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Subject: Turn vs. Round rss

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Alex
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Hi, all --

Just helping a buddy write some rules for his game.

Is there a common understanding of the difference between a round and a turn?

In my mind, there are several rounds in a turn.
In his mind, there are several turns in a round.

(I am by no means sure of my definition. Just seems that way in my mind.)

Anyone have an answer?
Or does the relationship between the two vary from game to game?

Any insights appreciated.
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Brook Gentlestream
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Typically, one of two variants is used:

VARIANT A
A single round contains one turn for each player.
Sometimes a turn is divided into phases to organize the order in which a player can/must do things.
A turn is complete once a player has gone through all his phases or passed his turn to the next player.
A round is complete once all players have had a turn.

Example:
ROUND 1
---Player A's turn
-----Phase 1 "Draw"
-----Phase 2 "Move"
-----Phase 3 "Spend"
---Player B's turn
-----Phase 1 "Draw"
-----Phase 2 "Move"
-----Phase 3 "Spend"

ROUND 2
---Player A's turn
-----Phase 1 "Draw"
-----Phase 2 "Move"
-----Phase 3 "Spend"
---Player B's turn
-----Phase 1 "Draw"
-----Phase 2 "Move"
-----Phase 3 "Spend"


VARIANT B
A round is divided into several phases.
Each phase, all players get one turn to act.
A turn is when a single player can act.
A phase is complete once each player has had a turn in that phase.
A round is complete once all phases are done.

Example:
ROUND 1
--Phase 1 "Draw"
------Player A's turn
------Player B's turn
--Phase 2 "Move"
------Player A's turn
------Player B's turn
--Phase 3 "Spend"
------Player A's turn
------Player B's turn

ROUND 2
--Phase 1 "Draw"
------Player A
------Player B
--Phase 2 "Move"
------Player A
------Player B
--Phase 3 "Spend"
------Player A
------Player B

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Jim Cote
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Just to make things more confusing: In Twilight Struggle, there are 10 games turns, broken into a headline phase and 6 or more action rounds.
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Brook Gentlestream
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ekted wrote:
Just to make things more confusing: In Twilight Struggle, there are 10 games turns, broken into a headline phase and 6 or more action rounds.


This looks like a VARIANT B setup. Notice the complicated use of adjectives here. "game turn", as opposed to "turn", and "action round" as opposed to "round". These are not typical uses of these terms and I don't recommend using them for inspiration if this is your first rulebook.
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Holger Doessing
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Stuff may or may not happen during round 6, but you can do this or that 'on your turn'. It therefore follows that a round may consist of multiple turns (and not the other way around).
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Danny Perello
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Rarely is the phrase, "Whose round is it?" uttered during a game. At least not in my experience...
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James Sitz
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newsguy wrote:
Is there a common understanding of the difference between a round and a turn?

In my mind, there are several rounds in a turn.
In his mind, there are several turns in a round.


I'm with your friend.

The only example of your way that I can think of off the top of my head is Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition where there were 10 rounds of combat in each turn. In each round of combat, each player would get to move and take another action, usually attacking. I think each round represented 6 seconds of game time, so a turn was a minute.
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I think of a round as going around the table. Each player sitting around the table gets to take their turn.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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In some games, a round consists of every player taking their turn. In other games, a turn consists of one or more rounds during which players take actions. Yes, it's confusing, and players are still likely to refer to the acting player as taking their turn even if the rules use the second set of terminology.
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Alex
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Quote:
players are still likely to refer to the acting player as taking their turn


That's exactly the situation I'm trying to avoid, but it may be unavoidable.

Thanks a bunch for the responses, folks.
It sounds like the several-turns-in-a-round definition is the prevailing one.

I'll probably work with that.
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Benj Davis
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Yeah, I'm with your friend. Once each player takes their turn, that's a round.
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Malcolm Brown
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The game I am designing has players take turn playing one or two cards. Once all the cards have been played the round is finished and cards are drawn again.
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Gary Boyd
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I would never refer to a round as a single player's turn. A round is once "round" the table. A turn is "turning" to your neighbor to tell them to go.
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Max
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So long as you make it obvious and are consistent, people will use whatever terminology you used in the rules.
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Benj Davis
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xgamerms999 wrote:
So long as you make it obvious and are consistent, people will use whatever terminology you used in the rules.


Not if it's dumb, they won't.
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Jonathan Ham
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As I see it, there are multiple phases in a turn, and multiple turns in a round. Some rulebooks have these reversed, and those rulebooks are wrong.
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Ben Greig
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It will depend on what a round or a turn is in your game and often the kind of game it is,

euro's will typically have a number of turns a round, where as in ameritrash games you often talk about rounds as phases or combat rolls, hence you will much more likely have a number of rounds a turn.

Both of these are correct as your really talking about different things, if your game is a hybrid (and you have all 3 things taking place) then a common usage would be a phase.

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Brook Gentlestream
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aquillo wrote:
euro's will typically have a number of turns a round, where as in ameritrash games you often talk about rounds as phases or combat rolls, hence you will much more likely have a number of rounds a turn.


These are usually "combat rounds" or "action rounds", however, as opposed to "rounds" or "game rounds".
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Ben Greig
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yes that is correct, however it is rare they will then define what a tradition Euro would call a round as a round. Often using either turn or phase as the description
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Jeremy Lennert
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People are going to recognize the word "turn" from the common practice of "taking turns", where people alternate who has the privilege or responsibility of doing something. "Taking turns" isn't a game concept, it's a wide cultural thing that even non-gamers will be intimately familiar with. Children taking turns playing with the toy, a family taking turns doing the chores, etc.

So a "turn" can only reasonably mean one person's opportunity to do something. I'm pretty sure that's the most common meaning in the context of board games, but even if it weren't, this is larger than games.


Conversely, I think a "round" can be almost any repeating period. Some would argue by analogy with the idiom of "making the rounds" that a "round" should include a complete cycle or circuit of some kind, but sports like boxing and wrestling have "rounds" that are basically just arbitrary periods of activity.

It seems to be fairly common for a "round" to be the period in which each player takes one turn, but there are lots of games where that's not the case, so if I were making a game that naturally breaks into some other period than that, I wouldn't hesitate to use "round" for that natural period. For example, in a worker placement game, I would tend to use "round" to mean the period over which each player places all their workers, even though each player probably takes several turns within that period (placing 1 worker each turn, then waiting for all other players to take a turn before placing the next worker).


I've seen "phases" used at many levels of grouping. They can be the parts of a turn (making them smaller than turns), or they can be major parts of the game (making them larger than turns). I've already used the term both ways in my published games.

The thing that distinguishes "phases" in my mind is that a game has different kinds of phases, each with their own rules; for example, a preparation phase, a combat phase, and a negotiation phase. So when you move to a new "phase", you're doing something different than you were in the last phase. By contrast, if a game has "rounds", every round will follow the same rules; when you move to a new "round", you're starting the next iteration of a loop.



So to sum up:

A turn is one player's opportunity to do something.

A round is something that you do over and over in a loop.

A phase is one of several different steps that are performed in succession.


None of that necessarily implies that any of these units are smaller or larger than the others; they're different in kind rather than in scale.
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secoAce -
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Just look at how other games use the terms and how the terms are most often used I would consider to be the common understanding of the terms. Regardless, the game rules should define what each term means to that specific game.

For example, Lords of Waterdeep has each player taking a turn playing one agent at a time going around the table until all agents are played -- that's multiple turns per round of play.

Can anyone think of game examples that uses multiple rounds per turn?
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John Cosgrove
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Personally, the two dominant variants (and the ones that make the most sense for me) are:

ROUNDS (Has finite number in game, and/or game length is defined by)
|
|
have many
|
|
V
TURNS (in player sequence)
|
|
have many
|
|
V
PHASES (player actions or capabilities resolved in an order)

OR

ROUNDS (Has finite number in game, and/or game length is defined by)
|
|
have many
|
|
V
PHASES (player actions or capabilities resolved in an order)
|
|
have many
|
|
V
TURNS (in player sequence)

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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Phase - Determines the rules for given gamestate
Round - A specific subset
Turn - A specific entity's call to action
Action - A choice made during a turn

To make things more complicated, pretty much everything can be nested.

Yellow Phase - Round 2 - Combat Phase - Round 1 - Player 1 turn 2 - Attack Action - Firing Round 1 - Infantry A Turn - Shoot Action
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Gary Heidenreich
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My thought is as long as it is defined AND consistent in the rules, it frankly doesn't matter.

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Joshua Garrett
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Gotta go with your friend on this one. I've seen games use them either way - the most important thing is to make sure that the rules are consistent! If not I supposed either is fine.
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