ruleset that is significantly different in every language, then there is no doubt whatsoever that the translation was messed up. If the rules are deliberatly different in important places, then it is even worse. Why would someone do that, unless its a completly different edition?
In the particular case above, regarding the victory conditions, I KNOW for sure that Academy had the proper victory conditions translated to a logical mess (if you still have it, check v49 of the rules), and then simplified them.


PS: As you were an editor, this is not a complaint against the editors of the english rules. If the source material is wrong, it doesn't get right by editing.
 
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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I'm not sure I understand the French victory condition rules as listed above and am looking for a little help. Is it saying that building the Pyramids or a 5th Hero / Wonder are all equivalent? So if one player builds the Pyramids and another player builds a 5th Hero / Wonder - and neither player is the Cultural Leader or owns Perseus - then both those players tie? Or would the Pyramid player win in that case?
 
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Steven Townshend
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I just mean that there are some rules that are intentionally different in the English version, like the pyramids. I recall Uwe mentioning this at Origins--that there was some streamlining in those victory conditions.

As for the converting control markers, it appears that the only difference is when it happens. In the English version, control happens at the beginning of your next move & battle; in French, at the end. English version still requires the province to be adjacent/adjoining as per 4.3.3 in order to be converted, and still requires a legion, and legions can't occupy control markers if an opponent is in the province as per 4.3.

I like your list, Nicholas--I'm just very wary about labeling a rule as universally correct when we don't know that for certain. I'm also hesitant to accept that myrmidons and centaurs must be placed in the capital province. This is very limiting for a player without triremes, as those units are going to move once per turn to reach the province they may want to reach. That may be intentional in the French rules, but not intentional in the more streamlined English rules. Heroes and Wonders are supposed to be very strong, so myrmidons and centaurs that need to move a few turns to be effective seem limiting.

Not trying to crap on your thread at all--it is a very well compiled list with good observations; I just want to keep an open mind about what may and may not be "correct" since I know there are some intentional differences made for the sake of streamlining play.

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Mark Turner
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Oh wow. After humming and hahing about getting this game, I think this thread may have settled it for me.
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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MrMT wrote:
Oh wow. After humming and hahing about getting this game, I think this thread may have settled it for me.



I'm not sure I would agree. I own the game, have played it several times and think it is fantastic. I have the English version / rules and never had any issues with them. It wasn't until I saw a couple of threads here on BGG that I even realized that there were some differences between the French / English / German rules. I think the game plays great no matter which translation you are using. Some people are looking for the "real / correct" rules - when it appears some of the differences may be on purpose. The French rules may be closest to the designer's original design but I don't feel that the English rules are broken in any way - at least in the games that I have played. I would definitely give this game a try before I would write it off.
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Nico
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Getaklue wrote:

I'm not sure I understand the French victory condition rules as listed above and am looking for a little help. Is it saying that building the Pyramids or a 5th Hero / Wonder are all equivalent? So if one player builds the Pyramids and another player builds a 5th Hero / Wonder - and neither player is the Cultural Leader or owns Perseus - then both those players tie? Or would the Pyramid player win in that case?


If neither of the players is the cultural leader the player who builds the pyramids will win over the player who builds the 5th hero/wonder. Pyramids/Pyramids and 5th hero/5th hero is a tie.
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Jonathan Challis
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MrMT wrote:
Oh wow. After humming and hahing about getting this game, I think this thread may have settled it for me.


Get the original edition with expansion. It's better in 90% of ways...
 
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Steven Townshend
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MrMT wrote:
Oh wow. After humming and hahing about getting this game, I think this thread may have settled it for me.


I'd encourage you to play it a few times and then decide.

I backed the game because I wanted a game with the feel of a sprawling empire-building game like Eclipse and Shogun, but with half the complexity and half the play time. While I love the aforementioned games to death, they aren't for everybody and I can only teach them to more advanced gamers, which means they don't get played as much as I'd like.

Mare Nostrum has been a hit with everyone to whom I've taught it--from advanced gamers who enjoy the deep strategy behind the relatively simple rules, to more casual gamers who find the game easy to learn and play. It is those casual gamers who primarily benefit from the streamlining in the English rules, i.e. pyramids = instant win, and 5 heroes/wonders revealed rather than designer-preferred all 17 revealed.

In all honesty, the rules differences rarely come up. When they do, we learn them and/or agree on an interpretation and move on.

You don't have to buy or like the game. All the groups to whom I've taught it love it so far. For me, it does scratch that itch of the sprawling empire-building games but in less time and with less rules stress.
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Nicholas
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No worries Steven, no offense taken at all. I maintain that they simplified it because it was such a mess. I just found the logical conclusion, I sent to AG when I read the victory mess. Actually, at the time I sent this, it was already changed, but the old version was still online.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
As the rules are currently written, there is no way for someone to win alone if they build the Pyramids/5th Hero/Wonder without having Culture Leader (CL). If that is the intent, it needs to be stated clearly (and would be inconsistent that a player may win a tie victory by building Pyramids/5th Hero/Wonder but not a solo victory).

Here's the logical analysis of the rules as currently written:

Pyramids:

Case1: Player with Culture Leader builds Pyramids during the turn in which he has the CL. → wins

Case2: Multiple player without CL building Pyramids (as the rules are currently written, in this turn or previous turns „built“) → they tie for win

Case3: One player without CL builds Pyramids

→ 3.1: An other player without CL built 5th Hero/Wonder in this or previous turns → he wins

→ 3.2: No other player built 5th Hero/Wonder in this or previous turns → as the rules are currently written, this player CAN NOT win, unless someone else builds a 5th Hero/Wonder in a subsequent turn (Kingmaking for the Pyramid guy) or builds the Pyramids as well for a tie.

Even if this player gets the CL later, he DOES NOT WIN, as the has to build the Pyramids while holding the CL to win. (according to the rules as currently written)

5th Hero/Wonder:

Case1: Player with CL wins instantly.

Case2: Multiple players without CL tie (or give win to Pyramid guy as the rules are currently written)

Case3: One player without CL built 5th Hero/Wonder

→ 3.1: Pyramid guy from previous turns win

→ 3.2: Player has to wait until someone else without CL builds 5th Hero/Wonder for a tie. Can not win alone, as he has to have the CL while building the 5th Hero/Wonder. (according to the rules as currently written).

Perseus: „thus“ is wrong. Should be „and“ as it's Perseus ability that lets you win the game immediately. Only the CL can normally win immediately by building Pyramids/5th Hero/Wonder.

I really doubt that this is the intent of the rules. Even if it is (what I can't believe), this should be clarified.



I can think of NO other game (except fief), where the rules are different in each language edition. Exception are some FFG games, where the errata is always included in the german translation. I really don't get why they didn't hire a professional to translate this. This could hardly make a dent in the amount which they kickstarted, especially as the rulebooks are really short. I'm also not really seeing streamlining here. Some of the errors are both in english and german rules, while some are in only one of them. This indicates that the "core translation" was faulty in the cases where both are wrong and possible "streamlining" in cases where only the english rules are different.

If I compare this for example with War of the Ring, which has a ~50 page rulebook and over a hundred cards with lots of text, which is very carefully worded - I can't recall a single translation error. Maybe there are some, but so far, I always came to the same conclusion if checking either english or german rules for WotR.

Regarding Chiron - we had him in two games and he is a beast! I don't think that he suffers from only starting in the capital province. Although he can destroy fortresses in the german rules, which seemed to strong. Glad to see that is not the case.


Mark: The game itself is really fun! Good game design too. Production value varies between "wow, this is great!" and "wtf, why didn't they do this properly!", but it is definitly worth to play and you do NOT need the expansion. If, at some point, you want to add in some of the expansion heroes, you can easily proxy them. 6th player is cool, but not needed. I'm not a fan of the legendary city modules.

This reminds me a bit of Battles of Westeros. Game itself is great, but the rules were a real mess. So someone compiled the "complete corrected rules", 30-40 pages of rules with tons of errata etc, and lots of input by the designer to get proper rules that do the game justice. I actually don't think that it would be a big task for MN:E.


Edit: Regarding converting control markers:

It makes a huge difference if you have to stay with the legion for another M&B phase (french rules) or can just move on directly (english and german rules). Also, it's not in the rules that you need adjaceny in the next turn to convert.

In the english rules you need adjaceny at the moment that you place your legion on the control marker. It's not stated that you need it in the next turn:

Quote:
If at the beginning of a Conqueror’s future Move and Battle
turn his Legion still occupies an opponent’s Control Marker,
he may exchange it for a Control Marker of his own at no
cost.
One might argue that it is implied before, which seems to be the intent, when checking the faq. However, if you can add this in a faq, you could have just changed the rules to make it clear in the first place.
 
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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And some of these rules differences are definitely intentional and not just a matter of translation errors. The English version of the rules have specific examples of play that support the English rules - that is not in any way a "mis-translation" but a thought out change. And without official feedback from Academy Games, we don't know specifically why they felt the need to make those changes.
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Nicholas
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Can you point out what exactly you are refering too? After all the comparing of the rules which I did today, I'm not really in the mood to look for something else again.

Besides - it's the same game, it should have the same rules in every language. Changing the rules for each language leads to a mess. Unless something was broken, which I highly doubt, there is simply no reason at all to do this. This game has REALLY simple rules and due to poor wording and different translations, there is already a massive faq and countless threads with rule questions. I can't recall ANY other game, which has different rules for the same edition, except Fief. (Excluding errata implemented in reprints). Can you?


Regarding Victory conditions, I can not imagine how someone can actually think introducing a massive king-making mechanism is an improvement. (Well, it actually is better than the logical mess I pointed out before, but best would be a proper wording of the correct rules).

Regarding conversion of control markers, this is a translation error. As the german rules have the same error in them and, according to a post on kickstarter by Uwe, all publishers received a translated english file from Asyncron, from which they made their own translations. Therefore, anything that is wrong in multiple language editions is NOT a "streamlining" by someone, but a translation error. According to his posts, Uwe had nothing to do with the rulebooks of different languages.
 
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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Regarding converting province control:

Quote:
If at the beginning of a Conqueror’s future Move and Battle turn his Legion still occupies an opponent’s Control Marker, he may exchange it for a Control Marker of his own at no cost. He is now this Province’s new Controlling Player.


But the listed example in the English rulebook right below the rule clearly states:

Quote:
Example: the Roman player decides to occupy Egypt’s Control Marker in Cyrenaica. The Egyptian gets all Building Resources during next round’s Collect Resources Phase. If the Roman Legion still occupies Egypt’s Control Marker at the beginning of the next round’s Roman Move and Battle turn, the Egyptian Control Marker is converted to the red Roman Control Marker.


I don't understand how this can be a translation error. I mean I could see a mis-translation in the rule, but how would you also mis-translate the example?

So this, like the victory condition difference between language versions, appear to be intentional differences. And I'm not saying the English version is correct - just appears to be intentionally different. And I had already played several games of this and highly rated it before I was aware of the difference.
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Nicholas
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It can be an error, as described in my post above. According to Uwe, the translation was like this:

Asyncron translated French -> English. This went to all other publishers and HERE is the translation error, as is seen because this is the german rules as well. I guess it is in the other language editions too.
Next step: Uwe is polishing the rules he received, and thinks "Oh, this example doesn't make sense. Let's fix it!"

Another possible explanation is that the French thought it was a good idea to deliberatly change this for the other languages and keep the original rules for the French version only.
In either case, I think it is highly unlikely that it is a deliberate change made by Uwe. Unless, of course, what he posted on the Kickstarter about translations was not correct.

Regardless of the cause, (and considering this Kickstarter I think all of them are possible), it is without a doubt a terrible decision to change the rules of a game depending on which language you buy. Even if the changed rule is marginally better, which I can't say because I haven't played the game enough, this will never outweigh the mess caused by different rulesets.
I really don't get where the problem is with: Here are our rules, let's hire a professional, who happens to also be a gamer, and let him translate this. This is how other companies, who can afford to pay a few hundred bucks, solve this issue. And guess what - the result are games, which are the same in any language in which they are published.
 
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Iraklis Stratigis
Greece
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English rules, page 9 (Questions & Answers):

Q: A Greek Conqueror occupies an Egyptian Control Marker at the beginning of his Move and Battle Phase. However, the Greek Conqueror no longer controls an adjacent or adjoining Province, since he lost a Trireme connecting him to his controlled Provinces. What happens to the Control Marker that would have been converted?
A: The Egyptian Control Marker is still removed, but the Greek Conqueror does not replace it with one of his own. The Province becomes un-controlled and nobody collects any of its Building Resources.


As far as I know this is not mentioned in the French rules. This is not a minor rule though. It makes a big difference if the control marker is removed and this is not a translation error.

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