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Subject: artifact key technology rss

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Daniel C
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I finally got around to playing Eclipse with my play group recently, and I am really impressed by it; kudos to the designers for coming up with this game.

One question about rules that still remains after reading through all the Rules threads is whether the "Artifact Key" technology rewards you for artifacts that you discover after you have taken the technology.

The rules are clear about receiving 5 resources of a single type for each artifact on planets under a player's control, at the time of taking the technology, but nothing about future artifacts. We have been playing with the interpretation that the player does not receive any benefits from future artifacts discovered; but thematically, it seems appropriate for a player who already has the technology to unlock artifacts to be able to do so with ones discovered in the future.

So, is this covered explicitly in the rule book, and perhaps I just missed it? If not, is there a general consensus on the appropriate interpretation of the "Artifact Key" technology?
 
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Bill Kunes
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It is only applies to what you have at the time you acquire the technology. See http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/10517311#10517311
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Radosław Michalak
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Page 12
Quote:
There are three special types of Technologies:
Ship Part: gives the ability to Upgrade this Ship Part.
Build: gives the ability to Build this Ship or Structure.
Instant: gives a one-time effect when it is Researched.
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James Motz
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There are basically three kinds of technology tiles - ship parts, build-able items, and "instant effects". You can tell by looking at the small gray icon in the corner of the tile (parts is a square, effects is a burst... I'm blanking on the new build icon).

All ship parts must be installed on a blueprint using the Upgrade action before they can take effect.

All build-able things have to be constructed using the Build action before they'll appear.

All instant effects happen once, at the moment they are acquired. This applies to techs like artifact key as well as techs like neutron bombs - you purchase the tile and all your ships are instantly given that ability.
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Daniel C
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Thanks all, for the quick reply.

(@bkunes) Thanks for the link. I didn't see the thread you referenced while looking for it originally.

It is good to be reassured that we've been playing it correctly, and not missing out on would-be resources.
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Bill Kunes
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newtsjm wrote:
Thanks all, for the quick reply.

(@bkunes) Thanks for the link. I didn't see the thread you referenced while looking for it originally.

It is good to be reassured that we've been playing it correctly, and not missing out on would-be resources.
I find it challenging sometimes to search the previously posted Q&A. What I have found helpful is adding this link to my Quickbar list: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/List_of_game_FAQs#
 
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Daniel C
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Thanks for that. I have added that to my quick links now. (I'm new to BGG, so still figuring out how to do stuff on this site.)
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Daniel C
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LazyJ wrote:
There are basically three kinds of technology tiles -
...

All instant effects happen once, at the moment they are acquired. This applies to techs like artifact key as well as techs like neutron bombs - you purchase the tile and all your ships are instantly given that ability.


I understand the idea of the instantaneous effects, and based on the arguments I've seen in the other thread that Bill referred to, I see that similar thinking was used there. But I believe there is a flaw in this line of thinking. The instantaneous nature of the track seems to be meant to be applied to the time needed to acquire the capability granted by researching the technology -- and not necessarily to constrain how that technology might be used subsequently.

For example, "Advanced Labs" is on the instantaneous track, and it immediately grants the player the ability to use the starred science squares in the colonies. It also allows the player to use those squares on any future tiles that he may discover. Likewise, Advanced Robotics grants an extra influence disc that can be used for the rest of the game, not just on the turn it was acquired.

So, it stands to reason that "Artifact Key" should grant the player the ability to unlock artifacts to obtain resources. That ability is applicable immediately, and hence the player may harvest those artifacts that are currently on his colonies. One interpretation of the rule that says the player may take those resources immediately is to provide assurance that there is no waiting time to acquire them. But I don't think it necessarily denies the player from applying the Artifact Key in the future to any artifacts later discovered.

In my gaming group, we have adopted the more conservative interpretation of the rules, which is consistent with that of most responders to this question (here and in other threads). But thinking about this carefully, this interpretation seems to make less sense than the alternative that permits the player to acquire resources from future artifacts. In short, why would the technology by "forgotten" after its use? That seems anomalous, since it would be the only technology item that has that property.

What am I missing?
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Radosław Michalak
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You are missing a lot.
There are only 3 techs with Instant symbol:
-Advanced Robotics and Quantum Grid
-Artifact Key
All 3 gives you something (resources or additional disc(s)).
Immediately.
Only once.

Advanced Mining/Economy/Labs don't have any special icon.
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Daniel C
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Radziol wrote:
You are missing a lot.
There are only 3 techs with Instant symbol:
-Advanced Robotics and Quantum Grid
-Artifact Key
All 3 gives you something (resources or additional disc(s)).
Immediately.
Only once.

Advanced Mining/Economy/Labs don't have any special icon.


Ahh! I confused some terminology and symbology. So, it's not the entire track that represents the "instantaneous" class of technologies, and I see that the track I was thinking of is actually the "nano technologies" track.

I accept this correction, but it is not clear to me that the alternative interpretation for how artifact keys should be applied is voided by it.

Advanced Robotics and Quantum Grid provide improved efficiency, which are represented by additional influence discs. By the popular interpretation of "instantaneous and one time only" those discs should go away after the turn on which they were obtained. But they do not. Instead, they persist until the rest of the game. This makes sense, because it represents that the player has acquired the technology to provide that improved efficiency in his economy.

Artifact Key is providing the ability to extract resources from artifacts. Why should that ability go away in subsequent turns?
 
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Geoff Speare
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The first two give you two disks once, not once every turn.

Artifact Key gives you resources once.

You may disagree with the wording -- no rules are ever 100% clear. However, there's no question about how it was intended to be played.
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Radosław Michalak
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newtsjm wrote:
...popular interpretation of...

I will be a bit mean here
Please provide us any article about this.
Any statistics?
If not I must claim your argument as no-argument.

You receive resources/additional disc(s).
Immediately.
Only once.
You don't return what you gained when round ends.
Same for all 3.
Quote:
Artifact Key is providing the ability to extract resources from artifacts.

Overinterpretation.
It's only theme added by you to this tech.
The tech gives you amount of resources based on the number of artifacts you control. It's not said how exactly you gain it.
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Daniel C
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galfridus wrote:
The first two give you two disks once, not once every turn.

Artifact Key gives you resources once.

You may disagree with the wording -- no rules are ever 100% clear. However, there's no question about how it was intended to be played.


I agree that there is no question that Artifact Key was intended to give you resources once per artifact.

At the centre of this discussion though, is that interpreting the Artifact Key as providing resources for subsequently discovered artifacts does not seem to directly conflict with any of the written rules, and seems to make thematic sense. Therefore, in my mind there remains a question about how it was intended to be played.
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Daniel C
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Radziol wrote:
newtsjm wrote:
...popular interpretation of...

I will be a bit mean here
Please provide us any article about this.
Any statistics?
If not I must claim your argument as no-argument.


(*sigh*) I'm not sure whether you are interested in being helpful when you make a comment like this. It's a shame, because you seem to be very knowledgeable on the rules of the game, and therefore someone who could help a newcomer to the game understand why the rules are the way they seem to be.

Anyway, my use of the phrase "popular interpretation of" was used to refer to the prevailing interpretation of the rule governing the Artifact Key technology (the same one that you are advocating here). Do you really need me to provide statistics to establish that your interpretation of the rule is the more popular one?

Radziol wrote:

You receive resources/additional disc(s).
Immediately.
Only once.
You don't return what you gained when round ends.
Same for all 3.
Quote:
Artifact Key is providing the ability to extract resources from artifacts.

Overinterpretation.
It's only theme added by you to this tech.
The tech gives you amount of resources based on the number of artifacts you control. It's not said how exactly you gain it.


I accept that I might be "over-interpreting the theme", but when rules are unclear on a specific situation, what else do we have to go by?

At this point, if I have understood you correctly, you are saying that because the net effect of the Artifact Key is to instantly provide resources, then that was its intended purpose. But my counter-question is how do we know that the designers did not intend for the Artifact Key to provide resources from future artifacts as well? I believe that one could read all of the rules relating to the Artifact Key with this interpretation in mind, and it would be consistent with everything written.

Please don't misunderstand my intention behind this thread. I am not asserting that my belief must be what the designers intended. Rather, I am hoping to see a clear explanation for why the rule (on page 12):
Quote:
You must immediately take 5 Resources for each Artifact on your hexes

is inconsistent with the idea of doing the same with future Artifacts that the player acquires. And, if it is not, then why is this "access to future Artifacts" interpretation, which appears more thematically appropriate, not more popularly subscribed.
 
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Radosław Michalak
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I know my style is not best.
I wanted to (a bit ironically) say that "popular interpretation" is not a good argument, because I can say that popular interpretation of something is opposite to what you say and such debate goes to nothing.
We should speak about what is explicitly in rulebook.

I dare to say that I have no idea hwy you still see there possibility to receive more resources later.
Quote:
Instant: gives a one-time effect when it is Researched.

Quote:
You must immediately take 5 Resources
for each Artifact on your hexes

Both say me that I gain something only in the moment when I buy it.

And golden rule about rules: what is not allowed is forbidden

And I'm 99,9999% sure it's intended interpretation. Designers are present on BGG and they never had to add anythying to Artifact Key.
 
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Dan
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It might be time to let this one go. The best anyone can do on these forums is learn how very experienced players interpret the rules as writen and you have done that. There is not much else that can be provided.

For myself, I don't understand the confusion really. The rules are pretty clear, as is the starburst symbol.
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Geoff Speare
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I went and found a quote from the designer, but since he does not explicitly say "not for future hexes" (after all, the term "one shot" is pretty vague!), and does not mention you by name, that's probably not enough either.

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Marcel van der pol
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Well, suppose that you CAN take resources from a Hex that you just colonized. In this case you COULD use the Influence Action to remove your influence disc and immediately place it back, thus claiming a Hex and getting yet another 5 resources. If this Hex contains few population planets, this would yield a LOT of resources, 5 at the expense of one action.
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Daniel C
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Thanks to all of you for your input. Sorry if I came across as over-obsessed, I just wanted to better understand something that seemed anomalous to me.

It would appear that there are no other explicitly written rules regarding the Artifact Key to help me separate the two interpretations; but I accept the point that since the designers are a part of the community, if they noted that most people were playing the game wrong, they would have said something.
 
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Daniel C
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marcelvdpol wrote:
Well, suppose that you CAN take resources from a Hex that you just colonized. In this case you COULD use the Influence Action to remove your influence disc and immediately place it back, thus claiming a Hex and getting yet another 5 resources. If this Hex contains few population planets, this would yield a LOT of resources, 5 at the expense of one action.


Not really, the rule is quite explicit about taking resources only once. So, once you had taken your resources from an artifact, you wouldn't be able to claim them again from the same artifact.

I suppose one problem that would arise here is that the players would have to start keeping track of which artifacts had already yielded resources to which player -- and all that extra bookkeeping would probably bog down what is otherwise a nicely streamlined system.
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Marcel van der pol
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Quote:
Not really, the rule is quite explicit about taking resources only once. So, once you had taken your resources from an artifact, you wouldn't be able to claim them again from the same artifact.


But if you recolonize a system with an artifact, this would be a "new" artifact unless you would add some kind of "marker" on the system (similar to exploration tiles) that gets removed once the artifact has been claimed by someone with the Artifact Key technology. Can be done and also means that taking a system from someone without the technology would yield "extra" resources as that person doesn't have the technology to "convert" the artifact into resources.

Would add an extra dimension to the choise of which systems to attack.
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Wim van Gruisen
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newtsjm wrote:
marcelvdpol wrote:
Well, suppose that you CAN take resources from a Hex that you just colonized. In this case you COULD use the Influence Action to remove your influence disc and immediately place it back, thus claiming a Hex and getting yet another 5 resources. If this Hex contains few population planets, this would yield a LOT of resources, 5 at the expense of one action.


Not really, the rule is quite explicit about taking resources only once. So, once you had taken your resources from an artifact, you wouldn't be able to claim them again from the same artifact.

Yeah, but imagine a scenario where you get resources from a system when you get the artefact key, then lose the system to another player who subsequently gets the same technology. He will then also get extra resources from that system. So the game allows for an artefact symbol to produce resources more than once.

The rules are explicit, yes. One of the nice things of Eclipse is the streamlined rules. That sometimes gives strange results - such as an artefact producing goods up to three times, just not to the same player, and artefacts only producing at the moment a player gets the required technology. It's a small cost for having an elegant ruleset.
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Daniel C
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Whymme wrote:

Yeah, but imagine a scenario where you get resources from a system when you get the artefact key, then lose the system to another player who subsequently gets the same technology. He will then also get extra resources from that system. So the game allows for an artefact symbol to produce resources more than once.


Yeah, I understand what you mean; this is what I was alluding to when I said the bookkeeping would be cumbersome.

Whymme wrote:

The rules are explicit, yes. One of the nice things of Eclipse is the streamlined rules. That sometimes gives strange results - such as an artefact producing goods up to three times, just not to the same player, and artefacts only producing at the moment a player gets the required technology. It's a small cost for having an elegant ruleset.


Yeah, although with Marcel's suggestion of having a marker per artifact tile (similar to the discovery markers) it could be easy to keep track of which artifacts had already been harvested. This would change things a bit though, in that now each artifact would be harvested a maximum of 1 time -- regardless of the player that did it.

As Marcel said, it would add a dimension to the decision of which tile to attack; and it would also add a dimension to the decision of when/whether to research artifact key.

I might try that one day, but for now, there is still plenty of play left for me to discover in this game, before I start experimenting with variants.
 
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Michael Albert
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Perhaps it would be helpful to think of this rule thematically.

Why you only get the benefit once even if you discover more artefacts later?

Once a civilization learns how to unlock these ancient discoveries it provides an instant boost to their economy, science, and resources as new and different way of doing things are implemented. Future artefacts that come under the control of the faction would not have the same initial impact as it is now common knowledge on how to access the benefits of these artefacts. Freelancers, pirates, and corporations could exploit these to their own interests long before the government gets their hands on them.

Why another faction can unlock an artefact that has already been unlocked?

A different civilization unlocking one of these artefacts that has already been opened may benefit in a way that was not as relevant or obvious to the previous one. Say among other things an ancient soil enrichment technology is discovered by a human faction in one of these artefacts. Perhaps they invest some scientific resources into studying and implementing this technology but it’s not the highest priority. What if this artifact now found its ways into the hand of the Planta? They may greatly prioritize this and could potentially find benefits that the human faction did not.
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