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Subject: Loss of Population rss

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mfl134
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When you are forced to reduce you population, where does this population come from?

I had always played you could either take the population from your worker pool or from any building/military unit.

The BGO implementation does not give you a choice and takes this population immediately from your worker pool. In most cases, you would want this to come from the worker pool, but there are surely exception.

Is the BGO implementation incorrect, or do I have the rule incorrect? Thanks.

- Mike
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Chris Linneman
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I guess you could destroy a building or unit if you wanted. But this is so rare I think BGO implements it as it does to save time.
 
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David desJardins
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The rulebook seems pretty clear. When a card says you must "decrease" your population, you return 1 yellow cube from your Unused Workers Pool to your Yellow Bank. If you have no Unused Workers, you must remove (and return to your Yellow Bank) a Worker from one of your cards.

Did you check the rules before posting? Is there anything in the rules that would support your interpretation?
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mfl134
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DaviddesJ wrote:
The rulebook seems pretty clear. When a card says you must "decrease" your population, you return 1 yellow cube from your Unused Workers Pool to your Yellow Bank. If you have no Unused Workers, you must remove (and return to your Yellow Bank) a Worker from one of your cards.

Did you check the rules before posting? Is there anything in the rules that would support your interpretation?


No, I didn't check the rules. Thanks for the quote. I have had issues finding stuff in these rules in the past and didn't have the time at the moment to check it. Definitely nothing that supports my interpretation.

Thanks again.
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Jack Smith
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mfl134 wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
The rulebook seems pretty clear. When a card says you must "decrease" your population, you return 1 yellow cube from your Unused Workers Pool to your Yellow Bank. If you have no Unused Workers, you must remove (and return to your Yellow Bank) a Worker from one of your cards.

Did you check the rules before posting? Is there anything in the rules that would support your interpretation?


No, I didn't check the rules. Thanks for the quote. I have had issues finding stuff in these rules in the past and didn't have the time at the moment to check it. Definitely nothing that supports my interpretation.

Thanks again.


The issue with the rules is they are good for learning but not quite so good as a reference. It's hard to get the balance right in more complex games. In Mage Knight they have two sets of rules to avoid the issue.
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Shane Larsen
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Halfinger wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
The rulebook seems pretty clear. When a card says you must "decrease" your population, you return 1 yellow cube from your Unused Workers Pool to your Yellow Bank. If you have no Unused Workers, you must remove (and return to your Yellow Bank) a Worker from one of your cards.

Did you check the rules before posting? Is there anything in the rules that would support your interpretation?


No, I didn't check the rules. Thanks for the quote. I have had issues finding stuff in these rules in the past and didn't have the time at the moment to check it. Definitely nothing that supports my interpretation.

Thanks again.


The issue with the rules is they are good for learning but not quite so good as a reference. It's hard to get the balance right in more complex games. In Mage Knight they have two sets of rules to avoid the issue.


I find the rules for TtA quite easy to reference. I can usually find the answer to what I'm looking for in a matter of a few seconds.
 
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Chris Maloof

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mfl134 wrote:
When you are forced to reduce you population, where does this population come from?

I had always played you could either take the population from your worker pool or from any building/military unit.

The BGO implementation does not give you a choice and takes this population immediately from your worker pool. In most cases, you would want this to come from the worker pool, but there are surely exception.

Is the BGO implementation incorrect, or do I have the rule incorrect? Thanks.

The rules are actually contradictory on whether or not you get to choose. On page 2 we have:
The rulebook wrote:
If your civilization's population decreases, take one Worker from one of your cards or from your Unused Workers Pool and return it to your Yellow Bank.

which on its own would be a clear rule that you do get to choose. But then what David cited from page 12 says that you must pick unused workers if possible.

Relevant discussion from this thread:
Toper wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
the first quote is saying that decreased population is paid for from one of two sources, the second tells you how to select which source to use.

Yup, that interpretation has the virtue of consistency. On the other hand, the two sentences are ten pages apart, and the first one sure sounds like a standalone instruction, so I have trouble believing that it was intended to be modified by the second. I think it's just a contradiction that nobody caught before publication.
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M.C.Crispy
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@Halfinger & @thedacker: what your comments show is something that I've observed time and time again; there are distinctly two major camps of rules readers: those that like highly structured rules with cross references and good indeces and those that like a narrative style with headings. Generally speaking, whenever a person from one camp complains about the rules for game A a person from the other camp responds with "pffft, they're great rules, I have no problem with them".

One day, games manufacturers will understand that both approaches are necessary if they are to create rules that works for both types. Or somebody will invent a compromise rulebook structure that actually works for both camps.

If you don't believe me that it's actually the way people are wired to parse data, rather than something inherent in the rulebook structure, ask yourself whether you learn best by hearing, looking or doing. Ask yourself whether you organise your folder structure on a computer "wide and shallow" or "deep and narrow". It's the way your head is wired.

Let's try this just for fun (with a deliberately simplified answer set that in intentionally polarizing) - apologies for the typos in the poll question.
Poll
Would you characterise you filing system (typically in a computer folder structure) as:
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
wide and shallow, or
37.5% 3
deep and narrow
62.5% 5
Voters 8
This poll is now closed.   8 answers
Poll created by mccrispy
Closes: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:00 am
 
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Jack Smith
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I do find the TTA rules are easy to reference but that is no thanks to their style. The game itself is heavily structured and logically consistent so it is easy enough to find a rule you want.

I come from a wargaming background so I hate waffle, omission and repetition in rules. I like them clear, precise and logically structured. Most rules books from FFG are terrible for this. Yet other people seem fine with them. But to me the TTA rules are a model of perfection in comparison.

However, I think for people used to dealing with less complex games the TTA rules may be harder to parse when a question arises during play.
 
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David desJardins
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mccrispy wrote:
@Halfinger & @thedacker: what your comments show is something that I've observed time and time again; there are distinctly two major camps of rules readers: those that like highly structured rules with cross references and good indeces and those that like a narrative style with headings.


I don't really understand the analogy here. The problem with the rules for Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization is that they are presented in phases: if what you are looking up is one of the simpler elements of the game, it's described in the first section, but then some of the more complicated rules are described in the second section, and then some other rules are added in the final section. So you have to look in three places. This doesn't really have anything to do with "wide and shallow" vs. "deep and narrow". It's just a poor structure for reference purposes.
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M.C.Crispy
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DaviddesJ wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
@Halfinger & @thedacker: what your comments show is something that I've observed time and time again; there are distinctly two major camps of rules readers: those that like highly structured rules with cross references and good indeces and those that like a narrative style with headings.


I don't really understand the analogy here. The problem with the rules for Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization is that they are presented in phases: if what you are looking up is one of the simpler elements of the game, it's described in the first section, but then some of the more complicated rules are described in the second section, and then some other rules are added in the final section. So you have to look in three places. This doesn't really have anything to do with "wide and shallow" vs. "deep and narrow". It's just a poor structure for reference purposes.
You miss my point. I was making the point that people have different wiring in their heads that means they parse information in different ways - so that information presented in one manner seems fine to one person, but completely crazy to another. Folder structures was an example, not an analogy.

Your comments about the structure of the rulebook for TtA are exactly what I expect, particularly if you compare it to the response by thedacker. Your expectation and requirement of a rulebook is for greater structure, perhaps related to the play sequence. This is clearly not the case for others. Which is the point I was attempting to make. (I'm also not making any judgement about which is "better", being aware of the situation merely allows me to say which is better for me)
 
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Jack Smith
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mccrispy wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
@Halfinger & @thedacker: what your comments show is something that I've observed time and time again; there are distinctly two major camps of rules readers: those that like highly structured rules with cross references and good indeces and those that like a narrative style with headings.


I don't really understand the analogy here. The problem with the rules for Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization is that they are presented in phases: if what you are looking up is one of the simpler elements of the game, it's described in the first section, but then some of the more complicated rules are described in the second section, and then some other rules are added in the final section. So you have to look in three places. This doesn't really have anything to do with "wide and shallow" vs. "deep and narrow". It's just a poor structure for reference purposes.
You miss my point. I was making the point that people have different wiring in their heads that means they parse information in different ways - so that information presented in one manner seems fine to one person, but completely crazy to another. Folder structures was an example, not an analogy.

Your comments about the structure of the rulebook for TtA are exactly what I expect, particularly if you compare it to the response by thedacker. Your expectation and requirement of a rulebook is for greater structure, perhaps related to the play sequence. This is clearly not the case for others. Which is the point I was attempting to make. (I'm also not making any judgement about which is "better", being aware of the situation merely allows me to say which is better for me)


I think people can happily handle either style as long as it is well done and suits the game. Some games have small rule sets so the style does not matter much. Agricola has badly written rules but that does not matter, it is a simple game so the rules work just fine. But I do not want to read a paragraph when a line will do in ANY rule set. I do not want to see obvious omissions or repetition in any rule set either.

I do feel some rules just happen to be bad and they do break certain understood and well tested ways of writing good rules (FFG being the worst at this as I said earlier) Technical writing is something studied and known in other disciplines.

TTA is on the borderline of the style that suits it. I find it easy to reference as I am used to much bigger rule sets but for some the way they are laid out will be an issue. The rules are fine but I can see why so many seem to asking the same questions we often get here.

Many games, especially wargames, have the rules written in a formal, well structured way with a separate play through being more of a narrative. I wish more games would adopt this concept. Except for needing more effort by the designer and publisher the two main methods of rules writing are not mutually exclusive.


 
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David desJardins
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mccrispy wrote:
Your comments about the structure of the rulebook for TtA are exactly what I expect, particularly if you compare it to the response by thedacker. Your expectation and requirement of a rulebook is for greater structure, perhaps related to the play sequence. This is clearly not the case for others.


I don't think this is true. It's objectively more difficult to use the rules as a reference if they are divided in an arbitrary way into three different sections, so whenever you look something up you have to look in three different places that that rule might be. This doesn't have anything to do with learning styles.
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M.C.Crispy
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DaviddesJ wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
Your comments about the structure of the rulebook for TtA are exactly what I expect, particularly if you compare it to the response by thedacker. Your expectation and requirement of a rulebook is for greater structure, perhaps related to the play sequence. This is clearly not the case for others.


I don't think this is true. It's objectively more difficult to use the rules as a reference if they are divided in an arbitrary way into three different sections, so whenever you look something up you have to look in three different places that that rule might be. This doesn't have anything to do with learning styles.
My point was generalised and not specific to TtA.

I agree that rulebooks that try to teach you how to play often don't make good rules references and vice versa. TtA is an example of such a rulebook. Arkham Horror is similar. What we need to see - particularly for games with more a complex ruleset - is more attention paid to blind playtesting using the rulebook in the form that it is going to be published. That way the designer/developer would know whether the rulebook will work. Perhaps if all rulebooks contained both a how to play narrative and a rules reference we'd all be happier. Though our games would cost more.
 
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Jack Smith
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mccrispy wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
Your comments about the structure of the rulebook for TtA are exactly what I expect, particularly if you compare it to the response by thedacker. Your expectation and requirement of a rulebook is for greater structure, perhaps related to the play sequence. This is clearly not the case for others.


I don't think this is true. It's objectively more difficult to use the rules as a reference if they are divided in an arbitrary way into three different sections, so whenever you look something up you have to look in three different places that that rule might be. This doesn't have anything to do with learning styles.
My point was generalised and not specific to TtA.

I agree that rulebooks that try to teach you how to play often don't make good rules references and vice versa. TtA is an example of such a rulebook. Arkham Horror is similar. What we need to see - particularly for games with more a complex ruleset - is more attention paid to blind playtesting using the rulebook in the form that it is going to be published. That way the designer/developer would know whether the rulebook will work. Perhaps if all rulebooks contained both a how to play narrative and a rules reference we'd all be happier. Though our games would cost more.


Narrative can work just fine as a reference when done properly, at least for most games. Arkham Horror is a good example of a bad rule book. Nothing to do with it's style. Another example is Starcraft where the simple rule for splash damage is several paragraphs long when a few lines would have worked just fine. The habit of putting a lot of the rules under the 'Other' heading is an example of sloppiness. This heading should never be used. Cosmic Encounter has the same simple rule in two places which is guaranteed to cause confusion as the reader is forced to check if there is some difference they missed.

I think we need to be careful to not blame the cause of bad rule books on style. Some publishers are just bad at writing rules and it would be good to recognise that in the hope of improvement.

TTA works fine but as David said this is one example where the style used is not good for reference. In my opinion if a publisher wishes to teach this way they should also have the rules in another format. This does not have to be long, a few pages will do. In fact the player reference card goes some of the way to address this. Wargames have been doing this for years and it works. Mage Knight has gone the whole way and included two books, an excellent idea.
 
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Riku Koskinen
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Which one do you use? Both are from the rulebook.

"If your civilization's population decreases, take one Worker from one of your cards or from your Unused Workers Pool and return it to your Yellow Bank."

"When a card says you must "decrease" your population, you return 1 yellow cube from your Unused Workers Pool to your Yellow Bank. If you have no Unused Workers, you must remove (and return to your Yellow Bank) a Worker from one of your cards.

BGO uses the latter, my playgroup uses the former. Here are the reasons why:

First, and more importantly, it doesn't break the game if you let someone to destroy a building. Losing population is a negative thing anyway, and if a player thinks he'd rather destroy a building he no longer needs in order to use his worker pool guy on something else, why should anyone care? He only saves one CA.

And secondly, and this is my personal opinion only, I think the latter sentence is worded that way only because that's what you usually do when you lose population. Not very often are you going to destroy a building. I think it just emphasizes the point that if you don't have any unused workers, you still need to lose population and the only way to do that is to take a yellow token from one of your cards.
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Jack Smith
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Padish wrote:
Which one do you use? Both are from the rulebook.

"If your civilization's population decreases, take one Worker from one of your cards or from your Unused Workers Pool and return it to your Yellow Bank."

"When a card says you must "decrease" your population, you return 1 yellow cube from your Unused Workers Pool to your Yellow Bank. If you have no Unused Workers, you must remove (and return to your Yellow Bank) a Worker from one of your cards.

BGO uses the latter, my playgroup uses the former. Here are the reasons why:

First, and more importantly, it doesn't break the game if you let someone to destroy a building. Losing population is a negative thing anyway, and if a player thinks he'd rather destroy a building he no longer needs in order to use his worker pool guy on something else, why should anyone care? He only saves one CA.

And secondly, and this is my personal opinion only, I think the latter sentence is worded that way only because that's what you usually do when you lose population. Not very often are you going to destroy a building. I think it just emphasizes the point that if you don't have any unused workers, you still need to lose population and the only way to do that is to take a yellow token from one of your cards.


If my opponent wanted a choice I would also be fine with that. The rules are fairly clear to me even if inconsistent but it is not something I would care much about. Where there is doubt I usually pick the rule which is the most relaxed and move on. I know someone who would can 30 minutes discussing a rule because he always wants to 'get it right'. You can guess how often he gets to play with us
 
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David desJardins
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Halfinger wrote:
I know someone who would can 30 minutes discussing a rule because he always wants to 'get it right'. You can guess how often he gets to play with us


I can guess how often he wants to play with you.
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Rodrigo Gonzalez
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Halfinger wrote:
I know someone who would can 30 minutes discussing a rule because he always wants to 'get it right'. You can guess how often he gets to play with us:)


I can guess how often he wants to play with you.


Do you always have to be so scathing when you reply to someone? Is that your style or something?
 
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David desJardins
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Was Halfinger 'scathing'?
 
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Jack Smith
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roderigo wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Halfinger wrote:
I know someone who would can 30 minutes discussing a rule because he always wants to 'get it right'. You can guess how often he gets to play with us


I can guess how often he wants to play with you.


Do you always have to be so scathing when you reply to someone? Is that your style or something?


Thanks for your defence but sometimes it's best to ignore.
 
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