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Subject: No character reference cards included? rss

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Brian Gee
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Just learned this game for the first time last night (2 player), and couldn't believe the glaring oversight of no included character reference cards. Was something like that included in the original printing?

Instead, you get a reference card for the turn order on one side (good), and the other side contains a summary of the scoring. Scoring information would normally only be referenced once or twice during a game or at the end of the game, whereas character information is needed EVERY turn. My girlfriend and I found ourselves passing the rulebook back and forth and flipping pages constantly. Not only do you need to know what the character does, but you also need to remember the order. It would have been much more useful to have the scoring side of the reference card instead contain a character reference list.

I guess I will be printing out character references from BGG, as I feel this game is otherwise unteachable to a group of new casual gamers. Such a component should have been included with the game.
 
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I memorized the characters and their order fairly quickly, along with all the stuff on the the included reference sheet, so it was all moot. For newbies, I don't deem it necessary to have such player aids, but definitely would've been nice. Problem is, the new FFG edition boxes are so small, you can barely fit anything else in there. Maybe 4 player aids cut to that appropriate size, but that may have been too much cost for production.
 
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William Crispin
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There is a wide variety you can download and print from the files section.
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Sean
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My favorite reference is the one created by UniversalHead at his site The Headless Hollow here: http://www.headlesshollow.com/freebies_games.html. Sharp. Concise. Cut and laminated will fit in the game box. (Not sure but it may also be posted under the Files section here on BGG.)
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Brian Gee
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William, yes, as mentioned in the OP, I am aware that there are references available here on BGG, and plan to print some, but the point is that I shouldn't have to.

ackmondual, yes, by the second play, I had memorized the order of the characters, and the general gist of their abilities, if not the specific details. My concern is less with the playability of the game and more with the teachability. In our first 2 player game, there was a LOT of passing around of the rulebook, and the character selection phase went VERY slowly. I was hoping to introduce this to a larger group, but I can't imagine dealing with the character selection phase in a large, new group if they all have to wait their turn to flip through the rulebook.

Yes, the box is small and they fit an expansion as well, but my point was that the scoring reference for example was largely unneeded, and could have easily held a character reference instead. This would not have taken up additional room in the box (besides, they had room for several cards with advertisements for other games!). The fact that you need to know both the order AND the power of all 8 characters makes this the most important set of information in the game. It would be much easier to memorize the scoring method or even the phases of the turn compared to the characters, so why provide a reference for these less essential aspects of the game? Imagine I'm the person "running" the game. If someone needs to refresh their memory about the turn order or scoring, it's very easy for me to recap that information without each player needing a reference sheet. But I'm certainly not going to recap all 8 characters on each turn, so you are left with no choice but to pass the rulebook around or print your own references.

This was a massive oversight on the part of the publishers.
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Clement Tey
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Aren't the character abilities printed in full on the cards, except for the Warlord?
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Todd
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The characters included with the base game don't really need much explanation aside from what's on the cards, if I recall correctly. There are a few occasions where the star characters have some missing info, but it shouldn't have to be addressed more than a couple of times.

There are only 8 base characters to remember, and 1, 2, and 4 easily stick out. My first time group had them pretty much memorized after a game or two.

Quote:
The fact that you need to know both the order AND the power of all 8 characters makes this the most important set of information in the game.


I just don't understand what you're saying here, as this information is clearly printed on each character card. If a character isn't available to be chosen, it's either face down or taken...what do you need to reference?
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Tuuli Mustasydän
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downstream wrote:

Just learned this game for the first time last night (2 player), and couldn't believe the glaring oversight of no included character reference cards. Was something like that included in the original printing?

I have one of the older printings (in the larger box), and it did not have a character reference card.
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Angelo Nikolaou
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I don't find the character reference needed.

When the king calls for the next character, he can always call for its number, not the name

When the thief or the assassin wants to target someone, they can easily target someone by number, not by name.

Then, after one game you can pretty much learn it all.

I have to agree that having someone to teach you and help you with the names would indeed be helpful.
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downstream wrote:

Yes, the box is small and they fit an expansion as well, but my point was that the scoring reference for example was largely unneeded, and could have easily held a character reference instead. This would not have taken up additional room in the box (besides, they had room for several cards with advertisements for other games!). The fact that you need to know both the order AND the power of all 8 characters makes this the most important set of information in the game. It would be much easier to memorize the scoring method or even the phases of the turn compared to the characters, so why provide a reference for these less essential aspects of the game? Imagine I'm the person "running" the game. If someone needs to refresh their memory about the turn order or scoring, it's very easy for me to recap that information without each player needing a reference sheet. But I'm certainly not going to recap all 8 characters on each turn, so you are left with no choice but to pass the rulebook around or print your own references.

This was a massive oversight on the part of the publishers.

Au contraire. A few have found the scoresheet and turn order references helpful



xjohncandyx wrote:
The characters included with the base game don't really need much explanation aside from what's on the cards, if I recall correctly. There are a few occasions where the star characters have some missing info, but it shouldn't have to be addressed more than a couple of times.

There are only 8 base characters to remember, and 1, 2, and 4 easily stick out. My first time group had them pretty much memorized after a game or two.

Quote:
The fact that you need to know both the order AND the power of all 8 characters makes this the most important set of information in the game.


I just don't understand what you're saying here, as this information is clearly printed on each character card. If a character isn't available to be chosen, it's either face down or taken...what do you need to reference?
princemousey wrote:
Aren't the character abilities printed in full on the cards, except for the Warlord?


If I were to surmise, to the OP....

Half of it would be the principle of it.

The other half would be having a reference OUTSIDE of the character cards. A newbie may be deciding on which character card to choose, but can't remember if the Warlord goes before or after the Merchant, or if the Thief comes before or after the Ass. Having the cards won't help at this point b/c they'll either be facedown on teh table (where no player is allowed to look at), or already choosen by others (which no other players may look either).

However, my primal fear would be having to use such a reference would REALLY drag the game on further and further. To me, this is one of those games that's best played by typically taking 5 to 10s to decide on what to do. It's difficult without knowing the characters, but I've noticed players pick this up rather quickly, in which case, the exclusion of such a reference sheet isn't THAT bad IMO.

EDIT: typo
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Brian Gee
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Exactly. Yes, half of it is principal perhaps, but as ackmondual indicates, there are situations where you need a reference OUTSIDE of what's written on the cards. Most of the strategy of choosing a role involves thinking about which roles are missing and which one was more likely to have been taken by another player. Also, the order that the roles resolve in is often relevant to your decision of which role to choose as well. The game is intentionally designed so that anytime you are choosing a role, there is at least one or more roles missing, so the role cards CANNOT serve the purpose of teaching players ALL of the roles (obviously).

Please understand, I realize the roles are easy to learn and memorize after a couple of plays. As I already mentioned, my concerns are mainly regarding the "teachability" of the game, not the playability. I know my posts are a bit wordy, but if you actually read the whole thing, it will make sense I swear!

As Todd says, his first group had the roles memorized after 2 plays (which, again, I already clarified in my posts that I was able to do as well!), but it's those first 2 plays that are so important, especially for casual non-gamers. If the players feel confused, or if some players get frustrated because other players are taking a really long time to decide on a role, this will make the game less likely to see the table next time. And maybe by the time it does, they will have to remember the roles all over again!

Character reference cards would have easily resolved these concerns. I will NOT be introducing this game to my playgroup until I get a chance to print off character reference cards. And considering the number of games I still have not introduced them to (that don't require supplemental material to teach easily), this means I may or may not ever get around to doing so. And that's too bad because it otherwise seems like a great game.
 
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Sean
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ackmondual wrote:


..if the Warlord goes before or after the Merchant, or if the Thief comes before or fater the Ass. Having the cards won't help...


Not sure who "Fater the Ass" is, but I'm sure he comes last.
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Harrelson wrote:
ackmondual wrote:


..if the Warlord goes before or after the Merchant, or if the Thief comes before or fater the Ass. Having the cards won't help...


Not sure who "Fater the Ass" is, but I'm sure he comes last.
"After the ass." Short for assassin. I like to abbreviate when it's late. I corrected that typo for those who couldn't tell by context.
 
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King of the Dead
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Is this an actual problem that has come up or are you getting upset in advance of actually trying to teach people?

It sounds, from your posts, that it's the former.

If so, you might want to give it a shot. As many others here have stated it's really not that big of a deal to teach without references.
Really.
 
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Tuuli Mustasydän
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Nazhuret wrote:
Is this an actual problem that has come up or are you getting upset in advance of actually trying to teach people?

It sounds, from your posts, that it's the former.

If so, you might want to give it a shot. As many others here have stated it's really not that big of a deal to teach without references.
Really.


Um...that'd be the latter, not the former
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Sean
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ackmondual wrote:
Harrelson wrote:
ackmondual wrote:


..if the Warlord goes before or after the Merchant, or if the Thief comes before or fater the Ass. Having the cards won't help...


Not sure who "Fater the Ass" is, but I'm sure he comes last.
"After the ass." Short for assassin. I like to abbreviate when it's late. I corrected that typo for those who couldn't tell by context.


Nothin' but love for ya, ackmondual.
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Brian Gee
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Nazhuret wrote:
Is this an actual problem that has come up or are you getting upset in advance of actually trying to teach people?


Yes and no. Like I said, I have already taught the game to myself and my girlfriend, and found it a frustrating experience without reference cards. I can only imagine that the frustration would be amplified with more people, because there are more people that will need to share the rulebook. But I think my point would be valid even if I was basing it only on the 2 player experience I have already tried.

I think you guys are misinterpreting my point a little bit. I'm not trying to say that the game is impossible to teach without reference cards, I'm just saying that it would be much easier to teach WITH them. And that character reference cards seem comparatively MORE important than a scoring reference card, or even a turn reference card! Not to mention the advertising cards... it just seems like a poor decision to not include them. Without them, there is no way to get a "big picture" view of all the characters as you learn them, because the character deck will always have some missing. So it is unavoidable that the first game will involve much passing around of the rulebook around and flipping of pages that would otherwise not be necessary.
 
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Tuuli Mustasydän
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downstream wrote:
So it is unavoidable that the first game will involve much passing around of the rulebook around and flipping of pages that would otherwise not be necessary.
One nice thing about the old 'larger-box' printing was that all of the roles just happened to be on the back page of the rules.

I don't recall players being worried about needing know what cards do the couple of times I've had to teach it, but then, they were very casual gamers and just wanted to have fun. I wouldn't stress out about it.
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Brian Gee
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kyrasantae wrote:
One nice thing about the old 'larger-box' printing was that all of the roles just happened to be on the back page of the rules.


Interesting. I think that was part of the frustration. The layout of the rulebook made it hard to take in a big picture idea of the 8 character cards. Combined on the back of the rulebook would be better at least.
 
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Vernon Evenhuis
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I have an older copy of this and it didn't come with any reference cards.
I can't see the need. It's a simple game and all the info is on the character and district cards themselves. I've taught this game to several non-gamer types and never had a problem. If you feel the need for them, print 'em off this site, but I don't think the designers are at fault here.
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Jon M
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I have never had a problem teaching the game to plenty of non gamers.

The roles are numbered, there are only eight, their abilities are pretty straight forward and can be explained up front. After a couple of goes around all the roles will have been selected. Give the king the rule book so they can call out the roles in order and you are golden.

Perhaps it was partly that you were playing two player. With six or seven players many more roles are used in a turn and you only have to think about one role each and players often have less choice.
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