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Subject: A night of relaxed and inconsistent rules: Zendo & Settlers with my friends rss

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Adam McD
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Players: Pa, Da, Qu, and me (Ad).



We play Zendo first. Da is the master. After just 1 and 1/2 rounds (only 6-7 koans on the table), Pa uses the first guessing stone of the game...

"The rule is that pieces are touching."
"That's it," says Da (the master).

The early guess made me suspicious, considering there were many other viable rules available that were as simple or more simple than the one that was guessed. Even though Da already said 'that's it', I ask them what they mean by 'pieces are touching':

"Do you mean that a koan has the BN if any two pieces touch? Or does a koan have the BN if ..."
One of them cuts me off, "yeah that's what it means," (basically telling me, 'duh!').



So Pa is the master of the next game. Again, before many koans even make their way to the table, someone guesses.

"There are two blue pieces. That's the rule," says Da.
"Good enough!" says Pa (the master).

'Good enough'!? I get sort of annoyed, "is the rule that 'there are exactly two blue pieces', or that 'there are at least two blue pieces'?"
Again I get brushed off as being the overly picky rules-lawyer who should lighten up.



Ok, I've been there in long games, when a (usually inexperienced) master thinks up a particularly tough rule, and ends up giving the win to whoever guessing something close to his/her rule that is consistent with what's on the board. But I see no reason for this so early in the game.

The competitive side of me gets frustrated because I am saving my very first guessing stone until the number of simple plausible guesses is narrowed down somewhat. The inquisitive side of me is disappointed because the main reason I play Zendo is to challenge myself to think up a clever (but uncomplicated) rule when master, and to use my detective skills to pinpoint the master's rule when I'm the student -- these games had about as much mystery & suspense as a game of peek-a-boo.



We play a game of Settlers next.

I am saving up for a road + settlement, and when I go to build, I am told that I cannot build there. The issue is that I want to place a settlement in a spot that already has two of Da's roads connected to it (see the picture below -- click for a larger one. In this picture, the dotted road & settlement represent the ones I intend to build -- please tell me if I am in the wrong).


We are playing at Pa's house, so he makes a judgement. He says that if Da has already 'paved through' that vertex with roads, then he 'owns' it, so it doesn't make sense for me to build there.

I try to argue that no matter what seems to make sense, we should follow the actual rules. Da states that, "it wouldn't be fair to let you build there because I placed my roads assuming you wouldn't be able to build there." Isn't it just as unfair for me to save up resources to build there, just to be told that I can't!?



Look, I'm fine with house rules -- in fact, I usually encourage them. But shouldn't they be clear to everyone before you start playing? And with my Zendo examples, am I the only one bugged by this sort of extra relaxed stance on rules? I really don't want to be known as 'the rules lawyer', but this is ridiculous.

I just wanted to vent a bit and see if anyone had any comments...



PS. Although I've created many threads, I've never had one appropriate for the 'Sessions' category before. A couple questions: (1) Does this belong here, or is there a better place for it? (2) I've never had any of my posts be considered for GeekGold. It is my understanding that Reviews & Sessions are usually marked to be considered for GG. Would this type of session be a appropriate for this (I am assuming not, but I am not sure)?
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John Holder
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Sounds like a frustrating night. Considering the Settlers rulebook (I believe) shows that you can build exactly as you proposed to break someone's "Longest Road" that should have been a no-brainer that you would be allowed to build there.

And Zendo would suck without precision.
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Russ Williams
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I think you should have then protested when someone else tried to build a settlement, on the grounds that you understood the rules to be that it was illegal for someone to build a 4th settlement or whatever, and then if they say "but it's clearly legal according to the rules", you could also reply as they did: "But is it fair that I was planning on the assumption that you couldn't do that?"

As for Zendo, it's hard to tell from your story whether the first guesser was simply correct, or if the master was vague.
 
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Todd Redden
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I would recommend that your friends take the time to gander the designer's Zendo web page, clicking ALL THE LINKS. Specificity is urgent in the logic of Zendo.

http://www.koryheath.com/games/zendo
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Matt Davis
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From a gamer's perspective, you don't seem out of line at all there. That sounds really aggravating.
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Adam McD
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AdamMcD wrote:
PS. Although I've created many threads, I've never had one appropriate for the 'Sessions' category before. A couple questions: (1) Does this belong here, or is there a better place for it? (2) I've never had any of my posts be considered for GeekGold. It is my understanding that Reviews & Sessions are usually marked to be considered for GG. Would this type of session be a appropriate for this (I am assuming not, but I am not sure)?

Oh. Apparently Sessions (and Reviews) are always automatically considered for GeekGold -- I did not know. Well that answers that question.

So maybe I should start writing 'session reports' more often...

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Subject: What do you think of the new Transformers movie?

Settlers of Catan » Forums » Sessions
Subject: So I was playing a game of Settlers and...

So I was playing a game of Settlers and I decided to transform my settlement into a city. Hey! Speaking of transforming, what did y'all think of the new Transformers movie?
 
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Russ Williams
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AdamMcD wrote:
So I was playing a game of Settlers and I decided to transform my settlement into a city. Hey! Speaking of transforming, what did y'all think of the new Transformers movie?

I think if you actually went to see the Transformers movie, you should pay a GG penalty.
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David Molnar
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Adam, that sounds horrific. But it was your fault: did you not give your guests orange soda? I assume, since you didn't mention it explicitly in your session report, that you didn't.
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