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Pearls in Rulebooks
Paulo Soledade
Portugal
Leiria
Leiria
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I often see brilliant phrases in rulebooks. This geeklist is the place where you should add your discover. Please do.
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26. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:700]
"SETUP: 12. Select First Player: The Player who has read the most science fiction books goes first. If the players can't agree [on] who this is, select one player at random to go first..."
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27. Board Game: Prussia's Glory [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:3651]
Antonio B-D
Spain
Madrid
Madrid
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Quote:
"Design Note: Every effort has been made to make the LOS rules precise and to cover every situation. If a dispute arises, it is the Designer’s adamant intent that players do not agonize or bicker over LOS. In such a case, defer to rule 8.2a or 8.2b below:

8.2a (recommended): Adopt a suitably sporting 18th century
battle captain’s attitude. Allow the other player their shot. With a spirited hand flourish, say, “But of course, mon frere, fire away! I’m sure my rascals deserve a rousting anyway!” Vary pithy phrase as desired.

8.2b: For those who cannot accord such grace, each player roll
a die, high roll calls it."

Note that this isn't a side or footnote, this is actually a case under the 8.2 LOS rules. Especially note that 8.2a is the designer's preferred rule!


Taken from the belowmentioned Geeklist and from Jeff Kuhn (Xookliba) quoting, so all the credit should be given to him.

It is just that I love this rule!!
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28. Board Game: SPQR (Deluxe Edition) [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:791]
Nick Bah Doo
Netherlands
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3rd Edition manual section 8.36.1 on page 22 (emphasis mine)

Play note: Many different types of permutations and combinations are possible, in terms of unit types and multiple attack angles. The two precepts, above, should cover virtually all of these possibilities.
If they don't, try to attain a result that best fits in with the general principles. If that doesn't work, try cutting open a chicken and checking its entrails ...

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29. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:744]
ŁṲÎS̈
United States
Mesa
Arizona
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"Table talk, including alliances, threats, coercion,
whining, pleading, backstabbing, and other
verbal tirades are not only allowed, but
encouraged."
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30. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:639]
Keith

Apex
North Carolina
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...On explaining why your character can come back after death...

...a relative perhaps.
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31. Board Game: La Città [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:354]
Breno K.
Brazil
Brasília
Distrito Federal
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I don't have the game anymore, but I remember reading something like "colored citizens are not citizens".

Martin Luther King would've disapproved, I'm sure.
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32. Board Game: Duck Dealer [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2504]
Breno K.
Brazil
Brasília
Distrito Federal
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As he walks to his spaceship, he hears a soft sound that sounds like muffled crying. HE turns around, once more, and smiles at his wife. "I'll be back in no time. Just selling these oldrubber duckies on the next space station and that'll be all". But they both know it's not true. Because if it were, what would all that blue paint and satellite equipment in the ship's cargo holds be for? And why would he have needed to outfit his once-modest scout class ship with heavy duty construction equipment? "I know you're doing this to make us all proud, his wife says, trying to smile through her tears. "I just hope this time the plan will work out". "Don't worry, my love" he answers. "I've got everything under control". But they both know...

Written in the beginning of the manual and on the side of the box. In a game about ducks in spaceships selling blue paint and telephone booths and diet pills and other junk.

By far the best one I've seen so far.
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33. Board Game: The Lost Battalion: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 1918 [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:6346]
Marc Figueras

Barcelona
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The game was designed by John Desch and includes a counter for his grandfather who fought in the battle. If Sgt. Desch were to die in battle... well... here you have the rule:

11.10 Sergeant Desch (optional)
Sergeant Charles Desch was a member of E Company, 325th Regiment, 82nd Division. He stacks for free and always travels on the map with the 325th Regiment. If the 325th suffers a step loss, roll two dice. If a 2 or 12 is rolled, Sergeant Desch has been killed in action, and the American player immediately loses the game. This designer is never born, and you never received a copy of this game.

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34. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:91]
Daniel Jacobsen
Denmark
Roskilde
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Quote:
In a two-player game, your opponent is your only neighbor.


I think this statement has a certain aesthetic, almost poetic quality.
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35. Board Game: Mordred [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:2549]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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From the 2nd edition rulebook, two delightful gems...

A bit from the introduction:

Quote:
And that’s it, that’s the game. Nothing terribly deep, just roll the dice and see what happens. The game should last around half an hour, so
if you are still playing after two hours the chances are you are doing
something horribly wrong.


And one of the more Calvinist tiebreakers I've seen:

Quote:
If Mordred wins then the player who is furthest up the Mordred track
wins, as he or she did the least to help the evil Mordred. If there is a
tie then each of the tied players counts the victory points they have on
the map and the one with the most wins. If there is still a tie then the
tied player with the most money left wins. If there is still a tie then I
think God meant it to be that way and the game remains tied.



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36. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415]
Chad Winter
United States
Farmington
Utah
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The rule in Container that I'm thinking of was probably not written for humorous effect (at least I don't think it was) but it always strikes our group as hilarious in its pandering to gamers' anal retentive sides. Each time we play Container we constantly remind each other that:

Stacking is encouraged for realism.


This is in the rulebook not once, but twice. We love it so much, we had t-shirts made referencing it
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37. Board Game: Chaos Marauders [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:4067]
Eric Boivin
Canada
Montréal
Québec
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This one in the new edition rulebook made me laugh:

Tie Breaka
If two or more players tie for the most total Victory Points at the end of the game, then the tied players simultaneously shout the traditional Orc war cry "Waaagh!" at the top of their lungs. The player with the loudest war cry is the winner!

And the old version had many pearls, but I'll pick this one for its simplicity

"WAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHGGGGGHHHGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"
-Hak Veinthrob leading a sneak attack
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38. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:76]
Nick Short
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Space Alert Handbook wrote:
Actually, we could send you out without any training at all, but government regulations require a brief course first. And sometimes - not very often, you understand - but sometimes you encounter some hostile behavior that might, in only the most extreme cases, lead to some damage to your ship. And that’s why we send you along, really. Your job is to repel these feeble attacks and keep the ship functional for the 10 minutes it needs to take a picture of the sector. The computer automatically evaluates the position and intentions of the enemy and the ship is equipped with powerful shields, several laser cannons, self-guided rockets, squads of battlebots, and other defense systems, so it won’t be a problem to deal with any... um... problem that may arise. And I am pleased to tell you that those of you who do encounter the enemy will receive a handsome bonus if you return. - When you return, - I mean. I certainly have no doubt that... Anyway. Sorry. It’s a bit stuffy in here.

We’ll take a short break, now, because I am due to speak at a... ceremony for the previous crew.

The handbook for this game is filled with all sorts of gems like this as it instructs you on the intricacies of space exploration. I love Corporation, Inc.!
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39. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:915]
Bruce Chiriatti
United States
Los Altos
California
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My friends and I sometimes make references to one of the gems in the cosmic encounter rule book where it discusses what happens when two players must make a deal - if they don't establish some sort of agreement within a minute:

"They get nothing and they are miffed"

When something doesn't work out in a game I'm playing - I'll say that I'm miffed.

Good fun.

NOTE: I tried to find the quote from the rulebook (1991 game) but it's not in the text - did I just imagine this quote?
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40. Board Game: Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:959]
DK Kemler
United States
Sacramento
California
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"If you try and fail to crown Conan king, Conan kills you, and mocks your corpse. You are eliminated and cannot win the game."

I always loved this rule. Especially the mocking.
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41. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:562]
Scott Pizio
United States
Fall River
Massachusetts
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"When Cleopatra finally strolls into her new Palace, at the end of the game, the most corrupt architect (the one with the most amulets) will be seized and offered to her sacred crocodile as a tasy morsel! Only then will the wealthiest architect, from among those still alive, be selected and declared winner of the game."

of course "In the rare event where no player had any Corruption left, the Crocodile would remain unfed!"

Of course what other games allow you to going first for owning a mummified crocodile or maintaining a hieroglyphic library.
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42. Board Game: Jerusalem [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:5102]
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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This is part of the rules on the Arab terrorist bomber El Kutub.

Quote:
In order to bomb a hex, roll one die. If a "6" is rolled, something went wrong and El Kutub has joined Allah
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43. Board Game: Risk: Godstorm [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1714]
JonnyRotten
United States
Montpelier
Ohio
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I don't have the rulebook in front of me, but I lol'd at the section of Risk Godstorm dedicated to tie breaking. It went something like this:

If at the end of the game, its a tie then the player with the most U wins
If its still a tie, the player with the most V wins
If its still a tie, the player with the most W wins
If its still a tie, the player with the most X wins
If its still a tie, the player with the most Y wins
If its STILL a tie, the player with the most Z wins
If its still a tie, then the game ends in a tie. Both players share control of the world.

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44. Board Game: Catan: Traders & Barbarians [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Jason Clague
New Zealand
Hamilton
Waikato
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From the Caravans scenario:

Each camel has a "front" end (the head).

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45. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4]
Jim Hills
Canada
Saskatoon
SK
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"Before scooping everything back in the box, take a moment to appreciate your fellow players' civilizations and thank them for a fun game. Now might be a good time to apologize for assassinating Shakespeare."
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46. Board Game: Gammarauders [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:6358]
Archibald Zimonyi
Sweden
Gothenburg
Unspecified
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From the start of the world (back story) book :
"Long ago, way before the beasts we call bioborgs lurched across the landscape, before the Cryptic Alliance raised their manifold heads, even a while before radiation craters became a part of daily life, there was a Golden Age.
It was a time of peace and plenty. Men flew in multicolored suits. Women worked magic by wiggling their noses. Vehicles talked. Blonde genies lived in bottles. Hillbillies invaded the land called Beverly. Those great Captains of Industry (Video, America and Kangaroo) flew in the Space Patrol with Tom Corbett and his brother Dick (whom mom always liked best).
In short, it was a wondrous time, and so it could not last."

From the rulebook:
"There is a five-card limit to the number of cards you can hold in your hands (see Your Hand of Cards, page 6). Extra cards must be placed on the bioborg layout sheet (if it's a weapon and there is an empty space on the sheet) or discarded.
Make sure that no player's hand contains more than five cards before you continue (violators should be taken outside and roughed up).

And later in the rulebook:
The five-card limit must be observed at the end of every step of the turn (you know what to do with the violators).

Archie
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47. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:52]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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The rules begin with this quote:

"The rage for railroads is so great that many will be laid in parts where they will not pay." George Stephenson
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48. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Laszlo Toth
Hungary
Budapest
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You can find an unhappy crewmember at the credit section of the rulebook:

Quote:
Our thanks to our playtesters: Kelly
Bailey, ...[]..., Sir
Shufflesalot
, ...[]..., the
Cincygamers and the Columbus Area
Boardgaming Society.
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49. Board Game: Junta [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:645]
Børge N
Norway
Porsgrunn
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The rulebook for this game is very entertaining. Most humor is in the picture captions, the play hints and in the introductions to each section, but these
paragraphs are from §42 Etiquette:

Quote:
These etuquette rules are good for you. Trust us.
[...]

* Forget your scruples. Lying in the real world may be wrong: In Junta, it is merely clever. [...]

* The rules and cards refer to money in hand as "in pocket". The reason is that you are encouraged to hide your money in hand in your shirt pocket or, perhaps, underneath the game board. After all, you certainly don't want to help the other players guess how much money you have in hand! Remember to return your money to the game before you leave, though, or the owner of the game may be very upset.



And also, of course in Component Summary

Quote:
Do not try to backfold the map, because you will break the spine. (We couldn't imagine anyone doing this, until one of our designers surprised himself with a two-piece map...)
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50. Board Game: Harpoon 4 [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:3305]
Morten Lund
Denmark
Århus
Denmark
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designer
Yes, Beware the Geek bringing gifts!
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The rules has a headline for "Phaser Fire" mixed in along guns, torpedoes, missiles and bombs.

If you look at the rule number, it simply says:

"Made you look!"

(Edit: typo, and thanks! laugh )
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