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Subject: Rule check: looking at discards rss

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Marc Bishop
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I had a very strange experience on Vassal where a player freely admitted on turn 8 that he was looking at the discard cards whenever he felt like it to keep track on the score cards (and hence all other played cards) that could be either in my hand or upcoming.
Although the TS instructions do not clearly prohibit this, I would consider it a huge advantage to be able to keep track of all the discard cards without making any mental effort to do so.
In addition, I always thought that Salt negotiations and Star wars explicitly gave the player an indirect advantage to not only take a discard, but see everything that has been discarded up to now (while leaving the opponent in the dark). Conversely, "Ask not what your country can do" allows the US player to discard cards without revealing them to his opponent, creating intrigue for the USSR.
Being able to sift through the discards at any time seems to take away power from these three cards.

Finally, if you would tend to say that players may look into the discard pile as they pleased, would you agree that players can look into it right before playing "Salt negotiations" or "Star wars"? Allowing players the chance to look at discards before playing a card that explicitly allows them to look at the discards seems counter intuitive especially for this type of advanced game.

Does anyone know the official policy on this? I do not believe that being able to do so on Vassal necessarily means this is being done in tournaments face to face or should even be done at all.
 
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Conor Hickey
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Page fifteen of the FAQ:

Quote:
Q. Is a player permitted to examine the cards in the discard pile?

A. A player may do so at any time.


It's open knowledge, which means the US player cannot 'hide' the cards he discards via Ask Not... for example - the cards he returns to the draw pile are not revealed, but those discarded are.

(edit) mixed up Ask Not... with Our Man in Tehran.
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Marc Bishop
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TwoShedsJackson wrote:
Page fifteen of the FAQ:

Quote:
Q. Is a player permitted to examine the cards in the discard pile?

A. A player may do so at any time.


It's open knowledge, which means the US player cannot 'hide' the cards he discards via Ask Not... for example - the cards he returns to the draw pile are not revealed, but those discarded are.


Ask not card text:
"The US may discard up to their entire hand of cards (including scoring cards) to the discard pile and draw replacements from the draw pile. The number of cards to be discarded must be decided before drawing any replacement cards from the draw pile."

Not sure what you mean by "returns to the draw pile" since the card does not mention cards returning to the draw pile, but only being moved to the discard pile.

--
I see that TS is less demanding of its players than I thought memory wise... Shame it missed a couple of opportunities to give the mentioned cards additional indirect strength to its users by refreshing their memories or keeping some discards secret.
 
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Derry Salewski
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Well it seems silly to punish a player who has a slightly worse memory of what is 99% totally open information.

Sounds like the first reply was thinking about Our Man as an example as well.
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Kristian Thy
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The contents of the discard pile is public knowledge. We're playing a strategic game here, not Memory.
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Conor Hickey
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Prisme wrote:
TwoShedsJackson wrote:
Page fifteen of the FAQ:

Quote:
Q. Is a player permitted to examine the cards in the discard pile?

A. A player may do so at any time.


It's open knowledge, which means the US player cannot 'hide' the cards he discards via Ask Not... for example - the cards he returns to the draw pile are not revealed, but those discarded are.


Ask not card text:
"The US may discard up to their entire hand of cards (including scoring cards) to the discard pile and draw replacements from the draw pile. The number of cards to be discarded must be decided before drawing any replacement cards from the draw pile."

Not sure what you mean by "returns to the draw pile" since the card does not mention cards returning to the draw pile, but only being moved to the discard pile.

--
I see that TS is less demanding of its players than I thought memory wise... Shame it missed a couple of opportunities to give the mentioned cards additional indirect strength to its users by refreshing their memories or keeping some discards secret.


Sorry, mixed it up with Our Man in Tehran - those cards not discarded with that event are returned to the draw pile.
 
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Max DuBoff
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Almos all of the serious players I know occasionally look at the discard. I know I personally usually subconsciously keep track of the scoring cards, but I occasionally look at the discard just to check.


The key here is using the information. Looking a the discard means virtually nothing if you're not looking for a specific card(s). Players new to know what to look for. Experienced players will use this information for determining where to place influence, assessing the likelihood of a DEFCON loss for a given headline, etc.


Although Kristian was probably a bit harsh in how he expressed this, the game is not simply about memorizing cards; it's about forming a coherent strategy.
 
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Michael Kiefte
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MD1616 wrote:
Almos all of the serious players I know occasionally look at the discard. I know I personally usually subconsciously keep track of the scoring cards, but I occasionally look at the discard just to check.


However, when playing live, I have often experienced the situation where I know why my opponent is looking through the discards. For example, if there's a card that I've been waiting for and it hasn't come out yet and my opponent digs through the discards, I'll usually suspect he's looking for the same card.

I almost always dig through the discards to look for scoring cards when we're close to a reshuffle. I've basically just given up keeping track of those as it's so easy to check and I have a frail mind. But I'll announce that to my opponent and call out the ones I find just so he doesn't suspect that what I'm really doing is looking for UN Intervention or some other important card. (However, I'm really looking for UN Intervention)
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Kristian Thy
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mkiefte wrote:
(However, I'm really looking for UN Intervention)


When playing FTF, I prefer to put the played scoring cards aside in a separate discard pile for ease of reference. I didn't realize that would have the side effect of thwarting your mind games
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Conor Hickey
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If you need to check the discard pile at all you should probably make a habit of doing it every couple of turns whether you need to or not, as otherwise you're usually just telling your opponent you have either SALT or Star Wars.
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Max DuBoff
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On a side note, I know sometimes if I'm looking through the discard my opponent will actually ask which scorings have been played.
 
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Paul M
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The next time my opponent looks through the discards, I'm going to totally fake him out by asking if he can find a card that I already have in my hand. I'll be like "Dude, can you find if Summit is in there?" then he totally won't be expecting it when I play it.
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Derry Salewski
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turbothy wrote:
mkiefte wrote:
(However, I'm really looking for UN Intervention)


When playing FTF, I prefer to put the played scoring cards aside in a separate discard pile for ease of reference. I didn't realize that would have the side effect of thwarting your mind games


If I did that we'd be wondering why there was no scoring after round three . . .
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Nikos Kalfin
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You say that a player MAY look at discards.
However, in vassal I cannot do it. I used to be able to in older versions but it seems impossible now. is there a way to do it?
 
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Michael Kiefte
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ektorakos wrote:
You say that a player MAY look at discards.
However, in vassal I cannot do it. I used to be able to in older versions but it seems impossible now. is there a way to do it?


I'm not at a computer but as far as I know, all you have to do is open up the decks window, right click on the discards and select something like "draw from deck". It never lets you actually do that, but you can see a list of cards there.
 
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René Schep
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That's an awfully convoluted way to just check the discards.
 
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Michael Kiefte
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Valandor wrote:
That's an awfully convoluted way to just check the discards.


Unfortunately, there were no real alternatives.
 
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