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Secret Hitler» Forums » Rules

Subject: Policy Peek Frequently Gives Free Liberal Policies rss

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Steve Jerkle
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In a six-player game last night, the (liberal) President used the Policy Peek power to look at the top three cards of the policy deck. He told us they were all three liberal policies, so we should just refuse to elect a government and get three free policies. It dawned on us that a liberal President should, if true, always say "the next x policies are liberal" and get them into play this way.

This seems like quite a design flaw to me. A fascist has no argument against this course of action, and even a fascist President can get at most one policy enacted by lying about the order of the cards (after which they are unequivocally identified as fascist).

Have other groups encountered this problem? Are we overlooking something? If not, then a simple fix is to shuffle the policy deck with the discard pile every time a policy is enacted through the Election Tracker. Do you have other ideas?
 
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Carl G
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Re: Policy Peek Always Gives Free Liberal Policies
We just play where the prez doesn't get to say anything until after the next policy has been enacted. Then he/she can confirm or deny the play, possibly creating more doubt among the players.
 
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Chris Stoner
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Re: Policy Peek Always Gives Free Liberal Policies
At the game state you're describing the best case scenario for liberal policies in the draw deck is 6 out of 8 cards (3 fascist policies enacted to get Peek, no liberal policies discarded by the first three governments). That is obviously incredibly unlikely since it would require the game to start with 9 fascist policy cards on the top of the deck. If that scenario occurs, and the current President is a liberal, and the top of the deck is three liberal policies, then at best you will have a state after the failed election spree of three liberal policies enacted, three fascist policies enacted, and very little useful information about who at the table is a fascist.

There is also the case where the above occurs except that two liberal policies are in place already, allowing the forced elections to win the game, but the odds of having three liberal policies on top of the deck are much lower in that situation (you've probably triggered a reshuffle by then, so best case is something like 4 out of 12 cards in the deck are liberal, so you'll be lucky to have even one on top).

So in an unlikely scenario this can win the liberals the game, and in other scenarios it can give the liberals a couple free policies, at the price of less information about people's voting patterns/policy decisions in a game state where the game can now end instantly with a Hitler election.

I think the scenario you encountered was an outlier that the liberals played correctly, but it's unlikely to ever come up again.
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Steve Jerkle
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Harl wrote:
We just play where the prez doesn't get to say anything until after the next policy has been enacted. Then he/she can confirm or deny the play, possibly creating more doubt among the players.


This is a nice approach. Thanks.

Mystrandir wrote:
At the game state you're describing the best case scenario for liberal policies...


I didn't mean to suggest that three liberal policies was common, but that there will be many games where the Liberals get at least one "free" policy using this metagame tactic. (I did mistakenly use "always" in the title.)

Mystrandir wrote:
in other scenarios it can give the liberals a couple free policies, at the price of less information about people's voting patterns/policy decisions in a game state where the game can now end instantly with a Hitler election.


I think this is a good objection. The policy is not entirely free; it comes at the cost of less information. Only the Liberals would have come closer to victory by using this tactic, however, so I think the balance always falls in favor of the free policy. More experience could change my position on this, however.
 
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K
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The policy peek does tend to lead to some boring (IMO) plays, though not the majority of the time. It's sort of an awkward power anyway, but at least it's absent when playing with more than 6 players.
 
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I believe the best way to use the policy peek power, in a fair way for fascists & liberals, is for a shuffle of the three cards be done after the peek. This opens the way for fascist bluffs and also closes the door on auto top-decking the liberal policy.
 
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Steve Jerkle
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SirHandsome wrote:
The policy peek does tend to lead to some boring (IMO) plays, though not the majority of the time.


Not a majority of the time, but it's still quite frequent.

dalleck wrote:
I believe the best way to use the policy peek power, in a fair way for fascists & liberals, is for a shuffle of the three cards be done after the peek.


Interesting idea, if a little chaotic.
 
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