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Subject: Interested in this game but some rules clarifications... rss

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Steven Durst
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I've been looking at this game on kickstarter and it greatly intrigues me (being a Civ 4, Europa Universalis, and general history fan). However some of the rules in the pdf seemed a bit vague/contradictory and was looking for clairifcation (hopefully from Dirk):

1. First, is there a score track for keeping score as you go along. There seems to be a turn tracker which is referred to as the scoring track but how can I tell who is winning without having to add up all the random points listed at the end of the rule book?

2. Why would you conquer a province early on? From what I understand, it only gives points at the end and you can only conquer 5 of them so only a late push seems to make sense to cut down on the upkeep cost.

3. Two contradictory points are listed on the attack section for retaking a former territory. Page 4 says that the defense rating of a former home territory is always 1 when you try and retake it while on page 5 it says it depends on the defense rating against the current occupier which can range its defense rating from 2-0. Which is it?

4. Do enhancement cards added to an action stack add their value as listed in the upper left corner to the stack action as well as their enhancement value or just one or the other?

5. On a census turn, if you choose not to participate in the cultural census, can you take a second action or is that census everybody's second action whether they participate or not? Rules look like it could be either one.

6. Finally the diplomatic option. It says you can ally with someone you are at war with as an action and it means they must redeclare war on you to keep attacking you (costing 5 diplo points). This seems open to an annoying cycle of someone continually allying with their attacker who must continue to pay diplomacy to keep the war they never ended going or maybe I'm just not understanding how warfare would really work.

Sorry for all the questions but like I said, I'm very interested in this game but rules aren't obvious from my reading. Thanks.
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Mitch Willis
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Wario83 wrote:
3. Two contradictory points are listed on the attack section for retaking a former territory. Page 4 says that the defense rating of a former home territory is always 1 when you try and retake it while on page 5 it says it depends on the defense rating against the current occupier which can range its defense rating from 2-0. Which is it?


Good question...I noticed this earlier and meant to ask 'bout it, but forgot...

Wario83 wrote:
5. On a census turn, if you choose not to participate in the cultural census, can you take a second action or is that census everybody's second action whether they participate or not? Rules look like it could be either one.


This is the only question where I'm pretty sure of the answer so I'll hazard a guess. From the way I read the rules, if you participate in the Census, that takes the place of your second turn...if you do not participate, you may take a second turn...

I've got an idea on some of your other questions, but I'd rather wait for Dirk to answer before spouting off...he watches these forums regularly so I'm sure he'll answer as soon as he sees this thread. If/once you back this project on Kickstarter, Dirk's also got a strategy guide you can request that gives a bit more insight on your second question, as well as various strategies and the keys to playing each country...

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Nathan Morse
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Wario83 wrote:
1. First, is there a score track for keeping score as you go along. There seems to be a turn tracker which is referred to as the scoring track but how can I tell who is winning without having to add up all the random points listed at the end of the rule book?

You can keep track on the fly. Some things, like the religious battle, can make it a little tedious to track, but it probably slows the game down much more for individuals to be calculating it at all times.

Wario83 wrote:
2. Why would you conquer a province early on? From what I understand, it only gives points at the end and you can only conquer 5 of them so only a late push seems to make sense to cut down on the upkeep cost.

As I discovered the hard way: You can only attack once per round, and not every attack will succeed. Plus, you're a lot harder to kick out of a location than a non-player, so make life hard for your opponents!

Wario83 wrote:
3. Two contradictory points are listed on the attack section for retaking a former territory. Page 4 says that the defense rating of a former home territory is always 1 when you try and retake it while on page 5 it says it depends on the defense rating against the current occupier which can range its defense rating from 2-0. Which is it?

Aha! I knew I was confused about that for a reason when Dirk explained it. Unfortunately, I don't recall the answer, because I didn't war enough to experience it firsthand.

Wario83 wrote:
4. Do enhancement cards added to an action stack add their value as listed in the upper left corner to the stack action as well as their enhancement value or just one or the other?

Heh heh heh, it depends. You can only use one card in a stack as an enhancement (i.e. using its ability); however, you can have numerous cards — even enhancement cards — in the stack. The stack (or your active favorites) must include any resources you need to exhaust for the action. I can't recall whether the enhancement card can serve double duty like you suggested, though.

Wario83 wrote:
5. On a census turn, if you choose not to participate in the cultural census, can you take a second action or is that census everybody's second action whether they participate or not? Rules look like it could be either one.

You either do a second action or participate in the census. It's a little more perspicuous when you see the card slot label on the player board: "Action 2 / Census" or something like that.

Wario83 wrote:
6. Finally the diplomatic option. It says you can ally with someone you are at war with as an action and it means they must redeclare war on you to keep attacking you (costing 5 diplo points). This seems open to an annoying cycle of someone continually allying with their attacker who must continue to pay diplomacy to keep the war they never ended going or maybe I'm just not understanding how warfare would really work.

That cycle could happen, but you get two actions per round, with 10–15 rounds in the game. For each census in which you compete, that's an action subtracted from that 20–30 action total. Just how big a percentage of your actions are you willing to blow on either side of that cycle?
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Steven Durst
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Thanks for some clarification. Upon further reading after posting I think I've puzzled out a few more things. The main thing I still am unsure is the enhancement and retaking questions. I'm definitely going to back this though, I'm a history buff. Next I'll just have to see if I can get my gaming group to do this with me. The 7 player option sounds really fun.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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Hey Guys,

Nathan clarified things very well. A couple of additional notes:

3. The latter is correct. Good catch.

4. You can stack as many different luminaries who are relevant to an action as necessary. You may use enhancement and ratings both, but you may not use the same luminary as both an enhancement and requirement. So, a luminary used in a battle or negotiation can supply an enhancement and their military/politics rating. However, some actions have additional requirements such as "Exhaust Bunyan and 1 additional Anti-Catholic". IF you added another luminary with an enhancement to make the original result better, that person may not also serve as the additional requirement.

Does that make sense? In essence a card can be used for one purpose, either entirely its original purpose - combining ratings and effect - or as a requirement.

6. Yes, it can indeed be done like that. It is both for realism - to capture the dual roles of both military and politics in the area of war - and for play balance. Military powers have a superficial advantage because they can project force out more apparently. The diplomatic requirements that an enemy imposes slows down that momentum and creates balance. Yes, it sure can be annoying for the military player if their antagonist keeps throwing diplomatic roadblocks. But no more than for a passive player who constantly has a big stack of shoulders shoved down their throat.
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Hi there,

I just stumbled on Road to Enlightenment yesterday and was instantly thrilled because I'm a history buff and fan of games like Europa Universalis. The game and its components look gorgeous. So I downloaded the rules and read them quickly.

I don't want to critize you because your passion for this game is obvious and the whole product looks very polished but I found the rules rather difficult to read.

Many vital information are scattered among three different locations of the rule book: within the main text, the side information (which I mistook for summaries at first) and the key concept/index. It took me for example quite a time to find out how the medals are claimed (I was looking at the census part instad of key concepts) and that the turn track is also used for scoring is just mentioned incidentily as are some other crucial info.

It would make the rules much more accessible if all information concerning the main elements of the game could be found in one text block with a summary on the side plus an example at the end. And a game flow/turn sumary at the very end of the document is always helpful.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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Thank you for the constructive criticism. As a first-time designer and publisher I have learned a lot from the process of producing this game. These sort of suggestions will surely be reflected in things I do in the future. I appreciate your taking the time.
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zefquaavius wrote:


Wario83 wrote:
5. On a census turn, if you choose not to participate in the cultural census, can you take a second action or is that census everybody's second action whether they participate or not? Rules look like it could be either one.

You either do a second action or participate in the census. It's a little more perspicuous when you see the card slot label on the player board: "Action 2 / Census" or something like that.



Are you sure about participating in a cencus uses up one of you two actions? Because under "1b - Selecting your actions" it doesn't say anything about that. I never realised that cencus is an action too.

-Edit- I saw the area on the Leader Mat that says "Action2/Census" guess Census is an action after all -
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dknemeyer wrote:
Thank you for the constructive criticism. As a first-time designer and publisher I have learned a lot from the process of producing this game. These sort of suggestions will surely be reflected in things I do in the future. I appreciate your taking the time.


Thanks for answering. I feel a bit silly now because I just realized that the game is already in the production phase and the rulebook will be printed as it is. Did not wanted to badmouth it.

I also have a couple of rule questions:

1) If you choose reorganization as an action, do you remove your unwanted Luminaries from your hand, your stacks or your discard pile?

2) You use responses from Luminaries from your hand, right? (Exception are favourites as those are always on your Leader mat)

3) Can you use responses from Luminaries that have been face down on stacks? (thus removing them from the stack because they are exhausted now)

4) Can you use Rembrandt's response only when someone else removes one of your Luminaries or when you discard them via reorganization (or both?)

Edit 5) The response of Pope Innocent seems very strong. With him you can deny an other player his/her second action every turn. You will still have two actions because a Response is not an action.

6) Can you chose to use two Luminarie actions and no card action ?(eg: attack/diplomacy/reorganization)

7) Can you play Reorganization and chose not to draw Luminaries? (therefore using this action only to get rid of unwanted Luminaries)

8) Just out of curiosity: The card of Bartolomew Roberts shows a drawing instead of a painting. Why? Was the painting you can find in the internet protected as intellectual property?
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Mitch Willis
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Shelfwear wrote:
5) The response of Pope Innocent seems very strong. With him you can deny an other player his/her second action every turn. You will still have two actions because a Response is not an action.


If I'm reading the card right, seems to me that Pope Innocent just cancels a Response as opposed to an Action...
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You're right, thanks.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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No problem about pointing out things in the rulebook, constructive criticism is purely helpful. :-)

Here are answers to your questions:

1. Actions require all participating cards to be played in advance in the stack. Thus necessarily you are reorganizing cards that you had in your hand at the start of that turn.

2. Correct.

3. No you may not. That is the reason for committing them to stacks, it is a risk/reward mechanism.

4. In all cases the language used on cards is intentionally precise. I may have erred and made it ambiguous in cases I'm not aware of, but the intention is logical consistency. That said, I can see where your question identifies room for interpretation. It is any time you are removing one of your luminaries, which could be caused by your own activities or those of other players.

5. Mitch is correct as you've noted. Still the popes ARE very powerful, reflecting the influence they and the Catholic church had under them.

6. Absolutely, any two actions on action cards or luminary cards in your hand may be used.

7. No. The card is written precisely. The engine is designed to ADD cards to your government all game long unless you very precisely and carefully are matching your removes and adds, in which case you would simply break even.

8. In every case we used the most attractive art that was available to us. Many of the pirates were hardly pillars of their societies and thus did not have the nice oil paintings that some others did.
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