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Subject: What do the symbols on the task tiles mean? rss

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K Moncreiffe
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The rules and game aids do not give adequate guidance as to the meaning of the symbols on the task tiles.

In particular, some of the tiles have a man on one side, and a woman on the other, and then a symbol of some sort in the middle. The symbol varies--it might be an up/down arrow with a die between them, or it might be the symbol for an offering, or any of a variety of other things.

Nowhere in the rules does it indicate what these symbols mean. The man/woman are pretty straightforward, but the symbol in the middle is not explained at all.

Begin vent:

Highly frustrating to figure out how to play this game. The rules are poorly explained. You have to figure out what the tiles are by inference, as the rules assume you already know what they are. That right there, all by itself, slows down the chore of figuring out how to play this game.

From what I have seen of it thus far (this is our second time trying to play it) it has lots of promise--but the rules are such a headache, we are considering giving up and selling it. Both times we put the game away after trying to play through a single turn. A game should not be this hard to figure out. Not a fun time at all.

Stefan--you really can do a whole lot better than this. These rules are not up to your usual standards.

Venting off.

Any help here would be welcome.
 
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Evgeni Liakhovich
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Begin vent:

Pages 7 and 8 of the rulebook!

Venting off.
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Ben Finkel
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Most tasks with a man and woman on them require you to get 2 men and/or women of the depicted type. There are 12 types, each of which is shown on the player boards. Also, the last page of the rulebook, on the far bottom right, shows what this task means.
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Ken Thibodeau
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FWIW, I found the rules pretty clear and straightforward. We had no problem at all to learn them.

It's not an easy game to grab because the several mechanics are tightly intertwined and somewhat abstract to some extent. I believe it's more a matter of fitting all those moving pieces into a coherent plan than simply poorly laid out rules.
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Jeff Michaud
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Glad8r wrote:
Begin vent:

Pages 7 and 8 of the rulebook!

Venting off.
lol, in the old days we used to call this RTFM
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Daniel Corban
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Glad8r wrote:
Begin vent:

Pages 7 and 8 of the rulebook!

Venting off.
Perhaps the reason the OP finds the rulebook so frustrating is that he is missing the last half of the pages? Or maybe he is accidentally reading the German rulebook.
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K Moncreiffe
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I see. So the task tile symbols are explained under the rules for
"Man Woman" actions. Yeah, that's clear. If you think mud is clear, that is.

The rules for "Task Tiles" are on page 9. What you will find on pages 7-8 are the rules for a totally different set of tiles.

I stand by my criticism. The rules are poorly laid out and difficult to follow.

 
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K Moncreiffe
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You are right--I found the table on page 12 easily enough. But there is nothing on that table, nor in the rules explaining the task tiles, that tells me the meaning of the symbols on some of the tiles, in between the man and the woman.

If another poster here is to be believed, I find that information under the rules for "Individual woman (and man) actions," which is a rule section describing the use of Man/Woman tiles. The section is located on pp. 7-8, under discussion of "Phase B: Use man and woman actions," a section that begins with the sentence "In turn order, players may use *one* of their man *and one* of their woman tiles . . ."

I would submit that that is hardly an intuitive place for this particular issue to be addressed.

 
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Jonathan Challis
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I found the rules incredibly straight-forward and easy, but then I can say the same of all Alea and Feld. Equally I find FFG rulebooks really easy which others don't.

I suspect there's some aspect of 'how your mind works' - there's no universal consensus on what's a great rulebook, and what is fantastic for one (Mage Knight for me for example) is terrible for another and vice versa.

Over time, you do get to learn authors and publishers who's style suits you though...
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Evgeni Liakhovich
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Moncreiffe wrote:
You are right--I found the table on page 12 easily enough. But there is nothing on that table, nor in the rules explaining the task tiles, that tells me the meaning of the symbols on some of the tiles, in between the man and the woman.

Sorry my bad, I guess I'm better at reading rules than posts Of course, tasks are explained on the last page. The symbol between a man and a woman is "+" (plus) - if it is what you are referring to. The task explanation says to have a man and a woman tile on your board.

I think that Bora Bora has a very good rulebook for a complex game. There were only a couple real (but minor) issues that were clarified in the rules posts here.
 
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K Moncreiffe
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I do seem to be in the minority here.

That said, 1.) I've been playing these games since the early 1990s, when we had to buy them from Europe and when, more often than not, we had to read the rules in the original German--I am not posting here as a newcomer to this hobby; 2.) its not just me--it was several people in my gaming group, poring over the rules for a sufficiently long time to get supremely frustrated with the game. I am comfortable rejecting the notion that we are collectively stupid, and likewise that we did not attempt a thorough reading of the rules before posting here.

Stefan Feld has produced many fine games, and this is the first of his for which we have had this problem.

Perhaps it really is the case that we are just eccentric people. Based on the number of posts disagreeing with mine, that may be the case. If our experience really is this isolated, then I'd agree that no one should pay it much mind. But if even a few people share our frustration, then perhaps, just perhaps, there is something here from which the game designer and publisher might wish to take notice. It is never a good thing when intelligent, well intentioned, and diligent people get this frustrated with a product.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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I didn't think the rules were especially straightforward. I had to watch a couple video reviews to get a better understanding.

Not the worst written rules by a long shot; somewhere middle of the road. But with a complicated game...

Trajan and CoB seemed easier to learn from the rules.
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Daniel Corban
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I don't understand why you claimed there was nothing in the rules explaining the task tiles, when the final page does just that. If you are confused as to what man/woman tiles mean, there is also a page which explains those.

I could see being mildly confused if you didn't own the game and weren't looking at the components, but you appear to be an owner.
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K Moncreiffe
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Daniel--

We are likely beating a dead horse here, since on the basis of several of the comments here, we were able to figure out what we needed to know. But since you asked civilly, I will endeavor an answer.

Rather than repeat myself entirely, refer back to the original post. There was a symbol on several of the task tiles, that I now understand to be an en toto replica of the icons that appear on several of the man/woman tiles. In essence, the icon on the task tile means "if you see [x] number of man/woman tiles that look like *this* on your player board, you can score this tile." In retrospect, that is implied by the text that accompanies the picture on page 12.

But this was hardly clear to us at the time, and it led to considerable frustration with the rules--not to mention, worse, a lot of wasted time and the ruin of the second portion of the meeting of our group (we usually have time for two games). This was compounded by the fact that the particular icon on the particular tile in question shows up precisely nowhere in the chart on page 12. Or, put differently, that chart is not an exhaustive summary of all of the icons that appear on the various task tiles. To get that, you have to combine the chart on page 12 with the chart that appears on pp. 7-8, which, as I have mentioned, is hardly intuitive, or at least not to any of us.

As I said, this was the second time we tried to play this game. The first time, we spent far too much time figuring out which of the tiles were which--something that could easily have been clarified had the rules done a better job of identifying the tile types. It is not impossible to figure this out, but the rules do not make this as straightforward as they should--and it is frustrating to waste time trying to figure out, for example, which of the little card board pieces are task tiles, and so on. But we expect a certain amount of wasted time the first time we try to figure out any moderately complex game. Its the second wasted meeting that got frustrating.

I honestly do not think I would have figured out the answer to my original post absent this board. And that is really not so good--the rules should not require posting on a board in order to figure them out. I much agree with an earlier post--this is not the most egregious example of poor rules that I have encountered. But anytime ambiguous rules leads to a lot of wasted time and a spoiled afternoon, then something is wrong--either with us, or with the rules.
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Scott Nelson
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I first thought it was a bonus when you completed the task, but after deciphering the last page, we figured out that it was just the girl/boy that was needed would have this ability icon on it. If you look at man/women the task tiles reads to need, they will both have this icon/ability on them.
 
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Jason Ober
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I just played this yesterday for the first time, and we really struggled with the rules also, even having read them a time or two, and that despite a lot of gaming experience.

The one that stymied me (although we just ran with intuition pretty quickly) was the task tiles. It says to deal them out to the players during setup, and that they'll be placed later, but I never saw when it was they were placed. We just put them out right away, but it led to some confusion.

Overall, I think the layout of the rules wasn't the best, and the game would definitely benefit from a reference sheet that was easier to read than the two charts and explained the task tiles and the man/woman tiles.
 
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Werner Bär
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oberjt wrote:
The one that stymied me (although we just ran with intuition pretty quickly) was the task tiles. It says to deal them out to the players during setup, and that they'll be placed later, but I never saw when it was they were placed. We just put them out right away, but it led to some confusion.
There's part of the sentence missing in the english translation. But nothing important.

German (underline by me):
"Diese drei Plättchen legt er später, sobald er sein Tableau erhalten hat (s.u.) in beliebiger Reihenfolge offen auf die drei dafür vorgesehenen Felder unten rechts auf seinem Tableau."

English:
"Players will place these tiles later, as soon as they receive their player board (see below), in any order they choose face up onto the three spaces [...]"
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Jason Ober
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Thanks - that was driving me nuts!
 
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