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Subject: Mudmen rss

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Mr. Blue
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SWU is a lot of fun, but it seems to us to have more rule ambiguities than the original version. Here's one that came up in our last game:

The official rulebook states regarding Mudmen: "During the Troop redeployment phase of your turn, take 1 new Mudman token from the tray for each Mudpool Region you occupy and deploy them in any Region(s) your Mudmen occupy."

The rule could be read to mean (1) you are limited to only the 12 total Mudmen tokens in the tray, or (2) the supply is unlimited, and you simply use use other (unused) chits from the tray to act as "substitute" Mudmen for expansion purposes. After some debate, we played the latter rule, because the rulebook does not expressly state that you are capped at 12. Upon further reflection, we think the correct rule is (1), in that the limit at 12 is implicit in how this race is described. It does seem very strange, however, that in the original game, multiplying races like Skeletons and Sorcerers start off with significantly larger numbers of tokens in reserve. If Mudmen are capped at 12, then it seems to be a fairly limited power that really only comes into play as a response to an attack, or if you pull a Special Power badge with a small number of initial tokens.

I didn't see any official clarification in the Official SWU FAQ, so unless I missed it, this is an open issue. Thoughts?
 
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Bryan Stout
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Look at the top of p. 5 of the rules:

Quote:
If, on the other hand, a Special Power (or Race power) lets
you take additional Race tokens from the storage tray during
the course of the game, you are still limited by the total number
of tokens physically available
. So a player with 12 Mudmen
tokens underground won't be able to use his Mudmen power
again until some of his tokens become available
.
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Mr. Blue
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D'oh! Missed that. (BTW, the rule in question is on p.5 of the rules booklet -- at least the online version I pulled up on the DoW website.) It sure would have been handy to have that issue addressed in the Mudmen race description. When the question came up, we didn't think to read the entire rule book from cover-to-cover. We went to the racial description for the power at issue in our game, but there was no answer there.

I guess this issue goes to the broader question of whether SWU's rules are more ambiguous than the original game. As far as I can tell, the only reason for the rule on p.5 is to clarify the Mudmen racial power, because the other 2 special powers that let you pull tokens from the tray (Reborn and Vampire) specifically say in their respective descriptions that you need to use tokens in your hand if none are left in the tray. Actually, the absence of similar language in the Mudmen description led us to believe that they could indeed continue to multiply indefinitely. A simple one-sentence addition to the Mudmen description would have answered our question quickly. Oh well. It's still a fun game.


 
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Bryan Stout
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mrblueesq wrote:
D'oh! Missed that. (BTW, the rule in question is on p.5 of the rules booklet -- at least the online version I pulled up on the DoW website.)

Fixed that. I think I had 12 on the brain, for the number of Mudmen tokens.

Quote:
It sure would have been handy to have that issue addressed in the Mudmen race description. When the question came up, we didn't think to read the entire rule book from cover-to-cover. We went to the racial description for the power at issue in our game, but there was no answer there.

This is a general principle that carried over from the original game -- you never get more tokens than are provided:

SW rules, p. 3 wrote:
Unless stated otherwise (for example, Skeletons or Sorcerers)
these Race tokens are the only ones the player will be able to
deploy
for this race during the course of the game.

If, on the other hand, a Special Power (or Race power) lets
you take additional Race tokens
from the storage tray during
the course of the game, you are still limited by the total
number of tokens physically available
. So a player with 18
Sorcerer tokens on the board won't be able to use his Sorcerer
power again until some of his tokens become available.

The SWU rules follow the SW rules very closely in format, so this principle is explained in the same section. The last paragraph on p. 4 parallels the first paragraph quoted above, and extends it to the Silver Hammers, just as in the original it applies to the Skeletons and Sorcerers. So this is not just a Mudmen-related issue.

But you are right that a sentence could have been included with the Mudmen description. For example, in the Be Not Afraid expansion, the Pygmies rules are:

Quote:
Each time you lose a Pygmy token, roll a reinforcement die
and receive as many new Pygmies from the storage tray as
you rolled pips on the die (up to the number of Pygmies
left
). Deploy them on the board at the end of the current
player's turn.

So a similar phrase could have been included with the Mudmen, too.

But it's probably too much to expect every pertinent rule to be repeated every time it is pertinent. It's a balancing act when writing rules. So the moral is: After playing a game a time or two or three, re-read the rules. You'll frequently notice things you didn't the first time.

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Mr. Blue
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Good points one and all. Thanks!
 
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Monika Żabicka
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By the way... does "mudpool region" just mean any "muddy region" or is it a special kind of muddy regions? it's confusing since these two expressions are present throughout the rules.
 
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Bryan Stout
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Yes, "Muddy" and "Mudpool" are equivalent.

And I agree that it is dangerous to toss synonyms around in game rules. The use of synonyms feels better rhetorically, but is potentially confusing technically.
 
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