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Subject: If nobody builds on the castle, does the first person still get a royal favor? rss

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Alex McDunna
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I'm not sure if this would come up much (I only played the game once and it was a while ago), but the rules state that the person who built the most of the castle in a round gets a royal favor. I interpreted this to mean that if nobody builds on it, the character in the first slot gets a royal favor (after losing two prestige points of course). Is this correct?
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David Taylor
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No. No one built on the castle so no one gets a royal favor.
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Alex McDunna
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Where in the rulebook does it say that you have to build in it? All it says is that you see who provided the most batches, and if it is a tie
(zero = zero[=zero...]) then whoever among them arrived first gets the favor.
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Chris Berger
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blueraja1 wrote:
Where in the rulebook does it say that you have to build in it? All it says is that you see who provided the most batches, and if it is a tie
(zero = zero[=zero...]) then whoever among them arrived first gets the favor.


That's a nice attempt at twisting the rules to say what you want, but no, you definitely don't get a favor if you don't build in the castle.
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John Bradshaw
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Think about the theme. Players are winning prestige and having royal favors conferred upon them for building the castle and other things. So two of them turn up at the castle - neither of them builds anything towards it, the disgrace of which causes them to lose prestige. Do they seriously then expect the King to confer a favor on one of the two failed builders simply because one of them turned up first? Surely he would be the one more likely to be beheaded!

Clearly, no favor is awarded unless some contribution to the castle is made.
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Russ Williams
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Phase 6 rules wrote:
Finally, you determine which player has provided the most batches during this turn (in other words, which player has placed the most houses). This player immediately gains 1 royal favor (see below). If several players are tied, the one among them who arrived first in the castle gains the favor.

I think blueraja1's interpretation is clearly literally correct (if everyone provided zero batches, it's obviously a tie for who provided the most batches).

To argue that you must provide a positive number of batches to qualify is to read more into the rules than is written.

But (alas) I suspect that (almost certainly) the rules author intended zero to not qualify. (E.g. by Seghillian's "theme" argument.)

Unfortunate rules glitch, I suspect. :/

Anyone know how it's actually implemented at Brettspielwelt?
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Pedro Pereira
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russ wrote:
Phase 6 rules wrote:
Finally, you determine which player has provided the most batches during this turn (in other words, which player has placed the most houses). This player immediately gains 1 royal favor (see below). If several players are tied, the one among them who arrived first in the castle gains the favor.

I think blueraja1's interpretation is clearly literally correct (if everyone provided zero batches, it's obviously a tie for who provided the most batches).


Only problem being that 0 batches = no batches, so there's no "most batches", also, if you place a worker on the castle but you don't build, you get penalty! That's what you get.
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Conan Meriadoc
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Pedrator wrote:
Only problem being that 0 batches = no batches, so there's no "most batches"

Mathematically, yes, there is a "most batches"

I highly doubt this would come into play often though, I don't remember having ever seen a turn happen where no one wanted to build the castle.
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Philip von Doomula
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Remember, if you don't offer any batches while you are in the castle you lose 2 points.
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Throknor
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russ wrote:
Phase 6 rules wrote:
Finally, you determine which player has provided the most batches during this turn (in other words, which player has placed the most houses). This player immediately gains 1 royal favor (see below). If several players are tied, the one among them who arrived first in the castle gains the favor.

I think blueraja1's interpretation is clearly literally correct (if everyone provided zero batches, it's obviously a tie for who provided the most batches).

To argue that you must provide a positive number of batches to qualify is to read more into the rules than is written.

But (alas) I suspect that (almost certainly) the rules author intended zero to not qualify. (E.g. by Seghillian's "theme" argument.)

Unfortunate rules glitch, I suspect. :/

Anyone know how it's actually implemented at Brettspielwelt?


Your quote starts with "Finally". I don't have the rules handy; does the portion in front of it specify which players it refers to, specifically the players that actually placed houses in the castle?
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Russ Williams
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Throknor wrote:
Your quote starts with "Finally". I don't have the rules handy; does the portion in front of it specify which players it refers to, specifically the players that actually placed houses in the castle?

It doesn't seem so to me, but here's more context:
Quote:
Phase 6 - Building of the castle

This phase only concerns those players who have placed a
worker in the castle.

The castle is divided into three sections:

● the Dungeon (composed of 6 parts) is built before the first scoring
● the Walls (composed of 10 parts) are built before the second scoring
● the Towers (composed of 14 parts) are built before the third and last scoring

The players must build the castle according to their order on the castle scale (beginning with space 1). The player decides during their turn how many batches they will give the stock. A batch must be composed of three different cubes, one of which must be a food cube.

Each batch given by the player allows him to put a house in the section of the castle which is currently under construction (as we will see below, it is the bailiff’s progress on the board which determines which section is under construction). If there is no more room in this section, the player may start building the next section (nevertheless, if the players are building the Towers – which are the last section – it is possible that some of them will not be able to give batches).

Finally, the construction of a new section may begin before the previous one is finished (there are still free spaces left). In this case, the spaces will remain unoccupied until the end of the game.

If a player has placed a worker in the castle but will not or cannot give a batch (for instance, if they do not have enough different cubes), they lose 2 prestige points (it is not possible to go below 0 point, though). This penalty does not apply if, during the building of the Towers, a player cannot give a batch because there is no room left (if the player owns at least a batch, they keep the cubes and their prestige is not affected).

The players gain prestige points whenever they help build the castle:
● for each batch they provide to build the Dungeon, the player gains 5 prestige points,
● for each batch they provide to build the Walls, the player gains 4 prestige points,
● for each batch they provide to build the Towers, the player gains 3 prestige points.

Finally, you determine which player has provided the most batches during this turn (in other words, which player has placed the most houses). This player immediately gains 1 royal favor (see below). If several players are tied, the one among them who arrived first in the castle gains the favor.

The players now get their workers back from the castle.
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Dan Poole
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No batches = No favor. No brainer
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Throknor
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Quote:
Phase 6 - Building of the castle

This phase only concerns those players who have placed a
worker in the castle.


Quote:
If a player has placed a worker in the castle but will not or cannot give a batch (for instance, if they do not have enough different cubes), they lose 2 prestige points (it is not possible to go below 0 point, though). This penalty does not apply if, during the building of the Towers, a player cannot give a batch because there is no room left (if the player owns at least a batch, they keep the cubes and their prestige is not affected).


At this point, scoring concerns the players in the castle who provided more than zero batches, those who provided zero batches and took a penalty, and those who provided zero batches because there was no room.

Quote:

Finally, you determine which player has provided the most batches during this turn (in other words, which player has placed the most houses). This player immediately gains 1 royal favor (see below). If several players are tied, the one among them who arrived first in the castle gains the favor.


So in theory if it the castle was already full before this phase you could place a worker there first and get the 1 favor without providing any batches. But if was possible to provide batches you cannot get the bonus without actually providing batches.
 
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Damien Browne
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With the rules as written above, I interpret the following situation in this way:
It's turn 1 of a three player game.
Player 1 puts a worker to the first castle spot, indicating he wishes to build in the castle.
Soon after, player 2 also puts in a worker to the castle.

All players place as many workers on the board as they wish.

All players collect all rewards as per normal.
When it comes to build in the castle, player 1 sees that player 2 does not have the correct range of cubes to build a portion of castle, so he refrains from building himself.
He would score -2 prestige points, but he is on zero.
Player 2 would also score -2 prestige points, but he is also on zero.

Comparitively, the two players offered the same number of batches, but player 1 was first to arrive. He gets the favour.

Flavour be damned if the rules are clear and specific.
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Pedro Pereira
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bluebehir wrote:
With the rules as written above, I interpret the following situation in this way:
It's turn 1 of a three player game.
Player 1 puts a worker to the first castle spot, indicating he wishes to build in the castle.
Soon after, player 2 also puts in a worker to the castle.

All players place as many workers on the board as they wish.

All players collect all rewards as per normal.
When it comes to build in the castle, player 1 sees that player 2 does not have the correct range of cubes to build a portion of castle, so he refrains from building himself.
He would score -2 prestige points, but he is on zero.
Player 2 would also score -2 prestige points, but he is also on zero.

Comparitively, the two players offered the same number of batches, but player 1 was first to arrive. He gets the favour.

Flavour be damned if the rules are clear and specific.


Well, I don't know about the English rules, but the German rules are quite clear and sober on this! What you can read there is this:

The player who built the most parts earns a favour. If there is a tie, the player who built first gets the favour!

So you have to build if you want to get a favour, otherwise, the only thing you get is -2 VPs.

Here the original text:

Quote:
Wenn mehrere Spieler gleichauf sind, gewinnt derjenige, der als Erster gebaut hat, die Gunst.


You can read this in page 5 4th line (written in bold) before explanation of PHASE 7 - End of round.
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Steve Duff
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voynix wrote:
No batches = No favor. No brainer


No kidding. Can't believe it's being discussed.

There are two possible results. One is a penalty from the King, if you do not build. One is a reward from him for being the best builder.

Arguing that the King would reward you as the best builder while simultaneously punishing you for not building is just silly.
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Chris Berger
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I'm as much of a rules lawyer as the next guy, but what gives us rules lawyers a bad name is the "well, technically...", "that could be considered...", "if you take a literal interpretation...", etc... If you get a reward for doing the most something, you don't get that reward if you did none of it. You can't have built the most batches if you didn't build any batches. I know that technically zero can be the most batches. I'm a computer programmer by trade and I have always been a math-oriented person, but games do not work like that. If it was meant to include a bonus for building no batches, then it would be spelled out in the rules. Otherwise, you may have to go by the intent of the rules and play in a way that makes sense.

Granted, you can also go by consensus - if the rules aren't 100% clear in some weird edge-case scenario, go with whatever the players agree on - and if your play group agrees in the moment that a player who built 0 batches can get the favor, then by all means run with it. Though since it won't realistically come up, there's not much need to know what the technically correct answer is. In the rare case that it would actually occur, you can take that opportunity to argue semantics.
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Dan Nunuyerbiznez
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
voynix wrote:
No batches = No favor. No brainer


No kidding. Can't believe it's being discussed.

There are two possible results. One is a penalty from the King, if you do not build. One is a reward from him for being the best builder.

Arguing that the King would reward you as the best builder while simultaneously punishing you for not building is just silly.

Yet, by the English rules cited, correct...

Certainly not the first time [translated] rules had unintended consequences.

I'll agree with the no-brainer part...
 
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Nacho Facello
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arkayn wrote:
Though since it won't realistically come up, there's not much need to know what the technically correct answer is. In the rare case that it would actually occur, you can take that opportunity to argue semantics.


If you're the last player to place a worker you could decide that n deniers (however much it would cost you) and two VPs are worth a royal favor. I would have never considered it, because in my mind no batches means no favor, but if you allow it, there will be cases where it might be the right move.
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Dan Nunuyerbiznez
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nachof wrote:
arkayn wrote:
Though since it won't realistically come up, there's not much need to know what the technically correct answer is. In the rare case that it would actually occur, you can take that opportunity to argue semantics.


If you're the last player to place a worker you could decide that n deniers (however much it would cost you) and two VPs are worth a royal favor. I would have never considered it, because in my mind no batches means no favor, but if you allow it, there will be cases where it might be the right move.

Even more valuable early in the game when there may not even be a 2 VP penalty.

Note that the English rules state that FIRST you determine IF there is someone with the most batches (i.e., b > 0); if there is not, THEN you award the favor to the player first in line at the castle gate. Period. There is no special case listed for [one of] the tying player[s] having played no batches. There is no provision for removing the players' tokens so that they are not in line at the castle during this determination. There is no statement of any kind that the issuance of this favor is dependent upon a castle build (except in the specific case where one player has more batches than all other players that turn).

This rule is about as clear as they get. It is certainly surprising! I am certainly impressed by the cleverness of the OP! The fact that it may not have been the author's intention I will leave to an official English erratum, amateur translation of an original language rule notwithstanding.
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Russ Williams
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arkayn wrote:
If you get a reward for doing the most something, you don't get that reward if you did none of it. You can't have built the most batches if you didn't build any batches. I know that technically zero can be the most batches. I'm a computer programmer by trade and I have always been a math-oriented person, but games do not work like that.

Huh? I agree that many, even most, games do not work like that, but there are plenty of games where 0 can qualify as the most of something if everyone did 0. (Or where 0 can qualify as 2nd place if there's only 1 higher value.)

E.g. the Lords bonus in Kingdom Builder leaps to mind as a recent example I was thinking about: 12 points for the player with the most houses in a sector, 6 points for 2nd place. Having 0 houses in a sector nonetheless can qualify you for being 1st or 2nd place.

Or (to take a huge number of counterexamples in one fell swoop...) consider the final scoring and winner determination in almost any game with points. If the highest score is 0, that player wins in most such games. There is normally no assumption that you must have a positive score to win the game. Zero can certainly be the best score and you can win with 0 in most score-based games!

So the Caylus rule here is not written as well as it could be (at least in the English version.) Assuming (probably unconsciously) that the question "Does 0 qualify as a number?" is implicitly clear by naive common sense ("no!") or ordinary mathematical reasoning ("yes!") is not a good approach.
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Jeff Kunkel
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The rules say that if there is a tie among players who provided the most batches, it goes to whoever arrived first. If no houses were built, there was no "providing" of any kind, and thus no tie. The other interpretstn is like saying two people who didn't run a race tied in their results. There were no results to compare at all.
 
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Russ Williams
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jeffk wrote:
The rules say that if there is a tie among players who provided the most batches, it goes to whoever arrived first. If no houses were built, there was no "providing" of any kind, and thus no tie. The other interpretstn is like saying two people who didn't run a race tied in their results. There were no results to compare at all.

By that argument, if no player scores any prestige points, then nobody wins in Caylus, since "if no points were earned, there was no "earning" of any kind."
Caylus rules wrote:
When the castle is finished, the player who has earned the most prestige wins the game.

Yet I suppose you'd agree that in the (unusual!) case of nobody earning any points, the game nonetheless ends with all (bizarrely incompetent) players tied for victory, right? Or would you say that nobody won because nobody earned points?

===

If I ask "How much money do you have in your wallet?", and you have no money, I see nothing wrong with you saying "I have no money" or "I have zero dollars" etc. I see no reason to require you to say "I don't have money", though that's a perfectly fine alternative answer.

If I ask 2 people "Do you have the same amount of money?" and both their wallets are empty, I see nothing wrong with them saying "Yes" just as they'd say if they each had one dollar. I see no reason to require them to say "Neither of us has money", though that's a perfectly fine alternative answer.

===

I'm not sure why people are so reluctant to acknowledge that English (and probably most languages) are ambiguous about whether zero is considered a number or not in many situations like this, and that unless the writer is careful, one needs to do some interpretation about the intent. I guess because the intent seems obvious in this specific Caylus question (given the theme), people want to insist that the rule as written is unambiguous?

E.g. consider another common class of rules, where the player who did/earned/captured the LEAST of something gets some effect. Would people insist that someone who did/earned/captured none of them doesn't get the effect?

E.g. in Blockers! the player who has the fewest groups wins. It is theoretically possible (though improbable) for a player to have 0 groups (if other players kill all of his pieces). It would seem absurd to argue that such a player loses instead of wins. Yet this "0 doesn't count" argument seems to do just that.
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Adam H
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jeffk wrote:
If no houses were built, there was no "providing" of any kind, and thus no tie. The other interpretstn is like saying two people who didn't run a race tied in their results. There were no results to compare at all.


I like this example. The words "provided the most batches" implies that a batch was provided. If I go to a watch a football game and a running back gets -2 yards on a play I can't claim that I got more yards than him in the last play. I wasn't in the game, I was just watching people playing the game. In my opinion, the same goes for providing batches - if you just show up to watch people provide batches you're not in the running for most batches provided. If nobody provides any batches, it simply wasn't a work day on the castle.

If the sentence in the rules said "Finally, you determine which player has provided the most botches during this turn" - would somebody honestly say that "botches" aren't something in the game, therefore we all provided zero, therefore whoever shows up first always gets the favor? I think everyone at the table would read the sentence and agree that they meant to say "batches", much like they meant the most to be determined among players who actually provided batches.

If this came up in a game where I was the second to arrive and the first player was claiming they should get the favor, I would say that I donated twice as much as they did and that I should get the favor. To which they would be welcome to reply they donated five times as much as I did, and I would say I donated 100 times what they did, and eventually they would realize that this idea of comparing zero to zero is a bit nonsensical in this particular case.

I definitely am a supporter in playing "rules as written", but I always keep in mind "rules as intended" in that interpretation - perhaps this seems more like a "rules as written at all costs" versus "rules as written considering a minor slip in sentence structure during translation".
 
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Jeff Kunkel
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russ wrote:
jeffk wrote:
The rules say that if there is a tie among players who provided the most batches, it goes to whoever arrived first. If no houses were built, there was no "providing" of any kind, and thus no tie. The other interpretstn is like saying two people who didn't run a race tied in their results. There were no results to compare at all.

By that argument, if no player scores any prestige points, then nobody wins in Caylus, since "if no points were earned, there was no "earning" of any kind."
Caylus rules wrote:
When the castle is finished, the player who has earned the most prestige wins the game.

Yet I suppose you'd agree that in the (unusual!) case of nobody earning any points, the game nonetheless ends with all (bizarrely incompetent) players tied for victory, right? Or would you say that nobody won because nobody earned points?


I actually wouldn't agree. I would say nobody won because nobody earned any points. I don't see why that's such an odd concept.

===

Quote:
If I ask "How much money do you have in your wallet?", and you have no money, I see nothing wrong with you saying "I have no money" or "I have zero dollars" etc. I see no reason to require you to say "I don't have money", though that's a perfectly fine alternative answer.

If I ask 2 people "Do you have the same amount of money?" and both their wallets are empty, I see nothing wrong with them saying "Yes" just as they'd say if they each had one dollar. I see no reason to require them to say "Neither of us has money", though that's a perfectly fine alternative answer.


I would agree. That's a different question though. Caylus is not asking how many houses are on the board, it's asking about who completed the action of "providing". Nobody did, in our scenario, so it's not possible for there to be a tie in an activity in which nobody was involved.

===

Quote:
I'm not sure why people are so reluctant to acknowledge that English (and probably most languages) are ambiguous about whether zero is considered a number or not in many situations like this, and that unless the writer is careful, one needs to do some interpretation about the intent. I guess because the intent seems obvious in this specific Caylus question (given the theme), people want to insist that the rule as written is unambiguous?


English can certainly be ambiguous, and I've seen it in many rules. I just don't think there's ambiguity in this particular situation. If nobody provided any batches, there cannot be a tie among the people that provided batches.

Quote:
E.g. consider another common class of rules, where the player who did/earned/captured the LEAST of something gets some effect. Would people insist that someone who did/earned/captured none of them doesn't get the effect?

E.g. in Blockers! the player who has the fewest groups wins. It is theoretically possible (though improbable) for a player to have 0 groups (if other players kill all of his pieces). It would seem absurd to argue that such a player loses instead of wins. Yet this "0 doesn't count" argument seems to do just that.


It would depend on how the rules were written. The Caylus rules, as written, are clear in both intent and literal interpretation, and the good news is that the intent and literal interpretation lead to the same conclusion.
 
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