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Power Grid: Factory Manager» Forums » Rules

Subject: ROUND and PHASE well defined -- but TURN? rss

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Ted Alper
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I think my specific question has already been answered in the thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/487382/workers-very-conf..., so I apologize for writing this, but when playing through the game by myself to work out the bugs, I found myself parsing the rules rather closely trying to puzzle out the answer to this question. It was somewhat frustrating, and I started taking notes in order to post on BGG. While I'm very grateful to see the immediate answer to my question already here, I didn't want to just throw the notes away! Maybe someone will find this details helpful in some way.

So I hope you don't mind if I expand a bit upon the issue of why the clarification was necessary:


The rules clearly define the terms ROUND and a PHASE, but then in several places use the word "TURN", without any definition and often in different senses. Does it mean the end of a player's sequence of actions in a phase? Or an entire round? Or is turn that portion of a round that ends after phase 3? [oddly that last usage seems to be the proper meaning, at least in the place where the ambiguity is most serious]

Here are the various places the word TURN is used: (emphasis mine throught):

(I) (minor) -- at the very start of the phase 1 explanation, after drawing new player order tiles, it says "the remaining two players tiles are not used in this TURN ...". Here it doesn't really matter whether it means phase or round, it's clear what to do.

(II) (more important) -- a little further down in the phase 1 explanation [auctioning the new player order], it reads "This player... places the number of workers he bid on the tile, where they remain and are not available anymore until the end of the TURN." I initially assumed this means the end of the ROUND, i.e. the end of phase 5. [though later it says in phase 3 that if the worker is a seasonal worker, and he's not re-hired, he may get put back in the box at the end of phase 3, before the end of the ronud -- so I inferred that if she was an ordinary worker, she'd be stuck on the turn-order tile until ...

well, I THOUGHT it was until the end of the entire round, but maybe not, since in phase 4 it says "First... each player places ALL his workers in the space for available workers..." -- so are workers used to bid on turn order available in phase 4 or not?

I was at least able to tell that the phrase "end of the turn" here clearly is meant to include at least phase 2 (else it would be meaningless to put the worker on the tile in the first place) and phase 3 (else that seasonal worker wouldn't still be on the player order tile as meantioned in the phase 3 explanation), but phase 4 could go either way.

I have since read the answer given at
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/487382/workers-very-conf... and I think that's sensible, but the other interpretation would also be coherent in the context of the game.



(III) (clear in context, but definitely a different use of the word TURN) in the phase 3 explanation, [Tearing down factory tiles], a worker is placed on the tile to be torn down and "...After the TURN, ... his worker becomes available again" Here this appears to mean the end of the player's turn within the phase. -- or maybe the word TURN is simply meant to be that portion of the round that ends after phase 3? wouldn't it be nice to say that explicitly somewhere?

(IV) For that matter, a little later in the phase 3 explanation [hiring a seasonal worker], it says "If a player already employs seasonal workers and wants to keep them for another TURN" -- here the context makes clear that this means until the end of phase 3 of the next round.

(V) Finally, at the end of phase 3 it says "When all players have completed their TURNS..." Argh!
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Stephen Rochelle
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edit: starting over.

I: not used until the subsequent round

II: become available in Phase 4 (see "each player places all his workers in the space for available workers beside his factory".)

III: see II.

IV: yeah, round.

V: when all players have completed the phase.
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Steve Duff
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Phase = Phase 1, 2... 5, as laid out in the manual.
Round = complete set of phases 1 to 5
Turn = subset of a round, phases 1 to 3. These are the phases where you actively consume workers to do limited tasks like bidding, buying, tearing down. Phases 4 and 5 are accounting and bureaucracy, which are a bit different.

Ultimately, none of this really matters. Just do what each rule says. Phase 4 says place all your workers beside your board, *do* it, and you play correctly.
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Ted Alper
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Right, thanks to you both -- it does seem like the intent was to break the phases of a round down into two components -- the three phases where players DO things (phases 1-3, i.e. their "turn") and the book-keeping phases 4 and 5 [which could have been consolidated into a single "bureaucracy" phase, as in the original Power Grid]. Actually, that's a little oversimplified as players DO take some actions in phase 4, as they may decide not to power up some of their tiles -- indeed, you are choosing, in part, whether to actively consume workers who thus won't be availablle next... um, turn.

I agree that if you do what it says in Phase 4, all works out -- the problem comes when two rules seem to contradict each other, as they seemed to in this case (one place says the workers must stay put until the end of the turn, the other says all workers are placed in a particular locatoin) -- it's not always clear what was intended. With this resolution, it is clear what was intended.

Anyway, thanks again.

 
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cvlw Lebron
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Thanks for asking the question. The rules are terribly, terribly worded - it's taken us about 3 plays to finally get the right rhythm of the game.
 
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