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FreakinYoda

Cone of silence

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How do you guys handle discussing strategy during the game?  I'm one of the Rebel characters.  I and my fellow rebels openly discuss our strategy in front of our Imperial friend.  I've suggested that we should have him in a cone of silence or wear headphone or at least we should whisper.    Comments?

Edited by FreakinYoda

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Hehe, this came up in my last couple sessions as the Imperial player. One of the Rebels said "Maybe we should get him to go into the other room, because he can hear all of our plans." It was more said in jest, but the point was a good one.

 

In the next session, one of the players communicated with another non-verbally and I was taken completely by surprise when they pulled a particular move that got them close to the objective (in this case, getting Han off the map). So yeah, I feel this example lends merit to your (and their) suggestion.

 

That being said, I wouldn't want to be excluded at any point during the game, nor would I want to exclude anyone else. So yeah, suck it up, Rebs. :P

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There are no rules prohibiting the imperial player from listening in on rebel strategy talk. We always played with open cards to get the "full" experience. Remember that 2-4 sets of eyes and brains usually are superior to 1 and thus the imperial player is fine having a bit of information advantage.

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how I personally feel on this is yes keep the imperial player in the dark about plans. I feel this way due to the rebel players know very little about the mission most of the time they don't know how to win an mission just have to guess as the imperial play know everything about the mission. Now it should be noted that myself and my gf is playing the campaign for the first time and I myself seem it odd the rebel player don't even know what they need to do to win the mission unless the imperial player wanted them to know. my feelings and thoughts could change as I play this more and stuff we on story mission 3 and the imperial player have won every mission.

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I've played 5 player campaigns and I've played a 2 player campaign where the Rebel controlled 4 heroes. While there is certainly a better dynamic with more players, the 2 player campaign we played was intense. Since I didn't know his strategy and he didn't know mine it was quite a chess match. I don't think you can create that environment with 5 players unless you kick the Imperial out of the room, but that's not fun. I will say that in one of the 5 player campaigns I played, all 5 players were IA veterans. We (the Rebels) didn't have to talk much strategy since we generally had an idea what was going on. That also made for a close campaign that the rebels won, but the final score was 6-6 (1 forced mission).

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I personally don't think that this game needs long term planning, except in the broadest strokes anyway, which the Imperial Player will not get much advantage from knowing. As long as discussion is mostly about x character will do on this turn, and other things are limited to "No need, I will deal with that" if you realise your hero is better equipped to deal with a certain situation and don't want to give away how there shouldn't be much issue the Imperial player overhearing discussion. If you want to whisper at the table that seems fair enough, but isolating the Imperial Player doesn't sound like fun to me.

 

The chances are that events will change so much anyway that planning massively in advance isn't that advantageous.

 

Also note, if your characters would be shouting things to each other, the Imperials could hear it and react to it, so in some ways it is more simulationist to allow overhearing. Some old school RPGs took this approach, with everything said at table to be presumed to represent what PCs were saying, and so the GM was entitled to have NPCs react to it.

Edited by borithan

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As the Imperial player in my campaigns, I find that knowing what's going to happen in any given mission trumps knowing what the Rebels are planning almost 100% of the time. Hearing them plan for something a couple activations in advance of a mid-round event that will render their scheme completely useless is a constant source of joy. :P

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My players are complaining about this, but considering they generally run circles around me, I don't really think they have anything to complain about!

 

I'm considering implementing a house rule...  they can go to another room and discuss preliminary strategies for the next mission.   But once they start, anything they say can and will be used against them...  thematically, its because my probe droids are listening in on them!  :D

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I think it may be good to have the Imperial player listen in.  Some of the preliminary mission text can be confusing and if the rebels are forming a plan based on something they misunderstood from the briefing (like hacking a door and blasting a terminal instead of the other way around) the imperial player can set them straight (it would be pretty poor sportsmanship to win because the other players misunderstood the mission objectives).  I know I would correct them anyway.  

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I'm considering implementing a house rule...  they can go to another room and discuss preliminary strategies for the next mission.   But once they start, anything they say can and will be used against them...  thematically, its because my probe droids are listening in on them!  :D

Probe droids? I think not. What about this pilot who is always in contact with the rebels? Do we know anything about him? And how did he get a hold of AT-ST in Weiss's base?

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I think it's only beneficial to have the IP listen to the strategy talks.

On one hand, I think it's a bad strategy if it can only be successful if the IP doesn't know what you plan to do. 

On the other hand, it's so helpful to just ask the IP to repeat a certain mission rule without having to go to the other room first and then I think it's not fun to leave the room. Also it's mostly the IP that knows the game and rules best and can intervene when heroes do their planning with a rule mistake in mind.

 

I wouldn't stop discussing when the IP leaves for a toilet break or anything though (and never minded my heroes doing that)

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I think it's only beneficial to have the IP listen to the strategy talks.

On one hand, I think it's a bad strategy if it can only be successful if the IP doesn't know what you plan to do. 

The problem is, while going through the various itinerations of the plan, you run the very real risk of pointing things out to the imperial that he hasn't noticed. Playing against your opponent is hard enough, but its worse when you're spitballing strategies for him.

When it comes down to the last two turns of the mission, and every movement point and every hit point is the difference between success or failure (my last mission came down to two points of damage between win and lose) then you *need to make sure the other guy makes all of his mistakes.

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I have just started a new campaign as the Imperial player. Sitting there I did get some information (that didn't stop me making tactical mistakes... shouldn't have driven Dengar forward), but it also meant I was there to remind them of the mission rules when they had a misunderstood (and if they had planned around would have led to them being at a disadvantage). I will admit there will be some occasions when hearing what the rebels are saying will be an notable advantage, but most of the time knowing the secret events is a much bigger deal and I think this game is best played more casually. I am not saying don't play to win (and I do need to be a little more ruthless... I should have blown up my droid to deny them 200 credits, for example), but I think reminding each other of minor slip ups (clearly stating that you are going to do something, and then forgetting, but not yet having proceeded to a place where it would change the game play), allowing take backs that didn't have any effects on subsequent events etc is a better way to play it.

 

Also, as said, it isn't the most fun atmosphere for one player to be sitting out of the room somewhere while everyone else is chatting, as well as being a bit impractical (as they will have to come back in in between each payer turn).

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I am imperial player.In first campaign rebels talked tactics in front of me and they lost most of game.

After that I ask them if they want to talk tactics and if they want to I put my head phones on,turn my back to the table and do something on my computer.

Games turned to be much more interesting that way.

 

So yeah...I`d suggest that all IP use head phones and look other way while rebels talk tactics.You`ll have more fun for sure! :)

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I have players that are indicating they want to try this as me listening in is an unfair advantage.  I have no interest in leaving the table every round for them to have a lengthy conversation and it will also draw the games out to far.  5 minutes per round on a 8 round limit, lets say the game goes till 6 or 7, thats an extra 30 minutes or more right there.

 

I decided that it would be fair for me to set up the board, read them the rules, then leave for a few minutes, maybe 2 minutes tops, let them discuss what they think will happen, then encourage them to ask me questions when I return to make sure they haven't messed anything up.  From there on in it is an open table and if they want to leave to discuss they forfeit an activation.

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I have had this suggested to me on several occassions. Honestly, my opinion has always been crystal clear, that if a group wants one of the players to spend a majority of the time playing a board game either outside the door or wearing sensory deprivation, then it's not an activity for me and I would be quitting the campaign then and there. There are plenty of digital games for those who would like a challenging game experience rather than the social activity that board games are.

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This is an interesting thread! I see the value of not letting the imp know what the rebels are planning, but I would add that at least with the right people it can be fun in its own way when you're all talking together, too. I'm playing my first campaign, with me as the imp and two friends as legendary rebels, but more often than not, we're all kinda on the side of whoever's turn it is. Both sides have pointed out "you know, if you did X, that could reeeeally suck for me" more than once. As long as it's all fun and games between friends, that can be fun too. 

 

Then again, with just two rebels it's also easier for them to simply whisper to one another, which they've also done when they have something particularly "special" in store for me. :P

Edited by UsernameNumber

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