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Insuring mechanics are followed, or Can a player refuse to take his skill cards?


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#1 Anacreon

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:32 AM

Okay, so here's how this set of questions arises.  A cylon drew two crisis cards on Caprica and chose an Attack card.  She set it up, but forgot one of the Heavy raider pieces.  No one noticed except one player, who kept it to himself.  Later he said he had seen this and chosen to keep quiet.  He was of the opinion that it was the Cylon's job to be sure it was set up correctly.  Everyone else in the room was of the opposite opinion that this is not a matter of it merely being "that Cylon's card" and thus "that single person's responsibility" but a matter of it being "everyone's responsibility" to play the game mechanics out right, as best as we can.  This doesn't mean pointing out options or tactical choices to people (they have to see those themselves), but just those things which are rules and should be followed, regardless of advantage.  Thus, if the fleet was supposed to move on the jump track, and it gets missed, you don't lose that jump just because people only notice it a turn later.  It gets moved late - and hopefully it hasn't severaly screwed up the game (sometimes this happens, and we do our best to fix the game). 

Now, other people may have more rigorous rules about this sort of thing, and others may have "hard ass" rules that say one side or the other is resposible for making sure things go right - and thus your jump is lost - but I feel like that's open to various abuses and unnecessary hard feelings.

So, the guy argued that if we always try to play out a game mechanic, then we should always have to make sure everyone takes their skill cards, even if they forget, and if they forget, the should get them whenever it is realized.  This runs contrary to our house rule, which is that if someone forgets to take their skill cards - which does occur not infrequently as players get overeager or tired - then they don't get to take them if (as a human) they have proceeded already to drawing the crisis card or, if a cylon, to their Action.  Moreover, we have an understanding that if you see that someone didn't take their cards, you are not obligated to tell them about it - you may feel you should, but that's up to you.  We have this as our house rule because, in contrast to other game mechanics, we look at drawing skill cards as an individual's responsibility and not the whole group's responsibility to insure.  His argument was that it's a game mechanic like any other - the rules say you draw skills, so you draw skills (not that it stops us from house ruling whatever we like).  And furthermore, one might even argue that for at least one character, Lee (and particuarly, Lee in the brig) refusing to draw skills might be advantageous if it kept you from going over 10 cards and having to discard randomly. 

So, this boils down to: Are these various mechanics (draw skill cards / move on jump track / putting all cylon ships on game board / etc) all equal in the players demanding they occur correctly, even after the fact when it's realized there was an oversight?

My own argument is pretty clear: I think drawing cards is different and the player's responsibility *and* it expires at some reasonable point, namely when it would matter what cards they had chosen to take (the crisis card).  But other game mechanics impact all players and should be followed as best as can be, even after the fact, and it's everyone's responsibility to speak up when they see the other player's fail to follow a card set-up or whatnot.  The "expiration" on these thiings is a lot later - but not infinite; at some point you have to shrug and let it go - than drawing skill cards.  But others can have fair opinions.

And that being said, if it's okay that a player "forgot" their skill cards and didn't get to draw them… could a player just outright refuse to draw their skill cards?  r would they have to skirt the ethical line of feigning "oh, I forgot". 



#2 Mephisto666

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:40 AM

Game mechanics should be (most be) followed, and to see a mechanic issue and not bring it up is morally wrong.  There, I said it!  haha.

So, if the Cylon puts out extra ships and no one notices, is that OK?   If I roll a dice, it ends up in front of someone - I mis-read  it as a "1" but it is really a 7… its OK to not say anything if it benefits you?  Obviously not.

There are things you can pass…  movement and action for example… but drawing cards is not one of them.  Now, I believe it reads that Giaus "MAY" draw a card after seeing his Crisis - and I have been Cylon Giaus and "forgotten" to draw a card on a nasty crisis check.  hehe. 

It's best to set a few rules up front about how to handle situations.  Initial draw cards should be taken when noticed, maybe up until the end of next players turn?  I believe we let Giaus get his until BEFORE Crisis of next players, but only 1-2 times per game.  Same for Sharons Scout.   An important factor would be if the correction could effect another players play.  If a cylon plays a super-crisis based on the cards people have, and someone goes "Hey I forgot to draw cards 2 turns ago"  their mistake shouldn't effect the play of the cylon that took action based on current info.  If that person is allowed to draw, I would say it's after the vote!

Jump track should always be correct - and it can be forgotten, double moved, or bumpped easy enough,  We have been turning the discard pile upside down with the "current" jump crisis cards face up so its easy for anyone to check.  Well, unless you have CFB haha. 

I guess the other option is to slow down the already slow game and do everything slowly, clearly and opening, step by step, from the book, each an every time to be sure nothing is missed.  That sounds like fun! (NOT!)



#3 HiroMasaki

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:18 PM

I would like to amend the original statement somewhat, in my own defense.  ;)

My argument was that the person setting up the attack was a Cylon Leader, and thus the proper setup of the fleet is that person's responsibility, and to that person's benefit.  Had it been a Human or obvious Unrevealed player performing the setup, I would have pointed out the error as it's a mandatory action.

Assuming that Attacks are mandatory, and I screwed up…  My suggestion for handling forgotten skill cards in the future was that late draws before the next player's draw should always be allowed.  If a Crisis card has been drawn, or the player has otherwise started a skill check, they may not add the cards to their hand until *after* the skill check has been resolved, to prevent a last-minute, "Oh, I'll take Pilot/Red, then…"

However, if it's not everyone's responsibility to enforce (when noticed) a "you must" like drawing skill cards, then it's not a Human's responsibility to ensure revealed Cylons perform their own ship placement and activations to their benefit, and vice-versa.  It is, after all, a game of intrigue, right?



#4 subochre

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:29 PM

HiroMasaki said:

My argument was that the person setting up the attack was a Cylon Leader, and thus the proper setup of the fleet is that person's responsibility, and to that person's benefit.  Had it been a Human or obvious Unrevealed player performing the setup, I would have pointed out the error as it's a mandatory action.

 

Suppose the Cylon Leader had made a mistake that worked to his advantage, for example, by putting the heavy raider a space or two closer to the launch bay?  Would another cylon player (revealed or otherwise) be obligated to point that out if nobody else noticed?

Personally, I also think that everything should be enforced, and that the "skill cards are your own responsibility" thing is a bad house rule, partly due to the possibility of abuse. (I'm not even sure that one can resolve the enforcement disparity with the idea that, unlike attacks and such, for which there is a collective responsibility, skill draws affect the individual--an even trickier case than Apollo is Ellen, who might not want to draw her Treachery cards if she knows someone's holding a Sabotage.) But if you guys trust that everyone will play fair (or, alternatively, are open to a game in which even cheating is allowed), then feel free.  The thing about it being a house rule is that its principle can be held to either be generalizable to the official rules or not, as you see fit.

That said, I'm also moved by the idea that some mechanics are more important than others--as Mephisto says, you don't want every player to feel like they have to constantly watch the jump track and the resource dials and the crisis cards just because they can't trust anyone else to enforce the game states.  Or heck, maybe you do, if that fits in with your idea of "intrigue."  Again, the real answer to the question is "whatever your group prefers is correct."  But whatever y'all decide to do, I think that the general presumption is that players will enforce even those mechanics that don't benefit them, and that every exception to this presumption should be made explicit.



#5 Anacreon

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:20 AM

I feel pretty confident that our game group supports the principle that everyone plays as fair as they can and that "intrigue" is not defined by trying to cheat or overlook the rules.  So, I hope no player with Lee or Ellen would try to "forget" their cards to avoid a consequence they didn't like, or that an unrevealed Cylon would fake forgetting and say "Oh dear, I guess I can't help."   

Nevertheless, I can sympathize with the idea of "following every mechanic."   Realistically, this can never work perfectly, unless you can time travel and go back to set things right, or you can a computerized version that insists on you doing things correctly to proceed.  Short of this, you're going to have mistakes, and then every group has to decide what works for them, guided by principles to define what is the best route once things have been messed up. 

So, I continue to say, and I agree, that it's everyone's responsibility to speak up as they see mechanics being followed on crisis cards, locations, etc. And when there is a genuine mistake, these things generally need to made up after the fact - though it's never clear how long you can back go for each case.

To me, what makes skill cards more an individual responsibility - though obviously not without impact on others - is that the individual player alone knows them and must act on them in their hand, whereas most of the other items are known to all and should be viewed and acted on by all. 

If a late draw were implemented, I agree that explicit agreements should made about how this is dealt with, such as that a late draw can only happen at the end of a turn (your own or next person's, etc). I can imagine there may be many consequences of this, if it were made a rule; things you would need to make clear as corollaries.  For example: If a person's crisis card said "Current player loses their hand of skill cards" or "President loses two cards and the current player loses three cards" and the current player forgot their draw and didn't have the requisite number of cards to discard, they should not get to keep their whole hand of cards on the late draw afterward (they still have to discard, retroactively), or lose all their cards in the case of the loss of a whole hand.  And those cards should be drawn and discarded, even if all are to be lost.

That being said, what concerns me about a late draw is that once you are down the line at, or past, the crisis card point, things have changed, new information has been gained, and thus there is room for an advantage - whether it was intended or not - to gaining a late draw, for those character who can choose between colors.  Did something get damaged on that crisis?  Oh well, then now I'll take a blue card rather than green.  Ships on the board?  Better take a purple to modify a roll on the next person shooting at them or a red to defend a viper from being hit.  Unexpected fuel loss on that card?  Take a yellow to fish for Preventative Policy.  Whatever.  So, perhaps a late draw would need to add randomization of color draw (between colors the character could choose) as a consequence.  Asking "what *would* you have done before you knew such and such?" seems problematic.

 

 



#6 dwightsboardgame

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:21 AM

Following the logic of the player mentioned in the OP's post, it would be sensible to make "mistakes" in their favor and see what slips by. "Oh sorry, I didn't notice, but you should have said something then. Now it's too late." Personally, that's beyond silly.

This might be a little off-topic but my personal view is that all possible allowances should be made to let people correct errors in any board game provided that their correction wasn't dependent upon new information. This helps turns proceed in a timely manner. If I ran into a group of board gamers who wouldn't let me correct these such things, then I would (never play with them again and) take at least double the amount of time each turn double checking absolutely everything.

When playing a game like Agricola, if someone were to say to place their worker and take wood and tell the next player it's their turn to only then realize they needed to take food to say, "sorry, I made a mistake, I need to put the wood back and take food instead" as long as it's before the next player does anything which is relevant towards the error-making player's choice. If the next player decided to take food, or take animals which means that it'll be harder for someone else to feed their family so that 3rd person will likely take the food, then it's too late.

So, if you want to be a hard ass, I'll bring checksheets and flow charts and make sure that every rule is followed and step taken. If you want to have a good time, I'll be flexible and forgiving, and we'll play much more quickly.



#7 dakuth

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:34 PM

It seems fairly cut and dried to me:

The OP is correct, in that game mechanics need to be followed. The OP is incorrect in saying forgetting to draw cards is an exception to this.

If someone forgets to draw cards, they should if it makes no difference to the outcome. You can sometimes rewind things a couple turns if need be, because even when choices were taken, the change would not have altered any outcomes.

If the mistake has passed that point - it becomes a geniune mistake - then generally a majority-rules vote to try and fix the game as best as possible. In the example of the raider (if no-one had noticed, therefore not neglected their game-mechanic responsibility) then by the time it was noticed, too bad, that raider is gone. For the skill cards example, you normally would be able to "rewind" until a skill check is needed. There may be minor penalties here and there for forgetting, but mostly it makes no difference. If the group majority rules it would be too disruptive though, they just miss out.

-----

 


TANGENT: I have been on the losing end of those majority-rules votes it is starting to really frustrate me. The example that has come up two games in a row, is a token that was inadvertedly revealed (Trama, and Civilian Ship.) It seems quite obvious to me we should shuffle the revealed token back into the pile, and replace it with a new "unknown" (correcting the mistake as best as possible), but majority-ruled put the token back. For the second game I snapped and overruled on the basis of "it's my game" - which I have never, ever done before - but in truth it was on the basis of "you're all idiots."



#8 Mephisto666

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:31 AM

RE: Tangent…

And that is party why I don't like "Majority Rules"… cause the majority is stupid. 

But also, in a game like this… you have a "good" token accidentally revealed on an NPC.  Its early in the game, 5 player…  4 are human 1 is unrevealed.  Humans all think "Hey, good for us, leave it"… so the one Cylon has to out himself or go with it - not becuase it's right but because they are unrevealed.  Also, you may have players that don't know the rule, etc.  My factor in this would be was it already a random token?  Then redraw it randomly.  Was it placed?  Then probably leave it as it was only "mostly" secret, with an advisory to be more cautious in whatever it was that made it get revealed (like, from now on, roll that dice in front of you - we are not shooting craps!). 

 



#9 dwightsboardgame

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

dakuth said:

TANGENT: I have been on the losing end of those majority-rules votes it is starting to really frustrate me. The example that has come up two games in a row, is a token that was inadvertedly revealed (Trama, and Civilian Ship.) It seems quite obvious to me we should shuffle the revealed token back into the pile, and replace it with a new "unknown" (correcting the mistake as best as possible), but majority-ruled put the token back. For the second game I snapped and overruled on the basis of "it's my game" - which I have never, ever done before - but in truth it was on the basis of "you're all idiots."

It depends on the token. For civilian ships, I can't find a compelling reason to leave it. It really should be replaced.

For a trauma token, it depends. If it was one set by a player, then it should stay.  If it was put there randomly during setup, then it should be replaced at random.

I don't think I've ever had these types of issues with my gaming groups. Usually we can form a consensus pretty easily.






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