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Subject: Counterspell timing rss

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Gláucio Reis
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Can "Counterspell" be used when a player pays for an ingredient? It seems so, but I think it is, if not overpowered, just too nasty. Suppose that a player has a spell that allows him to pay any bid with fire, or with any elements in a forest region, for example. He wins the auction but the opponent with "Counterspell" uses it against him. He can no longer pay his bid and must lose all his cards. Is that correct?
 
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Frederick Soued
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Our intention was not to make this card that nasty. I would think that the fact that the Counterspell card can be used to prevent the opponent from winning the auction would be enough damage and that the intent of the rule forcing him to lose his cards is NOT triggered by the Spell in this case (i.e. the rule is intended to prevent someone from bluffing a bid that they really do not have enough cards to carry out vs. someone who cannot bid because of a spell).

At least, that is how we have interpreted that Spell Card in the past when we have play tested the game.
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Gláucio Reis
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OK, I suppose the auction is repeated then. Or does the second highest bidder win the auction?
 
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Alan R. Moon
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You can only use Counterspell to cancel a Spell Card. You can't use it to cancel Element Cards which is what players use to bid to buy Ingredients. You would have to cancel the Spell Card before the bidding begins.

Alan R. Moon
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Gláucio Reis
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I was wondering if that would be the case (using it before the auction starts), but I was assuming that the canceled spell (paying with fire, etc.) was used at the time of paying, so it seemed counterintuitive.

By the way, Alan, I noticed that this card didn't exist in Das Amulett and I feel the game would be better without it (or at least more to my tastes). I'm curious to know if you participated actively in the redevelopment of Wizard's Brew or it was totally done by the publisher.
 
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Alan R. Moon
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Rick is right. The object of the rule requiring a player to lose all his Element Cards if he can't pay for his bid was meant to prevent cheating, similar to a renege rule in trick taking card games. It was not meant to be used strategically as a way to allow one player to force another to lose all his cards.

I was totally involved in the development of WIZARD'S BREW with Face 2 Face Games. During that period, I think I talked to Larry Whalen, the owner of F2F, on the phone multiple times a day for weeks. It was one of the most fun experiences working with a game publisher. That is meant to be a positive statement, not a knock on other publishers. As far as I can remember (but it's been a long time), there weren't any changes to the actual card mix from the unpublished F2F version to the Gryphon Games version. But maybe Rick can confirm or deny?

If you prefer the game without the Counterspell, you should just take it out. I am a firm believer in playing a game the way you want to play it, regardless of what the rules tell you to do. Of course, you should let other players know the rules you intend to use to prevent disputes during the game. I understand counter type actions almost always cause timing issues in games, but I still like them.

Alan
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Gláucio Reis
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alanrmoon wrote:
The object of the rule requiring a player to lose all his Element Cards if he can't pay for his bid was meant to prevent cheating, similar to a renege rule in trick taking card games. It was not meant to be used strategically as a way to allow one player to force another to lose all his cards.

That brings another question. It appears to be common belief that the rule is meant to be used strategically as bluffing, to force an opponent to pay more. So, is bluffing in the spirit of the rules?

Quote:
I was totally involved in the development of WIZARD'S BREW with Face 2 Face Games. During that period, I think I talked to Larry Whalen, the owner of F2F, on the phone multiple times a day for weeks. It was one of the most fun experiences working with a game publisher.

Nice to know. Thanks for sharing!

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If you prefer the game without the Counterspell, you should just take it out. I am a firm believer in playing a game the way you want to play it, regardless of what the rules tell you to do.

I probably will (actually did it in my first game when I thought of the possibility of forcing a player to lose his element cards), but I'm the opposite. I usually prefer to play a game as intended by the designer - particularly if it is a major name with a lot of experience in the field - because I understand the game was playtested and balanced that way. However, I will make minor changes if something really bothers me and I feel they will not break the game (taking mandatory quests out of Lords of Waterdeep, for example).

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I understand counter type actions almost always cause timing issues in games, but I still like them.

My problem isn't really about timing, although I think that using "Counterspell" at the start of an auction has a huge potential for kingmaking. What I really dislike, in general, are powers that have a strong negative effect and target a single player.
 
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Alan R. Moon
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Bluffing is definitely not in the spirit of the rules, and it was never intended that it be allowed.
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