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Rise of Empires» Forums » Rules

Subject: ships / actions / abandon cities / moving cubes rss

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Frank Otte
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Yesterday evening we played RoE, but during play several questions arose, which were not covered by the FAQ nor any thread here up to now:

1. Ships (development tile): The player help says, that you can use this tile only in the income phase (NOT in the food phase). Does that mean, that, if you want to have food for your islands (together with a ship), you CANNOT use it in the food phase to feed your cities, for example?

2. It is said in the rules, that, in round A, you have to be able to execute an action to use it. Now, imagine the following situation: in round A, all development tiles are already taken. Its your turn, there are still empty spaces in the development row of the action tableau. Are you allowed to place an action marker there, yes or no (for example, to have a good position for round B)?

3. Abandon cities: it is said in the rules, that you can abandon cities only in the income phase, NOT in the food phase, by not paying the cost of trade discs. So far so good. What if you want to abandon a city in the income phase, which has NO cost of trade discs (for example, because you don't want to pay the food cost in the _next_ round anymore). Is that allowed? Or can you only abandon cities which have a trade disc cost greater than zero?

4. Development tiles which allow movement of cubes (channel, locomotive, roads): Is it allowed to move the last cube out of a region by these development tiles?

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Scott Humpert
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Those are some good questions, and my review of the rulebook and FAQ (here) didn't seem to clear up much. But I'll reference these documents where appropriate, and use my own interpretation for the rest. Feel free to diverge from these for your own group.

Hermjard wrote:
1. Ships (development tile): The player help says, that you can use this tile only in the income phase (NOT in the food phase). Does that mean, that, if you want to have food for your islands (together with a ship), you CANNOT use it in the food phase to feed your cities, for example?

It would seem to me that this would only come into play when you're low on food and need to receive the food from the islands so as to not lose victory points. Unfortunately, the rulebook and player aid do not bring any consistency to this issue. The rulebook states that only gold, resource discs and player cubes are awarded during the Income phase. The rulebook also states that you can earn food points for certain progress tiles.

The rulebook also states that the player aid contains a "list" of progress tiles, not the "rules" for progress tiles. I know this is nitpicking, but when some rulebooks want things like cards to trump the normal rules, they will state such things.

I said all that to tell you that I would award all food in the Food phase even food from islands, despite what the player aid card says, as that seems to be the most consistent interpretation with the rulebook.

Hermjard wrote:
2. It is said in the rules, that, in round A, you have to be able to execute an action to use it. Now, imagine the following situation: in round A, all development tiles are already taken. Its your turn, there are still empty spaces in the development row of the action tableau. Are you allowed to place an action marker there, yes or no (for example, to have a good position for round B)?

The FAQ addresses this by saying that if there are other actions available, and you have the resources to take the actions (for trades or cities), you must choose an action that you can do during the A phase. If there are only city or trade actions remaining, and you do not have the resources to perform one of those actions, only then could you place a disc in a row with no available tiles to not perform the action.

Hermjard wrote:
3. Abandon cities: it is said in the rules, that you can abandon cities only in the income phase, NOT in the food phase, by not paying the cost of trade discs. So far so good. What if you want to abandon a city in the income phase, which has NO cost of trade discs (for example, because you don't want to pay the food cost in the _next_ round anymore). Is that allowed? Or can you only abandon cities which have a trade disc cost greater than zero?

Although not clear in the rules, nor addressed in the FAQ, I would play that you could abandon any city you do not want to keep during the Income phase. Keep in mind as well that if you want to keep a city at the end of an era, you have to pay a player cube to keep it. Thus you have a way to get rid of a city that way. But I guess that if you were forced into buying a city that you really didn't want (possibly due to the ruling for question #2 above), you may want to get rid of it sooner than the end of the era.

Hermjard wrote:
4. Development tiles which allow movement of cubes (channel, locomotive, roads): Is it allowed to move the last cube out of a region by these development tiles?

Yes. In fact, you can abandon the entire map, allowing you to come back in anywhere you like.

I hope this helps!
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Frank Otte
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At first, thank you for your elaborate analysis of the rules and player help, to answer the questions, which could not be answered directly. Here are some comments for your answers:

1. Indeed this is only relevant, if you are low on food and need this variable island income, to avoid "vp punishement", only to get the urgently need food in the income phase when it's "to late". This was exactly our game situation. Because this "unnecessary punishment" seems odd to us, we handled the case, like you suggested.

2. Well, I am not so confident with your answer here. And here are my reasons: Imagine the last two players in the last action of round A. All development tiles are gone, there are still two empty places in that row. Only trade places and cities are still available. One of the mentioned two players could afford a city AND has enough trade discs, to alternatively do trade. The other player has no game material to invest at all. With your interpretation of the rules, the "rich" player MUST buy a city or do trade but cannot place his action disc on one of the free spaces of the development tile. Now what is with the other player? There are two rule possibilities:

(a) The "poor" player can place his disc in the city row, or the trade row, thus passing, but NOT in the development row. But this is inconsistent with the rules, because, from sight of the "poor" player, city and trade are not "less impossible to do" than development.

(b) The "poor" player can place his disc in the city row, the trade row or the development row, thus passing. This is consistent with the rules, but unfair: why should a player with nothing to invest, get more opportunities to place his disc, than a player still capable of acting?

Because both solutions seem odd, the first because of rule inconsistencies, the second because of unfairness, it might be a solution (and maybe the right interpretation of the rules) to allow ALL players to place discs on rows of tiles, which are not available anymore.

3. Not much to write here, we played with your interpretation.

4. Dito here.
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Scott Humpert
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Thanks for your comments! I'm glad to see that we were thinking consistenly on alot of your issues.

Regarding Q#2, I would interpret the FAQ and the rules as not allowing the "poor" player to place any discs on the trade or city tracks, unless those were the only two tracks left. Thus a "poor" player could place their discs only on the development track even though there would be no tiles remaining.

The "rich" player on the other hand would be forced to take either a trade or a city action (again, according to the FAQ). But I do agree with you that this does seem to punish the "rich" player more in that his options become more forced.

However, I think it is a simpler rules explanation to state that you must place your disc in a row where you can perform the action during the A phase. Otherwise, you might have players filling up the development track when there are still empire tiles or territory tiles remaining just to get the best choice of development tiles next round. It also plays into some strategy in that you probably don't want a player jumping ahead of you on the development track, and so you may leave some of the cheaper cities or trades available to purchase (especially for that "poor" player).

At any rate, I'd be interested to hear how you decide to play it and how it works out for you. In my limited number of plays, I've played using the rules above, and it has always seemed to work out fine.
 
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Frank Otte
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Hmmm... though I don't regard your suggestion as "straightforward" (see below), I like, that it is well balanced. I also like the tricky possibility, that you could be forced to leave something cheap on the tableau, to prevent, that a "broke" player gets the opportunity to secure himself a very well position for the next round.

The reason for that I don't regard the solution straightforward is, that you in fact have a 3-step-special-rules-processing with it:

1. step: A player MUST do an action, which he can afford and which is still actually available.
2. step: If a player cannot afford any still available actions, he MUST take an action, which is not available anymore, thereby passing.
3. step: If a player cannot afford any still available actions AND all actions are still available, THEN again, he MUST block an available action, thereby passing.

Regarding trying out your solution, this will take a time, since our group owns many games, and therefor, we rarely play a certain title more than one or two times in a row. But I will include your solution to the rules summary I compile for every played game.
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Scott Humpert
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Hermjard wrote:
Regarding trying out your solution, this will take a time, since our group owns many games, and therefor, we rarely play a certain title more than one or two times in a row. But I will include your solution to the rules summary I compile for every played game.


Alas, I have the same problem. So many games, so little time...
 
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John Lyons Beck
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This is interesting (Q. #2) in that it can only occur under very specific circumstances. First, it can only occur for the City & Development track. Every other track has the same number of action spaces as there are possible tiles to use (10 for Trade & Territory, 8 for Empire.)

Second, it must be a 5-player game for Development, and any number of players for City. There are only eight available spaces for a 4-player & six for a 3-player; only the ten space track for 5-players would make it impossible for a player to choose the action & not fulfill it.

Thirdly, it is far more likely to only occur in Age-I. It *could* happen in Age-II & III, but only if every single tile from a previous age had been chosen. Which brings an interesting side-note. Say in the original example it was Age-II, and while every current tile was gone, there were a few from Age-I. Under current interpretations, it doesn't matter if you can afford it or not, you can still place your chip on the track. The only difference would be the "rich" player gets the tile while the "poor" player doesn't.

As pointed out, there is strategic import, as the player wants to jockey for the 'B' round position. To my mind, City action is where this rule becomes critical: if all five cities in Age-I have been taken, and it's a 5-player game, by placing your action chip on the space, you would be forcing a player in the 'B' phase to waste their action.
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