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Subject: Agenda Deck Confusing Wording? rss

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Ben Power
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The rules ref says ...

When the agenda deck is passed to another player, that
player becomes the new first player. Whose turn it is and
whose turn is next does not change.


So ...how does that work? I would assume that the new first player (to the right of the previous one) goes first and people follow clockwise ...but, the rules clearly state "Whose turn it is and whose turn is next does not change."

...how is that possible if the passing of the desk changed who the first player is? Am I reading this wrong?

Also, I did try reading the post "Passing the agenda deck, and its effect on turn order" ...but honestly it made my head spin. Something I'm clearly not understanding.
 
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David Carroll
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I believe they are saying that if the agenda deck passes halfway through a round, it doesn't have any effect on player turns during that round. Only on the next round does the new first player come into effect.

It's not very clear though.
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Ben Power
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I think I see now --- so after the agenda deck gets passed right, the player order is still intact. The only thing that changes is now the enemies get a turn one person earlier than they used to? Is that correct?
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Dustin Crenshaw
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Hellfish11 wrote:
I think I see now --- so after the agenda deck gets passed right, the player order is still intact. The only thing that changes is now the enemies get a turn one person earlier than they used to? Is that correct?


Yep
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David Carroll
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The player order definitely changes in the next round, it just doesn't change in the same round the deck is passed.

The really confusing thing is that a lot of the time the deck will change between rounds, so that does indeed change who is the 'next' player. But that's my best interpretation anyway.
 
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Christopher Scatliff
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This rule is probably the most awkardly-explained thing in the rulebook. And where people seem to be getting bogged down is by getting hung up on when one round starts and another ends. That seems to be an inconsequential distraction.

My understanding (and I think it's also the majority understanding) is that it simply works like this: Players take turns in order. Just before the turn of the player with the agenda deck, flip one to activate monsters. If that was the last card of the agenda deck, shuffle it and hand it to the player on your right and advance the faction tokens. Do not change player order.

Whether that means you now have a round where players have multiple turns or a round where a player doesn't get a turn is smoke and mirrors. Nothing of consequence (that I can think of) hinges on exactly which round number you're on. Just keep going in turn order and every once in a while pass the agenda deck. Full stop. Was that explained well in the book? Not even remotely.
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David Carroll
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That was not my understanding, but now you explain it like that, I can see your argument.

My argument would be based on the definition of a round, from the quick reference: "Starting with the first player and then proceeding clockwise..."

But now I have no idea what they originally meant and, as you say, it's mostly inconsequential.
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Aaron Day
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Smoo wrote:
That seems to be an inconsequential distraction.

It would matter more in a four player game when the original first player will never lose a turn as the Agenda deck can't really be passed four times in one game (as six advances on the faction power track ends the game).

It is frustrating that every other "pass to the right" game I've played has given the new first player two turns in a row.
 
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Andrej Kojic
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I'm so confused
 
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Thursday42
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It's horribly worded but straightforward.

Most frequently, the agenda deck will empty at the end of a round, when moving enemies. At this point, shuffle the discard into a new deck and pass it to the person to the right, who is now first player. Until the deck runs out again, that player will go first and play will go clockwise from them.

If someone draws an agenda and therefore empties the deck in the middle of a round, still shuffle the discard, still pass the deck, but play out the rest of the round normally. From the start of the next round, the player now holding the deck will act first and play will continue clockwise.

EDIT: I think. Not gonna claim 100% certainty.
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Ben Power
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The real issue (or what was bending my mind) is why they had to call it "First Player". To say the 'First Player' moves to deck to the right and then say no ones turn order changes casually at the end is crazy talk. I'm surprised they couldn't come up with some other verbiage.
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Craig S.
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Hellfish11 wrote:
The real issue (or what was bending my mind) is why they had to call it "First Player". To say the 'First Player' moves to deck to the right and then say no ones turn order changes casually at the end is crazy talk. I'm surprised they couldn't come up with some other verbiage.


I agree it's confusing as hell, but I guess it's because the first player is the one that always goes after enemy activation.
 
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J.C. Hamlin
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Here's the best clarification I can come up with on this:

First Player
================================
At the beginning of the game, choose a first player at random and give them the agenda deck. The first player is responsible for making some choices in the game, like potentially how enemies move towards a survivor when there are multiple equal-length paths, or where enemies respawn if there are multiple valid spawn points the same distance away from where an enemy was killed. The order of players from the first player is also used to break ties when enemies have multiple valid targets. Assuming equal health and equal distance, the player who is closest to the first player is the higher priority target for enemies.

Taking Turns
================================
Play starts with that first player, and then continues clockwise, each player taking one turn, until the end of the game. Just like war never changes, the order in which players take turns never changes, unless a player is eliminated from the game.

Enemy Activation
================================
Except for the very first turn of the game, when it becomes the player that is designated as first player's turn, but before that player actually takes a turn, Enemy Activation must be done. Draw one agenda card, and activate the monsters along the bottom of that card.

Changing who is the First Player
================================
When the last card of the agenda deck is drawn, reshuffle it, and pass the deck to the right (counter-clockwise). Advance both faction counters one space. The player receiving the deck is now considered the first player. Whose turn it is and whose turn is next does not change.
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Christopher Scatliff
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Thursday42 wrote:
Until the deck runs out again, that player will go first and play will go clockwise from them.


This is where people will wind up just gettikng confused. My advice is to stop thinking about "who goes first in a round". That way leads to madness. In fact, stop trying to divide the game into rounds. Just pretend rounds don't exist. Trust me.

The only person who goes "first" that matters is who goes first in the game. After that, all you need to care about is "who goes next". And the answer to that is always "the person to the left of whoever just went". The answer to "when do we draw the agenda card?" is always "right before the turn of the person who has it". The answer to "when does one round end and another round start?" is a meaningless distraction that you should not care about.
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Craig S.
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All of this. ^^^
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David Carroll
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Quote:
Just pretend rounds don't exist. Trust me.


This may be the best advice for sanity, but I'm still not sure it is the game's intention. The rules reference sections on Rounds and Agenda Cards are a lot clearer than the weird sentence about turn order that is only in the Learn to Play.
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Christopher Scatliff
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Ashamel wrote:
Quote:
Just pretend rounds don't exist. Trust me.


This may be the best advice for sanity, but I'm still not sure it is the game's intention. The rules reference sections on Rounds and Agenda Cards are a lot clearer than the weird sentence about turn order that is only in the Learn to Play.


I'm not 100% sure either. It's entirely possible we could find an encounter card that says something like "every monster is considered one level higher on even numbered rounds", in which case everything I just said would become immediately wrong.

But until then, I'm going to proceed the way I just outlined.
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Craig S.
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Smoo wrote:
Thursday42 wrote:
Until the deck runs out again, that player will go first and play will go clockwise from them.


This is where people will wind up just gettikng confused. My advice is to stop thinking about "who goes first in a round". That way leads to madness. In fact, stop trying to divide the game into rounds. Just pretend rounds don't exist. Trust me.

The only person who goes "first" that matters is who goes first in the game. After that, all you need to care about is "who goes next". And the answer to that is always "the person to the left of whoever just went". The answer to "when do we draw the agenda card?" is always "right before the turn of the person who has it". The answer to "when does one round end and another round start?" is a meaningless distraction that you should not care about.


Just emphasing that I think this is the only way to interpret what the books say. The only time it results in weirdness (in the form of everyone but the new first player taking two turns before enemy activation), is when the last player draws the last agenda during their turn and becomes the new first player. When this happens, enemy activation gets put off until before the new first players next turn. This is so unlikley to happen during any given game that I wouldn't be surprised if it never came up as a problem during playtesting.

 
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Simon C
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The thing is, depending on whether you pay attention to the phrasings of "rounds" and "first player" or not, you get two mutually contradictory possible rules, and I'm pretty convinced the rulebooks therefore conflict themselves over how this works.

The possibilities we've got are, for a three player game featuring A, B and C sitting in that order, and Enemy activation represented by E:

Option 1: Ignore Rounds wrote:
We ignore the concept of a round and replace the term "First Player" with something like "Stalemate Resolution Associate". The key ruling is "the player whose turn it is and whose turn is next does not change".

As a result, we get two possible switchovers from the initial turn sequencing of A B C E A B C E...

Possibility 1 - player C, during their turn, draws the last card. The deck jumps over them to their right and play continues to the next player as normal. Result: A B C E A B C A B E C A B E C

Possibility 2 - any other player draws the last agenda during their turn, or the enemy activation itself uses the last card. The deck jumps but the next player remains the same, leading to the result: A B C E A B E C A B E C A B E

So we have two possible turn sequences, depending on when the deck's depleted - one in which there's five player turns between two enemy activations, and the other where there's only two (and one player doesn't get a turn between two sequential activations). However, everyone always continues taking their turns in an expected and unbroken sequence.


Option 2: Rounds are Forever! wrote:
We take "the current player and next player don't change" as more of a guideline/general behavior in some circumstances, and pay attention to the fact Rounds are mentioned, and described as featuring "From the First Player, everyone takes one go, then there is an enemy activation".

As a result of this, no matter when the deck is depleted, the turn sequence goes like this:

A B C E A B C E C A B E C A B E

Advantage: we have one consistent turn sequence, unlike the two possibilities in Option 1. Disadvantage: Player C gets two goes in a row, apart from the enemy activation between them. Further disadvantage: if Player B finished the deck by drawing a card from it, the deck is supposed to be re-shuffled and moved instantly. But then you have to remember to skip the deck, have Player C have their go, the move back to the deck, followed by Player C again. And who is First Player during the first of C's two goes, and the enemy activation - A, who was First Player in the Round that you're still in, or C, who now has the deck to their right?


So neither of the two approaches is clean - Option 1 has different turn structures depending on when the deck depleted, and ignores the clearly labelled concepts of "Round" and "First Player", while Option 2 has double turns and questions over who is First Player and when the deck moves exactly for it to actually work.

Has anyone actually contacted FFG about their intent yet?
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Thursday42
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Page 6 of the learn to play doc, under the heading "The Game Round":

"Players take turns in clockwise order, starting with the first
player. After all players have taken a turn, enemies on the map
activate and attack, and then a new round begins with the first
player taking another turn."

That pretty clearly states that a "round" is an important game term. So how to make it gel with the wording of the section on changing first player?

"When the agenda deck is passed to another player, that
player becomes the new first player. Whose turn it is and
whose turn is next does not change."

Seems to me the only way to make it all work without contradictions is that "whose turn it is and whose turn is next" is meant to apply to the current round only. After enemies activate at the end of that round, there's a new first player, and as such they will act first.

This is similar to the way First Player moves around the table in Dead of Winter, so it makes sense to me, despite being horribly worded.
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Ben Power
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WOAH! shake

I dont think I have even see such a polarizing rule before!
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Peter Bernath
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LeonardQuirm wrote:
Option 1: Ignore Rounds wrote:
We ignore the concept of a round and replace the term "First Player" with something like "Stalemate Resolution Associate". The key ruling is "the player whose turn it is and whose turn is next does not change".

As a result, we get two possible switchovers from the initial turn sequencing of A B C E A B C E...

Possibility 1 - player C, during their turn, draws the last card. The deck jumps over them to their right and play continues to the next player as normal. Result: A B C E A B C A B E C A B E C

Possibility 2 - any other player draws the last agenda during their turn, or the enemy activation itself uses the last card. The deck jumps but the next player remains the same, leading to the result: A B C E A B E C A B E C A B E

So we have two possible turn sequences, depending on when the deck's depleted - one in which there's five player turns between two enemy activations, and the other where there's only two (and one player doesn't get a turn between two sequential activations). However, everyone always continues taking their turns in an expected and unbroken sequence.
Smoo wrote:
This rule is probably the most awkardly-explained thing in the rulebook. And where people seem to be getting bogged down is by getting hung up on when one round starts and another ends. That seems to be an inconsequential distraction.

Agreed on the awkwardly-explained rule, but I don't find it inconsequential. Check Option 1 with Possibility 1 above. What if Player C is low on HP and gets attacked twice instead of gettin' a turn to do something about it, like move away, and thus dies? It could be a huge blow to that player.

LeonardQuirm wrote:
Option 2: Rounds are Forever! wrote:
Further disadvantage: if Player B finished the deck by drawing a card from it, the deck is supposed to be re-shuffled and moved instantly. But then you have to remember to skip the deck, have Player C have their go, the move back to the deck, followed by Player C again. And who is First Player during the first of C's two goes, and the enemy activation - A, who was First Player in the Round that you're still in, or C, who now has the deck to their right?

I don't think that the further disadvantage is an issue unless you're in the mindset of Option 1. Once you've accepted that everyone gets a turn in a round it seems very natural. For who is the first player in the first of C's two goes, it'd be C imo, he became the decider almighty as soon as the deck moved. My vote and instinct point towards Option 2.

Thursday42 wrote:
Page 6 of the learn to play doc, under the heading "The Game Round":

"Players take turns in clockwise order, starting with the first
player. After all players have taken a turn, enemies on the map
activate and attack, and then a new round begins with the first
player taking another turn."

That pretty clearly states that a "round" is an important game term. So how to make it gel with the wording of the section on changing first player?

"When the agenda deck is passed to another player, that
player becomes the new first player. Whose turn it is and
whose turn is next does not change."

Seems to me the only way to make it all work without contradictions is that "whose turn it is and whose turn is next" is meant to apply to the current round only. After enemies activate at the end of that round, there's a new first player, and as such they will act first.

This is similar to the way First Player moves around the table in Dead of Winter, so it makes sense to me, despite being horribly worded.

I think this is the way it was intended to be, skipping turns during a round just seems very wrong. Agreed on horrible wording.
 
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Christopher Scatliff
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What is clear is that one of the following things is going to happen:

1) a player is going to suffer through two enemy activations between their turns, or
2) a player is going to get two turns before another player even gets one

I haven't yet seen a proposed solution that doesn't involve one of those two things happening. What can't be deduced from what we're given is which was intended.
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Peter Bernath
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Yeah, agreed.

I think the Dead of Winter similarity Thursday42 mentioned with Option 2 is what makes that seem natural. I really hope FFG starts answering questions soon.
 
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Craig S.
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As I said in the other thread about this, I think the key to deciphering the intent is to view the agenda deck as a player that activates enemies. It takes its "turn" after the player to its right. This would explain why the "first player" is specifically instructed to keep the deck on their right hand side. I somehow doubt they intended for the deck's turn to get skipped if it gets passed during the last player's turn, but honestly the chances of that happening are so small it might never have come up in testing...
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