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Subject: Is there an incentive to reveal your rival? rss

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Chris P
United Kingdom
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Super excited about this game. One thing I'm wondering is, to what extent is it important to keep your objective secret? In other words, how much harm is done by revealing who your rival is? What risks are associated with doing that?

Obviously you could lie (as you would if Federalist), but I'm thinking more in terms of negotiation. Say Player A wants to beat Player B, and Player C wants to beat Player D. Does it make sense for Players A and C to reveal their objectives, then co-operate to ensure they finish where they need to? It would be a bit rubbish if (some) players revealed their rivals near the start of the game then co-operated the whole game.

Does the game rely on the fact you can't trust the other person? Even if you don't trust them, what does it matter if they're lying if they help you beat your rival? I sorely hope for proper incentives to keep objectives secret, or at the very least secret until near the end.
 
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Lee Fisher
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m0rgana wrote:
Super excited about this game. One thing I'm wondering is, to what extent is it important to keep your objective secret? In other words, how much harm is done by revealing who your rival is? What risks are associated with doing that?

Obviously you could lie (as you would if Federalist), but I'm thinking more in terms of negotiation. Say Player A wants to beat Player B, and Player C wants to beat Player D. Does it make sense for Players A and C to reveal their objectives, then co-operate to ensure they finish where they need to? It would be a bit rubbish if (some) players revealed their rivals near the start of the game then co-operated the whole game.

Does the game rely on the fact you can't trust the other person? Even if you don't trust them, what does it matter if they're lying if they help you beat your rival? I sorely hope for proper incentives to keep objectives secret, or at the very least secret until near the end.


It seems strictly forbidden by the rules to reveal anything.

I assume this is to prevent the game from devolving to revealing and then optimizing for maximum people to win.
 
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Paul Newsham
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lfisher wrote:
It seems strictly forbidden by the rules to reveal anything.

I assume this is to prevent the game from devolving to revealing and then optimizing for maximum people to win.


Why would anyone do this? Winning alone is the best kind of winning.
 
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Dave Schmidt
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Yeah, I will go out of my way for a solo win in games where you can have joint wins.
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Lee Fisher
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OK Personally I didn't think of them as "joint" wins, each person just has their own victory condition.
 
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Brodie
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Tarnop wrote:
Why would anyone do this? Winning alone is the best kind of winning.


Winning is the best kind of winning. I don't care if I win by 1 point or 100, or if I win alone or if others win too. A win is a win.
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Colin Cherry
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Isn't winning alone also, as a general rule, impossible? At the very least nothing you can do in this game can make you win alone.

You can be at 3,000 capital and that isn't enough to win alone. Unless you can somehow fix everyone else at the exact same number (and below you) it is extremely unlikely for you to win alone. And, again, there is almost nothing you can personally do to create that situation.

I'm of the mind that Brodie is - a win is a win. I don't get why other people winning (or not winning) is relevant to my winning. With that said, this isn't Rex/Dune. It isn't like you get to say screw you to an alliance and break out on your own. You winning, winning by a huge amount, getting off to a huge lead early, etc. has no impact on whether or not others win.

To the OP however, the Learn to Play booklet, on page 5, and the Rules Reference, on page 2, say the following:

"Each player secretly looks at his rival card but cannot share
this information with other players."

It is therefore prohibited to even disclose who your rival is, let alone show the card to someone.

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Ben Rubinstein

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Batariel wrote:
It is therefore prohibited to even disclose who your rival is, let alone show the card to someone.



I think you guys might be missing the forest for the trees. It sounded like his question isn't so much is it legal for this to happen, but what are the ramifications of others deducing your hidden opponent.
 
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Colin Cherry
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epilepticemu wrote:


I think you guys might be missing the forest for the trees. It sounded like his question isn't so much is it legal for this to happen, but what are the ramifications of others deducing your hidden opponent.


I don't really think we are. I think we are saying "this game explicitly prohibits the disclosure". Which is different than a supposition. If the person thinks that you are unlikely to have them as a rival (for example, you are helping them get well ahead of you), but has no confirmation, they cannot feel safe in helping you due to the risk that you might leapfrog them later or that you might actually be the federalist.

If the question is "would this game be fun in a different ruleset in which rivals were all public information?" I'd say probably not. The Federalist becomes useless and cannot possibly win. It leads to a world in which alliances are fixed and you are almost as screwed as the Federalist if you end up drawing your own rival card. I would not recommend changing the rules to have rivalries be public.
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Cameron McKenzie
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I don't think you would want to reveal it.

If I reveal that a player is my rival, that player now knows I'm going to use my assets and decisions to drain his capital at every opportunity, so he will go out of his way to prevent me from having such opportunities, preferring to give them instead to the other players (one of whom might even use those opportunities to take ME down).

You might think "if players know they aren't my rival, they might be more willing to give me capital" but I don't think that's the case because it isn't actually bad for you if the player rivaling you gains more capital (it's good for them, but it's not bad for you because them beating you doesn't affect your chance of winning)

Revealing your rival also makes your motivations more transparent which could hurt your bargaining position. If my rival is Jinteki, and I have a choice between placing outages or placing sickness, I have a preference for placing outages because the latter is an opportunity for my rival to gain capital.

If my rivalry is unknown, I can come across as indifferently and possibly get someone to offer me something in exchange for choosing outage over sickness (especially Weyland(I think) who strongly prefers the outage).

But if my rivalry with Jinteki is known, everyone knows that I prefer the outage so I can't convince anyone to pay me to sway my opinion that way.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Batariel wrote:


I don't really think we are. I think we are saying "this game explicitly prohibits the disclosure". Which is different than a supposition. If the person thinks that you are unlikely to have them as a rival (for example, you are helping them get well ahead of you), but has no confirmation, they cannot feel safe in helping you due to the risk that you might leapfrog them later or that you might actually be the federalist.


Generally a player shouldn't care if another player surpasses them in capital, unless they rival that player (which is something they know ahead of time).

I'm okay with having the fourth highest capital... as long as my rival is fifth.
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Kim Choy
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Batariel wrote:
Isn't winning alone also, as a general rule, impossible? At the very least nothing you can do in this game can make you win alone.

If you mean beating the game and winning your objective without the help of the other players, then yes probably. But it is certainly possible to achieve a Solo victory in the game.
 
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aaron belmer
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I just wanted to add that this is a great conversation, no one trolling, everyone behaving themselves, both agreeing and disagreeing and discussing with respect. Great conversation working through the intricacies of the rules and motivations for obfuscation. Really looking forward to this game.
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Nushura
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MasterDinadan wrote:
I don't think you would want to reveal it.

If I reveal that a player is my rival, that player now knows I'm going to use my assets and decisions to drain his capital at every opportunity, so he will go out of his way to prevent me from having such opportunities, preferring to give them instead to the other players (one of whom might even use those opportunities to take ME down).

You might think "if players know they aren't my rival, they might be more willing to give me capital" but I don't think that's the case because it isn't actually bad for you if the player rivaling you gains more capital (it's good for them, but it's not bad for you because them beating you doesn't affect your chance of winning)

Revealing your rival also makes your motivations more transparent which could hurt your bargaining position. If my rival is Jinteki, and I have a choice between placing outages or placing sickness, I have a preference for placing outages because the latter is an opportunity for my rival to gain capital.

If my rivalry is unknown, I can come across as indifferently and possibly get someone to offer me something in exchange for choosing outage over sickness (especially Weyland(I think) who strongly prefers the outage).

But if my rivalry with Jinteki is known, everyone knows that I prefer the outage so I can't convince anyone to pay me to sway my opinion that way.


This. Even if you were allowed to reveal (and you are not), it is a terrible move.

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Anthony Rubbo
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Agent Archer wrote:
Tarnop wrote:
Why would anyone do this? Winning alone is the best kind of winning.


Winning is the best kind of winning. I don't care if I win by 1 point or 100, or if I win alone or if others win too. A win is a win.


True. If you ever trade a 100% chance of a shared win for a <100% chance of winning solo, you're not playing to win (or, you're playing to win a different game than the one in front of you).
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Lee Fisher
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Has Clyde Hard Claimed Federalist yet?
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Colin Cherry
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Nushura wrote:

This. Even if you were allowed to reveal (and you are not), it is a terrible move.



I actually disagree. It just pushes the game to a place where everyone else is forced to reveal. If you revealed, someone else that was not your rival and did not have you as a rival would reveal. Then you would be an impenetrable two player team which would give you a very substantial lead over other players (you'd have double the buying power and the power of perfect collusion). That game state would force everyone else to reveal.

That world is a world in which the Federalist card is worthless (and auto-loss) and being your own rival is a difficult world state since you have to get more people to either agree to be below you or force more people into a losing state.
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Chris P
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Lots of interesting points. Perhaps I should've made in clear that I'm aware of the rule that your rival must remain secret, but we all know how easy it can be to suggest "I don't mind if you're ahead of me" or "I'm quite happy with my current capital position" or words to this effect. For the purposes of negotiation, this is often sufficient.

I think I agree with MisterDinadan regarding it weakening your bargaining power. There is a high degree of deception where in reality you are vested in a certain outcome (through hidden cards such as investment and your rival), but you act as if you're disinterested and so need incentive (i.e. a beneficial trade).

But then I can also see open collaboration taking over when knowledge of objectives become too open. This screws over both the poorest guy and the Federalist. Not fun, I'd argue, but also perhaps the optimal play for the players in a good position. My hope is that this is avoided.

Sort of reminds me of the question Google used to ask about splitting treasure between pirates. You give nothing to just under half the pirates, and split the rest equally amongst everyone else.
 
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Colin Cherry
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m0rgana wrote:
Lots of interesting points. Perhaps I should've made in clear that I'm aware of the rule that your rival must remain secret, but we all know how easy it can be to suggest "I don't mind if you're ahead of me" or "I'm quite happy with my current capital position" or words to this effect. For the purposes of negotiation, this is often sufficient.

I think I agree with MisterDinadan regarding it weakening your bargaining power. There is a high degree of deception where in reality you are vested in a certain outcome (through hidden cards such as investment and your rival), but you act as if you're disinterested and so need incentive (i.e. a beneficial trade).

But then I can also see open collaboration taking over when knowledge of objectives become too open. This screws over both the poorest guy and the Federalist. Not fun, I'd argue, but also perhaps the optimal play for the players in a good position. My hope is that this is avoided.

Sort of reminds me of the question Google used to ask about splitting treasure between pirates. You give nothing to just under half the pirates, and split the rest equally amongst everyone else.


I mean I think that lying is a big part of this (and other) games. But I think there is a big difference between saying "look man, I'm not concerned about having more capital than you" and literally revealing your rival. As I noted before, the first provides no certainty, especially in a game with a traitor, where the latter provides certainty that can be used to form worry-free alliances. As you say, perfect information with no risk of backstabbing creates a world in which perfectly rational pirates just screw a minority of players.

I think open collaboration is good. I think people should say things like "I'm happy with my current capital position" if, for some reason, they are playing with people naive enough to care about that statement. Making people comfortable is the best way to get them to deal with you. In this particular game while you are prohibited from even lying (effectively) about who your rival is - you can't tell anyone who your rival is, though you could say it was someone that you don't actually have I guess, though I see no purpose in that - you aren't prohibited from trying to mislead people into thinking that you are comfortable with helping them.

I just feel like there is a huge difference between perfect information (a reveal) and supposition. And for a game that really seems to have every other mechanic hung on the scaffolding of a bluffing/negotiation element, I don't at all think that perfect information will work.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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If you are in the last position and the other players are openly conspiring to keep you there, then it's time to engage in some brinksmanship. Every time you are given a chance to do harm, say "I'm going to do this unless somebody pays me."

Since this game makes agreements binding if they can be fulfilled immediately, players need only offer you enough capital to ensure the situation is resolved in a way they desire.

And at least one of the other players probably has a comfortable enough lead on his rival that he's willing to pay some capital to keep the game going.

But I think such collusion is unlikely. Your only goal is to stay ahead of your rival. Going out of your way to help other players stay ahead of their rivals as well is a waste of your resources.

"I'll help you take down A if you help me take down B," is a non-binding agreement. In a game that allows binding agreements, why would you rely on something non-binding? Instead, just offer to players some capital in exchange for making decisions that hurt your rival, and know they will do the same. It's business after all.
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Big Head Zach
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How close you and other players are to 25 Capital changes perceptions as well.
 
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Tyler DeLisle
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swoop_ds wrote:
Yeah, I will go out of my way for a solo win in games where you can have joint wins.


You're going to have issues with this game then, pretty much the only way you can have a solo win is to be the Federalist.

I asked the Fantasy Flight rep if there was any way to have, a most-winning person and he said there was nothing in the rules, I figured it would be a house rule to have a secondary win condition of being the most profitable business in the end.
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Chris J Davis
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TyDeL wrote:
swoop_ds wrote:
Yeah, I will go out of my way for a solo win in games where you can have joint wins.


You're going to have issues with this game then, pretty much the only way you can have a solo win is to be the Federalist.

I asked the Fantasy Flight rep if there was any way to have, a most-winning person and he said there was nothing in the rules, I figured it would be a house rule to have a secondary win condition of being the most profitable business in the end.


If you introduce any aspect of having a single winner, it will completely break the game.
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Cameron McKenzie
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The possibility (and likelihood) of multiple winners without players being on rigidly defined "teams" is one of the most appealing things to me.
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Milan Mašát
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I do not see why solo is not viable?
Lets say players 1,2,3,4 end the game in position 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.
If 2nd has rival 1, 3 has rival 2 and 4 has rival 3, then if 1 is having rival 4 than he is solo winner. If player 1 is federalist there can be a situation when everybody loses!
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