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Subject: Anyone interested in doing an updated player mat for the new edition of Ra? rss

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Stephen Aslett

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I myself have no graphic design or photoshop skills but would happily pay geek gold to whomever uploads a player mat containing the new tile artwork. The scoring aid in the new edition is nice but a player mat would be even better.
 
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Mark Johnson
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Having a player mat to place your tiles and showing how those tiles score, turned Ra from a confusing game to a nice gateway game for casual gamers in my experience. Hopefully someone will for the new generation of Ra players.
 
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Michael Boggs
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Someone will... and even more likely if the original can be found as a psd file with layers for the stuff.

*maybe a future file addition (so that its easier for people to take the 'playmat' or whatever & retheme*
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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There's a reason Ra doesn't have a player may. And why the new ruleset explicitly says that you must lay out your tiles so others can immediately see what you've got. All the mats I've seen encourage vertical stacking. Which is actually now not legal. Come up with one that leaves what you've got and how many instantly visible and perhaps. But of the styles I've seen? Just say no.
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Michael Boggs
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I personally really like zuzusdad's mat.
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Chris Cormier
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beanieboy007 wrote:
I personally really like zuzusdad's mat.


Thanks!

I AM planning on updating the mat with the new artwork. Just haven't had the time yet.
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Michael Boggs
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hehe... I had just imported the PDF of yours into GIMP.

I'll let the master do his thing.
 
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Randall Bart
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Dearlove wrote:
There's a reason Ra doesn't have a player may. And why the new ruleset explicitly says that you must lay out your tiles so others can immediately see what you've got. All the mats I've seen encourage vertical stacking. Which is actually now not legal. Come up with one that leaves what you've got and how many instantly visible and perhaps. But of the styles I've seen? Just say no.


If you want to play with secret tiles, we can keep them all face down. I would rather not--it's a better game if i can see your tiles--but if you want to play with secret tiles, I will play that way.

But if you want to play with public information (the way Ra is intended) then the easiest way to tell what you have is to lay them on a mat. If you refuse to use a mat, we will play with tiles face down. Any claim that keeping your tiles organized on a mat makes it harder to tell what soemone has is just nonsense.
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Christopher Dearlove
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Barticus88 wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
There's a reason Ra doesn't have a player may. And why the new ruleset explicitly says that you must lay out your tiles so others can immediately see what you've got. All the mats I've seen encourage vertical stacking. Which is actually now not legal. Come up with one that leaves what you've got and how many instantly visible and perhaps. But of the styles I've seen? Just say no.


If you want to play with secret tiles, we can keep them all face down. I would rather not--it's a better game if i can see your tiles--but if you want to play with secret tiles, I will play that way.

But if you want to play with public information (the way Ra is intended) then the easiest way to tell what you have is to lay them on a mat. If you refuse to use a mat, we will play with tiles face down. Any claim that keeping your tiles organized on a mat makes it harder to tell what soemone has is just nonsense.


No one is proposing secret tiles, where on earth did you get that idea from? As I noted, the new rules even spell this out.

But mats encourage vertical stacking of tiles. Which means you can't see how many tiles at a glance. Which is not acceptable. Tiles need to be spread out. Creating a mat that does that is not obvious, and I haven't see one.
 
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Stephen Aslett

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Having now played a few games of the new edition of Ra, my core group does fine without player mats. We all picked up the scoring pretty quickly. No player mats tends to naturally cause people not to stack their tiles, the only minor annoyance being that everyone orders them in different ways so you can't scan as quickly to see what everyone has. Still, it's not a big deal--no one strictly needs a mat to play and it's fine without it as long as you don't have players that stack everything.

That said, I know there are folks out there--others in our extended group--who would love a good player mat. When we played with the printed out old mats, the stacking was only a problem with the pharaoh tiles and the Nile/flood tiles. We found the gods, civ tiles, gold, and monuments easy to tally on the mats since their stacks didn't grow as large. We also greatly appreciated the starting sun tile reminders; it saved time having to pull out the rule book for every game at a new player count.

If I were to redesign the mat with the new artwork, I'd do the following:

7 tiles per row: it's a tight fit but doable on 8.5x11

First row: five civilization tiles, one tile for gold (few tiles, easy to see stacked), one tile for gods (again, few of these, easy to count stacked). These are thrown into the bag after every epoch so they should be on top.
Second row: 1 flood tile and 6 Nile tiles left to right (floods can be stacked; players don't seem to get more than 3 a round at most). Floods are recycled every epoch so these should also be close to top.
Third row: 7 pharaoh tiles
Fourth row: 7 monument tiles unique to building
Fifth row: 1 monument tile unique to building, remaining space on this row used for starting sun tiles by # of players.

I'm sure some would find this too tight, but having a player mat bigger than 8.5x11 is just too unwieldy. This at least ensures that tiles that tend to make big stacks stay spread out and those that tend to stack a little can take up less space since they are easily counted in stacks anyway. It also makes mat easier to wipe per epoch since everything wipeable is in the first two rows.


 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Not as bad as some, but I don't want monuments stacked either, as you collect those in sets, so seeing the exact number of e.g. pyramids at a glance is also required.

As you start by noting, just not having mats is easier.

(There is a concept of not mats, but strips, horizontal or vertical, and you then lay out tiles from the strip outwards, not overlapped or partially overlapped. But such a strip is long to include all options, most of which are empty. If order matter to you, without mats, just ask people to lay out in the score order - cribs in latest version. But I can glance over a display and spot what I'm looking for, as long as not stacked.)
 
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Randall Bart
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Dearlove wrote:
No one is proposing secret tiles, where on earth did you get that idea from?

You want to frustrate this easy way to identify opponents tiles.

Quote:
But mats encourage vertical stacking of tiles.

As required by the original rules. You are supposed to stagger the stacks to make them easy to count. The only stack where this is a big issue is rivers.
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Gary Kagan
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I like Stephen Asletts layout idea - I just made one. Will upload today!
 
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Gary Kagan
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saslett wrote:
I myself have no graphic design or photoshop skills but would happily pay geek gold to whomever uploads a player mat containing the new tile artwork. The scoring aid in the new edition is nice but a player mat would be even better.


A new version has been uploaded - awaiting admin to approve. I'll take that geek gold
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Barticus88 wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
No one is proposing secret tiles, where on earth did you get that idea from?

You want to frustrate this easy way to identify opponents tiles.

Quote:
But mats encourage vertical stacking of tiles.

As required by the original rules. You are supposed to stagger the stacks to make them easy to count. The only stack where this is a big issue is rivers.


First, I don't have the original rules to hand, but I do not believe they ever mandated vertical stacking. Second, my principal concern is the current rules.

But most of all to your point that it only matters for rivers, nonsense. Rivers aren't even where it's most important. I need to know exactly how many pharaohs everyone has in order to assess the value of a lot. I need to know about exactly which civilisations they have. I need to know their exact monument pattern.

If you don't need to know all those things, you're going to be beaten more often than not by someone who uses that information. And needs the tiles layer out to be counted at a glance. As mandated (not suggested) in the current rules.
 
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Randall Bart
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Dearlove wrote:
I need to know exactly how many pharaohs everyone has in order to assess the value of a lot. I need to know about exactly which civilisations they have. I need to knowctheircexact monument pattern.

And that's why the rules tell you to stagger your stacks so they are easy to count. Just follow the rules: Stack them!
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Barticus88 wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
I need to know exactly how many pharaohs everyone has in order to assess the value of a lot. I need to know about exactly which civilisations they have. I need to know their exact monument pattern.

And that's why the rules tell you to stagger your stacks so they are easy to count. Just follow the rules: Stack them!


Unless qualified (as you did) when people say stack, they rarely mean staggered. And - open to having one pointed out - the mats I've seen encourage non-staggered stacking.

(And of course I'm well aware of what the rules say. See the credits.)

 
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Christopher Dearlove
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
Its clearly stated in the rules that if you want to assess the value of a lot and need to know the number of tiles other players have you ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT simply ask the other players whose stacks might be of similar size to yours but cant be exactly identified.

Games are very serious business, socializing should NOT be encouraged, and the fact that a large number of people enjoy, appreciate and like to use player mats should not get in the way of this.


Really this post calls for bringing back the thumbs down feature. It's exactly because I want to enjoy the game I don't want to keep asking, I just want to see for myself, and the game can flow.
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