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Subject: Cockroach: active player also plays a card? rss

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Wim Leenaerts
Belgium
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Just played my first game of this yesterday and we found that the player playing the cockroach usually only played that card if he already had a card with the same number in his hand and he was always the first to play a card on the cockroach.
Is it correct that the player playing the cockroach can also play a card (with the same number as the cockroach card)?
If that's correct the cockroach is almost a 'play a second card'-card most of the times. I think it would be more fun if only the other players could play a card.
 
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David Cuesta
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The way we play it in our group the cockroach player can play another card but he has to go back to his hand to get it. this means he ussually gets to place a second card but not always.
I try to be ready with one of thelegal cards waiting for the roach. and get to lay it first most of the time. The only thing is that half of the time its not the right card and i have to take t back.
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Geert Vinaskov
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Yes, the active player can play "two cards at once" with this card.

You can houserule it differently, but asides from the fact that I don't like houserules, here's why I wouldn't:

- the winning players have less cards, the losing players more. So it's a balancing mechanic.

- The mosquito and this card (assuming you don't play a second card yourself), both are "reaction cards". Everyone at the table is scrambling to get a card on there. During this scrambling, every player that is half decent at this game will cheat a card or cards out of the game, and there's not much the guard can do against it (and he already has a hard time). It's not such a problem when the brown cockroach cards only create such a scramble some of the time.

- All special cards (except the cheating moths) are beneficial for yourself. Saying you can't play a second card yourself would be negative, and break the elegance of "all special cards are beneficial for yourself".

- The fact that you yourself can play a second card makes it really different from the mosquito. Playing the mosquito is a frantic "wild handslapping and cardgiving" thing, while playing a cockroach 5 onto a 1, with an ant 5 on top of that cockroach 5 often creates a "what did just happen" atmosphere, and the guard may or may not look closer into your last play. You can make use of this confusion to cheat, or to play wrong cards on purpose.

- Granted, a lot of the time players will play a second card at the same time. But not always. In my experience it's 33% single cockroaches, 66% double cockroaches. The fact that it doesn't happen all that often, makes it even more mentally confusing - allowing players to cheat in a different way than just "physically cheat away cards".

Source: hundreds of plays ;-)



TL;DR: Houseruling that only other players may play a card onto a cockroach makes "the possible ways to cheat with this card" too similar to the mosquito.
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Wim Leenaerts
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QuimeraEC wrote:
The only thing is that half of the time its not the right card and i have to take t back.

+ you become the guard and get a card from the guard because you cheated, seems like a big risk

Quote:
all special cards are beneficial for yourself

I don't know if this is true: yes you can create some confusing playing special cards but they're also worth -5 points when you're holding them at the end of the round so I prefer to get very little special cards...

Quote:
- the winning players have less cards, the losing players more. So it's a balancing mechanic.

It could also be the winning player playing the cockroach and immediately playing a second card on top so I'm not sure what you mean.

Your third point seems like a valid reason to keep the rules as they are.

I'm also not a fan of house ruling that's why I came to this forum hoping that the designers (' parents) would wander around here but alas.
 
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Geert Vinaskov
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The Iced One wrote:
Quote:
all special cards are beneficial for yourself

I don't know if this is true: yes you can create some confusing playing special cards...

Ant = each other player takes a card, Spider = give a card away, Mosquito = slap the pile, give a card away. Points aside, all of these effects are good for yourself, you want to play these cards. If playing a Cockroach would mean that only other players can play an extra card, that wouldn't be beneficial for yourself, quite the opposite in fact.

The Shtick of this game is that the Moths are really bad, and that those Moths are the only bad cards. I feel it would be against the spirit of the game to turn a card that is meant to have a positive in-game effect into a card with a negative in-game effect.

The Iced One wrote:
Quote:
- the winning players have less cards, the losing players more. So it's a balancing mechanic.
so I'm not sure what you mean.

To clarify: If a player has many cards in his hands, the chance is higher that he has a matching card.[/q]

But let's not argue about rules here. Play as you want, you know.

The Iced One wrote:
they're also worth -5 points when you're holding them at the end of the round so I prefer to get very little special cards...

What? Points? Are there points and rounds in this game? What is this, some kind of eurogame with winners and strategies?



We always play single rounds, we don't keep score and don't really care who wins or loses. Having a notepad and counting scores would detract from that. (The "keeping score" rule is optional, right?)

We play this game like children, and after a round/game we tell stories about how "Chris put one of his cards into Fred's hands, and Fred didn't notice". The player that had the most fun wins.


Having said all that: I do agree with your assessment that the rules feel like they were written by children (since the game was made by children?). Having some things clarified, like the "playing two cards at once" with the cockroach, would be welcome.
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Wim Leenaerts
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Quote:
What? Points? Are there points and rounds in this game? What is this, some kind of eurogame with winners and strategies?

Haha, yeah despite the crazy nature of the game I always play for points, it's also hilarious when one player still has 3 moths and 2 or 3 other action cards in his hands because he had a terrible starting hand.
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