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Subject: diagonal path rss

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King of the Wood
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Hi
when tracing a path can it run diagonally?
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Nate Dorward
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Nope.
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Greg Darcy
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What Nate said.
But with a few more details.
The rules state the paths must run "orthogonally". That means at right angles to each other. So edges of the cards must touch to form a path. Not corners. Of course there is nothing to stop you having a house rule.
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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GregDarcy wrote:
What Nate said.
But with a few more details.
The rules state the paths must run "orthogonally". That means at right angles to each other. So edges of the cards must touch to form a path. Not corners. Of course there is nothing to stop you having a house rule.


Where is this in the rules? I've read it several times but I just don't see it. I've got the English rules marked 2014 (I think 2nd printing).

My rules say the cards must be PLACED orthogonally, but "card placement" is different from "path scoring" in this game.
A path is simply defined as "a sequence of cards of increasing value, where the first and last cards are of the same color." That seems like it could allow for a diagonal path.

Did I miss something in the rules?
Is there an official designer clarification?
 
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Yours Truly,
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ponsonbybritt wrote:
While perhaps not Verbatim specified, the examples shown in the rulebook demonstrate an orthogonal path.


Yes, they show examples of 3 paths. But they don't imply those are the ONLY 3 types of paths allowed. For example, they don't show a path of length 6, but that doesn't imply that paths of length 6 aren't allowed.

I'd be more convinced if in that scoring example, for one of the 3 colors they had a scenario where a diagonal path would have scored the color more points than the orthogonal path that they chose. Which would imply that diagonals are indeed not allowed, otherwise they would have shown that larger score. But I don't think I see a potentially higher scoring diagonal path for any of those 3 colors, right?

Or, even easier, I'd be more convinced if the rules had stated somewhere explicitly that "diagonal paths are not allowed" cool

Hopefully the designer can clarify (or has already somewhere?).
 
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Tomello Visello
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
GregDarcy wrote:
What Nate said.
But with a few more details.
The rules state the paths must run "orthogonally". That means at right angles to each other. So edges of the cards must touch to form a path. Not corners. Of course there is nothing to stop you having a house rule.


Where is this in the rules? I've read it several times but I just don't see it. I've got the English rules marked 2014 (I think 2nd printing).

My rules say the cards must be PLACED orthogonally, but "card placement" is different from "path scoring" in this game.
A path is simply defined as "a sequence of cards of increasing value, where the first and last cards are of the same color." That seems like it could allow for a diagonal path.

Did I miss something in the rules?
Is there an official designer clarification?

there is a useful principle to keep in mind for all rules interpretation,

What is not stated in the rules is just as important as what is.


 
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Tomello Visello
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GregDarcy wrote:
The rules state the paths must run "orthogonally". That means at right angles to each other. So edges of the cards must touch to form a path. Not corners. Of course there is nothing to stop you having a house rule.

Actual rules quote

On your first turn, place a card from your hand face up in front of you. This is the start of your arboretum. In following turns, cards must be placed adjacent (horizontally or vertically) to previously placed cards.

 
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Gillum the Stoor
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TVis wrote:
On your first turn, place a card from your hand face up in front of you. This is the start of your arboretum. In following turns, cards must be placed adjacent (horizontally or vertically) to previously placed cards.

This is what JohnnyDollar (who reopened this thread) meant when he wrote, "My rules say the cards must be PLACED orthogonally."

I went back to the rules, looking to see how paths are defined. If they were defined as a series of mutually adjacent cards, one could leverage the implicit definition of adjacent: "horizontally or vertically."

Unfortunately, the rule quoted above for card placement is the only occurrence of the word "adjacent" in the rules, and that word is not used to defined paths.

The rules define a path to be "a sequence of cards."

This would have been clearer as "a sequence of pairwise adjacent cards" or something like that.

Without such a statement, it remains the case that either there are some constraints on consecutive cards in a path or there are not.

I don't think that anyone would argue that one can define a path by picking cards arbitrarily from an arboretum (e.g., first one from the far left, then one from the far right, etc.).

If there is to be some constraint on consecutive cards in a path, the only appropriate concept mentioned in the rules is adjacency (which is the same term used to define a path in a graph in mathematics).

Since the rules define adjacency as orthogonal (albeit only in the context of placement), I believe that the most natural interpretation of a "path" in this game is as a sequence of orthogonally adjacent cards.

Such an interpretation is also consistent with the given examples. I think that, if the designer had intended to define paths using a concept other than adjacency (as defined in these rules), the rules would have included an example to illustrate that.

(That said, it would not have hurt for the rules to be more explicit.)
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Yours Truly,
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Thanks for the thoughts.

Yeah my point was that placing cards and tracing paths are two functionally discrete actions that are defined in different places and in different ways in the rules.

"Play a card" is on p.4 (that's where they mention "horizontal"/"vertical" and "adjacent".

"Tracing a path" is on p. 5 (just "sequence" is mentioned; none of the above 3 terms).

While I agree that an Occam's Razor interpretation would be that paths should be orthogonal, I also think a "rules lawyer" could argue for diagonal paths, as written.

Obviously it's impossible to get inside the designer's head, the easiest would be for him to chime in. But, I could see him intentionally making the design have an assymetric aspect where cards must be placed orthogonally, but paths are allowed to be diagonal. That would be a legitimate and kind of interesting design feature.

Personally I prefer orthogonal (at least now while I'm learning the game), because it's less brain-burny
And obviously we can house-rule it any we want.

But, I always prefer to at least initially learn a game using the rules the designer envisioned, playtested with and balanced for, so that's why I'm curious on whether there's been clarification from him - looks like not, so far!
 
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Dan Cassar
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I went back and re-read the official rules and I was surprised to see that while they explicitly state that cards must be placed orthogonally, it does not specify anywhere that paths must proceed orthogonally.

But that was always my intent; paths may not run diagonally.

I went back to my original rules and I had written it this way:

A path is any numerically ascending series of adjacent cards in a player's Arboretum that begins and ends on cards that are of the color being scored.

This isn't much better, but it does use the term adjacent, and adjacency is defined in the placement rules as being orthogonal.

Anyway, I hope that helps, and thanks for the question!
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Gillum the Stoor
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Thanks for answering - and thanks for the great game!
 
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