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Subject: Okay, here it is, the correct version of the trading rules. rss

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Togu Oppusunggu
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Looking through various discussions here, I noticed that there has been some confusion about the trading rules, and also that there has been an official change in the trading rules from HiG, as noted by some BGG members here.

In an attempt to be helpful, I’m presenting below what are the correct trading rules, so that folks don’t have to wade through all the discussions to figure them out. I’ve also worded the trading rules a little longer, but hopefully in a more precise way, so that there are no ambiguities about what they mean.

Correct version of the trading rules:

(1) you can trade only if your marker has advanced at least to space 1 on the trader track

(2) you can perform a trade only if you are doing so to purchase a civ card or a building tile (and therefore, the resource(s) you gain from the trade must be used for the card or tile purchase)

(3) you can offer decorations and resources of your choice for a trade

(4) you can trade to acquire whatever you want - if you need a resource or if you already have the resources needed to buy a civ card or a hut tile

(5) any excess resource from a trade that cannot be used to buy a civ card or building tile must be returned (this rule is really only significant for a 1 to 2 trade)

(6) depending on the position of your marker on the trader track, the trade is 2 to 1, 1 to 1, or 1 to 2

(7) you are allowed to trade even if you did not place figures on the trader place this round

(8) you may only make one trade per round (e.g., if you’re at 1 to 1, you can trade 1 wood for 1 gold, but you cannot trade 2 wood for 2 gold)

Discussion:

Rule (8) is often missed the first time you read the rules.

But rule (4) is the significant official HIG change from what is in the Rio Grande rules (which says. “the player may only trade if needed to acquire a civilization card or building tile”). The official HiG change addresses questions that arose when you already have the resources to buy something like a 1-7 hut, but you would like to trade in one of your cheap wood for gold in order to make your hut more valuable.

Clarification: Comments by some posters below suggests that rule (4) above is awkwardly worded, though it is derived from the original HiG ruling. For an alternative and probably clearer wording, use the following:

(4) You can trade to acquire any resource, provided the resource is used to buy a civ card or hut - and you are allowed to make such a trade even if you already had enough resources to purchase the civ card or hut before the trade.

Addendum (added a couple hours after original post):

Just for completeness, it came to my attention from the discussion below, that there is one other spot (not related to this trading discussion) where the [original] Stone Age rules differ between the German version and the Rio Grande version. In the Rio Grande version, only the largest set of unique green symbols is squared, and any extra cards count as 1 point each. In the German version, each set of unique symbols that you hold gets squared for the victory point count. See the original Stone Age forum for discussions about this, for example, "Piemaster's Review of Stone Age" in reviews and "Final Scoring Question" in rules. Please limit discussion below to just the trading issue in Style is the Goal. Thanks! (and thanks to Curt for pointing out this other difference.)
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Togu Oppusunggu
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This user comment by Matt Crowe (thededalus) gives a good rationale about why the official change is a good one:

“During our first play, I thought the trading rules were a little too strict -- they say you can only trade if you need the resources to acquire a hut or card. In other words, you can't trade if you already have useable resources that satisfy the conditions. For example, if you have 1 wood and have a meeple on the 1-7 hut that requires only 1 type of resource. If you're tribe can trade 1:2, you obviously would like to trade the 1 wood for 2 gold beforehand...but the rules suggest you can't do this, you already have wood and that satisfies the condition... you don't need gold to buy it. So that's how we played it...and as I said, it was a little disappointing.

Anyway, after some digging in BGG forums, it seems Hans im Gluck has updated this rule to take away this restriction. You aren't forced to take a lower score. You don't have to use existing resources first. You still, however, can't receive any excess from a 1:2 trade.

Latest comment in HiG's Stone Age forum (by the HiG-Team):

You can trade whatever you want - if you need a resource or if you already have a resource. For the 1-7 hut, you can even trade a wood for gold and then build the hut for 6 points.”
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David Short
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This is great news. Makes this "meh" expansion a little bit better.
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You can't handle the truth?
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(4) is disappointing.

My group has never had a problem with the trading rules.

For example, the 1-7 hut. When we wanted to build it, we would set it, then trade for what we needed, if we needed anything. Let's say I had 1 wood, and was at 1:2 on the trading track. I could say, I want to buy the hut with 2 gold. I don't have 2 gold, so now I can trade my 1 wood for 2 gold, and buy it. Easy, and intuitive.

Let's extend the example. Let's say, I am currently on the 1:2 spot in trading, and I have 1 wood and 7 gold. I want to buy the 1-7 Hut.

A: My group - I would say I am building the hut with 7 gold, I already have 7 gold, so I cannot trade for gold, I buy the hut and have 1 wood left.

B: Using (4) - I would say I am building the hut with 7 gold, I would trade my wood for 2 gold, buy the hut, and have 2 gold left.

I don't like that at all. I think it takes an already powerful ability, and it breaks it. It looks like I am going to be ignoring HiG again, and Rio to the rescue. I already use Rio's rules that an extra set of civ cards is only scored a 1 each, not like an extra set, and I won't be incorporating (4) into my games either.
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Togu Oppusunggu
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Thanks for your points, Curt. I'll keep them in mind. I haven't had enough experience to know what is best. At least we have one spot here to know what HiG's rulings are right now, and your post clarifies what Rio Grande's differences are.

This is also the first time I've read that the final set scoring of civ cards is different between the German version and the Rio Grande version, with respect to "extra" cards. I see there's a discussion about this recently in the "Piemaster's Review of Stone Age" over at the Stone Age forum.

Perhaps players can choose what version is best for their style of play...
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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toguopp wrote:
(2) you can perform a trade only if you are doing so to purchase a civ card or a building tile (and therefore, the resource(s) you gain from the trade must be used for the card or tile purchase)


(4) you can trade to acquire whatever you want - if you need a resource or if you already have the resources needed to buy a civ card or a hut tile

Ummm.... what? So which is it? Do you have to trade for something you have to use for the card or tile purchase or for whatever you want?

These two seem contradictory as written.
 
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Dean Adam
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They are clear and I think the subsequent comments clarify further:

2) is saying that your trade has to be for the purpose of purchasing, not for stockpiling.

3) just cause you could make the purchase now, doesn't mean you can't trade up to make the purchase more profitable i.e. the 1-7 hut is the classic example - the fact you can trade means you have a resource of some kind, so could buy the hut. The old working implied you couldn't trade in this situation. The clarification says you can.


Thunkd wrote:
toguopp wrote:
(2) you can perform a trade only if you are doing so to purchase a civ card or a building tile (and therefore, the resource(s) you gain from the trade must be used for the card or tile purchase)


(4) you can trade to acquire whatever you want - if you need a resource or if you already have the resources needed to buy a civ card or a hut tile

Ummm.... what? So which is it? Do you have to trade for something you have to use for the card or tile purchase or for whatever you want?

These two seem contradictory as written.
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Togu Oppusunggu
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Bryan, yes to what Dean says.

And to clarify from my end, (2) and (4) are meant to be understood in conjunction. You can only trade (and once only) if you're trading to purchase a hut tile or a civ card that same turn. But when you do such a trade + purchase decision, you are allowed to make a trade for any higher value resource to be used in purchasing that card or tile, even though you already had all the resources necessary to buy the card or tile before the trade.

Put all eight rules together, and it's pretty tight what's intended and I think there's no ambiguity.
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Bryan Thunkd
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I did not get this:
moonglow wrote:
3) just cause you could make the purchase now, doesn't mean you can't trade up to make the purchase more profitable i.e. the 1-7 hut is the classic example - the fact you can trade means you have a resource of some kind, so could buy the hut. The old working implied you couldn't trade in this situation. The clarification says you can.

From this:
toguopp wrote:
(4) you can trade to acquire whatever you want - if you need a resource or if you already have the resources needed to buy a civ card or a hut tile


At all! Even after reading your explanation and rereading (4), I don't get that meaning from that statement. So either... I'm really stupid... or it's not as clear as you think. Either way I think it could be reworded to be clearer.
 
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Adrian Montoya
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toguopp wrote:
(4) you can trade to acquire whatever you want - if you need resources or if you already have the resources needed but want to trade up before you buy a civ card or a hut tile

...fixed...
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Bryan Thunkd
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Yldarr wrote:
toguopp wrote:
(4) you can trade to acquire whatever you want - if you need resources or if you already have the resources needed but want to trade up before you buy a civ card or a hut tile

...fixed...
Sorta. The other part is the "whatever you want" doesn't explicitly make clear that the thing you trade for still has to be used to acquire the hut. Maybe something like "You can trade to acquire any resource provided it is used to buy a civ card or hut." The phrasing on the other is unnecessarily awkward which makes it unclear.
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Togu Oppusunggu
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Yes, but if you put the clarified rule 4 with rule 2, it's pretty clear, I think.

I probably should have tried harder to reword rule 4, but it's taken from how people posted about the HiG ruling, which probably also assumed a background of discussion of the issue.

So just to let you know, there's no dismissal here of your perception. Rule 4 above is indeed awkwardly worded. Any suggestion you have for making it clearer is certainly welcome.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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toguopp wrote:
Yes, but if you put the clarified rule 4 with rule 2, it's pretty clear, I think.
While you may have understood it, it was not clear to me at all.

toguopp wrote:
Rule 4 above is indeed awkwardly worded. Any suggestion you have for making it clearer is certainly welcome.
Thunkd wrote:
You can trade to acquire any resource provided it is used to buy a civ card or hut.
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Togu Oppusunggu
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(4) "You can trade to acquire any resource provided it is used to buy a civ card or hut."

That's very well put. At first I thought it was already in rule 2, but actually rule 2 refers to when you can trade, not what you can trade for.

(Although, truth be told, if looked at more closely, rule 4 is as much a "when" question as it is a "what" question.)

How about the following then, just so there is an explicit reference to how different the new rule is from what's in the Rio Grande rules:

(4) You can trade to acquire any resource, provided the resource is used to buy a civ card or hut - and you are allowed to make such a trade even if you already had enough resources to purchase the civ card or hut before the trade.

If enough folks like this, I can make the change in the original post.

(Note that the ruling is really only relevant for the purchase of huts, but I think the more general syntax here of "civ cards and huts" makes the rule easier to absorb upon first reading.)
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Togu Oppusunggu
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Henrik, rule (5) takes care of the concern you raise. Perhaps with the reworded rule (4) I just posted, there won't be any problem of thinking that stockpiling is okay.
 
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Dean Adam
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Henrick does seem to raise a point (or perhaps a remaining ambiguity). Assuming Henrik is correct and this loophole needs to be closed, perhaps finding a way to work in his suggestion of "if you already have the sufficient numbers of resources of a lesser value" would be useful.

Perhaps
(4) you can trade to acquire whatever you want - i.e. if you already have the sufficient numbers of resources of a lesser value and want to increase the value of the resources you use to buy a civ card or a hut tile.

Could (5) be made more explicit across both these points

(5) you cannot use a trade to increase the net value of your stockpile and any excess resource from a trade that cannot be used to buy a civ card or building tile must be returned (this rule is really only significant for a 1 to 2 trade)
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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If find these proposed solutions vastly more complicated than the problem.

Whats wrong with something like:

When purchasing a civilization card or hut, all players who have moved beyond space 0 on the trading track may use the trader to pay for a portion of the costs. Trades will occur at the ratio shown on the trader board for the players position. Only one trade is permitted per item purchased. All goods obtained in the trade must be used for the purchase of the item in question, and in the rare case you cannot use the goods that are the result of a trade completely any excess must must be returned to the supply.
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Dean Adam
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Id chuck in that Occam's razor should apply, the most simplest rule set/definition should be the winner... Nothing personal Henrick, while I think you're raising some good points, I think they may be compromising simplicity for accuracy. I think we need to find a good balance.... like a sign for the front door saying 'no sinister people allowed to enter'... or something similar.

 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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sthrjo wrote:
apotheos wrote:
When purchasing a civilization card or hut, all players who have moved beyond space 0 on the trading track may use the trader to pay for a portion of the costs. Trades will occur at the ratio shown on the trader board for the players position. Only one trade is permitted per item purchased. All goods obtained in the trade must be used for the purchase of the item in question, and in the rare case you cannot use the goods that are the result of a trade completely any excess must must be returned to the supply.
I think your text misses the point that a trade must be needed to be legal. If Ex 2 from my post is concidered, "You have 7 Gold and 1 Wood and want to buy the hut costing 7 resources of any kind. You decide to use 7 Gold", a sinister trader may argue that he can trade the Wood into Gold, temporarily having 8 Gold, then use the new Gold plus 6 of his old Gold when buying the card, keeping one of his old Gold in supply. The rule text must be clear on that this is stockpiling.
This is my current understanding of the rule situation from reading this forum and the HiG forum, but I admit I could be wrong.

And I think you are. The clarification clearly grants the ability to "upgrade" resources. You can trade for whatever you want, as long as you spend the result of the trade in the purchase.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Yes. I believe that trade should be allowed.

I have found it quite hard to collect citations to relevant comments from the publisher. But my overall takeaway from the affair is that the clarification is as follows. The clearest I can find easily is http://boardgamegeek.com/article/8504102#8504102 which I think clearly supports my interpretation.

If I'm being smart today, the clarification is quite small and simple:
"Need", in regards to these rules, is meant to enforce that what you acquire in the trade must be spent immediately.

"Need", in regards to these rules, is not meant to suggest that you must not have the good you are trading for in advance of trading.

In that sense I'm feeling my rewritten rule accurately and concisely describes the whole affair. RGG/HiG: please feel free to use it
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Bryan Thunkd
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apotheos wrote:
and in the rare case you cannot use the goods that are the result of a trade completely any excess must must be returned to the supply.
What's the point of this bit? Wouldn't you just wait to trade until needed? You shouldn't ever have a situation where you get goods you can't use.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Thunkd wrote:
apotheos wrote:
and in the rare case you cannot use the goods that are the result of a trade completely any excess must must be returned to the supply.
What's the point of this bit? Wouldn't you just wait to trade until needed? You shouldn't ever have a situation where you get goods you can't use.

It's for when you are on a 1:2 trade, but don't need 2 of the thing you are trading for.
 
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Steve Duff
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apotheos wrote:
Yes. I believe that trade should be allowed.

If I'm being smart today, the clarification is quite small and simple:
"Need", in regards to these rules, is meant to enforce that what you acquire in the trade must be spent immediately.

"Need", in regards to these rules, is not meant to suggest that you must not have the good you are trading for in advance of trading.

No, need means the trade must have been needed.

It's a simple question. Was the trade that you made required for the move you made? If you eliminated the trade, and were able to make the exact same move, then the trade wasn't needed, was it?

Look at the example above. Have 7 gold, 1 wood. Trade 1 wood for gold. Use 7 gold.

Is the trade legal? Remove the trade to determine.

I had 7 gold before the trade. Therefore, the trade was completely extraneous, and illegal.
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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I see your logic. However it would seem to me that the clarification from HiG is that this is what is *not* intended in the trade rules.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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I know you've put a lot of work into that Henrik, but that has to be the most complicated and hard to read means to express a rule I have ever seen.
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