Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

Age of Steam» Forums » Rules

Subject: Track Building with No Destination (Detroit-Toronto corridor) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
T. Rosen
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
admin
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Last night was my 36th time playing Age of Steam and I'd never had this question come up before. My opponent had built a straight track coming out of north-east Detroit, headed towards Toronto. I had the track heading south from Detroit, and wanted to make sure I would be able to be the one to deliver all of the cubes out of Detroit. So you can understand how congested it was up there, my opponent had the track heading south from Toronto across the Niagara Falls and through Buffalo down to Pittsburgh. So the question is, I took First Build, and built track coming out of Toronto, blocking both of the left exits from Toronto. I had no possible legal destination for this track and was planning to abandon it the following turn, unless my opponent abandoned his track coming out of Detroit first. My opponent thought that my track build was against the rules because there was no legal destination for this track, since it couldn't get into Detroit or Buffalo. I think that my build was legal, although a bit obnoxious and gamey of course, and in retrospect probably not in my best interest, since First Move would've accomplished almost as much and been a lot cheaper, and let me build track elsewhere instead. Anyway, so assuming that is enough information to understand the situation, but let me know if there are questions outstanding, I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on whether this is against the rules or not. Thanks!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Schaeffer
United States
Unspecified
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It was a legal move. Nothing says you have to connect, or be able to connect. If you don't (or can't) continue the track by the end of your next turn, it becomes unclaimed, and anybody can connect to it -- including redirecting a piece you have shunted off in a wonky direction to meet their own track.

Blocking is a part of the game. It's probably not your best move to block someone like that without gaining any direct benefit for yourself, but it's legal.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Aarhus
United States
Centreville
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Fair disclosure: I was the opponent in the scenario!

My question would be the interpretation of the following rule:

"All future track built by a player must ultimately connect to a City through that player's track". (Page 3, "Building Track")

Now: what is the purpose of this rule? In theory, I could build one piece of track per turn, ever lengthening a route, every turn of the game, without it ever reaching a destination. Legal? On the surface, it appears so. Pointless? Of course (in both senses of the word). So, what does this rule mean, in this context?

I argue: if it is known that (at this moment in the game) that a Player's track cannot connect to a City (because of geography), that track cannot be built.

It comes down to your interpretation of the word 'ultimately': is it meant in looking towards the future? ("Any future track placed must be capable of connecting to a city through that same player's track, otherwise it may not be built.") Or is it a superfluous restatement of the obvious? And if so, what of the references to incomplete track -- either abandoned (the player loses control) or game-end scoring (if it doesn't reach a city/town, it doesn't count for points) -- obviously in these cases the track did not 'ultimately' reach a city (or town, ignoring that aspect for a moment), but they appear to be legal outcomes.

Therefore, if you know at that moment that a piece of track cannot ultimately be connected to a city (any city, for that matter), I say this rule says you may not place it in the first place. The investors won't stand for it...

Finally, in retrospect -- whether or not Tom did this, the outcome of this particular game wouldn't have changed -- he won handily -- but I'm thinking this rule was written to prevent exactly this sort of situation.
2 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. Rosen
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
admin
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for clarifying the situation and rules question Bob.

Hopefully more will weigh in so we can get a good sense for the right answer or at least the general consensus.

If you have that photo to upload and post here it could help possibly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
VA
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Plate of Shrimp.
badge
Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think Tom did both what was legal and in the spirit of the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Aarhus
United States
Centreville
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
John has already given a "thumbs up" to Dan's reply, meaning that the move was quite legal. With that, I'm satisfied, although I would still like to understand the meaning of the "ultimately connect" rule for future reference!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ClosetOtaku wrote:
Fair disclosure: I was the opponent in the scenario!

My question would be the interpretation of the following rule:

"All future track built by a player must ultimately connect to a City through that player's track". (Page 3, "Building Track")

Now: what is the purpose of this rule?


Very simple. The rule stops people building a new track segment out in the wilderness or from a town they don't connect to. Every piece of track you build must connect either directly to a city, or indirectly to a city following only your own track. (this indirect connection is the ultimately part)

So, the track segment that you were objecting to was perfectly legal because it was connected to Detroit which is a city.

B>
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Aarhus
United States
Centreville
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
thepackrat wrote:
Very simple. The rule stops people building a new track segment out in the wilderness or from a town they don't connect to. Every piece of track you build must connect either directly to a city, or indirectly to a city following only your own track. (this indirect connection is the ultimately part)

So, the track segment that you were objecting to was perfectly legal because it was connected to Detroit which is a city.

B>


Aha! OK, I understand. "Ultimately" not in a future sense, but in a trace-it-back to the source sense. Thank you!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Schaeffer
United States
Unspecified
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ClosetOtaku wrote:
Finally, in retrospect -- whether or not Tom did this, the outcome of this particular game wouldn't have changed -- he won handily -- but I'm thinking this rule was written to prevent exactly this sort of situation.


I'm not sure that's the case. It may simply have been included to avoid people leaving unfinished track on the board and being able to count them toward end-game scoring.

I would suggest that given the option to redirect, it may be possible for even a blocked track to some day connect "properly." I don't have the map in question handy, but I would imagine that if two players build track into a bottleneck, one of them is going to have to abandon his portion, leaving it for the other player to adopt/co-opt/absorb into his network.

I'm inclined to agree that John Bohrer's thumb on my initial response is the designer's approval of my view of the legality, though I would be curious as to how he would interpret the intent or rationale for the rules language you quoted.

EDIT: Ah, ninja'ed by Bruce. And with a more accurate and complete answer, to boot.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bohrer
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Golux13 wrote:
I'm inclined to agree that John Bohrer's thumb on my initial response is the designer's approval of my view of the legality, though I would be curious as to how he would interpret the intent or rationale for the rules language you quoted.


The intent is as Bruce outlined above: to stop players from building a new track segment from a town with which they do not currently enjoy a connection. Every piece of track you build must connect to a City through your own track. This connection may go for 24 track hexes, 5 towns and comprise 6 Completed Railroad Links, but it must ultimately reach a City using the player's track.

If anyone would like to suggest a better word than 'ultimately', I would be delighted to see it. I did not use 'eventually' as that has a greater denotative linkage to temporal aspects rather than physical distance. If someone can suggest a better word, my vocabulary would appreciate it. meeple
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thommy8 wrote:
I think that my build was legal, although a bit obnoxious

It's legal and obnoxious. What could be better?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juho Snellman
Switzerland
Zurich
Zurich
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
John Bohrer wrote:
If anyone would like to suggest a better word than 'ultimately', I would be delighted to see it. I did not use 'eventually' as that has a greater denotative linkage to temporal aspects rather than physical distance. If someone can suggest a better word, my vocabulary would appreciate it. :meeple:


I usually explain it as "any track you build must be transitively connected to a city using only your own track", and it's always worked so far. But it might be a bit obscure for people without a math or computer science background.
2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chien-Tsun Chen
Taiwan
Taipei
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jsnell wrote:

I usually explain it as "any track you build must be transitively connected to a city using only your own track", and it's always worked so far. But it might be a bit obscure for people without a math or computer science background.


So, your track "network" should be built in the same way as we build cities in Power Grid? No "new origin" of track/cities are allowed?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bohrer
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Excellent word, I have not used transitively since Carnegie-Mellon in the '70s. Geek gold for you, Juho.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bohrer
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
smoox wrote:
So, your track "network" should be built in the same way as we build cities in Power Grid? No "new origin" of track/cities are allowed?


You can start another 'network' as long as your track connects to a City through your own track.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Schaeffer
United States
Unspecified
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Instead of "All future track built by a player must ultimately connect to a City through that player's track," couldn't you just say "All track built by a player must connect to at least one City through that player's track"? You wouldn't even need the word "future" (though that may be dictated by the context).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd suggest using 'some city' rather than anything with 'one city', simply to avoid questions similar to the power grid one above.

B>
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bohrer
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Golux13 wrote:
Instead of "All future track built by a player must ultimately connect to a City through that player's track," couldn't you just say "All track built by a player must connect to at least one City through that player's track"? You wouldn't even need the word "future" (though that may be dictated by the context).


The rules lawyers would have fun with that. "That doesn't connect to a City, it connects to a Town". As for 'future', please examine the context of the sentence in the rules. It outlines the very first track placement restrictions, then the sentence in question follows.

Writing concise rules for a game that is both complex and open is always a challenge. I am quite happy with the AoS rules as I created them back in 2001, although I must agree that transitively would have been a more concise word than ultimately.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Schaeffer
United States
Unspecified
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
John Bohrer wrote:
Golux13 wrote:
Instead of "All future track built by a player must ultimately connect to a City through that player's track," couldn't you just say "All track built by a player must connect to at least one City through that player's track"? You wouldn't even need the word "future" (though that may be dictated by the context).


The rules lawyers would have fun with that. "That doesn't connect to a City, it connects to a Town". As for 'future', please examine the context of the sentence in the rules. It outlines the very first track placement restrictions, then the sentence in question follows.


Well, the rules lawyers will find something to play with no matter what. For instance, the word "ultimately" that triggered this thread.

How about: "All future track built by a player must connect to at least one City through that player's track, which may include track that passes through towns." (Rules Lawyer: "That track connects to a town, it doesn't pass through it." Me: "Shut up.")

Much of my job consists of writing or, more frequently, rewriting contracts, so I realize that conciseness and clarity are often at odds. I have a great deal of respect for those who manage to write clear rules for games (and considerable contempt for those who can't be arsed to do so).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cliff
United States
Western Great Lakes - Owashtinong Aajigaaning
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jsnell wrote:

I usually explain it as "any track you build must be transitively connected to a city using only your own track", and it's always worked so far. But it might be a bit obscure for people without a math or computer science background.


Marvelous! It is obscure but so was 'orthogonal' the first time I heard it. I'm willing to bump up the vocabulary. A related side note: 'bump' is the term I was taught for increasing locomotive capacity during AoS (train whistle for Cortexbomb...)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Shugar
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmb
Sorry for bumping this old thread. After working through a solo dummy game the last few days, tonight I'll be playing my first game of AoS against 2 other also 1st time,but highly competitive, players.
When all is said and done, would it be correct to say that the sentence on page 7 of the current rules, "All future track built by a player must ultimately connect to a city through that player's track" can be read as "When a track is placed by a player it must be traceable back to a city, via his own tracks, at that time."

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mikko Saari
Finland
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.