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Subject: Scoring without dinos rss

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Y H
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If only one player has dinos on a continent when it is scored, do other players get points for shared second place?

A literal reading of the rules (at least the English version) says yes, but I'm wondering whether an exception is missing from the rules, since it feels a bit unnatural - to the point that new players often just assume that exception is there.
I've tried playing this both ways, and found it slightly better with an added "no dinos, no scoring" rule. It especially feels odd in a two player game if it makes no difference whether you have dinos on a continent where the other player has a majority.

Thanks
 
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Michael Z
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I have no idea how you can interpret the rules like this.

No dinos means they are not in the running for points, and are not is second place.

If you go for a run, I stay at home. Am I in second, by default?
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Russ Williams
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It depends if you think having zero of your pieces present counts or not. In the majority of games it does not. But there are exceptions (e.g. Lords in Kingdom Builder - having zero settlements in a sector can still gain you a 6 or even 12 point award).

I believe the intent in Trias is that zero dinos do not count.

A similar question arose with much debate and discussion about this recently in the Caylus forum:
If nobody builds on the castle, does the first person still get a royal favor?
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Y H
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zayzayem wrote:
I have no idea how you can interpret the rules like this.

No dinos means they are not in the running for points, and are not is second place.

If you go for a run, I stay at home. Am I in second, by default?

Thanks. If you find it so obvious, that strengthens the idea that there is an omission in the rules. (Though I should say I still maintain the rules as written contradict you interpretation. I don't see anything in the rules that supports the idea "No dinos means they are not in the running for points, and are not is second place." as you suggest, and don't see the relevance of that running metaphor.)

Perhaps I should clarify what kind of answer I'm looking for. My question is not about the rules as written, I've been over them a few time and am quite confident that they do not exclude a player with zero dinos from scoring (although if you can nevertheless point to something in the rules that I missed, that would be appreciated, of course). I was wondering about people's thoughts on whether something is missing from the rules - perhaps being mentioned in the German rules, for example - and also on how they play it, and how they think it plays better.
Hearing from the designers about their intent would also be very nice.
 
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Y H
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russ wrote:
In the majority of games it does not. But there are exceptions (e.g. Lords in Kingdom Builder - having zero settlements in a sector can still gain you a 6 or even 12 point award).

That's interesting. Can you give some examples of games where having 0 of something excludes from scoring? The only one I can think of is Alhambra.

Quote:
I believe the intent in Trias is that zero dinos do not count.

I tend towards that belief as well. It's just my inner rule lawyer that has qualms about adding "arbitrary" rules .
 
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Russ Williams
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amajig wrote:
russ wrote:
In the majority of games it does not. But there are exceptions (e.g. Lords in Kingdom Builder - having zero settlements in a sector can still gain you a 6 or even 12 point award).

That's interesting. Can you give some examples of games where having 0 of something excludes from scoring? The only one I can think of is Alhambra.

Like I said, I think more often than not it works that way.

E.g. in the Caylus example for the royal favor to whoever built the most. If nobody built, nobody gets it.

Stock share games (Acquire etc) that have stock payouts for the 1st and 2nd place shareholders: if you have zero shares, you're not getting a payout.

Most territory control games work that way. It's been too long since I've played them (so I probably have details wrong) but e.g. El Grande and Web of Power I think have some concept of scoring areas and whoever has the most houses/pawns/whatever in an area receives some points. Having 0 houses means no points.

I think this is just a special case of a more general notion that (more often than not) "doing X with 0 units means not doing X", e.g. in a wargame you can't make an attack with 0 units, in an auction game you can't "bid" with 0 dollars, in a set collection game you can't score a set with 0 elements, etc.

From a mathematical point of view, I can certainly see the argument in the other direction. But from the pragmatic point of view of "how do most players think?" it seems that if the rules don't explicitly say that "zero counts as a legitimate number here", then in practice it seems that often the author meant to exclude zero.
 
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Randall Bart
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I think this is an example of literal reading of the rules by someone whose first language is not English. I don't think a native Anglophone reads it that way.
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David Boeren
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We have always played that no dinos = no points. I agree with the people who have said that this is the way things usually work in area control games (and the closely related genre of stock games as well).
 
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Michael Z
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Okay had to go look up the rules to check

"All players having the majority of herds on the scored land mass receive 2 victory points. All other players having the second most herds receive 1 victory point"

I can see where the vagueness is now (I still think it is an insane interpretation).

Perhaps it should be worded

"All players having the highest number of herds on the scored land mass receive 2 victory points. All other players having the second most herds on the scored land mass receive 1 victory point."

I think part of it is that these rules were original translated from another language (this is not a native English game, no?). For one, they have used majority entirely incorrectly.

It's a bit more clear (but marginally vague) from the description for end-of-game scoring conditions that you only score land masses when you exist on them.
 
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Russ Williams
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I was surprised that the many examples of scoring do not include an example with only one player on an island. That is after all a common situation, and such an example would have clarified any confusion right there.

(This is yet another situation where software testing ideas - cover the minimal and maximal cases - can usefully be applied to game rules and examples...)
 
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Gláucio Reis
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russ wrote:
I was surprised that the many examples of scoring do not include an example with only one player on an island.

I think you only need a bit of common sense, but the rules mention that situation in the final scoring section. They say that a player alone in a continent gets only the points for first place, implying that there is no second place.
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Russ Williams
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GSReis wrote:
russ wrote:
I was surprised that the many examples of scoring do not include an example with only one player on an island.

I think you only need a bit of common sense, but the rules mention that situation in the final scoring section. They say that a player alone in a continent gets only the points for first place, implying that there is no second place.

But saying that "you get only X" says nothing about whether another person gets Y. It only says that you don't get Y.

I agree that "common sense" suggests that you need to have pieces on the island to get the 2nd place award, but there exist plenty of counterexample games where 0 pieces still suffices to receive some award, so it is better to be explicitly clear in the rules.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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russ wrote:
But saying that "you get only X" says nothing about whether another person gets Y. It only says that you don't get Y.

If players with zero pieces scored, there would be no need to explain that a player alone in a continent scores only for first place. Or they would explain it by saying that all other players score for second.

Quote:
(...) there exist plenty of counterexample games where 0 pieces still suffices to receive some award, so it is better to be explicitly clear in the rules.

There may be, but I think this is one of those situations that have a "default" rule. You only need to be explicit about it if zero presence can score.
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Russ Williams
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GSReis wrote:
russ wrote:
But saying that "you get only X" says nothing about whether another person gets Y. It only says that you don't get Y.

If players with zero pieces scored, there would be no need to explain that a player alone in a continent scores only for first place.

A fair point. Meta-reasoning for the win!
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