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Subject: Iconography inconsistencies rss

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Adrian Walker
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Just for clarity, I love this game. But it has been pointed out that the iconography is messy at best, and confusing at times, particularly with the expansions added.

As an example of this, look at the raids. You get glory, need crew and spend provisions, but there is nothing differentiating the differences in how they are spent/acquired on the board. Which would be fine, except the undifferentiated provision icon is also used to signify getting a provision in the village.

The quests make this worse, as the same iconography is used as for the offerings (though with strength instead of glory) to mean exactly the opposite thing. For an offering you spend plunder and/or silver to get glory, but the same pattern is used on a quest to spend strength (which is spent differently to how the strength icon is used, say, on the raids as it's from the hand instead of the crew, with nothing changing this except for an acknowledgement that that's how quests work) to get the rewards.

There are other examples of this, but these two are the most obvious. As a reminder, I still like the game, but now hesitate a bit at the thought of new players with the icons. Any suggestions or has anyone else been bothered by this?
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A L D A R O N
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intellismartness wrote:
You get glory, need crew and spend provisions, but there is nothing differentiating the differences in how they are spent/acquired on the board.

Yes there is: their relative positions in beneath each raid location.

intellismartness wrote:
Which would be fine, except the undifferentiated provision icon is also used to signify getting a provision in the village.

Where everything is gotten, unless it is to the right of an arrow.

I find the clear iconography of this game one of its strengths.
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Molokov (AU)
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I'll agree with you on the Quest tiles - I had it backwards in my head just looking at the tiles until I read the rules.

I think this game (with expansions) could do with a useful player aid just to clarify how things work differently depending where you are on the board, and given that one doesn't already exist, I'm considering to work on one myself

However, I do believe that at least the symbology is very clear as to what a thing represents - the symbol just doesn't necessarily specify if it's a gain or a cost, you have to know this based on the type of action being performed - which, of course, is part of learning the game (and where a player aid could act as a reminder).
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Adrian Walker
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Aldaron wrote:
intellismartness wrote:
You get glory, need crew and spend provisions, but there is nothing differentiating the differences in how they are spent/acquired on the board.

Yes there is: their relative positions in beneath each raid location.

intellismartness wrote:
Which would be fine, except the undifferentiated provision icon is also used to signify getting a provision in the village.

Where everything is gotten, unless it is to the right of an arrow.

I find the clear iconography of this game one of its strengths.


I don't understand the "relative positions" comment, unless you just mean in reference to the other locations, which to me refers to knowing the game rather than the iconography working as intended. Otherwise you read down "this much strength gets me this many points, I need to spend provisions, done, but oh, I needed 3 crew *reverses turn*" or "I need to roll dice, but I needed this many crew and these provisions, ok done, now I total strength, should I roll the dice again?", neither of which flows logically by itself.

Yes, in the village you do get everything with a choice of "or" sometimes, but the iconography doesn't represent that. The icon for a provision or gold in the village is exactly the same as for a quest, with no pluses or minuses to change the intent. And the "or" comments lead to further questions, as the mill is the only space on the board with an "or" acquisition not represented by a horizontal broken line, which would be fine, except you have the silversmith next door with the exact same wording and structure, but it represents the worker you can place there? I had a new player looking for the white resource they could get from the silversmith because of this until they remembered that wasn't what that meant.

This is one of my favourite games now, but now that these have been pointed out, I can't help but see them as inconsistencies. I look forward to Molotov's (or whomever else's) player aid to help with teaching the game in the future.
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Joe Chang
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Not to sound snarky, but these are covered by the rulebook.
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pete truss
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joechang wrote:
Not to sound snarky, but these are covered by the rulebook.


What Joe says. The game isn’t hard, the rule book isn’t long. If you had iconography on the board representing every rule then it would be a jumbled mess. Sure, a quick reference sheet would be lovely, but there’s really no need, even with the expansions it’s not complicated.
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Carl Chamberlain
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I personally think this is one of the easiest games to understand. The only icons that could have been a little better are the ones missing the >. Spend this to get this. Overall it's quite simple to follow and the raids are followed in 6 steps unless a harbour then skip step 3. If you are going to raid you know what you require to do it and plan for it. Bottom part of board, village, acquire provisions and silver with an occasional swap for armour etc. I think the rules are very clear and you may just be over thinking it.
 
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Adrian Walker
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PeteTruss14 wrote:
joechang wrote:
Not to sound snarky, but these are covered by the rulebook.


What Joe says. The game isn’t hard, the rule book isn’t long. If you had iconography on the board representing every rule then it would be a jumbled mess. Sure, a quick reference sheet would be lovely, but there’s really no need, even with the expansions it’s not complicated.


It is clear I am in the minority here, but I maintain that there are things that can/could have been done to make things more obvious. Would it have killed the graphic design to have a brown minus before the provisions on the raid, or to swap the places of the strength and resources gained on the quests? Would it have been nonsensical for them to use less words and use the grey/white symbol present elsewhere on the board in place of the word "or" in the silversmith?

Maybe, I'm not an artist or game designer. But when people you introduce a game to tell you that their enjoyment of the game has been significantly reduced because of iconography, and when they point it out to you, you can see their point, then maybe there's something to it. Even if the game is otherwise great.

Oh, and saying it's covered by the rulebook would have been just as applicable with no icons on the board at all.
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Zeb
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I'm 100% with you on this, I thought the same things after playing the game. "Just read the rules" is not a justification for poor graphic design or iconography.
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