When a rulebook is wrong

It seems to me that when you discover that the gaming code does not work as outlined in a rulebook, the fair thing to do is alert the gaming community to this, not take advantage of it. That way seems to me sneaky and dishonorable, and low.

No names. Just saying.


I don’t think I’ve ever found an error in the rulebook. Am I just missing something. More recently, there do seem to be some players saying they think the rule book has errors. Is it possible that some elements of the game now work differently since the move to PCs? (Elements of the game being different since the move to PCs is a bit of a favourite topic of mine.)

As for Jeremy’s point; I’m tempted to think any advantage is a good advantage. Maybe I was born to be an Orc.

Clearly Jeremy you will NEVER work for Bill Belichik.

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Then why dont you do just that and alert us?

Jeremy, I’d be very interested to know what in the rulebook you think might be wrong. Do you feel able to post it?

I have heard recently that some people think it’s possible to do two improvements in a turn when the rulebook says only one can be done each turn. I’ve just tested improving a pop centre twice in the same turn and it did not work. One emissary got the message that the pop centre had already been improved that turn.

Jeremy mentions “when gaming code does not work as outlined in a rulebook”, this is different than if he feels a rule is wrong. I feel some rules are wrong, like 870, yet that is considered an unintended consequence. So I accept it and play on.

But, the fact remains, in every game I have participated, there are things I have witnessed that are not consistent with the code and for that matter. the rules.

Ex) if army/navy buys 2 turns of food and player discovers the coding is not subtracting food for that army/navy, how impactful is such a minor error?

I am one player among hundreds and I know what I have experienced and seen. Should I presume these coding miscues only happen in games I am involved or are these coding miscues not being reported, yet used for advantage by opponents?

jus’ sayin, these things are more common than not.


The rule in question has to do with the 840 Stand and Defend. In the original printed rulebooks, not in the section on the 840 but in the section on army/navy movement, it says clearly and expclitly that evasive movement can’t get past an enemy army doing Stand and Defend, except by overrun. Since someone just did this in a game, I assume that either at some point the code was changed, or more likely it was broken from the start.

That comment was removed from the current Rulebook-Guide, but nothing was put in its place to say that the printed rulebook contained an error or that the code had been changed.

The only way to know that the code didn’t work as in the printed rulebook was to try it, find out it was broken or changed, and then keep it to yourself. Clearly from the responses to my post, some players think that’s okay. For me, it’s one thing if you find out how the MEPBM world works that no one else knows but that isn’t mentioned oposoitely in the rulebook, but this is something everyone SHOULD be told because it was in the rules.


Dan, I’ve never heard of armies not having to use up their food. Firstly, I’d be VERY VERY interested to see that, if it’s a game that is over, and you have your turns (the turn before and the turn of the move), I’d love to see them – my email is jeremyrichman22@gmail.com

Secondly, if you really feel there is a bug, I always bring it to Clint’s attention and he’s always been appreciative. Sometimes he points out that I’m wrong and just didn’t understand things; and sometimes it really is a bug.


Bugs/coding errors are different to rulebook errors. If I come across what might be a bug I always tell Clint about. As Jeremy says, sometimes he points out that it’s me but if it is a bug Clint always says he’ll add it to the list for correction.

I rarely use stand and defend and I’ve not come across any issues with it. I was being a bit tongue in cheek with my comment that any advantage is a good advantage. The same as for bugs, I would always tell Clint if I thought I had found an error in the rulebook.

Yes, I told Clint but since it was the original rulebook that didn’t match up with the actuality, he didn’t feel any adjustments were necessary. Personally I think that everything in older rulebooks should be able to be considered canon unless specifically corrected in a later rulebook, which this wasn’t. Oh well…

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yes. I have OLD rulebooks and use them as if they’re canon. For sure. I agree that Stand & Defend should not allow evasive movement through. And if you guys have done that vs. me in 403, then… because for sure I didn’t think that possible. But I don’t think you have. I think you’ve obliterated my army instead. :slight_smile:

On a related topic - my memory of game after game in the ‘early days’ was that a doubled enemy character (agent) would auto-fail assassination/kidnap attempts against the nation that doubled them. Now it seems the double has very little effect. Do you notice this Jeremy? It really bites. It reduces value of doubling for sure.

That and the nerfing of the stealth SNA that Clint denies but we all know is real are the two major changes I think exist from the original code to the ported code.

Hi Dave,

Nope, we haven’t done any evasive movement down there! But I don’t think you’ve done much order Stand-and-Defend either! Thanks for your agreement on that. My point is that when they took that out of the newer rulebook, it shouldn’t have just been removed but instead a remark made that evasive movement now (or always) can move past 840. (Which BTW I don’t think should be allowed anyway, as there is then no way to prevent an army getting by you if its command rank is large enough. As with agents for which there is little or no defense. I’m against ANY element in the game like that.)

Regarding doubled agents, what you are saying is news to me. I have it that doubled agents don’t succeed against the nation that has them doubled. I’d dearly like to see your turn results. My first guess is that perhaps you didn’t examine your turn closely enough – is it possible you didn’t have them doubled AS OF the 615/620 orders because they had been re-doubled? They would still show up in your list of doubled characters with any orders prior to that. But if they really were still double I’m shocked, and would like very much to see the turn results.

I’m not sure that the stealth SNA EVER worked, as I never tried it in the early days – did you? So it may not have been the result of the cod port. But I agree, it certainly doesn’t work now. But I don’t think that’s all that was impacted. Absolutely 100% believe that dragons now show up later and less, in 1650, and Ents in FA used to show up in Fangorn PC’s so you would know to send an army for them – now they only join armies that move through Fangorn.


I’m currently finding that doubling agents is working well. I have had one occasion (I doubt I could find the PDF now) when one of my characters was killed by an agent I had doubled. I asked Clint to look at it and he agreed it had happened and said that doubling doesn’t work 100%. That’s the only time it’s happened to me.

I’ve always been a bit dubious about the stealth SNA. Just to give you a laugh; I named 3 mages, 1 agent and 1 emissary in a the latest turn of one of my games. 2 of the mages have 20+ stealth and the emissary has 10 stealth. The agent got none.

K so I read the original rules here… pg 30.

“an army cannot use “evasive” movement to get past an army” but that’s just wrong (and from looking at code from original GSIL code). Sorry the rules are over 30 years old, so we’re moving to clarify elements in Guide that take precedence over the Rulebook.

Well that’s what I am asking for. Any time you find that the old rulebook is wrong, I’d like to see an explicit correction in the new rulebook, i.e. in the section on evasive movement, say that evasive movement CAN get past an army doing 840.

As a side note, I believe that the old rulebook reflected an intention that is superior game design. It is quite ridiculous to have any element in a game that has no counter; guards, as bad as they are, can give some chance against enemy assassins. But there is now NO WAY to stop an enemy army from punching through your lines, and that’s just wrong. There’s no reason why the 840 shouldn’t trump evasive movement, and from the point of view of game balance, this should be the case. In the 1650 scenario, now that the game has thoroughly matured, the DS are under such a tremendous disadvantage that not being able to keep armies led by high-ranking commanders out of Mordor is just icing on the cake, and is really absurd IMO.


I think the stealth SNA is working fine now. In game 675, which I joined as a substitute when the original player dropped, there were clear indications that the Quendi stealth SNA wasn’t working. NONE of their created/named characters had any stealth. That’s like 0 out of 15 characters named from turns 1-17. I could tell by their nation SNAs that the original Quendi player chose “bonus stealth likely for new characters” on their nation setup. Then when the fix was announced by Clint, several new characters (something like 5 out of 8) received bonus stealth ranks in the range of 14-25 points. It has been that way ever since with the stealth SNA of other nations in other games. I think it’s working as intended now.

I was in a 2950 game and all of my elvish agents had stealth. That along with my rather absurd economy allowed me to steamroller into Mordor and kill armies with Dragons.

Unfortunately i entered the wrong amount in a buy food order and bankrupted them. The loss of the nation sealed the free fate. My SG couldn’t make cheap ships anymore either.

No fix has been applied… :slight_smile: It’s as I’ve claimed many times, it’s the way it’s supposed to be all the way along. Random chance and perception of such has a big impact on this game I’ve found.

Rulebook: I chatted with the team, 20 years ago we said that Guide is the document to look to for rulings and correct order information. Some of the stuff old GSI did I don’t agree with but it’s a legacy issue. I guess we just needed to remind players every decade or so uh?! :slight_smile:

So if it’s not clear the rulebook is over 20 (30+?) years old. In that situation the game has gone through many changes and I can’t guarantee that old GSI didn’t change the code/update stuff that went awry to the original rulebook, maybe without even being aware that it was an actual change. So I’m implementing a changelog so that players can check what’s updated as simply as we can… Other than then listening to player and trying to help out that’s about what we can do I think…