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Subject: Looking through the discard pile rss

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Lachlan Allnutt
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If unspecified should players be able to look through the discard pile in any game.
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Robert Danielson
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As a generalization I would say the discard pile is typically open information and could be looked at without harm. Although I suspect in most cases it would be poor manners to do so as it would be disruptive to the flow of the game.
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Andrew Bartosh

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If the discard is face-up (or unspecified) and no specific rule about looking through it is available, then yes, I would consider it open information.
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Kelly Bass
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I would say no.
To me a discard pile is a stack. If the designer wanted players to not have to rely on memory, then the "discards" should be laid out in a display, so all players can see at a glance.
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bort
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I'd also say no, unless the game specifically allows it (like Sheriff of Nottingham).
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Pete
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I would vote that unless the discard pile is hidden, it's open information. Far more games work that way (traditional games especially) so a rule-writer should take care to specify that discard piles are hidden if that's intended.

Pete (also thinks most people don't bother to "neatly" stack discards and it makes no sense to reward people for lucking out and seeing an errant discarded card)
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Maarten D. de Jong
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allnutty wrote:
If unspecified should players be able to look through the discard pile in any game.

If all cards put into it were once out in the open, then yes; if closed cards, only known to one player, were added, then no.

Designer intent counts for squat here: the intent should follow from the rules. If the rules call for a memory element in an open discard (thus deliberately closing the stack), then start training that grey mass. If they don't, then search away.
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bort
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cymric wrote:

Designer intent counts for squat here


No, I think if the designer states he intended the discards to be open/closed - that should be the case.

Its a good question - in some games its often unclear about whether discards should be face up or down, or if they can be searched.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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bortmonkey wrote:
No, I think if the designer states he intended the discards to be open/closed - that should be the case.

So if the designer states that in this game 1 + 1 = 3, do you follow him to the letter?

If a designer asks for impossible combinations (not specifying a memory element but closing an otherwise open stack), then that to me is like the above weird calculation.
 
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bort
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If you're asking if I think the designer has some say in how his/her game is played - then yes.
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J C Lawrence
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bortmonkey wrote:
If you're asking if I think the designer has some say in how his/her game is played - then yes.


Only to the degree that the design implements their intent. HTI doesn't implement a "closed/hidden" data intent, the data is factually open, just a tax levied on players for the dubious honour of playing the game.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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bortmonkey wrote:
If you're asking if I think the designer has some say in how his/her game is played - then yes.

No, I am asking what I was asking: do you apply the rules even when they are in themselves contradictory?
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Christian Gienger
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I go with the common sense. If the stack is face up, every player may throw a look at it. If it's face down, no player may.
If it's Dominion, I decide that the rule of not looking at the discard is just stupid and I never expected something like this coming from a magic player...
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Christopher Dearlove
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This one is hard to apply a general rule to, so it tends to be case by case. The guiding principle (when there isn't a rule) in all cases is that which makes the game go most smoothly. (If much time is wasted that could be saved by quickly looking, allow looking. If much time is wasted by people repeatedly examining with no real gain, don't allow looking.)
 
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Michael Weber
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chockle wrote:
I would say no.
To me a discard pile is a stack. If the designer wanted players to not have to rely on memory, then the "discards" should be laid out in a display, so all players can see at a glance.


If can't remember seeing a game rule in which the discard pile is laid out in a display - on the other hand in games in which you are NOT supposed to see the discard pile, this is SPECIFICALLY stated in the rules.

So, to argue "it is the designer's intend" that players may NOT look at the discard pile is a weak argument. On the contrary - if at all - I would argue that it is "the designer's intend" that the discard pile is always open information unless specifically stated otherwise in the rules
 
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Carl Frodge
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Yes.

Unless the rules specifically state otherwise, I think players should be allowed to.
 
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Liam
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For me:

Depends if the cards were discarded in private or publicly.

If it was publicly requiring players to reply on their memory isn't a great element of the game.

This said if allowing players to look through the discard pile will negatively impact the group I'd house rule it.
 
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Brad vanVugt
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unless the game rules specifically say so, or the cards themselves are discarded face down (implying the info should be hidden), then I don't see an issue with browsing the discard. In some games, this is actually an important part of gameplay, like in Runewars when you browse the discards of the fate deck before attempting to resolve a neutral faction encounter or a quest.
 
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4 HOGS
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Hi!

Part of me wants to say sure, why not but there is always one problem with browsing through the discard pile. In some games it is really time consuming and all the sudden what should be nice and easy game transforms into opposite.
When we designed our game discard pile was open for all players and each player could take a card from DP and play it again and that took a lot of time so naturally we fixed that.
On the other hand in games like Magic the Gathering there really is no problem with browsing through the discard pile.
O and my last issue is this, in some games it is really important to memorize which cards were played (like Belot) and some groups I play with do not allow browsing at all - even in their piles and tbh that makes things a lot more interesting.
Anyhoo in my opinion it varies from game to game.
 
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Austin Andersen
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Yes. There should be a rule prohibiting if it wasn't.

On a side note. I think note taking and alternate tracking methods should be allowed as well as long as it doesn't interfere with the flow of the game - meaning if you have to pause even the slightest so that you can take notes, it should not be allowed. I hate things that interfere with the flow of a game.
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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My answer: yes, unless it slows down the pace of the game.

And of course, unless cards are not revealed when discarded.
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RJD
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allnutty wrote:
If unspecified should players be able to look through the discard pile in any game.


Unless the rules specifically allow it, I would say NO. Definitely no.

I had a game ruined that way once. Some friends and I were playing Car Wars the Card game, and it came down to two of us. The match went back and forth for a while, and neither of us could quite finish the other off. I then stepped away for a momentary bathroom break. I came back, and he smashed me quickly and utterly - striking at me right where I was most vulnerable. Wham bam! What an explosive ending to a hard fought match!

Afterwards, I asked how he'd guessed it, and he explained that, while I was in the bathroom, he'd looked through the discard pile and accounted for all the cards to determine which ones were most likely in my hand...

After that, the discard pile was off limits.

There are probably some games out there where such a thing might not be a problem. But the whole idea leaves such a sour taste...
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Pete Goch
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Mixo wrote:


If can't remember seeing a game rule in which the discard pile is laid out in a display


Glory to Rome does.
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Ian Taylor
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This doesn't help answer the question, but I think it is a pretty poor rulebook/FAQ that doesn't anticipate and answer this question.
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Joe Salamone
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UnluckyNumber wrote:
allnutty wrote:
If unspecified should players be able to look through the discard pile in any game.


Afterwards, I asked how he'd guessed it, and he explained that, while I was in the bathroom, he'd looked through the discard pile and accounted for all the cards to determine which ones were most likely in my hand...



So, if he thought it was okay to look through the discards, why did he wait until you went to the bathroom? Sneaky, sneaky!
 
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