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Subject: Eliminate creature with "single lowest combat value"? rss

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Mark Farr
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I played this game tonight for the first time with one of my brothers, as a "wind-down" after a game of Power Grid.

The rules made good sense after a quick scan (even after midnight), and the play went very smoothly. There is just one question we have over the elimination rule.

In the rulebook it says that a creature is eliminated if it has the single lowest combat value in that combat row and all remaining creatures have a combat or spectator card played on them in the current combat row.

We played this rule to mean that the combat value must be both the lowest value in the current row and also unique. This worked fine, and we always managed to find cards to make this happen easily.

However, being a computer programmer, and coming from a mathematics/science background, I would have to say the most common interpretation of this statement in my environment would be that the value need only be the lowest unique (single) value. Thus, if 3 creatures were tied on combat values of 0 (zero), and there was only one creature with a value of 1 (and all the others had cards played on them, of course), the creature with the combat value of 1 would be eliminated. We didn't like this interpretation and thus didn't use it, but given that our beloved Reiner Knizia is most definitely coming from a mathematical background, I do fear that this might be the correct interpretation.

Does anybody know definitively which way this should be played? I checked the FAQ, but it was one page, and didn't address this.

There could well be a need for the rule to work this way. It would certainly be easier to pull off upsets. Then again, it really diminishes the impact of high card values, as even a creature with the highest value could be eliminated if all the values below it are the same. For example, say one creature has a combat value of 10, two others have values of 0, and the remaining creature has no card played on it. If a player now played a 0 value combat card on the remaining creature, the creature with a combat value of 10 would, strictly speaking, have the single lowest combat value, wouldn't it? This sounds really lame, making it seem our interpretation was correct, but I will not feel comfortable playing it this way until I know for sure.

I'm probably being terribly pedantic (a crime I am often accused of). I don't mean to complain about the rules, as I think they're terrific. I love the game, as I seem to love most of Knizia's creations. It is just that I have seen at least one programming problem in computer science courses in which the "single lowest value" means simply the lowest value that occurs only only once, regardless of whether it is the lowest value overall or not.

Thank you for your time. Yes, I know, I have a problem. And yes, I know what "anal" means.

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Geo
Greece
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We played this rule to mean that the combat value must be both the lowest value in the current row and also unique.

That's the correct way to play.
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Mark Farr
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Thanks!

Your reply comes just in time too, as I'm about to take the game along to Sunday lunch at my parents house. Good to know we'll be playing it correctly.

I appreciate your time and trouble.
 
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Travis Hall
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Tobold wrote:
However, being a computer programmer, and coming from a mathematics/science background,

Same.

Quote:
I would have to say the most common interpretation of this statement in my environment would be that the value need only be the lowest unique (single) value. Thus, if 3 creatures were tied on combat values of 0 (zero), and there was only one creature with a value of 1 (and all the others had cards played on them, of course), the creature with the combat value of 1 would be eliminated.

I haven't found that to be at all a common interpretation amongst either programmers or mathematicians.

Quote:
We didn't like this interpretation and thus didn't use it, but given that our beloved Reiner Knizia is most definitely coming from a mathematical background,

He might come from a mathematical background, but he writes in German, and his translators do not necessarily come from a mathematical background, so getting too pedantic based off English rules is probably not a good idea.

Quote:
Does anybody know definitively which way this should be played?

As you played, and as has been pointed out before me.

Quote:
It is just that I have seen at least one programming problem in computer science courses in which the "single lowest value" means simply the lowest value that occurs only only once, regardless of whether it is the lowest value overall or not.

In my experience, that would be termed "lowest single value" in programming or mathematical circles, not "single lowest value".
 
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fer moros
South Korea
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Mark,
i dont think you are pedantic,

I was wondering why the rules phrased it like the way they did, instead of using a more common sentence such as:
The lowest value loses, unless there is a draw, in that case the battle continues.

I found your reasons about why to think beyond our first reading both logical and nicely humble.

To me "the single lowest value" can be interpreted in both ways,
and there is nothing against your interpretation.

It is probably a mechanism which is used in other games.


It seems everyone is playing like the lowest and single, so that may be the way to go.

I have not played it yet. But i look forward to.

Thanks for your input.

fer
happy games!
 
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