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Subject: Can Spys give clues to their Spymaster? rss

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Susan
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We know the spymasters can only give one word clues and a number to their spies, but does anyone know if the spys can 'talk' to their spymaster by the way of saying things like "Well, now we know the code name we missed before is "dog" so we don't need a clue about that word."

It could just be talking to each other not directly to the spymaster for this to happen but the spymaster can clearly hear it, so they might as well be talking directly to them.

Anyone know Vlaada Chvátil?

Thots?
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Paul Grogan
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That kind of conversation isn't really in the spirit of the game. Of course, it could happen that the field operatives are chatting, and the spymaster picks up something from what they are saying - these things happen - but any deliberate attempt by the field operatives to communicate with the spymaster isn't really allowed.

Yeah, I know Vlaada
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Lucas Hedgren
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This happened in our first couple games as well. "If he wanted to clue us to that word, he would have said X." Stuff like that. I figured it was against the rules, so we put an end to it, but yeah, some more concrete guidance around that in an otherwise super thorough rulebook would be great.
 
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mfl134
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PaulGrogan wrote:
That kind of conversation isn't really in the spirit of the game. Of course, it could happen that the field operatives are chatting, and the spymaster picks up something from what they are saying - these things happen - but any deliberate attempt by the field operatives to communicate with the spymaster isn't really allowed.

Yeah, I know Vlaada


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Des Lee
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I think if it happens as part of normal team discussion, it'd be fine.

The spymaster still can only communicate back via a single word and number, so I don't really see it as a problem.
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mfl134
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losfp wrote:
I think if it happens as part of normal team discussion, it'd be fine.

The spymaster still can only communicate back via a single word and number, so I don't really see it as a problem.


3 words left:

Guessers:
"We are going to guess words xxxxxx and yyyyyy if you give us a 0 clue next turn."

Spymaster:
"Clue 2"

Guessers:
"Well I guess we were wrong about one of those words"
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Paul Grogan
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boomtron wrote:
This happened in our first couple games as well. "If he wanted to clue us to that word, he would have said X." Stuff like that. I figured it was against the rules, so we put an end to it, but yeah, some more concrete guidance around that in an otherwise super thorough rulebook would be great.


Do whatever you feel comfortable with. There are only so many rules you can put in a rulebook before it gets bogged down. If your group is ok with it, then it's ok.
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Paul Grogan
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mfl134 wrote:
Guessers:
"We are going to guess words xxxxxx and yyyyyy if you give us a 0 clue next turn."


Yeah, that kind of communication is definitely not allowed. Giving instructions to the spymaster on what they should say next.
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Filip Murmak
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isellsunshine wrote:
We know the spymasters can only give one word clues and a number to their spies, but does anyone know if the spys can 'talk' to their spymaster by the way of saying things like "Well, now we know the code name we missed before is "dog" so we don't need a clue about that word."

It could just be talking to each other not directly to the spymaster for this to happen but the spymaster can clearly hear it, so they might as well be talking directly to them.

Anyone know Vlaada Chvátil?

Thots?


... and here comes reverse psychology. Since the Spymaster cannot do other but keep straight pokerface and say anything but clues, Spies get to figure our whether he/she included their suggestion to his next clue or not. Were they right anyway? What if he meant different word? As long as you don't make it a straight up rule (when we tell you to do something, you gotta obey), it can make the game even more paranoid. Which could be awesome

In the tons of games we played during playtesting, sometimes people kept talking to Spymasters but it probably never ruined the gameplay as it's still just one way communication.
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If talking to the spymaster is disallowed the game really would have to go to silence. Who is to judge whether a team is discussing what they know and what their future plans are, or whether they are communicating to the spymaster? There's very little difference.
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FlyingArrow wrote:
If talking to the spymaster is disallowed the game really would have to go to silence. Who is to judge whether a team is discussing what they know and what their future plans are, or whether they are communicating to the spymaster? There's very little difference.


We just play the intent of conversation can't be to communicate to the spymaster. discussing with your partner should be the intent of conversation.
 
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Dave Brown
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My feeling is that talking to the Spymaster is fine.

The Spymaster has restrictions on what kind of clues they can give. They can't give meta clues such as clues that relate to grid position or have words in them. The rulebook example is gland for England. Similarly I would think it would be against the rules to give coded clues based on some sort of convention the team comes up with.

Until shown otherwise I don't see the problem with one way communication from the spies to the Spymaster.
 
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mfl134
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ad_hoc wrote:
My feeling is that talking to the Spymaster is fine.

The Spymaster has restrictions on what kind of clues they can give. They can't give meta clues such as clues that relate to grid position or have words in them. The rulebook example is gland for England. Similarly I would think it would be against the rules to give coded clues based on some sort of convention the team comes up with.

Until shown otherwise I don't see the problem with one way communication from the spies to the Spymaster.


why wait for somebody to abuse it?

obviously you can, but it is incredibly easy to abuse.

"if you don't give us a 1 word clue, we will assume that x and y are our words", etc."

no codes required.
 
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Dave Brown
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mfl134 wrote:
ad_hoc wrote:
My feeling is that talking to the Spymaster is fine.

The Spymaster has restrictions on what kind of clues they can give. They can't give meta clues such as clues that relate to grid position or have words in them. The rulebook example is gland for England. Similarly I would think it would be against the rules to give coded clues based on some sort of convention the team comes up with.

Until shown otherwise I don't see the problem with one way communication from the spies to the Spymaster.


why wait for somebody to abuse it?

obviously you can, but it is incredibly easy to abuse.

"if you don't give us a 1 word clue, we will assume that x and y are our words", etc."

no codes required.


That still relies on the Spymaster giving a meta clue. In this case using the number to convey information which is against the rules.

Directly requesting the Spymaster to break the rules is clearly in bad faith.
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mfl134
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ad_hoc wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
ad_hoc wrote:
My feeling is that talking to the Spymaster is fine.

The Spymaster has restrictions on what kind of clues they can give. They can't give meta clues such as clues that relate to grid position or have words in them. The rulebook example is gland for England. Similarly I would think it would be against the rules to give coded clues based on some sort of convention the team comes up with.

Until shown otherwise I don't see the problem with one way communication from the spies to the Spymaster.


why wait for somebody to abuse it?

obviously you can, but it is incredibly easy to abuse.

"if you don't give us a 1 word clue, we will assume that x and y are our words", etc."

no codes required.


That still relies on the Spymaster giving a meta clue. In this case using the number to convey information which is against the rules.

Directly requesting the Spymaster to break the rules is clearly in bad faith.


They aren't using the number to convey information. They are choosing to give a 1 word clue.


Let's say previous clues lead me to believe that these words are needed to guess:

Bag
Note


Our real words are

Bag
Guitar
Music


We say, "We know bag and trunk are correct, give us an unlimited clue for the last word."

If we receive the clue of Instrument Unlimited.

We now guess Guitar, Bag, and Note. The unlimited clue confirmed Bag and Note.

But we receive the clue of Instrument 2.

The clue basically tells us that Bag and Note aren't correct. Likely exactly one of them is correct. So we look and see that Guitar, Music and Note could all make sense for a clue of Instrument 2, but one of them must be wrong otherwise the clue would have been Instrument 3. Guitar must be right because it is the only instrument. One would infer that Music is the other answer, and thus rule out Note.

We would guess Guitar, Music, and Bag.

These clues are specific to the words and not really meant as communication. But they become communication due to the coaching from the spies.
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Dave Brown
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mfl134 wrote:

These clues are specific to the words and not really meant as communication. But they become communication due to the coaching from the spies.


Again, asking the spymaster to cheat like this is in bad faith.

Everyone knows what they are doing.

Just don't do it.
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This thread makes me view Codenames as more of an activity than a game. These are very fuzzy rules with no objective referee.
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FlyingArrow wrote:
This thread makes me view Codenames as more of an activity than a game. These are very fuzzy rules with no objective referee.
We've never had a problem like this. I think people may be trying to stretch the rules, and therefore making them fuzzy.

But yeah, its a fun game. It does have rules, and it does have a winner - but who really cares if everyone has fun.
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PaulGrogan wrote:
But yeah, its a fun game. It does have rules, and it does have a winner - but who really cares if everyone has fun.


That's almost the definition of an activity versus a game. I did have fun playing it, regardless of its classification.

But there was definitely conversation directly to the cluegiver. I didn't have a problem with it. Some clues were probably meta-clues, too. Not sure, and not sure how you could possibly police it. And I don't see the problem with it either. Meta-clues don't necessarily make it easier - the cluegiver only gets one word, and the guessers have to figure out if it's a metaclue or a real clue (despite anything they may have said to the cluegiver). No advantage is given if both sides are doing it (and we were).
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FlyingArrow wrote:
This thread makes me view Codenames as more of an activity than a game. These are very fuzzy rules with no objective referee.


Uh, no. The rules are really clear. People need to stop trying to stretch things and play the game as intended. People can pretend they are playing the game as intended. Based on the way people are discussing here, I assume many people are artificially cheating at Hanabi, Mysterium and other games where not using excess communication ruins. the game.
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mfl134 wrote:
FlyingArrow wrote:
This thread makes me view Codenames as more of an activity than a game. These are very fuzzy rules with no objective referee.


Uh, no. The rules are really clear. People need to stop trying to stretch things and play the game as intended. People can pretend they are playing the game as intended. Based on the way people are discussing here, I assume many people are artificially cheating at Hanabi, Mysterium and other games where not using excess communication ruins. the game.
A lot of people describe those games as "activities" too.
 
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clydeiii wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
FlyingArrow wrote:
This thread makes me view Codenames as more of an activity than a game. These are very fuzzy rules with no objective referee.


Uh, no. The rules are really clear. People need to stop trying to stretch things and play the game as intended. People can pretend they are playing the game as intended. Based on the way people are discussing here, I assume many people are artificially cheating at Hanabi, Mysterium and other games where not using excess communication ruins. the game.
A lot of people describe those games as "activities" too.


I play them and enjoy them as games.
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I do too. Just pointing out that games of this sort always get that reaction. #yolo
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Something like this kind of happened in our game last night. Our spymaster said "Hotel: 1" and I was like, oh man, she could either mean this one, that one, or that one. I ended up picking the correct one, but then on the next turn, the spymaster said, "Hotel: 2" and I picked the other two, and they were correct.

She basically gleaned from me saying it could be any of those three, that if she just said it again that I would pick the other two. We kind of thought maybe it wasn't in the spirit of the game, as she only said that because I specifically said I thought those other two were good clues for Hotel.

We left it alone, cuz ultimately who cares, but will probably be a bit more cognizant of that sort of thing in the future.
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Sandmanx82, we've done that too. The game didn't come with earplugs for the spymasters, so.....
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