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Subject: Purpose of different color zone cards? rss

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Mike DiLisio
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I understand that player cards come in two colors to signify momentary or perpetual cards, but I noticed that the zone cards also have differing colors along the top where the title is located. Is there any reason for the different colors? Apologies if this is something obvious, but I couldn't see an obvious reason.
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Tylor Lilley
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Zone cards have two sets of color distinction. The zone cards themselves, an dthe color of the name bar on the top of the card. The first one is a simple explanation of the color dividing the zones at a glance into the different ages; Age I is gold, Age II is blue/silver, Age III is bronze and Age IV is green.

The color bar on the top of the card is a code for what that zone offers. They are split into four different categories: gold is for a zone that lets you score, bronze is for a zone that lets you play cards, and green is for a zone that lets you draw cards. The blue/silver name bar zones all let you have your choice of draw 2 cards, playing a card, or scoring a card in Ages I-III, and it is also used for the oddballs in Age IV that let you do something weird like discard cards to move crowns.

Now this is all fine and dandy and makes sense as a helpful at-a-glance reminder of what the cards do. But now we get to the REAL question, and one of the many superficial problems I have with this game: WHY on EARTH is the title color bar equivalences not coordinated with the card color equivalences!?

What I mean is this:

All Age I zones let you score a card and all Age I zones are gold; all zones that let you score a card have a gold title bar. Cool.

All Age III zones let you play a card and all Age III zones are bronze; all zones that let you play a card have a bronze title bar. So far so good.

All Age II zones let you draw cards and all Age II zones are blue/silver; all zones that let you draw cards have a... green title bar!? What? Why! This makes no sense!.

And Finally, age IV zones can let you do a variety of things; they are the anything goes age and all age IV zones are green. Why then is the "You have a choice between scoring, drawing, and playing" title bar color blue/silver? The color of the DRAW CARDS age and not the anything goes age!? GAH!

Yes, I do realize that this has no effect on the gameplay, but it irks me nonetheless. Why did they do it like this? It doesn't do anything but confuse people when they ask about it now, instead of being a helpful reminder. But I digress. I hope this answered your question for you.
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Donald X.
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tylorlilley wrote:
All Age II zones let you draw cards and all Age II zones are blue/silver; all zones that let you draw cards have a... green title bar!? What? Why! This makes no sense!.

I imagine it just comes down to trying to make nice-looking frames.

In the prototype the time is indicated by "Time 1" and so on on a bottom bar, and the cards are different colors to indicate the main ability - pink for score, green for draw 2, yellow for play, white for your choice, and gray for none of the above.

In the published version, the type of action is indicated by a colored bar, and the times are indicated by pretty frames. Time 2 has pillars, trying to suggest the general time period. The bar was already green.

It's possible we would have switched them if we had noticed. For me, the bar was saying something, and the rest was just a pretty graphic.
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Mike DiLisio
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It certainly doesn't bother me, I was just curious if there was a specific purpose. The fact that the actions are largely defined by the age is good enough for me. Age IV may be the "wild card" zone so to speak, but I don't think you necessarily need to have colors to aid you. The actions are generally easy to understand. I'm enjoying the game quite a bit, and the only component issue I had (small and somewhat difficult to see colored arrows) is apparently going to be resolved on the reprint with extras available for early purchasers.
 
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Tylor Lilley
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donaldx wrote:
For me, the bar was saying something, and the rest was just a pretty graphic.


I appreciate the response! As I tried to highlight, it is not a big deal or important at all. It just seemed odd to me. I was only trying to air on the side of over-explaining my point than under-explaining it!

I think this explanation makes sense but part of the problem then comes from the pretty frame matching the color of the bar for time I and time III cards. The fact that those two match makes the pattern-seeking human want to look for time II and time IV matching as well, and to see that they not only don't match but are in fact switched in terms of colors rubs me the wrong way - its like they were so close to having the pattern match, why doesn't it just match!? Haha but stuff like that gets to me; I know it doesn't really matter.
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Brian B.
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tylorlilley wrote:
The color bar on the top of the card is a code for what that zone offers. They are split into four different categories: gold is for a zone that lets you score, bronze is for a zone that lets you play cards, and green is for a zone that lets you draw cards. The blue/silver name bar zones all let you have your choice of draw 2 cards, playing a card, or scoring a card in Ages I-III, and it is also used for the oddballs in Age IV that let you do something weird like discard cards to move crowns.


Having seen the game in person now, there are actually 5 colors of title bars.

White (silver) lets you at least [score a card, play a card, or draw 2 cards].

Grayish ("steel"?, light blue?, whatever that shade is) covers the oddball stuff of Zone IV.

Green lets you draw at least 2 cards into your hand. (So Utopia is oddball Gray because you only draw 1. Age of Toys is oddball Gray because you're forced to play one of the just-drawn cards.*)

Gold lets you at least score a card that you already had in your hand. (So Alien Contact is oddball Gray because it only lets you score the just-drawn card.*)

Bronze lets you at least play a card that you already had in your hand for its printed effect. (So Age Of Toys is oddball Gray because the card you play wasn't already in your hand. Age Of Cybernetics is oddball Gray because you're not getting the effect of the played card.*)

The coloring of the (fronts) of the cards is very logical and consistent, as far as I can see. Also note that conditional cards (such as Communist Utopia) are given their "natural" color, so long as the "then" effect meets the criteria for a particular colored title bar.

*Alternatively, Age of Cybernetics, Age of Toys, and Alien Contact get the oddball Gray title bar because their zone effects are optional. Either explanation makes sense. Or the former two are oddball Gray simply because they do more than one "core" thing but don't meet the full criteria for a true White title bar...
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Donald X.
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brianmbe wrote:
*Alternatively, Age of Cybernetics, Age of Toys, and Alien Contact get the oddball Gray title bar because their zone effects are optional. Either explanation makes sense. Or the former two are oddball Gray simply because they do more than one "core" thing but don't meet the full criteria for a true White title bar...

No you had it right the first time; the idea is, if there's a card in your hand you want to play, it can be played in yellow (I mean bronze - yellow in the prototype) zones, and so on. Age of Toys and Age of Cybernetics don't let you play that card. Communist Utopia is conditional but I decided that was good enough. You go there to play your cards.

If a zone had done two full things I probably would have made it gray rather than have two-color zones.
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