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Subject: Understanding the Start Player rule rss

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Warren Smith
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I get it; I understand how the rule works but I think that the way it's worded can lead to confusion. What I want the rule to say is, "whoever has the start player marker gets to stack his/her workers on top during the preparation phase." In order for this wording to work, only one marker would be used and a few changes would have to be made to the rulebook.

Page 4 (Setup) wrote:
Randomly determine the starting player. This player receives the Starting Player Marker. Place 1 Worker of each colour on each of the spaces "July" to "October" on the game board, so that the starting player's tokens are on top. The non-start player receives the Starting Player Marker to show that (s)he will be the start player in the subsequent half year.


Page 7 wrote:
When a player makes use of this Special Action, he transfers his opponent receives the Starting Player Marker, if he has it, to his opponent. for the subsequent half year. If none of the 8 Workers makes use of the Special Action, The Starting Player Marker changes hands automatically at the end of the Half Year. between phase 1 and phase 2 of each half year. Note: You took care of this for the first half year during set up.


Ok, maybe my technical writing isn't the best but you get the idea. What I think these minor changes achieve is a more procedural approach to the administration of the game. At the end of each round, players won't have to ask themselves whether or not the Start Player Marker changed hands! Is there a benefit to leaving the rule as written that I've missed? Does this complicate things in a way that I didn't foresee?
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Randall Clayton
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That does make a little more sense to me, but I'm still not sure I fully understand the rule. If I'm the start player for a half-year, it's probably in my best interest to use the Special Ability, correct? Because my opponent will already be the start player the next half-year, correct? But if my opponent uses the Special Ability, I'll be the start player for two half-years in a row. Is that right, or am I completely missing something.
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Murr Rockstroh
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We use both start player markers and it makes it really easy to keep track of who is start player for the next half year.

We stack our workers on the current half year, and put the other seasonal lighthouse start player marker across the worker spaces of the other half year. Once someone has decided to take the special action of the next half year, the other player simply claims the seasonal lighthouse marker for the next half year, making them the next half year's start player.

If the seasonal marker is still laying there when we set up for the next half year, who ever has the previous half year marker, returns it to the worker spaces of the half year we just finished and the other player claims the marker for the half year we're about to start.

Here's two examples of how this works, in case I wasn't clear above.

Example 1: I am the start player for the summer round, and I have the summer lighthouse token in front of me, my workers are on top of the summer stacks. The winter lighthouse is laying across the winter worker spaces at the bottom of the board. As the round goes on, neither of us take a special action (use a winter space) so my opponent claims the winter lighthouse token at the end of the round, and I return the summer lighthouse token to the summer worker spaces. My opponent is start player in the winter.

Example 2: I am the start player for the summer round, and I have the summer lighthouse token in front of me, my workers are on top of the summer stacks. The winter lighthouse is laying across the winter worker spaces at the bottom of the board. I decide to take a winter action and immediately, my opponent claims the winter lighthouse token. At the end of the round, we know who the start player is for the winter, since the winter lighthouse token was claimed. I return the summer lighthouse token to the summer worker spaces.

Who ever takes the special action for the season, the opponent claims the lighthouse token for that season. If the lighthouse token for the next season wasn't claimed, then whoever doesn't have the current season lighthouse token, claims the next season lighthouse token. Makes life simple.
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Jason Teague
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Murr wrote:
Example 2: I am the start player for the summer round, and I have the summer lighthouse token in front of me, my workers are on top of the summer stacks. The winter lighthouse is laying across the winter worker spaces at the bottom of the board. I decide to take a winter action and immediately, my opponent claims the winter lighthouse token. At the end of the round, we know who the start player is for the winter, since the winter lighthouse token was claimed. I return the summer lighthouse token to the summer worker spaces.

Who ever takes the special action for the season, the opponent claims the lighthouse token for that season. If the lighthouse token for the next season wasn't claimed, then whoever doesn't have the current season lighthouse token, claims the next season lighthouse token. Makes life simple.


Yes...but there is something I've never liked/understood about this rule. In the example above, there is no penalty whatsoever for taking a special (off-season) action for player number 1 since player number 2 would become the winter start player *regardless* of whether player 1 takes a special (off-season) action.

Obviously, the inverse is true for player 2 taking a summer special (off-season) action during winter rounds, so this isn't a game balance issue...it just feels to me there should be incentive *not* to take special actions. Also, the fact start player rights never "rotate" feels wrong. Player 2 never gets first chance at summer and player 1 never gets first chance at winter. Does this seem wrong to anyone else?

What about the following rule:

If you take a special (off-season) action, you become start player for the next round of the *current* season. For instance, if you take a winter special action during summer months, your opponent immediately claims the *summer* lighthouse token, making your opponent the start player for the next summer round as well as the next winter round.

However, it is not possible to take a special action unless you have the start player marker for the opposite season. So, in the case above, after taking a special winter action during summer, Player 1 loses the summer lighthouse to Player 2. During subsequent rounds, Player 1 may take NO special actions because they have neither lighthouse token. However, Player 2 is the start player in both summer and winter months and thus can take a special action during either of the next two rounds. Doing so will cause her to lose a lighthouse token (lose the summer lighthouse if taking a winter special action during summer months, or vice versa).

Thoughts?
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Mikko Saari
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Yeah, that rule has bothered me as well. It seems a bit clumsy.
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Jason Teague
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So...taking a special action also awards a player starting privilege for the next round? That means the game is actually encourages taking offseason actions which is completely opposite what I thought was intended. Color me confused. Would be great to find a clarification on this.
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Warren Smith
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Murr wrote:
Who ever takes the special action for the season, the opponent claims the lighthouse token for that season. If the lighthouse token for the next season wasn't claimed, then whoever doesn't have the current season lighthouse token, claims the next season lighthouse token. Makes life simple.
Thanks for sharing this! I agree that it's nice and clear.

Having said that, the idea of having two start player markers is just not as straightforward as making do with one.
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Kerrin Addis
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This is my take on it

There are two light house markers, Summer and Winter. They are identical on the back which is for using them to determine start player at the beginning.

Shuffle then and place face down on the table. The player that chooses summer goes first. The winter light house gets put back in the box.

If first player uses the "Special Action" (Take an off season action) then turn order proceeds as normal.
If 2nd player uses the "Special Action", then turn order gets disrupted.

There is a sentence on the player aid page that states it better. Sorry I don't have it front of me at the moment.

Also see

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1259496/questioncomment...

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Mikko Saari
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Yeah, and that's the thing: start player of the current season can take a special action freely, with no penalty. That's what bothers me.
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Jason Teague
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msaari wrote:
Yeah, and that's the thing: start player of the current season can take a special action freely, with no penalty. That's what bothers me.



Ditto. Seems wrong.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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msaari wrote:
Yeah, and that's the thing: start player of the current season can take a special action freely, with no penalty. That's what bothers me.


That's exactly the case and how it is intended to be.
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Joel Oakley
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msaari wrote:
Yeah, and that's the thing: start player of the current season can take a special action freely, with no penalty. That's what bothers me.


Instead of a penalty for the start player taking the special action, there is a potential reward for the start player not taking the special action. If the other player takes the special action, then the start player will maintain the starting position for the next round as well.
I prefer this to a punitive system.
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Jérôme
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Now I'm confused.

We played differently which didn't feel right, so I found this discussion to seek for answers. Please enlighten me.
 
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Grant
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Tsaar wrote:
Now I'm confused.

We played differently which didn't feel right, so I found this discussion to seek for answers. Please enlighten me.

This thread has been an exhaustive discussion about how the start player mechanic works and how to track it. You're going to need to be more specific about what you're confused about and what you need to be enlightened about, because everything has been pretty well laid out here.

What was different about how you were playing it?
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phillip wilson
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Murr's post above is the best description. I'll try and visualize it a little.. with text..



SL = Summer Lighthouse
WL = Winter Lighthouse

Our starting condition before each example. Middle of a Summer round and noone has taken a winter action yet. Red goes first
Quote:

Red Summer Winter Yellow
SL WL


Example 1
If Red plays on a winter action, Then Yellow takes the WL.
Quote:

Red Summer Winter Yellow
SL WL


At the End of the summer round, Red puts the SL back on the summer worker spot.Start next round with Yellow first.
Quote:

Red Summer Winter Yellow
SL WL






Example 2
Back to the start, If Yellow plays on a winter action, Then Red takes the WL.
Quote:

Red Summer Winter Yellow
SL & WL


At the End of the summer round, Red puts the SL back on the summer worker spot.Start next round with Red first again
Quote:

Red Summer Winter Yellow
WL SL






Example 3
Back to the start again, Noone takes a winter action. So red first puts the SL back.
Quote:

Red Summer Winter Yellow
SL WL


Then gives the WL to Yellow and returns the workers to the Winter Spot. Yellow Goes first in Winter
Quote:

Red Summer Winter Yellow
SL WL




So if the 2nd player takes the off season action. The starting player stays the same for two rounds together. If the starting player takes the off season, nothing changes to the alternating turn order.

(edited in ex3)
 
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Jérôme
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Thanks for the replies.

My confusion is about using both lighthouses or just one, because opinions seem to differ a lot.
In other threads it became more or less clear that the startplayer always has some kind of advantage, and only if the other player chooses to use the special action, the current startplayer will also start next season (but he can't use the special action until the next season).
 
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Grant
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Tsaar wrote:
In other threads it became more or less clear that the startplayer always has some kind of advantage, and only if the other player chooses to use the special action, the current startplayer will also start next season (but he can't use the special action until the next season).

I think you have it right. To state it another way: The current start player WILL NOT be start player next turn UNLESS the other player chooses to take the special off-season action (assuming it's still available).

If the non-start player doesn't take a special off-season action, either because they just choose not to or because current start player takes it first, then non-start player is guaranteed to be start player next round.
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I understand how the rule works. However, isn't it a little counter-intuitive? You already have an advantage in being the start player for the current season, and yet you still have an additional advantage in being able to go off season without any penalty.

Granted, each player has those same advantages. But it still seems like an awkward rule?
 
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Kevin Fairbrother
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I find the lighthouses are straightforward if we follow these two simple rules:

1. If you go off-season and currently hold the lighthouse for that off-season (not the current season but the off-season), immediately pass it to your opponent.

2. At the end of the current season, if you hold the lighthouse for that season, pass it to your opponent.

I believe this is what is intended in the rules.

It does allow the start player to take a free off-season action. That can be viewed as being part of going first.

An alternative might be to remove off-season competition and only allow a player to go off-season if they hold the lighthouse for that off-season, but still following the two rules above. That way the start player cannot go off-season. Player 2 would then be first in winter and have the option of going off-season. If they don't go off-season in winter they would also go first the following summer.
 
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