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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island» Forums » Rules

Subject: Are the rules to this game THAT bad? rss

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Bill Koens
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Hi everyone,

I just got this game and I skimmed the rules and the game seemed pretty straight forward and dripping with theme. I was (and still am) enthusiastic to try it.

Then I pop into the forum to check out the game.

20 pages of rules questions!

A 20 page FAQ!

Egads! Am I swimming into a morass in this game? Will I constantly be baffled as to what the rules mean? I'm a little frightened to try the game now, even as I am enthusiastic.

What am I getting myself into?

 
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Sky Zero
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Yup, that bad. Game is worth the effort though.
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Maui Chris
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skyzero wrote:
Yup, that bad. Game is worth the effort though.


agreed on both.... there are some fantastic player aids in the files section to help as well. this is one of my favorite games
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Alex Brown
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I haven't had any drama - most the FAQ seemed like common sense to me, even if not spelled out literally.
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King Maple
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It's a heavy game with classic Ignacy-style rules that are difficult to process. But the game is actually pretty simple once you get a hang of it, I suggest you look at a few playthroughs before giving the rulebook a go.
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Marion
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Rick´s playthrough was the one that convinced me to get the game:

Box of Delights
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And this file here is also very helpful for beginners:

Castaways Quick Start Guide to Robinson Crusoe

Don´t stress yourself about getting some rules wrong, most of the times when something was unclear I decided with gut-feeling,
which in retrospect was right most of the times.
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Paul S
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maho wrote:
most of the times when something was unclear I decided with gut-feeling,
which in retrospect was right most of the times.


This. It's a co-op after all. Just play with what seems right and fair, and you'll usually be right. Once you have the general idea down pat, you can spend your life in the forums examining the "real" answers laugh
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Thanee
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Xelvonar wrote:
What am I getting myself into?


I didn't have any big problems with the game rules.

It's not perfect, but it's really not that bad.

Bye
Thanee
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Eirik Uthus
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maho wrote:
Rick´s playthrough was the one that convinced me to get the game:

Box of Delights
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And this file here is also very helpful for beginners:

Castaways Quick Start Guide to Robinson Crusoe

Don´t stress yourself about getting some rules wrong, most of the times when something was unclear I decided with gut-feeling,
which in retrospect was right most of the times.


Rick's playthrough also convinced me to get the game. And after watching the playthrough I didn't have a big struggle with the rules when I first read them. But yeah, they're not the best one out there. I got the Portal edition though.

I love this game, and good luck surviving the island. You're going to need it.
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steven smolders
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i would suggest using this summery sheet to use as you are playing the game.

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/83876/round-sequence-crib-...
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Magic Pink
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I really didn't have any problmes with the rules at all. Now I'm assuming I must have screwed the game up.
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TonyKR
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The core game rules are pretty straightforward, as you've discovered. Once you start playing, though, questions will start piling up in your mind (how do these cards interact when both are in play? where do i need to be to use this item? What does this card even mean?). You may only have a few questions per play (or maybe even none), but when you consider the sheer number of card combinations and all the different scenarios with different rule tweaks and goals, it becomes understandable why there are so many questions.
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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While I was compiling the Comprehensive FAQ, I got a great overview of the rule questions surrounding Robinson.

Essentially, the situation is as follows:

1. The official rules are not really complicated, and are quite explicit. The Castaways Quick Start Guide is indeed a great complement to the official rules.

2. Now, as as been pointed out in this thread, you will likely run into some questions during each of your games: some rule points are simply not easy to apply when faced with real game situations, and some points are simply missing. For example, you read in the rules that character skills can be used anytime—this sounds easy enough—; but then you play and you really wonder if the soldier's defense plan can be made after unexpectedly encountering a beast: shouldn't he have planned before (it's a defense plan after all)?

To put things in perspective: during each game, things moved smoothly for me (the rules are not complex), but I had a couple of unanswered points come up.

Now, since this is a cooperative game, you won't get into contradicting arguments based on each player wanting to win, so that's good. I would take this as an opportunity to house rule on the spot (and later check the forums or the Comprehensive FAQ), as this will keep the game flowing.

There are two broad schools, when it come to house ruling. It's easier to choose one before playing, between (1) the streamlining school, where exceptions are few, to the detriment of theme (this school would read the rules literally and say that the soldier has the time to make a defense plan really anytime, even as a reaction to an event); and (2) the thematic school, where exceptions are based on theme (the soldier has to… plan his plan, so he cannot retroactively do this when unexpectedly encountering a beast). The streamlining school is mostly followed by the German Pegasus edition. The thematic school seems to be the one followed by the author of the game (who, I read, has a background in role playing) and, I feel, by BoardGameGeek forum dwellers.

My personal feeling is that the rules fail to mention a few points that were "obvious" to the designers—who seem to often take a role playing perspective—and that the game did not receive enough playtesting to reveal the ambiguities left open by the rules (to the point where each game will reveal a few questions: holes are small but glaring).

To summarize: the rules are quite simple but gameplay easily opens up questions. However, once you choose a rules school you can more confidently house rule on the spot the few questions that pop with each game (you can always check a FAQ later), and enjoy playing more. Whatever your rule choices during a game, they should not have so much of an impact on both the outcome of the game or, more importantly, on your enjoyment of the game.
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Thomas H
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Heya,

as mentioned many times before - watch the playthrough of Ricky Royal.

I didn't have huge troubles with the rules but still the devil is in the detail and every now and then there's something to look up... but also as mentioned before... houserule the session as it seems fit, look up questions later and everything will be fine!

Although i haven't played further than scenario 3, i already got the first expansion as it's a really great game!

Have fun!
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Bill Koens
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Thanks everyone! My fears are assuaged. I'm having a games day on Monday and maybe I'll bring it out. But I've also got SPace Cadets: Dice Duel and Coup and and and....
 
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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Alex Brown wrote:
I haven't had any drama - most the FAQ seemed like common sense to me, even if not spelled out literally.
Yeah, no drama for me either, except that I never feel good when it is not clear how the game designer would recommend I play, or when I have to leave the game and look for rule answers, and this happens regularly, with Robinson. So no drama, but many questions open by each game (like 2 or 3, which is annoying enough), more than in almost all my other 100+ games—including the interaction-rich Magic!

That said, I still think that Robinson is a great game. Just like a cake that's not fully baked (the rule defects are small but obvious from the first game on: not enough good playtesting), but very tasty nonetheless.
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Artemus Maximus
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I just bought a Z-man version; no issue with the rulebook whatsoever. Clear enough and not overly complicated IMO. Answers all questions I've had. I'd say over 95% of the rules are easy enough to remember to avoid repeated rulebook searching during the game.

Could definitely use a player aid however to prevent that searching - I always find myself looking up the same things which are clear in prose when reading the rules at first but a pain to look up during the game. An example is that I must've looked up what you have to do for the weather phase clouds at least 10 times - for some reason it's hard for me to remember. I decided to highlight that part.
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that Matt
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Xelvonar wrote:
20 pages of rules questions!

Based on my past experience with BGG rules forums, I'd expect those pages to boil down to surprisingly few unique rules questions.
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chris leko
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tumorous wrote:
Xelvonar wrote:
20 pages of rules questions!

Based on my past experience with BGG rules forums, I'd expect those pages to boil down to surprisingly few unique rules questions.


Agreed.

And there's a ton of repetition in the FAQ.

The rules aren't that bad, I haven't had any major issues playing with the rules in my Z-Man version.
 
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William Cody
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The rules aren't good and there are quite a few holes (as well as a few unbalanced scenarios [I lost a game on turn 3 from only damage on the cannibal scenario due to only the event cards]). It isn't horrible either though if you are willing to look up rules a few times. The game seems like it is worth it to most people, but I honestly think the theme is overrated (even though the way events are added through taken actions is one of the coolest mechanisms I have ever seen). I felt stressed I guess but never really felt like taking cubes and putting them back in the supply after every turn felt like I was eating any more than it does in Agricola. Anyways I didn't think it was worth it to have to flip through the rules a few times every play and then visit the faq when I couldn't find the rule so I traded it. I don't think it is that hard to learn though it was basically the first medium-heavy game I ever learned and I learned it from only the rulebook.
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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tumorous wrote:
Xelvonar wrote:
20 pages of rules questions!

Based on my past experience with BGG rules forums, I'd expect those pages to boil down to surprisingly few unique rules questions.
Based on my experience with collecting and organizing all the questions and answers from the official FAQ (which indeed has a few duplicate questions) and from the BGG forums, I can tell you that this is unfortunately not the case: you can check out my Comprehensive FAQ, which is 50+ page long and does not really contain repetitions (beyond a few that are useful for looking for the same information from different points of view). While some of the questions are just frequently asked questions with a clear answer in the rulebook, quite many entries have no answer there, or worse, have incorrect answers in the official FAQ…

If you are referring to questions left open by the designer then, yes, there are only a few (I would say less than 10, if I remember correctly)—even though I feel that this is too many, and the game feels a little undercooked.
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Astrakan -
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As I read this thread, people kept mentioning the Ricky Royal playthrough and I kept hoping for a link, but since I reached the end of the thread and didn't find one, I figured I'd add one myself.

So, here's the Ricky Royal playthrough:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5UyaJ4tfEqzNLyeqG0CB...

I haven't yet watched it myself, but everyone says it's great so I'm thinking I ought to.
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Sarah Brennick
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Magic Pink wrote:
I really didn't have any problmes with the rules at all. Now I'm assuming I must have screwed the game up.


Haha I feel the same way. I found that I had to refer back to the pages explaining weather a couple of times, but otherwise, they seemed pretty easy to understand.

So I expect my friends and I are likely playing it completely wrong.

(But it's super-fun so maybe it doesn't matter, haha!)

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Dave K
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I played tonight for the first time with some experienced players and we accidentally did several minor things wrong. I would put myself firmly in the "game is really fun, core rules are mostly fine, but many edge cases are not clear" camp.
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