Henrik Steensland
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I have the Z-man 2nd edition.
These two cards (there may be more):
* Devastating Blows
* Foul Weather
both contain the phrase "Cover X source(s) on tiles adjacent to your camp with [black cube]"

The question is: Can sources on the camp tile be affected by these events?

At first, I would say no. The cards clearly say "adjacent to", and a tile is not adjacent to itself. But then I realized that it didn't say adjacent to the camp tile, but just adjacent to the camp. The source on the same tile as the camp could be seen as adjacent to the camp. We also know from the FAQ that the text "source closest to your camp" includes sources on the camp tile.

Finally, thematically, it's a bit hard to explain why the wind would spare the resources that are closer to you (on the same tile), if these are your only available resources.

So, perhaps the German or Polish translation have wordings that more clearly state whether I should cover sources on the camp tile (if there are no uncovered sources on adjacent tiles) or leave them accessible but take wounds for unfulfilled demand instead?

Any other thoughts? How do you play this?
 
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I'm not sure about this specific cards. Might be the text got changed to "closest to the camp" in the German version, to be in line with other cards.

But as it stands, the text should exclude the tile WITH the camp!
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Nigel Clarke
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We play it that the camp is the whole tile and therefore only adjacent tiles are affected.
If only one source can be covered when the card asks for two, then I'm not sure whether wounds to all players should be applied - normally it's a missing resource that causes wounds.
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banzai123 wrote:
We play it that the camp is the whole tile and therefore only adjacent tiles are affected.
If only one source can be covered when the card asks for two, then I'm not sure whether wounds to all players should be applied - normally it's a missing resource that causes wounds.


Unless the card says "If Possible" then if he cannot cover the source then there are wounds taken for Unfulfilled Demands.
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Joe Kong
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At first I think it is unfulfilled demands. Then I am unconvinced why an exhausted resource will cause you damage. So I just ignore it when there is only one adjacent resource.

 
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If you cannot apply parts of an effect, and the effect doesn't state "if possible" or is otherwise clearly ruled as to not being subject to the "unfulfilled demand" rule (such as morale), you always apply the rule!

And, regarding the text, something came to mind just now:
please differentiate between "adjacent to the camp (tile)" which is any tile next to this, and "the source nearest" or "next to the camp" or somesuch, wich includes sources ON the camp tile!
 
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I understand the rule. But this is a thematic game. Without wood in winter, you health will deteriorate. Sleeping outdoor will get you a cold. Without strong weapon, you will get hurt while fighting wild animals. It is hard to imagine why your body will weaken by an exhausted resource. Yes, I agree that decreasing morale is a good effect and match the theme properly.

 
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Yes, it is a thematic game.
But it is not a "theme game". It is a game where theme and mechanisms go hand in hand - as well as they can. And where they cannot, mechanism is the one focussed on...
...because the most important aspect of this game is the GAME aspect, not the THEME aspect, and the overall balance etc.

However, I might have misunderstood your previous post. It seemed that you didn't understand the mechanism in question...


And, of course, you can (and should) play the way that you like it the most. If house-ruling this or other matters makes you like the game more, by all means, do that!
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I can only say that the rule of unfulfilled demands is to simplify corresponding game play without a lot of complexity.

I do think game mechanics of such games should represent the theme as much as possible. Otherwise, why not I play chess or go. laugh

 
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I completely disagree.

With any game, the mechanisms are what you play - not the theme. If this was a game that would resemble reality or theme much more closely, you would end up with charts upon charts, or books of special rules.

A game design by necessity needs to be as concise and compact as possible, regarding the rules. The less exceptions a game has, the better the design. Yes, that means you will leave out lots of interesting things. But playability is not measured by how closely it resembles you "living" the theme - it is measured by how well the gameflow is, how much you need to memorize, etc.

Granted, there are concessions to be made to this, and there is leeway. The more you take the Ameristyle approach (probably with Tales of the Arabian Nights being somewhere at the outermost end of the spectrum), the more thematic you can be. But the less competitive the game will be. Probably even: the less GAME it will be (although that is debatable).

This, however, is a game where the central idea is not "let's create an experience of the island, where the players can see what happens" - the central idea is: "let's create a game where the aspect of luck and the possibilities the players have to wheather said luck, to survive and win, are more or less balanced". This is a highly competitive game - and the competition is between the cooperative players and the game itself.

In order to create such a game, you need a firm set of concise rules. Otherwise it becomes simply arbitrary. And in order to establish such a rules set, you need to eliminate as many exceptions as possible.

Now, this game tries to walk the razor's edge between both sides of the coin - the very thematic on the one side, and the very strategic (and possibly abstract) on the other side. For it to work completely hickup-free, it already has too many exceptions and ambiguities left. But after two years of discussion and questions and rules translations/rewritings, most of those issues have been dealt with, or at least have an answer. And those answers create even more exceptions than the game already has.

That said, any player is free to implement as many house rules as possible, to tailor the game to his own tastes. That is not only a given, but it has been highly recommended (even if most often implicitly) by the author.
However, the basis of any game needs to be a controlled, concise rules set - as much as possible. Criticising a game such as this for not having more exceptions, so as to be even more thematic, is nothing short of completely missing the point of what this game is trying to do!

Oh, and by the way, there are many nuances between Tales of the Arabian Nights on the one side and "Go" on the other side. If the world is that black and white for you, maybe you are a little colour-blind???
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I agree that you can disagree.

Game mechanics often represent real world in a concise way. I see that the rules in Robinson challenge your role in two aspects: physically and mentally. While certain instances cause you to be wounded, which probably represent your body (life track) is not as fit as usual or you are injured. Conversely some event may hurt you mentally or make you depressed, which the morale track somewhat represents. From this perspective, I will categorise exhaustion of a resource as an event that can distress you. Of course you may opine otherwise and perceive differently. Say a life track represents both physical and mental fitness while morale is something else...

In the end, I think I can express my opinion and criticise the inappropriateness about this part of the unfulfilled demand rule AND still play and enjoy the game.

 
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And there is the difference - right there.
You are talking about this one instance - why sources that cannot be exhausted make characters suffer wounds.

I am talking generalization. I don't concentrate on one specific rule, because single rules are unimportant to me. I see the game as a whole.

What's more, this is YOUR single rule.
There are several others who have voiced criticism about THEIR single rule they thought wouldn't fit thematically. And they might be equally right.
And then there are possibly even more people who have THEIR own single rule, but didn't voice it and just houseruled it instead.

If we take this up, we will have lots of different variations that would create myriards of exceptions.
And the game already has more exceptions than necessary! I do not subscribe to the opinion that the game is a "convoluted mess", as others have put it, but I DO subscribe to the opinion that it would have done the game a world of good if it were even more streamlined, with even less exceptions here and there - concessions to theme.


The rule of unfulfilled demand is a rule that is applied uniformly to almost all situations like that. The exception being morale, because it is a mechanism completely set apart.
Any other exception is highly unnecessary, for the mechanism is the thing, not the theme.


That said, if you don't like a rule, you are absolutely welcome to houserule it. You can change your gameplay however you want, and if you have fun with it, that doesn't make your gameplay worse than what was imagined in the box. However, it also doesn't make it superior.

I am fed up with people constantly complaining that for thematic reasons this or that rule would need another exception. No it doesn't, but you can apply one in your game, if you want. The game doesn't need it, and it is not "thematically badly handled" in that situation.


A board game is a set of mechanisms and rules. When thematic, it tries to mimic or recreate said theme as best as can be (theme being first), but within reason. Reason being: it has as few rules as possible, which also means as few exceptions in rules as possible.
Because, after all, it is still a game.
And a board game is a set of mechanisms and rules.
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Yep, we are in agreement about generalisation. But there are already two kinds of generalisation in this game: life and morale. You need not create a new rule or exception to handle the case. Furthermore, it is an event. You can just specify on the card what will happen in case of unfulfillment. Doesn't one of the purposes of cards is to provide exception or special cases like numerous card games or CDG?

Besides, discussion, argument and even criticism may and probably can contribute to future design and improvement to the game.



 
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joekong_hk wrote:
You can just specify on the card what will happen in case of unfulfillment. Doesn't one of the purposes of cards is to provide exception or special cases like numerous card games or CDG?


Yes - and no.
It has been tried (sometimes unsuccessfully) by the publisher to keep the text on the cards regarding different instances of the same situation with the same text. Yes, cards are there to provide variation to the rules, but the game is not designed to include countless exceptions. It is a hybrid, and as such the exceptions need to be kept at a minimum. Otherwise, the game would imbalance - or, if you wanted balance, you would need to test in such a detailed manner that it would become impossible to do so in a sensible way.

I understand that this rule is important to you. But so is everyone's exception to them.

joekong_hk wrote:

Besides, discussion, argument and even criticism may and probably can contribute to future design and improvement to the game.



If the game was to be improved, it could only be done so by deleting exceptions, not creating more.
And this is not an ongoing project, not a game that is under constant supervision, and certainly not a game that will be undergoing any more improvement soon.

The game, as is, is where it was supposed to be, or at least near enough. If there ever will be an improvement, I can tell you right now that it won't be an improvement of material other than make rules that are now ambiguous more clear, or that eliminates exceptions.

This game will not be made MORE THEMATICAL.
That will never happen.
Nor does it need to be.

And, to be honest, I find your rule not an improvement, but instead to be quite the opposite. I would also eliminate lots of other things. Like "healing only at night, no exceptions". Like "all abilities / discovery tokens at precisely ANY time during the game, no exceptions". Like "events tackle all players, no exceptions". And like some other things that we already ruled differently in the German rules set.

 
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What exception does I propose? Adjusting morale owing to an event?

I give up. You wrote so many words just to prove your point.

I shall go back to my games and playing... whistle

 
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The many words are simply because I literally have problems stating what I mean with less...


The exception you propose is changing one aspect of Unfulfilled demand (a rule that always makes characters suffer wounds) into something else (i.e. makes characters not suffer wounds, but makes morale drop). That would make a rule to concern everything (so far) into a rule with an exception.

There are two problems with this:
1. It is a different take on this rule, and as such, is a new rule regarding these events. If not the rule needs changing, the card texts need to include more text. This can lead to a whole lot of different problems (in terms of card design).
2. Morale is a track for everyone. However, due to exhausted sources (the Adventure cards), even single characters can take wounds due to unfulfilled demands. You could not rule it one way for one type of cards and another way for another type of cards - synchronicity would go even further out of the window. That would mean that not being able to exhaust a source would be even more desastrous for the group in the long run, as it would lower morale (something which applies to everyone).

Things like these are not as cut and dry as they sometimes seem. They drag a whole bunch of other things that need adjusting behind them.

And that is just one minor thematical critique - yours. There are way more substantiated critiques as to theme than this one - and they will also not be changed - simply because keeping the rules slimmer makes more sense than adhering to more thematical adaptation.

Also, if we argue thematical adaptation, you can ask yourself: what other things should impact morale also or instead of the wound tracks? Where do we need more amending of the rules?
A list would probably be quite long.
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Byron S
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While all this discussion is interesting, there is already a mechanism in place to bypass this particular rule without adding more rules exceptions and loopholes: Add the two words "If possible" in front of the text, and hooray!, it no longer is constrained by the "unfulfilled demand" rule.

Joe: Play as if it said "If possible"; it won't break the game, and perhaps you'll enjoy it more. There are certainly other similar cards which have the "if possible" text.

Dumon: It wouldn't create extra rules weight to have the text on the card say something like "Cover up 1 source (or whatever) or <-- [lose morale]" or something similar. Whether it's appropriate is a whole other issue, but it also wouldn't break the game in any way.
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Runtsa, that is true - but that goes for a lot of things.
I also would, again, repeat the problem with morale balance, as it effects the whole group...

 
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