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Subject: The Function of "Build" in the Game? rss

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Ryan Bretsch
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It seems like that the major goal of this game is to figure out "identity" of the characters over their "build". Unless, of course, the mission at the end specifically mandates knowing the exact "build" of the character to move the player piece to complete a mission? It seems like using a strategy that focuses on knowing "build" is decidedly secondary to trying to find out "identity".

In those cases, what is even the utility of asking people "build" questions? Why would one not just always ask "identity" questions? In fact, I can see an entire game being built around people asking identity questions. Am I off base in that assertion?

Second, does this detract from the overall deduction aspect of the game? Why or why not?

And lastly, are there any worthwhile variants in existence to "level the playing field" and make knowing the "build" just as important as knowing "identity"?

Many thanks!

RB

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Roberto Di Meglio
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The Build is important in the missions where you have to identify the real pawn representing an enemy agent.

Identity is more important, but many missions cannot be solved without the knowledge of the build.

From a mechanical point of view, it's an element that makes the deduction system more interesting (as you have to sort out 3 different sets of information).
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Ryan Bretsch
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Agreed and thank you. I also noted that when it is required to move a specific character to complete the mission, then build automatically becomes important.

But aren't players at a disadvantage... or even a major handicap... when the other team has a mission that doesn't require the "build" to be known, such as missions involving the ambassador?

Even if the odds are against the likelihood, it still happens. It would be nice to have a variant that addresses this, in my opinion.

But of course, those that play the game often, can offer better perspective on this topic than I.
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Jeremy Diachuk
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Typically, the missions match up moderately fairly.

AB/BA : Land any piece on Agent X
vs
CD/DC : Move Agent X to space 2/6

AC/CA : Move Lord Fiddlebottom to space 5/7
vs
BD/DB : Land any piece on Lord Fiddlebottom

AD/DA : Land any piece on Mme Zsa Zsa
vs
BC/CB : Land Mme Zsa Zsa on the Ambassador / space 4

BD/DB : Move Colonel Bubble to space 1 / to Lord Fiddlebottom
vs
AC/CA : Land any piece on Colonel Bubble

CD/DC : Move the Ambassador to the Embassy / space 8
vs
AB/BA : Land any piece on the Ambassador

BC/CB : Land any piece on the Ambassador
vs
AD/DA : Land Mme Zsa Zsa on the Ambassador / Move Ambassador to space 3

The first four "sets" of missions are sort of chases. One team is trying to land on a particular target while that target is trying to get to a specific location. In each case, the searching team needs to know the build of the specific character who is the target. However, they can also try to block off any character from reaching those locations until they determine exactly which one is the correct target to apprehend. The only irregularity here is the "Land Colonel Bubble on Lord Fiddlebottom" mission, which means these two need to know each other. However, it's typical for someone to give their full identities to each other once they determine they are partners, so this isn't particularly troublesome although it does make it harder for the opponents to merely guess where you're trying to get to.

The final two missions are a little bit unbalanced. There is one for each side: One team is trying to get to the Ambassador, and the other team is trying to "save" the Ambassador either by taking him to a safe place (such as the Embassy, or to particularly spaces) or to Mme Zsa Zsa. This is much more difficult for the team trying to save the ambassador, however, since they can't let him touch -any- of the opposing pawns. Unlike the "catch the target" missions, the other team knows their target is the lone Ambassador, so it can be quite a struggle to get the Ambassador to the safe location (especially since the opponents can easily move the Ambassador on their own turn). This is where the unbalance occurs. The Ambassador can be simply placed on the Embassy after encountering him as long as the Embassy is empty, so Lord Fiddlebottom and Colonel Bubble can simply hit him with any pawn and place him back on the Embassy to complete that mission, making that one moderately fair (either team wins once they bump into the Ambassador, but Mme Zsa Zsa and Agent X can block the Embassy with one of their pawns to possibly prevent the ploy).
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