Read the Rules Carefully

So you think you know how to play that favorite game of yours, don’t you? How sure are you that you’re playing by all the right rules? When was the last time you read through the rules book to make sure?

I’ve played any number of games where, since everyone was new to the game, we played one or more rules wrongly or missed some rule altogether. But I think after the game we played last night, I should reread all the rules of all my games just to be absolutely certain we are literally “playing by the rules.”

You see, last night I learned that, after 84 plays of Carcassonne, we had been doing the farmer scoring incorrectly all along. I remember back in 2006 reading some discussions about two methods of or interpretations about scoring them, but I didn’t really understand the difference. Now that I understand the game (or thought I did), it all makes sense. Unfortunately.

So I’ve wasted four years of game play and will never know who really won any of those 84 games. All the scores are bogus. We obviously can’t go back and recheck the scores. Sure, maybe most of the relative results would have been the same, but the doubt will remain.

Good thing we weren’t playing for money. Does anyone play Carcassonne for money?

And so it’s back to square one for rule reading and possible rule relearning. Ah well, it’s not really such a bad thing, is it? What true gamer doesn’t enjoy reading and rereading a good rule book?

Um, most rule books. I’m kinda glad I don’t have any war games. I seen those novels and don’t have much of a desire to crack one open. Sorry, grognards.

Got a story about a rules faux pas to share?

84 Plays – All of Them Bogus

4 thoughts on “84 Plays – All of Them Bogus

  • December 5, 2010 at 2:56 am

    1) You’ve wasted none of those games. As long as the rules were known and agreed upon by all players, the same potential profit calculations were made by all players, and the thus the game is played fairly with a “real” winner.

    For example, Canadian football games are played fairly with 3 downs and a 110 yard playing field. All of those games in the CFL were fairly played and won, even though the rules differ from the NFL. The only thing that would be unfair would be to compare passing records between CFL and NFL players, since the Canadian rules favor a passing game. So don’t compare your winning totals with other Carcassonne games, but aside from that, you should be fine.

    2) It might help to post what your incorrect understanding was, and what the correction was.

    • December 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      You’re right, Richie. I meant to explain the differences more but just forgot. It’s easier to explain while looking at a real life example, but I’ll try without one anyway.

      One problem comes when more than one player has a farmer lying down adjacent to the same city, and one player has 2 farmers while the other only has 1 farmer. In our 84-game method of scoring, each player would get the 4 points. In the correct version of scoring, only the player with the 2 farmers scores because he has the majority.

      The other problem arises when the same player has farmers adjacent to a city from two different fields. In our 84-game method, that player would score the city twice for a total of 8 points. In the correct version, he scores it only once for 4 points.

  • December 5, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    As I understand it, there are different rules versions for the farmer in different printings of the game. You may not have read the rules wrong, or have been taught by someone with an earlier printing. In my game group, we have a “which rules version” conversation before each game.

    I prefer my rules version!

    • December 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks for the info, Kevin. Good to hear from you again.

      I don’t know about the different versions. Maybe there’s info about that on BGG, but I haven’t checked. That said, we definitely read the rules wrong in our version. It’s the same set of rules we read again the other day that brought us to the conclusion that we had been scoring incorrectly.

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