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Subject: Rules forums approaching a singularity rss

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David B
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I don't think I have ever seen a game rack up such a high number of rules threads in such a short period of time as this one. It seems to be worse than the infamous Mythe. Every time I go to BGG and browse the games forums, there seems to be at least 2 new rules question threads posted for this game. And the number of rules threads for a game seems to be becoming inversely proportional to my desire to try the game.
 
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Marty Strubczewski
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People refuse to read the rules so any question they have they post on here for a quick answer. They are lazy.

The rules are very well written and clear. Jamey has gotten to the point of taking image shots of the rules and posting them.

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James Mathias
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I was having a similar feeling before I got my copy. Apprehensively I read the rules, and was pleasantly surprised to learn they were well written and very clear.

I can't figure out why there are so many rule questions in the forums, people misreading or inferring maybe?
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Greg
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Well part of it is that so many people received the game around the same time, so that is part of the volume I suppose.

But I really don't know why there are so many questions, as the rulebook is well done and it really isn't a complicated game at all. Lots of choices during the game, but really not difficult to grasp.

A lot of the questions are answered with rules references, so it's often a matter of people not reading the rules well enough, or wanting to put their own interpretation on something perhaps based on other games they have played.
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mfl134
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The only thing I would have changed about the rules, was to slightly alter the example for scoring buildings. I would have put one of the buildings on a space with a mine to draw attention to the fact that being on the same tile doesn't mean adjacent.

But the rules are correct and it would just be for rules reinforcement
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Chris Edwards
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There are a few details in the rules that are easy to get wrong, and getting them clarified was helpful. However, it's not like some games, that have a lot of gaps, situations that miss being covered in the rules

In this case, a lot of the threads over there have redundant questions or, like James said, make inferences about potential rules that don't actually apply. Some of the people asking questions seem to be expecting the kind of rules with a lot of gaps, and go looking for them where they don't exist.
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Mark Jackson
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Like others have said, this game has very well written rules. I would guess that the sheer quantity of copies delivered is leading to a glut of rules questions from people who can't be bothered to read the rules...

Scythe shipped like 12,000+ copies right? And there are 153 threads in the rules forum. That's 1.28%, or lower if there are more copies than the 12k I estimated there. Compare that so, say, Defenders of the Last Stand (another recently shipped Kickstarter game that I have noticed having a lot rules questions) which shipped about 900 Kickstarter copies and currently has 66 rules threads (13.7%).
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Many of the "rules" questions shouldn't be under the Rules section of the forum, they should be in a section I have created in my head called "Wishful Thinking".

They go sort of like this:

"My friend was playing faction X and the rules say he can do Y every combat, can he really do Y every combat?"

or sometimes:

"The rules say I can only put an X where there is a Y. I have a space without a Y, but thematically I think I should be able to put an X there. Can I?"

and finally:

"The rules say I must use an X to do Y. Can I use a Z to do Y?"

Most of the rest of the questions are specifically referenced, and clearly I might add, in the rules. The OPs comparison to Myth is unfounded, the rules for Myth were a confusing and unfinished mess that needed not just a rewrite but a reprinting of all the cards too. Scythe has clear and precise rules that are easy to follow, and easy to discern if you just reference the rules themselves.
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trevor

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^^^^^

I agree with others (esp Reverend Uncle Bastard) , as I've already posted, there seem to be an absurd number of people asking rules questions about this game to rules that are very clearly explained in the rulebook.

There are now even threads where in the opening post they state " I know x is written in the rules, but is it really x?"


Multiple posts, "I know it very specifically says Rusviet can use their special ability on the factory card, but can they use their special ability on the factory card?"
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bort
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pfctsqr wrote:
And the number of rules threads for a game seems to be becoming inversely proportional to my desire to try the game.


You should probably stop reading the rules forum then
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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reverendunclebastard wrote:

"My friend was playing faction X and the rules say he can do Y every combat, can he really do Y every combat?"


bigGameGeek wrote:

There are now even threads where in the opening post they state " I know x is written in the rules, but is it really x?"


Speaking of singularity, that is the most specific case of ninjaing I have ever seen! Great minds think alike
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Shawn George
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A pretty sizeable portion of the questions apply to the Automa rules, which are separate from the main game rules. I haven't personally read those rules, so I can't vouch for how many of those questions are justified, but I've only encountered one or two legitimate questions for the main Scythe game here. Everything else is covered clearly in the rulebook.

Keep in mind that some of these questions don't necessarily come from owners of the game. They might have been taught the game by somebody else that didn't read or explain the rules well, and don't have a copy of the rulebook themselves. The rulebook is available on Stonemaier's website, but it's a little hard to find as it's lumped in with the P&P files.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Putts wrote:
A pretty sizeable portion of the questions apply to the Automa rules, which are separate from the main game rules. I haven't personally read those rules, so I can't vouch for how many of those questions are justified, but I've only encountered one or two legitimate questions for the main Scythe game here.


The Automa rules are clear and well structured, but it does have a significant learning curve. This definitely leads to people asking questions, but they are mostly just trying to confirm that they are doing it right.
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Rob Tarr
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If I may paraphrase myself...

Please consider a different perspective.

For my daily job, I edit curriculum written by my employees (and write some myself). We also field customer service requests once product hits the real world. I know what it's like to put a document in front of new eyes and see all the ways it gets interpreted differently.

You would be astounded at the number of times I miss something right there in front of me. And hell, I'm reading some of these items VERY CRITICALLY (or at least, I'm SUPPOSED TO). I'll ask the writer "Where is this mentioned?" and they look at me like I'm a moron. It was right there, two pages ago.

And customers call in and say "This quiz question isn't addressed in the curriculum", and we can reply to them with the page, paragraph, and line where it's there, word-for-word.

It's not for a lack of reading comprehension. It's just that everyone misses things. We're human, after all... And likewise, we all recognize that there might be mistakes in a document, even one as thoroughly tested as this rulebook. So when someone asks, "it says the player can X, can they REALLY X??" It's not wishful thinking, it's making sure that it's not a mistake, because it hits them funny.

There's no perfect document, and there's no perfect reader. So this will always happen.

Rather than get frustrated with the rules questions, assuming people "refuse to read the rules", or "are lazy", or "can't be bothered", why not just accept (or even be amazed) that everyone sees things a little differently, so these mistakes are bound to happen?
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Klaus Kristiansen
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Ah_Pook wrote:
Like others have said, this game has very well written rules. I would guess that the sheer quantity of copies delivered is leading to a glut of rules questions from people who can't be bothered to read the rules...

Scythe shipped like 12,000+ copies right? And there are 153 threads in the rules forum. That's 1.28%, or lower if there are more copies than the 12k I estimated there. Compare that so, say, Defenders of the Last Stand (another recently shipped Kickstarter game that I have noticed having a lot rules questions) which shipped about 900 Kickstarter copies and currently has 66 rules threads (13.7%).


Note, however, that not all have been delivered. On the other hand, the rules are availeble for download.
 
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Ryan Lopez
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Ah_Pook wrote:

Scythe shipped like 12,000+ copies right? And there are 153 threads in the rules forum. That's 1.28%, or lower if there are more copies than the 12k I estimated there. Compare that so, say, Defenders of the Last Stand (another recently shipped Kickstarter game that I have noticed having a lot rules questions) which shipped about 900 Kickstarter copies and currently has 66 rules threads (13.7%).


There were 17,739 backers for the Kickstarter, many of whom backed multiple copies to either sell or gift away. Add to that retail copies, and I would imagine a minimum of 25-30k copies went out, making Mark's point even stronger.

Otherwise, I agree with everyone else here: the rules are great. I downloaded the PDF after backing and immediately became overwhelmed at the 30-page monster and never read it, but the paper book was smooth reading, clear, and well-written. I've only played one and plan to review the rules before my next play, just to clarify things, and I think it will be fine then.
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Philip Mazzone
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Prior to getting the game, I thought Rodney's how-to video did an amazing job at explaining it. If you watch it, and do a quick follow up with the rulebook in hand, you should be more than ready to play. If not....well than thats on you. Everything is really clear and its not to often we get a well laid out rulebook like we did here tbh
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David desJardins
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pfctsqr wrote:
I don't think I have ever seen a game rack up such a high number of rules threads in such a short period of time as this one.


It's just proportional to the number of copies. For any game, 1% of people who get the game are going to post obvious rules questions. So if that's 1% of a very large number then you get a very large number of threads.
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Barry Miller
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And let's not ignore the "human nature" element of this... that people simply want to be part of whatever's popular at the time. Huge buzz = desire to participate... Even if it means coming up with a question to ask.

Hmmm... I guess that's what I'm doing right now by posting this ultimately meaningless reply!



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Aaron Silverman
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This game is a perfect storm of all these reasons. 99% of the rules threads are clearly answered in the rulebook. I started another thread about this last week, but it got locked so that's all I'm sayin' about the topic.
 
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Ben Rubinstein

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tarrkid wrote:
If I may paraphrase myself...

Please consider a different perspective.

For my daily job, I edit curriculum written by my employees (and write some myself). We also field customer service requests once product hits the real world. I know what it's like to put a document in front of new eyes and see all the ways it gets interpreted differently.

You would be astounded at the number of times I miss something right there in front of me. And hell, I'm reading some of these items VERY CRITICALLY (or at least, I'm SUPPOSED TO). I'll ask the writer "Where is this mentioned?" and they look at me like I'm a moron. It was right there, two pages ago.

And customers call in and say "This quiz question isn't addressed in the curriculum", and we can reply to them with the page, paragraph, and line where it's there, word-for-word.

It's not for a lack of reading comprehension. It's just that everyone misses things. We're human, after all... And likewise, we all recognize that there might be mistakes in a document, even one as thoroughly tested as this rulebook. So when someone asks, "it says the player can X, can they REALLY X??" It's not wishful thinking, it's making sure that it's not a mistake, because it hits them funny.

There's no perfect document, and there's no perfect reader. So this will always happen.

Rather than get frustrated with the rules questions, assuming people "refuse to read the rules", or "are lazy", or "can't be bothered", why not just accept (or even be amazed) that everyone sees things a little differently, so these mistakes are bound to happen?


Ehh, I get what you're saying, but in this context, this gets very close to a false equivalency on a huge scale. Yes, no rules are written perfectly for everyone. But some rules are written LIGHTYEARS better than others. I don't think that's something to minimize.

And these rules are written extremely well. I didn't even realize there was a player aid my first time playing because I never had a rules question.
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David Taranto
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The primary difference here is that this game will likely not have to make a v2 of its rulebook or post a massive FAQ as some others have. The tone of the conversation here has been entirely different.
 
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Rob Tarr
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epilepticemu wrote:
But some rules are written LIGHTYEARS better than others. I don't think that's something to minimize.

And these rules are written extremely well. I didn't even realize there was a player aid my first time playing because I never had a rules question.


I agree 100% (even the bit about the player aid on my first game, coincidentally).

Just looking for a little charity out there, I guess.
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Kevin Garnica
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I agree that people are "lazy", but also keep in mind that I'm sure players are so excited about playing it and ARE playing it often enough that they genuinely want to make sure they're playing it correctly for maximum enjoyment.

In a weird sort of way, maybe all the rules is an indication that people are playing the game.
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Shawn George
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the_windcaster wrote:
The primary difference here is that this game will likely not have to make a v2 of its rulebook or post a massive FAQ as some others have. The tone of the conversation here has been entirely different.


Good point. I've seen plenty of other games where many rules threads end up as an endless debate as to the designer's intention, with no real consensus. Pretty much every rules thread for Scythe has been immediately answered with an indisputable citation from the rulebook.
 
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