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Subject: Add subject without a serf? rss

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Curt Carpenter
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May you add an influence marker in an area where you are a lone ruler? I assume yes, but the rules seem to imply the second influence marker must be of a different player.
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Adrian Todea
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Hi Curt,

You definitely can do that, purpose being to cement your position as ruler.
Agree the wording ref this situation in the rules is a bit gray - hence the multiple rule threads discussing the rules themselves (in addition to actual questions about rules)

I might add this to the FAQ if not already there.
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tzutzy wrote:
I might add this to the FAQ if not already there.

Yea, I'd definitely recommend adding this. If you follow the rules carefully as written, you can't add a subject until there's a serf (subjects aren't mentioned except when discussing the third and final influence marker, and it explicitly says "on a future turn", future here meaning after a serf is added). So, as written, it's not really grey - it's legitimately wrong.

It's a super easy writing mistake to make, though - it's so natural to extrapolate how this rule should work that I would imagine most readers would play it correctly despite the rulebook.
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Adrian Todea
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Added to FAQ.
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Joe Pilkus
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Curt,

The use of the term "lone ruler" is important, as only a "lone ruler" may be subjected (pun intended) to the "Money is Influence" action by the Merchant. If you have a subject along with your ruler, it prevents the Merchant from that action. This is straight from the video, as well.

Cheers,
Joe
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Michael Frost

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curtc wrote:
May you add an influence marker in an area where you are a lone ruler? I assume yes, but the rules seem to imply the second influence marker must be of a different player.


The rules on p. 9 seem pretty clear cut:

"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. If you are the second (and different) player to add a marker. place it beside the disc to become a serf. This earns you the right to tend a landscape (see Tend Landscape on page 11).

On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject. If you are a surf, bump the ruler down to the serf position, leaving your new marker on top as the location's new ruler."

What is unclear about this?

Notice the key words like "(and different) player" and "future turn" and "either player". Etc.
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Chris Warr
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
curtc wrote:
May you add an influence marker in an area where you are a lone ruler? I assume yes, but the rules seem to imply the second influence marker must be of a different player.


The rules on p. 9 seem pretty clear cut:

"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. If you are the second (and different) player to add a marker. place it beside the disc to become a serf. This earns you the right to tend a landscape (see Tend Landscape on page 11).

On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject. If you are a surf, bump the ruler down to the serf position, leaving your new marker on top as the location's new ruler."

What is unclear about this?

Notice the key words like "(and different) player" and "future turn" and "either player". Etc.


What's unclear is that "subject" is only mentioned at all with regard to "1 final influence marker". It is loose and imprecise, unfortunately. The possibilities are:

1. 1st marker - Ruler.
2. 2nd marker (same player) - Subject
3. 2nd marker (different player) - Serf (unless Merchant uses "Money Is Influence" to become Ruler)
4. 3rd marker (Ruler's colour, no Subject) - Subject
5. 3rd marker (Serf's colour) - becomes Ruler, old Serf is now Subject, old Ruler is now Serf
6. 3rd marker of same colour - prohibited
7. 3rd marker of a 3rd colour - prohibited
8. 4th marker - prohibited

Sadly the rules omit to mention case 2 above. All the other situations are covered, but 2 is missing.
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Michael Frost

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poptasticboy wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
curtc wrote:
May you add an influence marker in an area where you are a lone ruler? I assume yes, but the rules seem to imply the second influence marker must be of a different player.


The rules on p. 9 seem pretty clear cut:

"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. If you are the second (and different) player to add a marker. place it beside the disc to become a serf. This earns you the right to tend a landscape (see Tend Landscape on page 11).

On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject. If you are a surf, bump the ruler down to the serf position, leaving your new marker on top as the location's new ruler."

What is unclear about this?

Notice the key words like "(and different) player" and "future turn" and "either player". Etc.


What's unclear is that "subject" is only mentioned at all with regard to "1 final influence marker". It is loose and imprecise, unfortunately. The possibilities are:

1. 1st marker - Ruler.
2. 2nd marker (same player) - Subject
3. 2nd marker (different player) - Serf (unless Merchant uses "Money Is Influence" to become Ruler)
4. 3rd marker (Ruler's colour, no Subject) - Subject
5. 3rd marker (Serf's colour) - becomes Ruler, old Serf is now Subject, old Ruler is now Serf
6. 3rd marker of same colour - prohibited
7. 3rd marker of a 3rd colour - prohibited
8. 4th marker - prohibited

Sadly the rules omit to mention case 2 above. All the other situations are covered, but 2 is missing.


What, your "Case 2" is in the rules:

"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. ... On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject."


 
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
poptasticboy wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
curtc wrote:
May you add an influence marker in an area where you are a lone ruler? I assume yes, but the rules seem to imply the second influence marker must be of a different player.


The rules on p. 9 seem pretty clear cut:

"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. If you are the second (and different) player to add a marker. place it beside the disc to become a serf. This earns you the right to tend a landscape (see Tend Landscape on page 11).

On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject. If you are a surf, bump the ruler down to the serf position, leaving your new marker on top as the location's new ruler."

What is unclear about this?

Notice the key words like "(and different) player" and "future turn" and "either player". Etc.


What's unclear is that "subject" is only mentioned at all with regard to "1 final influence marker". It is loose and imprecise, unfortunately. The possibilities are:

1. 1st marker - Ruler.
2. 2nd marker (same player) - Subject
3. 2nd marker (different player) - Serf (unless Merchant uses "Money Is Influence" to become Ruler)
4. 3rd marker (Ruler's colour, no Subject) - Subject
5. 3rd marker (Serf's colour) - becomes Ruler, old Serf is now Subject, old Ruler is now Serf
6. 3rd marker of same colour - prohibited
7. 3rd marker of a 3rd colour - prohibited
8. 4th marker - prohibited

Sadly the rules omit to mention case 2 above. All the other situations are covered, but 2 is missing.


What, your "Case 2" is in the rules:

"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. ... On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject."




Notice how it says "Either player"? That implies that the subject has to be a third influence placed in the location. I had asked this very question a while ago too.
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Sergio Perez
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I’m having difficulty seeing ambiguity regarding adding a second marker as a subject if a player already has an influence marker positioned to rule the location (if you are already ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject). Is it the verbiage “1 final influence marker” that seems confusing? I read that as meaning the player’s final allowable influence marker in the location though, so I guess perhaps that could have been written more precisely.

That does bring up another point of contention though:

What about this scenario? Player 1 has two influence markers, so he is ruler and has a subject. Can a 2nd player then add a marker as a serf? A strict reading of the rules does not seem to outline that scenario, although it does seem to be an intended possibility given that the first 2 paragraphs explaining the influence action only restrict influence markers to 3 markers total, max 2 from any one individual and max of 2 different players’ markers at a location.



*edit - OK, so after writing that and reading the applicable rules several times, I’ve gained appreciation for how the rules could be a bit confusing. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have even had to consider my follow-up question.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
The rules on p. 9 seem pretty clear cut:

They're not. They're one example of a sequence of events.

I wasn't even criticizing the rules (here). Why rush to their defense? But now that you mention it, the rules in this game rely far too much on require the reader to infer rules through incomplete examples, rather than simply stating the actual rules and having examples reinforce the rules.
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Michael Frost

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It is all clearly there... If you pay close attention to the actual words as written... Thus: Notice key words like "(and different) player" and "future turn" and "either player". Etc.

This rules "hysteria", likely thank Vasel, seems to have people just trying to see unclarity where in so many places none exists. But since they've been told by an expert that it's there, they go out of their way to "find" it.

The rules clearly cover:

- Ruler (without Subject or Serf)
- Ruler and Subject (without Serf)
- Ruler and Serf (without Subject)
- Ruler, Subject, and Serf

 
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Alec Usticke
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Surge1000 wrote:
Player 1 has two influence markers, so he is ruler and has a subject. Can a 2nd player then add a marker as a serf?
Yes.
 
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Chris Warr
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
It is all clearly there... If you pay close attention to the actual words as written... Thus: Notice key words like "(and different) player" and "future turn" and "either player". Etc.

This rules "hysteria", likely thank Vasel, seems to have people just trying to see unclarity where in so many places none exists. But since they've been told by an expert that it's there, they go out of their way to "find" it.

The rules clearly cover:

- Ruler (without Subject or Serf)
- Ruler and Subject (without Serf)
- Ruler and Serf (without Subject)
- Ruler, Subject, and Serf



You're obsessed with Vasel! This has nothing to do with him or anyone else. These are all points that myself and others made during the Kickstarter campaign long ago, but were ignored.

I will say again: I love this game! For 16 months this has been the thing I've been most excited about getting - it bordered on obsession! That doesn't mean that there aren't areas where the rules should have been written more clearly.

It's simply a matter of using precise, unambiguous language and covering all possible cases. This is something that Mark himself admitted he was not used to and struggled with. This is one of the cases where this shows and was not corrected.
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Sergio Perez
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austicke wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
Player 1 has two influence markers, so he is ruler and has a subject. Can a 2nd player then add a marker as a serf?
Yes.


Thank you for the response, and I believe the answer you’ve given to be the designer’s intent, but I’m curious where you found confirmation of the answer. It isn’t addressed in the rules, and I didn’t see it in the FAQ. Did the designer or someone else involved with the game respond somewhere that I perhaps missed?
 
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Surge1000 wrote:
austicke wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
Player 1 has two influence markers, so he is ruler and has a subject. Can a 2nd player then add a marker as a serf?
Yes.

Thank you for the response, and I believe the answer you’ve given to be the designer’s intent, but I’m curious where you found confirmation of the answer. It isn’t addressed in the rules, and I didn’t see it in the FAQ. Did the designer or someone else involved with the game respond somewhere that I perhaps missed?

It is addressed in the rules. Clear as day to me: "If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler.... On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject."

It's further reinforced by the Heavy Cardboard playthrough (ruler and subject at one location with no serf).
 
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Zachary Homrighaus
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austicke wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
austicke wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
Player 1 has two influence markers, so he is ruler and has a subject. Can a 2nd player then add a marker as a serf?
Yes.

Thank you for the response, and I believe the answer you’ve given to be the designer’s intent, but I’m curious where you found confirmation of the answer. It isn’t addressed in the rules, and I didn’t see it in the FAQ. Did the designer or someone else involved with the game respond somewhere that I perhaps missed?

It is addressed in the rules. Clear as day to me: "If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler.... On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject."

It's further reinforced by the Heavy Cardboard playthrough (ruler and subject at one location with no serf).


I'm glad I don't have classes made of your day... they are pretty hard to see through!

The word "Final" here applies just fine to the situation where you are already ruler. It's a strange choice if there is already a ruler and you are adding your first (and apparently) final influence marker to become a serf.

Further, it wouldn't be your final if you then added a 2nd marker to your serf... this would cause the control of the location to shift and you would go from having a single serf to being ruler and having a subject while the former ruler becomes a serf... right? So the word "final" doesn't apply to that situation at all since placing your serf previously wouldn't be your final marker at all.

Unless I'm misinterpreting some other "clear as day" part of the rulebook and I'm totally off base, this is a murky part of the rules that is further complicated by all the implications that come with combat.
 
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zjhomrighaus wrote:
Further, it wouldn't be your final if you then added a 2nd marker to your serf... this would cause the control of the location to shift and you would go from having a single serf to being ruler and having a subject while the former ruler becomes a serf... right? So the word "final" doesn't apply to that situation at all since placing your serf previously wouldn't be your final marker at all.
No, that's incorrect. If you have a serf at a location and influence it to add a second influence marker, that is your final influence marker at that location.
 
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Darrell Goodridge
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It's funny that everyone defending the rules as "clear as day" use ellipses to cut out the exact portion that is providing the confusion.
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Cardboardjunkie wrote:
It's funny that everyone defending the rules as "clear as day" use ellipses to cut out the exact portion that is providing the confusion.
Well, only some are confused.
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Zachary Homrighaus
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austicke wrote:
zjhomrighaus wrote:
Further, it wouldn't be your final if you then added a 2nd marker to your serf... this would cause the control of the location to shift and you would go from having a single serf to being ruler and having a subject while the former ruler becomes a serf... right? So the word "final" doesn't apply to that situation at all since placing your serf previously wouldn't be your final marker at all.
No, that's incorrect. If you have a serf at a location and influence it to add a second influence marker, that is your final influence marker at that location.


I'm just responding to the earlier post that quoted the "final" portion of the rule to explain that everything was clear. Perhaps there is a section earlier that covers the scenario I described (don't have the rules in front of me, but recall this being a big confusing when I read them and played the first time).
 
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Sergio Perez
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austicke wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
austicke wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
Player 1 has two influence markers, so he is ruler and has a subject. Can a 2nd player then add a marker as a serf?
Yes.

Thank you for the response, and I believe the answer you’ve given to be the designer’s intent, but I’m curious where you found confirmation of the answer. It isn’t addressed in the rules, and I didn’t see it in the FAQ. Did the designer or someone else involved with the game respond somewhere that I perhaps missed?

It is addressed in the rules. Clear as day to me: "If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler.... On a future turn, either player may add 1 final influence marker. If you are already the ruler, add your marker beside the disc to reinforce your rule as a subject."

It's further reinforced by the Heavy Cardboard playthrough (ruler and subject at one location with no serf).


You just elaborated on a question I didn’t ask though.

austicke wrote:
zjhomrighaus wrote:
Further, it wouldn't be your final if you then added a 2nd marker to your serf... this would cause the control of the location to shift and you would go from having a single serf to being ruler and having a subject while the former ruler becomes a serf... right? So the word "final" doesn't apply to that situation at all since placing your serf previously wouldn't be your final marker at all.
No, that's incorrect. If you have a serf at a location and influence it to add a second influence marker, that is your final influence marker at that location.


In the question to which I am referring, the 2nd player’s FIRST marker added to the location would be considered the FINAL marker. He would be unable to add a second marker because his first marker would be the 3rd marker there, as a serf, assuming a player’s first marker can be added to a location as a serf when subject and ruler markers from another player already exist at the location. *edit for clarity*

I just don’t think the rules lay out my scenario so clearly. They say 1st player marker is ruler, second marker, if from a different player, is serf. Then, on a future turn, either player may add 1 final marker. If ruler does, marker becomes subject. If player with serf does, his markers become ruler and subject, former ruler becomes serf. Doesn’t directly address scenario where two markers from the same player are already present, although I believe I can infer the answer (correctly, hopefully).
 
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Surge1000 wrote:
Doesn’t directly address scenario where two markers from the same player are already present, although I believe I can infer the answer (correctly, hopefully).
"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. If you are the second (and different) player to add a marker, place it beside the disc to become a serf."

That's clear as day. The second player to influence becomes a serf.
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
This rules "hysteria", likely thank Vasel, seems to have people just trying to see unclarity where in so many places none exists.

Why do you think I created the thread? Just to create hysteria? I just want to know how to play the game. I haven't seen the Vasel video, and have no desire to. The only hysteria I see is from rabid rules defenders who criticize others who are uncertain in how to interpret the rules, even when they read them multiple times.

MPMelanchthon wrote:
The rules clearly cover:

- Ruler and Subject (without Serf)

Where exactly?
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austicke wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
Doesn’t directly address scenario where two markers from the same player are already present, although I believe I can infer the answer (correctly, hopefully).
"If you are the first to add an influence marker to a location, place your marker on TOP of the disc to become its ruler. If you are the second (and different) player to add a marker, place it beside the disc to become a serf."

That's clear as day. The second player to influence becomes a serf.


Except the next parapgraph muddies the water by saying the final marker is placed as a subject or a new ruler without explaining that the final marker can also be placed as a serf.

Is it so poorly written that I had no idea how the circumstance should play out? Not necessarily, but it did give me pause. Could it have been written better/more precisely? Sure.

Nonetheless, this game is the one in my collection I am most excited about right now. It’s too early to say for sure, but I can see this one among my all-time favorites eventually (and although I prefer function over form in general, my goodness is this game beautiful)!
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