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Subject: Guard confusion at first play - Reference card vs actual crad text rss

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Alexander Simb├╝rger
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After I got my copy shipped from the US, I was curious to try this game at our local gaming night with some friends.

As I know that some of them are not very proficient in English, I quickly translated the player reference cards and made some German versions.

However, after a few rounds, while reading the actual card text of the "Guard" card, I realized that we played the card wrong.

As the player reference card only says "Guess a players hand.", we regularly guessed "Guard" for the other player as it is the most common card in the deck.

I wonder if other people also made the same mistake...

It would be helpful, if the reference cards would just indicate this exception for the guard (maybe in brackets etc.), as its in fact a major issue when played incorrectly.
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S. R.
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There is another inconsistency on the reference card, when compared to the actual card. On the overview for the Prince it states "One player discards his or her hand". For one, on the actual card, it says "(including yourself)", and secondly, there is added "and draw a new card".
Also, the Countess mentions "Discard if caught with..." on the overview, which is completely wrong, as there is no mechanic for catching someone with two cards. Also, the Countess card is not unambiguous, which can lead to misinterpretation. Actually, the text should read:
"If you have this card and the King, Prince or Princess in your hand, you must discard this card." It is a given, with the Princess card, but could lead to questions - especially with players less firm in the English language.

There is also another tidbit that is often overlooked. If the Prince forces you to discard your hand, and there is no card in the deck anymore, you have to take the card that was put aside before the round. Just mentioning it for completeness sake.
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Jason W.
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I believe it says on the Guard card, 'Name a non-Guard and choose another player' on the English version, maybe it's different in other languages or translates differently. I guess they didn't put that on the reference cards because of space as well as after a couple of plays you know about it.
 
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Adam Smiles
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This is a common problem in a number of games.

We as gamers need to remember that a reference card is simply that, a reference. They are meant as a complement to, not a replacement for, the actual rules of the game.
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S. R.
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Absolutely true.
Although space can be used better, sometimes. Like in this instance...


I often find that most players have at least enough general understanding of the English language that, once all cards are explained, and the first two rounds have been played, there are no questions left in this very easy game, anyways.
Of course, I would not play it with my grandfather, though...
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Curt Carpenter
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Dumon wrote:
Also, the Countess mentions "Discard if caught with..." on the overview, which is completely wrong, as there is no mechanic for catching someone with two cards.
It's thematic text. If you have both cards, you must discard Countess because you are "caught".

I'm glad the publisher didn't feel compelled to put the complete (unambiguous) rules on the cards. That's what the rules are for. It takes about 5 minutes to read them, or 3 minutes to explain them, including details of every card.
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Alexander Simb├╝rger
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asmiles wrote:
This is a common problem in a number of games.

We as gamers need to remember that a reference card is simply that, a reference. They are meant as a complement to, not a replacement for, the actual rules of the game.

Dumon wrote:
Absolutely true.
Although space can be used better, sometimes. Like in this instance...

I often find that most players have at least enough general understanding of the English language that, once all cards are explained, and the first two rounds have been played, there are no questions left in this very easy game, anyways.
Of course, I would not play it with my grandfather, though...
While i totally agree, that it's probably only an issue for the first few games until everyone is familiar with the cards, i generally think that AEG could have done a better job in adapting the the Japanese version.
For me as a Magic The Gathering player for about 19 years, it was quite confusing that the phrase "discard" is used for both "play" a card ( and apply its effect) and "discard" a card (w/o any effect on the cards applied). In MtG, and most other card games i know, the phrase "discard" is simply defined as "you lose a card from your hand"...

However, it is still the best filler game i played for quite a while and the few beginner hurdles are passed quite easily
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Robert Stewart
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Dumon wrote:
Actually, the text should read:
"If you have this card and the King, Prince or Princess in your hand, you must discard this card."
Actually, there is nothing in the rules nor on the cards preventing you from forfeiting the round by discarding the Princess voluntarily on your turn. If you hold the Countess and Princess, you are allowed to choose to discard the Princess rather than the Countess if you wish - it just will have (usually) undesirable consequences.
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Robert Stewart
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PsY5 wrote:
For me as a Magic The Gathering player for about 19 years, it was quite confusing that the phrase "discard" is used for both "play" a card ( and apply its effect) and "discard" a card (w/o any effect on the cards applied). In MtG, and most other card games i know, the phrase "discard" is simply defined as "you lose a card from your hand"...
The confusion only arises when you think of a turn as:
1) draw a card
2) play a card

If, instead, you follow the rules more closely and break the turn into three steps:
1) draw a card
2) discard a card
3) apply the effect of the card on top of your discard pile
then the confusion goes away - the key realisation is that the card effect is a separate action, rather than a direct effect of moving the card from your hand.
 
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Lee Fisher
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rmsgrey wrote:
Dumon wrote:
Actually, the text should read:
"If you have this card and the King, Prince or Princess in your hand, you must discard this card."
Actually, there is nothing in the rules nor on the cards preventing you from forfeiting the round by discarding the Princess voluntarily on your turn. If you hold the Countess and Princess, you are allowed to choose to discard the Princess rather than the Countess if you wish - it just will have (usually) undesirable consequences.
In what case would you want to do that?
 
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Bruce Murphy
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lfisher wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Dumon wrote:
Actually, the text should read:
"If you have this card and the King, Prince or Princess in your hand, you must discard this card."
Actually, there is nothing in the rules nor on the cards preventing you from forfeiting the round by discarding the Princess voluntarily on your turn. If you hold the Countess and Princess, you are allowed to choose to discard the Princess rather than the Countess if you wish - it just will have (usually) undesirable consequences.
In what case would you want to do that?
Did you ever read dond80's review?

B>
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S. R.
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I just read dond80's review, and the only way your statement makes any sense is when you voluntarily discard the Princess to be out of the round because you don't enjoy the game.
Otherwise, dond80 labelled the pair Comtesse/Princess a "no decision" pair.

If this were the case, however, I'd rather you not play the game at all, as playing like this will probably seriously hamper the fun others have while playing the game...
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Bruce Murphy
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Hampering? Playing it like that would kill it dead. His review isn't of live letter though, it's of an imaginary game that only he knows that he expected love letter to be.

B>
 
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Robert Stewart
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lfisher wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Dumon wrote:
Actually, the text should read:
"If you have this card and the King, Prince or Princess in your hand, you must discard this card."
Actually, there is nothing in the rules nor on the cards preventing you from forfeiting the round by discarding the Princess voluntarily on your turn. If you hold the Countess and Princess, you are allowed to choose to discard the Princess rather than the Countess if you wish - it just will have (usually) undesirable consequences.
In what case would you want to do that?
For example, in a 4-player game, with player A on 3 points, yourself as player C also on 3 points and player D on fewer points, one Prince, both Handmaids and both Priests gone. Player A used the King to trade his Princess for your Prince last turn, Player B had double-Baron and compared with A. You draw the Countess, leaving three Guards in the deck, one out and one in D's hand. Play the Countess and player D has a 50% chance of taking out Player A with his Guard, in which case his only play with the last Guard is to pick your Princess. If D misses A, then A takes you out with his Prince, Guards cancel out, and it comes down to tie-breakers between A and D when the guards run out - probably in A's favour. If you play the Princess, D knows exactly what A holds and wins the round.

Given the choice between a 50:50 shot at losing not just the round but the game, and a guarantee of getting another shot at winning, the kamikaze Princess play looks like the right one.
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S. R.
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Valid point.
Although I never played it as calculating as this, it makes sense. Thank you for clarifying.

@thepackrat:
I realized that. His (dond80's) review is very biased from the start. That is not to say it shouldn't be, but he actually states that gamers can't (or shouldn't) enjoy or even play the game.
However, I tried to make sense of your statement above, and even in light of the review couldn't. Now I am even more confused, as you seem to disagree with the review, too.
But rmsgrey made a very good point, so I think we can cut the discussion short. That is if you don't want to enlighten me on what you actually meant with your (to me) cryptic argumentation...
 
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Lee Fisher
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I'm glad I don't play with points.
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Robert Stewart
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Dumon wrote:
Valid point.
Although I never played it as calculating as this, it makes sense. Thank you for clarifying.
I don't usually play it that calculatingly either - I treat it as a surprisingly good light, fun game that can be played while waiting for another table to finish, and can be abandoned partway if it comes to it.

Everyone I've played it with has enjoyed it as a light, fun game with a surprising amount of depth for what it is - 16 cards, 13 identical wooden cubes and 4 player reference cards.
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Bruce Murphy
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Playing it lightly is correct.

If you somehow believe that it's some sort of super heavy game because it comes with a rulebook, or tiebreaker conditions, or pictures, then you're going to have a long, drawn-out, hour-plus-long, lawyery bad time.

B>
 
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