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Subject: Merlin Throwing a Fail rss

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Karafruit Villager-Thrower
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Last night in a game of Avalon, Merlin (not knowing that rebels have to play a pass) played a fail into a double-spy mission to ensure a double-fail (since the spies had successfully coordinated).

Obviously this is against the rules, and we explained that to him after the game (he had just assumed that rebels typically had no reason to play a fail, not that they were not allowed to), but I was wondering about the strategic implications of allowing such a play. (As the spy who successfully coordinated that mission only to have a double-fail anyway, I'm a bit biased against it, but mainly because the rest of the table was operating under the assumption that only spies can fail missions.)

As I see it without putting too much thought into it, I see two main risks to the play:
- It narrows the Merlin-pool; anyone other than Merlin would never do this, so spies know Merlin has to be one of the other people who was on the mission. So doing this on a 3-player mission would be a bad idea. Unless of course a PoR is certain it's double-spy and that Merlin is not already going to throw a fail, but that's an even riskier play.
- The spies might not successfully coordinate. If they both throw fails as well and there is a triple-fail with only two spies, it's game over for the rebels... unless they figure out that Merlin threw a fail (which would have to be considered if rebels were allowed to throw fails). If they both pass it, Merlin is giving them their single fail.

Either way, it merely seems like a risky play and not one that should be forbidden (except perhaps by thematic justification, and that could perhaps be explained away anyway somehow)--at least as long as all players are aware of the possibility.

Is there any reason I'm not thinking of that it should be forbidden rather than just one that is potentially risky or unwise?
 
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John
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Kiwi13cubed wrote:

- It narrows the Merlin-pool; anyone other than Merlin would never do this, so spies know Merlin has to be one of the other people who was on the mission.

If this was allowed & that's what most people think then there is a reason for another rebel to do this - to pretend to be Merlin. Of course they would have to have worked out who at least two of the spies are and be on a mission with those two spies, and it'd still a risky play in case the spies fail to coordinate.

Presumably this variant would make it harder for the spies to get a successful assassination if Oberon was in the game as Merlin would look like Oberon to the other spies.
 
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Clyde W
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This all just sounds like a horrible idea. Opening the door to allowing rebels to throw fail basically ensures that spies win on points.

Now if you introduce Excalibur and then allow rebels to fail, or you have some sort of third alternate mission card that reverses mission results, then maybe this is an alright idea.
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Dok Indigo
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In that game: did the other rebels trust Merlin after that? Did the spies assassinate Merlin because of that?
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This sounds like a risky idea, but I don't see a problem with it in principle - clearly, it's against the RAW, but I don't see anything wrong with a house rule allowing rebel fails.

I don't actually think the rule against rebels failing is needed - if you're a rebel and you fail (under normal circumstances), I probably don't want to play with you again*. If you can come up with an opportunity to fail that improves your team's chances, more power to you.


*I once played with someone who did this. Midway through one game, she threw a fail (as a rebel) to "mess with your minds". It thoroughly confused us spies, since we knew the mission was clean. Ruined the game for everyone, because deductions about allegiances are all based on the assumption that you're playing for your team.
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Richard Pickman
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old_gamer wrote:
This sounds like a risky idea, but I don't see a problem with it in principle - clearly, it's against the RAW, but I don't see anything wrong with a house rule allowing rebel fails.

I don't actually think the rule against rebels failing is needed - if you're a rebel and you fail (under normal circumstances), I probably don't want to play with you again*. If you can come up with an opportunity to fail that improves your team's chances, more power to you.


*I once played with someone who did this. Midway through one game, she threw a fail (as a rebel) to "mess with your minds". It thoroughly confused us spies, since we knew the mission was clean. Ruined the game for everyone, because deductions about allegiances are all based on the assumption that you're playing for your team.


That is exactly the problem. Under the rules as written, the only certain deduction that can be made is that a mission in which a Fail card was played had at least one spy on it. If you take that away, there are no linger *any* certain deductions, and the entire game collapses into pure speculation.
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rpickman wrote:
old_gamer wrote:
This sounds like a risky idea, but I don't see a problem with it in principle - clearly, it's against the RAW, but I don't see anything wrong with a house rule allowing rebel fails.

I don't actually think the rule against rebels failing is needed - if you're a rebel and you fail (under normal circumstances), I probably don't want to play with you again*. If you can come up with an opportunity to fail that improves your team's chances, more power to you.


*I once played with someone who did this. Midway through one game, she threw a fail (as a rebel) to "mess with your minds". It thoroughly confused us spies, since we knew the mission was clean. Ruined the game for everyone, because deductions about allegiances are all based on the assumption that you're playing for your team.


That is exactly the problem. Under the rules as written, the only certain deduction that can be made is that a mission in which a Fail card was played had at least one spy on it. If you take that away, there are no linger *any* certain deductions, and the entire game collapses into pure speculation.


Well, assuming your group is playing in good faith, you can *still* be certain that there was at least one spy. That's the only reason I can imagine for a sincere resistance player to fail - throwing suspicion on the spies.

If you're playing with people that will throw a fail for the lulz, they're not worth playing with anyway and there's no reason to assume they will follow the "resistance may not play fail cards" rule.

The incident I mention in the above quote was able to happen because I never thought to mention the rule, but it doesn't really matter. It showed us all that the person in question is not one to play games with, because she'll torpedo the game on a whim.

Edit: I think I understand you now - you're concerned about sincere players who aren't very competent/logical, throwing fails because (for example) they suspect the players accompanying them on the mission. Is that right?
 
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Richard Pickman
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old_gamer wrote:
rpickman wrote:
old_gamer wrote:
This sounds like a risky idea, but I don't see a problem with it in principle - clearly, it's against the RAW, but I don't see anything wrong with a house rule allowing rebel fails.

I don't actually think the rule against rebels failing is needed - if you're a rebel and you fail (under normal circumstances), I probably don't want to play with you again*. If you can come up with an opportunity to fail that improves your team's chances, more power to you.


*I once played with someone who did this. Midway through one game, she threw a fail (as a rebel) to "mess with your minds". It thoroughly confused us spies, since we knew the mission was clean. Ruined the game for everyone, because deductions about allegiances are all based on the assumption that you're playing for your team.


That is exactly the problem. Under the rules as written, the only certain deduction that can be made is that a mission in which a Fail card was played had at least one spy on it. If you take that away, there are no linger *any* certain deductions, and the entire game collapses into pure speculation.


Well, assuming your group is playing in good faith, you can *still* be certain that there was at least one spy. That's the only reason I can imagine for a sincere resistance player to fail - throwing suspicion on the spies.

If you're playing with people that will throw a fail for the lulz, they're not worth playing with anyway and there's no reason to assume they will follow the "resistance may not play fail cards" rule.

The incident I mention in the above quote was able to happen because I never thought to mention the rule, but it doesn't really matter. It showed us all that the person in question is not one to play games with, because she'll torpedo the game on a whim.

Edit: I think I understand you now - you're concerned about sincere players who aren't very competent/logical, throwing fails because (for example) they suspect the players accompanying them on the mission. Is that right?


Not exactly. My point is simply that, under the RAW, a Fail card played means that there was at least one spy on the mission. That's a hard data point, and in most games it's the only hard data point you ever get after the initial "everyone open your eyes" phase. (Exception: the Lady, which is an optional mechanic.)

I'm not saying the game wouldn't worj if loyals were allowed to play Fail cards; I haven't tested it, so I wouldn't know. What I am saying is that permitting this would eliminate the only hard data that players ordinarily receive after the beginning of the game, and this would radically alter the game.
 
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rpickman wrote:
Not exactly. My point is simply that, under the RAW, a Fail card played means that there was at least one spy on the mission. That's a hard data point, and in most games it's the only hard data point you ever get after the initial "everyone open your eyes" phase. (Exception: the Lady, which is an optional mechanic.)

I'm not saying the game wouldn't worj if loyals were allowed to play Fail cards; I haven't tested it, so I wouldn't know. What I am saying is that permitting this would eliminate the only hard data that players ordinarily receive after the beginning of the game, and this would radically alter the game.

[bolding mine]

I'm not sure it would do either. If we assume people are
1) playing in good faith
AND
2) possess basic competence

then a fail tells you either:

* There was a spy on the mission and they played the fail
OR
* A resistance member played the fail. Why did they play the fail? Because they somehow *knew* there were one or more spies on the mission and wanted to condemn the team.

It's still a hard data point. Not in a 'mathematical certainty' way, but in a 'I trust my friends to play the game, not grief me' way.
 
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old_gamer wrote:
OR
* A resistance member played the fail. Why did they play the fail? Because they somehow *knew* there were one or more spies on the mission and wanted to condemn the team.

I would still get a passed mission every time. It does not matter if there are spies on a mission, each passed mission makes the game easier for Resistance and harder for Spies.

Putting in a fail as resistance is giving away 2 points. You now have to succeed 2 more quests/missions to be at the same position than you would be if you had succeeded.
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a1bert wrote:
I would still get a passed mission every time. It does not matter if there are spies on a mission, each passed mission makes the game easier for Resistance and harder for Spies.

Putting in a fail as resistance is giving away 2 points. You now have to succeed 2 more quests/missions to be at the same position than you would be if you had succeeded.

I agree. I can't come up with a situation where I'd throw a fail as a rebel. The OP example is the closest I can come, but you've outed yourself as Merlin. I wouldn't mind a house rule allowing it, but I suspect there may be no case where it makes sense to do so.

I'm just pointing out that allowing resistance fails is no reason to stop thinking "failure means a spy was definitely on the mission".
 
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a1bert wrote:
I would still get a passed mission every time. It does not matter if there are spies on a mission, each passed mission makes the game easier for Resistance and harder for Spies.

Putting in a fail as resistance is giving away 2 points. You now have to succeed 2 more quests/missions to be at the same position than you would be if you had succeeded.

Plus if you do this with just one spy in the mission and they fail the mission as well, it goes horribly wrong. The rest of your team will think the two spies are in that mission letting the other spy easily fail a mission. Then when an impossible situation of three spies turns up and the rebels have no useful info at all...easy win for the spies.
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Richard Pickman
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old_gamer wrote:
a1bert wrote:
I would still get a passed mission every time. It does not matter if there are spies on a mission, each passed mission makes the game easier for Resistance and harder for Spies.

Putting in a fail as resistance is giving away 2 points. You now have to succeed 2 more quests/missions to be at the same position than you would be if you had succeeded.

I agree. I can't come up with a situation where I'd throw a fail as a rebel. The OP example is the closest I can come, but you've outed yourself as Merlin. I wouldn't mind a house rule allowing it, but I suspect there may be no case where it makes sense to do so.

I'm just pointing out that allowing resistance fails is no reason to stop thinking "failure means a spy was definitely on the mission".

Perhaps you're trying to confuse Mordred as to the identity of Oberon.

At any rate, if you think that an option would have absolutely no utility, then I don't see why you would allow it in the first place.
 
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ed u
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I played a fail while playing Merlin last week, only remembering after I did it that it probably was an illegal move. It was a 5 player game on a 3 player mission, having two reds on the team I wanted to make sure they would be exposed.
It only worked because this play made second guess one of the red player into thinking he might have played a fail instead of success. Otherwise my play would have been pretty poor because they would have know who Merlin was
 
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neoedu wrote:
I played a fail while playing Merlin last week, only remembering after I did it that it probably was an illegal move. It was a 5 player game on a 3 player mission, having two reds on the team I wanted to make sure they would be exposed.
It only worked because this play made second guess one of the red player into thinking he might have played a fail instead of success. Otherwise my play would have been pretty poor because they would have know who Merlin was


Wouldn't a triple fail have been amazing, though?
 
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The post to end and clarify. Very clearly, without needing to refer to the RAW, the evidence is undeniably.

Look at the success and fail cards.

http://cf.geekdo-images.com/images/pic1453085_md.jpg

See the logos written on them.

This settles it. All blue can only play success. All red can play either.

The only exception must have to be the Lancelot cards. If any exceptions at all.
 
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