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Subject: Showing your resource cards rss

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Doug Orleans
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The rules make a point of saying that you may show others the resource cards you're placing under your lab when you start an invention, and even the resource cards you have in your hand. Acchittocca brought this up in another thread (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1145561#1145561) as a way to help ensure that your invention won't be started by other players. This is counterintuitive, but it makes sense, and now I'm wondering if there's any reason not to always keep your resource cards public. (They're trackable in theory anyway, so you're just relaxing the memory requirement for your opponents.) If two players complete the same invention in the same round, this is bad for both of them: the winner of the blind auction loses some money, the other loses the card. So it seems like it's always in your own interest to make sure other players know what inventions you're working on or might be starting in the future, so that they can start a different invention if possible. (If it's not possible, i.e. your only choice is to start an invention someone else has started, I can see some benefit to keeping it secret: you might be able to finish the invention first, if the other player works on it slowly because he thinks no one else is competing. But I'm not sure this outweighs the benefit of publishing.)
 
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Luca Iennaco
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One disadvantage to show the invention you're going to create is that you're revealing how many workers you have to deploy in the Lab (to avoid needing an extra turn).

DougOrleans wrote:
They're trackable in theory anyway, so you're just relaxing the memory requirement for your opponents.

You could track what I have, but I will probably have enough resources to start several of the required inventions (so showing which I select is neither obvious nor trackable).
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Alexander B.
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It seems a lot more complicated than that to me.

First-off, just because you start an invention, doesn't mean that I won't also start it, even a turn later.

Why? Because my labs might be more upgraded so I still might complete it before you do.

While it is true that there are times that one could benefit from showing their cards under the lab, I would NEVER show the cards in my hand. This would make it far too easy for other players to get off "cheap" by realizing what inventions they can safely build later, or to wait on getting resources since they'd know I cannot start X invention either... etc.

 
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Scott Nelson
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I agree. Why would I show you that I am going to do the invention that you are working on, and get it done first because I have the better lab. And also I can dedicate more to an invention if I know that you are working on it, and try to again, steal it out from under you. These are war tactics, but I think I could see them coming into play with my group if they know what you are working on.
In the end you must work on some invention that another is working on anyways, not enough large ones to go around usually.
 
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Doug Orleans
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I played it again last night (with 4 players), and there just didn't seem to be much point in showing your resources. By the time you're about to start an invention, you've pretty much committed to that invention, unless you take a lot of extra resources to be more flexible (which is nice if you can do it but not always feasible). So knowing that someone else already started the same invention isn't really going to make you go for a different invention; if anything, it will make you put more effort into finishing that invention quickly. I think maybe the special case where you do want to show which invention you're starting is if you know for sure that someone going later in the turn order has a choice of two inventions to start this turn, but otherwise no preference. But I don't really think this will come up very often.
 
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Jon Pessano
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Another question along the same lines :

When you start an invention, are you supposed to tell everyone how many cards you putting under the lab? It seems quite easy to watch people put X number of cards under the lab

Thx
jonpfl
 
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Alexander B.
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jonpfl wrote:
Another question along the same lines :

When you start an invention, are you supposed to tell everyone how many cards you putting under the lab? It seems quite easy to watch people put X number of cards under the lab

Thx
jonpfl


No, you can put them under secretly, and it is not hard to hide them with my hand as I put them under and make sure they are entirely under the lab.
 
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