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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shards of the Throne» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Promissory notes: thoughts on binding agreements. rss

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Christopher Halbower
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I see the promissory notes have been added to the FFG website. It looks as if every race will have their own set of (hopefully unique) promissory notes.

I was thinking about how this will change TI3. Will adding "binding agreements" make TI3 better? Also, it looks as if promissory notes are part of the political process only. (I could be wrong). Would this make the political process of TI3 better?

Thoughts?
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Arrrrr'lex
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At least it will make the political process more interesting in offering the players something to barter.

I really look forward to this expansion as I really enjoy tabletalk and "actual" diplomacy, which seem to get improved through this.

So will this make TI3 a better game? For me, yes. For other players? Let them decide.
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Hector Flores
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I like it.

It would be interesting if some of these promises could have time-limits on them - say X turns before the promise expires.

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Christopher Halbower
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I think it could be fun. It may help make Political SC a more viable option. That, and the representatives.

I guess my concern is not so much with the promissary notes as it is with the agendas. Aren't there an awful lot of agendas that are fairly meaningless?
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Neil Parker
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Yes it looks like the notes are part of the political process only, so non-binding deals elsewhere. I like the idea of the notes since the payback for securing support is significant. In the games ive played the diplomacy during voting has been important and whilst time consuming its also fun. It will be interesting to see their effects on diplomacy.
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"It's a figure of speech, Morty"
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Here's the link: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=2130

I can't wait to play this new beefed-up political process
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Blake Thurston
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halbower wrote:
It looks as if every race will have their own set of (hopefully unique) promissory notes.


If you look at the cards closely, you'll see there is no race-specific symbol on them, only colors ala the technology cards. That implies that each player will have an identical set of them.
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Martin DeOlden
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Can't wait to start varianting.
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Christopher Halbower
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Riptorch wrote:
halbower wrote:
It looks as if every race will have their own set of (hopefully unique) promissory notes.


If you look at the cards closely, you'll see there is no race-specific symbol on them, only colors ala the technology cards. That implies that each player will have an identical set of them.


I assumed the racial symbols were on the back of the cards. If everyone has the same set of cards, FFG is losing an opportunity to flesh out the races.
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Jeff S
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Quote:
I assumed the racial symbols were on the back of the cards.

I think you're right. If there's no symbol, how do you keep track of who you got the promissory note from? Also, the text side of the cards have different collars, I would assume they match up with the race colors.
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Christopher Halbower
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sirjonsnow wrote:
Quote:
I assumed the racial symbols were on the back of the cards.

I think you're right. If there's no symbol, how do you keep track of who you got the promissory note from? Also, the text side of the cards have different collars, I would assume they match up with the race colors.


Agreed.
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Chris J Davis
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They could easily just match up to the spaceship colours, rather than the races (as the technology cards do).
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JH
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bleached_lizard wrote:
They could easily just match up to the spaceship colours, rather than the races (as the technology cards do).


Yeah, that seems likely judging by the colors shown (black, blue, gray). Could always put the promising player's flag on a card to make it stand out more.
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Lance Harrop
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tawnos76 wrote:
Can't wait to start varianting.


Down boy, down!
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Lance Harrop
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halbower wrote:
Riptorch wrote:
halbower wrote:
It looks as if every race will have their own set of (hopefully unique) promissory notes.


If you look at the cards closely, you'll see there is no race-specific symbol on them, only colors ala the technology cards. That implies that each player will have an identical set of them.


I assumed the racial symbols were on the back of the cards. If everyone has the same set of cards, FFG is losing an opportunity to flesh out the races.


I agree. It would certainly be better to have race specific promissory notes. Of course if they did the cards like they did the racial technologies the race symbol on the face would be in grey scale, which was actually pretty cool.

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Ger Lam
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hm. back to the topic on hand, i am quite split over the promissory notes.

While the idea itself seems great, i wonder about the execution.

e.g. the "vote in your favor"...as i don't know what will come up in the future, i'd be very reluctant to make that promise, lest i vote "Yay" for my own public execution, unless, of course, the price is equally big as the danger...but then who'll want to vote for me for a promise in the future?

All in all, i see the deliberation mechanic they want, but i guess, depending on playing style, some people will never use some of the cards, or only in very specific circumstances.

Take forcing someone to withdraw, for example. We have 2 big fleets sitting next to each other at the start of the round, each fleet one system from our homeworlds.
I can move in with a token force(just a destroyer, or maybe, if there's tasty planets, a carrier with GF and a screen.) and force your big fleet to withdraw. EITHER you go to your home system to protect it, meaning unless you have warfare 1, you are not going to produce there(not even with other abilities, as you'd likely exceed your fleet supply), AND lost the use of your fleet, plus will lose several more nearby colonies, ending up with 2 systems lost and a enemy fleet split across 3 systems ready to attack your homeworld the moment you move out.

Now say i specifically prepared(i know i am going to use the note on attacking you, after all) and took warfare myself, or production to get a new fleet right in place afterwards-

I see that they should have serious repercussions, but i would have preferred some with more direct and calculabel results...
Territorial Concession would be perfect for diploannexing a border world of note holders choice. So yep, there's still the uncertainity of which planet i'd have to cede...but i know i am going to lose exactly one planet, with it's contents ending up on my homeworld. Thats something i would vote for a minor thing for someone, or pay for the votes of someone.

The current cards seem a bit too "big" or too "small"(the spy one...while i can force you to target my own bodyguard to possibly get rid of your spy, i guess depending on playgroup that rock-paper-scissors game will be negligible) for me.
I want more in the way of medium risk-medium gain notes, which would fit MOST agenda's...it's something nice to be able to influence, but not worth taking risks over.

As it stands, some notes would only ever get picked for the most extreme agenda's, and the others would be declined for not being worthy of selling out one's votes...in my game group, that is.

They may work perfectly for others, but for me, they seem too extreme considering the possibly repercussions, i'd like to see them as a more "regular" kind of thing, not just for "extreme" cases.
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Blake Thurston
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MordredofFairy wrote:
As it stands, some notes would only ever get picked for the most extreme agenda's, and the others would be declined for not being worthy of selling out one's votes...in my game group, that is.


Isn't that the point though? There SHOULD be a variety of notes with vastly differing levels of powerfulness so the players have choices about exactly how much power to offer people for their votes. If you desperately need a vote to pass to accomplish your hidden objective which would push you over the needed VP for the win, I'll bet you'll offer the juiciest deals for that vote. On the other hand if the vote would be a nice to have that would net you some extra trade goods, then you'll likely want to offer some of the less potentially disastrous notes, like the spy one.

We've also only seen 3 of the notes, i'm willing to bet there will be a bunch more of varying powers.
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Greycloak
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I think the extreme's that you're speaking of are what make them valuable. Think about it, with the current political system some races end up completely powerless when it comes to the political process. Just thinking of Mindnet off the top of my head. The few influence that they have won't let them do a whole lot unless they're the deciding vote or allying with someone else on an agenda the other player wants. There's no way that they'll be able to compete with some of the other political powerhouses to get something that THEY want passed.

You throw in a guaranteed I will retreat at a space battle of your choice promissory note, and all of a sudden they have some voting power. People probably wouldn't take that note to vote in something that directly screws them, but they may take it for voting on an agenda that screws Mindnet's other neighbor. Something that they may not have done otherwise.

To be honest, besides TGs, what else is used to bribe votes? I've certainly never seen very large promises made, because as everyone knows those promises are worth as much as the breath that utter them. Even a promise of I'll vote for your next agenda will only work so well as the next agenda is not my public execution or something else that screws me directly. These notes change that.
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Christopher Halbower
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I reread the FFG blurb. I now believe the promissary notes are compulsory not optional. That is, if you give a promissary note to an opponent, he is compelled to take it and vote the way you want him to.

From FFG's site:
Whereas deals in Twilight Imperium (for Trade Goods or other favors) are generally non-binding, Promissory Note cards represent contracts that force the recipient to vote in favor of the player giving the note. Promissory Notes can be played later by the recipient, compelling the giver to abide by whatever “favor” is printed on the card. These favors range from forcing the original owner of the Promissory Note to retreat from a battle with the recipient, to handing over all of his Trade Goods.
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Christopher Halbower
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On second thought, I may be misreading this.
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Blake Thurston
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halbower wrote:
On second thought, I may be misreading this.

Yes, it's still a deal that you can either take or pass up, but if you take the deal, you have to vote in favor of the player giving you the note, but then when you use the note, the giver must do what the note says. Therefore the deal is now a binding deal (but one you could have rejected).

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Lyn Lee Fox
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The idea of allowing binding agreements sounds nice, but the examples they shown sound like they are mostly way too extreme for actual usage. Maybe if you could place a time limit on them or if you could break them in some way. And yes, allowing you to break the binding agreement may seem to defeat the purpose of it being binding, but maybe there's other downsides to it, like being able to spend a VP to break it or something.
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Daniel Hammond
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foxx wrote:
The idea of allowing binding agreements sounds nice, but the examples they shown sound like they are mostly way too extreme for actual usage. Maybe if you could place a time limit on them or if you could break them in some way. And yes, allowing you to break the binding agreement may seem to defeat the purpose of it being binding, but maybe there's other downsides to it, like being able to spend a VP to break it or something.


Not very binding then. What is the price of your soul worth? Obviously you won't give them unless you are getting a major advantage, something that should be worth more than the benefit you are handing over. Not investing into sub-prime mortgages are you?

Added: What I gave you a binding "rape our women and pillage our home system" agreement? What was I thinking when I got that bonus trade good?
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Henri Harju
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Hmm, are these Promissory Note cards restricted to political strategy and voting only. Or can you give and take these for any promises during the game? The wording on the preview seems to leave that interpretation open..

Preview wrote:
Promises, Promises

In addition to these crafty Representatives, players are also armed with Promissory Notes, which can be used to sweeten whatever deal they are offering their opponents.

Could these Promises be sold to other players, for example. Or exchanged for other promises.

Probably not.
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Christopher Halbower
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I believe they are part of the political process only.
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