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Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization» Forums » Rules

Subject: Raiders? rss

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Steve Austin
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Does weakest civ lose 2 food or 2 stone, or 2 food or 1 stone?
Or, does it lose 2 food AND 2 stone? The and/or is confusing.
 
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Devin Smith
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2 (food and/or stone).

I.e. two food, two stone, or one of each.
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Steve Austin
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Thanks, but how did you deduce one of each from the card? It clearly says 'lose 2 food and/or stone.' If it said 'lose 2 resources, any combination of food and stone' I could understand it, but not as it is.
 
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David desJardins
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In English, "2 food and/or stone" means 2 units, each of which can be either food or stone.

I can't speak for any other language, but this one I know.
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Steve Austin
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DaviddesJ wrote:
In English, "2 food and/or stone" means 2 units, each of which can be either food or stone.

I can't speak for any other language, but this one I know.


Well, English is my second language, so maybe I'm missing something.
To me this means I have a choice 1) 2 food or stone, and the amount of stone is not clear. Could be one or two 2) 2 food and 1/2 stone, though why I would want to pay 2 food plus additional stone when I could just pay 2 food or 1/2 stone is beyond me. Very poor structure. I showed this card to two other people and they also couldn't figure it out.
 
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Robert Ell
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Were either of those other people native speakers? I can understand how it might not translate well, but it's perfectly clear in English. Think of it as 2 (wood and/or stone).
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Steve Austin
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Elltrain wrote:
Were either of those other people native speakers? I can understand how it might not translate well, but it's perfectly clear in English. Think of it as 2 (wood and/or stone).


It's certainly not perfectly clear. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking for an explanation.

Why doesn't it say 'lose 2 resources, any combination of food/stone'? It doesn't need the and/or. That's what makes it confusing.
 
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David desJardins
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Peepser wrote:
It's certainly not perfectly clear. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking for an explanation.


It's a common English idiom. You're asking the question because you're not as familiar with English usage as the people who wrote it, not because it's unclear.

Quote:
Why doesn't it say 'lose 2 resources, any combination of food/stone'?


Because that's much longer and would not fit well on the card.

Also, "Resources" are a particular thing in the game (they are what you are incorrectly calling "Stone") so to use the word "resources" to refer to Food as well as to Resources would be confusing and wrong.
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Robert Ell
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Peepser wrote:


It's certainly not perfectly clear. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking for an explanation.

Why doesn't it say 'lose 2 resources, any combination of food/stone'? It doesn't need the and/or. That's what makes it confusing.


It's perfectly clear in English. You ask for explanations for lots of things that are perfectly clear, so your statement holds very little weight.

Why doesn't it say, "Lose two things. Choose one and only one of the following three choices: lose two stone. Lose two food. Lose one food and one stone."? Because it's overly wordy and there's a better, more concise choice of wording. Just like your example.
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Steve Austin
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Peepser wrote:
It's certainly not perfectly clear. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking for an explanation.


It's a common English idiom. You're asking the question because you're not as familiar with English usage as the people who wrote it, not because it's unclear.

Quote:
Why doesn't it say 'lose 2 resources, any combination of food/stone'?


Because that's much longer and would not fit well on the card.

Also, "Resources" are a particular thing in the game (they are what you are incorrectly calling "Stone") so to use the word "resources" to refer to Food as well as to Resources would be confusing and wrong.


First of all, I was joking sbout English being my second language, but that's how I respond to obvious snark. Second, if the word 'resources' isn't allowed, why not 'lose 2 food, 2 stone, or 1 of each.' Plenty of room for that. Third, it's a Euro, and likely written/translated by those who don't have English as their first language.
 
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Steve Austin
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Elltrain wrote:
Peepser wrote:


It's certainly not perfectly clear. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking for an explanation.

Why doesn't it say 'lose 2 resources, any combination of food/stone'? It doesn't need the and/or. That's what makes it confusing.


It's perfectly clear in English. You ask for explanations for lots of things that are perfectly clear, so your statement holds very little weight.

Why doesn't it say, "Lose two things. Choose one and only one of the following three choices: lose two stone. Lose two food. Lose one food and one stone."? Because it's overly wordy and there's a better, more concise choice of wording. Just like your example.


Maybe, it's clear to you, but not to me, or to others who I have sitting around me, so please stop saying "It's perfectly clear" and stop with the "you ask for explanations for lots of things that are perfectly clear." Now you're being an ass. I also didn't suggest such a ridiculously lengthy card explanation as the one you just posted.
 
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Robert Ell
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Okay. It's perfectly clear to me and/or most English speakers.
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David desJardins
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Peepser wrote:
I was joking sbout English being my second language


Well, it seems very credible to those of us reading this and your other threads. You put on a good act.
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Ben Kyo
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Peepser wrote:
I was joking sbout English being my second language, but that's how I respond to obvious snark.

There are quite a lot of rules questions like this one BGG, for many different games, and my default assumption is that the person posing the question is not a native English speaker. That's a totally neutral assumption, unlike most of the alternatives that come to mind.
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Paul Grogan
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Peepser wrote:
Third, it's a Euro, and likely written/translated by those who don't have English as their first language.
thats a very sweeping statement, and in the case of this game, not true at all . CGE employ at least two native English speaking people to work on all of their rulebooks and card texts.
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Steve Austin
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Peepser wrote:
I was joking sbout English being my second language


Well, it seems very credible to those of us reading this and your other threads. You put on a good act.


Here's some more clear English for you, David. Fuck you. Is there ever a day or thread where you aren't responding like a smug asshole?
 
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Steve Austin
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PaulGrogan wrote:
Peepser wrote:
Third, it's a Euro, and likely written/translated by those who don't have English as their first language.
thats a very sweeping statement, and in the case of this game, not true at all . CGE employ at least two native English speaking people to work on all of their rulebooks and card texts.


They obviously missed that card.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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Peepser wrote:
PaulGrogan wrote:
Peepser wrote:
Third, it's a Euro, and likely written/translated by those who don't have English as their first language.
thats a very sweeping statement, and in the case of this game, not true at all . CGE employ at least two native English speaking people to work on all of their rulebooks and card texts.


They obviously missed that card.


Not really, it's been worded that way in all printings without any issues. It's very straightforward wording. Just not idiot-proof.
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Steve Austin
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Kelanen wrote:
Peepser wrote:
PaulGrogan wrote:
Peepser wrote:
Third, it's a Euro, and likely written/translated by those who don't have English as their first language.
thats a very sweeping statement, and in the case of this game, not true at all . CGE employ at least two native English speaking people to work on all of their rulebooks and card texts.


They obviously missed that card.


Not really, it's been worded that way in all printings without any issues. It's very straightforward wording. Just not idiot-proof.


Only thing straightforward is that there are now three assholes in one thread. But that's what makes BGG so special and so much fun! I'm out. See you in a month, or hopefully longer.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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Peepser wrote:

Only thing straightforward is that there are now three assholes in one thread. But that's what makes BGG so special and so much fun! I'm out. See you in a month, or hopefully longer.


I'm sure we're hoping too...
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Alex P
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Someone's a sensitive Sally.
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Paul Grogan
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Peepser wrote:
Here's some more clear English for you, David. Fuck you. Is there ever a day or thread where you aren't responding like a smug asshole?

Are you aware that personal attacks are banned by BGG. I think an admin might be speaking to you soon.

Whether you disagree or not, swearing at people is not permitted on these forums.
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Paul Grogan
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Peepser wrote:
They obviously missed that card.

"They" did not. I am one of them, and as others have said, there is nothing wrong with the english on the card. This is common notation used in a lot of places and a lot of games.

Ok, you didn't get it, that's fine. We're not calling you stupid, but as others have pointed out, what is printed on the card is clear english. Not to you, no. But please do not start telling us that it is not proper english. When it is.

In the meantime, I suggest you unsubscribe from this thread and try and calm down a bit, as your level of hostility is not accepted on BGG.
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Paul Grogan
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Peepser wrote:
Only thing straightforward is that there are now three assholes in one thread. But that's what makes BGG so special and so much fun! I'm out. See you in a month, or hopefully longer.

There are a million assholes on BGG. They are everywhere.

However, asshole or not, most of them dont start shouting and swearing at people to try and get their message across. When you learn to be able to have a reasonable conversation without resorting to shouting and swearing, then come back.
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Ben Kyo
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Hating on and/or is quite a popular position to take. I write (translate into English) patent applications for a living, so when a bunch of judges compete with each other to come up with the most quotable line to castigate users of and/or, we definitely hear about it:
A pompous judge wrote:
that befuddling, nameless thing, that Janus-faced verbal monstrosity, neither word nor phrase, the child of a brain of someone too lazy or too dull to know what he did mean.

That said, Through the Ages faces some significant hurdles to clear when writing an effect like Raiders:
Blue tokens have various denominations, so "blue tokens" can't be used.
Another generic term to cover food and resources would be adding another keyword to the list of things blue tokens can be, so is best avoided.
The English language is terrible at unambiguous inclusive "or" phrases, without borrowing mathematical structures like brackets, which are best avoided.

So you could end up with all kinds of clumsy phrases that attempt to cover all bases (imagine if the number were three or more), or you can go with a concise and/or phrase that can be used consistently and can only be rationally interpreted in one way, which is the correct way that the designers intended.

A reason Peepser received such a negative response to his question is that it looked like he wanted to push an agenda (dislike of "and/or"), but couched it as a question, which appears disingenuous. It is hard to believe that "a total of 2 X and/or Y" could not be correctly parsed by a native English speaker who has access to Google.
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