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Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries» Forums » Rules

Subject: Use of three-card-jokers in ferries rss

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Ilari Kajaste
Finland
Tampere
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First of all, the rules (at least Finnish rules) in Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries state clearly that locomotive cards can only be used when building ferry or tunnel routes. In these routes, the locomotive cards can be used as a joker to replace any of the normal cards. [Sidenotes: There is quite a lot of ferry and tunnel routes in the map. Also, locomotives can be drawn just like normal cards - even two from public display.]

However, later in the Finnish rules there is a somewhat ambiguous section. Under the chapter "Ferries", it reads in Finnish:
Quote:
* Pelaaja voi pelata veturikortin minkä tahansa muun kortin tilalla jokerina
* Mitkä tahansa kolme junakorttia voidaan pelata muun kortin tilalla jokerina veturikortin tapaan

Here's an English translation that I tried to keep semantically accurate:
Quote:
* Player may play a locomotive-card in place of any other card, as a joker
* Any three train-cards may be played in place of another card as a joker, {as is done with} locomotive-card.


The ambiguous parts, as I think:
* "another card" --- does this mean another train card or another any card, including a locomotive card?
* "{as is done with}" --- does this refer to playing a locomotive card as a joker (replacing a train card), or playing a locomotive card in any way?

Now I find the direct implication of this rule would be that in a ferry
1) locomotive slots: you must play a locomotive card (for each locomotive slot shown in the route)
2) normal slots: you can play either the correct train card or a locomotive card or any three train cards.

The problem is that I think the rules can also be interpreted as follows (this is how I've played it):
1) locomotive slots: you can play either a locomotive card or any three train cards (for each locomotive slot shown in the route)
2) normal slots: you can play either the correct train card or a locomotive card or any three train cards.

And to make things more complicated, I think the rules might actually have some kind of a mistake, and the following "interpretation" would make the most sense:
1) locomotive slots: you can play either a locomotive card or any three train cards (for each locomotive slot shown in the route)
2) normal slots: you can play either the correct train card or a locomotive card

Why the last interpretation makes the most sense?
A) The locomotive slots aren't meant to be played with the cards of a specific colour, and thus don't actually have a "colour". So it makes sense to be able to replace these with a combination of different colour cards. Also, this allows you to build ferry routes without actual locomotive cards, making the role of the locomotive cards more clearly a "bonus" card.
B) If you can use the three cards to replace train cards in ferry routes, why only ferry routes? If this was the case, I think the rules would have a sentence that would make this explicitly clear, and they don't. The rule just seems too gimmicky to exist without an explicit statement. (Actually, I think it seems too gimmicky to exist even with such a statement. :) )

So congratulations to everyone who actually read all this. :) Which do you think is the correct interpretation? What do the rules say in other languages?

... and if someone happens to meet Alan Moon sometime, please ask him for a clarification. :)
 
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Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
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Three cards can only be used as a wildcard on the locomotive spots. I.e, the last interpretation you made. As you said, this makes the most sense, and that's also the rule I find in the Swedish version:

For ferry building:
* A player can play additional locomotives instead of playing a normal train card.
* Any 3 cards can be used instead of a locomotive card.

Which is ambiguous too. I firmly believe your interpretation is right. I makes no sense that any 3 cards can be played as wild cards on any standard slot for the ferry lines, when it's not allowed in any other place. It's just the locos that can be used as wildcards exclusively on the ferry and tunnel routes.

What I find silly with this is that you can actually use the three-cards as a wildcard anyway: Let's say you want to build on a 4-slot yellow ferry, with 2 locos. You have two locos and 6 other cards. You just claim that the 6 cards are as two wildcard for the locomotive slots, and the other two locos are wildcards for the remaining yellow slots.
I don't believe this was intended, and thus I have an additional house rule saying that you can NOT use locomotives as wildcards for the non-loco slots, if you used three cards as a wildcard for any locomotive slot.
 
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Daniel Troi
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Linköping
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I am pretty certain that the the rules should be interpreted as your house rules altough it is not as clearly written as one could desire. It makes sense to interpreted the rules like that because the option of replacing any three cards for a locomotive is most likely made so a player can use if the player simply lack the required locomotive. A way of coming around being stuck throu an entire game wainting for that one locomotive.
 
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Ilari Kajaste
Finland
Tampere
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Zimeon wrote:
What I find silly with this is that you can actually use the three-cards as a wildcard anyway
[...]
thus I have an additional house rule saying that you can NOT use locomotives as wildcards for the non-loco slots, if you used three cards as a wildcard for any locomotive slot.

Good point. I took the same house rule into effect too - thanks. :)

DanielTroi wrote:
the option of replacing any three cards for a locomotive is most likely [...] A way of coming around being stuck throu an entire game wainting for that one locomotive.

I thought so too initially, but after playing some games I find it's actually not that likely to get stuck waiting for a locomotive. It's worth noting that in Nordic Countries you can draw locomotives the way you draw train cards - even two locos from public display. (I edited my original post to say this as well.) Also the card distribution has 12 of each tarin color and 14 locomotives - and since locomotives can only be used on ferry and tunnel routes they aren't nearly as attractive as in other Ticket to Ride -games.
 
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Uffe
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Stockholm
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I don't think that it's a problem that you can use any three cards to replace a regular train on a ferry line. Using more cards than necessary is not something that you want to do unless you are desperate anyway. It is not what I would call an unfair advantage.

Perhaps this rule could have worked for any route. It would certainly remove some of the frustration that can be a result of the luck of the draw.
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Ilari Kajaste
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Tampere
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Burzum wrote:
I don't think that it's a problem that you can use any three cards to replace a regular train on a ferry line. Using more cards than necessary is not something that you want to do unless you are desperate anyway. It is not what I would call an unfair advantage.

I agree. But it does make the rules/gameplay more confusing and gimmicky. And by contrast, it makes the normal routes look quite inflexible and annoying.
 
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Remo Rehder
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I agree to your "intended rules", where you can only exchange 3 cards for a locomotive. This makes the most sense, to me anyway
 
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Robert Jones
United Kingdom
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I asked the oracle (Alan) what the correct interpretation was, and he confirmed as follows;

Quote:
1) locomotive slots: you can play either a locomotive card or any three train cards (for each locomotive slot shown in the route)
2) normal slots: you can play either the correct train card or a locomotive card


is correct, although I can certainly see where the confusion comes from. The intention was that you could only substitute any three cards for the required locomotive slots.

So that's the definitive answer!
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Sami Nurmela
Finland
Turku
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Thanks Robert, for asking Alan and Ilari for bringing this up. This is a welcome clarification. Our group has been playing wrong then (thinking that 3 cards can always replace the locomotive card on ferry lines, and since locomotive can be used on normal slots, so could also 3 cards - this was useful at the end of game, burning all extra cards on ferry line spaces).

But question still stands, should we use Zimeon's house rule? I agree that the use of locomotives on regular slots and 3 cards on locomotive slots at the same time feels a bit gamey.

edit: Alan's ruling means that the text in the 2nd bullet of Finnish rules is definitely wrong, as it clearly says the three cards can be used to replace any card (just like the locomotive). Too bad there's such ambiguity in otherwise clean and compact rules. I'd really like to see Alan publishing the definite rules for this game in English.
 
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Robert Jones
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Well, I personally agree with the spirit of the house rule, but Alan didn't mention it. I recommend that provided everyone agrees beforehand, you should play with whichever set of rules you prefer!

I have to be honest and say I find the rules about what cards can be played where very much less "clean" in Nordics than the other games in the series. I know there are only a couple of exceptions, but I still get confused. soblue

I suspect the loco replacement rule was kludged in to stop the tactic of picking up every loco in sight just to thwart other people. Perhaps one way to stop this would be to make the loco card count as a "double pick" (like in the original), although that would make the ferry routes less attractive.
 
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ackmondual
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b0ardgamer wrote:
I asked the oracle (Alan) what the correct interpretation was, and he confirmed as follows;

Quote:
1) locomotive slots: you can play either a locomotive card or any three train cards (for each locomotive slot shown in the route)
2) normal slots: you can play either the correct train card or a locomotive card


is correct, although I can certainly see where the confusion comes from. The intention was that you could only substitute any three cards for the required locomotive slots.

So that's the definitive answer!
blushblush Whoops.... Last time I taught the game, I thought 3 cards to fill the slot of the locomotive symbol in the ferry routes had to be of the same color. Allowing 3 of ANY color makes things noticeably easier. It also makes non-locomotive cards more valuable in this game.
 
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Kenny VenOsdel
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Think of it this way. You can substitute any three cards for a locomotive right. That only applies to the actual locomotive slots on a ferry. Otherwise what you are substituting is really for a normal card which is not allowed. I realize locomotives may be used in the "normal" card spot of a ferry but they are not then acting as locomotives but rather as a card of that color. You cannot substitute cards in this instance since you are trying to substitute for a normal colored card. Make sense?

p.s. We had been playing that in order to substitute, the three cards had to be of the same color as the track. I think that is much more intense! Didn't even notice the "any three cards" spot in the rulebook. Oops!
 
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Chris Hawks
United States
Apple Valley
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saminurmela wrote:
I'd really like to see Alan publishing the definite rules for this game in English.

In case you haven't seen them, they're right here.
 
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Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
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b0ardgamer wrote:
I asked the oracle (Alan) what the correct interpretation was, and he confirmed as follows;

Quote:
1) locomotive slots: you can play either a locomotive card or any three train cards (for each locomotive slot shown in the route)
2) normal slots: you can play either the correct train card or a locomotive card


is correct, although I can certainly see where the confusion comes from. The intention was that you could only substitute any three cards for the required locomotive slots.

So that's the definitive answer!


Very helpful - certainly not the only possible interpretation.

The rule "any three cards can be used as a substitute for a locomotive card" implies an equivalence.

thee cards = locomotive card. Therefore, any time you read locomotive, you can also read three cards.

Which implies you could use three cards to act as a joker for a color slot on a ferry.

I will go with the interpretation you state, but I wish it was included in an FAQ with the game!
 
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ackmondual
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Just to make sure there isn't any confusion, I give the following examples of if you want to fill a green-green-ferry-ferry route:


The obvious ones include...
green green loco loco


Show the first example (also to make it clear the triplets do NOT need to be the same color)...
green green loco (red + oj + yellow)


show the 2nd example, where locos CAN be used as wilds, as opposed to regular routes in NC and Swiss...
green loco loco (blue blue black)
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