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Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan» Forums » Rules

Subject: Some issues with the rulebook rss

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Ax Kr
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I love the game and I think the rule book is very nice too, but I still think some improvements are needed. Some rules should be clarified. Here are parts I have struggled with (by now I think I resolved these issues, but not necessarily in a way other players would resolve them):

1. Castle rules obscurity - this is one issue I have struggled with the most - there are 3 different concepts concerning castles that make their use so confusing: castle control, castle alignment and castle ownership. Control impacts drawing cards, alignment impacts leadership and ownership impacts sieges. These terms are defined but in different places and not entirely. Since control is the concept that impacts drawing and control is defined as having a block in a castle location - I was leaving a unit in each castle, which I see nobody else is doing. That's why I consider it to be the most important flow of the rule book as it impacts the game play the most.
2. Resources - on a similar note - we have Resource Location control and Resource Location ownership - these terms are not defined and I just assume they indicate the same thing. Why does the rule book use two different terms to describe one thing? I do not know. This is very minor, but I put it as number 2 because of its similarity to number 1.
3. Bigger problem with the Resources is the rule that the last player to move the block onto or through a Resource Location controls that location. There are no other situations described that a player can get the control of a resource location, so effectively I may have a Resource Location in the middle of my forces where I never moved and therefore it is not mine. What is worse, the opponent may move 1 block to my Resource Location, get overrun and yet get control of that location because he moved there and I cannot regain the control until I move some of my own units there. I am pretty sure nobody plays this way, so why the rule book specifies Resource control based on movement only (and not location control) is a bit unclear.
4. Capitals - as above. When I start the game in Edo or Kyoto I never moved there so I will not control resources of my own capital which is a bit weird. When I muster in Edo as Tokugawa I still never moved there so I will not control this resource. I need to specifically take another unit and move to my own capital to control this resource.
5. Drawing - the rule that player that controls more castles draw 6th card is not clear. What happens if the players control the same amount of castles? What if no player controls any castles (because they have no blocks in any castle location as control definition demands)?
6. Zero Resource Locations - similarly if both players control no Resource Locations (the case at the beginning of the game, before any movements happen) - does this count as having the most locations? Would both draw an extra block?
7. Ownership of a castle - I return to this particular topic because it is extra obscure to me why this concept is even introduced - in case that castle goes from player to player - who is considered to have had units in the location first? The player that started in that castle (if any) or the one that controlled the castle last before the combat? If the latter - what if both players had the units in castle location?
8. Scoring - ok, we reach the elephant in the room - scoring the game at the end. Rule book says we get 2 points per castle, but which castle - controlled, aligned or owned? How can I play a game if I cannot even explain to other person how to determine the final scoring?
9. Mustering into overrun - this is also a bit cryptic, but minor - we know that we cannot muster into combat unless the combat is started from the board, but can we muster into overrun, because in case of overrun there will be no combat? I know this was discussed in the forum, but I prefer this case is covered in the rules too.
10. Wrong symbol in the battle example - this was mentioned in the forum and I find it a trivial printing mistake, but just collect all the issues here.

Final words - I find this game awesome and I do not mean to criticize the game or the rule book. I just collected all this issues I have seen to indicate what the players like me can struggle with if nobody explain the game to them and they need to just rely on the rule book to learn.
 
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Jay M
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A lot to unpack there, someone may have the time to go through each point.

But I will clarify a couple of things, which will help with several of your questions.

A castle's alignment is its color (black or yellow) and never changes. The control of a castle reverts back to its natural color when left unoccupied. And the victory point condition is control.

So your victory points based on castles are (1) the ones that are your color, and are either vacant or occcupied by your pieces; and (2) the ones that are your opponent's color, and occupied by your pieces. It's a fairly simple number, because it consists entirely of the beginning state of the board, as modified by any "castle takeovers" by the opposite color.

So one of the key objects is to take over your opponents castles (opposite color). This should be intuitive that player is winning if a yellow castle is held by black blocks, or vice versa.

This one clarification (about how a vacant castle reverts) clarifies/resolves many of your questions.

The resource locations are a little different, but have a similar enduring effect. They just remain in control of the last person that was there. Place a colored wood block there (yellow or black) as a visual indicated of the last player who was there. (In your overrun example, the victorious overrun player should have been credited with that space). And despite the rule ambiguity, you do get credit for the ones you started on. Put a block down on them when you leave them.

That's the core of it.




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Alex
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1-You already asked and made comments all over this forum about that. People have ansewered. Just read the rules (4.3 Castles) more carefully .
2-Read 4.2 more carefully. Resource locations can be controlled by placing cubes on them. First player to move onto or through take ownership by placing a cube (he now has control of that location). Nothing ambiguous here.
3, 4-I don't know what to say... Armies control locations and whatever is on it. Is that better? Moving armies onto location includes setup, movement and recruitment (by the way, an attacking army cannot be overruned).
5-This cannot happen. Castle are always controlled and there is a odd number of them.
6-Stated in the rules 5.2.3 (In case of a tie, both players draw an additional block).
7-Also explained in 4.2 (During a siege, the castle is controlled by one player and the location attached to it is controlled by the other.). You seem to missunderstand one of the fundementals. If Ishida has 2 blocks on a given location with a castle and he is attacked by 5 Tokugawa blocks, he may elect to retreat in the castle and avoid direct battle (this is a siege). It this scenario, Tokugawa controls the location and Ishida controls the castle.
8-Reading 4.3 more carefully would answer that
9.I think you have something wrong here. Combat must be initiated from forces on the board. Mustered troops cannot initiate combat alone. There is no reason why overruns would not apply in this scenario (provided the total final forces ratio is 4 to 1).
10-I personnaly never realized until I read it here.
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Ax Kr
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Thank you Jay M, it was very helpful.

Alex - I don't know what to say - perhaps you should read a post before you attempt to respond to it.
 
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Evil Bob
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xionc wrote:
Thank you Jay M, it was very helpful.

Alex - I don't know what to say - perhaps you should read a post before you attempt to respond to it.


Umm... what?

Alex answered all your questions, and even pointed to the rules which contain the answers you seek. I find your response to him a bit strange.

Perhaps he shouldn't have bothered taking the time to help?
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Oedipussy Rex
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xionc wrote:
I love the game and I think the rule book is very nice too,

Do you? The rest of your post seems to indicate otherwise. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say you love the combat system the game uses, not the game itself.

Quote:
but I still think some improvements are needed.


As do I, but not in the issues you bring up.


Except point 10. That's kinda annoying.
 
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Ax Kr
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bbhalla wrote:
xionc wrote:
Thank you Jay M, it was very helpful.

Alex - I don't know what to say - perhaps you should read a post before you attempt to respond to it.


Umm... what?

Alex answered all your questions, and even pointed to the rules which contain the answers you seek. I find your response to him a bit strange.

Perhaps he shouldn't have bothered taking the time to help?


Ok, I will clarify. I did not ask any questions in this post. I just outlined where I think the rule book is vague. Alex just assumed I didnt read the rule book, so indeed he would do better not answering, because I know the rule book very well by now.

OedipussyRex wrote:
xionc wrote:
I love the game and I think the rule book is very nice too,

Do you? The rest of your post seems to indicate otherwise. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say you love the combat system the game uses, not the game itself.


I like both the system and the game. I think the rule book has some issues and may be supplied with some FAQ to cover additional questions players may have.
 
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Evil Bob
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xionc wrote:
I like both the system and the game. I think the rule book has some issues and may be supplied with some FAQ to cover additional questions players may have.


I think the fact that multiple people can clearly point to a rule in the rulebook which clears up your perceived ambiguities would suggest that you missed or misinterpreted a basic rule or concept. I doubt that a rules rewrite or FAQ would have helped.
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Ax Kr
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bbhalla wrote:
xionc wrote:
I like both the system and the game. I think the rule book has some issues and may be supplied with some FAQ to cover additional questions players may have.


I think the fact that multiple people can clearly point to a rule in the rulebook which clears up your perceived ambiguities would suggest that you missed or misinterpreted a basic rule or concept. I doubt that a rules rewrite or FAQ would have helped.


And you are entitled to your opinion sir. Having said that - I wouldn't have written this post if I shared that opinion.
 
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Ad Astra Per Aspera
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xionc wrote:

Final words - I find this game awesome and I do not mean to criticize the game or the rule book. I just collected all this issues I have seen to indicate what the players like me can struggle with if nobody explain the game to them and they need to just rely on the rule book to learn.


With all due respect, I don't see any players other than you struggling with nearly all of those issues. In fact I'm a bit flabbergasted that you could turn a perfectly clear and clean rule book into such a hot mess for yourself. It's unfortunate. We all miss a rule or two sometimes, but it really seems like you just butchered the rules.

I only play this game with a few people. All of us downloaded the rules and had the rules pretty near perfect on our first play. I'd go so far as to say this is how rule books should be written.

Lastly, where you struggle so terribly with the rules, one wonders if maybe this isn't the right game for you. It happens. I know you say you love the game, but your words suggest otherwise.
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Ax Kr
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Maddest Hatter wrote:


With all due respect, I don't see any players other than you struggling with nearly all of those issues. In fact I'm a bit flabbergasted that you could turn a perfectly clear and clean rule book into such a hot mess for yourself. It's unfortunate. We all miss a rule or two sometimes, but it really seems like you just butchered the rules.


With all due respect, you see it as a butchering and I see it as listing unclear items.

Maddest Hatter wrote:

I only play this game with a few people. All of us downloaded the rules and had the rules pretty near perfect on our first play. I'd go so far as to say this is how rule books should be written.


I am not necessarily arguing with this, other then the points I mentioned the rule book is perfectly fine.

Maddest Hatter wrote:
Lastly, where you struggle so terribly with the rules, one wonders if maybe this isn't the right game for you. It happens. I know you say you love the game, but your words suggest otherwise.


One can wonder whatever one wishes. I make my argument and you can get out of it whatever you please.
 
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Serious? Lee
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Wow! You are literally overthinking the rules and concepts in this game - a game GMT rates a low 2 on their complexity scale and which has seen multiple printings over the past several years with plenty of opportunity for peer review during that time. The rules are just fine. Pay attention to the suggestions already offered you in the replies above to better understand your misconceptions about the game. It's a great game. I hope you have fun with it.
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Ax Kr
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leemc13 wrote:
Wow! You are literally overthinking the rules and concepts in this game - a game GMT rates a low 2 on their complexity scale and which has seen multiple printings over the past several years with plenty of opportunity for peer review during that time. The rules are just fine. Pay attention to the suggestions already offered you in the replies above to better understand your misconceptions about the game. It's a great game. I hope you have fun with it.


What you call overthinking I would just call an analysis, this is what people do when they approach a topic with some sort of thoroughness.

I do it on purpose to show how important clear rules are for being able to play the game properly. I agree this game is not complex. Still even within these settings some misconceptions are possible.

The rest of your post is just an opinion I have already discussed here, so I will not repeat myself. I do enjoy the game.
 
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Evil Bob
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For what its worth, here's my quick "analysis";

- Sekigahara was published in 2011 (7 years ago)
- There have been 5 printings, and to my knowledge there has been only 3 minor changes to the rulebook
- 5600 BGG users are listed as owners (and many more on Consimworld)
- 6100 registered plays on BGG
- There is an unofficial FAQ in the files section, which contains about 1 page of clarifications (4 pages but very generously spaced)
- There are 227 posts (including this one) regarding its rules on BGG, all of which can be be resolved by citing various sections in the rulebook (aside from those which have been addressed by the designer)
- MANY users recommend this as a gateway wargame due to its weight, complexity, and its ability to function in both eurogame and wargame genres

This is first post I've seen concerning this "issue".

From the sounds of it, you missed a couple of rules in the rulebook. Not a problem. Maybe you had something else on your mind when you were reading those rules? Maybe you misinterpreted those rules because you were distracted? Life happens. I don't think rewriting the rulebook would have helped your situation.

If you truly believe that the rules are unclear, perhaps you can create some sort of player aid that might help out new players so that they don't experience the struggles that you had to endure.
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