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Saint Petersburg» Forums » Rules

Subject: Clarification of end game rss

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Lisa Pearce Collins
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Hello,

Can someone please clarify the end game rules?

The rules say that the game ends in the round when the last card of any type is drawn. You then play through any of the remaining phases (buildings, aristos, trading) and the game ends.

What always seems to happen with us is that at the end of the trading phase we go to fill up with workers and find that there aren't enough cards.

As the rules are written, filling up with cards happens at the end of a phase so we have been playing that in this situation the game ends immediately.

This always seems a bit harsh - is it correct?

Thanks in advance,

Lisa
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Eric Brosius
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If there are not enough workers to fill up, you deal out all the ones that remain and play that way. Then you go through to the trading phase, and at the end of that, the game is over.
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Mark M
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I think you are implying that adding worker cards happens at the end of the trading card phase, so in a sense you are running out of cards during the trading card phase, by placing the new workers down. I don't have the rules in front of me, but my view would be that adding new cards is actually the beginning of the next round. We almost always run out of building cards first, so can't say that I have thought about what you are asking, but I agree with the other responder that you play out all four phases of the round. I think I have played a few games on BSW where workers run out first and you then play out the round.
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H-B-G
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I have always played that the card draw is the first part of the phase, but just looking back at the rules, they are quite clear that it is actually the last part of the phase, so strictly I think Lisa is correct that if it is the workers that run out, the game should end immediately, so I appear to have been playing wrong all the time. That said I still believe that the way we have been playing makes more sense.

The rules wrote:
Each phase consists of the following (in the order shown):
1. The actions: the players acquire workers, buildings, and aristocrats. They play these on the table, add them to
their hands, and play them from their hands to the table. This is the main part of the phase.
2. The scoring: the players score their workers or buildings or aristocrats.
3. The new cards: the administrator places new cards on the board.
All four phases play in this way, except for the trading card phase, where there is no scoring (see also page 5)
.
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Mike Mayer
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Hmmm, I've always played you play another round in this case too. But a close reading of the round order rules do suggest otherwise. Still, I wonder of the actual intent when I see the game end rule:

"When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round."

The part in parenthesis is listed out of sequence, if you're really supposed to end the game the moment the last worker comes out. It should be listed as "(the last building, the last aristocrats, the last trading card, or the last worker)."

That bit of weirdness combined with the idea of "it just makes sense to play another round," leads me to believe you should play another round.

But I'm interested to hear an official clarification.
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Linda Baldwin
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Sounds like a question for the Jay-man.
 
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Mike Wong
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Mike Mayer wrote:
Hmmm, I've always played you play another round in this case too. But a close reading of the round order rules do suggest otherwise. Still, I wonder of the actual intent when I see the game end rule:

"When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round."


Adding cards to the board always starts a phase. As long as there are cards in each deck at the end of the trading phase, you play another round. When a stack runs out in a phase be it worker/building/noble/trading, you play to the end of the round, including trading phase (for more unique aristocrat/noble cards). You don't play another round after this because one or more the stacks has run out of cards. Also, you cannot use the Observatory to take the last card of a deck to end the game. This is how it's played on BSW too.

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Mike Mayer
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To follow up on the discussion....

I wrote Jay at Rio Grande games:

I said:

We're trying to figure out exactly when the game is supposed to end, as seen here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/358175

So if at the end of the Trader Phase the last worker is drawn, does the game end immediately?

Jay said:

In this case, the games ends at the end of the phase where players can buy upgrade cards.

Jay
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norman rule
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Mike Mayer wrote:


Jay said:

In this case, the games ends at the end of the phase where players can buy upgrade cards.

Jay


Interesting. That's not how it's treated on BSW, and I always thought they use the most literal interpretation of the rules.
 
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Mike Wong
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mrorwell wrote:
Mike Mayer wrote:


Jay said:

In this case, the games ends at the end of the phase where players can buy upgrade cards.

Jay


Interesting. That's not how it's treated on BSW, and I always thought they use the most literal interpretation of the rules.


What Jay said is still the same thing as BSW play and the rules in the game. The game ends at the upgrade card phase. As referenced earlier but incompletely, the rulebook states:

"When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round. After the round ends, the game ends and the final scoring follows. If there are not enough cards to fill 8 spaces, he places as many as there are."

So say you just finished the Trading phase. All card decks still have at least one card, so you play another round where the Worker phase begins. Say there are 2 worker cards left to fill 5 empty spaces. This initiates game end because there are empty spaces but this does not end the game yet. Play continues through all remaining phases -- Building phase, Aristocrat phase and finally Trading phase -- of the round and then the game ends. Score aristocrats. Game over.
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norman rule
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mikey384 wrote:
What Jay said is still the same thing as BSW play


I disagree. We have played many games on BSW where the worker card draw stack goes to zero and we play through the building, noble and upgrade phases. BSW seems to treat filling empty slots as the first action in each phase, not the last.

If the worker draw stack goes to zero as part of the upgrade phase (as written in the RGG rules), then THAT is the end of the round.

mikey384 wrote:
"When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round.


Right... and if the last worker card is placed as the last action of the upgrade phase and the round ends after the upgrade phase, then the game ends after THAT upgrade round. You don't start another round.

mikey384 wrote:
So say you just finished the Trading phase. All card decks still have at least one card, so you play another round where the Worker phase begins. Say there are 2 worker cards left to fill 5 empty spaces.


Those 2 worker cards (by the way the rules are written) are placed at the end of the Trading phase... NOT during the next worker phase.

From page 5 of the rules posted as a PDF to the RGG site. I've removed text that doesn't pertain to this question and bolded the important section:

The trading card phase and the end of the round
The trading card phase runs differently than the others:
• After the actions, the administrator takes all remaining cards from the lower card row and places them on the discard space on the board.
• Then, he moves all the remaining cards from the upper card row to the lower card row.
Next, the administrator adds worker cards to the upper row, making a total of 8 cards on the board.
• The players give their starting player markers to their left neighbors, changing the starting players for the next
round. The round is now ended.

Followed by:

Game end and final scoring
When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round.

Filling empty slots (from the next pile in line) is the LAST action in any phase. If any stack goes to zero during a round, that triggers end game and you play to the end of the current round. If you place the last worker card on the board as part of the Trading/Upgrade phase, then one stack HAS gone to zero DURING that round, which triggers end game. And since this is one of the last actions of the round, the game is over.

Believe me... I don't like this interpretation, but after reading the rules again, I don't see how you can play it any other way.

Getting back to BSW for a moment... I'm wondering if the website isn't using the original (German) rules or an earlier edition. Anyone have any input on this? A friend has a copy of the German printing, but none of us speak German, so we can't tell.
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Mike Wong
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mrorwell wrote:
mikey384 wrote:
What Jay said is still the same thing as BSW play


I disagree. We have played many games on BSW where the worker card draw stack goes to zero and we play through the building, noble and upgrade phases. BSW seems to treat filling empty slots as the first action in each phase, not the last.

If the worker draw stack goes to zero as part of the upgrade phase (as written in the RGG rules), then THAT is the end of the round.



Yes, BSW is playing correctly and is how our group plays even before I played on BSW...that's what I've been saying this whole time. But I think I know what you are trying to say regarding the rules. The way the rules are worded for end round can be somewhat confusing because of meanings getting lost in translation.

After doing all the admistrative stuff after the end of the Trading phase (which occured when everyone passed), there is a key statement:

"The round is now ended. The next round begins as before with the worker phase. In this way, the game continues until game end."

"When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round."

The English translation is very confusing as is the order, but all it's trying to simply say is what BSW rules can best describe:

"As soon as one of the 4 card types cannot fully cover the 8 spaces in the market the game finishes at the end of Phase 4 of that round."

Also note that RGG has had a bad rules translation with Carcassonne with regard to farmers and city perspective. RGG farmer rules was more confusing than what the original German game designer had intended.

Something else to ponder about St Petersburg: If filling empty slots is the last action in any phase, then how do you get 8 worker cards to start a game in the first place?

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norman rule
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mikey384 wrote:
But I think I know what you are trying to say regarding the rules. The way the rules are worded for end round can be somewhat confusing because of meanings getting lost in translation.


I'll agree that the problem may be in a bad translation, but I don't speak/read German and I would love to have confirmation from someone who is familiar with the original German rules.

mikey384 wrote:
After doing all the admistrative stuff after the end of the Trading phase (which occured when everyone passed), there is a key statement:

"The round is now ended. The next round begins as before with the worker phase. In this way, the game continues until game end."


Right.. the round is now ended... and the game ends at the end of a round when there are zero cards in a draw pile. You don't play another round AFTER end game is triggered.

The reality is that nobody (as far as I can tell) plays St Petersburg exactly the way it's worded in the RGG rules.

mikey384 wrote:
"As soon as one of the 4 card types cannot fully cover the 8 spaces in the market the game finishes at the end of Phase 4 of that round."


Yes, I see that on BSW and it's very clear. Does anyone know if this matches the original German?

mikey384 wrote:
Also note that RGG has had a bad rules translation with Carcassonne with regard to farmers and city perspective. RGG farmer rules was more confusing than what the original German game designer had intended.


That's not really a translation issue. RGG is using first edition rules. HiG is now on third edition, which significantly changed the farms. And to add confusion, BSW is using second edition rules.

mikey384 wrote:
Something else to ponder about St Petersburg: If filling empty slots is the last action in any phase, then how do you get 8 worker cards to start a game in the first place?


Well, that IS specified as part of game set up!
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Mike Mayer
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Mike Mayer wrote:

To follow up on the discussion....

I wrote Jay at Rio Grande games:

I said:

We're trying to figure out exactly when the game is supposed to end, as seen here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/358175

So if at the end of the Trader Phase the last worker is drawn, does the game end immediately?

Jay said:

In this case, the games ends at the end of the phase where players can buy upgrade cards.

Jay


Arg!

Okay, so I see how Jay's response can be read two different ways. And I see how the quote "all phases of this round" in the rule book can be seen to refer to two different things. And I think I get what everyone is saying about everything.

But to set my mind at ease, please confirm to me which of the below sequences is the right way to play:

Sequence 1

-Players finish actions in Trader phase
-Lay out workers
-Run out of workers while laying them out.
-Play another round going through all four phases.

Sequence 2

-Players finish actions in Trader phase
-Lay out workers
-Run out of workers while laying them out.
-Games ends.

Thanks! And "arg!"




 
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Mike Wong
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Quote:
Right.. the round is now ended... and the game ends at the end of a round when there are zero cards in a draw pile. You don't play another round AFTER end game is triggered.


The current round, say Round 5, has ended but the game has NOT ended. It is now the next round, Round 6, as the rules state. If the administrator places the last card of a group, play continues through all phases of this round, Round 6.

Again, the rules say:

"When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round."

If played with the literal translation, then why would it have to state "the last worker" because the game ended as you understand it? If so, then it should have said "When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round".
 
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Mike Wong
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Mike Mayer wrote:
Mike Mayer wrote:

To follow up on the discussion....

I wrote Jay at Rio Grande games:

I said:

We're trying to figure out exactly when the game is supposed to end, as seen here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/358175

So if at the end of the Trader Phase the last worker is drawn, does the game end immediately?

Jay said:

In this case, the games ends at the end of the phase where players can buy upgrade cards.

Jay


Arg!

Okay, so I see how Jay's response can be read two different ways. And I see how the quote "all phases of this round" in the rule book can be seen to refer to two different things. And I think I get what everyone is saying about everything.

But to set my mind at ease, please confirm to me which of the below sequences is the right way to play:

Sequence 1

-Players finish actions in Trader phase
-Lay out workers
-Run out of workers while laying them out.
-Play another round going through all four phases.

Sequence 2

-Players finish actions in Trader phase
-Lay out workers
-Run out of workers while laying them out.
-Games ends.

Thanks! And "arg!"


What the right way to play will be up to you. I think most people if not all will agree that Sequence 1 is the right way to play. I had been taught Sequence 1 even before learning about BSW...my friend who taught me learned Sequence 1 from the local game store.

I find that BSW has helped me understand and clarify the rules of this game and many other games. Remember though, you can play Sequence 1 or Sequence 2 with your friends, but you can only play Sequence 1 on BSW.

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mikey384 wrote:
Something else to ponder about St Petersburg: If filling empty slots is the last action in any phase, then how do you get 8 worker cards to start a game in the first place?


Note though that this is clearly a special case, and is therefore part of "preparation", not the first workers phase. Moreover, in a two-player game you start with only 4 cards (6 cards with 3 players), and if filling empty slots were the first action of a phase, there should be a mention that this does not apply for the first round.

Not that we ever realised it, but it does indeed seem like the rules would be suggesting that the game ends immediately when the workers pile is exhausted at the end of a trading phase.
 
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norman rule
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mikey384 wrote:
The current round, say Round 5, has ended but the game has NOT ended. It is now the next round, Round 6, as the rules state. If the administrator places the last card of a group, play continues through all phases of this round, Round 6.


The rules do NOT state that. They are very clear that filling vacant slots comes at the end of a phase, not the beginning.

Each phase consists of the following (in the order shown):
1. The actions: the players acquire workers, buildings, and aristocrats. They play these on the table, add them to their hands, and play them from their hands to the table. This is the main part of the phase.
2. The scoring: the players score their workers or buildings or aristocrats.
3. The new cards: the administrator places new cards on the board. All four phases play in this way, except for the trading card phase, where there is no scoring (see also page 5).

"3. The new cards: During the actions, the players take cards from the board. At the end of each phase, the administrator adds cards to the board until there are a total of eight on the board (regardless of the number of players - always 8!)."

"The trading card phase and the end of the round:
The players give their starting player markers to their left neighbors, changing the starting players for the next round." They give an example of moving the markers, then say "The round is now ended."

Game end and final scoring says "When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building, the last aristocrat, or the last trading card) on the board, play continues through all phases of this round. After the round ends, the game ends and the final scoring follows. If there are not enough cards to fill 8 spaces, he places as many as there are."

THIS round... not the following round, because there is no following round.


mikey384 wrote:
If played with the literal translation, then why would it have to state "the last worker" because the game ended as you understand it?


Because the game may NOT end with the last worker. If the last building card is placed (at the end of the worker phase), then the game ends at the end of that upgrade round.

And a more obvious answer would be that if they didn't specify last worker as an end game trigger, someone would insist that you can continue to play even if no workers were available.
 
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mikey384 wrote:
I think most people if not all will agree that Sequence 1 is the right way to play. I had been taught Sequence 1 even before learning about BSW...my friend who taught me learned Sequence 1 from the local game store.

I find that BSW has helped me understand and clarify the rules of this game and many other games. Remember though, you can play Sequence 1 or Sequence 2 with your friends, but you can only play Sequence 1 on BSW.


I agree with you. Sequence 1 is how we were taught to play... it's how it's played on BSW and it's how it's been played at every tournament event I've attended.

I just wish the rules were in agreement with the rest of us! angry
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Hello out there,

I'm German and I think pretty good in English, too.

We played the game this evening after a long period of its shelf-sitting, so I had to read the rules again.

I have the very first printing without even the tasteless large red "Spiel des Jahres" - Pöppel printing on the box lid.

The German rules are quite clear, stating: "Regardless which stack runs out of cards, all remaining phases (worker/buildings/aristocrats and exchange/trading - whichever...) are played to the end of the exchange/trading phase of that round".

hope this helps...
 
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Speedwaysupporter wrote:

The German rules are quite clear, stating: "Regardless which stack runs out of cards, all remaining phases (worker/buildings/aristocrats and exchange/trading - whichever...) are played to the end of the exchange/trading phase of that round".


Michael, thanks for looking in to this. I don't think there's any real dispute that the play continues to the end of the round. The question is the intent of WHICH round.

According to how we are reading the English version of the rules, the empty slots are filled at the END of each phase... So at the end of the exchange/trading phase, you discard cards that are "on sale" and then fill the empty slots with worker cards.

If the worker stack runs out of cards, does the game end immediately. A strict reading seems to indicate that... although I can't find anybody who actually plays that way.
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This is a very interesting thread... I don't have my copy of the rules handy, and I am more curious what the original German rules say anyway.

I think people are confusing the issue... the question is not when to end the game. I think everyone is in agreement that it is after the trading card phase of the round in which at least one stack of cards was unable to fill the slots.

The question is: Are the worker cards placed during the trading card phase, or during the worker card phase?

The rules quoted above clearly state that they are placed during the trading card phase. In fact the order states that the worker cards are placed BEFORE you move the role tokens to the player on your left.

However, the rules for the phases as well as the end game rule itself seem to "imply" (to me anyway) that the placement of their own type is part of that phase (i.e. worker card placement in the worker phase).

It would be nice to get an official ruling on this. It could be that the majority of players and BSW have missed this subtle ordering and have played it wrong, or it could be that the wording in the trading card phase is just translated or written poorly.
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starscream wrote:
It would be nice to get an official ruling on this. It could be that the majority of players and BSW have missed this subtle ordering and have played it wrong, or it could be that the wording in the trading card phase is just translated or written poorly.


Well, someone has already contacted Jay at RGG. Unfortunately, his answer really didn't clarify things. Maybe someone has connections to the German designer?

I'm just amazed that "everybody" (including my group and all of the tournaments I've played in) plays it one way when a careful reading of the rules clearly indicate another way. Throughout this thread, I don't think anyone has admitted that their group plays exactly as written.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not voting for the "right" way. That would complicate strategy for the game immensely and many players would find themselves stuck with cards in hand. I would just like some clarification before the next time I go to a tournament!
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Lisa Pearce Collins
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Wow!

I didn't realise that I was going to spark such a long debate.

I can say that there is at least one group of gamers that are playing the way the rules seem to be strictly written and it makes the game end very abruptly.

I think that in the future we will use the rule that when you run out of workers you still play another round of workers/buildings/aristo/trading phases because it seems much more sensible.

Thanks for all the input.

Lisa
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mrorwell wrote:
Well, someone has already contacted Jay at RGG. Unfortunately, his answer really didn't clarify things. Maybe someone has connections to the German designer?


I was taught the game by the designer, and have always ended the game using those few remaining workers that were added at the end of the previous round. (If that is the first deck to run out of cards).

The German rules are worded slightly differently, but are saying the same thing:

Quote:
Sobald der Verwalter die letzte Karte einer Gruppe (also den letzten Handwerker oder das letzte Bauwerk usw.) auf den Spielplan gelegt hat, wird noch bis zum Ende der Austauschrunde gespielt. Nach der Austauschrunde ist das Spiel zu Ende.



"When the administrator places the last card of a group (the last worker, the last building etc.) on the board, play continues through the end of the Exchange phase [= Trading card phase]. After the Exchange phase the game ends."


I think people are getting confused about a single little word: "this". Try exchanging it with the word "that" instead:

"After placing the last card of a group (the last worker etc.) play continues through all phases of THAT round."

Yes, I know someone will still argue that "this" or "that" points towards the round the cards were actually placed in, but it is meant to point towards the round connected to the use of those cards.

I remember having the same debate when the game was first published, but the rules remain the same: the game only ends abrubtly if the Trading cards should run out - which I have never seen!
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