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Subject: Picking up a stuck worker allowed? rss

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Ben Martin
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Falls Chuch
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The rules point out that if you have no other options you can take a worker back and return the card that matches the spot they were on to the future market. What about when you do have other options?

I played a game yesterday, and my friend had claimed a 2-block spot. And then the spaces around him were subsequently claimed. He had already used all of his 2-block buildings and was hoping to get one of the adjacent spots to build something larger. He was denied that obviously, but what we weren't sure about was if his worker was then "stuck" there for the rest of the game.

The rules don't explicitly state that you are allowed to spend a turn to pick someone up, unless it's impossible for you to make any other move. So we ruled that he was indeed stuck there, in sort of a Carcassonne fashion.

We agreed that this didn't necessarily make sense thematically though. Having the option of burning a turn to reclaim the worker would have at least introduced an interesting decision. He would get the worker back, but not only at the loss of a turn, but it also then put that block back up for grabs to one of the neighbours who have a good incentive to acquire it. Or he could keep the turn, and just leave the worker in place denying other of the expansion opportunity.
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Thanks for posting. I feel your pain Ben! It's very rare for a player to lose a worker like that - but it's not impossible. The only way to claim him back is if there are no other options (are any demolitions or constructions possible elsewhere? There generally are). One of the reasons there are 2 small 2 square buildings in Gold is to give players many options until late in the game and make scenarios where you completely lose a worker very unlikely. There are also 4 workers in all so the even if one is stuck late in the game, the 3 others will generally give you options.
I understand that you would like to be able to lose a turn and reclaim him but trust me, if you have any other options left to you, they are going to be better than losing a turn to reclaim him. Losing a turn where you generate no points and can't acquire land will hurt your chances of winning the game. Just don't let that happen again! Thanks for playing!
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ozzy perez
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Hialeah
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Very interesting situation. Thanks for posting and thanks Chenier, for answering. This is a very solid game that we're enjoying. It seems very simple at first glimpse, but there's this depth that starts coming out after the first couple of games. That in my book, is the mark of a great one.
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Thanks Ozzy. Much appreciated. I designed the game to give you options. it allows you to approach the game many ways and to 'try' things (more of this, less of that, focus on this, focus on that, a little earlier, a little later). Great that you're still discovering and enjoying.
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Matthew Sanchez
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What about Demolishing. If I want to demolish and don't have workers available to free up a spot can I still demolish and return the card to the futures deck or am I out of luck?
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Frank Wirsch
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sancmat wrote:
What about Demolishing. If I want to demolish and don't have workers available to free up a spot can I still demolish and return the card to the futures deck or am I out of luck?
Page 4 of the rules (Demolish and Rebuild), 2nd column under NOTE: covers your situation:

"If a player does not have enough free Workers to cover any newly freed lots, he cannot proceed with the demolition."

So you can't do it - You're 'out of luck'.
 
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Stefan Lopuszanski
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I had a similar experience in my first game. However, it was much, much worse. Essentially, I had no building to place and no figures left -- so by the rules I had to spend a turn taking a figure back and then another turn putting him out... this happened 3 times in the game. It happening once was enough to cost me the game, let alone 3 times. Really wish there was a rule change to stop this. Yes, it was ultimately due to poor planning (and misunderstanding an earlier rule about how buildings upgrade), but it felt extremely limiting. Plus, it was potentially abusable if the other players sacrificed a few points by doing sub-optimal moves just to screw another player over. Really it just felt like some bad rules where the "very unlikely situation where you have no building to place and all workers on the board" that you basically instantly lose. Really soured my opinion of the game.
 
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I'm sorry you had a bad first experience.
This rule is there to cover a truly exceptional case. In 200+ games it has never happened to me or to anyone playing with me. However I must admit it can happen. It's simply a situation to avoid and it is highly avoidable. I doubt that you'll let it happen to you again!

But even for beginners, it's a very unlikely scenario. All lots on the board have at least one lot adjacent to them. The vast majority of lots in NY1901 have 2, 3 even 4 lots adjacent to them. There are practically always options. Moreover, the size of the buildings and their allocation throughout the Bronze, Silver and Gold generations has also been made to avoid creating dead ends. And of course you generally have many demolition options.

Could this be based on a misunderstanding of the rules regarding the handling of the workers? I've noticed that some players don't realize that once a plot of land is even partially built on, they can reclaim their worker. Are you keeping workers on the board that don't need to be there?

Thank you!
 
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Matt,
When you demolish to rebuild AND the new building covers (even partially) all the lots that were freed up by the demolition, you don't need any workers.
You only need workers when the new building doesn't cover (even if just partially) all the lots that are freed up.
 
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Stefan Lopuszanski
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shocko wrote:
I'm sorry you had a bad first experience.
This rule is there to cover a truly exceptional case. In 200+ games it has never happened to me or to anyone playing with me. However I must admit it can happen. It's simply a situation to avoid and it is highly avoidable. I doubt that you'll let it happen to you again!

But even for beginners, it's a very unlikely scenario. All lots on the board have at least one lot adjacent to them. The vast majority of lots in NY1901 have 2, 3 even 4 lots adjacent to them. There are practically always options. Moreover, the size of the buildings and their allocation throughout the Bronze, Silver and Gold generations has also been made to avoid creating dead ends. And of course you generally have many demolition options.

Could this be based on a misunderstanding of the rules regarding the handling of the workers? I've noticed that some players don't realize that once a plot of land is even partially built on, they can reclaim their worker. Are you keeping workers on the board that don't need to be there?

Thank you!

Nope, these were all un-built plots. Although I didn't read the rules, someone taught me the game. Maybe there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

Basically I owned all the red spots except for 2 and my building shapes / buildings laid meant I couldn't build any new buildings unless a red card came up. I had used my 2-size buildings already and wasn't in the Gold age yet for the "advanced game" so I was stuck. Had to spend a turn removing a worker, then spend a turn to get a new plot. Then, the same color didn't appear again (the other players took them when it did) so I had to spend another FOUR turns removing a work, then spending another turn to get a new plot, that would finally let me build (since all my 2 buildings were gone I couldn't build a solo 2-size building).

Yes, I backed myself into that by trying to monopolize red and then having none show up, but it seems weird that a situation like this can occur and can be exacerbated by vicious players + luck (I don't think they were trying to be vicious, but if they were they could target someone to shut them down).
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The game plays best with the 6 and 18 thresholds. It's meant to be played that way. The 10 and 25 thresholds are for gamers who are very comfortable with the system and want an additional challenge - just for fun. I think that was one of the causes of your problems.

I take good note. It might be best, in the rule book, to -clearly- discourage players from playing the 10 and 25 thresholds too early. I think a lot of people (esp gamers) are thinking "I'm a gamer I should play with the advanced rules". That would be a mistake. I personally play (and prefer) the regular 6 and 18 game. That is the 'normal' game.

I also think you put yourself in a corner and that you won't let that happen to you again. Part of the game is managing the 4 workers. You probably felt the danger coming when you placed your 3rd and 4th worker without building... But you wanted red

Thank you!
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Stefan Lopuszanski
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shocko wrote:
The game plays best with the 6 and 18 thresholds. It's meant to be played that way. The 10 and 25 thresholds are for gamers who are very comfortable with the system and want an additional challenge - just for fun. I think that was one of the causes of your problems.

I take good note. It might be best, in the rule book, to -clearly- discourage players from playing the 10 and 25 thresholds too early. I think a lot of people (esp gamers) are thinking "I'm a gamer I should play with the advanced rules". That would be a mistake. I personally play (and prefer) the regular 6 and 18 game. That is the 'normal' game.

I also think you put yourself in a corner and that you won't let that happen to you again. Part of the game is managing the 4 workers. You probably felt the danger coming when you placed your 3rd and 4th worker without building... But you wanted red

Thank you!

Yes, just seems like there could be a rule fix (or rule variant) to solve this problem from happening. Not sure what it would be as I haven't played the game a ton, but spending a whole turn removing a working just to spend another turn to put one down seems like enough of a handicap already. Maybe something like you can call back a worker as a free action on your turn -- I mean you're already wasting an action by taking a card and not using it, why double penalize?

Also, we got confused over the thresholds. We thought the 6-18 thresholds were for 4 players and the 10-25 were for 3 payers. Had we played with the 6-18 I'm sure it wouldn't have been a problem.
 
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I hear you. It's a harsh penalty. We want people to avoid that situation - to fear it! One of its goals is to discourage people from being too aggressive with their workers and blocking too much. The danger with a more lenient penalty is that players will flirt with that line which will likely result in more blocking. Still, we might consider revising the penalty if we notice it happens too often. Your feedback is part of the process.
I'm already going to suggest that the wording around the 'expert' rule (10-25) be changed. I'm thinking the word 'expert' should be removed since it's an enticement (ego) for gamers to try it too early. It should just be a 'variant' for people who want to explore. The standard game is 6-18 (and it's the best in my book! - it gives you more strategic options)
Thank you.
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