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Subject: Random bonds, no investor and an uncontrolled nation rss

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Kalle Marjola
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If the game is played with 4 or 5 players with random bonds at the start of the game (basic rules), it is possible that one (or maybe even 2 I guess..) nations start without any initial government.

If the game is played without the investor card, then who has the first possibility to buy bonds of a nation without government after that nations's "turn"?

(we have had this situation once, that time we randomized the starting player when it was the nation's turn)
 
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Er heisst
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There is no situation (at least in the standard setup) where a nation is uncontrolled. If you deal out the starting bonds, one (with five) or two (with four) players will have the 4.000.000 Bond of the uncontrolled nations as their lower bond. According to the rules, those players then get to control those nations.
 
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Kalle Marjola
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Waldemar wrote:
There is no situation (at least in the standard setup) where a nation is uncontrolled. If you deal out the starting bonds, one (with five) or two (with four) players will have the 4.000.000 Bond of the uncontrolled nations as their lower bond. According to the rules, those players then get to control those nations.


Unfortunately you are quite wrong. The rules clearly state that this situation is possible and it happens for example when player #1 has Britain/Russia, #2 has Italy/Britain, #3 has Russia/France and #3 has France/Austria-Hungaria. Thus no one controls Germany.

(as a further investigation it can be clarified that this uncontrolled nation dilemma can only happen with 4 players and then single nation is uncontrolled)
 
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Mik Svellov
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If players deliberately have chosen NOT to issue bonds in some of the coutries, then they cannot later issue bonds in those countries.

Please note that you have been playing the variant for experienced gamers...
 
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Kalle Marjola
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Great Dane wrote:
If players deliberately have chosen NOT to issue bonds in some of the coutries, then they cannot later issue bonds in those countries.

Please note that you have been playing the variant for experienced gamers...


Is my English this bad? I am not talking about any variant for experienced players but basic random distribution of bonds. As explained in the Set-up, page 4, ".. If no bond of this nation has been circulated, the flag remains in the bank for the moment." (this reads just before the 'Variant for experienced players')

And yes, this can happen and it has happened. It is simple, 4 players and no player gets for example the flag with say Germany 9 mil nor Germany 4 mil.

 
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Paul Sauberer
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According to the rules a country with no government has no turn. Therefore, if you are aplying without the investor card, it looks like the only way to get bonds in countries that are unassigned is to have no control over any country. Then you can invest in any country you wish.
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Mark Bigney
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rpr- wrote:

Is my English this bad?


No, it's not.
And I disagree with Paul; even if you are flagless, there is no opportunity to invest in said country. Passing through or landing on the investor space does nothing special, investment-wise, in the variant we are discussing.
I guess the moral of the story is do not use this particular variant when playing with 4 or 5 players.
 
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Kalle Marjola
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I agree with Paul that that is the rule-wise the way to go.
As a player controlling no nation, you are allowed to invest in any nation, thus it would be legal to invest on this nation without government.

However, it is not that satisfying solution for this as it is very possible that it might never happen that a player is without a nation or at least might take many many turns, so if there is no official extra rules or clarifications for this, I would go for some house rules on the subject.

(I like the random bond distribution more than the experienced system. But the preference thing here is irrelevant and the discussion about that can be done in different thread - I would like a bit better solution than 'do not play with this combination' =] )

 
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andreo
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I just checked my Englisch version of the rulebook and there seems to be a printing/layout error concerning the 'variant without the investor card' [vwtic, page 13].

The text for the vwtic is exactly the same as the text for 'variant for experienced players' on page 4.

The following is (my interpretation) from the German rulebook:

Assuming you have a nation without bonds, nobody controls it during that nation's turn. However, after this nation's turn, everybody is allowed to invest (*).

Players without leadership of a nation, may even invest anytime they want.


EDIT:

(*) If for example Italy has no leadership, the first player to buy a bond would be the leader of France ...
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Paul Sauberer
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Gyges wrote:

No, it's not.
And I disagree with Paul; even if you are flagless, there is no opportunity to invest in said country. Passing through or landing on the investor space does nothing special, investment-wise, in the variant we are discussing.


From the rules sheet regarding "Variation Without Investor Card"

Quote:
In addition to this procedure, players not owning governments can invest in any nation they wish, at any time.


So it explicitly states that someone without a government can invest in any nation at the end of each nation's turn.

Since it states on page 5 of the rule book

Quote:
Regardless of the number of players, all six Great Powers (nations) take part in every game.


this would include any nations that do not currently have a government.
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Teemu Salohalme
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I don't see this as a very big problem. Why not treat the country without government the same way as when one player is nationless: any one player can buy the first bond of the government-less country (for example Austria-Hungary as it was in your game if I remember correctly) at the end of the turn of the nation he/she controls, instead of (or in addition) buying the bonds of that already controlled nation. After that the round goes clockwise and the problem is solved for the rest of the game. I wouldn't think this kind of "house-rule" breaks the game too much since the first bond to be bought would most likely be the 4 mil. or at maximum 9. mil one.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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samoan_jo wrote:
I just checked my Englisch version of the rulebook and there seems to be a printing/layout error concerning the 'variant without the investor card' [vwtic, page 13].

The text for the vwtic is exactly the same as the text for 'variant for experienced players' on page 4.

The following is (my interpretation) from the German rulebook:

Assuming you have a nation without bonds, nobody controls it during that nation's turn. However, after this nation's turn, everybody is allowed to invest.

Players without leadership of a nation, may even invest anytime they want.


In my copy there was an errata sheet that included the actual No Investor rules.

Your interpretation of the investor action makes some sense, given what it says on page 6 under "Start of Play"

Quote:
In case a nation has not been granted a bond, it has no government yet. In this case, the move of this nation is skipped.


It says the "move" is skipped and not the "turn" so it is reasonable to say that there would still be a chance for investment. This, however, leads back to the original question the OP had, which is, who gets first crack? In the rules, it explicitly says that the owner has first opportunity, and then it goes clockwise from there. Since there is no owner, we are led back to the point of no one getting to invest. Again, according to the rules, it looks like the only way to invest in an ownerless country is to have no governments.
 
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andreo
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Psauberer wrote:
In the rules, it explicitly says that the owner has first opportunity, and then it goes clockwise from there.


Oh, I assumed that that meant clockwise in country order and not in seating order.
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andreo
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Great Dane wrote:

But you are talking about a variant that doesn't exist - or rather isn't official.


Is he?

Setting up a game for four players, each player is dealt one of the six flag cards. Since each nation is shown on only two of those cards, it is possible that there is a country without leadership.



Great Dane wrote:

You are playing without the Investor card.
According to the rules for this variant without the Investor card can no player invest in a country except when this country is actively selecting the Investment phase.


No, playing without the investor card, each player may invest in a country, after that country has finished its turn.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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Great Dane wrote:

You are playing without the Investor card.
According to the rules for this variant without the Investor card can no player invest in a country except when this country is actively selecting the Investment phase.

The only exception is a player without control of any country.


My offical rules say this

Quote:
Instead of using the investor card, each player can invest in a nation immediately after that nation takes its turn.

For example:

After Italy takes its turn, its owner can invest in Italy. Then all the other players can invest in Italy, starting with the player to the left of teh owner of Italy and going clockwise around the table. After that France takes its turn.


It seems like, if you are allowing investment only after a country chooses the Investor action, that you are playing an unofficial variant, as the official rules clearly states that investment takes place after every turn.

Quote:
Thus, in your game, only players who are not controlling ANY country may issue bonds for the uncontrolled country. Until that happends the uncontrolled country will stay uncontrolled.


That is what the rules seem to say, I will agree.

Quote:
Clearly it would have been better for your group to either play the basic rules or to play the rules for experienced gamers. Not a mix between the two.


The "Variant for experienced players" on page 4, which has the variable bond issuing, is separate and distinct form the "Variant Without Investor Card." There is nothing that requires them to be used together. One can use the basic setup without the Investor card or the Investor card with the advanced setup.

The duplication of the "Variant for experienced players" on page 13 of teh rules is corrected with an errata sheet. The official errata can also be found here

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/133589

and here

http://212.227.153.71/imperial/engl/index.html
 
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Mik Svellov
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Psauberer wrote:
It seems like, if you are allowing investment only after a country chooses the Investor action, that you are playing an unofficial variant, as the official rules clearly states that investment takes place after every turn.


I believe you are right!
I had forgotten that you can issue bonds after any turn.
My apologies to Kalle and everybody else!

But what remains is:
- a nation without control has no turn.
- a player may only invest in a country during its turn
*

*) exception: a player that controls no country may invest in any country at any time.

Which still leaves it pretty silly to play with random distribution of flag cards without using the Investor card. At least with 4 or 5 players.
 
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Mark Bigney
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samoan_jo wrote:

Players without leadership of a nation, may even invest anytime they want.


Ah, yes. I stand corrected. My apologies.
 
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andreo
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Great Dane wrote:

Which still leaves it pretty silly to play with random distribution of flag cards without using the Investor card. At least with 4 or 5 players.


This might even happen with the advanced setup rules, where players decide which bonds they buy. What if no player decides to buy at all? Most unlikely, but still possible.

Great Dane wrote:

But what remains is:
- a nation without control has no turn.
- a player may only invest in a country during its turn
*

*) exception: a player that controls no country may invest in any country at any time.


I don't like the random timing that comes along with the investor card.
However, allowing only players without control to buy bonds of a leaderless country seems somewhat cumbersome, since it is possible that this player might already lose control of this country after its next turn.

How about the following variant (actually, this is how I understood the rules in the first place):

A country without leadership still has its turn, but nothing happens. However, this triggers the bond buying phase.

Which player is allowed to buy the first bond?
--- the leader of the next country
--- the player to the left of the player who bought the last bond
--- the player with the lowest interest sum
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Kalle Marjola
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Off all these great ideas - as obviously there is no official clarfication/errata - I might go to following variant/expansion of rules:

* A nation without bonds can be bought instead of the current nation when bonds are bought (this would apply for all players - if one player buys a bond of uncontrolled nation, others still have a possibility to do that during the same investing)

..as presented earlier. This would mean that a player must forfeit her change to buy a cheap (most profitable) bond for active nation in exchange to buy bond of uncontrolled nation. The possible disadvantage is this that if - for example - Austria-Hungaria is uncontrolled, the government of Italy will start with Investor and then immediately gain control of Austria-Hungary with just 2 or 4 mil, thus gaining some advantage. But on the other hand, when using random bonds with 4 or 5 players, the starting distribution is not even anyway - some get control of 2 nations, some only one.
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Michael Edwards
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Dredging up a 2 year old thread, but just ran into this in my 2nd game.

Reading the thread, it got a little confusing, as it appeared sometimes unclear which version was being discussed - with investor card, or without.

We were playing with the investor card, therefore we were dealing out the starting bonds. Nobody got Russia. It was clear to us that Russia was skipped - and it's marker wasn't moved into any particular space on the rondel - until someone with the investor card (or someone with no country control) took it upon themselves to invest in Russia during an investor action.

I could see with the bidding variant, it would be quite difficult to get a country with no bonds into play (although I assume quite difficult for nobody to invest anything into one). It does seem unclear, under this variant, how it would work.

The letter of the rules would seem to indicate that the investorless country would not have a turn, and therefore no chance for everyone to bid. I would agree with andreo - it would make sense while the country doesn't do anything on it's turn, that it's turn still happens, for the purpose of investing. That seems in the spirit of the game.

Oh hey, looking at the current English rules confirms this. On p13, it says "If in the beginning no bond has been given yet by a nation, bonds can be granted to this nation directly after the previous nations turn. The government of the previous nation is the first to invest." Well, that's clear. D'oh - I should just learn to read rules more closely!

I guess I was mainly wishing to confirm that investorless nations don't take their turn at all, which seems to be the case.
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