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High Frontier (3rd edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Scoring - are towed cubes "on the map"? rss

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Todd Pytel
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I'm full of questions on minutiae tonight. But this one could be relevant to the main game and not just CEO.

When a cube is towed by a rocket, is it considered "on the map" for scoring purposes? I may be missing it, but I can't find a statement about where cubes actually go when they're towed. Are they put on the playmat as cargo, or do they travel alongside the rocket on the map?
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Drake Coker
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Is there a case where you can't just cargo transfer back to the towed freighter to insure a cube is on the map as your last action?

(i.e. I don't know, but does it matter?)
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Rus
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The golden rule is that if two apparently different game states are identical thematically, then they are identical in every other respect as well, including scoring. (I think this is a good principle for all games.)

How you choose to book-keep towing of a freighter does not change the fact that you thematically have a freighter on the board, and that is what gets scored.

In fact, if the HF board was 10x larger, then one might book-keep spacecraft by moving actual card stacks directly on the board instead of pieces. The pieces are just a convenient but purely cosmetic way to represent that.

The concept of towing is also similarly artificial. The general principle is that all cards (from a given player) in the same location on the board are a single stack, and the cards fully define what it is and what it can do. If that stack has a thruster, it can move, regardless of any towing concepts. (The only exception is that if you want to use a freighter thruster, you can only carry freighter cargo)
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Erich Cranor
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rbelikov wrote:

In fact, if the HF board was 10x larger, then one might book-keep spacecraft by moving actual card stacks directly on the board instead of pieces.


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Charlie Mote
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Todd Pytel
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rbelikov wrote:
The golden rule is that if two apparently different game states are identical thematically, then they are identical in every other respect as well, including scoring. (I think this is a good principle for all games.)

I agree, but this suggests a slightly broader wording of the rules passage on scoring. I suggest the last clause of the current wording...

Quote:
Each claim, factory, Bernal, or freighter (including mobile factories) (i.e. each disk, cylinder, or cube of your color on the map)

be changed to "you have in play". It's a minor tweak, for sure... I only bring it up because someone (Andrew, Rus, ?) asked players to keep playing a lot and really polish up the rules. The vast majority of games have rules issues far more pressing than this, but HF's are really solid already.

In general, I think the HF rules err just slightly towards being too focused on physical manipulations instead of concepts. See also, for example, the current discussions about FFT's at outposts. I understand that focusing on the physical components allows for great specificity, but HF is first and foremost a game about representing scientifically plausible reality, not just an abstract system of moving counters around.
 
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Dom Rougier
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tppytel wrote:
I suggest the last clause of the current wording
be changed to "you have in play"


Yeah, think that's sensible.

tppytel wrote:
In general, I think the HF rules err just slightly towards being too focused on physical manipulations instead of concepts.


This is a dilemma at the heart of a lot of Phil's games. There have been many questions as to why you don't just refer to the pieces in BIOS:Genesis as "cubes and discs" rather than "catalysts, enzymes, vitamins, chromosomes, manna, etc.), and there are good arguments in both directions. I'll generally do both when teaching the game.

The problems with too much fluff are obvious, I think - the games are tough enough as it is, without having to learn a whole new language to do so.

The arguments for more fluff are also pretty clear - the terms that exist, exist for a reason, and they're generally the most accurate or precise way to refer to the topic, quite aside from the additional flavour or educational value they provide.

So... it's a trade-off. You may well be right, and the rules might have shifted a little too far in the other direction. HF 3rd does have fewer asides and footnotes than the previous editions, and I think something has been lost there.
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