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Russian Railroads» Forums » Rules

Subject: "?" Tokens face up or face down rss

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Ray Swan
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This question is regarding The seven "?" tokens each player has. When they acquire one, do they take one of them randomly (as in from a face down pile) or does he/she get to choose which one they would like?

The whole "?" seems to imply a randomness.

Would like a definitive answer.
 
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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You can pick whichever one you want. (Once you pick one, it cannot be used again.)
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Ray Swan
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Can you site that from the rules or an errata please?
 
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Matt Dawkins
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RaySwan wrote:
Can you site that from the rules or an errata please?


Russian Railroads Rulebook, pg. 17 wrote:
...you choose one of your 7 ? tokens, apply its effect...
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Curt Carpenter
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It's right where they're explained. Page 17: "... you choose one of your 7 ? tokens..."
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Gillum the Stoor
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RaySwan wrote:
This question is regarding The seven "?" tokens each player has. When they acquire one, do they take one of them randomly (as in from a face down pile) or does he/she get to choose which one they would like?

The rules state that you do choose a token. For example, on page 17: "you choose one of your 7 ? tokens."

For the initial set-up, the German rules say the following:
Quote:
Jeder Spieler nimmt sich die hier abgebildeten 7 unterschiedlichen ?-Plättchen, den 2. Industriemarker, 1 Kiev-Medaille und 1 Aufwerter und legt sie wie abgebildet vor sich aus.

"[W]ie abgebildet" means "as shown"; the illustration on that page shows the tokens face-up. [The illustration is the same in the English rules, but they do not say "as shown."]

Earning one of these tokens takes a fair amount of effort, and it will tend to happen later in the game (at least not at the beginning), after a player has chosen a particular strategy. Many of the tokens are useful only for particular strategies. The idea is that a player will select a token or tokens that complements his or her strategy.

If the tokens were chosen randomly, there would be a reasonable chance of drawing one with little or no value, and they would be less important in the game. The rules probably wouldn't bother, on page 22, to recommend that "You should aim to acquire at least 2 ? tokens."
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Robert Olesen
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It really does not make sense to me that there is a ? on the back of those tokens. It implies something that is not in the rules, as Ray said in the OP. But the rules are clear, so I'll just have to learn to ignore that ?.
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John Bradshaw
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Robert Olesen wrote:
It really does not make sense to me that there is a ? on the back of those tokens. It implies something that is not in the rules,


I agree about the implication but I think that I got that implication as a hang-up from when I used to play Monopoly in a prior century - the '?' is the symbol for the chance cards. The '?' actually doesn't mean chance of course - it's a question mark - and I could equally easily interpret that as posing the question - "which one of these 7 do you want?" - although I'm finding myself calling them the "chance tokens" while playing!

The game itself unhelpfully calls them the ? tokens, which doesn't roll easily off the tongue when rules explaining.
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Ray Swan
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Thank you all for your input. It was very helpful. I love the BGG community!

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Curt Carpenter
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Robert Olesen wrote:
It really does not make sense to me that there is a ? on the back of those tokens. It implies something that is not in the rules, as Ray said in the OP. But the rules are clear, so I'll just have to learn to ignore that ?.

I don't see the implication. What's implied in the rules is
a) The image on the back of these is a ?
b) When you reach one, you have to answer the question: "which would you like?"

I don't see how a question mark implies randomness.
 
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Gillum the Stoor
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I have to admit, I'm not sure why these tokens weren't printed the same on both sides. That's what was done with similar resources, like the Kiev Medal. Perhaps it was done to emphasize that they are all a common group from which to choose - but that would have bee pretty clear either way.
 
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Robert Stewart
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curtc wrote:
Robert Olesen wrote:
It really does not make sense to me that there is a ? on the back of those tokens. It implies something that is not in the rules, as Ray said in the OP. But the rules are clear, so I'll just have to learn to ignore that ?.

I don't see the implication. What's implied in the rules is
a) The image on the back of these is a ?
b) When you reach one, you have to answer the question: "which would you like?"

I don't see how a question mark implies randomness.


It denotes the unknown. In this sort of context, my immediate assumption would be that the tokens were chosen from randomly; when the '?' is the symbol generated by a random event (die roll or drawn card) or is used where other similar symbols have a specific icon, my immediate assumption would be that it's a player choice.

Symbols acquire conventional meanings, and it's generally better to stick with those meanings rather than using the symbol for a different meaning than the default for that context since people will assume that the symbol means what they expect it to rather than checking what you define it to mean.
 
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rmsgrey wrote:
curtc wrote:
I don't see how a question mark implies randomness.

It denotes the unknown.

Maybe that's the answer here.

The ? appears prominently in four places on the player boards.

Those four places offer rewards that are not yet determined at the time the game begins (or, indeed, until a player achieves them using specified means).

I suppose that they could have used a big star to mean "something big that you get to decide," but the game already uses big stars for other things. Maybe the graphics people thought that a big question mark might mean "something big that is unknown until you decide."

It wouldn't necessarily be my choice for graphics, but maybe that's how it came about.
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Curt Carpenter
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I agree it's not the best symbol. But thankfully the rules are pretty clear at least.
 
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