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Subject: Secrecy Rules rss

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Danilo Martins
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Hello,

I am moderating a game, and one of the players asked another player the following:
- Do you have ONE yellow, purple or blue card that is really high?
Second, do you have Scientific Research?
Third, do you have Investigative Committee?
Fourth, do you have Strategic Planning?
Fifth, do you have Critical Situation?

At this point I stopped the player, since I do believe that this is a stretch of the secrecy golden rule.

Do you guys think that I acted correctly? I don't think the player would have asked anything further in any way, but I do think that this can not only give a good idea of the player's cards, but also it would make a very dangerous precedent on our gaming sessions.

PS: Consider that the current player (who is being asked these questions) has 13 cards total
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Danilo Martins
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Also consider that the current player is not an unexperienced player
 
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Bill Grant
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I split this into two topics, and mind you there are many more experienced players than me to answer this:

Asking about skill card abilities:
For me I don't have a hard time with someone trying to encourage use of a certain card to help the team, but when asked like this it feels like they are just trying to find out what the other player is carrying.

Since it is an inexperienced player I am sure they will (or should) be open to a course correction. With more experienced players it gets tricky since everyone plays a bit differently.

Asking about high/low values:
Another thread covered this topic pretty well and the consensus was when talking of one card it should only be described as high vs. low, and when talking of multiple cards it can be described as high, medium, or low in the aggregate. Using adjectives like "really high" makes it too easy to figure out which card is played.
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Ricardo Donoso
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Well, the thing is, it is a very important test, and it is important to say that the player in question not only has 13 cards in his hand as he draws from 4 different colors.

We were deciding if we should GO for the jailbreak or just launch scout.

Those 4 answers would reveal (IF the answering player didn´t lie) 4 possibilities of around 30 possible types of cards that he can have, not mentioning that no numbers were revealed.
 
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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This is not the type of game where players should try to skirt around the secrecy rules for mechanical reasons.
Players should recognize the spirit of the Secrecy Rules and not go out of their way to push the limits, because this takes away from the fun and intent of the game.
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Ricardo Donoso
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Not entering the should or shouldn´t, we are discussing RULES, is it allowed or not?
 
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Hendrik R
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What he did is definitely a violation of secrecy. You can only ask about specific skill cards if it is relevant to the situation, and that does not include skill checks, since you can never ask or reveal information about single cards in a skill check. It's stated pretty unambiguously in the official FAQ.

Official FAQ wrote:
When adding cards to skill checks, players are forbidden from listing what card types, colors or strength they played into (or plan to play into) the skill check.

...

If a player is hoping that another player has a specific Skill Card ability, he may ask other players.
For example, if a player is thinking of using the “FTL Control” location during his Action step, he may ask if any players have a “Strategic Planning” Skill Card.
Players may admit to having a requested card, but are not required to.
This information should not be abused (for example, a player should not just list off all card abilities in his hand).


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Ricardo Donoso
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Furunkel wrote:
What he did is definitely a violation of secrecy. You can only ask about specific skill cards if it is relevant to the situation, and that does not include skill checks, since you can never ask or reveal information about single cards in a skill check. It's stated pretty unambiguously in the official FAQ.

Official FAQ wrote:
When adding cards to skill checks, players are forbidden from listing what card types, colors or strength they played into (or plan to play into) the skill check.

...

If a player is hoping that another player has a specific Skill Card ability, he may ask other players.
For example, if a player is thinking of using the “FTL Control” location during his Action step, he may ask if any players have a “Strategic Planning” Skill Card.
Players may admit to having a requested card, but are not required to.
This information should not be abused (for example, a player should not just list off all card abilities in his hand).



Those are NOT cards added to a skill check, those are cards that would be used as interrupts BEFORE the check.

If it was cards used during the skill check I would definetely agree.
 
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Ricardo Donoso
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I and quote that exact part of the FAQ, with some highligths:
Official FAQ wrote:
When adding cards to skill checks, players are forbidden from listing what card types, colors or strength they played into (or plan to play into) the skill check.

...

If a player is hoping that another player has a specific Skill Card ability, he may ask other players.
For example, if a player is thinking of using the “FTL Control” location during his Action step, he may ask if any players have a “Strategic Planning” Skill Card.
Players may admit to having a requested card, but are not required to.
This information should not be abused (for example, a player should not just list off all card abilities in his hand).


So, asking 4 of 30 possible card habilities sounds fair to me

 
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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rdonoso wrote:
Not entering the should or shouldn´t, we are discussing RULES, is it allowed or not?


Ruleswise, "really high" is most definitely in violation of the secrecy rules. You can only say "high" or "low" about the value of a single card.

The rest, I would say, is technically legal but bad sportsmanship.
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Hendrik R
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No, it's not fair. The option to ask about specific skill cards is there for skill card abilities, not for skill checks. I tried to quote only the relevant parts, maybe that was a mistake. It is important that the lines after the ellipsis are headed "Skill Card Abilities", while the first line is headed "skill checks" in the FAQ. Point is: you are allowed to asked about specific cards if their ability is relevant to the current situation. I fail to see how that could be the case with Strategic Planning in a jailbreak situation.
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Carl Bussema
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Trying to play secrecy rules by the letter of the law is just a bad idea.

The secrecy rules are about an attitude that everyone has to agree to before you start playing.

If you intend to go out of your way to bend the rules until you can find out information about exactly what's in someone's hand, you probably can, but why would you want to? You're playing the wrong game if you want perfect information about what's in somone's hand... go play Pandemic with open cards instead.
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Ricardo Donoso
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Furunkel wrote:
No, it's not fair. The option to ask about specific skill cards is there for skill card abilities, not for skill checks. I tried to quote only the relevant parts, maybe that was a mistake. It is important that the lines after the ellipsis are headed "Skill Card Abilities", while the first line is headed "skill checks" in the FAQ. Point is: you are allowed to asked about specific cards if their ability is relevant to the current situation. I fail to see how that could be the case with Strategic Planning in a jailbreak situation.


The SP was asked because the player wanted to launch scout instead of exit brig. The decision was "exit brig or launch scout".
 
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Ricardo Donoso
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InfoCynic wrote:
Trying to play secrecy rules by the letter of the law is just a bad idea.

The secrecy rules are about an attitude that everyone has to agree to before you start playing.

If you intend to go out of your way to bend the rules until you can find out information about exactly what's in someone's hand, you probably can, but why would you want to? You're playing the wrong game if you want perfect information about what's in somone's hand... go play Pandemic with open cards instead.


The in-game was easily solved, we just ended in rules discussions, to possibly house rule this for future situations.
 
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Robert Stewart
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rdonoso wrote:
Furunkel wrote:
No, it's not fair. The option to ask about specific skill cards is there for skill card abilities, not for skill checks. I tried to quote only the relevant parts, maybe that was a mistake. It is important that the lines after the ellipsis are headed "Skill Card Abilities", while the first line is headed "skill checks" in the FAQ. Point is: you are allowed to asked about specific cards if their ability is relevant to the current situation. I fail to see how that could be the case with Strategic Planning in a jailbreak situation.


The SP was asked because the player wanted to launch scout instead of exit brig. The decision was "exit brig or launch scout".


In that situation, with a new player, I'd be happy saying:

"If you have a high yellow or purple card, it may be worth trying to get out of the Brig so you can play more than one card into future skill checks. If you have a Strategic Planning - a purple card - then you can Scout without risking losing a raptor. It's your decision."

Depending on the circumstances, either could be the right play, so I wouldn't want to try guessing which he should actually have done, but as his decision, I don't see why anyone else needs to know anything about his hand...

Notice my advice was given in terms of reasons why he might prefer one choice over another rather than trying to find out his hand and then tell him the correct choice...
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Ian Madsen
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If the answer to a question would break secrecy, the question should not be asked.

Answering the first question would be a secrecy violation.

When it comes to skill checks, you may only specify "low/high". "Medium" may only be used if the specifying player contributes multiple cards into a skill check. Synonyms to "low/medium/high" are acceptable.

Qualifiers like "somewhat/very" are unacceptable.

Specifying card types (colors) is unacceptable.

Edit: Pointing out which colors are positive/negative is perfectly acceptable, the violation is specifying what color you contributed.
 
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Ian Madsen
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Questions 2-4 are unacceptable in this context (asking a player to list which cards they do or don't have).

The availability of interrupts (Scientific Research, Investigative Committee, Strategic Planning) should be a question posed to everyone, not a specific player.

Question 5 would have been acceptable, but in combination with questions 2-4 it became unacceptable.
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Ricardo Donoso
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But Ian, the rules specificly say
Official FAQ wrote:


If a player is hoping that another player has a specific Skill Card ability, he may ask other players.
For example, if a player is thinking of using the “FTL Control” location during his Action step, he may ask if any players have a “Strategic Planning” Skill Card.
Players may admit to having a requested card, but are not required to.
This information should not be abused (for example, a player should not just list off all card abilities in his hand).


So, asking IS allowed by the rules.

The questions was made open, but since the guy on the brig can only use one card on the test, we rather use HIS interrupts then the other players.
 
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Ian Madsen
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rdonoso wrote:
But Ian, the rules specificly say
Official FAQ wrote:


If a player is hoping that another player has a specific Skill Card ability, he may ask other players.
For example, if a player is thinking of using the “FTL Control” location during his Action step, he may ask if any players have a “Strategic Planning” Skill Card.
Players may admit to having a requested card, but are not required to.
This information should not be abused (for example, a player should not just list off all card abilities in his hand).


So, asking IS allowed by the rules.

The questions was made open, but since the guy on the brig can only use one card on the test, we rather use HIS interrupts then the other players.


My answer applies to the context provided by the OP.
 
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Mindy G
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rdonoso wrote:

The questions was made open, but since the guy on the brig can only use one card on the test, we rather use HIS interrupts then the other players.


But that's not your choice, that's his choice. They are his cards and it's his turn. It sounds like someone was trying to tell his player how to play his turn.

I think it probably would have been possible to make suggestions for the turn ("if you have x, y and z, you could do this, or if you have a and b, you could do this"), but grilling them for the contents of their hand is not acceptable.
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Carl Bussema
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Still sounds like you're trying to use the letter of the law to defeat the spirit of the law to me, and it doesn't matter what all of us tell you.

The most important thing is to agree on the rules before you play and then stick to them. If your groups enjoys playing the game in such a way that you don't have any problem with all of those questions, then play the game that way, but most of us would (and judging by responses here, do) find that level of interrogation unacceptable.
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Ricardo Donoso
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The case in question is a game I am playing with the OP, this is why I bought more context to the situation Ian.

The player being "interrogated" is a newbie, I was trying to tell him that he only could try to get out of brig if he was SURE that he could do so.

After the OP told me I was breaking the rules I asked him not to answer (we got in time to avoid him to answer) and we proceeded the turn in a different way (xo), but after that we got ourselves discussing the secrecy rules.

In my point of view it was not breaking the rules, but I agree that if we have a hidden Cylon he could see it as bad sportmanship.
 
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Ricardo Donoso
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The real question t be answered is: how many questions can you ask before it's considered excessive? one, two? The rules don't define it, they only say "you can't ask ALL of his cards.
 
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Robert Stewart
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rdonoso wrote:
The case in question is a game I am playing with the OP, this is why I bought more context to the situation Ian.

The player being "interrogated" is a newbie, I was trying to tell him that he only could try to get out of brig if he was SURE that he could do so.


Firstly, the statement you say you were trying to convey to him is false - he could try to get out of the Brig with no cards in hand and knowing no-one else would support his escape attempt.

Secondly, it sounds like the message you were actually sending was that he should only try to get out of the Brig if YOU were sure he could do so.

Yes, the answers to your questions were relevant to the decision of whether or not to try escaping the Brig or play Launch Scout, or do something else, but the player whose decision it was already knew the answers. You might have felt better about his decision if you knew the contents of his hand, but it wasn't relevant to any game-decision you had to make at that point.

You can tell the guy how you think the answers to those questions would change the right decision, but you don't need to know what the answers are to tell him that...
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rmsgrey wrote:
Firstly, the statement you say you were trying to convey to him is false - he could try to get out of the Brig with no cards in hand and knowing no-one else would support his escape attempt.

You can't just say that without knowing the context. On THAT specific case we were almost out of cards (except for him) and in a point where losing an action+cards would be critical. We could NOT afford that.

He knows that he can exit the brig even by just having a lucky destiny, but that was NOT the case.

Quote:
Secondly, it sounds like the message you were actually sending was that he should only try to get out of the Brig if YOU were sure he could do so.

I would like to replace that YOU by a "WE", and yes, that was the case, WE had to be sure that it would be a sure thing.

Quote:
Yes, the answers to your questions were relevant to the decision of whether or not to try escaping the Brig or play Launch Scout, or do something else, but the player whose decision it was already knew the answers.


AGAIN, he IS a newbie.

Quote:
You might have felt better about his decision if you knew the contents of his hand, but it wasn't relevant to any game-decision you had to make at that point.
I didn't wanted to know the content of hi hand, I wanted to know if it wa sa SURE THING.

Quote:
You can tell the guy how you think the answers to those questions would change the right decision, but you don't need to know what the answers are to tell him that...

That WOULD be the best thing if it was possible, but we were playing on a kinda of PBF where we are commited to playing fast, so to explain with details the reasons of my questions SURELY would have been better the anything else, but it was NOT possible.


We are missing the point here, the REAL questions:

The rules say that you can ask if a player has a card with an specific hability, A)HOW MANY cards you can ask? B)Someone with 13 cards and 30 possible card powers answering 4 questions is too much?
 
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