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Who has the fewest ships in the warp?

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#1 BlueWolf



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Posted 18 March 2011 - 08:38 PM

I had a really frustrating game tonight. The special destiny card that says encounter the person with the fewest ships in the warp came up.

I had 1 ship in the warp

the person to my left had 0 ships in the warp

The other 4 people in the game said that I had the fewest ships in the warp. Because I was the person with the fewest ships that were physically in the warp whereas the person with 0 ships did not physically have ships in the warp.

In their minds 1 is the fewest ships that you can have in the warp. Because they don't have any "IN" the warp, and the card says fewest ships "IN" the warp.

This if frustrating for a few reasons:

0 is a number.

You could say that I have more ships in the warp than him and everybody agrees, but if I have more ships in the warp than he has, then he HAS to have less then me right? everybody disagrees.

The 3 special destiny cards in my opinion were designed to target someone who is an advantage. The person with the most forign colonies has an advantage, the person with the most cards has an advantage, so then why would the third card target someone who does not have the advantage?

How could you even write the card, if you wanted it to count the person who has 0 ships in the warp without referencing the warp itself?

How can this kind of reasoning make cents to these people? This is the kind of thing that you learn when you are three years old people which is less 0 or 1? Answer: 0

Which is less in the warp 0 or 1? Answer: 1 WTF? So does the word "in" magically turn everyones brain off?

#2 crimhead



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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:35 PM

Zero of something is fewer than one of something.

#3 mastabou



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Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:03 AM

Zero is definitely fewer than one.  If only one player has zero ships in the warp, THEY have the fewest.  If two or more players have zero, then you follow the directions on the card and the first player to the left with zero ships would be chosen.

#4 MimeKirby



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Posted 21 March 2011 - 10:43 AM

So let me get this straight...

They say you have more ships in the warp than the person who has none, yet they also say he doesn't have less than you...

This basically means:

  • Your ships in warp > Their ships in warp (1 > 0)
  • Your ships in warp < Their ships in warp (1 < 0)

It should be obvious that only one of these can be correct, since they contradict eachother. Also, greater than/less than comparisons can ALWAYS be reversed (ie. "Your ships > Their ships" can also be "Their ships < Your ships")

Simply put: You're right, they're wrong (Zero ships is still an amount of ships).

#5 Delobius



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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:29 AM

Find some new people to play with. That's just retarded.

#6 BlueWolf



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Posted 28 March 2011 - 01:12 PM

Ya it was pretty frustrating at the time. I tried to use the whole you cant have more than someone if he doesn't have less than you thing but they had already made up their minds. I will make sure to clarify that card before i play again.

#7 NidoKing



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Posted 04 April 2011 - 09:08 PM

 wow yea that IS frustrating. Sounds like you used sound logic and they were just being stubborn and sticking to their guns for no reason.

#8 xagyg



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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:36 PM

Make a list of all players and their corresponding number of ships in the warp. That should do it. If they have done grade 1 math they should recognise that 0 is less than 1.

You cannot explain things to fools using logic.  Hmmm... i wonder if you were playing a Lunatic, Loser and Grudge.      (just kidding).

Sounds like they were not only hand managing, but player managing!  


#9 Kobold Curry Chef

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:02 PM

If your friends are baffled by that, their brains will simply disintegrate when they have to figure out the truly tricky stuff in Cosmic Encounter. You have my sympathy.

#10 Seren



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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:19 AM

Maybe they just haven't discovered zero in that part of the galaxy yet.

#11 xagyg



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Posted 13 April 2011 - 02:24 PM

Seren said:

Maybe they just haven't discovered zero in that part of the galaxy yet.

Good point. We shouldn't rule it out the possibility.

#12 LivinItUp



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Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:07 AM

 Don't feel bad.  I had the exact same argument with my girlfriend and our married friends the other night when we all played the game for the first time.  We played two 4-player games, and in both games, they failed to budge.  They insisted that "in the warp" applied only to those players with ships in the warp.  I first asked them each this question:

"How many ships do you have in the warp?"

One of them replied, "Zero," while the others (including myself) replied with a number greater than zero, mine being the lowest.  I then asked:

"So, who has the fewest ships in the warp?"

Their reply:  "You!"

<reading comprehension failed>

I then mentioned the Special Destiny cards are designed to target the leader, to prevent him from running away with the game.  They still wouldn't budge.  No matter what, I had the fewest ships in the warp.  Utterly frustrating.  Now that I have official clarification, they'll all have some crow to eat the next time we play.  :-)

#13 TheDukester



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Posted 24 April 2011 - 01:19 PM

Delobius said:

Find some new people to play with. That's just retarded.


You need new friends.

The example you provided is truly one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of. And please tell those idiots I said so.

#14 TheImp



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Posted 24 June 2011 - 08:37 AM

Obviously 0 is the fewest. If it were 1 and there were no ships at all in the warp then the destiny card would be useless and you would not be able to have an encounter that turn.

#15 GravitysAngel



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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:13 AM

 You should have said, "If i had 5 ships in the warp and everyone else had 0, i still have the fewest? Then I have 0 foreign bases. As you've pointed out, 0 is not less than 5, therefore I've already won."

#16 GrimJester



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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:33 PM

Without being mean, what other people have said is correct.  Your friends don't seem to be a good fit for this game.  If they're going to argue about that, just wait until something truly confusing emerges during a game.

On a related note, sometimes, just to have a good time, and move the game along, it's better to object to the majority, make a note of it for later, and play it out with the "modified" rules.

#17 Gumshoe_nr1



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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:51 PM

Funny thing, same thing has happened to me.
I play with people that takes games seriously and we play very advance games and can easily take a break for calculation and discuss rules. But with this specific issue the majority thought that "none" is not a number, so "I dont have "fewer", I have none". 
I guess you could argue that from a enginering point of view, that if for example a variable has NOT been given a value, you cant compare it to another value, but I argued that "you have zero"... eventually I won, everybody thinking "douchebag" for rest of the game.

But most important I agree with GrimJester.
Important thing is almost to keep the game going, have fun and correct it later.

#18 Tyrotron



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Posted 21 August 2014 - 12:05 PM

I feel truly sorry for this poor soul. I really can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the argument. Whenever we play, things seem to go so smoothly, and this is with a gaming group that considers Clue to be a complex game. 


Player 1: "It says 'The player with the fewest ships in the warp,' so that means me since I have none in the warp."

Player 2: "No, it means me, since I have one ship in the warp and you have none. The card doesn't apply to you." 

Player 1: "Are you implying that 1 is less than 0?"

Player 2: "No, I am saying that since you have no ships in the warp, and I have some, the card doesn't apply to you.

Player 1: "So in your mind, "none" is more than "some?"

Player 2: "Don't get snippy."

Player 1: "I'm not trying to be, but your stupidity is making me this way."

Player 2: "Do you want to die?"

Player 1: "Now you are just being belligerent."

Player 2: "Alright well what do you think, Player 3?"

Player 3: "Um… I think none is less than some?"

Player 1: "Thank you! You see, Player 2?"

Player 3: "But…"

Players 1&2: "But what!?"

Player 3: "Maybe it is only talking about players with ships in the warp."

Player 1: *Flips table*

Player 4: *Quietly sobs in the other room*

#19 Oatmeal



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Posted 23 August 2014 - 07:38 PM

While people in this thread are right, to be fair, I can think of a counter example in another FFG game where the ruling seems to be the opposite -- the Horned Rat expanison for Chaos in the Old World:


"Strength in Numbers - If you have more figures than any one other player in this region, the defense value of your figures is increased by one."


FFG has clarified that this only examines players who have at least 1 figure in the region, and a player who having zero in the region would not count. This card is poorly written, and caused arguments among players until FFG ruled on it -- so my point is, that apparently there is some possible ambiguity where people understand this differently, and cards aren't always written clearly enough (in this case, though, I do agree with the majority that 0 counts is the default interpretation)

Edited by Oatmeal, 23 August 2014 - 10:33 PM.

#20 Just_a_Bill



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Posted 04 December 2014 - 09:12 AM

The explanation for this is probably less about stupidity and more about intellectual dishonesty. This world seems to be full of people who want to believe that logic and truth are subjective things (it's more convenient that way, I guess), and they will argue for the interpretation that meets their desires at the moment. Sometimes they will argue the opposite interpretation of the same principle the next time it comes up; just depends upon what they want at the time.


One time, a Ph.D. chemist tried to tell me that nothing was absolute. He claimed to believe that there must be places in the universe where pi had a different value; that the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius was not a constant. Was he an idiot? No. Was he stoned at the time? No. I think he had just backed himself into a stupid corner and made a statement he didn't really believe in, because he wanted to win an argument that absolutely nothing was absolute (see what I did there?).


I'm not saying this explains every occurrence, but in my experience playing games for five decades, sometimes people just want a game situation to go their way or to harm somebody else and they seem to have no qualms about pretending that logic and mathematics are malleable. Especially when a bunch of them can gang up on somebody and vote down the rational answer with sheer numbers.

Edited by Just_a_Bill, 04 December 2014 - 09:24 AM.