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Subject: Rules question on building rss

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Brent Bergwall
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For "The Stock Companies" variant the rules say:

The president must connect adjacent available cities and cannot skip them to connect far away cities for extremely high costs.

Question is if none of the "adjacent" cities are "available" can they be skipped? Or at this point is the company stranded until the next step? If they can Skip in this case I would assume they must connect a closest (in number of skips) available city?
 
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Pete Goch
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We played that you're stuck until the next Step.
 
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Peter Hendee
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I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Koth wrote:
For "The Stock Companies" variant the rules say:

The president must connect adjacent available cities and cannot skip them to connect far away cities for extremely high costs.

Question is if none of the "adjacent" cities are "available" can they be skipped? Or at this point is the company stranded until the next step? If they can Skip in this case I would assume they must connect a closest (in number of skips) available city?
The intent is to prevent a president from wasting money buying a distant connection when a closer connection is available. (Draining a company then dumping it on someone else is a common 18XX strategy.) The intent is not to strand a company and prevent it from expanding because it got surrounded.

You are not permitted to skip adjacent available cities. You are permitted to skip adjacent cities if none of them are available.
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Lucio Pierobon
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Should be better to say that companies must always expand their network in the cheapest possible direction ?

In some situation the nearest city is not the cheapest one (bacause of expensive connections).

Or do you think the rule is made to allow to waste money in expensive connections but only in specific circumstances purposefully crafted by the president ?

Regards
Lucio
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Russ Williams
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Iago71 wrote:
Should be better to say that companies must always expand their network in the cheapest possible direction ?
I'm not sure if you mean "would this be a good rule change" or "would this be a good rewritten text to express the existing rule more clearly", but requiring that a company build the cheapest possible connection is much stricter than requiring that a company not skip through cities it could build in, so it would be a very significant rule change.
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Patrick Riley
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This rule made my head tilt when I first read it, but it is as Peter says. You don't have to buy the cheapest connections, but you aren't allowed to waste money by jumping over available cities just so you burn cash on connection costs.
 
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Lucio Pierobon
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What I really mean is "it would be nice to understand what is the purpose of the rule, since it is not blocking the spending excess but just doing it in specific occasions".

If the aim is blocking the spending excess it is not working since many times in the game you have better options than building one of the directly connected cities.

Otherwise it looks to me that it is placed there "just to disturb" in a general way or "because no better wording" has come to the mind...

It would be interesting to see how the rule was originally stated (in German)...

L.
 
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Peter Hendee
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Iago71 wrote:
If the aim is blocking the spending excess it is not working since many times in the game you have better options than building one of the directly connected cities.
I agree that this rule just makes you get a little creative when you want to trash your company. It does not prevent inefficient play.
 
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Pete Goch
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I'm not particularly interested in the intent. I'd rather just know what the rule actually is. As written it says,

The Rules wrote:
The president increases the company’s electricity network by connecting additional cities. She must pay all costs from the company assets! The president must connect adjacent available cities and cannot skip them to connect far away cities for extremely high costs.

I mean that's pretty blunt and straightforward: must connect adjacent cities and cannot skip to connect far away cities. I'm not sure how someone reading the rules without second guessing them can give you any other interpretation than you simply can't expand if you're surrounded until the next Step is triggered.

If there's actually a rule missing then, fine, let's get an errata sheet going.

Maybe something like: The president must connect to adjacent cities if available and cannot skip them to connect far away cities for extremely high costs. If no adjacent cities are available the president may skip cities to expand.
 
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Peter Hendee
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It says you can't skip available cities. You are creating a rule that is not there when you prohibit skipping non-available cities.

I think that might be an interesting rule, making an escape route wise planning. But it is not in the Power Grid Stock Companies rules.

Edit: OK, now I see it. "Must connect adjacent available cities" could be misunderstood to prohibit any connection if there are no adjacent cities available. I believe this is a misinterpretation based on my understanding of the reason for the rule.
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Pete Goch
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PeterHendee wrote:
It says you can't skip available cities. You are creating a rule that is not there when you prohibit skipping non-available cities.

It also says you MUST connect adjacent available cities. Expressing the rule as an imperative like that excludes connecting to non adjacent available cities. There's no conditional clause providing an exception.

Sorry, I don't really want to bog down into an argument over semantics and I'm fine with accepting your explanation. I just don't think the rule as written expresses the rule as you've explicated it.


Quote:
I think that might be an interesting rule, making an escape route wise planning. But it is not in the Power Grid Stock Companies rules.

Well, that's the way we've been playing it. It's created some interesting situations and added a bit to the power of turn order and the higher par value companies.
 
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Jeff Michaud
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
I'm not particularly interested in the intent. I'd rather just know what the rule actually is. As written it says,
The Rules wrote:
The president increases the company’s electricity network by connecting additional cities. She must pay all costs from the company assets! The president must connect adjacent available cities and cannot skip them to connect far away cities for extremely high costs.
I mean that's pretty blunt and straightforward: must connect adjacent cities and cannot skip to connect far away cities. I'm not sure how someone reading the rules without second guessing them can give you any other interpretation than you simply can't expand if you're surrounded until the next Step is triggered.
I think that's because it's not as straightforward as you see it if you highlight the last part of the quoted rule... ie.
The Rules wrote:
The president increases the company’s electricity network by connecting additional cities. She must pay all costs from the company assets! The president must connect adjacent available cities and cannot skip them to connect far away cities for extremely high costs.
imho the rule is clear to not prevent playing a companies build turn in the best interest of running a successful company, only to prevent 18XX style play as mentioned of crippling a company right before you are planning to dump your shares in it at a higher share price than what other players will be able to get afterwards.

If it were meant to prevent a company from expanding it's network all together until a subsequent step (or worse never if it's a 4+ companies in play game where all directly adjacent cities have all 3 spots taken by other companies) then the rules wouldn't have said "far way cities" instead would have just said "non-adjacent cities" and wouldn't have said "extremely high costs" instead would have just said "higher costs".

As such imho the intent is to allow cities to be skipped if there are no directly adjacent available cities as long as it's clear to the other players you aren't doing it to cripple the company (which would be obvious later of course if you then dumped your shares)
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Roel van der Hoorn
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
I'm not particularly interested in the intent. I'd rather just know what the rule actually is. As written it says,

The Rules wrote:
The president increases the company’s electricity network by connecting additional cities. She must pay all costs from the company assets! The president must connect adjacent available cities and cannot skip them to connect far away cities for extremely high costs.
I mean that's pretty blunt and straightforward: must connect adjacent cities and cannot skip to connect far away cities.
No, it says the president cannot skip adjacent available cities to connect far away cities. It says nothing about skipping adjacent non-available cities.
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Randall Bart
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Remember that Power Grid rules are always translated from German to English by a native Hungarian. The English rules are always hard to interpret.

The rule is clearly not you may not make a jump build ever, because it would say that without mentioning availability.

The rule is not that you must make the cheapest city, because it would just say that without mentioning jumps.

So if all the adjacent cities are taken can you then do a super expensive build across the board? I don't think that's allowed, but this rule is muddy on that point. I think the intent is that you make a shorter build, but the limits are vague. Maybe we should just write a better rule, rather than interpretting this mush.
 
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Roel van der Hoorn
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The German rules say:

Quote:
Der Präsident muss verfügbare benachbarte Städte anschließen und darf diese nicht auslassen, um stattdessen eine weit entfernte Stadt zu extremen Kosten anzuschließen.
Translated: The President must connect available nearby cities and may not omit these, to instead connect a far distant city for extreme costs.

Which is not really different from the English version.
 
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Russ Williams
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It seems like an unfortunately imprecise informal way to express the idea that you can't build in a city several hops away if you could build in one of the intermediate hops. Trying to formalize this in a bullet-proof way seems somewhat tricky since there are typically a variety of possible routes one could choose to reach the destination city. Maybe something like:

attempt to pedantically formalize it unambiguously wrote:
If there exists any route (possibly the very route you're proposing) to your candidate city whose cost is <= the cost of your proposed route, and there is an intermediate city along such a route in which could build for less cost, then your candidate build is illegal.
Does that sound like a reasonable attempt to formalize it...?

(And does that sound like the probable intended meaning of the rule?)
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I say the rule can be written even simpler


"You must only build in a manner which is in the best interest of the company"

it often makes sense in PG to not take the cheapest builds but strategic ones. The players I think can police themselves (ie. judge) if a player is just trying to cannibalize a company (ie. 18XX style of play.
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Russ Williams
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JeffyJeff wrote:
I say the rule can be written even simpler


"You must only build in a manner which is in the best interest of the company"

it often makes sense in PG to not take the cheapest builds but strategic ones. The players I think can police themselves (ie. judge) if a player is just trying to cannibalize a company (ie. 18XX style of play.
That proposal is an April Fool's joke, right...?

It seems very impractically hard to objectively determine! I can't imagine seriously trying to play with that rule, and can only imagine endless debates about which move is optimal, over and over.

It seems analogous to a game having a rule "You are not allowed to make bad moves."
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Jeff Michaud
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russ wrote:
JeffyJeff wrote:
I say the rule can be written even simpler


"You must only build in a manner which is in the best interest of the company"

it often makes sense in PG to not take the cheapest builds but strategic ones. The players I think can police themselves (ie. judge) if a player is just trying to cannibalize a company (ie. 18XX style of play.
That proposal is an April Fool's joke, right...?

It seems very impractically hard to objectively determine! I can't imagine seriously trying to play with that rule, and can only imagine endless debates about which move is optimal, over and over.

It seems analogous to a game having a rule "You are not allowed to make bad moves."
no joke, serious. I usually play with adults. And to be clear I did not say "optimal".
 
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Pete Goch
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How about: you may not skip over available cities to create a more expensive connection.

This would allow you to skip over unavailable cities as per usual. It would restrict you from skipping over any available city, whether adjacent or not, to create more expensive connections to drain the company coffers.
 
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Russ Williams
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JeffyJeff wrote:
no joke, serious. I usually play with adults. And to be clear I did not say "optimal".
OK, regardless of whatever difference you see between "best" and "optimal", the problem remains. Game rules should surely be such that it's reasonably easy to objectively determine if a move is even legal.

If a move's legality depends on it being in the "best interest" of the company, that would mean it's reasonably easy to objectively determine whether a move is in the "best interest" of the company, meaning there is no better move. Which flies in the face of Power Grid being a nontrivially challenging strategy game.
 
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