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Subject: rule wording help rss

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Jim Harmon
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I have a mechanic in one my games where 3 different colored items are placed on a track, let's say red, blue and green. Only one is placed per event so if there is only to choose from it is simply placed. The problem is when there are more than one to choose from. In this case the one to be placed is the one that had been placed "least recently". I think an example would help, let's say the track looks like this:

red blue blue red green blue red

And the choice to place is red or blue, the blue would be chosen since it was placed "least recently" than red.

The concept is simple but I'm having trouble wording it simply and understandably in the rules. Any help would be appreciated.

 
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Boaty McBoatface
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mijnomrah wrote:
I have a mechanic in one my games where 3 different colored items are placed on a track, let's say red, blue and green. Only one is placed per event so if there is only to choose from it is simply placed. The problem is when there are more than one to choose from. In this case the one to be placed is the one that had been placed "least recently". I think an example would help, let's say the track looks like this:

red blue blue red green blue red

And the choice to place is red or blue, the blue would be chosen since it was placed "least recently" than red.

The concept is simple but I'm having trouble wording it simply and understandably in the rules. Any help would be appreciated.



Last one placed?
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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So there is a "start" of the track, and each piece is placed in the next available slot, right? In your example, slot 1 got red, slot 2 and 3 got blue, etc.

Maybe you could say something like "When given the option of placing two or more colors, you must place the color which is currently farthest from the end of the track."

I think it will help you to have specific names for the start and end of the track, and then use those very consistently. Naming them memorably would be even better, like "Head of the dragon" (vs. tail) or "Nearest to the fire" (vs. farthest), or whatever.
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David Gregg
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Of all the antonyms I've thought of, "least recently" still gives the most accurate description of what you're after. I don't find it confusing at all and think that a decent graphic would probably work just fine.
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Mark McEvoy
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peakhope wrote:
Maybe you could say something like "When given the option of placing two or more colors, you must place the color which is currently farthest from the end of the track."


That's not the same thing at all. (or maybe I'm misunderstanding things)

Suppose they all started at 0 and, by a series of no-choice actions, each was moved one spot by the series RED-RED-GREEN-RED-BLUE-RED-GREEN-BLUE-BLUE. At this point, Red has moved to 4, Blue to 3, and Green to 2. But the least recently moved isn't the trailer (green), it's actually the leader (red).


You could use extra markers to note most recently moved. Have a 1, 2, and 3 marker. When you place any item put the 1 marker next to it; if you took the 1 from beside another coloured item put the 2 next to that item, and the 3 next to the remaining marker. Whenever you have a choice to make you have to choose the one with the highest-numbered marker.
 
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Jim Harmon
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FreeHansje wrote:
peakhope wrote:
So there is a "start" of the track, and each piece is placed in the next available slot, right? In your example, slot 1 got red, slot 2 and 3 got blue, etc.

Maybe you could say something like "When given the option of placing two or more colors, you must place the color which is currently farthest from the end of the track."

I think it will help you to have specific names for the start and end of the track, and then use those very consistently. Naming them memorably would be even better, like "Head of the dragon" (vs. tail) or "Nearest to the fire" (vs. farthest), or whatever.


I like Kevin's solution best. Furthermore, examples work extremely well, and you yourself gave a very good example.


Yes, I like this too and it is does what I want. I was going to include a visual example to make it clear, I just didn't like "least recently". I may still use it in combination with the end of the track. Something like, place the item that was placed "least recently" (the item farthest from the end of the track). Thanks!
 
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Andreas Pelikan
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I'm not a native speaker, but I believe that least recently Xed translates into not Xed for the longest time (running).
 
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Duke Of Lizards
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Least recently = the one that has been on the board the longest
= the oldest
= the one placed first
= the one placed before others
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Kevin B. Smith
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Assuming it is accurate (I'm not 100% sure I understand the rules), I would prefer the reference to be spatial, not temporal. That is, it's easiest to talk about placing items left, or toward the mountain. Or to refer to the piece that is currently farthest right, or away from the corn field.

It's harder to remember which stone got placed 2 turns ago and which was 4 turns ago, or which was 2 minutes ago and which was 4 minutes ago. Even if they work out the same (which would be true if stones must be placed sequentially and can never be moved), referring to them by position instead of time avoids an internal mental translation.
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Wim van Gruisen
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peakhope wrote:
Maybe you could say something like "When given the option of placing two or more colors, you must place the color which is currently farthest from the end of the track."

I find this wording ambiguous. If the track has three pawns, blue(1)-red-blue(2), then blue is both the colour closest to the end of the track (blue(2)) and the one farthest from the end (blue(1)). But the OP wants to refer to red (I think). Blue is the colour placed most recently, and we want the colour placed least recently.

I don't know if there is a simple term for this. 'Least recently' works if you give an example for clarity.

Edit: If you can work with negative definitions, "least recently" is "not the two colour(s) placed last"
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Whymme wrote:
peakhope wrote:
Maybe you could say something like "When given the option of placing two or more colors, you must place the color which is currently farthest from the end of the track."

I find this wording ambiguous. If the track has three pawns, blue(1)-red-blue(2), then blue is both the colour closest to the end of the track (blue(2)) and the one farthest from the end (blue(1)). But the OP wants to refer to red (I think). Blue is the colour placed most recently, and we want the colour placed least recently.

Good point. Needs more thought.
 
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Isaiah Tanenbaum
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"If you have more than one color available, look at the track. Starting from the right, work backwards (to the left). Each time you encounter a color, consider it no longer available, until you are left with only one available color. Place a marker of that color in the first open space on the track.*"

Wordy but clear I think.

*alternately, "Place a marker of that color at the (right) end of the track."
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One Armed Bandit
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It's not perfectly in alignment with your intent, but if your game design can support it, I'd simply go with:

"If at all possible, you may not place a piece next to an existing piece of the same color."

Thus for your example "red blue blue red green blue red"

Red/Blue - Blue must be played, as Red can't play next to Red.
Blue/Green - Either can be played freely (your version requires Green)

If your only choice is to play Red, then you still play Red.

If things work with this change, then it's the simplest way to write that rule, and it's very clear.
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The Dave
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If you must choose between two or more colors follow these guidelines:

1. If a color hasn't been placed on the track yet you must place a marker of that color. If two or more of the colors you are choosing from haven't been placed on the track yet, you are free to choose which of these are placed.

2. If all colors you are choosing from have been placed on the track you must place a marker of the color that creates the most distance between itself and the last marker placed of the same color.

Would that work?
 
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Jim Harmon
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Here is a link to a pdf of the page that has the rule as it is now written:

http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~harmon/rule-help.pdf

Is that clear? Any further suggestions?
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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It's good to see it in context. Here is the text, for those who don't want to click through: "For towns that have more than one perishable cargo, the one that appears least recently (farthest from the end of the track) is placed on the season track."

I think that has a similar ambiguity problem to that which someone pointed out in my earlier suggestion. Maybe it's ok.

The other problem is that in the example image, I don't see any cargo. Well...I kind of see some circles are different colors, but since even the circles in Autumn have some shading and images, it is really hard to tell which ones actually have something there and which do not. The pink is hard to see, and the white is almost impossible.
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Jim Harmon
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Thanks for the reply, I see the ambiguity now which didn't catch before. I will work on the example image as well to make it more clear. What is placed on the track are actually little barrels (similar to the ones in vinhos), I think I will show them from a slight angle rather than top down as they are now.
 
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Steven Dast
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If you're going to keep the 'least recently' construction, I'd recommend the following rewrite:

Quote:
Whenever a town is filled up, one of the perishable cargos is placed on the season track. The rest of the cargos are returned to the draw bag. If the town that was filled up only has one perishable cargo then it is simply placed on the season track. For towns that have more than one perishable cargo, choose the one that was placed least recently (i.e. that is currently farthest from the end of the track) is placed on the season track.


However, you might also consider defining a new game term to help explain the concept:

Quote:
For towns that have more than one perishable cargo, choose the one that is "most ripe," where ripeness is determined by the length of time since that cargo was last placed on the season track. In the example shown above...


(Assuming you haven't already used 'ripe' for some other game concept, and assuming you don't mind the notion of pork being 'ripe.' In either case you could probably find something more appropriate, or more generic. "most due"? "most ready"?)
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James Hutchings
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What happens if there is such a choice for the first thing to place?
 
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Steven Dast
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The full rules have a precedence listed for cargos that haven't been placed yet.
 
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James Hutchings
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In that case, I'd write something like this:

If there are two tokens which can be placed, this is resolved as follows.

* Look at the token track.
* Look only at tokens that match one of the two tokens that could be placed.
* Of these tokens, find the one with the highest number.
* Place the other type of token.

Example.

A red or blue token may be placed.

The token track is as follows:
red blue blue red green blue red

The highest token is the red token in position 7. Thus a blue token is placed.

If the token track had been as follows:
red green blue red green green

The green tokens in positions 5 and 6 would be ignored. The highest remaining token would be the red token i position 4. Thus a blue token would be placed.
 
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