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Subject: Zaps and Scoring rss

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Carey Grayson
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As a gamer, I expect rules to be tight and free of ambiguities. As a designer, I appreciate how hard that is to do. That said, I wish I had caught the discrepencies below before I assured the publisher they were accurate and ready for publication.

Family and Advance rules:
Zaps -- After playing a Zap, remove it from play.

Family rules:
Scoring for a single attribute should say: "One attribute (and only one attribute) are the same, all other attributes must be different."

Scoring -- 4 birds in the same horizontal row may score only once (you may still score the same birds vertically if possible).

Cheers,

Carey Grayson
Designer of "Birds on a Wire"
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Damian Undziakiewicz
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Thank You for this brilliant game.
The first time we opened it we played 8 times in a row and finished at 1am .

I have a question to 2 players game variant.
The instruction is only stating:

"Notes for 2 players: give each player 2 Power Line Cards. Players alternate turns, otherwise all other rules aplly"

After drawing a tile, am I allowed to place a bird on any of my Power Lines or do I have to place it every turn on a different Line.

For example:
1st turn Power Line on the left
2nd turn Power Line on the right
3rd turn - Power Line on the left
and so on

Thank You in advance

Damian
 
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Carey Grayson
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In the two player game, please play each power line separately. So even though you sum the scores of both power lines at the end of the game, you play them separately on alternating turns. I hope this makes sense.

Thank you for the great question and I am glad you are enjoying the game.

Carey Grayson
 
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Damian Undziakiewicz
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Great.
Thank you for the prompt response.
 
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Woger Wabbit
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I have a couple of questions.

1) The rules state that you can use a zap instead of drawing a card. Does this mean you can use a zap instead of drawing an (optional) second card?

This second card you normally must place on an open space on one of your wires. This acts as a bit of drawback involved in choosing to draw a second card. By using a zap instead of the second draw, this seems a bit overpowered. For example, you could obtain a zap by placing your first card in the air in a space that fills a row or column with a zap in it, (causing a migration). Then you could use that zap on the same turn you just obtained it, by using the zap instead of drawing a second card. The rules don't rule this out, so I'm guessing this is legal. But it just doesn't quite *seem* right to me.

2) My first experience with this game was with 3 players. We removed 2 sets of birds as the rules suggest, and had loads of fun. But we thought maybe the game went by just a little too quickly. We were thinking of adding more wires perhaps, after all there are 6 wire boards and so we had 3 left over we could put next to or underneath the 3 we were already using. We didn't try this, nor am I sure how many wires to add. I think a safe bet would be to add one more wire (and change the optional win condition to having a set of 8 of the same bird instead of 6 of the same bird, to compensate). Any ideas?

 
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Carey Grayson
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Thank you for your great questions. I'll answer them one by one below.

wkava wrote:
1) The rules state that you can use a zap instead of drawing a card. Does this mean you can use a zap instead of drawing an (optional) second card?


The short answer, no. But you bring up a valid point. If there is a second reprint (tell your friends to buy it please!), I plan to reword it so it more clearly states that when playing a zap, you do not draw any tiles. Also to discard zaps after use.


wkava wrote:
This second card you normally must place on an open space on one of your wires. This acts as a bit of drawback involved in choosing to draw a second card. By using a zap instead of the second draw, this seems a bit overpowered. For example, you could obtain a zap by placing your first card in the air in a space that fills a row or column with a zap in it, (causing a migration). Then you could use that zap on the same turn you just obtained it, by using the zap instead of drawing a second card. The rules don't rule this out, so I'm guessing this is legal. But it just doesn't quite *seem* right to me.


You answered the question. It is too powerful to cause a migration and play a zap on the same turn (or to draw a tile and play a zap on the same turn). This came out early in play testing and I believe it plays better this way.

wkava wrote:
2) My first experience with this game was with 3 players. We removed 2 sets of birds as the rules suggest, and had loads of fun. But we thought maybe the game went by just a little too quickly. We were thinking of adding more wires perhaps, after all there are 6 wire boards and so we had 3 left over we could put next to or underneath the 3 we were already using. We didn't try this, nor am I sure how many wires to add. I think a safe bet would be to add one more wire (and change the optional win condition to having a set of 8 of the same bird instead of 6 of the same bird, to compensate). Any ideas?


I'm sorry if it plays too quickly. I guess you could play more games? But sadly, there are only 5 power line boards and only 7 of each bird included in each game, so what you suggest wouldn't work unless you borrowed a board and tiles from another box. If you try this, I'd be curious to hear how it works. One suggestion to slow the game down a little: whenever you trigger a migration, do not draw a second tile.

Cheers,

Carey Grayson
 
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marc laumonier
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please some precisions concerning the game end of the family game.
"finish the rest of the current player's turn..."

- it stops just when a player fill his 12 spaces ?
- or : every other players play one more time ?
- or : each player has to play same number of turns ?

Does the player who's ending the game can be zapped if another player can play after him?

thanks
marc meeple

 
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Carey Grayson
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frenchpeterpan wrote:
please some precisions concerning the game end of the family game. "finish the rest of the current player's turn..."

- it stops just when a player fill his 12 spaces ?
- or : every other players play one more time ?
- or : each player has to play same number of turns ?

Does the player who's ending the game can be zapped if another player can play after him?


Sorry this is not very clear.

Let's say it is your turn and you just played a bird in the sky, triggering a migration. You take a bird and pass the remaining birds to your left.

The next player takes a bird and as a result fills all 12 spaces on their power line. There are still birds left from the migration to pass to the left. Do we end the game here? No.

We continue passing the remaining birds to the left until we run out of birds and end your turn. Now the game is over.

To your other question, what if you didn't get as many turns as the other player or you have a zap you didn't get to play?

While this may not seem fair, you should always watch the other player's power lines so you know if they are close to going out. Don't make any plays that will help them to go out (like my example above). If you must, play a zap on them to keep them from going out.

I hope this helps. Thanks very much for playing the game.

Carey Grayson
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marc laumonier
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thx
and sorry for my broken english
it's clear now
meeple
 
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Woger Wabbit
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cjgrayso wrote:
...I plan to reword it so it more clearly states that when playing a zap, you do not draw any tiles. Also to discard zaps after use.


Sounds like you could think of this as follows: playing a zap replaces a whole turn and no other normal turn events happen (except of course the possibility that the game will end on that turn).

cjgrayso wrote:
...But sadly, there are only 5 power line boards and only 7 of each bird included in each game, so what you suggest wouldn't work unless you borrowed a board and tiles from another box. If you try this, I'd be curious to hear how it works. One suggestion to slow the game down a little: whenever you trigger a migration, do not draw a second tile.


Somehow we had 6 power line boards. So maybe throw out only 1 kind of bird (instead of 2 kinds) for the 3 player game. Or maybe not throw any birds out (challenging!). Add one more wire (or two). Since there are only 7 of any given bird, leaving a win condition as having 6 of any one given bird should remain in effect. I like your migration suggestion but feel it may have too subtle an effect?

Interestingly, at first, we thought drawing a second tile on a turn would be too dangerous but over time it proved helpful more often than not in playing a winning game (in 3-player). It should be one of those "german style" sorts of "difficult decision" things, maybe with more plays of the game I'll understand what's happening here better.

Perhaps our using the 2nd draw option so often made the game a bit fast (thus the appropriateness of your migration suggestion).

Thanks so much for responding, seems this thread is heating up a bit!
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Gerald McDaniel
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We played this for the first time this weekend and look forward to playing it again. It is a fun, fast game, especially for family gaming. It is one of the few games my granddaughter will play with the rest of us.

Question: If you draw a tile and place it on the sky card, and create a migration, do you still draw a second tile to place on your power line card, after the migration is completed? We played this way, but were not certain that was correct.

Comment: We play virtually all our game days with 6 or 7 people (family members), and we do not split into different groups. So, we usually have to adapt games to that many players. For Birds on a Wire, I made a 6th power line card for our first game, and we decided that if no one filled a card before we ran out of tiles, the placing of the final tile would end the game. This is what happened, and it worked fine. Next time we play, it probably will be with 7 players, so I'll make another board and use that rule again. It will make the game a little more difficult, as no one is likely to have very many birds on their card. Also, we plan to make an additional zap tile and immediately replace the first one that is taken from the sky card (for 6 or 7 players).
 
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Carey Grayson
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gamesgrandpa wrote:
We played this for the first time this weekend and look forward to playing it again. It is a fun, fast game, especially for family gaming. It is one of the few games my granddaughter will play with the rest of us.


I'm glad you are enjoying the game.

gamesgrandpa wrote:
Question: If you draw a tile and place it on the sky card, and create a migration, do you still draw a second tile to place on your power line card, after the migration is completed? We played this way, but were not certain that was correct.


I recommend that you don't play a second tile. It helps slow the game down a little


gamesgrandpa wrote:
Comment: We play virtually all our game days with 6 or 7 people (family members), and we do not split into different groups. So, we usually have to adapt games to that many players. For Birds on a Wire, I made a 6th power line card for our first game, and we decided that if no one filled a card before we ran out of tiles, the placing of the final tile would end the game. This is what happened, and it worked fine. Next time we play, it probably will be with 7 players, so I'll make another board and use that rule again. It will make the game a little more difficult, as no one is likely to have very many birds on their card. Also, we plan to make an additional zap tile and immediately replace the first one that is taken from the sky card (for 6 or 7 players).


You might try buying a second game and then you have more than enough power lines for everyone. Now I've not played with this many players before, so this is just a guess, but add two additional birds to each set of birds into the bag and add all 4 additional zaps so there are two zaps stacked on each space in the sky. When you cause a migration, you take one of the zaps, leaving one behind. Once this zap is gone, the space fills with birds as per the usual game. Let me know how it works.

Carey
 
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Gerald McDaniel
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Thanks for the reply on the question and the suggestion for more players. I was thinking that if a player triggers a migration from the sky board, they get a chance to place a bird on their power board, so a second draw wouldn't be appropriate.

We'll play it a few more times before deciding about a second purchase. There are too many fun games to buy, to think about buying more than one copy of them. That's why we have become fairly adept at extending games for 6 or 7 players. Now, if I could purchase just a few extra tiles, that would be something I would seriously consider.
 
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Anna Thomas
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Hi Carey,

Thanks for the reponse provided above: Please would you confirm that there are 4 alternating turns for two players, not just two alternating double turns.
Effectively, one player plays board 1, then the next player plays board one, then the first player plays board 2 etc.

Many thanks
 
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Carey Grayson
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ApplePie wrote:
Please would you confirm that there are 4 alternating turns for two players, not just two alternating double turns. Effectively, one player plays board 1, then the next player plays board one, then the first player plays board 2 etc.


Turns alternate for each board so each player is effectively managing two boards separate from the other player. Example: player 1 plays board 1, followed by player 2 who plays for board 2. Player 1 then plays for board 3 and finally, player 2 plays for board 4. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

This is not the case if you play using the alternate 2-player version posted previously (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/415427). In that version, you each only need one board each. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Carey
 
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Bill Blakslee
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Carey:

Thanks for all of the great responses,however,we ran into some other questions last night that we could not all agree on. We were playing the family game...

Let's say you have a row of four birds where three are uniqe, and one matches another... does this still count as "no attributes are alike" since there are three in the row?

When a bird is standing on one foot, how does the +1 scoring work? Let's say you have 4 fat red birds, like on row 3 of the example, but one is on one foot, is he part of a set of 4 and then you add 1 more for a total of 5, or is he not a part of the set, but scored as 1, for 3 + 1?

Reading your answers above, I was able to answer our 3rd question,which was regarding having four red birds, one of which by default is the same shape as another, that row only counts as 3, because of the one (and only one) attribute rule.

Thanks for your help,

Bill
 
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Dennis Aarts
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Dear Carey,

Yesterday we've played the family version of the game with 4 players. The sky card was only used a few times, while the rules seem to be heavily based on the use of this card. (The sky card needs to be used for at least a little strategic play.) The reason for the limited use of the sky card lay in the fact that almost every bird you draw can be used. I've just read the advanced rules which seem to fit better with the sky card. (I think the advanced rules where designed before the family rules.)

This being said, I think the rules are fairly complete and when reading in between the lines everything can be understood as meant to be. It would however be nice to make them more detailed as you've said yourself.

Now my question related to the family rules: Also related to a row on which four birds are placed. Now presume these are the following birds:

red little bird - red tall bird - red big bird - red little bird

This row has two scoring combinations:

red little bird - red tall bird - red big bird
red tall bird - red big bird - red little bird

As you've said a bird in a row may only count once, however does the last red little bird score as well or is it only possible to score 4 points on a row with 4 exactly the same birds? (Not taking birds on one leg in account.)
 
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Carey Grayson
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BillsBoardGames wrote:
Carey:

Thanks for all of the great responses,however,we ran into some other questions last night that we could not all agree on. We were playing the family game...

Let's say you have a row of four birds where three are uniqe, and one matches another... does this still count as "no attributes are alike" since there are three in the row?

When a bird is standing on one foot, how does the +1 scoring work? Let's say you have 4 fat red birds, like on row 3 of the example, but one is on one foot, is he part of a set of 4 and then you add 1 more for a total of 5, or is he not a part of the set, but scored as 1, for 3 + 1?

Reading your answers above, I was able to answer our 3rd question,which was regarding having four red birds, one of which by default is the same shape as another, that row only counts as 3, because of the one (and only one) attribute rule.

Thanks for your help,

Bill


Sorry for the delay. I've subscribed to this forum, but I did not receive notification of a new message until someone emailed me.

For your first question, the 3 in a row count as long as they meet one of the 4 scoring conditions. The fourth bird does not affect the scoring.

The birds standing on one leg always count as +1 point at the end of the game regardless if they can be used in a set or not. So in your example, yes, he would be able to score as part of the set and for standing on one leg (for 5 points).

You are correct in your last paragraph.

Thank you for your questions.

Carey
 
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Carey Grayson
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Themer wrote:
Dear Carey,

Yesterday we've played the family version of the game with 4 players. The sky card was only used a few times, while the rules seem to be heavily based on the use of this card. (The sky card needs to be used for at least a little strategic play.) The reason for the limited use of the sky card lay in the fact that almost every bird you draw can be used. I've just read the advanced rules which seem to fit better with the sky card. (I think the advanced rules where designed before the family rules.)


You are correct, the game was originally designed for the advanced rules and the family rules were added later. That said, I played the family version several times and the sky came into play fairly often. I don't know how many times you tried, but it may have been a lucky draw of the tiles you experienced.

Themer wrote:
This being said, I think the rules are fairly complete and when reading in between the lines everything can be understood as meant to be. It would however be nice to make them more detailed as you've said yourself.

Now my question related to the family rules: Also related to a row on which four birds are placed. Now presume these are the following birds:

red little bird - red tall bird - red big bird - red little bird

This row has two scoring combinations:

red little bird - red tall bird - red big bird
red tall bird - red big bird - red little bird

As you've said a bird in a row may only count once, however does the last red little bird score as well or is it only possible to score 4 points on a row with 4 exactly the same birds? (Not taking birds on one leg in account.)


It sounds like you answered your own question. In your example, you can only score a bird once in a row (not taking birds standing on one leg into account). And as you correctly stated, when you have 4 birds that are exactly the same in both size and color, you may score all of them for 4 points (not taking any birds standing on one leg into account).

Thanks,

Carey
 
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Dennis Aarts
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Thank you for your clear reply, no answers left for me Looking forward to my next session of this game
 
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Ender Wiggins
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The rules state that after a player is Zapped, the rest of the birds on the Zapped wire fly away, i.e. "they move around the table using the same procedure as Migration" (I realize that remaining birds go in the bag instead of going to the player who triggered the flying). The rules don't seem entirely clear on how the moving around the table works for Zapped birds:

1. Who gets first choice of the birds that fly away after Zapping?
a) Is it the player on the left of the player who got Zapped? This would seem to make sense thematically, i.e. that the birds fly around the table from one power line card to the next in order, rather than flying first to the player who played the Zap tile, and who could be sitting across the table for example.
b) Or is it the player who played the Zap tile? This would seem to be more consistent with how Migration works.

2. When the birds fly around the table, does the player who got Zapped also get a chance to choose a bird? So not only does one of his birds turn over onto one leg, but another of his birds could theoretically return to his board? I'm not sure this quite makes sense thematically, but it could somewhat make being Zapped less painful. Although this also depends somewhat on the answer to my first question, i.e. how birds fly away after Zapping!

Zapping seems like an element of "take that" nastiness in an otherwise family-friendly game. How are other people finding this aspect of the game?
 
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Carey Grayson
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Hi Ender,

I'm a fan of your pictorial reviews. I am sorry the rules are not very clear. To answer your first question, the player to the left of the person being zapped chooses first (or must take a like bird if using the advance rules) and any remaining birds continue clockwise around the table. As to your second question, The player who was zapped does not get to choose a bird: "...any remaining birds do not return to your Power Line Card, they go back in the bag."

I don't recall receiving any negative comments about Zapping people, but I do see your point. Don't forget, the person being zapped receives an extra point for each bird standing on one leg. This was added to help lessen the pain of being zapped and give you some incentive to zap yourself.

Thanks,

Carey
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