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Subject: Rules Clarifications for the 2nd edition rss

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Ted Alspach
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I'm working on the 2nd edition of the rules (for the 3rd printing and of course for posting online...the 2nd printing was rushed out with the only change being the inclusion of the missing plastic bags).

If you've noticed any ambiguities, typo's, or anything else, please post them in this thread.

Here is a compilation of all the changes being made in the 2nd edition at this time (see the edited date in the lower right). Please note that these are not rules CHANGES from the first edition, just clarifications of the original rules.

Castles rules clarification list for 2nd edition

Sleeping room Completion Reward clarification (stairs/hallways)
Added "(except stairs or hallways)" to the Sleeping room Completion Reward description:
Quote:
Completion Reward: Look through any stack of Room tiles of one size (except stairs or hallways) and place 0, 1, or 2 of those Room tiles face-down on the Room card deck. Shuffle the remaining Room tiles in that stack before returning it face-down to the table. Those selected Room tiles are drawn before Room cards at the beginning of the next round to fill in empty spaces below the Contract board, in order, with the last placed Room tile drawn first.


Clarification of optional Corridor reward
The Corridor section of the rules changed by adding a "may" in the first line to clarify the intention of the reward:
Quote:
Completion Reward: You may take either a Hallway (regular or Downstairs Hallway) or Stairs and place it immediately, for no cost. This reward may only be taken once per turn. During an extra turn as result of a Food room reward, an additional Corridor room reward may be taken if another Corridor room is completed, even if one was taken during the player’s original turn.


Clarification on the definition of Adjacent rooms
Adjacent language adjusted:

Adjacency section wrote:
Activity rooms have an “adjacency” points penalty if the walls or entrances of rooms of certain types are adjacent to the walls or entrances of Activity rooms. The red brick wall between the number and icons indicates there is a penalty for adjacency. See the Activity Rooms section on page 4 for more details.


Clarification of dual Hallways stacks for bonus counting
Game End section:
Quote:
Each player receives 2 points for each room they have from each depleted stack of rooms, including Hallways (all Hallways/Downstairs Hallways are considered a single stack) and Stairs (even if a room from that stack remains below the Contract board).


Clarification in step 4 of setup:
Two Hallways stacks explained:
Quote:
Place the Stairs and Hallways (Hallways are double-sided and interchangeable; the two stacks are simply to prevent toppling) here. If playing with 3 players, remove 1 Stairs and 2 Hallways. If playing with 2 players, remove 2 Stairs and 4 Hallways.


Outdoor room adjacency clarification
Rewritten Outdoor room section:
Quote:
The King loves his views, and so all outdoor rooms may not have any rooms adjacent to the edge which has a wrought iron fence along it. No rooms may ever be placed so they are adjacent to this edge, and these rooms may not be placed if this edge is adjacent to any part of another room (touching corners is okay).


Setup clarification for drawing initial rooms
Changed to show rooms beneath the Contract Board, with the following text:
Quote:
Turn over the top 5/6/7 (for 2/3/4 players) Room cards. Place corresponding room tiles face-up below the Contract board, one in each space (the Master Builder will reposition these on the first round). The rightmost space on the 2-3 player side of the Contract board is not used in a 2 player game. Place the used Room cards in the discard pile.


Clarifiction on handling Favor Ties
Cleaned up the language a bit:
Quote:
If one or more players tie for a place, the tied players get the points for that place plus the next one(s) divided by the number of tied players (rounded down).



A huge big thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread (even if I didn't take your suggestions)!!!
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Matt Hindmarch
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
An interesting question was raised in another thread that I don't think the rules address. When you complete a sleeping room, can you deplete the stairs or hallway piles?

(Thanks for this game! Wife and I are loving it!)
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Ted Alspach
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
I just saw that. As noted within that thread, logically it's a problem to do so, or you'd end up with stairs/hallways priced below the contract board. But it is not entirely clear, so I'll add "(except stairs or hallways)" to the Sleeping room Completion Reward description, as noted below:

Quote:
Completion Reward: Look through any stack of Room tiles of one size (except stairs or hallways) and place 0, 1, or 2 of those Room tiles face-down on the Room card deck. Shuffle the remaining Room tiles in that stack before returning it face-down to the table. Those selected Room tiles are drawn before Room cards at the beginning of the next round to fill in empty spaces below the Contract board, in order, with the last placed Room tile drawn first.
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Ted Alspach
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
To keep everything in this thread, the following was posted elsewhere:

The Corridor Reward should always be a "may" not a must, and not having it mentioned in the rules was, like the omission of plastic bags in the box (grrr), simply an oversight.

The 2nd edition of the rules will address this in the following way in the Corridor section of the rules by adding a "may" in the first line:

Quote:
Completion Reward: You may take either a Hallway (regular or Downstairs Hallway) or Stairs and place it immediately, for no cost. This reward may only be taken once per turn. During an extra turn as result of a Food room reward, an additional Corridor room reward may be taken if another Corridor room is completed, even if one was taken during the player’s original turn.
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Steven Weller
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Clarification (pictorial or otherwise) on the definition of what is a Connected and Adjacent room would be good, I see loads of these queries
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
pashnak wrote:
Clarification (pictorial or otherwise) on the definition of what is a Connected and Adjacent room would be good, I see loads of these queries


Noted. Connected is well defined (see below with no changes), but adjacent is fuzzier. It's fixed below:

Adjacency section wrote:
Activity rooms have an “adjacency” points penalty if the walls or entrances of rooms of certain types are adjacent to the walls or entrances of Activity rooms. The red brick wall between the number and icons indicates there is a penalty for adjacency. See the Activity Rooms section on page 4 for more details.

Connected section wrote:
Many room types provide “connected” points if entrances from the current room are connected to entrances of rooms of specific types.
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Jules
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
I have to say we found Castles very easy wrap our heads around, in part thanks to the manual!
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D. Silberman
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Not a rules booklet problem per se, but the player reference cards list adding 1000M to each unpurchased room as the first step of the Master Builder phase, which would have us start the game with one coin on every room. I don't think this was your intent, and the rules clearly state that adding a coin to each remaining room happens at the end of the Master Builder phase.
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
A silly but fun thing we do is place the master builder token ON our foyer when we are master builder. Looks great, fits perfectly, and makes things visually more clear.
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James
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Not an ambiguity or typo per se, but many people on the internet have been suggesting playing with more tiles for the 2-player game, to prevent the situation where one player draws a bonus card for a room type that never or barely shows up. Perhaps a small section calling this out as an 'official variant' rather than a house rule would be a nice touch. The susceptibility of the 2-player game to the randomness of the tile distribution was the only real knock Rahdo had against the game in his review.
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Ben Horne
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Not really an errata suggestion, but it does have to do with the rule book. The symbol key for king's favor tiles and bonus cards is buried in the rulebook. It's bit wonky to fold the rule book so that new players can easily look at the key. Is there any possibility of moving the key, so that it appears on the back of the rules when the rulebook is folded normally?
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Chris Wood
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
What is the purpose of having a stack of normal hallways and a stack of dark hallways? I could not find that in the rules and it led to some confusion.
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Patrick Aquilone
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
First, wife and I LOVE the game. She loves castles and this is just the best game to get her coming back and back and back again to the gaming table. Thanks!!

I will post this but it is entirely possible it was just me. The downstairs room bonus for each room of that type played and being played was something that I really missed.

While I will say the rules were fairly complete in my mind. I would love to see perhaps a download PDF a quick run through of a couple of turns that illustrate all the rules in one fashion or another just to see that we are doing everything correctly.

Otherwise, I am going to get back to playing the game
 
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Jim Jamieson
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
To me there is ambiguity in the outdoor rooms section. Below are 2 quotes from the paragraph.

Quote:
may not have any rooms directly adjacent to the top edge


We play this to assume it means touching the fence edge, meaning as long as there is table space in between the fence and another tile adjacent it is okay.

Quote:
no rooms may ever be placed so they are adjacent to this edge


To me this contradicts the above since it removed the word "directly". I'd either say directly adjacent or maybe even use "touching" since that would make it explicitly clear to me.
 
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Stephen Eckman
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Myoman wrote:
What is the purpose of having a stack of normal hallways and a stack of dark hallways? I could not find that in the rules and it led to some confusion.

My group was also unsure if you are supposed to be limited to a specific number of upstairs and downstairs hallways or if they are interchangeable. The setup makes no distinction, but the board does.
 
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Rainer Ahlfors
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
steckman wrote:
Myoman wrote:
What is the purpose of having a stack of normal hallways and a stack of dark hallways? I could not find that in the rules and it led to some confusion.

My group was also unsure if you are supposed to be limited to a specific number of upstairs and downstairs hallways or if they are interchangeable. The setup makes no distinction, but the board does.

We were unsure of the same thing. In the end, we ended up letting people choose either whenever one was taken.

I also agree that the outdoor rooms section is a bit weird. The rooms are described as being able to be aligned with flexibility, provided the 90° rule is obeyed. Yet there's reference made to the "top" of the outdoor room. Preventing other tiles from "touching the fenced edge" would be a much better description.

As for activity rooms, the description is quite clear when it comes to square or rectangular rooms, but it might not be as clear when considering circular rooms.
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Please show examples for rooms touching activity rooms via corners! Round activity rooms make this tricky to figure out and players end up houseruling or guessing. Same goes with fence limitations. These are important rules, yet are buried in the folding brochure of a rulebook.

Also, make it a BOOK. Its a 50$ game, staple some payes together. it makes things much more usable.
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Here is a point that I think was mentioned before, but I don't see it here now. (Maybe it was in a different forum, or maybe it was deleted.)

Step 9 of set-up has the players draw N+3 room cards (for N players) and select corresponding room tiles, which are placed face-up below the Contract board.

This same sort of action takes place at the beginning of every turn. I assume that it in step 9 of set-up so that, at step 12 (selection of bonus cards), players have some idea of what rooms will come up first and can choose their initial two bonus cards based on that.

If that was not the intention, it would be clearer to omit step 9 and simply allow the first N+3 rooms to come out in the first round.

Assuming that this was the intention, I recommend that step 9 be revised to state that the selected room tiles be placed arbitrarily with one beneath each space on the Contract board. (There could be a parenthetical comment that the specific assignment is not important.)

I say this because the "Each Round" section begins by having the Master Builder draw a number of room cards equal to the number of empty spaces beneath the Contract board. For that reason, it is important to have the room tiles in those space before the game begins. When we played our first game, we were puzzled, because it seemed that the Master Builder should draw cards at the beginning of the first round, and that is not the case.

(This "Each Round" section could also have a parenthetical pointing out that it will never be necessary to draw any room cards at the beginning of the first round.)

On a related topic: the rules illustrate only the Contract board for four players. That is fine, but they might refer to ways in which the board differs for 2-3 players. Specifically, the rules should state that the 2000M space on that board is never used for 2 players. (This fact is marked subtly on the board, but I don't think that it is stated in the printed rules.) This fact could be called out in step 9 of set-up and in the first part of the "Each Round" section.
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
The rules of the game call for rooms to be scored (and re-scored when bonuses apply) along the way.

I think that it is all reasonably clear. However, some players prefer to do scoring at the end of games like this. Even those that score along the way (as prescribed) find it advantageous to be able to re-compute scores to check for correctness. Our group tends to do this checking with the Ticket to Ride games. The ability to do so seems more valuable here, as there are a more details to keep track (and a greater possibility of missing something along the way).

As has been pointed out in this thread and in this one, this kind of re-computation is challenged somewhat by the fact that some rooms are re-scored when complete:
- Activity rooms gain an additional 5 points.
- Living rooms gain (again) whatever their score was.
- Downstairs rooms may gain points in either of the ways above, depending on the bonus chosen.

It is always possible to determine the additional scores for Activity rooms and Living rooms any time, because they do not change (Activity rooms are always 5 points; Living-room scores don't change once the room is complete).

It is not possible to determine later on the additional score for Downstairs rooms because their value may change after they are complete. Also, it is not possible to determine later on whether a completed Downstairs room got a point bonus or some other bonus.

I recommend that the rules call out that players who want to be able to re-compute scores later on should employ a player aid to facilitate this.

At the very least, players could record (on paper), for each completed Downstairs room, the value of any point bonus received.

Perhaps better, players could record the point bonus for every appropriate room (Activity, Living, Downstairs) by placing it the room a number of coins equal to the number of bonus points received (e.g., always place 5 for Activity rooms).

Some future edition of the game could include something material to support this (e.g., some kind of marker to be used instead of coins). Since this is really an "optional" aid that isn't really necessary, I'm not sure that that would be sufficiently motivated.
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Chris Wilczewski
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
I think you or I are confused about downstairs room scoring. Aren't they always on effects? How does their value appear different?
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Matt Hindmarch
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
When you place a downstairs room you score the upper left point number + the center points per room type already in your castle. If you place that room type in your castle later you score the center value again (once -- not for evry room of that type). When you complete your second, fourth, sixth, etc downstairs room you choose ANY of the seven room completion bonuses.
 
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
MHindmarch wrote:
When you place a downstairs room you score the upper left point number + the center points per room type already in your castle. If you place that room type in your castle later you score the center value again (once -- not for evry room of that type). When you complete your second, fourth, sixth, etc downstairs room you choose ANY of the seven room completion bonuses.

Right.

If you complete a Downstairs room (2nd, 4th, etc.), you can choose the Living-room bonus to re-score the room.

This gives you (again) the printed score on that room plus points for the rooms you have of the type indicated on that Downstairs room.

If you add another room of that "allied type" after you complete (and re-score) the Downstairs room, the adds points to the Downstairs room, but those points are not doubled because they were not present at the time of the earlier re-scoring.

If you want to be able to re-compute scores later in the game, you need some way to remember (1) which Downstairs rooms got bonuses (because they don't all do so); (2) which of those got bonuses of extra points; and (3) how many points each of those was awarded.
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Honestly, completing basement rooms should let you choose any bonus EXCEPT from the livingroom one, because it adds so much confusion and there's already so much to choose from - 5 points, 10 grand, an extra turn.

A lot of what you guys are mentioning above is player error, not rule errors. Even basement tiles are super simple - they add points to rooms of that type in your castle. That is in no way confusing. You update the current ones in your castle with bonus points, and you add that many points per new effected room you place. I'm confused as to how players are finding this difficult, as it's such a basic way of scoring points compared to many other board games out there.

Castles is fairly simple and everything in the book regarding how and when to count is very clear. The issue is when players think illogical and non-common-sense things would happen because they're basically bending sentences to read the rules wrong. This is not the rules' fault.

It shouldn't have to be written in lawyerese to cover every possible exception that you can come up with that each sentence leaves possible room for.


Anyways, another tip to the rules editor: make it more clear and obvious when you are supposed to draw the secret bonus cards initially and when you are supposed to reveal the kings favour tiles. Having the favours visible and THEN drawing+choosing your secret bonus cards breaks the game as you'll always pair up whatever bonuses you have with the kings favour public bonuses. This breaks things and is important to notify players of right off the bat.
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
Cobbs wrote:
Anyways, another tip to the rules editor: make it more clear and obvious when you are supposed to draw the secret bonus cards initially and when you are supposed to reveal the kings favour tiles. Having the favours visible and THEN drawing+choosing your secret bonus cards breaks the game as you'll always pair up whatever bonuses you have with the kings favour public bonuses. This breaks things and is important to notify players of right off the bat.

It is clear when they happen, they are numbered in order. Choosing the bonus cards after the favors lets you go for something that you know will at least exist once in the game.
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paul troke
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Re: Rules errata for the 2nd edition of rules
When you get 2 points for every room you have where a pile has been depleted, does this include stairs and hallways
thanks
 
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