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Through the Desert» Forums » Rules

Subject: Oasis face up or down? rss

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Ryan O'Rourke
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The rules clearly state the oasises are to be placed face up on the board, so the values can be seen from the get go. But some users have mentioned the Kosmos version's irregular sized oasises being a problem in the instance of being able to determine the value when they are face down. This indicates that some play that way. Is that a rule in the German version to lay them all face down randomly? That sounds interesting to me, at least as a variant. Has anyone tried?
 
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Matthew M
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The oases start out face down when placing so the numbers don't influence how they are placed - making the array closer to truly random. With different sized tokens that isn't really an option. I believe that's what the posts you referenced are complaining about.

-MMM
 
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Ryan O'Rourke
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OK, so then after they have been placed during setup, but before the first caravan leader is placed, all of the oases are turned upright?
 
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Fraser
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Matthew M
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facesnorth wrote:
OK, so then after they have been placed during setup, but before the first caravan leader is placed, all of the oases are turned upright?


Yep.

-MMM
 
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Mark McEvoy
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facesnorth wrote:
But some users have mentioned the Kosmos version's irregular sized oasises being a problem in the instance of being able to determine the value when they are face down. This indicates that some play that way.


The likely reason for that complaint is that the rules (first FF edition rules, at least) state that players conceal their water hole point tiles when captured ("he removes the water hole from the board and places it face-down in front of him"). If their sizes are irregular, this concealment becomes even more of a pointless exercise than it already was.

You'll see this discussed a lot on the forums for many Knizia games ... more commonly Modern Art, Tigris, and Samurai - all of them have screens, used to conceal information that was never a secret (yes, I realize that the screens also conceal some truly secret info - but I'm talking about money/cubes/figures, which are all trackable through public information).

 
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Hammock Backpacker
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Quote:
That sounds interesting to me, at least as a variant. Has anyone tried?


We play this way when we play with our kids. It makes it less strategic since you don't know what you're going to get and that makes the game lighter which my kids enjoy more. They also like the "what did I win!" aspect of flipping over the chip after 'capturing' it.

 
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Daniel Corban
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Why go through the trouble of placing all the water holes face down, only to flip them all over one minute later? I just keep them in a bag, decide where the next water hole will go, then blindly grab one out of the bag.

I would definitely say that the complaint about irregular shapes is due to the hidden scores, not game setup.
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Chris Hawks
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We've always played with the watering holes facedown, and it works just fine. It would be more strategic faceup, making for a slightly different game; I'd like to try it sometime, but I think my group is definitely going to be the "facedown" type.
 
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Daniel Corban
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By "facedown" type you mean "introduce luck into an otherwise luck-free game" type. blush

I would be frustrated to see an opponent with a handful of threes while I had a bunch of ones. It's annoying enough already, but at least it is my fault.
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Chris Hawks
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dcorban wrote:
By "facedown" type you mean "introduce luck into an otherwise luck-free game" type. blush

It was an honest mistake when we started playing, but we've played so long the one way, it's not likely to change. To be quite honest, the "luck-free" games in my collection are the ones that sit on the shelf and never get played.
 
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