[Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

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cpasbanal
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Joined: 04 April 2020, 12:14

[Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by cpasbanal » 05 April 2021, 13:29

Hello everyone,

Luxor has been played quite much around BGA and I am very glad about it. Seems like players enjoy the game (and I recommend to all of you to try the physical version and expansions, very fun).
Yet, we still have some edge cases that for which I didn't find a straight answer in the rules:

1. Using a "step all" card and at least one of the adventurer may enter the tomb
1.1. Option #1: the player can choose which adventurer can take action, including the meeple that just entered the tomb, meaning that you can choose to take a sarcophagus or not if you want to pick up a treasure
1.2. Option #2: the meeple that enters the tomb is automatically the one that picks up a sarcophagus and the player cannot execute any other action [currently implemented because taking a sarcophagus wasn't described as an action in the rules so I considered that implied that it wasn't a choice to make]
1.3. Option #3: the adventurer that entered the tomb gets a sacrophagus and player can choose another treasure from the other meeples (if any available

Which would make more sense to you?
(To my humble opinion, option 1 or 2 are realistic, option 3 seems too overkill to me)

----------

2. Using a "step all" card and more than 1 adventurer enters the tomb (provided player has enough key for each adventurer):
2.1. Option #1: only one adventurer picks up a sarcophagus even if multiple meeples entered with him the tomb [currently implemented]
2.2. Option #2: two adventurers can pick up the two sarcophagi if they are both still in the tomb, hence triggering the end of game as the rules state
2.3. Option #3: player can choose how many adventurers enter the tomb and use keys (a player might wants to delay the end of game to get some treasures first)

Which would make more sense to you?
(To my humble opinion, Option 1 or 2 are realistic, option 3 is not the spirit of the game, you have to use the card totally or not)

Thanks for your feedback and hopefully, someone from Queen Games might help us decide and solve the current open bugs on this topic,

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Woodruff
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Re: [Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by Woodruff » 05 April 2021, 17:39

Hi cepasbanal,

Thanks for this clear presentation of the alternatives.
I answer here on what seems to be the choice which seems to me the most consistant with the rules, as written in French: https://ssl.queen-games.com/dl/rules/luxor_fr.pdf
They may not be phrased the same way in English or in other language so this is of course open to discussion. I will try to justify using quotes of the rules and try to translate in English too.

1. Using a "step all" card and at least one of the adventurer may enter the tomb

Relevant quote from the rules in French:
le joueur effectue l’action de la tuile sur laquelle son aventurier s’est arrêté.
Le premier aventurier à pénétrer dans la chambre funéraire récupère le sarcophage d’une valeur de 5 PVs, et le deuxième aventurier à y arriver récupère le sarcophage d’une valeur de 3 PVs.

Approximate translation into English:
the player performs the action of the tile on which their adventuerer has stopped.
The first adventurer to enter the tomb gets the sarcophagus with value 5 VP, and the second to get there gets the sarcophagus with 3 VP.
Personal interpretation:

Both quotes suggest to me that the "thing to be done" in the tomb is not to be considerered as an "player action" as the game defines it. First, I don't think the tomb can be considered as a tile, while the other fields of the trail are. Second, I read that whenever someone enters the tomb, they get the matching sarcophagus, no may here, that seems to be an automatic consequence. Therefore, I do not consider that taking a sarcophagus would interfere with an action the player might take on another field using a "step all card". So they should do both (and taking that action on another field is mandatory).

==> Option #3 here

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Woodruff
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Re: [Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by Woodruff » 05 April 2021, 18:04

2. Using a "step all" card and more than 1 adventurer enters the tomb (provided player has enough key for each adventurer):
I would not be that categoric on that one.

Relevant quote from the rules in French:
La partie se termine dès que les deux premiers aventuriers sont rentrés dans la chambre funéraire.
Le premier aventurier à pénétrer dans la chambre funéraire récupère le sarcophage d’une valeur de 5 PVs, et le deuxième aventurier à y arriver récupère le sarcophage d’une valeur de 3 PVs.
De plus, le joueur doit défausser une clé pour chacun de ses aventuriers qui entrent dans la chambre funéraire et la déposer sur l’emplacement prévu à cet effet du plateau de jeu. Un joueur qui ne possède pas de clé ne peut pas déplacer son aventurier dans la chambre funéraire.


Approximate translation into English:
The game ends when the first two adventurers had entered the tomb.
The first adventurer to enter the tomb gets the sarcophagus with value 5 VP, and the second to get there gets the sarcophagus with 3 VP.
Moreover, the player must discard a key and place it on the dedicated spot on the board. A player who do not own a key cannot move their adventurer in the tomb.

Personal interpretation:


From the first quote, it appears to me that it would be inconsistant to have more than two adventurers in the chamber without triggering game end (of course that situation is possible afterwards); the first to enter should grants the 5 VP sarcophagus and the second should grant the 3 VP one. So if two adventurers or more enter the tomb at the same time and both sarcophagi are still available, the player should get both of them and trigger the end of the game. As discussed for the first question, that player should have to perform an action targetted by another meeple that would have moved but not enter the tomb. Now, the remaining question is the management of keys. The case of zero key is trivial. For other cases:
  • If the player has one key, he normally does not have the choice (that is the same situation when they choose to move a meeple to the tomb using a standard movement card) but to spend that key and make one of their meeple enter (I am not sure if the other should not move at all or move to the tile just before the entrance, valued 11 VP).
  • If the player has two keys or more, they has to spend two of them to make their two adventurers enter at the same time. The same applies for more adventurers, if the player has enough keys to make them all enter, they have to spend that number and make them enter. They cannot choose adventurers that should not enter (for strategic purposes) provided they have enough keys.
Indeed, the wording suggests that the key spending is a consequence of adventurers entering the tomb.

==> Option #2 here

Thanks for reading so far :)
Take care,

Woodruff

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cpasbanal
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Re: [Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by cpasbanal » 06 April 2021, 14:16

Thanks for participating to discussion.

I get your point.

I feel like Option 3 for the first case is quite too powerful to my understanding but I get what you mean.
Especially if you can get two meeples (at least in the same time entering the Tomb as described for the second part). This can be huge (and a little too much to me if i'd play the game with this kind of twist, I'd be very frustrated (e.g. the opponent moves all, gets both sarcophagi and grab a treasure :shock: :( )

That's why I didn't like this choice (although I really share your understanding and interpretation of the rules).

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Woodruff
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Re: [Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by Woodruff » 06 April 2021, 14:55

cpasbanal wrote:
06 April 2021, 14:16
I feel like Option 3 for the first case is quite too powerful to my understanding but I get what you mean.
You may be right, but I think it is not our work as developers to decide which rule should be considered overkill or not, hence should be implemented or not.

The quality of an adaptation is scaled with the adequation of the mechanics of the original games, that is the author/publisher wishes (they gave permission to use their licence in that respect). That is why I consider the rulebook as a reference when we do not have better: a word from the author or the publisher themselves to explain what is their intent in that particular situation. That is why when that rulebook does have shadows points that problems arise :/

At the risk of repeating myself, this is only my point of view and if some of our could share it, other will not and I respect that. I won't mind whatever decision is taken at the end.

Now, I will afford to give my personal opinion of this, which is of course the least important material to take into account to reach that decision.
Option #3 is not that OP in my perspective because before doing that powerful move, you have to work a proper set-up:
  • Pick that Horus card step-all one or two
  • Place your meeples accordingly one or two tiles away the tomb
  • Get the number of keys needed (you cannot do that earlier with Horus action because you took a card)
This takes time and coordination and is not necessarely an easy task. At the same time, opponents can still guess what you are up about and work against it. And when they see two or more of your pawns in front of the tomb door, I think they can figure out the game can be over soon no matter what.
Moreover, Horus cards are one use only, so I usually consider them a bit weak, or at least you have an incentive to make your best use of it.
That were just my thoughts :)

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diamant
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Re: [Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by diamant » 14 April 2021, 20:00

I read on page 12 in the French rule:
« Le premier aventurier à pénétrer dans la chambre funéraire récupère le sarcophage d’une valeur de 5 PVs, et le deuxième aventurier à y arriver récupère le sarcophage d’une valeur de 3 PVs. »
"The first adventurer to enter the tomb chamber recovers the sarcophagus with a value of 5 PVs, and the second adventurer to get there recovers the sarcophagus with a value of 3 PVs."

To me, this sentence clearly states:
1) the recovery of a sarcophagus is mandatory;
2) that if a player can bring in the tomb chamber at least 2 adventurers during the same turn, and the 2 sarcophagus are still available, he gets them both.

The second assertion implies that the recovery of a sarcophagus is not an action, from the moment it is not forbidden to bring more than one adventurer into the tomb chamber during the same turn.
This is consistent with the description of the actions on page 5, which only concerns moves ending on a tile (there is no tile in the tomb chamber).

I read again on page 12 in the French rule:
« De plus, le joueur doit défausser une clé pour chacun de ses aventuriers qui entrent dans la chambre funéraire et la déposer sur l’emplacement prévu à cet effet du plateau de jeu »
"In addition, the player must discard a key for each of his adventurers who enter the tomb chamber and deposit it on the location provided for this purpose of the game board."

For me, this sentence strongly suggests that a player can bring several adventurers in the tomb chamber during the same turn, as long as he spends the necessary number of keys. As the underlined condition is met, it follows that the recovery of a sarcophagus is not an action.
When several adventurers move, some of whom enter the tomb chamber and others on the tiles, it is always possible to perform the action on one tile, except in case of exhaustion of game elements.

In view of the above conclusions, the only point of rule that I do not think is clearly defined is:
Is the use of an available key mandatory when an adventurer can enter the tomb chamber and that at least one other adventurer can be moved to a tile?
However, I think the answer to that question should not depend on the card played.
If it is not mandatory to choose the adventurer who can enter the tomb chamber when only one adventurer is moved, it should not be mandatory to enter the tomb when several adventurers are moved. In other words, adventurers do not have to move automatically in the tomb chamber: the player spends the number of keys of his choice during a multiple move, provided that at least one adventurer moves.

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cpasbanal
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Re: [Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by cpasbanal » 16 April 2021, 08:24

Interesting point of vue, thanks for sharing.

I think that the spirit of the game is that the use of the key is mandatory whenever one of your meeple could enter the tomb, that would justify the fact that the PV of the tomb is 13 whereas the square before is 11 (and the key is worth 1 PV) so entering the tomb will always bring more PV than not entering.

Travis from Queen Games told me he would participate to the debate, that he had the answers (but he didn't told me what they were ;) :D ) but he wanted to check with his team first...

So, i'll wait for the official Queen Games answer before getting into deep code changes that may bring new bugs :D

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diamant
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Re: [Rules] Step-all card and edge cases

Post by diamant » 16 April 2021, 09:49

cpasbanal wrote:
16 April 2021, 08:24
I think that the spirit of the game is that the use of the key is mandatory whenever one of your meeple could enter the tomb, that would justify the fact that the PV of the tomb is 13 whereas the square before is 11 (and the key is worth 1 PV) so entering the tomb will always bring more PV than not entering.
I should point out that I drafted my answer before reading Woodruff’s to avoid any influence on my conclusions.

After that, I found that our answers diverged essentially on the mandatory use of the keys available to bring adventurers into the tomb chamber during a multiple move.
I think that a player may have an interest in playing a multiple move without triggering the end of the game, if he believes that his score can be significantly improved in the next rounds.

By refusing to enter the tomb chamber to take the 2nd sarcophagus, the player forfeits 5 VPs or more, and saves a key worth 1 VP. But by delaying the end of the game, he can hope to win much more than 4 PVs, especially if several of his adventurers are in spaces with a 0 value.

That is why, while waiting for the author’s clarifications, I would prefer that players have more control over the triggering of the end game: as long as at least one adventurer is moved, a player should be able to choose not to use one or more keys.

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