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Habitats» Forums » Rules

Subject: View from watchtower rss

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Deb Wentworth
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If you have flowers or animals in orthogonally adjacent or diagonal line of sight, but there is a gap in the tiles, can you count the animals/flowers beyond the gap? Or do you only count animals and flowers that are connected to the watchtower via an unbroken line of tiles?
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Tomello Visello
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debwentworth wrote:
If you have flowers or animals in orthogonally adjacent or diagonal line of sight, but there is a gap in the tiles, can you count the animals/flowers beyond the gap? Or do you only count animals and flowers that are connected to the watchtower via an unbroken line of tiles?

Saying it another way, I think you mean when there is an empty space in the line of tiles (not simply a break in the line of scorable items). Quoting the rules as stated beneath one of the tile examples:

You get 1 vp for each animal and flower in the orthogonal (endless) view direction.



It does say "endless". The only other requirement stated about the line of sight is:

Exception: If another watchtower stands in the view of a watch-tower, you can't look further.

 
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Deb Wentworth
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You're right, that is what I meant.

I read those rules, but in my reading, it didn't answer the question. I took 'endless view' to mean a view that keeps going in the indicated direction, as opposed to stopping at the first tile. It could also mean a view uninterrupted by another watchtower.

I think you're probably correct, but I don't think the rules are very clear in this regard.

Thanks! Deb
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Tomello Visello
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debwentworth wrote:
I think you're probably correct, but I don't think the rules are very clear in this regard.

I read it with the philosophy,

What is not stated in the rules is just as important as what is.

I think you're looking to impose a technicality that isn't covered. My expectation is that if it was important then it would have been covered. I also ponder, why would it be important (in the context of the game) ?

So I don't feel it is unclear.


 
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Michael Frost

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While I can't wait to finally get my copy, Deb, and then pour over the rule book and actually play the game, I do sympathize with your thoughts. I've been routinely frustrated by the overly simplistic and far too short rule books in some of his past games like O Zoo Le Mia, Sun, Sea & Sand, and Samara. Seems like someone just arbitrarily decides that the rule book should be only X number of pages (e.g., 4) and then the rules skimp on clear examples using game play images. Brief text can't replace good examples (see the mess that is Samara's expansions). And a good example would've clarified your specific question.

Anyone who wants to see horrible rules should see Samara. The rules for the base game neglect ANY examples of game play for the "Special Powers". Then the neglect is compounded because there isn't even a single game play example for ANY of the rules in Expansion 1 or 2, which add tons of complexity to the game play. Epic rule book fail. So bad that I've never felt comfortable attempting to play and teach either Expansion. So they sit unused.

Philosophically, I wonder, why do rule book writers neglect good game play examples and rely on too brief text, forcing readers to contemplate both what is said and not said by the dry rule language, when all they really want is the example that clearly says what is needed?

I suspect we'll see more rule clarification questions on the Rules forum here. Just the nature of the gaming beast. But we all know great rule books and the not-so-great rule books.
 
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Tomello Visello
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
I've been routinely frustrated by the overly simplistic and far too short rule books in some of his past games like O Zoo Le Mia, Sun, Sea & Sand, and Samara.

I don't happen to share your negative opinion of this rulebook, nor in general of others by this designer.

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Michael Frost

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I was clear that I have yet to receive my copy of Habitats. So I hope it is a good rule book. But I won't read a rule book without the game board and pieces. So I wait expectantly.

Though I also immediately note you didn't respond to any specifics.

Take just both Sun, Sea, & Sand and Samara. I enjoy both games. Really nice mechanisms. Good themes. Just plain fun. BUT... oddly both rule books (base game for Samara) are exactly 4 pages long. As if both had to be exactly that length, neither longer nor shorter. Because it worked with the number of non-English languages included (so the end result is an even number of pages that is divisible by 2.)

Samara's rules are all but non-existent concerning actual game play, esp. for the 2 expansions. Just some dry text. But no serious discussion whatsoever about how the expansions interact with the base game. Nary a single example! So one is left with nothing but confusion about integrating the expansions with the base game. And I love the base game. But all I have are questions I cannot answer for how the two expansions interact. So if I tried to teach it, I couldn't answer the reasonable and expected questions of the players.

Take just expansion 2 for Samara. The tiny 1/5th page sheet on one side of paper that is the rule book for it doesn't even have an image showing how to place Summer and Winter with the base game. Horrible oversight.
 
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Tomello Visello
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
I was clear that I have yet to receive my copy of Habitats. So I hope it is a good rule book.
Neither do I yet have a copy. But I immediately began reading the rulebook offered in the funding campaign.

Quote:
But I won't read a rule book without the game board and pieces. So I wait expectantly.
I, too, am expectant. On an opposing end of the scale though, I will hardly purchase a game without reading the rules first.

Quote:
Though I also immediately note you didn't respond to any specifics.
Proper response would require extra time refreshing specific knowledge of those other rules. Not available quickly now.

Quote:
Take just both Sun, Sea, & Sand and Samara. I enjoy both games. Really nice mechanisms. Good themes. Just plain fun. BUT... oddly both rule books (base game for Samara) are exactly 4 pages long. As if both had to be exactly that length, neither longer nor shorter.
That length is a well established constraint of printing expenses.

 
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Michael Frost

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Too funny. Corne seems to be the only person's who games consistently have a rule book that is exactly 4 pages. I have many games that have longer rule books. Including lighter games. Cutting corners on rules is never a good idea. Because people who are frustrated by bad or ambiguous rules books, don't enjoy the game as much. Never a need or reason to skimp on a good rule book. Make sure players understand the game without needing FAQs or BGG Rule Forums.

You want to see the current reigning champ for bad rule book? See Cry Havoc. Even their FAQ couldn't solve the mess. And the ambiguity and rule questions pile up.
 
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Corné van Moorsel
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debwentworth wrote:
If you have flowers or animals in orthogonally adjacent or diagonal line of sight, but there is a gap in the tiles, can you count the animals/flowers beyond the gap? Or do you only count animals and flowers that are connected to the watchtower via an unbroken line of tiles?

I did think about mentioning the possibility in the rulebook and about the rule that an empty "space" is the end of the view (like another watchtower is) (because it could be hard to see which far-away tiles are still in the (diagonal) direction). But finally I did think making no exception rule and not mentioning is the best. (It's rare in practice in the game.)
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Michael Frost

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TVis wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
I've been routinely frustrated by the overly simplistic and far too short rule books in some of his past games like O Zoo Le Mia, Sun, Sea & Sand, and Samara.

I don't happen to share your negative opinion of this rulebook, nor in general of others by this designer.



Finally got the game and studied the rule book in anticipation of teaching my first game. Easily a far, far better rule book than in O Zoo Le Mia, Sun, Sea & Sand, or, most especially, Samara. The 5th page, which has the final scoring for one player, is great.
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