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Subject: Secret Invention Work Choices? rss

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Michael Webb
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Strange question here, but it has been bothering me since I read the rules, and actually played the game yesterday: how, exactly, are the invention choices supposed to be secret?

Players have to take the resources necessary to build them off the board to place them underneath their labs. That means that anyone who is watching is going to see what is being worked on.

Granted, keeping track of which shop and who could get slightly messy with more players, but the important thing to me, at least in the first game, was seeing whether or not anyone was trying to build the invention(s) I was working on at all, and that is pretty easy to keep track of by even casual board-watching.

If the invention choice is intended to be secret, then why not simply have players have little note pads which they jot the resources down on when they start a new project or something to that effect? I just ask this, because to me, this is the only really weird part about the game, simply because I don't think the designer's intent (secret choices) works well with the mechanic that was used to facilitate that (choosing the cards required off the board and then slipping them underneath the lab...)

Thoughts, comments, &c.?
 
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Luca Iennaco
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I don't see the problem.
You often have multiple cards, so you probably can start several of the inventions displayed. How are the opponents supposed to "know" which one you choose?
Of course, if you keep track of all the cards owned by anyone, sometimes it can help you ("player X has no wood and only one invention doens't need it, so he's going to create that one"), but not THAT often. It probably is reliable in the first two turns, but then...
It's surely easier with just two players, but the game is better with three or more, in any case.
 
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Michael Webb
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I just realized that I am incredibly stupid:

I thought the phase worked like this:

Player A declares they are starting a new invention. They take the required cards OFF THE BOARD and place them underneath the lab that is doing the work. You then start doing work, during that time you collect the cards you need to match the ones you put underneath the lab. Once you have enough weeks and have collected the cards required, then you reveal the cards under the lab, reveal the cards in your hand, and confirm the number of weeks is adequate.

I see now that you have to play the cards OUT OF YOUR HAND when you START THE INVENTION which does, in fact, make it secret, and makes the game much more streamlined and elegant. I must have had a mental block about this, because I read the manual 3 times and could not figure that out in those readings.

It also, not incidentally, means that my group played this game very, very wrong and that the last two rounds are going to be much more useful than they were when I screwed it up royally.

Egh.
 
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Jeff Hinrickson
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Keep in mind that when you go to the council one of the actions you can take there is looking at the top 4 invention cards from the face down deck, picking one and placing it on top while placing the others on the bottom of the deck. So one could if so inclined be working on that invention before it is placed face up on the board, but the invention cannot be officially completed until it appears on the board.
 
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Doug Orleans
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jjloc wrote:
Keep in mind that when you go to the council one of the actions you can take there is looking at the top 4 invention cards from the face down deck, picking one and placing it on top while placing the others on the bottom of the deck.


Actually, all 4 cards go back on top of the deck, but in any order you want.
 
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Jonathan Degann
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To help secure the secrecy, when we're in the Lab phase, we all put our cards under secretly and simultaneously. Players are expected to focus on their own work and not try to count the cards other players are monkeying with.
 
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Doug Orleans
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Jonathan Degann wrote:
To help secure the secrecy, when we're in the Lab phase, we all put our cards under secretly and simultaneously.


You should probably still put the work markers on labs in turn order, though, just in case someone's decision of whether/where to start an invention depends on another's.
 
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Jeff Hinrickson
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DougOrleans wrote:
jjloc wrote:
Keep in mind that when you go to the council one of the actions you can take there is looking at the top 4 invention cards from the face down deck, picking one and placing it on top while placing the others on the bottom of the deck.


Actually, all 4 cards go back on top of the deck, but in any order you want.


Whoops, I believe I was combining these rules with the rules of another game. My fault, but I did know if you go to the council you can look at cards on the invention deck.
 
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