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Subject: Will new rule set get more people to play the game? rss

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Ziegreich
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Siena may be the game that gets the most diverse comments on the Geek. Some seem to think it's only good for the trash can, while others think it's the victim of a great gaming injustice. The one thing most people agree about is that the rules it came with aren't great. (At least the English version.)

I've gone through both BGG user Masdoro's latest version (v9) and the updated rules posted by Zman and after some headscratching came to the conclusion that this game isn't as hard as it looks. The structure is fairly straightforward and there are only 13 different action cards, one of which allows three different actions. Compared to many more popular games, this isn't daunting.

There is also the complication that in the course of the game your role changes and with it the cards you may use. The roles of Peasant and Merchant are pretty similar, but the Banker changes things quite a bit. Again, if you have the cards sorted, this isn't hard.

The problems people have with learning Siena, I think, has a lot to do with the way the rules have been organised. That's why I went to the trouble of restructuring and rewriting them. (See file uploads on the Siena page.) The rules now follow the flow of the game, showing what you can do at what stage and which cards are available to play at that stage, all with images of the cards (The cards don't have descriptive text on them, which presents new players with a problem.)

While Siena does have a fair amount of chrome, it seems to me that this game is no more daunting to learn than Goa or many others. I hope the new rule set will remove one more hurdle and allow more people to enjoy the game.
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Jesse Escobedo
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I think the best way to get people to play is with self-explanatory cards. This is what ArtsCow decks are really for!
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Steve Wessels
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The new rules got me to get the box out and give it a try. I've been impressed with the design and look of this game from when I first saw it. With your new updated rules, I gave a try.

Thanks.
 
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First off, thanks for making these rules.

Secondly, just to make sure my intentions are clear, this post is not intended as a complaint. Rather, this post is a reciprocation. I know that if I had written rules for something and posted them publicly, I would like hearing feedback from people who read them.

Now to the meat of my post... I should be receiving Siena in a day or two. I have never played this game, or even seen its original rules or any of its components. However, I have read your rules (Version 3) in the hopes that I will know how to play it when it gets here. The following is my feedback to your rules:

Overall comments:
- The rules were generally easy to read and I feel like I have an understanding of how to play after reading them.
- Various card images throughout the rules are missing some border lines.

Comments on specific sections:

Section 2.1.4 Production Tracks
"=Cloth" should be "= Cloth"

Section 4 OPENING AUCTION
"A player who passes their turn cannot take part in the auction for the next card."
I'm reading from this that the player who passes their turn cannot participate in the very next auction, but can participate in subsequent auctions. If this is true, I think that it should be explicitly stated that they can participate in subsequent auctions.

"The bidding continues until all cards are sold or all players decide not to buy any more of the available cards and everyone passes."
So if everyone passes, but then one person decides that he wants to start an auction, then that's permissible? I'm guessing that the intention is actually that a unanimous decision is not required, just consecutive passings. Also the language of "buy" vs. "start an auction" is inconsistent. I think this should be rephrased to "The auctioning continues until all cards are sold or all players pass their turn consecutively."

Section 5.2.3 Auction asterisk cards

Maybe it's obvious, but I think it should be explicitly stated that the minimum bid is 1 florin, not 0 florins.

Section 5.3 Action Phase

"However, all cards with the same action must be played together as a group. A player cannot play a card, take its action and then play another similar card." So this means that I can't play a card for an action, then later play a similar card in the same turn for movement. Instead, I would have to play them at the same time. Is that intended?

Also, only the playing of cards is mentioned here as possible actions. There should also be a sentence about changing classes and artist auctions happening during this phase.

Section 6.2 Calandrino the Beggar

There is an extra newline after "When Calandrino encounters a stationary Banker, even in passing,".

Section 7.4 Becoming a Merchant

This section, with the accompanying "Note on improving status" box, has left me confused as to whether or not I can perform any actions after I become a merchant. If I cannot take additional actions, why is it not explicitly forbidden with something like "After the status marker is removed, the player may not take any additional actions and his turn is over." If I can take additional actions, since it says in the box "The new status privileges start just after the end of the player’s current turn", that means that only Peasant actions are available, but that doesn't make sense because I've already become a Merchant. Also, I don't like that "A player cannot become a Banker if he is a Peasant - he has to play at least one turn as Merchant first." and "The new status privileges start just after the end of the player’s current turn." are in the note box, as these are new rules. The other items in the note box are clarifications. However, if there was a sentence such as the one I suggested above, then they would be clarifications. Also, "status privileges" is a little confusing because the term does not appear anywhere else. I'm assuming it refers to the bulleted items under "A Peasant can:", "A Merchant can:", "A Banker must:", and "A Banker can:".

Section 8 PLAYING AS A MERCHANT

The bullet point "Play a Firenze-Arezzo Road card to journey to either city." made me think that there was a separate type of Firenze-Arezzo card, however as stated later, these are actually a subset of production cards, which are covered by the previous bullet point. The bullet point should probably be changed to something simpler like "Journey along the Firenze-Arezzo Road."

Section 8.2 Firenze-Arezzo Road

It would be nice if there was an example card image here.

Section 8.4 Becoming a Banker

As with section 8.4, I'm unsure if I can take more actions after becoming a Banker on my turn, though it seems likely that I cannot. Also, you should probably mention to remove the player's marker from the Firenze-Arezzo Road if one is there.

Section 9.2 Meeting Calandrino the Beggar

I would change "Refuse to give alms (florins) to Calandrino and place one wooden cube in front of him to represent his stinginess." to "Refuse to give alms (florins) to Calandrino and place one wooden cube in front of himself as a Stinginess Penalty."

Section 9.11 Torre del Mangia (& building the tower)

This section doesn't use the language of "every time the Banker stops". I'm guessing that's an accident. Also the chart headers are messed up.


That's all. Thanks again for making the rules!
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Don't Blink
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Quote:
Section 5.3 Action Phase

"However, all cards with the same action must be played together as a group. A player cannot play a card, take its action and then play another similar card." So this means that I can't play a card for an action, then later play a similar card in the same turn for movement. Instead, I would have to play them at the same time. Is that intended?

Also, only the playing of cards is mentioned here as possible actions. There should also be a sentence about changing classes and artist auctions happening during this phase.


I've just bought the game and really appreciate the new rulebook.

I have similar questions and was wondering if someone could post the answers?
 
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