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Subject: Curious: What's the point of secrecy mid-way through the game? rss

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Paul Baumann
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Played this a 2nd time this past weekend and we all noticed something. There are two 'giveaway' point-makers in the game, both war and revolution tracks plus choice of assassination targets, that you sort of need to do in order to score more points and make progress in the game. However, by making these particular choice of actions, you almost give away what side/faction you belong to. So, that begs the question: what is the point of secrecy about what faction you are in when you'll need to take certain actions that will may give your position away? If I'm a Loyalist and I start assassinating Agents to make others think I'm a Revolutionist and vice versa, that doesn't help me in the end because it's an action that doesn't end up getting me any points end-game. Also, if I start acting a certain way on the two tracks, I eventually have to act in a way that will give me points and possibly give away what faction I support. Does this make sense? Just trying to figure out the logic point-wise behind keeping identities a secret for almost the entire game.
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Alexander Juri
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To pretend to be part of the other faction could help you indeed, depending on the situation.
For example I had a game, where my fellow Loyalist pretended to be a Restorationist for the most part of the game.
So, my approach was, not to be last, because I thought I was the only Loyalist and the side with the lowest ranking player automatically loses, ergo if I am not last, the Restorationists would lose, therefore I would win.
In the end, the Restorationists did indeed lose the game, but there was another Loyalist who happend to have some points more than I.

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Rich P
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I've seen games where a Loyalist has assassinated Royalty to disguise their intentions and gone on to win. It can be a useful early play to get rid of the Hired Assassin from your starting deck (the double bomb card can otherwise clog up your hand).

I've also seen a game where a Loyalist upped the Revolution track, again to mislead but also to force everyone to become known to the authorities so she could assassinate particular agents.

The level of secrecy varies from game to game. Sometimes it quickly becomes obvious who is on which side, other times there's uncertainty until the end of the game. It can be to your advantage to remain circumspect, especially if by doing so it makes others unsure of whether they can safely end the game.
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Shane Larsen
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At mid-game, the biggest points in the game arguably come from controlling cities, and controlling cities reveals little to no information about which side you're on. So you can still be in the game without totally revealing your identity. And, it can be a strong position to be in. For example, I was playing in a game with 4 players a few weeks back. There were 3 of us that had "revealed" their identities. There was one player that had done a great job of staying close (she was still in last place), but still hadn't taken any actions that made it known to us who she was. This proved to be a very strong position for her to be in, because nobody wanted to end the game for fear she was on their "team", and she knew exactly what she needed to do to win.

So while it is tough to keep your identity unknown for most of the game, it can put you in a very strong position if you're the only one who hasn't given any clues--even if you're in last place because of it.

--

Also, I see you created two threads that are exactly the same. Please delete the other one before too many people post in it. I already posted there but then saw that this one had more conversation. So I copied and pasted my comment here.
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Jared Whitley
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There are some aspects to this game which are clever/different but also seem kind of stupid. I need to play this more before I decide if I like it -- which is a sign of a good game.

Good insights, everyone.
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James
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remmick wrote:
There are some aspects to this game which are clever/different but also seem kind of stupid. I need to play this more before I decide if I like it -- which is a sign of a good game.

Good insights, everyone.
Piggybacking on the others, this has been called a "sandbox game" in part because there are a number of mechanical levers in the game that different players and groups may pull or not pull, strategically or deceitfully, in order to suit their play. I've already seen how over several plays emergent play develops in a group such that some of those levers get pulled more often and some left alone (seeming to be extraneous after a while) - perfectly appropriate for a game like this, I think. What might seem "stupid" to you might be an important part of the culture of this game in the context of another group. Have fun!
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Petr Broz
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Brother Jim wrote:
Piggybacking on the others, this has been called a "sandbox game" in part because there are a number of mechanical levers in the game that different players and groups may pull or not pull, strategically or deceitfully, in order to suit their play. I've already seen how over several plays emergent play develops in a group such that some of those levers get pulled more often and some left alone (seeming to be extraneous after a while) - perfectly appropriate for a game like this, I think. What might seem "stupid" to you might be an important part of the culture of this game in the context of another group. Have fun![/q]

-----------------------
EDIT : I broke it. Brother Jim's quote ends with the line.

True, true. In our 3 player gaming group, we tend to circle in "mood cycles" or how to call them - basically, every now and again a particular strategy becomes popular. This leads to several games often being drastically changed by people rushing the Revolution / War tracks, until
someone breaks that by bringing in another way...
(We also had a period when everyone claimed agents like mad to use them as moveable influence points - then this approach was crushed by a vampire infestation, leading to a mood change...)

This can be a truly splendid game. It's way deeper than it seems at the first glance.
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