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Subject: Senate Tiles and Military Provinces - End of Quarter (Differing Opinion) rss

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Rob Katuska
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EDIT: Uh oh, I was wrong. Disregard all the things and run away. Oh and also leave senate tiles on military provinces during end-of-quarter cleanup.

Kept for posterity:
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TL/DR - Remove all face-up senate tiles from anywhere on the common board or player boards during end-of-quarter cleanup. This includes senate tiles from military provinces that were unclaimed during the quarter.

After reviewing several threads here on what seems to be a confusing rule (and is for me as well) I think the consensus on whether or not to remove unclaimed senate tiles from military provinces at the end of each quarter is wrong. Many seem to interpret this as only removing senate tiles that have accumulated on player boards, but I think there are a few clues in the rules that refute this conclusion.

End of Quarter Tile Removal, page 9:
Quote:
First, remove the following tiles from the game:
- All forum tiles that were used to meet the people's demands.
- All senate tiles, no matter if they were used or not.
- All tiles from the forum (including any extra action tiles.)

Given that all senate tiles claimed during the quarter are accounted for in end-of-quarter calculations for balance of power in the senate, there will be no such thing as an unused senate tile residing on a player board. Used tiles (those on player boards, applied to E-o-Q mechanics) should go away as well, but the only "not used" senate tiles are those still residing in the forum and provinces at that time.

Furthermore, on page 10:
Quote:
Senate tiles: These give 2 to 5 votes for the balance of power in the senate. All face-up senate tiles are removed from the game at the end of a quarter year.

All face-up senate tiles should be removed. You're certainly not going to sift through the unrevealed tiles and clear out any senate ones you find, but once a senate tile is turned face-up and placed on the board, it is a candidate for removal at the end of each quarter.

"No matter if they were used or not" makes the most sense given this interpretation. It is of no importance whether the tile was claimed and applied to E-o-Q calculations (used) or left unclaimed on the board (unused), the tile is removed and subsequently replaced at the end of the quarter.

I think the rules are designed this way to prevent an over-accumulation of senate tiles during the later rounds of the game (making fighting for position on the senate track even more important for late game bonus tiles) and to ensure that enough demand tiles exist such that players have sufficient options for meeting the people's needs.

This appears to go against the reigning sentiment on this forum, but I can't justify that opinion given the specific wording in the rules.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Senate tiles that are on military provinces are not removed. The “all senate tiles whether they were used or not” is referencing tiles in player’s possession.
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Rob Katuska
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Thunkd wrote:
Senate tiles that are on military provinces are not removed. The “all senate tiles whether they were used or not” is referencing tiles in player’s possession.

Can you define for me what a "not used" senate tile on a player board would be? All senate tiles on player boards are accounted for and "used" during end of quarter calculations. The only "not used" tiles are those still residing on the common board.

See also rulebook p10:
Quote:
All face-up senate tiles are removed from the game at the end of a quarter year.

"All face-up tiles" certainly applies to those in military provinces, and "removed from the game" is more inclusive than "removed from all player boards."
 
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Tim
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I would think that “not used” Senate tiles on a player’s board would mean when there was not a tie on the Senate track and there would be no need to “use” them since they are only “used” if there are ties.

As mentioned above, Senate tiles on the main board are not removed after each quarter.
 
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Ignore the 'if they were used or not' part. May have been an issue with translation.

If you have a purple senate tile that is worth 2 but did not get any senate during this round, you have 2, whereas maybe all other players played the senate track and are at 3 and above so it doesn't matter if you 'used' your purple senate tiles on your player board because it didn't affect your senate influence. You would still clear all purple senate tiles on player boards to reset for the next quarter year.

For reference, I don't know of any face-down tiles on the board during the game. Setup says they go face up.
Trajan rules, page 2 wrote:
Next, randomly draw the following tiles and place them
face up on the game board (see illustration below):
10 forum tiles in the provinces (1 in each province) and,
depending on the number of players, another 6 (2
players), 9 (3 players) or 12 (4 players) on the designated
forum spaces. Place 3 extra action tiles on the yellow
spaces of the forum.
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Phytoman wrote:
I would think that “not used” Senate tiles on a player’s board would mean when there was not a tie on the Senate track and there would be no need to “use” them since they are only “used” if there are ties.

As mentioned above, Senate tiles on the main board are not removed after each quarter.


Senate tiles are always added to your position on the senate track, not just for ties:
Trajan rules, page 8 wrote:
2. Balance of power in the senate
Now all players resolve their influence on the senate,
based on the number of their votes.
Each player totals
- the number of votes according to their current position
on the senate track
- the number of votes of all senate tiles they have on
their mat.
The player controlling the most votes is appointed consul
and chooses one of the two bonus tiles on the right
of the senate track.
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Tim
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toober wrote:
[q="Phytoman"]I would think that “not used” Senate tiles on a player’s board would mean when there was not a tie on the Senate track and there would be no need to “use” them since they are only “used” if there are ties.

As mentioned above, Senate tiles on the main board are not removed after each quarter.


Senate tiles are always added to your position on the senate track, not just for ties:
Trajan rules, page 8]2. Balance of power in the senate
Now all players resolve their influence on the senate,
based on the number of their votes.
Each player totals
- the number of votes according to their current position
on the senate track
- the number of votes of all senate tiles they have on
their mat.
The player controlling the most votes is appointed consul
and chooses one of the two bonus tiles on the right
of the senate track. [/q wrote:


Yes, but they only really matter when there is a tie on the Senate track. That is what I said above.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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A strict rules reading would indeed suggest that tiles from provinces are removed. However, the broad consensus is simply that they aren't. I wrote in favour of the latter opinion five years ago, and I've not had any incentive to change that point of view.

I doubt it would make much of a difference, really.
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Rob Katuska
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cymric wrote:
A strict rules reading would indeed suggest that tiles from provinces are removed. However, the broad consensus is simply that they aren't. I wrote in favour of the latter opinion five years ago, and I've not had any incentive to change that point of view.

I doubt it would make much of a difference, really.

While I can agree that it may not make a substantial difference to the game as a whole, I find difficulty accepting the existing interpretation solely on the grounds that it is the consensus.

Especially when there are at least two spots in the rules (non-existence of "unused" tiles on player boards, "all face-up tiles...") that appear to support the broader definition.

However you want to interpret the rules is fine, as long as you're consistent. In my opinion it's a sliiiiightly different experience from what the designer intended, but if everyone at your table is playing by the same set of rules, there shouldn't really be a problem.
 
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Rob Katuska
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Phytoman wrote:

Yes, but they only really matter when there is a tie on the Senate track. That is what I said above.

Whether or not they change who comes out on top in the senate, they're all still "used" during that phase. If the rules specifically called out "spending" or "using" those tiles I might feel otherwise, but they're pretty clear that all votes on senate tiles are accounted for during that part of the game, again supporting the conclusion that there is no such thing as an "unused" tile on a player board at the end of each quarter.
 
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Stryfe84 wrote:
cymric wrote:
A strict rules reading would indeed suggest that tiles from provinces are removed. However, the broad consensus is simply that they aren't. I wrote in favour of the latter opinion five years ago, and I've not had any incentive to change that point of view.

I doubt it would make much of a difference, really.

While I can agree that it may not make a substantial difference to the game as a whole, I find difficulty accepting the existing interpretation solely on the grounds that it is the consensus.

Especially when there are at least two spots in the rules (non-existence of "unused" tiles on player boards, "all face-up tiles...") that appear to support the broader definition.

However you want to interpret the rules is fine, as long as you're consistent. In my opinion it's a sliiiiightly different experience from what the designer intended, but if everyone at your table is playing by the same set of rules, there shouldn't really be a problem.


How you want to interpret the rule is wrong. Try it once and you'll figure out why when you run out of tiles to put on the board toward the end of the game if you are playing a 4 player game.
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Justin Davis
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As much as I love this game, the rulebook isn't airtight on some issues due to translation. It could definitely be done better, but everyone here is correct. You don't clear the Senate tiles on the board - just player boards. The consensus on here is generally backed back Feld or Bernd so it can be trusted.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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jrdavis4 wrote:
As much as I love this game, the rulebook isn't airtight on some issues due to translation. It could definitely be done better, but everyone here is correct. You don't clear the Senate tiles on the board - just player boards. The consensus on here is generally backed back Feld or Bernd so it can be trusted.

In German it's no better, I'm afraid. I'm also afraid that I don't care sufficiently to put in the effort to write to Bernd to find out. That said, there is one message from the Dutch translator Olav on this topic confirming the consensus PoV; I know him personally and will vouch for his accuracy in this. Not that this lends any extra credibility to it all because most of us here remain random internet nobodies to each other meeple.
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In all honesty, what would even be the effect of this? 1-3 Senate Tiles removed from Military at the end of every Quarter Year, with the early game probably coming from spots no one could even get to. What would be the point?
 
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Phytoman wrote:

Yes, but they only really matter when there is a tie on the Senate track. That is what I said above.

Though it is irrelevant to this discussion, you are still not correct. If I have five votes on the senate track and you have three votes on the senate track, do we ignore your three vote senate tile and I win the senate?
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Rob Katuska
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sfox wrote:
How you want to interpret the rule is wrong.

And yet you can provide no justification for why I'm wrong other than repeating the existing opinion, while I've been able to call out specific wording in the rules that disagrees with yours. Very persuasive.

Others have said that Feld himself has stated that the consensus opinion is correct, any link to this would be much appreciated. I'm fine being wrong, but "no you're wrong" is just about the least convincing argument I can imagine.
 
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Rob Katuska
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cymric wrote:
In German it's no better, I'm afraid. I'm also afraid that I don't care sufficiently to put in the effort to write to Bernd to find out. That said, there is one message from the Dutch translator Olav on this topic confirming the consensus PoV; I know him personally and will vouch for his accuracy in this. Not that this lends any extra credibility to it all because most of us here remain random internet nobodies to each other meeple.

Any chance you have a link to Olav's message? I'm totally fine with my interpretation being incorrect, but I've yet to hear any persuasive argument that doesn't appear to be contradicted by the rules as written.
 
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Stryfe84 wrote:
sfox wrote:
How you want to interpret the rule is wrong.

And yet you can provide no justification for why I'm wrong other than repeating the existing opinion, while I've been able to call out specific wording in the rules that disagrees with yours. Very persuasive.

Others have said that Feld himself has stated that the consensus opinion is correct, any link to this would be much appreciated. I'm fine being wrong, but "no you're wrong" is just about the least convincing argument I can imagine.

For whatever reason, you completely cut out where I justified why your interpretation is completely wrong. There are not enough tiles in the game for you to do what you are trying to do.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Stryfe84 wrote:
Can you define for me what a "not used" senate tile on a player board would be? All senate tiles on player boards are accounted for and "used" during end of quarter calculations. The only "not used" tiles are those still residing on the common board.
When I teach this game, I'm very careful to explain that the senate tiles you get must be used in the quarter that you get them. Even making a point of that, invariably there's someone who says "Wait.. I can't keep it for next time? I'm already ahead in the senate. I don't need to use this tile right now."

I don't think they worded this particuarly well in the rulebook, but I think what they're trying to get across with "whether they were used or not" is "whether you needed to use them or not".

I agree that if you read the end of the quarter section in the rulebook it says that you count senate tiles on on your player mat as part of your senate score (and thus that an unused senate tile shouldn't be a thing that ever exists). But it's a bit ambiguous as it doesn't explicitly state that you can't choose to omit using a tile if you don't need to use it. And so some people read that section and don't think about the situation where they'll have a tile and not need it. When it comes up in play they just assume that they can keep it for the next quarter. That's why they have the bit specifying that your senate tiles must be removed "no matter if they were used or not". It could have been phrased better in the two spots.

And unfortunately the person writing the rulebook left it ambiguous enough that there's an argument (the one you're making) that the senate tiles in the provinces should be removed. But that's not what was intended.

This is the way it is implemented on boiteajeux.net by the way, and they typically verify ambiguities with the publisher.
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Rob Katuska
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sfox wrote:
For whatever reason, you completely cut out where I justified why your interpretation is completely wrong. There are not enough tiles in the game for you to do what you are trying to do.

I cut it out because "try it and see" does not prove your point.

Setup:
10 tiles on military provinces

Each round:
12 forum tiles (4 player game) * 4 rounds = 48 tiles

So, 58 tiles for sure, leaving 12 left from the 70 packaged with the game. There are exactly 12 senate tiles packaged with the game, which also represents the maximum "bleeding" possible if every single one was removed from the board due to my interpretation.

Do scenarios exist where you run out of tiles with this ruleset? Sure. But the same can be said for yours.

The maximum number of forum tiles you could replace in a given round is 22, for 10 provinces and 12 forum spaces, which would put you 18 tiles shy by the end of the game. Very unlikely, of course, but possible. Even if the provinces are occupied and the number of replacements there is reduced, you can still find yourself running out of tiles.

I considered your opinion, but it doesn't go as far as you think in disproving me.
 
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Rob Katuska
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Thunkd wrote:
When I teach this game, I'm very careful to explain that the senate tiles you get must be used in the quarter that you get them. Even making a point of that, invariably there's someone who says "Wait.. I can't keep it for next time? I'm already ahead in the senate. I don't need to use this tile right now."

I don't think they worded this particuarly well in the rulebook, but I think what they're trying to get across with "whether they were used or not" is "whether you needed to use them or not".

I agree that if you read the end of the quarter section in the rulebook it says that you count senate tiles on on your player mat as part of your senate score (and thus that an unused senate tile shouldn't be a thing that ever exists). But it's a bit ambiguous as it doesn't explicitly state that you can't choose to omit using a tile if you don't need to use it. And so some people read that section and don't think about the situation where they'll have a tile and not need it. When it comes up in play they just assume that they can keep it for the next quarter. That's why they have the bit specifying that your senate tiles must be removed "no matter if they were used or not". It could have been phrased better in the two spots.

And unfortunately the person writing the rulebook left it ambiguous enough that there's an argument (the one you're making) that the senate tiles in the provinces should be remove. But that's not what was intended.

This is the way it is implemented on boiteajeux.net by the way, and they typically verify ambiguities with the publisher.


THANK YOU for your well thought-out and reasoned response with examples. I needed this.

Many here are satisfied with "you're wrong" as a response, and I hope they can understand how frustrating that can be when no justification is provided for an opinion contradicting my own (which I felt to be of sound logic). I very much appreciate you taking the time to craft a persuasive rebuttal.
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If you'd actually read and understood the previous threads on this, this wouldn't have been necessary, as *all* of this has been previously discussed.

But, hey, you just had to be the brilliant contrarian that came up with something everyone else missed. Or not. :/

(I particularly enjoyed the repeated reliance on "Nuh-uh, show me!" to people that knew better; super-brilliant and -contrarian.) ;)
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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fnord23 wrote:
If you'd actually read and understood the previous threads on this, this wouldn't have been necessary, as *all* of this has been previously discussed.
So I went and checked. There's a number of threads about it, but most of them just have some random person stating that "No, the senate tiles on the military provinces aren't removed". Which is fine except there's no basis to believe that the answer is anything other than that particular person's opinion.

For example,
Senate Tile Removal
End of a Quarter Year... Remove Senate Tiles?
Senate Tiles at the End of Quarter Year
Remove or not remove Senate Tile in military area?

And while none of these posters speak from a recognized position of authority on the subject, it does show that there's a consensus that this is the correct interpretation. It's how I've seen everyone playing it. I have to believe that if the other interpretation was correct someone would have spoken up in the forums by now.

There's one thread where someone speaks about being taught the prototype game at Essen... which gives them a bit more authority in my opinion. The last post in the thread (well as of today at least).
Discarding "all" senate tiles

It would be nice if the publisher or designer definitively supported this interpretation just to remove all ambiguity though.
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Rob Katuska
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Thunkd wrote:
fnord23 wrote:
If you'd actually read and understood the previous threads on this, this wouldn't have been necessary, as *all* of this has been previously discussed.
So I went and checked. There's a number of threads about it, but most of them just have some random person stating that "No, the senate tiles on the military provinces aren't removed". Which is fine except there's no basis to believe that the answer is anything other than that particular person's opinion.

For example,
Senate Tile Removal
End of a Quarter Year... Remove Senate Tiles?
Senate Tiles at the End of Quarter Year
Remove or not remove Senate Tile in military area?

And while none of these posters speak from a recognized position of authority on the subject, it does show that there's a consensus that this is the correct interpretation. It's how I've seen everyone playing it. I have to believe that if the other interpretation was correct someone would have spoken up in the forums by now.

There's one thread where someone speaks about being taught the prototype game at Essen... which gives them a bit more authority in my opinion. The last post in the thread (well as of today at least).
Discarding "all" senate tiles

It would be nice if the publisher or designer definitively supported this interpretation just to remove all ambiguity though.

Thanks again. I also went and read several old threads in this forum, and similarly noticed that very rarely was justification given. I saw a number of examples of:

"This is how I've always interpreted it."

"Hey, me too, guess we must be right."

I searched for an official FAQ or interpretation from the designer, and found nothing. Which is also why I've made sure to ask for references when people have pointed out that they exist somewhere.

Seriously guys, I did my research on this before posting...and even noted in the thread title and message that I knew I was arguing against consensus. I don't see anything wrong with spirited debate when logic appears to support a given conclusion, don't expect me to cave so easily when you can't be bothered to carefully consider my argument and make an effort to convince me otherwise. I'm just glad someone finally did.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Stryfe84 wrote:
Any chance you have a link to Olav's message? I'm totally fine with my interpretation being incorrect, but I've yet to hear any persuasive argument that doesn't appear to be contradicted by the rules as written.

It's not persuasive in a way you want it to be as it's just a statement of 'this is how it's done' without further explanation. The usually comprehensive Spielbox forum is also silent on this issue.

I suggest that if you want actual confirmation you write to Bernd or Stefan (both have accounts here) and ask. As I said, I honestly don't care all that much. It's not what you want to hear in this discussion as strictly speaking this is a (very minor) rules gap in need of closure... but there we have it.



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