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Subject: That D***ed Elusive Master Spy rss

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Stephen Bowden
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The Master Spy goes to the back of the line each time an Action Card is played. But what if the Action Card involves randomly rearranging the line? After the line is redealt out does he stay where he is put until the next Action Card, or does he still go to the back of the line? We tend to play the former, which means he is taken if he is dealt out first, and usually taken if he is dealt out second, but is this right?

cheers
Stephen
 
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Devi "Day" Hughes
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Re:That D***ed Elusive Master Spy
StephenBowden (#6800),

We interpret the rules to mean that the Master Spy's move occurs *after* an Action Card's effects occur, but before you execute. This pretty much means that the Master Spy is always to last in line to be executed.

I don't actually know which interpretation is correct. Ours just seems to "feel" right to us.
 
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Matthew M Monin
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Re:That D***ed Elusive Master Spy
StephenBowden (#6800),

It depends on if the correct interpretation of the Master Spy's text is:

a) an Action Card is played - the Master Spy is moved to the back of the line - the Action Card is carried out

or

b) an Action Card is played - the Action Card is carried out - the Master Spy is moved to the back of the line

I've always played using the latter, but I'm not 100% certain that that is correct.

-MMM
 
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Tony Smerychynski
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Re:That D***ed Elusive Master Spy
Octavian (#6824),

we played that the action gets carried out after the spy moves to the back of the line, and it seems to work well. Otherwise he's just so darn difficult to cop his head off...
 
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Steven Hall
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Re:That D***ed Elusive Master Spy
He is "Zee Master Spy, mai oui?"

It *should* be difficult to lop his head off otherwise he wouldn't be "Zee MAster Spy". Why is it so hard for people to accpet this and let him be difficult to catch? Afterall, he is "Zee Master Spy".

Steven H.
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Lee Williams
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Re:That D***ed Elusive Master Spy
shall1028 (#10651),

I agree with Steven. Since playing an Action card is OPTIONAL. You can kill the SPY when he gets to the front of the line by NOT playing an action card. Hard to get him; maybe. Impossible: No.
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Rob Rob
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Official Master Spy Solution
ljw74us (#10693),OK, OK, I have the official answer to the "Spy Question". I wrote WotC and asked: "The Master Spy card goes to the back of the line each time an Action Card is played. There are two possibilities: a) an Action Card is played - the Master Spy is moved to the back of the line - the Action Card is carried out or b) an Action Card is played - the Action Card is carried out - the Master Spy is moved to the back of the line"

"Steve" at Wizards of the Coast Customer Service replied:

"The answer is B, there is no way to play a card to get the master spy to the front of the line without him just going back after the cards effects."
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Phil Nicolle
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
Robrob (#17154),

Well how about the "Confusion in Line" card. That card reads: "Choose a player. Randomly rearrange the line just before that player collects his or her next noble."

Should the spy move back 1) after the card is played (but no actual rearrange has occured yet), 2) after the random rearrange of the line or 3) both times.

Note, if you pick 1) you can use the card on yourself and might bring the spy to the front and get him which seems against the quote from WotC.

If you pick 2) that means the spy doesn't move back on the turn the card is played (although in all likelyhood he's already at the back).

If you pick 3) the spy is potentially moved back twice which seems odd.

Phil
 
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Lexingtonian
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
philni (#24542),
I would pick #3, strange or not. If you always just move the Spy after a card is played, but before it has an effect (#1), The Spy could easily be brought to the front of the line by a card when the line is short. If you always just move the Spy after a card has had its effect, you wouldn't move the Spy after someone plays a card that just gives extra points at the end of the game. He must be able to do both. I think what makes the Master Spy a master of spying is that he can always get to the back of the line to escape the effect of an action card. It doesn't matter to him how odd it is, he just wants to live longer, and maybe escape.
 
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Lexingtonian
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
I should preview my comments before I post them. What I should have said was that what makes the Master Spy a master of spying is that he can move to the back of the line at every opportunity, whether an action card affects him immediately or not.
 
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Rob Rob
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
Curtis Anderson (#24552),

I would agree with you. Bearing in mind the WotC rep's earlier response, I think that the spirit of the master spy rule is that no matter what cards are played or what action(s) are taken, he ends up in the back of the line before the head falls.
 
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W. Eric Martin
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
Just to second (and third) other opinions, I've always played that the Action card's effect is carried out, then the Master Spy jumps to the end of the line.

That interpretation makes the most sense. Someone shuffles the cards, then the Spy moves back to safety. Someone pushes a noble three spaces ahead, then the Spy sneaks out of danger. However, in addition to frustrating your efforts to catch the Spy, this can be a good thing. If the Spy is second in line, you probably want to play an Action card so that the Spy stays out of the next player's basket.
 
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Martin Lærkes
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Re:That D***ed Elusive Master Spy
Hi all,
I too prefer moving the Master Spy at the very end - just before collecting.
I also find that this creates a small game within the game, where players try to become the last player to collect a noble (i.e. Master Spy) on that day.
IMO, this is one of the only situations where Extra Cart becomes useful.

Cheers
Martin
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
philni (#24542),

I have always played, and will continue to play, that you do everything your card forces you to do at this moment, then the Master Spy runs away, then you proceed to your 'beheading phase'. For *most* cards, this means that the Spy dodges the blade. I think "Confusion in Line" is an exceptional case, because the spy runs away long before the rearrangement takes place.

I would like to hear the WotC rep's answer to the specific case of "Confusion in Line", which is fundamentally different from, say, "Milling In Line", "Mass Confusion", etc... His answer, I believe, is built on the fundamental assumption that a card's action can be considered 'atomic'. And, I believe for every other card in the deck (except, arguably, Callous Guards - would you consider the decision to discard it to be a spy-triggering card action?) that assumption can be made. But "Confusion in Line" is strictly non-atomic. There might even be several player-turns that occur between the play of the card and its game effect.
 
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Rob Rob
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
"Atomic"?
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
Robrob (#78422),

From dictionary.com:

Atomic

(From Greek "atomos", indivisible) Indivisible;
cannot be split up.

For example, an instruction may be said to do several things
"atomically", i.e. all the things are done immediately, and
there is no chance of the instruction being half-completed or of another being interspersed. Used especially to convey that an operation cannot be interrupted.
 
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Michael Foster
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Re:Official Master Spy Solution
In our gaming group, we've decided that the spy moves to the end of the line after a card is resolved, but before moving on to a collection. We think Confusion in Line would take effect on a player effectively "tagging" them, and moving the spy to the end.....then when their next collection (or your own) is about to happen, the pending effect would go off....well after any cards had been played, and if you're lucky, you'll nail him at the front of the line.
 
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Brian Clymer
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StephenBowden wrote:
The Master Spy goes to the back of the line each time an Action Card is played. But what if the Action Card involves randomly rearranging the line? After the line is redealt out does he stay where he is put until the next Action Card, or does he still go to the back of the line? We tend to play the former, which means he is taken if he is dealt out first, and usually taken if he is dealt out second, but is this right?

cheers
Stephen


There isn't a simple end-all answer to this question. The more precise answer is that the movement of the Master Spy depends on what card is played. A fair majority of the action cards have effects that happen immediately. If the card you play calls for you to "randomly rearrange the line of nobles" you must FIRST resolve the action card by randomly rearranging the line, THEN the Master Spy moves to the back of the line.

If you play a card that asks you to "randomly rearrange the line of nobles immediately before collection of a noble" then this card has a delayed effect in which the resolution is NOT during the action phase, but rather in its own phase between action and collection. That being said, the Master Spy would move to the end of the line immediately upon play of said action card and just before collection you would randomly rearrange the line of nobles. So doing would cause the Master Spy to stay where he is placed in the new arrangement (he has already moved for this action card so cannot move again).
 
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