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Subject: placing and moving the Ark rss

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Roderick Schertler
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My friend bought this game and had some questions about the Ark.

1. The person who completes the first city "places the Ark on one of the completed city segments and his turn is now over". Does this mean you couldn't also place a meeple on that turn?

2. Can you only move the Ark in a straight line?

Thanks!
 
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Steven Packard
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1. My initial thought on question #1 is that you definitely can place your meeple when you complete the first city (assuming it follows the rest of the rules about placing meeples). After that, you place the Ark. However, I must admit that in looking over the rules to confirm that, I don't feel justified in claiming that that's true. I think it's true, but the rules are silent about that as far as I can tell.

1.5. Furthermore, I was about to correct you about placing the Ark on one of the city segments. I think I've always played it so that it's on a city tile, but outside the city walls, and that it only travels outside of cities. From the wording of the rules and from the photo of the example in the rulebook, it looks like I'm wrong about that, and the Ark can move both inside and outside of cities. I'd feel better if someone confirms that for me, but that seems to be the case.

2. OK, this one I know. The Ark does not have to travel in a straight line. However, it can't double back on itself so that it moves on a tile that it was already on during the same movement turn. Other than that, it can move in any direction you want.
 
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A L D A R O N
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WhiteKnight85 wrote:
1.5. [...] I think I've always played it so that it's on a city tile, but outside the city walls, and that it only travels outside of cities. From the wording of the rules and from the photo of the example in the rulebook, it looks like I'm wrong about that, and the Ark can move both inside and outside of cities.

The Ark can move inside and outside cities. Actually, isn't "in" a feature, just on a tile, and its position relative to features has no game effect.

WhiteKnight85 wrote:
2. [...] The Ark does not have to travel in a straight line.

The Ark cannot travel diagonally.
 
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Steven Packard
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Aldaron wrote:

WhiteKnight85 wrote:
2. [...] The Ark does not have to travel in a straight line.

The Ark cannot travel diagonally.


Yes, good point. I wasn't clear with what I meant. When the Ark moves from one tile to the next, it only moves orthogonally (North, South, East, or West) from the tile it's on. What I meant to say is that each time it moves to another tile, it can go to the tile in front of it, or the one to the right, or the one to the left -- assuming that it hasn't already visited that tile during the course of its current movement.

Thanks for clarifying my murky point. (And for confirming my earlier misunderstanding about whether the Ark can travel "in" a city.)
 
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WhiteKnight85 wrote:
1. My initial thought on question #1 is that you definitely can place your meeple when you complete the first city [...]

Though it seems odd (mechanically it's exceptional, and even thematically the Ark should start in play, right), and the rules may be intended to mean something different, what they say is that if you have to place the Ark, you cannot place a meeple. (You must place the Ark "immediately" and then your "turn ends").
 
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brian
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1. That is correct, you place the Ark instead of a meeple. And it is not optional, you must place the Ark if you are the first to complete a city. The advantage being, you can place the ark on any tile that is part of the completed city - including a tile where you already have a meeple (whether that meeple is on a road or field or the city itself, it just needs to be on a tile that contains a segment of the completed city).

2. The Ark may move straight ahead, to the left, or to the right when it moves. It can change direction however it pleases as long as it does not land on the same tile during the same move.
 
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Roderick Schertler
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BrianMola wrote:
The advantage being, you can place the ark on any tile that is part of the completed city - including a tile where you already have a meeple [...].


Could you explain why this is an advantage? The rules say you wouldn't get a point for that meeple when the Ark moves.
 
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brian
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humeral wrote:
BrianMola wrote:
The advantage being, you can place the ark on any tile that is part of the completed city - including a tile where you already have a meeple [...].


Could you explain why this is an advantage? The rules say you wouldn't get a point for that meeple when the Ark moves.

Sorry I did not make my sentance clear. I meant placing the Ark anywhere in your city was the advantage. But you could place the Ark on a tile where your follower already was just not necessarily to your advantage. This should have been two seperate sentances since I did not mean to imply that the advantage carried over to placing the Ark on the same tile as your meeple.

However, there could be situations where placing the ark on a tile with your meeple would be advantageous. You might sacrifice the point that that specific meeple is on but you could have other meeples situated so that no matter where your opponents move the Ark, it would generate points for you.
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Flying Arrow
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The scoring of a city happens at the end of a turn, after placing meeples. I would think that the 'completing' of a city goes with the scoring of a city. When you place the Ark, your turn is over - meaning you can't move it and score points with it on the turn you place it. But I think you can still place a meeple. It makes much more sense that way.
 
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FlyingArrow wrote:
The scoring of a city happens at the end of a turn, after placing meeples. I would think that the 'completing' of a city goes with the scoring of a city.

This has been discussed extensively in the Carcassonne forums*: "completion" happens when the tile is placed, and before a meeple is placed. Scoring is a separate step that happens after both.

This isn't obvious in Ark, but in Carcassonne (esp., with expansions) its clear because there are events that happen in response to completion (taking goods tokens, taking a king token, etc.), but before follower placement. It is also clear in some other Carcassonne games, e.g. Carcassonne: The City, where completion has to be checked before follower placement to confirm that placement is legal (because you can't place in a completed but unoccupied market or street).

*I'll look for a reference and post later, but if you examine the official FAQ, you'll see that completion is always discussed as if it happens when the tile is placed.
 
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Flying Arrow
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Then if the turn is over immediately after completing the city and placing the Ark, the scoring part of the turn never happens... meaning you complete the city but it is never scored. That makes no sense at all. Sounds like a good reason to complete someone else's city.

I'm not saying that this is what the rules mean, but it is what they say.
 
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FlyingArrow wrote:
Then if the turn is over immediately after completing the city and placing the Ark, the scoring part of the turn never happens... meaning you complete the city but it is never scored. That makes no sense at all.

As you say, that makes no sense, so why interpret the rules that way, especially when there is an obvious alternative interpretation?

In fact, the rules don't even say "the turn is over immediately" anyway. They say that the current player places the Ark immediately and that after doing so "his turn is now over", which I think, simply means that's he can't do anything further (neither move the Ark nor place a follower) and that play jumps right to the things that happen at the end of the turn, namely scoring.
 
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brian
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Actually, the rules never state anything about NOT placing a meeple before placing the ark. I guess I always assumed that was correct but now I question that thought myself.

The rules state that you play your turn in this order:

1) draw a tile and place it
2) a) place a follower/prophet on the tile
b) move the ark in place of placing a follower/prphet
c) take no action
3) if the tile completed road, city, or temple, score it
4) the next player's turn

taken literally, the completion of a city is not looked for until step 3, after a meeple has been placed. And once a city is completed, it is scored in the same step.

So maybe placing the Ark is like a step 3a) . Maybe all it is saying is that you can't move the Ark on the first turn and we have read too much into it by preventing a meeple being placed and others who feel the city shouldn't be scored.
 
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BrianMola wrote:
Actually, the rules never state anything about NOT placing a meeple before placing the ark. [...]

Yes, that's good summary and a valid interpretation. I should point out that most of my reasoning is based on how the sequence of play is structured in other Carcassonne games where, for example it is clear that "completion" and scoring are separate (with follower placement, and potentially many other things, intervening). I'm also placing a lot of weight on the word "immediately" and the fact that the player can't do anything further after placing the Ark (which would be redundant if he may have already placed his follower anyway).

So there are really two interpretations, the one you propose above:

Quote:
1) draw a tile and place it
2) [one of:]
- a) place a follower/prophet on the tile
- b) move the ark [if present]
- c) take no action
[then place the ark if the first city was just completed]
3) if the tile completed road, city, or temple, score it

and the one I'm proposing

Quote:
1) draw a tile and place it [then place the ark and skip 2 if the first city was just completed]
2) [one of:]
- a) place a follower/prophet on the tile
- b) move the ark [if present]
- c) take no action
3) if the tile completed road, city, or temple, score it

and my reasoning is that neither "immediately" nor "his turn is now over" is necessary in the first interpretation but are accommodated in the second by placing the ark right after tile placement ("immediately") and skipping step 2 ("his turn is now over").
 
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brian
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But then are you saying that the city is NOT scored? Because it seems to me that scoring is part of a person's turn. so if the turn ended immediately after placing the Ark, then it would preclude any scoring by that person.

Because as you have summarized, Step 2 is skipped. But if the turn ends immediately after Step 1, then Step 3 is also skipped. But if the city is not scored, not only do you lose points, you also lose the ability to reclaim your follower. So this can't make sense either.

It's hard to apply Carcassonne logic because the "end of turn" mechanics have had to be extended in that game in order to accomodate all of the expansion sets. Ark should have been a bit more clear since they had the hindsight to see how other the expansions worked in similar fashion.

What makes the most sense to me, is my original interpretation: If you are the one to complete a city, you get to place the Ark in lieu of a follower. The city is scored (if you or someone else had placed a follower in a previous turn) and the meeples are returned to the supply. Then the player's turn is over. He cannot place any additional followers and he cannot move the Ark this turn. That is how I always played and seems to be in the best spirit of the game. The only thing I question now, is if you can place a meeple and the Ark in the same turn. Nothing says you can't but that, going back to Carcassone's logic, would violate the concept of placing/moving only one follower at a time.
 
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BrianMola wrote:
But then are you saying that the city is NOT scored? [...]

No: see earlier post.

BrianMola wrote:
[I]f the city is not scored, not only do you lose points, you also lose the ability to reclaim your follower. So this can't make sense either.

Exactly: see earlier post.

BrianMola wrote:
What makes the most sense to me, is my original interpretation: If you are the one to complete a city, you get to place the Ark in lieu of a follower.

Yes! That's my conclusion also. It sounds like we play exactly the same way, we just use different paths to get there.
 
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brian
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Well I am glad we are in agreement but we are both wrong! shake

I shot off an email to Inspiration Games / Uberplay this morning outlining the discussion. It appears the literal look at the rules is the correct interpretation. The attached is the reply to my email (with the original e-mail attached). The response i got back was a simple "this is correct" with a portion of my original message pasted underneath.

The response comes from Jeremy Young of jyoung@simplyfun.com

Quote:
This is correct:

[COLOR=#0000CC]So another thought is that the Ark is not placed until a city is completed, which happens at step 3. Therefore, someone could place a tile closing the city, play a meeple, then see that the city is complete, score it, and then place the ark.[/BGCOLOR]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Brian Mola
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 7:46 AM
To: rules@inspirationgames.com
Subject: Ark of the Convenant - Placing the Ark

[COLOR=#0000CC]A question arose that all of us assumed we knew. What exactly happens when you place the Ark? The rules states that as soon as the first city is completed, the Ark is placed on one of the tiles of the completed city and that person’s turn is now over. The game rules state that the sequence of a turn is:

1) Draw a tile and place it
2) Do one of the following:
a) place a follower/prophet
b) move the ark (if present)
c) do nothing
3) If the tile completed the city, road, or temple, score it
4) end of turn

So where does the ark fit in? The original line of thinking was that the Ark must be placed in lieu of placing a follower (which keeps with the Carcassonne idea of only placing/moving one thing at a time). Then most people played that you scored your city and got the follower back. However, some see this (if the ark were in sequence of 2d – place the ark), then the turn ends immediately and you would bypass the scoring for the turn. If you bypass the scoring, then you could never pull that follower out of the city and you would be playing one meeple short the rest of the game. So another thought is that the Ark is not placed until a city is completed, which happens at step 3. Therefore, someone could place a tile closing the city, play a meeple, then see that the city is complete, score it, and then place the ark.

So to summarize, these are our questions:

When the first city is completed, may you place a follower in addition to placing the Ark?
When the Ark is placed, does the first closed city score points?[/BGCOLOR]
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BrianMola wrote:
Well I am glad we are in agreement but we are both wrong!

Bummer (though I actually think this will play better)!
 
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Matthew Jensen
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Wow.... What a prime example of rules doctoring/lawyering. It's interesting to see a game variant trying to be judged on the original game's rules.

I must say, I'm glad you got your official ruling because that's the way I've always played and it makes me feel good! meeple
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Flying Arrow
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Same here.
 
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