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Subject: Interaction between teammates rss

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denis sauzedde
France
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Hi everyone,

I know after reading the rules that you can't show your cards to your teammates.
What limit do you use about talking?
Can the teammates speak about strategies they should follow?

I adress this question to the author if M. Brody would like to answer about how he feels about it, but also to the players about what they authorize for good in their games.

I am just waiting to play it as soon as possible when the French version will arrive
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CARL SKUTSCH
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New York
New York
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Agricola, Sekigahara, Concordia, Innovation, COOKIE!!! (and Guinness)
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senik wrote:
Hi everyone,

I know after reading the rules that you can't show your cards to your teammates.
What limit do you use about talking?
Can the teammates speak about strategies they should follow?

I adress this question to the author if M. Brody would like to answer about how he feels about it, but also to the players about what they authorize for good in their games.

I am just waiting to play it as soon as possible when the French version will arrive

Good question! In our games we've hinted at what we want our allies to do but weren't quite sure where the line should be drawn.
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Robert Stewart
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Since you're seated alternately around the table, so anything you say to a teammate will be overheard, I'd be happy to allow you to say whatever you want - not wanting to give away too much to the enemy should be enough reason for people to not be too forthcoming.
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Cameron McKenzie
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We allow team mates to say anything (even reading out their entire hand) but they can't show cards not have a private conversation.
This works fine as you can't coordinate well without exposing the plan to the enemy, and there's no grey area where someone says something vague and you aren't sure if it breaks the rule or not.
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Ian Brody
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Without a doubt, private conversations are a no-no. Everything said should be said aloud, at the table.

After that, groups have some latitude, and gray areas abound. I think it's worth explaining the origin of the rule, to inform your own group's style.

Cooperative or team games need some limited information or else what will frequently happen is that a dominant Alpha-dog will start dictating their teammates turns. It slows the game down and makes it less fun for everyone else. I have been (rightfully) accused of being that player and wanted to design a game where I would have a better time because everyone was having a better time, because the rules constrained me from being a pest.

I'm still a pest at times, like "Instead of building there, you might consider putting the army here." I will also tell my teammates aloud certain things when I think they absolutely need to know. Like on the Italian first turn, I might say as Germany, "So you know, I think I want to beat up the UK first". But this definitely skirts the line, because you're hinting you have some navy cards in hand.

The best way to indicate your strategy is to play to show your strategy. Suppose you had two build armies in your opening hand as Germany. Normally Germany builds in Western Europe; but if your first turn as Germany were to build in Eastern Europe, you're probably telling Italy you want to play the ground game. Depending on Italy's hand, you're hoping they can build in Western Europe.

Or after a standard German opening in Western Europe, Italy might put down Mare Nostrum, showing that they intended to go Navy next. Then Germany might Sea Battle the North Sea on Turn 2, to protect the expected Italian Navy. You're also signaling the Allies, but at a point where they can't do anything about it.

Oddly enough, I've noticed that the reallocate resources rule has created a lot more table-talk, as teammates advise that course of action if a card is not available.

Finally, you can play the odds. You can be sure the UK player isn't going to be tossing Enigma on purpose. So if it's turn 12 and you see the axis has gotten 2 points extra for the last four turns due to Swedish Iron Ore, you might tell your British teammate that if it comes up, to use it rather than waiting on Blitzkrieg or Bias for Action to come out.

Likewise, if the Americans have Flexible Resources and 4 cards left in their draw deck you might tell them Patton Advances would be a good card.

Some groups may say to hell with that. I can imagine some groups having team huddles at the beginning and at the start of Turn 11, as their own style of play.

The main thing is everyone agrees beforehand, and if you feel like you have an alpha-dog biting your neck, then cite the rule and tell 'em to back off!
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denis sauzedde
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ok, that's what I was thinking of: you can talk, but ennemies are listening.
 
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Paul Paella
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I believe the easiest, least problematic, and AlphaGamer-avoiding way to play is to not allow any gameplay tabletalk, at all. Harsh yes, but without a long set of cumbersome rules governing what can and can't be said you get into situations where players talk around the rules to convey their cards, plans, and options in hand. It also addresses the problem that can occur when someone plays a card, their teammates suggests they play it differently or a different card, but someone from the other team has quickly stated they will use a Response card to the originally revealed card. The acting player then wants to change what they played. Messy!

The only other way to play without issues and messy tabletalk problems is to allow everyone to talk about everything, including what cards you have and what you plan to do with them, but still not allowing the showing of cards in hand. This won't solve the AlphaGamer issue but it does allow for a more relaxed play environment, allowing players to say what they naturally want to while playing a game, and best of all, it allows for bluffing (hinting to your enemies that you have something that you do not; which is quite appropriate politics during times of war)!

We've only played the first way, no game tabletalk at all, but I think the second option may be the best way to play, of course, ignoring the rule that disallows telling what you have in your hand.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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There's not a huge alpha gamer problem even if you allow open communication, because the alpha doesn't know what his team mates are holding, and they would be a disadvantage to disclose that.

Even if the alpha just says "build right there if you can," then the team mates failure to comply also reveals info to the enemy (he can't build there)
 
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Robert Stewart
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Yeah, allowing free table-talk (but no privacy) adds a layer of strategic choices to the game - balancing the trade-off between being better able to co-ordinate your actions with your team-mates, and letting the enemy know exactly what they need to do to upset your plans.

In general, (fully) co-op games need explicit mechanics to prevent the alpha-player problem, but team games only need them if teams are allowed to share information privately - if one team plays with all their cards face-up, while the other team plays by the normal rules but aren't allowed to communicate with each other at all, I'd expect the latter team to win.
 
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