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The significance of the "You must not show your action cards to other players"-rule...?


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#1 A. Harbinger

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:06 AM

Frankly speaking, I don't get it. You may talk about strategies and who should play which card, but you may not show your cards to the other players? I mean, after two or three rounds everyone should know everyone elses cards, the abilities and even the priority-levels aren't that hard to memorize, so I find this rule rather irritating. Or is there a good reason for it that I'm not seeing right now?



#2 mi-go hunter

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:33 PM

Good question. The answer for this is: I have not idea. Frankly, I am very clueless about the significance of this rule. The only way this would affect the game is if it's your first time playing it.



#3 myrm

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:42 PM

The rule is also in the Lord of the Rings game. It is supposed to help player interaction, independance and involvement by adding a level of doubt. 

There are a number of issues with co-op games of this type that having open hands would make worse than the closed hand rule - the main one being how to make it more than simply a solo game with multiple units in the game - not that that is automatically a bad thing as many solo games can play coop, the old RAF game from WEG is a prime example of a solo game that several players can enjoy playing together with no modification beyond dividing up the forces for control.

If you play these games with open hands or even enough endless discussion before each play frankly there is no point, you should just play solo as endless rounds of 'I have these cards' are tedious and boring. By closing the hands the games is making a statement that there is supposed to be a level of hidden knowledge and uncertainty to deal with. 

So what issues can leap up in co-op games of this type and how can closed vs open hands alter it. Note not all of the items below wll apply to every group and for some none will apply.

First you do often end up with a certain amount of player disagreement, and it allows a player who thinks the dominant player, or the other players in general are being idiots to conceal exactly what they have and use it when they feel they should rather than when pressured to by other players.

Secondly for casual gamers more but also occasionally for the hard core card counters, it allows for mistakes to be made - errors in play make for a harder game.

THirdly, new players and quieter players in this sort of game often end up with people playing the game for them and simply telling them what to do if hands are open. This allows these players to actually have a game experience rather than sitting on a chair and being a pair of hands simply moving the crds the loudest shouter tells them to. By having to talk about the cards, they have to interact in the game and get to play. 

Fourth, even in co-op games people may try and do better than others in the game - LotR for instances suggests some differential scoring methods based on how long the player lasts in the game. Simple survival placement scoring even if it is only the head of the players adds a bit of competition which means the players might rather choose to hold a card for themselves to get their guy further - some players and some situations of co-op gaming do mean you will want to stand up be counted and take it in the shorts for the good of the group, but occasionally if it boils down to 'well one of us is going to take it and I want to hold this card for me' in games where the game or players have this bit of competition going on.

So in summary closed hands are for a number of minor reasons a way of changing the game from being a solo game in this case played by multiple players to something with more interaction. Some groups will not see the above things as benefits and so get nothing out of closed hands and for them playing open enhances their experience and they can either ignore the rule or talk sufficiently that it effectively circumvents the rule to do this - others will see reasons and benefits of the kind I list above and improve the game from closed hands.

It all boils down to how you play the game, and why you play the game as to whether the rule is relevant or not.



#4 A. Harbinger

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:01 AM

@myrm:

Those are some very valid points, thanks for sharing them, although I kind of find it hard to apply them to "Death Angel" (with the exception of those things like "The others are idiots, I do what I want to do"). The player's hand is too small and in no way random, so an experienced player can tell a new player what to do and therefore "play the game for him" without seeing his cards, because with only three cards available it's not that hard to recall their workings from memory if you played the game for quite some time. Based on your explanations, I think it's a nice attempt at balancing out this co-op-issue, but at least up until now I don't think it works very well for this game. I think it would have worked better if they had implemented some kind of permanent action/random action-stuff like the "Age of Mythology"-boardgame for example.



#5 Bindlespin

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:38 PM

is there any benefit to lying about your hand to another player? I don't have the game yet, I'm waiting on an order from my FLGS.



#6 Dam

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:28 PM

Bindlespin said:

is there any benefit to lying about your hand to another player? I don't have the game yet, I'm waiting on an order from my FLGS.

You don't like him and want all of you to lose ? SH:DA is a co-op, so, no? And with only 3 cards per team, doesn't take long to start remembering which cards each team has, on top of which a player after the first turn only has two options available (Action used this turn can't be chosen on the very next turn).


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#7 Bindlespin

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 04:55 AM

there are co-op games with traitor options where you win by making everyone else lose. like shadows over camelot. it can make co-op pretty funny, but if you only have a 3 card hand I can't see this working to well even if it could make sense thematically like it does in camelot.

and now that I think about it, sometimes wrecking a straightforward game can be pretty funny too.



#8 Jormi_Boced

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:28 AM

Maybe in case they make a traitor element in the future.



#9 mi-go hunter

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 06:56 AM

Jormi_Boced said:

Maybe in case they make a traitor element in the future.

Sounds like a good idea for an expansion...



#10 Steve-O

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 08:10 AM

mi-go hunter said:

Maybe in case they make a traitor element in the future.

 

 

Sounds like a good idea for an expansion...

Just my personal opinion, but I disagree on this one.  Death Angel is along the lines of Space Hulk - it's straightforward alien killing action with tactical objectives.  There's no need or call for the kind of political subterfuge that a traitor mechanic would create.  Again, just my 2 cents, but I wouldn't be interested in that kind of expansion (not that I really expect an expansion from a Silver Line game anyway.)



#11 keltheos

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:34 AM

 The reason it's there is to allow a bit of uncertainty to the players' turn. Some groups will be very good at sussing out the right team member to suffer the effects of a card while other groups or single players won't. It takes the all decision-making strategy and turns it into a 'one person decides w/o input' model for that event.

I know players I game with who will make snap decisions based on their Marines' best interests vs. what's best for the group because they're wired that way. Force them to decide without input/discussion and they'll 99% of the time choose the option that is most beneficial to their guys even if it's not the best play for the entire group.



#12 BillStivers

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:39 AM

myrm said:

The rule is also in the Lord of the Rings game. It is supposed to help player interaction, independance and involvement by adding a level of doubt. 

 By closing the hands the games is making a statement that there is supposed to be a level of hidden knowledge and uncertainty to deal with. 

So in summary closed hands are for a number of minor reasons a way of changing the game from being a solo game in this case played by multiple players to something with more interaction.

I agree with the above statements.  In my humble opion the best answer for the hidden action card is to inspire player interaction and communication.

After playing other co op games where a player can take over and just tell everyone how play; the closed hand mechanic does not keep this from happening, but does help keep everyone involed in the decsion making.

Great topic and veiw points!



#13 That Confused 1

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

Sorry for the bumping, but my own opinion is the of the situation that each Marine is a human and act on their own accords even if they are a trained team they still will act differently than say what Player 2 wanted Player 1 to do.  This to me mimics the whole moment of unpredictable (to an extent) actions the other people you're playing with by having the action cards picked in secert to each other.  Now I would liked to have seen say 2 types of attacks, Move/Activate, Support cards for each team with totaly different options for each pairings to spice up the unpredictable side of the game but, eh I also wanted a Philly Cheese Steak that doesn't get stolen by an older brother as a kid but whatever.

 I mean when you look at it in terms of co-workers and a given situation as a team assignment, some co-workers will behave rather differently than the other co-workers will expect under a heavy stress of a dead line.  The actions may appear logical in later anaylist but you don't know if Co-worker A is suddenly going to slack off on report duties and start facebooking, Co-Worker B choosing it's donut break time, Co-Worker C getting cranky and overworkaholic on everyone...



#14 1908drummer

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 02:38 AM

this rule dose seem pointless after all why is it you carn't SHOW other players your cards but can TELL them every detail about them. wich is me and my freinds play without this rule.



#15 r_b_bergstrom

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 02:39 PM

My instinct is to say that the rule is not pointless at all, specifically because of the Instinct cards. When an event card with Instinct printed on it is drawn, you're supposed to make the decision without feedback from the other players. Let's say you draw the "Gun Jam" card. You have to pick the fireteam that can't shoot this turn, and do so without talking to the other players. If you could see the other people's hands, it takes less memory or skill to figure out which team has another action available that's worth doing.

 

I'll also echo Myrm's response that one reason is to keep shy, quiet, casual or inexperienced gamers from being bossed around. Being able to talk about their hands lets them ask for help if they need it, but since others can't see their cards, they'll be slightly less likely to be pressured or ordered around. For most play groups this is a non-issue, but if you've got a few overbearing veterans and one meek newbie at the table, every little buffer helps.



#16 Destructor

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 03:37 PM

 I personally think you shouldn't be able to say anything at all while you select your card. That should be part of the fun of the game, the fact that you have to balance doing what will protect your two marines personally vs. what will support the group as a whole, and you have to use intuition to do it, rather than saying: "Well if I move here then you can attack this guy here." Maybe that will be less fun than the discussion but I think it'd add a certain 'Prisoner's Dilemma' frisson to the proceedings if you were not allowed to discuss strategy until after you'd chosen your orders.



#17 Montag451

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:33 PM

I would agree with most points if your hand was constantly changing. However, in DA, your hand is static. You only get 3 actions per team, and it's the same cards for the entire game. All of the second-guessing and whatnot becomes rather pointless when you immediately have a 50% chance of guessing what they'll play. And if you've got players who only play for themselves instead of helping the team in a co-op game, you either won't want to play with them, or you should just play a competitive game instead.

The only thing it really does, and even then not to a very large degree, is prevent one player from running the game, but even then, having a leader isn't a bad idea anyway. It gives the group some one to rely on when they get in a jam and settle disputes.

If players had an action deck, even a small one, that they drew cards from, constantly changing the contents of their hand, this rule would have significantly more impact on the game. As it is, it just feels very silly. "I can't show you my only 3 cards (or only 2 after the first turn!), but I can tell you what I have, what a dilemma."

Maybe if each team had a different objective on top of surviving, that way it's still co-op and everyone's trying to survive, but different teams have their own goals and better motivation to work independently.



#18 Destructor

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:11 PM

 I still play without discussing what cards we will choose. It ups the challenge and makes the game more about your individual choices.



#19 Danalorn Darkrid

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:21 AM

 Yeah, we do the same when we play.

We all choose which action cards we want to play in secret (and silently) and then reveal them at the same time, after which the discussion on whether the choice was prudent or not, or which marine gets the support token etc

Makes for a far more enjoyable game IMHO as being able to talk about strategy and tactics at any time as well as saying that Jim should play a support so that Bob can attack makes the game only about the roll of the dice.



#20 Uncle Kulikov

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:32 AM

Steve-O said:

mi-go hunter said:

 

Maybe in case they make a traitor element in the future.

Sounds like a good idea for an expansion...

 

 

Just my personal opinion, but I disagree on this one.  Death Angel is along the lines of Space Hulk - it's straightforward alien killing action with tactical objectives.  There's no need or call for the kind of political subterfuge that a traitor mechanic would create.  Again, just my 2 cents, but I wouldn't be interested in that kind of expansion (not that I really expect an expansion from a Silver Line game anyway.)

Agreed. The game is hard enough without players having the option to purposefully screw you over. It would be different if less was determined by the dice, and actual player mistakes. But as it is, you can make no mistakes and still lose this game. I see no reason to compound that difficulty.






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