For first session, see reference:
This is NOT a bluffing game! Call me slow, but the revelation finally sank in after the second session. This time around, unlike the first session, the rules were played correctly. So read the correct rules from the link above and have them clarified before you continue here.
This is a MEMORY game! You have to track the revealed roles and fix probabilities to each card. Think of it like Sudoku: an empty Sudoku square could contain probabilities for two or more digits. There is ZERO bluffing to this game, aside from the 50/50 swap -or not- mechanic. Coming out around the same time as bluffing games like Coup and The Resistance, when introducing the game to friends, people often draw analogies with other social deduction games because that's the first impression people get. People tend to back reference this game to other more popular games, but this game is closer to Sudoku than to Coup. Is it the fault of marketing? Is the fault lying in the fact that the other social deduction games end up more popular?
So my second session I tried the 2p version. Bishop, Fool, Judge, Queen, King, and Witch. Easy enough? Let's go through the rules: Each player has 2 left/right active cards and 1 passive/protected card. On a turn, a player can:
A) SWAP -or not-
perform a 1-to-1 card swap of one left/right active card with:
the other active card
the passive card
the opponents' left/right active card
Forbidden to swap with opponent's passive card. Not stated if you could swap the opponents' left/right cards without touching your own. But in the normal 4p-13p game, it stated that your swap had to involve your own card.
B) LOOK AT OWN CARD
C) USE CARD ABILITY
So the game played ok, but on some occasions we might've had allowed for one player to swap both his opponents left/right active cards -or not- but without touching his own cards. Without using the Fool. I know, our mistake.
Then we faced some problems. The rules stated that you can only call/challenge an opponent with any of your 3 cards. BUT the thing is, sometimes your opponent got the wrong card, and you might want to challenge/call with the correct card, which happens to be one of the opponent's other card. How? The rules break down here. What this mean is that as long as the player knows he has the role card on his court, he can essentially touch ANY of his 3 cards without getting called. He didn't have to shift the role card from passive to active in order to use it because for the opponent to call/challenge, BOTH would lose 1 coin each to the courthouse. This is where the rules broke down.
One possible solution is the recommended Fool. Swap -or not- two other cards other than your own. The rules were not specific here but I THINK that in THIS case here, the Fool is allowed to touch the opponent's passive card.
Both sessions were draggy or at least they appeared draggy. Halfway through was kinda regretting teaching the game because it is just not as exciting as Love Letter or Coup. It has elements of Sudoku, where a card has probabilities to be a few roles. It has elements of memory games involving face down cards. But not quite the same, as it combines the role mechanic and race to 13 coins mechanic.
The main problem with the 2p rules as found on the main site was the inability to call/challenge your opponent using his other cards, as the rules said you can only challenge with your 3 cards.
I also want to discuss the limitation of the first 4 turns here. In larger games, 4 turns can only swap a maximum of 8 cards. Each of these 8 cards will then be 50/50, which means the remainder cards can be used with certainty. So the rules break down here. Since the 5th player will technically begin the game, his card has to be affected, but also, the 9th player's card has to be tampered with -or not- in order for uncertainty to be restored. Or for larger games, maybe first 4 turns is not enough.
You can challenge a claim without having the claimed card yourself. A challenge is the only way to get your opponent to prove that he does have the card (and knows where it is). If the two of you flip your cards and they're both wrong, you don't get to use the role -- but neither does he, and that was the point.
EDIT: Looking over your post again, I think you probably are aware of that. But I still want to make the point that it can be worth it to make a challenge you know won't win, at least sometimes, if you think there's a chance the other guy won't win either. Yes, you'll be out a coin. But if you don't challenge, he just gets to use the role automatically.
- Last edited Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:18 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:13 pm
Noted. Yes I do know.
I just thought that it seems a little bit like a Zugzwang situation here. Yes, you have to sacrifice and both lose a coin each to the courthouse.
Another icky situation with the 2p game I want to add is the rule where if a card has been revealed on the previous turn, it cannot be used on the next turn.
This is where I think the rules break down again. Because you see, now each player has 3 cards. That means if one of my cards are revealed on the previous turn, and now it is my turn, I DO NOT have to swap that revealed card. Unlike the 4p-13p case when the swap move is an imperative. You know what this means? My card A is revealed, I cannot use that on my next turn, I use my card B. Then fast forward to my opponent's turn, when my card A is 0% a secret. After his turn, I use my card A again if it hasn't been swapped, with 100% certainty. Which means to avoid this, the onus is now on my opponent to swap away my card A during his turn. The onus is no longer mine to swap out my card A, as in the case of the 4p-13p game.
It changes the mechanics and the 2p rules as posted on the website is very open ended. Even with a redundant statement: "A player can call with only one of their 3 cards, but players are allowed to contest with their protected card." Here, to "announce" means to use a character ability. To "call" means to challenge. The second part "but players are allowed to contest with their protected card" is redundant because 3 cards is already inclusive of the protected card.