Truong Le
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The rules state that with the use of the Doctor Card, the player reduces the life stage of one of his aristocrats or increases the life stage of one of his opponents aristocrats. Can the Doctor Card be applied to the emperor?

Actually this and many other questions arise out of the inconsistancies by which the terms aristocrat, baron, couple, elector, and emperor are used in the rules.

Is an elector considered an aristocrat? Is the emperor an aristocrat? Can the Doctor card be used on them all?

Another example of an inconsistantly written rule:

The player who controls the elector at Koln, as his privilege, may in phase 4 reduce the life stage of one of his Barons or Couples by 1 life stage or increase the life stage of an opponent's Baron or Couple by 1 life stage (without paying).

Who are the Barons and Couples that the rules apply to? Can the privilege at Koln affect electors or the emperor?

Another example of an inconsistanly written rule:

With the use of the Church Influence Card, all aristocrats and knights in the color of the elector give the owner of the elector an additional vote. This action can only be taken in a spiritual electorate. The owner of the card decides which Archdiocese the card effects before the Emperor election.

Again, in the chosen electorate, is the elector himself considered an aristcrat for purposes of an additional vote? For instance, the Red Player has played the Church Influence Card on an electorate that has 1 red elector, 1 red knight, and 1 red couple. Does the red elector get 4 votes? (1 as his standard elector's vote, plus 1 for the knight, plus 1 for the couple, plus 1 for the elector again because he is an aristocrat which would earn him an addtional vote per the Church Influence Card). Or does the red elector get only 3 votes, since an elector is not considered an aristocrat?

Grrrrr!!!! It is extremely frustrating when what appears to be a really great game has such a sloppily written rule book. We had many such questions that arose out of our first playing of this game.

Any help clarifying the usages of the words in question as well as any rulings concerning how the affected Cards and Privileges are used would be greatly appreciated.

 
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
TXLe (#470591),

Download my translation posted here and see if that helps. We had no problems playing the game with it (there's also a FAQ at the end of the translation).
 
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Paul Sauberer
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
TXLe wrote:
The rules state that with the use of the Doctor Card, the player reduces the life stage of one of his aristocrats or increases the life stage of one of his opponents aristocrats. Can the Doctor Card be applied to the emperor?


The Emperor is explicitly included as an Aristocrat on page 2 of the rules (as are electors). The Doctor can affect any Aristocrat. Therefore he can affect the Emperor or any Elector. There is no exception stated.

Actually this and many other questions arise out of the inconsistancies by which the terms aristocrat, baron, couple, elector, and emperor are used in the rules.

What inconsistencies?

Is an elector considered an aristocrat? Is the emperor an aristocrat? Can the Doctor card be used on them all?

Yes to all three questions, as is stated in the rules.

Another example of an inconsistantly written rule:

What inconsistency?

The player who controls the elector at Koln, as his privilege, may in phase 4 reduce the life stage of one of his Barons or Couples by 1 life stage or increase the life stage of an opponent's Baron or Couple by 1 life stage (without paying).

Who are the Barons and Couples that the rules apply to?


Since there are no exceptions made in the rules, the answer would be any.

Can the privilege at Koln affect electors or the emperor?

Since the privilege affects Barons or Couples and the electors and Emperor are either Barons or Couples the answer would be yes. There is nothing inconsistent about that.

Another example of an inconsistanly written rule:

"I don't think that word means what you think it means"
-Inigo Montoya

With the use of the Church Influence Card, all aristocrats and knights in the color of the elector give the owner of the elector an additional vote. This action can only be taken in a spiritual electorate. The owner of the card decides which Archdiocese the card effects before the Emperor election.

Again, in the chosen electorate, is the elector himself considered an aristcrat for purposes of an additional vote?


Since the rule does not make an exception for the Elector and the Elector is an Aristocrat according to the rules, "All Aristocrats" would include the Elector, just as he is given a vote for elector himself since it specifies power points are given for Aristocrats and he is an aristocrat.

For instance, the Red Player has played the Church Influence Card on an electorate that has 1 red elector, 1 red knight, and 1 red couple. Does the red elector get 4 votes? (1 as his standard elector's vote, plus 1 for the knight, plus 1 for the couple, plus 1 for the elector again because he is an aristocrat which would earn him an addtional vote per the Church Influence Card). Or does the red elector get only 3 votes, since an elector is not considered an aristocrat?

According to the rules as written, in your example the red elector would get 4 points. It says "All Aristocrats and knights give...an additional vote." The elector is an aristocrat, as defined in the rules and therefore would give an additional vote. Since additional vote means "in addition to" that would be on top of his vote in his role as elector. If it weren't, it would use the term "in place of" the vote given for the elector. In other words, the elector gets one vote because of his elector role and one vote because he is an aristocrat and all aristocrats get an additional vote.

Grrrrr!!!! It is extremely frustrating when what appears to be a really great game has such a sloppily written rule book. We had many such questions that arose out of our first playing of this game.

It seems as if your questions were answered in the rules. An aristocrat is an aristocrat is an aristocrat. Where something is altered (e.g. the elector cannot become emperor) that exception is clearly stated in the rules. Otherwise, where they say "all aristocrats," they mean "all aristocrats." Where they say "an opponent's baron or couple" they mean "an opponent's baron or couple." Could it have been more helpful if they had kept repeating in the rules "this includes the electors and emperor?" Maybe. But that doesn't make the rules "inconsistent."

Any help clarifying the usages of the words in question as well as any rulings concerning how the affected Cards and Privileges are used would be greatly appreciated.


Page 2- Electors and the Emperor are included in the four aristocrats everyone starts with. This means that the Emperor and electors are aristocrats.

Page 3- It says "all aristocrats (Barons and Couples)..." This means that Barons and Couples are what compose "aristocrats." Also, in this same section on aging, it refers to the emperor reaching old age thorugh this phase. This confirms that the Emperor is an "Aristocrat" since Aristocrats are the ones aging.

To sum up, all Barons and Couples are aristocrats. Aristocrats may also have certain roles during the game, such as Emperor or elector. Certain events can happen to aristocrats and unless there is a specific exception, the aristocrat's current role has no bearing on whether that event can happen to that aristocrat.
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Truong Le
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
Psauberer (#470733),

Thanks for your clarifications.

Our game group just found the rules a bit confusing. When they are written in such a way that term "a" equals term "b" equals term "c" equals term "d", and then refers to term "a" when talking about the Doctor Card, then term "c" when talking about the Privilege at Koln, it caused us to wonder if there was in fact some sort of difference in the effects of the Doctor Card and the Privilege at Koln when in fact they affect one and the same thing.

Also, I just read GeoMan's rules translation, and his FAQ conflicts with your opinion of how the Church Influence Card works. How about you guys duke it out, and all of us here on the Geek who supported the victor will get a victory point each? meeple
 
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
TXLe (#471027),

Truong, our group has played that the Doctor card can only be used on aristocrats on aristocrat spaces, and the Koln privelege can be used on any baron (although we have played that this does not include the elector or the emperor, but this is up to a group decision). I understand your problems with the rule book. We felt that it was in the spirit of the game to keep electors and emperors safe from the doctor, which only costs 1 gold. After reading the rules numerous times, I felt that it was probably Jay Tummelson's translation that may be an issue (everybody reveres Jay, including myself, and so I hope he doesn't read this and think I am taking a swipe at him. I couldn't imagine how difficult it would be to translate this kind of thing from a different language).

Your tiles are barons (or couples). When they get placed on the board, they take a role. A baron on an aristocrat space is deemed an aristocrat, a baron on an elector space is now an elector, and a baron on the emperor's throne is obviously the emperor. The rules make great distinction about the difference between an aristocrat space and an elector space, and this must be used for giving who is placed on them the name. So I don't think electors are aristocrats, although they are both barons. On page 2, the translation confuses aristocrats, electors and the emperor, but this is not represented anywhere else in the rules. So I am more willing to believe this part was in error, rather than the rest of the rules. I think here, it should say "Each player now has 4 barons and one knight on the board," and "..., players place barons on the board," to avoid confusion. If you look at the descriptors 1-6 for placement, it says barons and then says either aristocrat space or elector space. This makes much more sense to me.

Thus, the doctor card would only affect barons on aristocrat spaces. The Koln privelege, however, would affect any baron. I think it is a tad bit too strong to be able to use this on an elector or an emperor (although they would be replaced immediately by a baron on the board), but I am willing to try it out. It sounds imbalanced to be able to kill an elector before they can take their special privelege, but that is what the rules translation suggests.

As for the Church influence card, it says in the translation that "All aristocrats and knights in the color of the elector give the owner of the elector an additional vote." It is statements like this that lend creedence to my belief that aristocrats and electors are two separate things. Thus, having the elector gives you only one vote. Using this card would give you one vote for each baron on an aristocrat space and knight you have in a spiritual electorate.

I found the rules to be inconsistent too, and felt Psauberer was kind of a jerk, plus, I think he is flat out wrong. I guess he just needed the attention.

chicagometh
 
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
After reading the revised German rules, it seems that it was the intention to use the Doctor card on the electors or even the Emperor. I stand corrected. Although, I still feel that only paying 1 gold for this makes things too chaotic for my tastes. Without this new correction, I felt the rules were inconsistent. (Obviously they did too, if it was inconsistent enough to require correction)

chicagometh
 
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
chicagometh wrote:
On page 2, the translation confuses aristocrats, electors and the emperor, but this is not represented anywhere else in the rules.


Page 3 (under Phase II: Aging):

Quote:
In this phase, all aristocrats (Barons and Couples) age by one life stage:

-Aristocrats that begin phase II at age 45, are removed due to old age and are returned

-All other aristocrat tiles are rotated 90° in clockwise order.

-Should the Emperor tile reach old age, the Emperor player must take one of his aristicrats from the board (but not an elector!) and place it on the throne (the life stage remains unchanged). If the player has no aristocrat on the board, he takes one from his supply and places it on the throne with life stage 45.


For you to be correct, first, this passage must not exist in the rules, but there it is.

Second, the Emperor would not age, because he is not an aristocrat.

Third, it would not mention an exception of not being able to move up an Elector, because he would not be an aristocrat.

Fourth, it would not say to take an aristocrat from supply because they could not be an aristocrat in supply. They would only be an aristocrat once placed in an aristocrat space on the board.

Page 4 (under Phase V: New Electors

Quote:
In each electorate, the players tally the power points of each player. Power points are shown by towers on teh game material and the game board. Players get power points for knights, cities (1 poer point each), and for aristocrats (Baron = 1 power point, Couple = 2 power points).


The example on page 5 makes clear that the elector Couple is counted for power points, therby establishing that they are an "aristocrat" as stated in the rules.

page 5 (under Phase VI: Elect and Emperor):
Quote:
If the rival gets more votes, he...places one of his aristocrats (Baron or Couple) on the throne. He may not move an elector to the throne.


If the elector was not an aristocrat this last sentence would be unnecessary.

Quote:
The player who lost the throne removes his aristocrat from the throne...


If the Emperor is not an aristocrat, how could an aristocrat be removed from the throne?

page 8 (under Privileges of the curent electors):

Quote:
The privileges may only be used by the player who has an aristocrat in the elector space of the corresponding electorate...

After using the privilege, the player moves the aristocrat tile to the privilege space to show that the privilege has been used. At the beginning of a new round, players move any aristocrats on the privilege spaces back to the elector spaces.


If an elector is not an aristocrat, hwo can an aristocrat be in the elctor space? How can this nonexistent aristocrat keep moving back and forth?

What can we see by looking at these rules?

First, we see that your statement quoted above is inaccurate.

Second, the rules are consistent.

Aristocrats are composed of two types, Barons and Couples. Some game functions are limited to the specific type of aristocrat. This leads to the rules referring to "Barons" or "Barons and couples" at different times to make these differences clear.

All Electors and the Emperor are aristocrats.

Now it is true that you might not like the rules as they are written. You may feel that the way you like the rules is "better," and for you they may be. Anyone can do whatever they want to a game. But because the rules do not say what you want them to say does not make them "inconsistent" and does not make them "poorly written." My objection to maligning the rules writers of this game because of a mistaken impression of what the rules say based on what it was thought they should say may have been the reason I seemed to be a "jerk" to you. The questions posed were answered in the rules. The reason they seemed to pose a problem was not the fault of the rules writers but rather an imposition of expectations on them. It seemed to be a matter of wanting to know why the rules didn't say what the OP wanted them to say rather than wanting to know what was actually there.

I got pissy because the post crossed the line between saying, "I'm not clear about the rules, what are they?" and saying, "These rules are badly written. Don't they really mean to say this?" The accusation against the rules writers was unnecessary and misplaced.
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
chicagometh (#472300),

Aging the Emperor is not particularly "chaotic", since if the Emperor dies, the same player succeeds to him immediately.

And aging an elector is not particularly "chaotic" either. In most cases one would even prefer to have his elector killed than to have another aristocrat in the electorate killed, because:

1. The elections will soon be coming in phase 5, and the elector does nothing more than contribute his power points towards the new election, just like any other aristocrat in the electorate;

2. On the contrary, the player does not get 2VP if his elector stays in position;

3. Unlike other aristocrats in the electorate, the elector does not have the freedom of moving to another electorate.

It would be important only if the elector has a phase 4 privilage (and has not used it yet before he is killed).

If a newly elected elector can be killed between phase 5 and 6, before he votes for the new emperor, that would really be too chaotic, but that cannot happen according to the rules.
 
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Truong Le
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
Psauberer wrote:
I got pissy because the post crossed the line between saying, "I'm not clear about the rules, what are they?" and saying, "These rules are badly written. Don't they really mean to say this?" The accusation against the rules writers was unnecessary and misplaced.


At no time in my posting did I say about the rules, "don't they really mean this?" I wasn't sure what they really meant, thus the posting asking for ideas. When our group played the game, we played the Doctor Card and Koln Privilege the same way you did. It doesn't change the fact that there were questions arisen about their usage due to the way the rules were written. In the rule book, Doctor Cards affect Aristocrats, while the Privilege at Koln affects Barons and Couples. As we were playing our first game, sitting there with our cheat sheets showing card and elector powers, the inconsistant use of terms caused some confusion. Why use the term Aristocrats in one place, then unnecessarily change it to Barons and Couples in another when simply using the term Aristocrats in both places would have been more straightforward and less confusing?

Also, what accusation have I made "against the rules writers?" You make it sound as if I have this personal complaint about them, which couldn't be further from the truth. I did feel, however, the usage of terms such as Aristocrat could have been more consistant throughout the rule book so as not to confuse us slow folks among the geeks.

I put up a posting spelling out what our game group had questions about, and why we had those questions. How does that make my posting "unecessary and misplaced", as I'm sure many other people out there have the same questions for the same reasons? (And that last question is rhetorical. I am not looking for an argument. Just defending my posting wow ).
 
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
Although I agree with Paul's analysis, we had exactly the same questions as Truong when we played. It seemed reasonable to assume that "aristocrats" were only the characters in "aristocrat spaces", and we wondered about the different wording for the two cases where elixir/poison could be applied. It didn't help that in one or two places the rules state "an aristocrat (not an elector)" in the apparent sense of "an aristocrat who is not an elector". Normally a phrase in parenthesis is used to clarify, not to qualify, and we initially read this as implying that electors were not aristocrats.


 
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
TXLe (#474375),

I would like to apologize to you for the attitude I exhibited. I took what you said the wrong way and reacted poorly.

In the end, I took the questions right to Jay at Rio Grande Games (see the separate thread.) It turns out that I was able to decipher the correct answer to most, but not all, of what had been asked.

When I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and I'll admit I was wrong. What I guess I'm saying is that I was wrong.
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
Psauberer (#472353),
Quote:
Second, the rules are consistent.

Aristocrats are composed of two types, Barons and Couples.

-------------
¿Is that clear?
Page 1: Each player chooses a color and takes the following: 7 barons: the titles have a Baron on one side and a couple on the other side.
Page 2: The Emperor places one Baron with age 45
So, at least seeing this rule, may be the emperor is a Baron but not an aristocrat
 
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Re:Questions, questions, arising out of inconsistant usage of terms in the RGG rule book.
The RGG rules, and presumably the first edition of the German rules, are unclear. Version 1.1 of the German rules fix this.

Each player has 7 Aristocrats (Adlige), which have a Baron on one side and a Couple (Paar) on the other.

From this, we may deduce:

All Barons are Aristocrats.
All Couples are Aristocrats.
Electors are Aristocrats.
The Emperor is an Aristocrat.
The Grey Eminence is an Aristocrat.

The Doctor may heal/age any one Aristocrat.

The German rule for the Elector of Koln still says "Baron or Couple," though I can't see this excluding the Emperor, who doesn't stop being a Baron or Couple just because he's been elected.

Somewhat confusingly, you may play a Knight, which isn't an Aristocrat, on an Aristocrat Space (Adelsfeld). Though Knights on Aristocrat Spaces can be displaced by Aristocrats and Aristocrats cannot (with the exception of what happens when the Emperor gets sent back to the minors).

If I have any of this wrong, please set me straight.
 
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The only confusion I see in any of this is what happens when the emperor gets sent back to the minors. The wording of the rules is very clear, you first get rid of all 45 year olds. THEN you rotate all other aristocrats (and this should never have been a problem for anybody, come on! The term aristocrat was very well defined from the get-go as barons and couples) 90 degrees clockwise. The issue is that the rules say when you promote the new emperor from the board, you don't change the age. Does that mean you replace the emperor BEFORE rotating all the aristocrats 90 degrees clockwise, or do you first do all the aging, and then move an already aged aristocrat up to the emperor space (assuming you still have one on the board)? When we played we thought it made the most sense so just age everybody before worrying about emperor replacement, but the wording on the admonition not to age the new emperor seemed entirely pointless. Other pointless warnings: Telling us that Church Influence and Excommunication must be chosen for different electorates. That was already pretty obvious since one gets used in a spiritual electorate and one shuts down a secular electorate. The rules are BADLY overwritten in places, ambiguous in others, and downright WRONG if the contradiction regarding the disposition of the Gray Eminence aristocrat is to be believed. I'm sorry Paul, that you find it disheartening when people attack rules or rules translations as poor or insufficient, or the people behind those rules. I like and admire Jay Tummelson very much, and I've had lots of dealings with both he and his wife Anna, but whoever translated this either translated it verbatim, leaving in the original ambiguities and problems, or they performed some editing and can be blamed for either making their own set of mistakes, or failing to correct those already there. I have gone to Jay before, regarding rules issues, and in particular I recall that he told me that Goa had had absolutely no changes from the original German rules, and yet it's a fact that the original rules to Goa handled the whole hand limit issue differently. I don't care if it's Ralf, Hans im Glück, or Jay who is responsible for unclear rules, but they do exist in this game. None of it is insurmountable--far from it--but it would be nice to have, just once, a game of this complexity arrive with a really straightforward and airtight set of rules.
 
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