Thread: Rules feedback
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:49 AM   #3
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Re: Rules feedback

These might seem nit-picky, but they're places where the rules could be clearer or a bit crisper. The bar for clarity and the friendliness of the rules has gone up over the last decade or two, and I think these are some places that some small tweaks for clarity or consistency with terminology could really help the game out and move it towards modern expectations.

The Sequence of Play. (page 2 and also on 16)

It might be worth rewording step 2 a bit to make it clearer that you don't show the card until you've looked at it to determine if it's a special or a group.

Another item from the sequence: players walking through the game sequence step by step as they initially play might not realize that steps 3 and 4 are interchangeable until they get to step 4 (making it a bit too late). It might be worth considering combining these into a single "Action" step and indicate that the players can do 2 actions plus any free actions in any order OR collect 5 megabucks as a single item in the turn sequence.

And continuing on with the Sequence of Play... on step 6, for clarity it might be worth referring to the Illuminati abilities as "powers" or "special-powers" or maybe even "Illuminati abilities" rather than as "special-power actions" to avoid any confusion over what is an action. The more I think about it, Illuminati abilities or special abilities is better, as it also avoids the use of the word "power" which has a specific meaning in the game too.

Actions

And speaking of actions, the terminology around actions really could use some tightening up.

The Actions section on page 4 indicates that there are three types of actions. It then mentions free actions, which aren't one of the three...

Looking at the rules again, I think it might be clearer to indicate that there are four types of actions and to also move Transferring Money, Moving a Group, and Free actions ahead of Attacks, as those topics are much simpler and smaller (a paragraph or three each) and the reader tends to forget that actions are being discussed when they read through Attacks (several pages) before being dumped back into the other action types. (Or maybe number them instead of reordering them?) The lack of italics on the Calling Off an Attack and Transferring Money headings also seem to make it seem like these seem like they are entirely new subjects rather than sub-headings of Attacks.

There's also transferring groups which count as an action too in the Gifts and Trades section. (Five types of actions?)

And further confusing the issue of what an action is
The back page (page 16) has an Actions section listing "Regular Actions", "Free Actions", and "Passing".

It would really make for a tighter game if all of these sections were consistent about what an action is.

Adjacent

It might be worth spelling out which groups are "adjacent" and/or being more consistent with it in the terminology. It is italicized on page 2, which suggests it might be a key rules word to many readers. It's used on page 5 (not italicized), but not defined (although the diagram may be sufficient). It is finally defined in the Transferring Money section. It might also help to make the terminology the same throughout the rules - the text diagram on page 3 for example uses "next to" rather than adjacent. Likewise on page 6, the term used is "next to" rather than adjacent for where to place a captured group.

It might see obvious to most, but if it's a keyword it really should be treated as one (and I've seen other games spawn rules arguments over terminology closer than adjacent vs. next to).
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