$10.00
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Genoa» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Review of the Rules rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Clive Lovett
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
This is not a review of the game but a review of the rule book. The version of the game is the Rio Grande Games English version - number 6 in the Alea series.

Check here for all my Reviews of the Rules A New Series of Reviews - The Rules

Why a review of the rules? Rules are important. While the artwork is the book cover, the rules are the preface. They are our first glimpse at how much we might enjoy the actual playing of the game. Yet reading the rules can vary from anywhere to enjoyable to frustrating. Quite often a game won't see the table immediately as the sheer torture of reading through the rule book has given me a migraine! I am sure there is a general consensus as to what criteria a rule book should adhere to but here are my criteria:

1. Aesthetics ~ does the rule book look good (/5)
2. Can it be physically read easily ~ size of font, graphics interfering with ability to read text etc... (/5)
3. Does the rule book follow a logical format (/10)
4. Could I explain and play the game after the first read (/5)
5. Use of Examples (/5)

1. AESTHETICS - The rule book gets straight down to business. There is no 'book cover' to entice the reader (which is not needed). The pages are coloured to look similar to parchment or old paper and the colour of the graphics and title bars work well together. The lay out is easy on the eye, the artwork thematic, and the example pictures are crisp and clear. (3.5/5)

2. PHYSICAL EASE OF READ - The font is big enough for these tired eyes and easily read. Important text is either in bold or italicized. Even on the sidebars, where text is placed over graphics, the text is easily read. There is one instance in the sidebar where smaller, italicized and multi-coloured text is used which requires a little more concentration to read. (4.5/5)

3. LOGICAL PATTERN - This game follows a usual and logical progression.

Goal - where there is an overview of the number of rounds, actions and how "Through skilled negotiations, the players try to get the actions that will bring them the orders and messages they want and then will try to fulfill or deliver them quickly. Clever players will also find that the ownership of buildings and special cards can be very important. At game end, the player with the most ducats is the winner! This is nitpicking BUT I really would love to see a connection to the paragraph and the last bold sentence. Something that states that the "skilled negotiations" lead to the acquisition of ducats!

Preparation - A minor thing ~ the pictures represent the German board and cards and have German names for buildings and cards rather than the English bits contained in the game.

Playing the Game - Good logical flow. A pet peeve of mine is when a game refers to doing an action or to a mechanic in the game that it has not already explained. In ToG, the rules refer to the "owners markers" before informing the reader of the function of these markers. However, when mentioning the "owners markers" they are followed by "(see below)" and in this case the later information about the owners markers does not distract from the understanding of the rules.
Game End - Logical.
(8.5/10)

4. EXPLAIN and PLAY - After the first read, I felt I could explain and play the game with my friends. I am sure that we would refer to the rules at least a couple of times for clarification of game play and I must divulge that when reading the rules I did ask a friend who had played for clarification on a couple of minor points. Sometimes these were questions that were asked when only half way through reading the rules and were explained by the time I had finished the rule book. (4/5)

5. USE of EXAMPLES - The sidebar is used for examples and to highlight the major points in the text on the page. The examples are good and certainly assist in the understanding of the rules (4/5)

FINAL COMMENTS - This is my first review of rules and I don't know whether it will be of interest or of use to any fellow geeks out there but maybe it will help underline the importance that a well written set of rules has to the overall enjoyment of the game play experience. Traders of Genoa has a solid set of rules that are relatively easy to follow and understand. As this is my first review I am going to be conservative with my final score. (8/10)

Disclaimer: Any spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar is purely coincidental and in no way reflects the intelligence of the author, the BGG community, or the amount of alcohol the reviewer consumed while writing this post.

edited for English


9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Waltier
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I believe this was posted twice instead of revised.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clive Lovett
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
TwentySides wrote:
I believe this was posted twice instead of revised.


It was accidentally posted twice - I will delete the other.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kirk Thomas
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have found that the rules in the Alea line of games are very solid, with a common look-and-feel. They are good at both the initial learning as well as for quick refreshers when sitting back down to play after not having played the game in a while.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Thomason
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Despite your disclaimer (which I love) thought I'd point out you used the wrong 'sheer'. Shear has to do with cutting, like shearing a sheep: Sheer means transparent or complete. "The Shear torture of reading through the rules book" suggests something having to do with cutting or tearing, which might be appropriate depending on the rules book... FF I'm looking at you!

Also, I thought it odd you only gave the rule book aesthetics a 3.5/5. You have nothing but positive comments on the aesthetics - I'm not sure what downgrades it that far considering. You actually do make note of a problem with physical ease of reading, but that rates higher.

I'd love to see more rules analysis; perhaps if we get more reviews and discussions about game rules books, companies that traditionally do a poor job with rules might figure out how to improve them... Obviously the simpler the game the less the rules books have to do effectively, but there are still some pretty awful rules books out there for games that are simpler than the books make them seem.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clive Lovett
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Blackfaer wrote:
Despite your disclaimer (which I love) thought I'd point out you used the wrong 'sheer'. Shear has to do with cutting, like shearing a sheep: Sheer means transparent or complete. "The Shear torture of reading through the rules book" suggests something having to do with cutting or tearing, which might be appropriate depending on the rules book... FF I'm looking at you!


Shear/sheer corrected - thank you for spotting this! And I agree with the FF comment!.

Quote:
Also, I thought it odd you only gave the rule book aesthetics a 3.5/5. You have nothing but positive comments on the aesthetics - I'm not sure what downgrades it that far considering. You actually do make note of a problem with physical ease of reading, but that rates higher.


The aesthetics are functional but not amazing The ease of reading is fine - just one minor issue. I guess I could have explained the criteria more thoroughly. I am sure after I have written a few more of these reviews the reader will get a clearer understanding of my aesthetic eye and for what I consider legible.

Quote:
I'd love to see more rules analysis; perhaps if we get more reviews and discussions about game rules books, companies that traditionally do a poor job with rules might figure out how to improve them... Obviously the simpler the game the less the rules books have to do effectively, but there are still some pretty awful rules books out there for games that are simpler than the books make them seem.


Thank you for your feedback. It is much appreciated.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Myers
United States
Hays
Kansas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great job - Rules truly can make or break a game many times- Personally, I'm always more satisfied with a game when the rule book aides the game instead of hendering the game--How frusrating it is to struggle through rules when learning a game-- No matter how complex the game- a good rule book is the key. Great idea for a review- keep up the good work
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.