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Subject: Another manual not noob friendly rss

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Craig Southworth
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I've bought all the Tiny Epic games thus far and every single one of them has led to us scratching our heads saying "eh?" out of the gate. This game is no exception.

The Tiny Epic manuals are clearly written by someone who is overly familiar with the game and not aimed at the first time player. Quite a few things are taken for granted and it's not until round three do things start to click. I'm not talking strategies clicking, i'm talking basic understanding of what the game is wanting you to do.

Even something as simple as "in a 1 or 2 player game flip the card over to the watermarked side". We must have spent ten minutes trying to figure out what the "watermarked side" was until we guessed it was the one with the meeple icons in the top left corner.

We ended the game after five rounds instead of going for the full six as time was running late and i think we were still getting some of the rules wrong. I'll be reading through again before our next session.

I'm not saying this is a bad game, far from it, we quite enjoyed it once we sussed what was going on. It's just the manual feels like it's been written with prior knowledge of the gameplay mechanics being assumed.

Other than the tiny components part of it (i know that's the whole idea so i'm not going to argue the point on that one) game manuals is the only criticism i have for Tiny Epic games and i will be placing my Tiny Epic Quest order in a couple of weeks.
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Philip Mazzone
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Feel free to post any questions, happy to help. Lots of us here know the game pretty well. Also, if you havent watched it already, Rodney does a really good how to play video for this one that certainly helped me along -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XqhD4CCBis
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Barry Miller
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After being in the hobby for my fair share of years, I totally agree the OP, but more from the POV that his comments apply to most rulebooks (except for those written for basic gateway games). Some rulebooks are worse than others, of course. I don't think the TEW rulebook is all that bad, actually, but my experience in reading rulebooks also has a lot to do with my opinion.

Though I can definitely see where the OP is coming from. I thought the same as he regarding the watermark - that it's an odd term for what's essentially a 1/2 player icon. But thanks to my experience I was able to instantly recognize what the rulebook was talking about and moved on.

Still, despite my experience, there are many rulebooks that have me scratching my head during a first read... and even during a first play. It's always been my opinion that a rulebook should be written clearly enough so that a new player doesn't have to spend an entire game just to help figure out what the rulebook is trying to say.

So what I'm saying to the OP... is that you're not alone! Though while I think that TEW's rulebook isn't that bad, you actually make a larger point that applies to most rulebooks. And from that larger point, the TEW rulebook is not entirely exempt!

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Scott Mohnkern
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bgm1961 wrote:

After being in the hobby for my fair share of years, I totally agree the OP, but more from the POV that his comments apply to most rulebooks (except for those written for basic gateway games). Some rulebooks are worse than others, of course. I don't think the TEW rulebook is all that bad, actually, but my experience in reading rulebooks also has a lot to do with my opinion.

Though I can definitely see where the OP is coming from. I thought the same as he regarding the watermark - that it's an odd term for what's essentially a 1/2 player icon. But thanks to my experience I was able to instantly recognize what the rulebook was talking about and moved on.

Still, despite my experience, there are many rulebooks that have me scratching my head during a first read... and even during a first play. It's always been my opinion that a rulebook should be written clearly enough so that a new player doesn't have to spend an entire game just to help figure out what the rulebook is trying to say.

So what I'm saying to the OP... is that you're not alone! Though while I think that TEW's rulebook isn't that bad, you actually make a larger point that applies to most rulebooks. And from that larger point, the TEW rulebook is not entirely exempt!



I'd agree, that most rulebooks that are coming out lately are pretty hard to dissect. I've actually gone to the approach after I've read a rulebook to sitting down and writing my own version of it. It forces me to dissect the rules and structure them in a meaningful way.
 
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Brian Schlichting
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zaphoduk wrote:
"in a 1 or 2 player game flip the card over to the watermarked side". We must have spent ten minutes trying to figure out what the "watermarked side" was until we guessed it was the one with the meeple icons in the top left corner.


We had the same experience. After studying the game, a few more minutes, it made sense that 1st and 2nd place on the industry influence would be pointless in 2 player - so that is our conclusion.

After looking up watermark online, holding both sides of the cards up to light at different angles, and doing the exhaustive "what is different" view of both sides, we still have no clue what the "watermark" is.
 
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Barry Miller
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PopeBrain wrote:
After looking up watermark online, holding both sides of the cards up to light at different angles, and doing the exhaustive "what is different" view of both sides, we still have no clue what the "watermark" is.

I'm 99% sure that what the rulebook refers to as the "watermark" is really the 1/2 Player icon printed under the space that the Industry Tokens start in.

The icon that shows a meeple and two meeples divided by a slash. Why they call it a "watermark", I don't know. Perhaps because the coloring and shading makes it look like a watermark?

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Jeff Pearce
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I agree - the manual did my head in and even after watching the excellent How To video posted about above (here it is again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XqhD4CCBis_) I was wanting to check the small things and like the OP, I found the watermark name a little weird. The Player Aid is a huge help and very welcome for play, but how setting up a new round for play works is a real head-scratcher. We couldn't figure out what new building cards had to come out, and if they were to be on porch or the buy area.

The manual is written in a language that has the writer intimately famliar with the game and assumes the player is intimately familiar with games. Which is silly considering their popularity and that they are available at retail.

It's not that it's a bad game - but I highly recommend everyone watches the video linked above, and I'm hopeful that if there is indeed a second printing, that the rule book is a little clearer on some of the problems I have with the game.

And that they make that rulebook available for download for those who kickstarted this game.
 
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Timothy Young
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I love the game, but agree that there was more that needed answering in the rulebook.

Lots of questions on this forum about buying buildings - particularly with the leftover building space - does this mean you can only buy one building, but any one, or an extra building? This could completely change the dynamic of the game but isn't immediately clear.

Yet the FAQ inside the box has weird notes, like using a bullet dice to remind you to stand up your third meeple. Something people could easily figure out by themselves.
 
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Barry Miller
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Tim RTC wrote:
Lots of questions on this forum about buying buildings - particularly with the leftover building space - does this mean you can only buy one building, but any one, or an extra building? This could completely change the dynamic of the game but isn't immediately clear.

I don't mean to sound snarky or flip, but I actually thought that this part of the rulebook was pretty clear. Here's why:

The rulebook says (pg 14):
"If a player has a Posse token at the "Leftover" spot [of the Sheriff's Office], the player may buy one of any leftover Building Cards (they can only purchase one even if there are multiple leftover cards) at the end of the round."

(bold is mine)

So considering that this step occurs after the "Buy a Building Card" step, this rule tells us:
- Then (after all have bought buildings normally), whoever has a Posse Token on the "Leftover Buildings" spot gets to buy a leftover building (i.e., a building that wasn't purchased during the previous buy step).
- He gets to choose only one, no matter how many may be leftover.
- This happens at the end of the round (i.e., the last step of the "Buy" phase. Look at the Phase structure on page 6).

So while I agree that the rulebook could be improved here and there, I don't think this is one of the needed fixes, IMHO. And I'm one who usually screams for clarity in rulebooks.

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