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The Game of Nations» Forums » Rules

Subject: Please help with rules for Game of Nations... rss

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Tom Worfolk
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Worthing
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Ok this might sound stupid and we might be overlooking a very simple issue here but when we tried to play this game in the club last night we came to an abrupt halt and decided to pack it up about 15mins in. Shame really because the premise is quite a good one.

Here is what happened and if anyone can point out what went wrong I would greatly appreciate it...

Each player was dealt out 7million (7 x black blocks), one container ship and then each player placed a "leader" in one of the seaside countries (i.e.not landlocked or canal).

First player went and took their income based on they type of leader, how many wells and how many ships they had... All good so far... They then moved the secret agent 4 spacecs (as stated in the UK rule book) - using the secret agent to block other peoples leaders from moving to their own leader. They then added a new leader to an empty "capital" by paying the cost 2M/1M and finally they decided to buy a container.

Each player had a turn like this and then each capital was filled. Once the first player moved off of their capital (no other choice) the next player decided to place one of their leaders on the capital that the previous player had vacated. This was the first thing to cause controversy - the rule book says you can place a leader on any vacant capital.

The next problem was that there were two leaders in the one country but one of them was in the capital so who is in control of the country?? The person on the capital decided they were and then sold off one of the existing tankers from the counrty. Was he able to do this - we found that you can sell one tanker off that you own but we couldn't get clear advice on the ownership of them...

This was where things started to get tricky as people decided they wouldn't move off of the capitals in fear of losing them to other players - about another 2 mins of gametime and we decided to knock it on the head...

Anyone help with where we have gone wrong or if this game is just fundamentally flawed..Thanks
 
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Brent Pollock
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Saskatoon
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From my copy of the rules (copyright 1973 Bramalea, Ontario):
LEADER PIECES
...
MOVEMENT
Once a Leader piece is in a Capital, it is never moved.


This forces you to pay for spawning and moving new leaders to take over other areas. The mechanism allowing for free placement (normally only allowed during set up) is there to allow players to get back in the game if they get punted off their Capital early on before all the other Capitals are taken.
 
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Tom Worfolk
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But you can only spawn new "Leaders" on capital spots according to the UK rule book. If Leaders weren't allowed to move from Capitals then you wouldn't be able to spawn new ones.
 
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Philip Thomas
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WBRP wrote:
From my copy of the rules (copyright 1973 Bramalea, Ontario):
LEADER PIECES
...
MOVEMENT
Once a Leader piece is in a Capital, it is never moved.


This forces you to pay for spawning and moving new leaders to take over other areas. The mechanism allowing for free placement (normally only allowed during set up) is there to allow players to get back in the game if they get punted off their Capital early on before all the other Capitals are taken.


Except, presumably, for the full £7 million or £14 million invasion of another country move. Which several event cards allow players to do for free, even.
 
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Brent Pollock
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Then the UK rule book is indeed "fundamentally flawed". Canadian rules have them spawning either beside or anywhere in the country (can't recall which and I'm not near the rule book at the moment; I'll check tonight).

Oops...don't have to wait because both versions (American & UK) are posted as pdf files right here in BGG. Wow...the games are definitely different with the main one that pops out being the forced movement of leaders in the UK version; that's optional in the American version. Also, spawning of new leaders in the American version does occur on the occupied capital, not beside it.
 
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Anthony Simons
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Royal Wootton Bassett
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Tom, you were playing exactly as the game should be played, right up until the part you said nobody moved a leader off the capital. To clarify the rules you are querying:

1. Players must move a leader if they have been unable to place one. This means it is not possible to remain on a capital when all capitals have leaders.

2. Leaders are always placed on capitals. So, when a player has been forced to vacate a capital because he has to move a leader, another player can step in and take control, taking any tankers there for his own, because:

3. A leader on a capital controls the country. Any tankers on a capital will become the property of the player whose leader moves onto the capital. This can of course be prevented by moving them out to sea, where they won't generate any revenue but will be safe from capture; however this has to be timed right, because:

4. Players may buy, sell or move one tanker, but only after they have taken revenue, moved their secret agent four spaces and placed or moved a leader (in that order).

Other nuances you may have missed in the rules:

Leaders cannot ever move through or occupy the same space as other leaders. They also have to stop their move when they reach a space occupied by a secret agent.

Leaders can only be attacked when they are on a capital space, and only by a leader of a different type.

Game of Nations may still not appeal to some of your players; in a four-player game the usual pattern is early elimination of two players, followed by a longer slog between the remaining players. However, repeated play shows you can reach a point early on, where it can be mutually agreed that there is a clear winner.

I cannot help with the American version; despite my best efforts (including obtaining the extra parts required from across the pond) I have been unable to get a game going. I will say, however, the rules for the American version do have some severe problems.

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Philip Thomas
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Is it permitted for a leader to retrace his steps? I.e move one step out of the capital and one step back in?

Seems kinda dumb, but...
 
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Anthony Simons
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Is it permitted for a leader to retrace his steps? I.e move one step out of the capital and one step back in?

Seems kinda dumb, but...


It's a good question, with a simple answer. No.
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WhiteNight WhiteNight
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Personally I find the game very playable and enjoy it because it is very strategic and generally not lucky as long as you can "see ahead" a few moves and know how to protect your-self adequately

A few other things to keep in mind;
(I'm not sure what version of rules I use but it's bought in Autralia)

1) Leaders can ONLY be taken when ON the capitals - the point of this is that while you require them on a RED DOT capital to get oil revenue this is also when they are vulnerable to attack. Hence you will/may need to move them off to save them.
2) As previously stated you must eventually move off a capital which can result in loss of income if you don't have other pieces available to move. In this case the pieces become great blockers since no leader may pass any other any time not even your own.
3) In my rules leaders are not ranked in any way, so any leader can take (or "overthrow") another leader as long as they are of a different type of leader - this gives you another great strategy of placing the same type of leader on a Capital close to where another players piece is to create a blocker or take control of an oil generating capital.
4) You only lose boats from an attack on a Port Capital (i.e. where the boats are actually docked and not an in-land connection) - this means that primarily you should protect your port(s) and boats at all costs. If your inland pipe-joined Capital's piece is taken you DO NOT LOSE ANY BOATS, just the leader. Incidentally to get revenue from an in-land oil well you must have a leader on both the Capital of the port where the boats are docked AND the in-land Capital at the start of your turn. So protecting ports is usually more important.

A general strategy of play is to keep a piece or 2 out of play for later in the game so when things die down you can suddenly place it anywhere on a vacant Capital without needing to move it there - if you are really lucky you can claim a port with boats already on it!

NOTE: 1 rule modification I made is to allow 2 boat "Events" (in any combination possible) at the end of a players turn e.g. "move 1 out and sell 1" or "buy 2 boats" etc. I found 1 boat "Event" overly restrictive.
Also I use the rule that moving a boat out to sea is 1 "Event" and back in is 1 "Event" or through the canal (if allowed) is 1 "Event". So moving boats to other ports is slow.

Hope this helps.
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T. Dauphin
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This is a very old thread, but I stumbled on it and wanted to throw in my 2 cents, as there still appears to be some confusion--partly due to the existence of two different sets of rules.

First to address the OP's concern. There are a couple of things that create this problem. The first is the stipulation that a leader must move (or be placed) every turn.
The second being the idea that a leader can be placed in any vacant capital.

I'm not surprised that the game degenerated and became essentially unplayable. I wouldn't want to play it with those rules. It would be interesting to know how these rules came to be. ARe they someone's conscious effort to change the game or a poor "translation" of the Canadian rules.

I do wonder why a leader must move every turn (and BTW, there is nothing I see in the rules to prevent it from stepping out and stepping back to the capital). REal world leaders stay/ed put in their capitals for long periods of time--especially if under threat.
No basis in reality for this one, and this is not a requirement in the Canadian version.
I think the Canadian version which prevents a leader from leaving a capital is more realistic and more playable. The idea of remaining in place indicates the leader is still the leader of the country. Stepping out of the capital implies s/he is no longer in control.

To attack another country, then, a player must start (place) a new leader in one of his/her controlled capitals and start moving it from there to the capital to be attacked, paying for each step of the way (and paying a one-step maintenance cost if it doesn't move).

Placing a leader in any vacant capital can only occur in 2 situations, in the Canadian version. AT the start of the game when everyone does it, and if and when a player is suddenly without a country, s/he may place a leader in any vacant capital, in order to get back into the game.

The only thing that I remain unsure about is the ranking of leaders. We always played such that a leader could only be attacked by a leader of a higher rank and a King only by a Guerilla, IIRC. This concept is supported by the writer of the Description of the game;

Description wrote:
Leaders are ranked in circular fashion, each leader defeating the one ranked below it and being defeated by the one above. Oddly, this crucial rule seems to have slipped from the English text of the rules, at least in the Canadian edition of the game!


However, I can find no reference to this ranking system in the rules. The only stipulation is that a leader cannot be attacked by another leader of the same rank. Do they mean from this that the leaders do, in fact, have ranks, or was this just meant to mean leaders of the same type. I have to say, though, playing with ranks makes for a very strategic game.

 
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