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Thread: My interpretation of the rules.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Michigan, USA

    Default My interpretation of the rules.

    Hello, ^ ^

    First, and quick introduction:
    This is my first post on this site. I recently acquired this game and instantly fell in love with it.
    No, scratch that. I bought this game, and was in love with it before it even arrived! I was drawn in by the theme and promise of fast but tactical game play. I scoured these forums and BGG daily, reading up on strategies and planning for how to play the game while it was still being delivered. I watched my package update far too slowly, refreshing the page each hour as my game crawled its way across the states...
    And then it finally arrived, and I was almost playing the game before I even cut the plastic around the outside...
    (End of needless intro)

    So, as I read through the rulebook (The online one because this was prior to me receiving the game), the online FAQ, and several forum posts about the rules, I could see that there were several rules that people were changing regularly for good reasons. I tried to evaluate how each of these changes would affect the game as a whole, and when the game finally arrived I decided to play with the vanilla rules first (Minus the one really big problem with the infinite communication device loop). When I finished my couple of games, I came to the conclusion that those rules work, and also that a case needed to be presented as to the why of those as well.

    Disclaimer: I do not claim that any of these rules are the definite answer to how the game is meant to be played. Rather, I just want to present why I think the rules are as they are, and to give my take on the one rule that is clear that it needs to be changed (The communication device, =P). Ultimately, the great thing about board games is that you can always, ALWAYS set your own rules so that you have the most fun, and if you are having fun, then the most important goal of the game is already realized, =)
    Also, I am not going to repeat anything that is already in the FAQ, as I believe it speaks for itself.


    #1 Smoke bomb/communication device shuffling effect:
    According to both cards, you are supposed to "shuffle your discard pile into your draw pile." This confused me just a bit, because the other two times you preform a similar action, namely refreshing and resetting, you shuffle your discards and then place them under your draw deck. That is so you always run through your entire deck before repeating cards.
    Short story, I always play these cards the same way; Shuffle your discards, place them on the bottom of your draw deck. This makes you deck somewhat more predictable and thus makes planning a little more interesting.

    #2 Bidding more then zero:
    The person who starts a recruit action is locked into a zero bid when they select who they would like to bid on. Why? I have seen thoughts that is if you want to recruit someone badly enough, you should be able to bid as high as you want to show that. This also lets you lock out other players who would try to bid against you, as long as you can bid more money then they have.
    And that last fact is exactly why I think the rules are as they are. In strategy games, you should always be able to counter-act your opponent in some way. You should never be forced to sit there and watch as they gain an advantage without being able to do something about it.
    Imagine this scenario:
    You are playing the yellow player and your opponent is green. Because you are yellow, you have recruited a technician or two and always keep one around just in case a priority recruit comes around and you want it. Suddenly, one does (I dunno, Zar Tayvius why not? Not that important who,=P). Unfortunately, you are not first, green is. Also unfortunately, Green starts with a recruit action. You ready your technician... except that their initial bid is exactly the amount of arcs you have, +6 (No recruiters can help you now, yellow). You are stopped from ever being able to act despite having planned for this in advance. This does not seem fair to me.
    The counter argument is that a player with more arcs should get the recruit if he is willing to invest his economy into them, but this only matters if the opposing player has a technician. If they do not then there is no way for them to counter anyway. And if the other player has invested at least a turn to recruiting a technician, then they have already invested in the strategy of denying other players recruits and should be allowed to use it when it counts.
    If you are the recruiting player, you have options available to fight that strategy before they get to use it. Recruiting a technician of your own will effectively nullify an opponents technician, and that is much more fair then just being able to block them by having more arcs. You could try to wait for them to recruit first, although that is a risk if they have a technician as they can just block you. If you are not the first player, delaying until they are out of actions could net you the recruit for free.
    In short, spending an action and possibly arcs to recruit a technician is investment in a strategy, and it should not be nullified simply because your opponent has more arcs then you.

    #3 Communication Device infinite loop bug:
    This is pretty well known. A yellow player (Or any player, really, if they build their deck right) can abuse the searching and shuffling effect of the communication device to allow them to cycle through their deck indefinitely. The current fix for this is to remove the shuffling effect from the card, which works, but I think it is a bit extreme. The main reason why I think there should be a different solution is because removing the shuffling hurts the yellow player they most, and of the four factions I think they are the weakest. They need a little help, not the removal of one of their best strategies. (No, not the infinite loop, =P)
    Here is my solution:
    Communication device
    "Search your draw pile or discard pile for a card of your choice. Place the chosen card into your hand and then shuffle your discard pile and place it underneath your draw deck. Remove Communication Device from play. Communication Device is returned to your discard pile at the start of your next refresh action or reset phase."

    In Magic(: The Gathering), this is called exiling the card. Because the communication device is not put into the discard, it cannot be the target of another communication device, either by the main effect or the shuffling action afterwards (It is neither in the discard pile nor the draw deck, which is what the card targets). At the same time, there is a way to put it back into play (One that has a cost if it is done early, specifically a precious action).
    I think this adds an appropriate cost to using the communication device more then once a round, stopping it from being abused without sacrificing utility.

    That is all. Once more, these are my opinions and in no way reflect a definite way for the game to be played. Ultimately, that is for you alone to decide. I just hope this provides an alternative that does not involve the yellow player being screwed, xP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Buckeye Grove


    Hey Seth, intelligent thoughts my friend..!
    It's been a while since anyone posted on this site about the City, I was wonderin' if the game had faded from popularity already so, good to see some action and I'll jump in with my two cents if I can.
    Your Communication Device and it's "loop" has been well discussed. I think I've typed about it a bunch, others have typed, that thing is a splattered horse stain that stretches to Kansas...
    The key, and what I've agreed to also, is that you plop that card (and any others like it) in your Discard pile after the action that it allows you to take (aka your "exile"). This is only further broken if someone owns more than one copy of the card and so far, in all my games, no one has had the balls to try that and argue their way through it.

    As far as the recruiting battle, I think I was one of the first "few" to side on the "bid as much as you want in the beginning" argument and here's my explanation...
    When you're playing the City, you're allowed to pay attention to what your opponents are doing. You're allowed to see their actions, you can look at the cards they're buying and gage their strength by the number of cards lying on the table next to their player mat (note, never has it been suggested that you couldn't see these cards, or the amount of ganger figures that your opponent has at any given time...)
    So throughout the game, you can see how they're growing and they can see how you're growing. In the beginning, if someone snatches a Trade Agreement or an Advanced Weapons (or two), you should be making a mental "list" know what I mean.
    Also, if you see your opponent building a pyramid with all their money tokens, you should be looking at your pyramid and wondering why it's so much smaller.
    So in this way, it's not a "surprise" when your opponent outbids you. It's not "unfair" when they look at your pile and call out the exact number that you can't compete with.
    Tactically, would you say it was "unfair" for an opponent to have more development tiles than you..? Would you say, hey, stop getting so much Renown, wait for me to catch up?
    The reality is that you can see things for a reason and that's the only fairness you get. Think about it for a minute. You're at your local bar, gettin' hammered with your friends. Then some dumb ass spills his drink on your favorite jacket and boom, it's fist to face time.
    But then he pulls out a big shiny knife and you have to reach for your own switchblade. He laughs a little through his bloody nose and slowly sheathes his knife to pull out a little thirty eight special. You nod and pull out your own glok and the fight remains even eh.
    But then this dude goes and does somethin' you can't trump. He pulls a grenade and with a flick, there goes the pin. Now all the sudden you and your friends are backin' away and sayin' hey, that's not fair man..!
    But had you seen his grenade before you punched him, would you have acted differently..? Sorta the same rule as concealed weapons maybe...

    You're not supposed to "see" some things because that would break the game. You're also allowed to see some things, because that makes the game closer to fair.
    And strangely, I'm siding on the fence where I'm against the makers final rule. I think you can fight dirty in this instance because you saw my money pile and you had chances to raise your own money pile.
    You might've had a chance to recruit a Technician as he is really the only "sure" way to win (he's the grenade).
    The Yellow gang, by the way, almost never recruits a Technician in my experience (because he's got plenty of recruiting power). Against Yellow, I'll use my first Technician to recruit any others that come along ensuring I'll still get to recruit who I want, when I want 'em and for as cheap as I want.

    What part of Michigan are you in by the way..? Keep up the good thoughts, don't stop playing and learning (and sharing).
    Fight the Yugai people..!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Michigan, USA


    Hello Bishop, ^ ^

    Of all the people who could have responded, I do believe I looked forward to your response the most. Your playthroughs with your son kept me simultaneously glued to my seat and jumping up and down in excitement, barely able to contain myself as I rushed forward to see who won.


    I brought up the Comm device again because I always grab them for their shuffle power. So, the problem of the infinite loop would come up nearly every game if I didn't address them first. Just an alternate solution to a problem which seems to already have been solved, =P

    To the recruitment thing, I don't want to dwell to much on it because ultimately anyone can play however they want. Besides, I would probably just be repeating myself if I said anything, xD

    I would like to ask what yellow player you are playing against that doesn't recruit technicians, =O Seriously, that's where all of Yellow's muscle is!

    Also, I live just north of Bay City/Midland in lower Michigan.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    Well i think that To claim "rule interpretation" is ridicoulous.

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