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Codenames: Deep Undercover» Forums » General

Subject: I'd recommend not mixing this in with your base game rss

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Ian Toltz
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Got to play this last night, and I was sorely disappointed. The unsung hero of Codenames is its word list, chosen to have words with multiple distinct meanings, and the same care was not put into the word list for this version. For example, how many different meanings do "gigolo" or "vasectomy" have?

There are some good words in here that would fit in the base game (e.g. weed, bitch). I may go through the deck and selectively add words to the original that I feel would fit in. But as is, I'd strongly recommend against just shuffling this wholesale into your codenames set because there's no way to differentiate the cards and there's basically no good way to separate the sets after.
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Jerry Martin
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It isn't about how many meanings the words themselves have, but how you as a clue giver can tie many words together.

I haven't played it with the new version, and I'll reserve judgement until I do.
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James Clarke
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It's got nothing to do with how many different meanings a word has. The base game contains many words with singular meanings. It's all about how many different ways you might clue the word. In this respect, your example "vasectomy" might be clued using several different words.
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James Clarke
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I also would probably not mix the cards with the base game. Not for the reason you give, but to avoid having embarrassing words cropping up in a family game.

Anyway, did anyone say that the cards should or could be mixed together?
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Dan Blum
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Word with multiple meanings offer more ways to give clues, which generally speaking makes the game more interesting. There are some words in the original game which have only one meaning (e.g. "leprechaun"), but they tend to be harder to tie into multi-word clues for this reason.
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Jason M
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I grabbed this today, and the first thing I did was to take a look at the word list and see what I was in for. I was mostly hoping for double entendres that would mingle well with the base game due to the whole "multiple meanings" idea.

My estimation is that about 60% of these cards have superficially clean double entrendres on both sides. You could slip these cards into the main game without raising too many eyebrows.

The remaining 40% have at least one side that has only one "raunchy" meaning.

Only about 5% of the cards are single-meaning "raunchy" on both sides. These are the cards you definitely don't want to mingle.

For the other 35%, you could always flip the "bad" cards over to the one "clean" side if you weren't worried about your audience seeing the raunchy clue up front.

And the list is heavily sexual, but there's quite a number of alcohol, drug and scatological references as well.

I'm likely to mark my cards so that I can mingle the appropriate ones and then separate them later.
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Matthew M
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Syvanis wrote:
It isn't about how many meanings the words themselves have, but how you as a clue giver can tie many words together.


If a word has multiple meanings then it stands to reason that there will be more ways to draw connections between it and other words, does it not?

It is most certainly part of the reason some of the words made the cut for Codenames. Another is having a distribution of words that all fall into similar categories which can both make connections easier (when they are all colored for your team) or more difficult (when they aren't). Not diluting that distribution is another reason to not mix cards.

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Kevin Jonas

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Octavian wrote:
Syvanis wrote:
It isn't about how many meanings the words themselves have, but how you as a clue giver can tie many words together.


If a word has multiple meanings then it stands to reason that there will be more ways to draw connections between it and other words, does it not?

It is most certainly part of the reason some of the words made the cut for Codenames. Another is having a distribution of words that all fall into similar categories which can both make connections easier (when they are all colored for your team) or more difficult (when they aren't). Not diluting that distribution is another reason to not mix cards.


This. It's not just that words have multiple meanings. Most words do. It's if words can be related to each other. This is why I don't expect the two sets to really work well with each other. Look at the words in the original. Many are location based, or food based, or animal based, and such. You can definitely see the themes in the original. This new version has a bit more focused themes thus some words might only have one meaning. The themes are different so I don;t expect the words to work too well together.

I do plan on keeping both in the same box, but I do not plan on mixing the cards.
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Trent Boardgamer
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Hmm we get some pretty wild and interesting clues in standard codenames.

Given the words I've seen so far from this edition I'm not seeing an issue with mixing.

!!!! It certainly depends on the people you are playing with though, as does normal/original codenames.
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Trent Boardgamer
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Asmor wrote:
Got to play this last night, and I was sorely disappointed. The unsung hero of Codenames is its word list, chosen to have words with multiple distinct meanings, and the same care was not put into the word list for this version. For example, how many different meanings do "gigolo" or "vasectomy" have?

There are some good words in here that would fit in the base game (e.g. weed, bitch). I may go through the deck and selectively add words to the original that I feel would fit in. But as is, I'd strongly recommend against just shuffling this wholesale into your codenames set because there's no way to differentiate the cards and there's basically no good way to separate the sets after.


It's not really the meanings that matter but the linkage given the other words involved.

Clues:

Balls 2
Male 2
Sex 2
Penis 2
Banana 2
Dildo 2
Controversial 2
Etc.

So there are easy options for linkage (I could go on). It's not the immediate linkage that's the problem in this game, but the exclusive linkage. I need to make sure those clues don't also apply to other words on the table (Especially the assassin).

You certainly get hard tables in this game as the clue giver, but I'm not seeing where these words pose a problem in particular. Still if someone preferred to keep certain words out, again I can't see any negative impact from that, as there are already plenty of combinations for words.

Now the question is, do adult themes increase the gameplay? Meh. Maybe with the right crowd, but it's really just the same game which you will enjoy or won't regardless.


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Alan Bellamy
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The adult themes may bring over some fans of Card Against Humanity.


I'd suggest a list of sets of cards with similar themes in each set that could be substituted with each other instead of wholesale adding the two sets together. Although I would add that both games have surely been tested to work well as is, only to do this if you've played the games a lot and would like to change things up.
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Ian Toltz
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tinpot_creos wrote:
I would add that both games have surely been tested to work well as is


Why do you assume that? My understanding is that Vlaada is unhappy that this edition was created, which would imply to me that it was made at Target's behest, which would further imply that it didn't get the same level of polish that the original did (and that's reflected in my initial plays)
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Brett Leeson
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Your understanding? Do you have a source for that anywhere?
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Ian Toltz
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Just what I've heard. Only actual evidence is that this edition doesn't have him listed as a designer (on the cover or on BGG, at least; I don't have the rulebook handy so I can't check there). That seems pretty damning to me.

I'm sure he's not stupid enough to publicly put in writing that he's unhappy with a spinoff of one of his games.
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Colm McCarthy
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tool wrote:
...There are some words in the original game which have only one meaning (e.g. "leprechaun")...


In Ireland we have 500 words for leprechaun whistle
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Ian Toltz
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That explains my half-Irish half-Inuit friend who only ever talks about snow and leprechauns.
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Colm McCarthy
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Asmor wrote:
That explains my half-Irish half-Inuit friend who only ever talks about snow and leprechauns.


When would one ever have the need to talk about anything else?
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Darren M
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The first boardgame designed by Alan Smithee.
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chris holmes
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tool wrote:
There are some words in the original game which have only one meaning (e.g. "leprechaun"), but they tend to be harder to tie into multi-word clues for this reason.


Again, to re-emphasize, it's not about a word having one meaning vs multiple meanings, it's how many words can you tie into this word. Leprechaun could be described with green, lucky, charm, gold, small, fictional, rainbow, cereal, and I'm sure many others. Those words all can tie into other words on the table easily, and if not, you just give a clue that applies to one card. I haven't seen all of the words in undercover yet, but I'm sure if you are creative, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Will Beckley
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cdholmes wrote:
tool wrote:
There are some words in the original game which have only one meaning (e.g. "leprechaun"), but they tend to be harder to tie into multi-word clues for this reason.


Again, to re-emphasize, it's not about a word having one meaning vs multiple meanings, it's how many words can you tie into this word. Leprechaun could be described with green, lucky, charm, gold, small, fictional, rainbow, cereal, and I'm sure many others. Those words all can tie into other words on the table easily, and if not, you just give a clue that applies to one card. I haven't seen all of the words in undercover yet, but I'm sure if you are creative, it shouldn't be a problem.


Yes, you've described how to play and it is true the game works fine with single-meaning words. But the classic game does feature a great many words with multiple meanings and it isn't inconsequential that they are there. Sure, words with multiple meanings can be clued in more ways than many single definition words, but that's only part of it. A given word with multiple meanings will make a first impression on some players as one thing, and on some as another. This is interesting and comes into play in almost every game I've played. Sometimes the guessers don't consider a second meaning of a word and so never connect it to the clue. I am usually good about studying the words I'm clue-ing for multiple meanings, but less so others, and I often give a clue that matches one of the other team's words, just a meaning I hadn't considered. So while the game functions with any word list, it is as great as it is because of a carefully constructed word list, and that list succeeds in part because of its many multiple meaning words.
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