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Subject: My concerns with the rules rss

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mfl134
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I am considering backing this game on kickstarter. I decided to read the rules first and I have some questions.

It is unclear to me what group the game is aiming to please. Is it for a lover of euro games or a lover of complicated party games?

The reason for this concern is the rules, or lack of adequate rules regarding certain decisions made in the rules.

Concerns:
In step 5(movie production): the rules state the game is played simultaneously. Players are encouraged to watch other players and rearrange movies as new information becomes available. What happens in a situation where players react to one another in an infinite loop?

In step 7(awards ceremony): the rules state that untied players decide who "deserves" film of the year. As far as I can tell, film of the year can me worth quite a big deal of points. Just letting players decide puts players at the mercy of fellow players. Also, let's assume a four player game. 2 players are tied for the most trophies in round 1 and have equal cash. The other 2 players are encouraged to not settle the tie as no player will end up getting the trophy. I don't know if the rule is intended as a catchup mechanism or a way to adequately add king making options to this game.

To me, the game looks very interesting, but these 2 items kind of feel like deal breakers.

Anyone want to convince me I am wrong? Anyone have similar concerns?



Also, separate rules suggestion:

In step 1(star card distribution):


Quote:
the player distributes the remaining cards between the other players any way he or she wants. Players examine the cards they receive and place them in front of themselves face down.


The use of the word cards implies the cards don't need to be distributed evenly, though I expect the rules intend to not allow this.


Worthless scripts:


Quote:
A Worthless Script has no genre. Anyone who makes a movie using a Worthless Script can define the genre of the movie as they see fit.


It seems you are not supposed to score any genre bonus for worthless scripts, but saying you can define the genre however makes it sounds like it can be whatever genre you like, and score bonus for the genre (with one less symbol). What is the actual rule?
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Jerry
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Good questions. I read the one below a little differently. Just as "cards" is meaning more than one card, "players" is meaning more than one player. So multiple players getting one card are still "players" getting "cards"


mfl134 wrote:

In step 1(star card distribution):


Quote:
the player distributes the remaining cards between the other players any way he or she wants. Players examine the cards they receive and place them in front of themselves face down.


The use of the word cards implies the cards don't need to be distributed evenly, though I expect the rules intend to not allow this.
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mfl134
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Laporbo wrote:
Good questions. I read the one below a little differently. Just as "cards" is meaning more than one card, "players" is meaning more than one player. So multiple players getting one card are still "players" getting "cards"


mfl134 wrote:

In step 1(star card distribution):


Quote:
the player distributes the remaining cards between the other players any way he or she wants. Players examine the cards they receive and place them in front of themselves face down.


The use of the word cards implies the cards don't need to be distributed evenly, though I expect the rules intend to not allow this.


It would be more clear to stay that the player distributes one card to each other player.
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Tom Howard
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Yeah, I noticed a couple of minor phrases or sentences that I think got a bit lost in translation, but after watching the available videos, I feel like I've got a decent handle on their intent.

I'm fairly confident each player only gets 1 star card at the beginning of each year, but I completely agree that the way it's written sounds as if you could potentially give an uneven distribution of cards out.


In regards to Worthless Scripts, you can choose which genre you want them to be, but the script itself earns no bonus. So, if your Director and Actor have a Thriller icon, then you can say that the Worthless Script is a Thriller, and the Director and Actor will score their bonus for 'matching' the proper genre. However, you do not get bonus for the script itself. (So in this example, with no other cards involved in the movie, the Director & Actor would each earn $2 Million for their Thriller icons).

Regarding Step 5 and the simultaneous build rule -- I had the exact same thought: (what if there's an infinite loop of "if you do this, then I'll do that"). I actually thought of the game VivaJava, which also has players act simultaneously in one of the phases. In that game, when there's a need for one player to make a decision before another, then it defaults to the player's turn order for that round. It's quite an elegant fix, and I think perhaps a similar thing could be applied here. Without having ever played Hollywood, here's what I think could be a possible solution:
Players should be allowed to produce their movies simultaneously and react to each other's movies as they see fit. However, if a stalemate of decisions occurs between two or more players, then the player who distributed Star Cards at the beginning of the round completes his or her movies first, followed in turn by the rest of the players clockwise around the table.

The nice thing about this idea is that it builds in a small catch-up mechanic against the player who won Film of the Year last round. However, it also kinda works against the person who won the bid during the first round of play.


Regarding Step 7 and the possible King-maker situation... I agree that it has the potential to be problematic. But I'd really have to play the game a handful of times to see how often such a situation is likely to arise in the first place.

The last note I have is that "tallying up field" should really be called the "Scoring Track."
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Alexey Babaitsev
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Thank you for interesting questions. Here are the answers.

mfl134 wrote:
It is unclear to me what group the game is aiming to please. Is it for a lover of euro games or a lover of complicated party games?


We aim for family or light-euro game.

mfl134 wrote:
In step 5(movie production): the rules state the game is played simultaneously. Players are encouraged to watch other players and rearrange movies as new information becomes available. What happens in a situation where players react to one another in an infinite loop?


We are preparing rules FAQ. This question is covered there. Here is what official FAQ says:

Q: All players make their movies with open cards. There may be a situation when two or more players are constantly re-making their movies to get the “Movie of the Year” award. What should be done in this situation?

A: If players can’t negotiate to stop re-making movies, the “Movie of the Year” award should be given to one of these players, decided by voting. If votes are equal, a player with no awards gets the award. If players are tied, the poorest contestant gets the award. If players are still tied – no one gets the award.


I also like the variant offered by Tom in a message above:

Players should be allowed to produce their movies simultaneously and react to each other's movies as they see fit. However, if a stalemate of decisions occurs between two or more players, then the player who distributed Star Cards at the beginning of the round completes his or her movies first, followed in turn by the rest of the players clockwise around the table.

I'll pass it to Nikolay Pegasov, game author, for consideration.

mfl134 wrote:
In step 7(awards ceremony): the rules state that untied players decide who "deserves" film of the year. As far as I can tell, film of the year can me worth quite a big deal of points. Just letting players decide puts players at the mercy of fellow players. Also, let's assume a four player game. 2 players are tied for the most trophies in round 1 and have equal cash. The other 2 players are encouraged to not settle the tie as no player will end up getting the trophy. I don't know if the rule is intended as a catchup mechanism or a way to adequately add king making options to this game.


We have played a lot of games and really, this is not a problem. Players usually decide to give the award to the player who is falling behind. I also have to note that voting does not happen that often. But when it does happen, it is a nice change from auctions and drafting - players have a little chat and a few laughs.

mfl134 wrote:
the player distributes the remaining cards between the other players any way he or she wants. Players examine the cards they receive and place them in front of themselves face down.


I agree, the rule could have been written better. The player distributes one card to each other player -- this is correct.

mfl134 wrote:
It seems you are not supposed to score any genre bonus for worthless scripts, but saying you can define the genre however makes it sounds like it can be whatever genre you like, and score bonus for the genre (with one less symbol). What is the actual rule?


This is correct:

GeckoTH wrote:

In regards to Worthless Scripts, you can choose which genre you want them to be, but the script itself earns no bonus. So, if your Director and Actor have a Thriller icon, then you can say that the Worthless Script is a Thriller, and the Director and Actor will score their bonus for 'matching' the proper genre. However, you do not get bonus for the script itself. (So in this example, with no other cards involved in the movie, the Director & Actor would each earn $2 Million for their Thriller icons).


One more thing:

Quote:
The last note I have is that "tallying up field" should really be called the "Scoring Track."


I totally agree. Weird choice of words here.

Please stay tuned for FAQ, we will post it soon.
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mfl134
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Imploded wrote:
Thank you for interesting questions. Here are the answers.


mfl134 wrote:
In step 7(awards ceremony): the rules state that untied players decide who "deserves" film of the year. As far as I can tell, film of the year can me worth quite a big deal of points. Just letting players decide puts players at the mercy of fellow players. Also, let's assume a four player game. 2 players are tied for the most trophies in round 1 and have equal cash. The other 2 players are encouraged to not settle the tie as no player will end up getting the trophy. I don't know if the rule is intended as a catchup mechanism or a way to adequately add king making options to this game.


We have played a lot of games and really, this is not a problem. Players usually decide to give the award to the player who is falling behind. I also have to note that voting does not happen that often. But when it does happen, it is a nice change from auctions and drafting - players have a little chat and a few laughs.


The few laughs part here is the vibe I got. Which is why it felt like a complicated party games.

I also understand that it won't come up a lot, but it will specifically come up in games where the game is close? Those are the exact situations I don't like the rule. I'd prefer some way to remove player decisions in the tiebreaker could be at least provided as a variant?
 
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Alexey Babaitsev
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Well, this situation mostly happens like this: players discuss - who might get the least benefit from the award and give it to that player.

I'll ask Nikolay about possible official variant.

Anyways, the game is open to house rules. If you feel like there should not be any voting in Hollywood, no one can force you (unless you are playing with rules lawyers, of course). meeple
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Mark Mackin
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This game was picked up for me at Essen last year. I have played a dozen games so far and I would say it is a fun light strategy game, it's certainly not a eurogame.
Even though movie production is done openly and simultaneously there has never been a situation of endless rearranging of cards normally it's a question of making one film with as many cards as you can or possibly two films if that makes better use of your cards.
Normally the film of the year is not in dispute but if two players are tied then the game lets the other players have a general discussion but the result is that the award normally gets given to the player who doesn't have one or has the least money.
The game is short, light, fun and lends itself to be played by seasoned and casual gamers equally. This game has easily the most plays of all the games I purchased last year.
My only regret is that as a person who bought the game last year I missed out on all the additional kickstarter promo cards that are now going to be available.
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Alexey Babaitsev
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Mark, thank you for your great response!

Here is what we just added to our KS page:

"Special note for those of you who bought the Essen edition of Hollywood in 2013. We are going to add a special add-on consisting only of stretch goal cards, just for you. Please send us a message via “Contact me” if you bought the Essen edition and are interested in getting the stretch goal components. As soon as this add-on is available we will send you a notice."
 
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mfl134
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Imploded wrote:
Well, this situation mostly happens like this: players discuss - who might get the least benefit from the award and give it to that player.

I'll ask Nikolay about possible official variant.

Anyways, the game is open to house rules. If you feel like there should not be any voting in Hollywood, no one can force you (unless you are playing with rules lawyers, of course). meeple


I mostly was hoping the game is still balanced with alternative. one simple answer if to give out half a trophy to both tied players if truly tied. The 2 of them auction for for handing out cards the next turn.
 
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Tom Howard
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Thanks, Mark! Great to hear some more comments from people who've played.
 
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Fernando Passinho
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mfl134 wrote:


In step 7(awards ceremony): the rules state that untied players decide who "deserves" film of the year. As far as I can tell, film of the year can me worth quite a big deal of points. Just letting players decide puts players at the mercy of fellow players. Also, let's assume a four player game. 2 players are tied for the most trophies in round 1 and have equal cash. The other 2 players are encouraged to not settle the tie as no player will end up getting the trophy. I don't know if the rule is intended as a catchup mechanism or a way to adequately add king making options to this game.


You are right, that was the first thing I thought reading the rules...
 
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Alex Fiedler
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My concern with the game and the Best of Year trophies, is that they are too powerful. It looks like whoever wins the most of these will win regardless of the rest of the game.

Of those who have already played a few times, what has been your experience of the trophy scoring? Is it overpowered? Has anyone won the game without winning a Movie of the Year trophy or by getting less trophies than another player?
 
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mike bishop
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I agree with you Alex,i had played Hollywood three times, each time a player who held the majority of the awards won easily. Scoring "each" round for them makes them so powerful.Since then we altered the rules
so they only score once at the end.
 
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Mike
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bornboardman wrote:
I agree with you Alex,i had played Hollywood three times, each time a player who held the majority of the awards won easily. Scoring "each" round for them makes them so powerful.Since then we altered the rules
so they only score once at the end.
I'm not sure I follow you.

You count the awards each round but you don't earn money each round. The only advantage for winning a round is you control the distribution of the star cards in the next round.

Then at the end of the game the players who won awards during the game count up their figurine icons and collect bonus money.

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John Roach
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Even playing correctly and only scoring the awards at the end we feel awards scoring is too powerful. Whoever wins the first year award is well placed by the distribution of special cards to have a strong chance of winning the second and third rounds. In doing so they will have amassed a healthy number of award icons that they treble for scoring. By scoring every awards icon at the end it encourages the knee-jerk collection of award icon bearing cards, not to create films but to dump in the personal discard.

Possible "fixes" (1)When scoring don't include icons on cards not used to complete award. (2) Don't give the star card distribution to the winner of the previous year's award but run an auction for the privilege. Or have a star card distribution prior to drafting that mirrors the post draft star card auction.
 
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Alex Fiedler
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After several plays, I am definitely finding the awards bonus too powerful. Any time a player gets 2 awards, they win. There are just too many points available for so little investment.
I've heard people say trying for awards mean you are not getting as much money from your movies, but I havent seen that in our games, at least not to the point where it makes that much difference. Many cards give both money and trophies and often the cards you have left to choose from dont matter so its easy to take the trophy ones.

I'm trying to work out a fix for it, but this one issue is the only thing I dont like about the game and may prevent my gaming groups from playing again. We all feel as though this is broken.
 
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