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7theye

Table talk rule

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Someone suggested a separate post about this rule so here it is.

Do you follow this rule? Are you saying 'ambush Ishtari' instead of sneak attack gandalf.

If you are following the rulebook then the former is allowed and not the later. Moreover this makes playing two handed solo completely illegal and cheating.

Any thoughts on this?

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Do whatever you like, it's your game. No competitions or referees out there who will punish you for ignoring this stupid rule.

 

For me, I stick to the rules which makes it impossible for me to play two-handed

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IMO this rule was designed to eliminate quarterbacking, so one player asking everyone what they have, then telling them what to do. If that won't be a problem, then I don't view it as cheating or anything, seems silly if you're saying ambush istari.

 

Exactly. It's always seemed pretty clear to me that it was an attempt to stop one player from dominating things in co-op, rather than something to stop two-handed play or cooperation among players who don't have to worry about one player running everything. With that said, I completely disregard the table talk rule, and think it's silly to call two-handed play cheating or illegal. 

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If one would call playing two-handed "cheating" or "illegal" - one should first define "legal".

 

The point is, if one would visit some official event from FFG - one would be forbidden from playing alone with two hands, so I guess it's kinda "illegal".

Edited by MyNeighbourTrololo

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Do whatever you like, it's your game. No competitions or referees out there who will punish you for ignoring this stupid rule.

 

For me, I stick to the rules which makes it impossible for me to play two-handed

This seems crazy to me. But yeah, your game, no referees I guess.

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I don't follow this rule to the letter - I don't ask people what they have in hand or anything like that, but I occasionally you just have to reveal something otherwise players can't work together at all.

 

For instance you can't communicate things like "you don't need to defend any attacks this turn" without essentially revealing what's in your hand (because basically only a  few cards exist that prevent all attacks you can pretty much determine what card is being refereed too).

 

I think the spirit of the rule is - if you play co-op you're meant to be two people playing together, not one person playing two hands.

 

That said if someone wanted to play solo with two hands I wouldn't have any problem with that (Personally I couldn't be bothered with that and would play with others or play one handed solo).

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IMO this rule was designed to eliminate quarterbacking, so one player asking everyone what they have, then telling them what to do. If that won't be a problem, then I don't view it as cheating or anything, seems silly if you're saying ambush istari.

 

Exactly. It's always seemed pretty clear to me that it was an attempt to stop one player from dominating things in co-op, rather than something to stop two-handed play or cooperation among players who don't have to worry about one player running everything. With that said, I completely disregard the table talk rule, and think it's silly to call two-handed play cheating or illegal.

This.

We play by every rule, except the table talk one. We consider it just plain dumb.

It's quite weird, as they also encourage players to talk about the best course of action in the same rule book.

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IMO this rule was designed to eliminate quarterbacking, so one player asking everyone what they have, then telling them what to do. If that won't be a problem, then I don't view it as cheating or anything, seems silly if you're saying ambush istari.

 

Exactly. It's always seemed pretty clear to me that it was an attempt to stop one player from dominating things in co-op, rather than something to stop two-handed play or cooperation among players who don't have to worry about one player running everything. With that said, I completely disregard the table talk rule, and think it's silly to call two-handed play cheating or illegal.

I disagree. While not cheating the spirit of the game is hurt when you can see all the other players cards. That's why table talk partly exists, so for instance you don't know that you, for instance, you should berevor your partners instead of yourself bc his hand is weaker. It takes that whole part out of the game. Think of it like this, you have one team of elves and one ram of dwarves going out on a mission. They likely won't show their entire arensal of weapons to each other even though they have a common goal. Why using two handed solo you have killed this part of the game and taken any guess work out of knowing what your partner might have or need. There are times when you watch te progression series videos and see Mitch draw tons of cards bc he is looking for something even though Matthew may need it more (a part of the game totally lost if he controlled both)

Obviously Ian you know way more about this game then me, but I must say that if FFG intended for this they would have included a description of it in the rules. Instead they clearly describe solo play, not this variant.

This game was never deigned to be played two handed solo - it's something that was made up by people who don't like playing solo and don't have friends to play with.

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I think this rule fix 2 thinks:

1 not allow 1 player to rule the table.

2 dont delay the game with 3 4 players for long discussion about how better combine cards in they hands. Save time and players respect. But in 2 players game in Nmode you should build up the decks together so you should know your partner deck by the heart. anyway is good rule in the first 2 cases.

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Someone suggested a separate post about this rule so here it is.

Do you follow this rule? Are you saying 'ambush Ishtari' instead of sneak attack gandalf.

If you are following the rulebook then the former is allowed and not the later. Moreover this makes playing two handed solo completely illegal and cheating.

Any thoughts on this?

 

 

 

IMO this rule was designed to eliminate quarterbacking, so one player asking everyone what they have, then telling them what to do. If that won't be a problem, then I don't view it as cheating or anything, seems silly if you're saying ambush istari.

 

Exactly. It's always seemed pretty clear to me that it was an attempt to stop one player from dominating things in co-op, rather than something to stop two-handed play or cooperation among players who don't have to worry about one player running everything. With that said, I completely disregard the table talk rule, and think it's silly to call two-handed play cheating or illegal.

I disagree. While not cheating the spirit of the game is hurt when you can see all the other players cards. That's why table talk partly exists, so for instance you don't know that you, for instance, you should berevor your partners instead of yourself bc his hand is weaker. It takes that whole part out of the game. Think of it like this, you have one team of elves and one ram of dwarves going out on a mission. They likely won't show their entire arensal of weapons to each other even though they have a common goal. Why using two handed solo you have killed this part of the game and taken any guess work out of knowing what your partner might have or need. There are times when you watch te progression series videos and see Mitch draw tons of cards bc he is looking for something even though Matthew may need it more (a part of the game totally lost if he controlled both)

Obviously Ian you know way more about this game then me, but I must say that if FFG intended for this they would have included a description of it in the rules. Instead they clearly describe solo play, not this variant.

This game was never deigned to be played two handed solo - it's something that was made up by people who don't like playing solo and don't have friends to play with.

 

Wow you really don't have any respect for anyone on these forums do you? First your little tantrum on the Loragorn and desperate alliance thread now this. ALOT of people play this game two-handed, me being included. It is not illegal and it is not cheating.

Its simply two player with one person controlling both decks instead of two people.

Whats more the table talk rule was CLEARLY designed for this reason:

 

 

IMO this rule was designed to eliminate quarterbacking, so one player asking everyone what they have, then telling them what to do. If that won't be a problem, then I don't view it as cheating or anything, seems silly if you're saying ambush istari.

 

Exactly. It's always seemed pretty clear to me that it was an attempt to stop one player from dominating things in co-op, rather than something to stop two-handed play or cooperation among players who don't have to worry about one player running everything. With that said, I completely disregard the table talk rule, and think it's silly to call two-handed play cheating or illegal. 

 

 

Also your example of a team of elves and dwarves on a mission together is:

a) very handy for your argument, what if it was a team of elves and elves, or men and men, or hobbits and elves. They don't share the animosity that Elves and Dwarves have for each other so I'm sure would work together properly and let the other "team" know exactly what they have up their sleeves and in their scabbards.

b) Is not very thematic to begin with, when are dwarves and elves going to team up for a quest? Unless it is some huge necessity or they have no choice (eg: fellowship, battle of five armies)

Also "killed this part of the game and taken any guess work out of knowing what your partner might have or need". Theres no guess work in Solo so its just like Solo but some people don't want to play Solo with only one deck and only one encounter card revealed per turn. In my opinion I think solo takes away from the game and its mechanics and is a lesser way of playing considering things like surge, doomed etc lose alot of their bite (then again you have less actions and characters so not saying its easier, I just personally don't like this variant). I'm not going to rant on about it though, call it easier, illegal or cheating or offend all Solo Players on here and act like a complete jerk in general.

"This game was never deigned to be played two handed solo - it's something that was made up by people who don't like playing solo and don't have friends to play with." Yeah I don't like playing solo and don't have friends who are interested in this sort of game, this does not mean im cheating or playing illegally, im just playing two player on my own because I dont like to play solo/with one deck. If it is really cheating, illegal and as easy as you seem to think then probably more than half of the people on here aren't playing the same game as you apparently.

 

Bottom line I think you should either not bother participating in these forums and just go away or show alot more respect for the other people who post on here.

 

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Why this "illegality" of playing two-handed alone bothers you so much? As I stated previously, technically playing two-handed alone is illegal because no one'll let you play that way on the official tournament. But, who the fudge cares if you're playing at home or at any other unofficial place?

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Adhering to the rules is grand and I do it plenty myself, but it will only prop you up until the winds change.  Caleb has been quoted before acknowledging 2-handed play as a popular, but unsupported, variant.  It will take only a general FAQ release to deflate righteous fury here, so just watch that you aren't too invested in your own arguments regarding propriety and cheating.

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ALOT of people play this game two-handed, me being included. It is not illegal and it is not cheating.

Its simply two player with one person controlling both decks instead of two people.

Just curious but if doing something that isn´t supported by the rules, which sharing information between players/hands is not, is not considered cheating/illegal, then what is?

Alot of people also log their scores according to the original rules instead of the current rules. It is pretty obvious who they are when you try to compare scores.

Just because alot of people do it, doesn´t mean it is legal/supported.

 

It just means that some people like to play the game with those house rules variants and nobody can tell them otherwise.

However, by that same token, when choosing to play like that, those same people cannot demand (or expect), that the people who do follow the official rules to acknowledge the games played by those same house rules variants.

Edited by Nerdmeister

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If you are following the rulebook then the former is allowed and not the later. Moreover this makes playing two handed solo completely illegal and cheating.

I did not read further than this ... I will later. After the morron thing i find this also a bit annoying.

To start with I do not play two handed, i play either solo or with my wife. When playing with her we discuss our strategy prior to the game and then trying to keep the rule but not strictly.

BUT , this game is neither tournament, nor abstract or anything, it is firstly a game to have fun with the Tolkien world. What i like in it is the feel you have freedom to play it however you like, not strictly by the book and this doesnot change much in the result. Also it is not always easy for everyone to have fellow players, and as any game this is also better with two or more. So i find normal for people playing two handed and admire their passion , i would never calling them cheaters or anything.

Cool a bit, it is a game, a co op game, not a game you have to win the other.

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When i play two-handed games i dont log the score. I think it is because i consider is not 100% official.

And about talking of cards, i dont show my hand but when i player ask for any card i say if i have or not. I do it, for example: a friend is playing spirit, and a bad treachery is revealed; i ask friends for a test of will, lol, even if i know they play it without i ask for it.

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ALOT of people play this game two-handed, me being included. It is not illegal and it is not cheating.

Its simply two player with one person controlling both decks instead of two people.

Just curious but if doing something that isn´t supported by the rules, which sharing information between players/hands is not, is not considered cheating/illegal, then what is?

Alot of people also log their scores according to the original rules instead of the current rules. It is pretty obvious who they are when you try to compare scores.

Just because alot of people do it, doesn´t mean it is legal/supported.

 

It just means that some people like to play the game with those house rules variants and nobody can tell them otherwise.

However, by that same token, when choosing to play like that, those same people cannot demand (or expect), that the people who do follow the official rules to acknowledge the games played by those same house rules variants.

 

 

I think the objection some people have is to the term "cheat".

 

The term implies a certain amount of moral superiority from the people that use it and of moral inferiority or mistakes from those it is applied too.  For instance, we would have less respect for the person that won the race if they did it by tripping someone else - in fact in a competitive environment we would disallow the cheat from taking part in future and probably re-run the race without them. 

 

A solitary game is a little different. If we take another example; "I cheated at my computer game to get more money, the money let me see the end of the game." Now if you do that in isolation or acknowledge the cheating when you talk to others about the game it probably won't matter. If however your friends haven't beaten the game and you brag about beating it first your friends will probably get annoyed when they discover you cheated.

 

In the case of this card game if many people play two handed - and then playing two handed is functionally different (as 7theye is of the opinion it is) then those people being heavily involved in say, strategy and play discussions without acknowledging the variant they play will interfere with and upset the discussions.

 

Personally I think that playing two handed is not that different from playing two player. You do lack information about the other players hand; but I really don't think this is going to have that much impact. It's pretty rare that the other player will have a card which significantly changes your play.

Some corner cases may exist if you knew they had shadow card cancellation in hand you might spend Balin's resource when you would otherwise keep it. On the other hand if I was in that game I would certainly ask; "Do I need to keep Balin's resource?" And then without revealing what they have in hand the other player would probably say yes or no.

If people play in silence and don't communicate at at all I guess that could be a different play experience, but I don't think that's what most people have in mind when they want to play co-op. Because I don't think two-handed is much different from two player I don't think I would care if people discussed strategies and then I found out they played two-handed later; even though I never would. 

(I never would because of the hassle, not a moral objection).

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When I play 2 or more player games we don't show each other our hands, and try to limit the amount of direct card referencing as much possible, but we have no problem asking another player if they have a card that will help in a certain situation, but ultimately it will be up to the player with the card to use it or not. On very tough situations we may strategize a bit more, and each player will say I can do this with these cards and such. The most strategizing generally takes place during the encounter and combat phase there is actually very little during the planning phase and players generally never suggest to a player which ally to play etc.

Two handed solo play, which i don't play any more, is really different then playing with another player. I stopped playing it because it seemed to alter the balance of the game and made it easier then playing with another player. Because I had control of both decks, i could plan a strategy that would not likely occur with a second player, unless we were playing completely open hands or the other player played the game exactly like I did.

For example, In 2 handed solo i could build decks and have a hero continually give his resource Bifur in the other deck, and then I could also have Theodred from the other deck always give his resource from questing to Bifur too. Further more, I could have the other deck play SoG on Bifur. Most likely this would not happen in a real 2 player game, unless players sat down and said this is exactly how we are going to play these decks, which is a valid way to play, but there would probably still be some minor differences in player choices, unless every card played was okayed by both players, which would then completely break the table talk rule, but at that point even with a second player, they are pretty much playing a solo 2 handed game. Most players I have played with would not want to loose 2 resources per round and give up SoG, and they also want to have freedom in the chocies they make to enjoy the game. Even if i disagree with a choice, i still need to respect how they are playing the game, or else it's not going to be very much fun.

So, generally I think 2 handed play allows for deck building and game play strategies that are usually not likely to occur in regular 2 player games. I will not say it is cheating since it's a non competitive game and we can play how we like, but I can see why it would be considered illegal and not supported as an official play style by FFG.

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In addition to the fact that we are playing a cooperative game, even in competitive CCGs like Magic there are casual variant formats that get played though there are no official rules for them. One format became so popular, that the Wizards of the Coast now officially supports it with product releases (not that this would make sense for 2-handed play in LotR).

 

If you play by the core rules, that's great! I do the same most of the time. But if I happen to try a 2-handed round, it's not hurting anyone, so no need to take offense. Player-created variant formats are not unheard of in card games, and no one can force you to play 2-handed or use the old scoring system just because they prefer it.

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I like table talk.  My friend and I are at comparable levels of skill and experience, so no one dominates, but the cross talk makes for more interaction and in my opinion, more fun.  

 

We generally stop short of mentioning specific cards, but heavy handed hints are not unheard of.  Stuff like "Don't worry about that troll.  I can stall him."   It really doesn't matter to us.  The fun of the game comes from our strategizing together, and table talk only enhances this.  Most often, it's announcing a card one of us is playing and then talking through what would be the best target for it.

 

The fun of staying close to the rule though is the occasions for throwing down impressive surprise moves or combos and wowing the other players.

 

It's co-op.  It's your game, your experience.  Play it whichever way makes it fun for you.

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I tend to play this game in a variety of formats: two-handed solo, one-handed solo, and 2-4 players with others. Each and every one of these formats feels different than the others, which is why I don't like restricting myself to any given one, because they all open up different experiences. That being said, I think good strategy and good deck building translates across all of them, and doesn't change substantially. Think about the common practice of one player building decks for everyone else in a 2-4 player game. Is this cheating? It does allow for more coordination and knowledge than would be possible otherwise, but is not cheating, and is common because it is difficult to plan out decks to work together well unless you're blessed with an abundance of free time. On the other hand, everyone showing up with a random deck is its own fun and its own challenge, but not superior in some moral sense.

 

Personally, I've always maintained that the table talk rule is itself silly and should not have been included in the rulebook. It could've simply been included in a "suggestions" section for players to use if they are worried about one player dominating all the decisions. One reason why is because, according to the letter of the rules, you can say "ambush Istari", or I have "shadow cancellation in hand", or "I have a Spirit ally that can boost defense" and it's perfectly valid. Why go through these contortions? People can argue about the spirit of the rule, but according to the rules themselves, the only thing that is strictly forbidden is reading actual text off a card or naming it. 

 

With that in mind, I follow every rule in the rules to the letter, except the table talk one. As I said, I don't think it should have been included as a rule, as unlike every other rule, it doesn't govern mechanics of the game, but what players can say to each other, which is an extremely odd fit in a cooperative card game. Another cooperative card game, Pathfinder ACG, provides no similar rule, for example. As we all know, the designers made a few odd decisions in the Core Set, simply because this model was so new.  

Edited by Raven1015

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When I play 2 or more player games we don't show each other our hands, and try to limit the amount of direct card referencing as much possible, but we have no problem asking another player if they have a card that will help in a certain situation, but ultimately it will be up to the player with the card to use it or not. On very tough situations we may strategize a bit more, and each player will say I can do this with these cards and such. The most strategizing generally takes place during the encounter and combat phase there is actually very little during the planning phase and players generally never suggest to a player which ally to play etc.

Two handed solo play, which i don't play any more, is really different then playing with another player. I stopped playing it because it seemed to alter the balance of the game and made it easier then playing with another player. Because I had control of both decks, i could plan a strategy that would not likely occur with a second player, unless we were playing completely open hands or the other player played the game exactly like I did.

For example, In 2 handed solo i could build decks and have a hero continually give his resource Bifur in the other deck, and then I could also have Theodred from the other deck always give his resource from questing to Bifur too. Further more, I could have the other deck play SoG on Bifur. Most likely this would not happen in a real 2 player game, unless players sat down and said this is exactly how we are going to play these decks, which is a valid way to play, but there would probably still be some minor differences in player choices, unless every card played was okayed by both players, which would then completely break the table talk rule, but at that point even with a second player, they are pretty much playing a solo 2 handed game. Most players I have played with would not want to loose 2 resources per round and give up SoG, and they also want to have freedom in the chocies they make to enjoy the game. Even if i disagree with a choice, i still need to respect how they are playing the game, or else it's not going to be very much fun.

So, generally I think 2 handed play allows for deck building and game play strategies that are usually not likely to occur in regular 2 player games. I will not say it is cheating since it's a non competitive game and we can play how we like, but I can see why it would be considered illegal and not supported as an official play style by FFG.

Couldn't ( and didn't) say it better myself. 2 player solo is easier then 2 player bc you can synergize both decks better. That's why it's technically cheating.

You can play chess where a rook can move diagnoally if you want. It's your game just like this is. But two handed solo, as the rules are written, is easier then playing solo or multiplayer and is not an officially reconginized way to play. If your thoughts are that this should be officially supported then it would be nice to have a FAQ for this.

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I'm struggling to understand why there is so much scrutiny being placed on this game in particular.

 

Consider the following:

- The Twilight Imperium forums have entire conversations about how players have changed the rules to meet their needs.  At no point does anyone feel that their experience is invalidated.

- I've played the Star Wars LCG by myself. The rule book say it's for 2 to 4 players. In no way do I feel that this rule somehow invalidated my experiences, 

- Arkham Horror is a 1- 8 player game, but I have the option of controlling 8 investigators by myself.  I then have the option to plan out my entire team's actions.  This is allowed per the rule book

 

 

We all play board games the way we want to all of the time.  So, what's the "meta-game element" that has brought so much scrutiny to this game? 

 

Here's another example: two people play a pick-up game of LotR and have the same hero.  Often the game will commence anyway (it's not worth the time to redesign decks).  This issue is discussed much less often of these forums, but the issue of table talk seems to spring up much more often (and with more passion). why?

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I'm struggling to understand why there is so much scrutiny being placed on this game in particular.

 

Consider the following:

- The Twilight Imperium forums have entire conversations about how players have changed the rules to meet their needs.  At no point does anyone feel that their experience is invalidated.

- I've played the Star Wars LCG by myself. The rule book say it's for 2 to 4 players. In no way do I feel that this rule somehow invalidated my experiences, 

- Arkham Horror is a 1- 8 player game, but I have the option of controlling 8 investigators by myself.  I then have the option to plan out my entire team's actions.  This is allowed per the rule book

 

 

We all play board games the way we want to all of the time.  So, what's the "meta-game element" that has brought so much scrutiny to this game? 

 

Here's another example: two people play a pick-up game of LotR and have the same hero.  Often the game will commence anyway (it's not worth the time to redesign decks).  This issue is discussed much less often of these forums, but the issue of table talk seems to spring up much more often (and with more passion). why?

 

I feel these are functionally different examples.

In your TI example the players are actively discussing house rules - that is, no one is surprised that everyone is talking about rules modifications - because everyone is. (In the same vein I may discuss a house rule to my role-playing game).

You playing a game with the wrong number of players in the star wars example does not invalidate your experiences. However I believe that if you were to take that play experience and then try to suggest, for instance, balance changes where some cards turned out to be rubbish or too good - that other players could legitimately call you out on trying to say your play experience should impact theirs when you're intentionally house ruling.  -

Ultimiately I feel the problem that 7theye and now Tracker1 are highlighting is that fundamentally playing two handed is not the same as the experience that's supported by the game designers and therefore it would be akin to you saying that your solo experience should lead to other players experince being changed (if you asked for errata say). I don't think anyone is claiming that playing a variant is itself a problem, rather playing it and then trying to change the game through discussion and not acknowledging the variant is wrong.

Your Arkham Horror example is completely off topic because the rules specifically allow exactly what you're saying. Arkham Horror also contains no hidden information at all. Therefore a group of players playing it together could discuss everything just like an individual playing 8 (and you must be mad if you do) investigators them-self.

The meta-game element that brings so much scrutiny is that we're on a forum for this game - and so everyone here likes to discuss the game extensively. This leads to people who play variants that are commonly accepted but unsupported potentially asking for strategies or plans which other players think should never be allowed.

In a pick-up game I would not play with someone that had the same hero as me, I would rather play with someone else or play a different deck. Two spirit glorfindels or two Eowyns (or imagine two lore pippins with +6 or 7 to every enemies engagement threat) is just too imbalanced to make the game fun for me.

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