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Subject: Suggested rulebook amendments rss

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Det var bara en hake...
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I have some comments on the July 8th rules:

* It says "An elevator is only active (in allowing taller towers) if it is adjacent at any level to a generator [...]" The words "at any level" are redundant and potentially confusing, since the rules go on to specify that an elevator would necessarily have to be powered on the ground floor. (Edit: I suppose you could theoretically build an elevator to the second floor, place a generator and then use that to power a second elevator going to the third floor. I'm wondering if it might not be worth disallowing multiple elevators just to get rid of this corner case.)

* You clarified in this thread that elevators can be built while unpowered. This is not at all clear, and the rule that elevators themselves always ignore the height limit should be stated explicitly. (In fact, if you read the rules literally, you can never build above the ground floor, as you don't even have an elevator before placing a cube on the second; this is also reflected in Nathan Morse's rules summary. There is an example that demonstrates it is possible, but examples should never be used to specify rules.)

* It says "Players simultaneously place the 2 cubes that they received during the previous phase onto their city boards." The "simultaneously" is problematic since it may be interpreted to mean you cannot use one cube to enable placement of the other (which you can, as clarified in this thread). With minimal changes you could write something like: "Simultaneously, players place the 2 cubes [...] onto their city boards, one after the other."

* Since there's a similarly unfortunate "simultaneously" in the development section (I am fairly sure that developments happen sequentially), a better idea might be to note in the sequence of play that phases 2-3 do not have a turn order, and simply remove the ambiguous simultaneities.

* You could possibly clarify that you can't toss an office just because you don't want to pay for it (for whichever reason). Minimal change to remove a hint of volition: instead of "To build an office [...]", write "When building an office [...]"

* In the second development example you use the term "town center" to refer to the city hall. You have defined "town center" to be the 3x3 centre slots on the board and should be consistent with this.

* In comments and threads I have seen at least two players make the assumption that each player can only purchase one black cube and one yellow cube in a game. I can find no such restriction in the rules, just one of one cube per turn and player. If I'm right, you may want to consider a clarification. If I'm wrong, you should absolutely consider a clarification!

* In this thread you acknowledge that the reserve could run out and say that "If the reserve runs out I recommend to not develop the given area", as if it should in fact affect gameplay, but then a player takes your further comments to mean the reserve should be considered unlimited and you don't contradict this. You should probably include an explicit rule for this; if nothing else, if it's possible to purchase multiple black and/or yellow cubes, it should be quite possible (though not necessarily efficacious) to use those up. Also note that if the reserve is meant to run out, phases 3-4 cannot happen "simultaneously".

* In a couple of threads from May-June, the scoring levels for the solo game are clearly much different from the latest rules: scores of 51 and 52 are said to be Capital, which is 90+ in the July 8th rules, and Megalopolis is said to be 60+ whereas in the rules this level is 100+. Yet I can see no reference anywhere to anything having been changed. I got 38 in my first solo game, so I'd just like to confirm whether I really got a lousy score or the list in the PDF is a holdover (though the list in Nathan's summary is the same, so lousy I guess?).
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S. R.
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Hi!

The scores got changed after one player actually managed to get above 100 points in the competition. Still, I would not say that you have a "lousy" score. The third dimensions, and the effects of stacking, are a lot harder to master in this game than it seems...
 
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Det var bara en hake...
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Hopefully I'll do better in my next game!

Apropos nothing, do you think this works as a microbadge?

 
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I like it, that's a shame we can't make something more in 3D
 
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nabla wrote:
I like it, that's a shame we can't make something more in 3D


My first attempt was showing stacked cubes from the side, though it was still 2D. This is my third revision of the top-down view. There's a shadow effect to suggest 3D, though it doesn't show any stacked cubes, and I'm not sure it would be very clear if it did. It might be possible to show the game from an angle, but it would probably just get messy and indecipherable if I were to attempt it.

I thought I'd check to see if you figured there's a suitable way to make a matching series of badges for all three games, and if so, which would be the appropriate approach.
 
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The next game in the trilogy is a card game, so the more 3D effects there are for TC the better it is to distinguish it from the second game
 
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Kaffedrake wrote:


* It says "An elevator is only active (in allowing taller towers) if it is adjacent at any level to a generator [...]" The words "at any level" are redundant and potentially confusing, since the rules go on to specify that an elevator would necessarily have to be powered on the ground floor. (Edit: I suppose you could theoretically build an elevator to the second floor, place a generator and then use that to power a second elevator going to the third floor. I'm wondering if it might not be worth disallowing multiple elevators just to get rid of this corner case.)


I deleted the "at any level"

Kaffedrake wrote:
* You clarified in this thread that elevators can be built while unpowered. This is not at all clear, and the rule that elevators themselves always ignore the height limit should be stated explicitly. (In fact, if you read the rules literally, you can never build above the ground floor, as you don't even have an elevator before placing a cube on the second; this is also reflected in Nathan Morse's rules summary. There is an example that demonstrates it is possible, but examples should never be used to specify rules.)


I added "(i.e :elevators always ignore the height limit)"

Kaffedrake wrote:
* It says "Players simultaneously place the 2 cubes that they received during the previous phase onto their city boards." The "simultaneously" is problematic since it may be interpreted to mean you cannot use one cube to enable placement of the other (which you can, as clarified in this thread). With minimal changes you could write something like: "Simultaneously, players place the 2 cubes [...] onto their city boards, one after the other."

It is clear as it stated in the rules

Since there's a similarly unfortunate "simultaneously" in the development section (I am fairly sure that developments happen sequentially), a better idea might be to note in the sequence of play that phases 2-3 do not have a turn order, and simply remove the ambiguous simultaneities.

* You could possibly clarify that you can't toss an office just because you don't want to pay for it (for whichever reason). Minimal change to remove a hint of volition: instead of "To build an office [...]", write "When building an office [...]"


It is clear as it stated in the rules

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In the second development example you use the term "town center" to refer to the city hall. You have defined "town center" to be the 3x3 centre slots on the board and should be consistent with this.


Correct, that's the City hall, not the town center, edited!

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In comments and threads I have seen at least two players make the assumption that each player can only purchase one black cube and one yellow cube in a game. I can find no such restriction in the rules, just one of one cube per turn and player. If I'm right, you may want to consider a clarification. If I'm wrong, you should absolutely consider a clarification!


The rules say :At the end of the income phase, each player may choose to buy and place either one yellow generator cube or one black elevator cube. I think it is clear

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In this thread you acknowledge that the reserve could run out and say that "If the reserve runs out I recommend to not develop the given area", as if it should in fact affect gameplay, but then a player takes your further comments to mean the reserve should be considered unlimited and you don't contradict this. You should probably include an explicit rule for this; if nothing else, if it's possible to purchase multiple black and/or yellow cubes, it should be quite possible (though not necessarily efficacious) to use those up. Also note that if the reserve is meant to run out, phases 3-4 cannot happen "simultaneously".


I added , starting with the last player...

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In a couple of threads from May-June, the scoring levels for the solo game are clearly much different from the latest rules: scores of 51 and 52 are said to be Capital, which is 90+ in the July 8th rules, and Megalopolis is said to be 60+ whereas in the rules this level is 100+. Yet I can see no reference anywhere to anything having been changed. I got 38 in my first solo game, so I'd just like to confirm whether I really got a lousy score or the list in the PDF is a holdover (though the list in Nathan's summary is the same, so lousy I guess?).


Simon perfectly replied to this good note
 
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Thank you for all the thread links, so we can see what you're talking about.

Kaffedrake wrote:
* It says "An elevator is only active (in allowing taller towers) if it is adjacent at any level to a generator [...]" The words "at any level" are redundant and potentially confusing, since the rules go on to specify that an elevator would necessarily have to be powered on the ground floor. (Edit: I suppose you could theoretically build an elevator to the second floor, place a generator and then use that to power a second elevator going to the third floor. I'm wondering if it might not be worth disallowing multiple elevators just to get rid of this corner case.)

I asked about the multiple elevators, but it's so disadvantageous that you only do it if that's the safest way to take garbage. I agree about the "at any level". I shall improve the wording of this when I get a few minutes.

Kaffedrake wrote:
* You clarified in this thread that elevators can be built while unpowered. This is not at all clear, and the rule that elevators themselves always ignore the height limit should be stated explicitly. (In fact, if you read the rules literally, you can never build above the ground floor, as you don't even have an elevator before placing a cube on the second; this is also reflected in Nathan Morse's rules summary. There is an example that demonstrates it is possible, but examples should never be used to specify rules.)

The short of it is that elevators do not face the height restriction imposed by the highest elevator. Again, I'd like to tighten the wording on this.

Kaffedrake wrote:
* It says "Players simultaneously place the 2 cubes that they received during the previous phase onto their city boards." The "simultaneously" is problematic since it may be interpreted to mean you cannot use one cube to enable placement of the other (which you can, as clarified in this thread). With minimal changes you could write something like: "Simultaneously, players place the 2 cubes [...] onto their city boards, one after the other."

I completely agree. I think you will find that the wording for the next game is more precise, because I worked on it the whole time. Alban and I have already briefly discussed reviewing the Town Center rules to see if they can be improved. Because the little doubts like this can add up to confuse people, I'm expecting to tighten a few loose bolts.

Kaffedrake wrote:
* Since there's a similarly unfortunate "simultaneously" in the development section (I am fairly sure that developments happen sequentially), a better idea might be to note in the sequence of play that phases 2-3 do not have a turn order, and simply remove the ambiguous simultaneities.

This one's a little trickier, but I plan to take inspiration from the way we've worded the next game's rules. I felt like this mechanism came out with cleaner exposition.

Kaffedrake wrote:
* You could possibly clarify that you can't toss an office just because you don't want to pay for it (for whichever reason). Minimal change to remove a hint of volition: instead of "To build an office [...]", write "When building an office [...]"

Probably not a bad idea to clarify that you must build it if you can.

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In the second development example you use the term "town center" to refer to the city hall. You have defined "town center" to be the 3x3 centre slots on the board and should be consistent with this.

Oops, really? If so, I missed that when I edited the rules updates. blush

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In comments and threads I have seen at least two players make the assumption that each player can only purchase one black cube and one yellow cube in a game. I can find no such restriction in the rules, just one of one cube per turn and player. If I'm right, you may want to consider a clarification. If I'm wrong, you should absolutely consider a clarification!

laugh That is… fascinating. I'll have to look at the rules again, but I can think of no way to interpret them as only being allowed to buy one. Why else would the progressive cost have been explained? 5… 10… 15….

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In this thread you acknowledge that the reserve could run out and say that "If the reserve runs out I recommend to not develop the given area", as if it should in fact affect gameplay, but then a player takes your further comments to mean the reserve should be considered unlimited and you don't contradict this. You should probably include an explicit rule for this; if nothing else, if it's possible to purchase multiple black and/or yellow cubes, it should be quite possible (though not necessarily efficacious) to use those up. Also note that if the reserve is meant to run out, phases 3-4 cannot happen "simultaneously".

An interesting point, but in practice it should be moot. Only in an extreme case did I pay 35 for a power cube so far, as I recall. I'm a little distracted right now, but I believe you are limited to buying a single cube, or maybe one of each type, per turn — aha, could this be how people misconstrued the limit before? — and I have never seen the supply of those even close to depleted. Alban would know better, of course!

Kaffedrake wrote:
* In a couple of threads from May-June, the scoring levels for the solo game are clearly much different from the latest rules: scores of 51 and 52 are said to be Capital, which is 90+ in the July 8th rules, and Megalopolis is said to be 60+ whereas in the rules this level is 100+. Yet I can see no reference anywhere to anything having been changed. I got 38 in my first solo game, so I'd just like to confirm whether I really got a lousy score or the list in the PDF is a holdover (though the list in Nathan's summary is the same, so lousy I guess?).

laugh Yes, Alban adjusted the scale, but 38 is not a lousy first solo game. It is but a humble starting point, however, as you get familiar with the game….

Again, I'm a little distracted right now, so if I've stated anything incorrect, please forgive me, inform me, and I shall strike it from this reply.
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nabla wrote:
The next game in the trilogy is a card game, so the more 3D effects there are for TC the better it is to distinguish it from the second game


I was thinking more along the lines of making them a thematic set somehow (difficult to say how without knowing anything about the other games) - making them not match shouldn't be that difficult.

zefquaavius wrote:
laugh That is… fascinating. I'll have to look at the rules again, but I can think of no way to interpret them as only being allowed to buy one. Why else would the progressive cost have been explained? 5… 10… 15….


If I were to hazard a guess, it might be because of the available number of cubes, 20 each of yellow and black. In a 4-player game after you put 16 of each in the bag, you have 4 of each remaining or 1 per player and colour. (As for the progressive cost, that counts cubes already on the board, not previous purchases, right?)

I'm not sure if it's very likely that players would want to purchase more than a total of 4 cubes of one colour, since I understand it's more of a balancing mechanism to keep people from being completely shut out of these things early on. But from what I hear it's also possible to get very effective economies running, so it should be far from impossible. And you could look at it this way: it effectively introduces a difference between games of different player counts, caused by an arbitrary component count. To me it seems more elegant to say there is no theoretical reserve limit than to let the practical considerations impose on the design.
 
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I prefer the game play differs with the #players. Only 4 cubes for a 4 player game is fine. More with less player is also perfect
 
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If you take an office, and have the $5, must you build it?
 
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Yes.
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zefquaavius wrote:
If you take an office, and have the $5, must you build it?


You must build all buildings if you can (if you have the money and/or free place).
 
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