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Subject: Lukas on the use of Tokens rss

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Bradley Galbraith
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TL;DR: Memory is a game skill, tokens may only be used to keep track of game state. Keeping track of exposed card positions is equivalent to 'taking notes'.

From a member of my local meta, we had an incident go down where this became a very contentious point and very few people have been playing Jinteki PE as a result.

Quote:
Hello Lukas,

Hope all is well!

I have 2 questions about token usage.

1 - Can the Runner use unique tokens to mark accessed, but unrezzed, corp cards in remote servers after they see what it is, but choose not to trash it. (eg. Jinteki PE shell games with 10 servers)

2 - Can the Runner use tokens to represent the number of card draws from R&D since their last multi-access? (eg. Saw no agendas on an Indexing Run - put 5 counters on the table. Remove one per draw until empty, so that they know the next time they run it'll be a new card.)

In my opinion these situations breach the rule about taking notes, even if they are represented with an in-game token. It is also my opinion that memory is considered a skill in this game, so people who are able to keep track of those 10 Jinteki PE servers deserve a higher win percentage than those who forget which ones were traps that they chose not to trash.

Thank you for taking the time to read/respond to this.

-Rob

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lukas Litzsinger

Rob,

Thanks for the question. Players are free to use the game components to aid in the upkeep of the game state (recurring credits, Femme Fatale, Security Testing, etc.) but should practice restraint when using them for things not tied directly to any card effect. In the situations you describe, I would not allow players to use tokens to track that information, as it is not necessary to maintain the state of the game and is an alternate way of taking notes.I agree that memory is part of the skill of the game.

Hope that helps,

Lukas Litzsinger Game Designer Fantasy Flight Games


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PaxCecilia wrote:
tokens may only be used to keep track of game state. Keeping track of exposed card positions is equivalent to 'taking notes'.


This is a very good summation of how it should be. Players should never have to ask which is Femme'd or which server SecTest is on.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Well... thanks?

I believe this was rather obvious from the very beginning. Artificial marking that is irrelevant to the game state on the table, but refers to the game state in your head was always forbidden, no matter how you try to work around it. Corp, obviously cannot change remote server positions, because that would be an attempt to mess with what you remember. It is customary for the corp player, to ask Runner first, if they can move the remote servers around, in order to save space / make up for empty spaces that were remote server once, but no longer are, etc. This way Runner has a chance to "update" his memory state about previously accessed card locations, in fact, he may even prefer not to move cards at all and allow corp to fill in the blanks with new cards (rare, but I've seen it too, different people remember things differently).
 
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Captain Frisk
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This topic reminds me of some advanced ticket to ride play. I knew a friend of mine who was very serious about that game, and one of the important things to do is track how many cards of each color opponents had.

External note taking is illegal, so his solution was to use his reserve trains, and rotate them as a memory aide (e.g. the first train corresponded to the # of known blue cards in opponent's hand etc., straight up is 0, 45 degree rotation is 1, 90 degree rotation is 2 etc.)

Needless to say, I've never played ticket to ride with him since. Not because I'm offended at the note taking, but rather that I just never wanted to take that game so seriously.



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Andrew Keddie
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rattkin wrote:
Well... thanks?

I believe this was rather obvious from the very beginning. Artificial marking that is irrelevant to the game state on the table, but refers to the game state in your head was always forbidden, no matter how you try to work around it.


And yet, as the OP describes, people still tried to argue it the other way as they aren't making a written note, so it's not (in their broken logic) explicitly forbidden.

I'm sad that this ever needed to have an official ruling; you're right that it shouldn't need one. However as it did turn out to be necessary, it's great to now have something we can refer to if we're ever unfortunate enough to have it come up.
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Sonny A.
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Captain_Frisk wrote:

Needless to say, I've never played ticket to ride with him since. Not because I'm offended at the note taking, but rather that I just never wanted to take that game so seriously.


Maybe he was training for the world championship in Ticket to ride?

If someone can gain an edge within the rules of the game, I say go for it. The developer feel that memory is part of this game, so if you want increase your competition skills, learn to memorize cards.

In a friendly game I don't care what people do to memorize stuff. I see people turn the cards exposed by Indexing 180 degrees on R&D, to help memorize what cards the runner has seen.
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Mychal
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There are definitely people out there who don't consider memory part of the game's required skill set. I once had an opponent ask me "How many cards have you drawn since I Indexed you?", and was offended when I refused to freely offer that information to him.
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Bradley Galbraith
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rattkin wrote:
Well... thanks?

Well... you're welcome?

If you don't want me to post rulings from Lukas in the Rules forum I certainly can refrain from doing so. Despite what you claim, there is nothing in the Core Rulebook, FAQ, or Tournament Rules that says "Artificial marking that is irrelevant to the game state on the table is forbidden". I certainly agree that the ruling I posted above from Lukas has always been the spirit of the game, but it has never been clearly stated until now.

I wouldn't be so quick to assume that every player has the same comprehension of the rules and the good will to use them the way they are intended. Sometimes we seek clarifications on rules and interactions that may not be so obvious to others, or that people are attempting to exploit. If people think clarifications of this matter aren't necessary in the Rules form, then I can always delete the post. I don't think that would be very prudent though.
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General Norris
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The thing is, memorization is boring and it's only part of the game because the current ruleset makes it so. Memorization is neither meaningful or inherent to Netrunner.
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Dave Kudzma
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Adding a memory element to known information is a big bone of contention among many, many board game players. In a discussion group I am part of nearly half will track known, but hidden, information. The reason? Most say it's not fair if they don't have as good a memory as others.

Of course in casual play I guess I can see it either way. However, in NR, it's known that you HAVE to remember these things. My memory sucks but I can tell you I focus a bit extra to make up for it. Sadly, we have players who complain about the memory element of NR, but they still play, and none have tried using an alternate tracking means as of yet.

I'm glad Lukas gave that response; expected but necessary.
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Andrew Lieffring
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Skylar114 wrote:
There are definitely people out there who don't consider memory part of the game's required skill set. I once had an opponent ask me "How many cards have you drawn since I Indexed you?", and was offended when I refused to freely offer that information to him.


So now he has to ask how many cards are in R&D before he plays indexing, since that's public knowledge, and then after you've drawn some cards ask for that same public information and do some subtraction. Congratulations, you've changed a simple request about game state into something that involves counting a big stack of cards multiple times.
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IncompleteUserNa wrote:
Skylar114 wrote:
There are definitely people out there who don't consider memory part of the game's required skill set. I once had an opponent ask me "How many cards have you drawn since I Indexed you?", and was offended when I refused to freely offer that information to him.


So now he has to ask how many cards are in R&D before he plays indexing, since that's public knowledge, and then after you've drawn some cards ask for that same public information and do some subtraction. Congratulations, you've changed a simple request about game state into something that involves counting a big stack of cards multiple times.


If he can't remember how many cards I've drawn, he probably doesn't remember how many cards used to be in my R&D.
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Richard Linnell
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Well, I fully understand rulings like this, but they make me a bit sad. There's no reason for rapid memorization of game state to be a "required" skill in Netrunner. In fact, it can be detrimental to the game as a whole - now, if pressed, a T.O. must make a ruling on what is a "fair" amount of time for someone to internalize new information. I've known many folks that would have to hold an exposed card for 30+ seconds in order to memorize and internalize what and where it is. Now, instead of allowing them to mark the card as exposed and move on, we MUST allow them this time. I've not touched the original NR for a while, but I believe in that game when you exposed a card, it remained face up with a token on it that showed it was not rezzed.

And personally, I hate rules like this because it makes an already difficult to grasp game more difficult to learn for new players. Maybe I just don't stay close enough to the "tip of the spear" on the competitive scene, but it seems that we're taking things that should be considered courtesies and good sportsmanship and turning them into tools to eke out a minor advantage.

Bottom line, I don't think my above average memory should be an advantage in Netrunner. In the highest levels of play, I can see that knowledge of the card pool is a "Netrunner Skill", but think that rapid internalization of game state is not.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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PaxCecilia wrote:
rattkin wrote:
Well... thanks?

Well... you're welcome?

If you don't want me to post rulings from Lukas in the Rules forum I certainly can refrain from doing so.


No need to get emotional about this. I was just expressing surprise that this needed clarification, but I live in a very tournament heavy meta and never before had I encountered someone who tried to track additional stuff this way. Obviously, any additional ruling posted is beneficial and there was no irony in the "thanks" part.
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Bradley Galbraith
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rattkin wrote:
PaxCecilia wrote:
rattkin wrote:
Well... thanks?

Well... you're welcome?

If you don't want me to post rulings from Lukas in the Rules forum I certainly can refrain from doing so.


No need to get emotional about this. I was just expressing surprise that this needed clarification, but I live in a very tournament heavy meta and never before had I encountered someone who tried to track additional stuff this way. Obviously, any additional ruling posted is beneficial and there was no irony in the "thanks" part.
It certainly didn't come across that way. Sorry for getting defensive if that wasn't your intent.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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solidhavok wrote:
Well, I fully understand rulings like this, but they make me a bit sad. There's no reason for rapid memorization of game state to be a "required" skill in Netrunner. In fact, it can be detrimental to the game as a whole - now, if pressed, a T.O. must make a ruling on what is a "fair" amount of time for someone to internalize new information. I've known many folks that would have to hold an exposed card for 30+ seconds in order to memorize and internalize what and where it is. Now, instead of allowing them to mark the card as exposed and move on, we MUST allow them this time. I've not touched the original NR for a while, but I believe in that game when you exposed a card, it remained face up with a token on it that showed it was not rezzed.

And personally, I hate rules like this because it makes an already difficult to grasp game more difficult to learn for new players. Maybe I just don't stay close enough to the "tip of the spear" on the competitive scene, but it seems that we're taking things that should be considered courtesies and good sportsmanship and turning them into tools to eke out a minor advantage.

Bottom line, I don't think my above average memory should be an advantage in Netrunner. In the highest levels of play, I can see that knowledge of the card pool is a "Netrunner Skill", but think that rapid internalization of game state is not.


This one I fully agree with. I also don't like the fact that you cannot make notes, but I suspect that there's so many stuff to track (potentially, if you want to be very meticulous), that when actually applied, it would definitely slow down the game significantly. Given the 65m limit, I imagine Lukas didn't want to open that Pandora box so the lesser evil was chosen. But, as with everything, practice helps with this a lot. When you remember the cardpool, it helps a lot and only thing you have to actively remember is what card you've accessed previously on remote (and didn't thrash) and what and how many cards you've seen when accessing HQ and R&D. So then again, let's not get crazy, it's not like you have to recite pi digits up to 20 places. It can be trained relatively quickly.
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Ian Hedberg
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I hate having to memorize exposed cards, I hate having to memorize cards I've seen, I hate calculating and recalculaing when I forget how many credits I or my opponent has to spend to force a trace through, and I hate the impossible-to-remember maze of timing rules and arbitrary, frustrating ruilings.

Lukas and Damon are excellent at card balancing and decent at card design, but we badly need someone who is good at making games fun, a real designer, or I will eventually be fed up with this excessive mental busywork and FAQ memorization.
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solidhavok wrote:
There's no reason for rapid memorization of game state to be a "required" skill in Netrunner.

There is a reason. Lukas said so, so it is. It also follows logically from the printed rule of no note taking.

solidhavok wrote:
if pressed, a T.O. must make a ruling on what is a "fair" amount of time for someone to internalize new information.

This is already a part of a Judge's responsibility. Slow play is not allowed.

solidhavok wrote:
I've known many folks that would have to hold an exposed card for 30+ seconds in order to memorize and internalize what and where it is. Now, instead of allowing them to mark the card as exposed and move on, we MUST allow them this time.

Then call for a judge to hurry them along. What you've described is slow play.

solidhavok wrote:
And personally, I hate rules like this because it makes an already difficult to grasp game more difficult to learn for new players.

Don't force new players you are teaching to play against Jinteki PE multi-server decks, then. If they play long enough, they will have to encounter this situation eventually.

solidhavok wrote:
Maybe I just don't stay close enough to the "tip of the spear" on the competitive scene, but ... [snip]

If you're playing casually then allow/disallow whatever you want. This ruling is meant for tournament play only.
 
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umchoyka wrote:
solidhavok wrote:
There's no reason for rapid memorization of game state to be a "required" skill in Netrunner.

There is a reason. Lukas said so, so it is.


If you read solidhavok's post, you'll find it is a discussion of the pros and cons of it being a required skill. The post was not a discussion of whether it actually is or isn't a required skill.
 
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This is your friendly reminder that rotation, tournament rules, and yes even card interaction rulings have nothing to do with those of you playing at home. Take or leave what you will of the game and play whatever you enjoy having fun doing.
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DrTall wrote:
umchoyka wrote:
solidhavok wrote:
There's no reason for rapid memorization of game state to be a "required" skill in Netrunner.

There is a reason. Lukas said so, so it is.


If you read solidhavok's post, you'll find it is a discussion of the pros and cons of it being a required skill. The post was not a discussion of whether it actually is or isn't a required skill.

???

The very sentence that you quoted states exactly that, "There's no reason for rapid memorization of game state to be a "required" skill in Netrunner." My statement directly refuted this claim by reaffirming Lukas' ruling.
 
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I've said before and will say again: memory is a skill which can be trained. It's part of the skillset.

You might prefer it wasn't so, and for casual play feel free to play that way, but in a game of hidden information being able to remember what has been revealed becomes a crucial part of your toolbox as a runner.

Also: try and remember when the Corp installs over an exposed ICE - that has lost me games before
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umchoyka wrote:
There is a reason. Lukas said so, so it is.

Oh, dear he did? That changes everything!

No, it doesn't. "Lukas says so" isn't an actual reason.

And even then, if you think the designer is some kind of God whose words justify the inclusion of dull memorization in Netrunner, remember that Richard Garfield, who designed the game in the first place, allowed note-taking and even using tokens to mark exposed cards (Which reamined face-up)

CommissarFeesh wrote:
I've said before and will say again: memory is a skill which can be trained. It's part of the skillset.

You can also train yourself to endure long tournaments while standing up. The issue is not that memorization is not a skill, but that it's an irrelevant, dull skill that adds nothing to the game and wouldn't even belong to it were it not for a poor ruling.
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IncompleteUserNa wrote:
Skylar114 wrote:
There are definitely people out there who don't consider memory part of the game's required skill set. I once had an opponent ask me "How many cards have you drawn since I Indexed you?", and was offended when I refused to freely offer that information to him.


So now he has to ask how many cards are in R&D before he plays indexing, since that's public knowledge, and then after you've drawn some cards ask for that same public information and do some subtraction. Congratulations, you've changed a simple request about game state into something that involves counting a big stack of cards multiple times.

It's not "a simple request about gamestate", it's him trying to gain information from me that he forgot to keep track of himself.

If he had asked how many cards were in my stack at the point when he played Indexing, I would gladly keep telling him how many cards I'd drawn since to keep the game moving, because he's obviously tracking the information himself rather than just relying on me to provide it for him.
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General_Norris wrote:
The issue is not that memorization is not a skill, but that it's an irrelevant, dull skill that adds nothing to the game and wouldn't even belong to it were it not for a poor ruling.


Flatly disagree. The game would be poorer if, for example, cards accessed (or revealed) from HQ remained visible from that point on, as you'd know exactly where ice you've seen in HQ gets installed, potentially turns later. Memorizing what you've seen in HQ (or in R&D, or...) and keeping track of those cards as turns go on is part of the skill -- and the fun -- of the game.
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