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Subject: Following and Timing+ rss

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Tim Brussich
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Hello all,

I just picked up the 2nd edition and I have yet to play but I already noticed something that leaves me curious. These questions concern following and how timing works. I saw the FAQ on the inside of the box but I would still appreciate some further clarification if you happen to know.

Following another player
The rulebook description seems a bit chaotic. I know the FAQ says timing disputes should be resolved clockwise. I also realize the active player always goes before any followers so these cases can only occur if there are 3 or more players.

It seems that you would want to know how many of the other players are following before you decide to follow in some cases, i.e. Colonizing planets - when more than 1 player is only 1 away, Utilize a Colony - for several of the planets, etc..

For instance the first case, lets say the active player selects Advance Colonization and 2 other players are tied 1 box away before taking control. Which of the 2 gets to go first matters as they will get control. Does the 2nd player still have to pay a culture for following? What if the 2nd player has no other planets he can advance, does he still have to pay? Tangentially related to this, what if one player doesn't announce he/she is going to follow until seeing what the other players decision is? It can get kind of screwey.

As I said, I can come up with several other similar conflicts for the Utilize a Colony action.

Has Gamelyn addressed any of this? If not, how have you handled it when/if it has happened?

Thanks
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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If I understand your question correctly, we do not pre-announce the intention to follow. I place my active die and do my action. Then I just ask, starting with the next player to my left, if they want to follow. After that player announces what he intends on doing, I ask the next player to his left and so on. Obviously, this only applies to players who still have any Culture to spend. If no one has any - or just one other player does - it goes a lot faster.

Herm
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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Elric132 wrote:
It seems that you would want to know how many of the other players are following before you decide to follow in some cases, i.e. Colonizing planets - when more than 1 player is only 1 away, Utilize a Colony - for several of the planets, etc..

...

Has Gamelyn addressed any of this? If not, how have you handled it when/if it has happened?

No, because the idea that a player would say something like "I need to know your future actions before I can decide on mine" did not cross their mind. Because that is not how strategy games work: You act on your turn to what happened before, and what you think will happen in the future. You do not demand to know what other players will be doing later.
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Tim Brussich
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JadedGamer wrote:
Elric132 wrote:
It seems that you would want to know how many of the other players are following before you decide to follow in some cases, i.e. Colonizing planets - when more than 1 player is only 1 away, Utilize a Colony - for several of the planets, etc..

...

Has Gamelyn addressed any of this? If not, how have you handled it when/if it has happened?

No, because the idea that a player would say something like "I need to know your future actions before I can decide on mine" did not cross their mind. Because that is not how strategy games work: You act on your turn to what happened before, and what you think will happen in the future. You do not demand to know what other players will be doing later.


Do I really need to spell out every detail?

Your naivety and mind reading ability aside, I play with different random groups of people all the time. I don't have control over them beyond what the rules specify.

There is no need to "demand" anything. Somebody could just quietly wait an extra second or two to hear what other people say they are going to do before they announce their intentions.
 
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Tim Brussich
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HORST324 wrote:
If I understand your question correctly, we do not pre-announce the intention to follow. I place my active die and do my action. Then I just ask, starting with the next player to my left, if they want to follow. After that player announces what he intends on doing, I ask the next player to his left and so on. Obviously, this only applies to players who still have any Culture to spend. If no one has any - or just one other player does - it goes a lot faster.

Herm


I agree Herm this would work if the rules specified you always act in clockwise order. Unfortunately, they only say to resort to this if timing issues occur. Personally, I am thinking of proposing this as a house rule for groups I play with. Still I can imagine some of these people insisting it isn't necessary, or it isn't required so they don't want to do it.
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David Molina
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If there isn't a timing issue, then there isn't an issue. Seems like you are trying to make an issue where there isn't one. If it matters what order someone goes in as to what you are going to do, then thats a timing issue to me. With that...you go in clockwise order.
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Tim Jesurun
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I get what you're asking, but I think making the intention to follow non-binding solves your concern. I might say I intend to follow, then someone ahead of me in turn order says they wish to follow, and we can see the order matters, so he spends his culture and goes first, now there is no point in my following, I don't and I don't spend the culture. Does that solve your concern, or is there a detail I overlooked?
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Tim Brussich
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KingJackalope wrote:
If there isn't a timing issue, then there isn't an issue. Seems like you are trying to make an issue where there isn't one. If it matters what order someone goes in as to what you are going to do, then thats a timing issue to me. With that...you go in clockwise order.


I'm sorry you don't see the issue. Let me try to elaborate and see if this helps.

I'm hoping you agree that there are cases where going in a fixed order (clockwise) is clearly needed and most players realize it. But, you are directed to use this rule only when needed.

But it is not always clear that going in order matters. It may become important only if a particular player (or players) follow and makes specific choices for the necessity of clockwise turn order to become apparent. In addition, explaining exactly why it matters may give away a players intentions/strategies that other players were previously ignorant of.

So what if 2 potentially following players out of 5 don't see the need, and 2 do. How do you handle it? Do you spend several minutes adjudicating whether to go clockwise or not? What if one side wins this little debate and it turns out they are wrong? Do you just live with the results, do you try to backup and redo the situation?

Another possibility, 5 players, only 1 thinks order matters, the other players don't see the issue and being the majority decline to go in order. After a few players follow in some random order it becomes apparent the lone player was correct. Now what do you do?

If you read all the comments, I suggested going in clockwise order ALL of the time would prevent at least most (maybe even all) of these issues from occurring. I wrote that I would suggest it as a house rule in all games I played.
 
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Tim Brussich
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Horatio252 wrote:
I get what you're asking, but I think making the intention to follow non-binding solves your concern. I might say I intend to follow, then someone ahead of me in turn order says they wish to follow, and we can see the order matters, so he spends his culture and goes first, now there is no point in my following, I don't and I don't spend the culture. Does that solve your concern, or is there a detail I overlooked?


The issues I see are subtle and may not be readily apparent at first glance

I tried to elaborate on some of the potential situations for another person (KingJackalope) who responded and I ask you to quickly read it over. It may help clarify why I brought this topic up and why I believe the best solution may be to always use clockwise order for deciding whether to follow or not.

If my concerns are still not clear (or unfounded) I am willing to try and further elaborate or listen to a counter argument as appropriate.
 
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David Molina
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Play with people less anal?

Seriously though if the order is necessary to 1, then there you go. It's necessary. If they don't speak up before someone else follows, then too bad. You can't let someone else go THEN decide you wanted to go first and possibly make their movement void. I'm assuming your players are not mute and if they are they have some way to communicate still, they need to use it.
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Tim Brussich
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KingJackalope wrote:
Play with people less anal?

Seriously though if the order is necessary to 1, then there you go. It's necessary. If they don't speak up before someone else follows, then too bad. You can't let someone else go THEN decide you wanted to go first and possibly make their movement void. I'm assuming your players are not mute and if they are they have some way to communicate still, they need to use it.


Look, I really don't want you to take this personally but I'm not sure I can come up with a kinder way to say the following..

Both your initial reply and your follow up don't actually address the issues I am describing. I'm not sure if you don't fully understand or you just don't want to.

Either way, you aren't helping resolve my questions. I appreciate the effort but maybe it would be best to just leave it alone and wait and see if someone comes up with a better solution than the one I suggested (always use clockwise order when following).
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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Elric132 wrote:
Look, I really don't want you to take this personally


... and they you make a "pat on the head" style response?

Your problem is that you appear to be new to games and want people to answer in a way that supports your strange need to play with revealed strategies instead of doing it as the rulebook suggests. "Has Gamelyn addressed any of this?" Yes, but you somehow want to play armchair game designer.

Or maybe you could stick to pure co-ops where those nasty other players cannot surprise you with their gameplay? Anyway, it is pointless to engage in further "debate" since you are just after confirmation, and respond with whining when challenged.
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Tim Brussich
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JadedGamer wrote:
Elric132 wrote:
Look, I really don't want you to take this personally


... and they you make a "pat on the head" style response?

Your problem is that you appear to be new to games and want people to answer in a way that supports your strange need to play with revealed strategies instead of doing it as the rulebook suggests. "Has Gamelyn addressed any of this?" Yes, but you somehow want to play armchair game designer.

Or maybe you could stick to pure co-ops where those nasty other players cannot surprise you with their gameplay? Anyway, it is pointless to engage in further "debate" since you are just after confirmation, and respond with whining when challenged.


I have tried to stay civil despite your crude language and infantile responses. Not once did you put forward a coherent counter argument. But you did finally get one thing (and only one thing) right, I did use a "pat on the head" style response in the end. It is an appropriate approach when dealing with small children or those who behave like one.

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Byron S
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Elric132 wrote:
I'm hoping you agree that there are cases where going in a fixed order (clockwise) is clearly needed and most players realize it. But, you are directed to use this rule only when needed.

But it is not always clear that going in order matters. It may become important only if a particular player (or players) follow and makes specific choices for the necessity of clockwise turn order to become apparent. In addition, explaining exactly why it matters may give away a players intentions/strategies that other players were previously ignorant of.

So what if 2 potentially following players out of 5 don't see the need, and 2 do. How do you handle it? Do you spend several minutes adjudicating whether to go clockwise or not? What if one side wins this little debate and it turns out they are wrong? Do you just live with the results, do you try to backup and redo the situation?
There's a dispute. Go clockwise.

Quote:
Another possibility, 5 players, only 1 thinks order matters, the other players don't see the issue and being the majority decline to go in order. After a few players follow in some random order it becomes apparent the lone player was correct. Now what do you do?
There's a dispute. Go clockwise.

Quote:
If you read all the comments, I suggested going in clockwise order ALL of the time would prevent at least most (maybe even all) of these issues from occurring. I wrote that I would suggest it as a house rule in all games I played.
To me, that's the way the rules are already written.
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Tim Brussich
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runtsta wrote:
Elric132 wrote:
I'm hoping you agree that there are cases where going in a fixed order (clockwise) is clearly needed and most players realize it. But, you are directed to use this rule only when needed.

But it is not always clear that going in order matters. It may become important only if a particular player (or players) follow and makes specific choices for the necessity of clockwise turn order to become apparent. In addition, explaining exactly why it matters may give away a players intentions/strategies that other players were previously ignorant of.

So what if 2 potentially following players out of 5 don't see the need, and 2 do. How do you handle it? Do you spend several minutes adjudicating whether to go clockwise or not? What if one side wins this little debate and it turns out they are wrong? Do you just live with the results, do you try to backup and redo the situation?
There's a dispute. Go clockwise.

Quote:
Another possibility, 5 players, only 1 thinks order matters, the other players don't see the issue and being the majority decline to go in order. After a few players follow in some random order it becomes apparent the lone player was correct. Now what do you do?
There's a dispute. Go clockwise.

Quote:
If you read all the comments, I suggested going in clockwise order ALL of the time would prevent at least most (maybe even all) of these issues from occurring. I wrote that I would suggest it as a house rule in all games I played.
To me, that's the way the rules are already written.


If I understand you correctly, you suggest using clockwise turn order (CTO) whenever ANY player says they think it is necessary. Assuming they aren't required to explain why, I would agree that most of the time this approach will work. If you are saying use the clockwise rule ALL the time, well than we agree, that was my solution but that is not what the rules say. For you (or any others who read this and think it isn't necessary) please continue reading.

Please let me explain why I think this approach still has flaws. I am making a few assumptions here for my example:
1) More than 2 people are playing. Otherwise there can be only one follower and no issues will arise.
2) At least one of the players is experienced enough to notice some of the more subtle strategies that only begin to become available in the mid-game.
3) The issue is much more likely to occur from the mid-game on.

SAMPLE CASE: It is possible for a player to work out a strategy for a round that favors them that is CTO dependent in regards to whether it can work or to the degree it works. For this case lets assume the other players don't see the strategy.

1)If you don't include the underlined caveat I added above and you require this player to explain why they want to use CTO it may not be possible for them to do so without giving away their plan. In effect they are being penalized for being clever.

2) Underlined caveat included, there is still an issue. Referring to the same case above, the player with the plan simply states he wants to use CTO and that's enough to trigger it. Consider this, prior to the players request nobody else noticed any special need for turn order. Now they can be pretty certain that the player requesting CTO sees something they don't. Even though they may not yet have figured out what it might be it is giving them information they didn't see on their own.

This is why I suggest always using CTO, it resolves both of these problems.

I understand why some people may dismiss this as a rare occurrence. Unfortunately when it does occur it can be a major penalty to a player for being smarter and/or more experienced.

There are also circumstances where its occurrence increases, i.e. One or two veteran player(s) and multiple rookies. Personally I don't like the idea of loopholes in the rules if there is any way to close them. I think this is just such a loophole.

 
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David Molina
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Dude, serious. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. I wasn't trying to be mean honestly, I was trying to use this thing we call "humor". Birds of a feather flock together I guess. Oh well.

Anyway. What answer do you want? Its *YOUR* game. You paid *YOUR* money for it. Make any rule you feel is necessary for your group to have fun. If you don't like the way its written make up your own. Try "First one to stand spin 3 times then touch the furthest wall in the room gets to follow first". Do what makes it fun for you and your group.

To try to cover the answer you are looking for pick one of the following that makes you happy:

A) You are 100% right! Play with your rule!!

B) your players are 100% right! Play with their rules!!

Hopefully that will cover you.

Its amazing the thousands of players that have payed this and have been to dumb to see this glaring rules omission. Obviously "Any timing disputes during following should be resolved in clockwise order, starting from the player to the left of the active player." does not actually cover if there is a timing dispute.
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Tim Brussich
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KingJackalope wrote:
Dude, serious. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. I wasn't trying to be mean honestly, I was trying to use this thing we call "humor". Birds of a feather flock together I guess. Oh well.

Anyway. What answer do you want? Its *YOUR* game. You paid *YOUR* money for it. Make any rule you feel is necessary for your group to have fun. If you don't like the way its written make up your own. Try "First one to stand spin 3 times then touch the furthest wall in the room gets to follow first". Do what makes it fun for you and your group.

To try to cover the answer you are looking for pick one of the following that makes you happy:

A) You are 100% right! Play with your rule!!

B) your players are 100% right! Play with their rules!!

Hopefully that will cover you.

Its amazing the thousands of players that have payed this and have been to dumb to see this glaring rules omission. Obviously "Any timing disputes during following should be resolved in clockwise order, starting from the player to the left of the active player." does not actually cover if there is a timing dispute.


You just can't help yourself can you?

How does the old saying go? Don't go away angry, just go away.
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I see no reason why they'd be required to explain why they think it matters to go clockwise.

Most of the time it does matter, so we generally go clockwise. Occasionally, it doesn't matter, so players can do simple things that they need to without interfering with each other.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Right - I think the rule is stated simply as "if it matters" to cover those cases where more than one person has Culture to Follow with. If you're active and no one has Culture or only one other person has Culture, then it doesn't matter about direction. If more than one person does have the opportunity to follow, then it does matter and you go clockwise to resolve any Follows. And the decision to Follow is made at that time and that instance - no need to announce ahead of time because circumstances change during the activation.
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David Molina
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Elric132 wrote:


You just can't help yourself can you?

How does the old saying go? Don't go away angry, just go away.


Naw, having too much fun with ya. What I don’t get is you’re getting several correct answers and just keep fishing.
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Tim Jesurun
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HORST324 wrote:
Right - I think the rule is stated simply as "if it matters" to cover those cases where more than one person has Culture to Follow with. If you're active and no one has Culture or only one other person has Culture, then it doesn't matter about direction. If more than one person does have the opportunity to follow, then it does matter and you go clockwise to resolve any Follows. And the decision to Follow is made at that time and that instance - no need to announce ahead of time because circumstances change during the activation.



Hi TB,

Horst324 had summarized how I play the game and how I understand the rules. Are you dissatisfied with that, and if so why? Admittedly Horst324's description is less ambiguous than the rulebook's, but I don't think that it a house rule but rather the correct understanding of the rules.
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Elric132 wrote:
It seems that you would want to know how many of the other players are following before you decide to follow in some cases, i.e. Colonizing planets - when more than 1 player is only 1 away, Utilize a Colony - for several of the planets, etc..

For instance the first case, lets say the active player selects Advance Colonization and 2 other players are tied 1 box away before taking control. Which of the 2 gets to go first matters as they will get control. Does the 2nd player still have to pay a culture for following? What if the 2nd player has no other planets he can advance, does he still have to pay? Tangentially related to this, what if one player doesn't announce he/she is going to follow until seeing what the other players decision is? It can get kind of screwey.
Thanks

Hi Elric132,
I think your question is reasonable. I don't think it's been properly answered and I'm a little bemused by the negativity expressed toward you. If I may.

Under "FOLLOW ANOTHER PLAYER" and in bold text the rules state that, "all other players have a brief moment to decide whether they want to follow that action."

"A brief moment" is not a defined unit of time, but my subjective assessment is that it does not allow all of the players with culture to cogitate for any significant length of time.

In the specific example you mention, all players should be watching the game and those who have culture to spend and ships only one move from colonizing, will be watching the dice thrown and ready to follow if they see the appropriate die available to the current player.

The rules are clear about timing disputes, so the first player to the left of the current player, who wants to use culture to follow, gets his chance, even if a player further around the turn order first declares his intention to follow and would likely perform the same action; namely to colonize the planet, provided and this is the important point, that he was still within "a brief moment" as defined by your group of players, even though he was a little slower than the player further around the turn order.

If you feel that he was outside this undefined time frame, then you don't let him follow. Good luck in sorting out those disputes.

The other part of the question is relevant though, because in your example, it is assumed that colonizing the planet that both players are only one move from doing, is the only way to follow the die, so whichever player gets the planet, it leaves the other player wasting a culture, or does it? That question hasn't been answered.

The rules don't state the answer, so a clarification from the designer would be nice, but failing that, the only option is to decide yourself.

It would also be good to have a definition of "a brief moment," but either way, players who see a tactical advantage from following, shouldn't be penalised by other slower players stretching the definition of this phrase. Also, I personally feel that it would be unfair for the first player who declares that he'll follow, to lose a resource for nothing, if another player, earlier in turn order, then chooses to follow, making the quicker player's follow irrelevant.

Just my thoughts.
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Thanks for offering a non-derogatory answer, it was a nice change.
 
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