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Subject: Can the players talk about clues they would give rss

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Julius Besser
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While the spymaster is picking a clue, are the players allowed to talk about the words and what kind of clues they would give?
In our last game, while the spymaster was looking for a clue, one of the players said, "Oh, these three words all fit together great. 'Falling: 3' would work perfectly for these." The spymaster then immediately said "Falling: 3."
Legal?
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Ben Kyo
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jayelbird wrote:
While the spymaster is picking a clue, are the players allowed to talk about the words and what kind of clues they would give?
In our last game, while the spymaster was looking for a clue, one of the players said, "Oh, these three words all fit together great. 'Falling: 3' would work perfectly for these." The spymaster then immediately said "Falling: 3."
Legal?
Sure, people can talk all they want. What they can't (or shouldn't be allowed to) do is indicate which three cards they are talking about.
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David Pereira
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Not legal to me.

In my opinion the spymaster should be quiet, not move or give body some suggestion even with body language and players should not be seeing possible combinations.

I think it's ok and it feels good that the other team tries to mislead the other in the clues, I would say this is counterspying but not much more than that.

But above all remember, the most important is to have fun and you can get a lot of fun playing this one...

Just don't do like my wife that missed a name/combination and give as 3 words clue and we hit the assassin in our first choice (funny also)
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Susan
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It's unfortunate that happened - what are the chances that their team had those exact three words?

I think thematically this doesn't work so I would say no it's not allowed but I can't imagine it would come up again anytime soon.

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mfl134
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jayelbird wrote:
While the spymaster is picking a clue, are the players allowed to talk about the words and what kind of clues they would give?
In our last game, while the spymaster was looking for a clue, one of the players said, "Oh, these three words all fit together great. 'Falling: 3' would work perfectly for these." The spymaster then immediately said "Falling: 3."
Legal?
way outside the spirit of the game.
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Alison Mandible
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That doesn't sound even slightly fun. I would ask players not to do that.

It's basically the same problem as a spymaster flipping the timer over on their teammates to indicate "what you were just saying is correct, guess that right now". It takes the guesswork out of the game.
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Paul Grogan
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Hi all - just me - popping in on the thread to agree with everyone else - this is not in the spirit of the game and should not be allowed.
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Trevor Taylor
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If you 'gamer' up the OP. The guessers could keep picking combinations. These 2 match with tree, these 3 match with car. Leaving the spymaster just to wait until they pick a combination which are all the correct team and then just agree with them (give them that clue).

It breaks down to the guessers pointing at each word and asking 'is it this one' and then waiting for the spymaster to say yes, if he doesn't, they move on without flipping the card at risk.

This is a harsh version of the original premise, but it equates to this in my opinion. The fun for the spy-master is to create the clues and the tension of watching the guessers. If you remove this element, it's no longer a game...
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Will Yum
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This came up for us recently in a game. Our spymaster was thinking and thinking and seemed to be having a hard time.

So I started talking about the remaining words and how certain clues might tie them together.

The word IVORY and AFRICA were on the board.

So I said, "I doubt that two of our words are IVORY and AFRICA because the spymaster could just say Elephant and we'd get it." whistle


I related this incident to another group of gamers tonight and as I was telling the story, it seemed to me that it was against the spirit of the game and leading the spymaster. modest

But...

How is that different than the following?

The spymaster gives a clue such as Noisy, 2 and we look over the words. We see FLUTE and BELL and think that they are the words. Then we see RACKET and JET and consider those as well and talk about them.

"My immediate thought was to pick FLUTE and BELL but they aren't really as noisy as JET. And RACKET is not just tennis but also a synonym for noise."

"Hmmm, you're right. Why didn't he give us Instrument, 2 if he was thinking FLUTE and BELL? Or even Musical, 2?"


Turns out that the initial thought of FLUTE and BELL were correct and the spymaster didn't consider RACKET or JET. We pick RACKET and it's wrong.

On our next turn, the spymaster says, Musical, 2. Is that okay?

===

Should there be a house rule that the team should not say anything while the spymaster is thinking?

But that would put a crimp on the game. soblue Because we (as the guessers) want to give as much information about how we think to the spymaster by talking about our thoughts and connections.

It's a challenging question. Glad to see it here.
 
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It is not in the spirit of the game for the spymaster to repeat team discussion as clues. Optimum would be to have the spymasters only relay clues on paper and never hear any of their teammates. Then apply the appropriate cover card once a card is touched by their team.

edit: Bring on the Codenames earmuffs!
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mfl134
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toober wrote:
It is not in the spirit of the game for the spymaster to repeat team discussion as clues. Optimum would be to have the spymasters only relay clues on paper and never hear any of their teammates. Then apply the appropriate cover card once a card is touched by their team.

edit: Bring on the Codenames earmuffs!

Eh repeating team discussion as clues is fine.


The important part is the team discussion is about determining the words by parsing the clues. Intent is the key. Were they discussing to figure out the words or were they discussing to tell their spymaster how to clue? The first is okay. The second is against the spirit.
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Rob Rundle
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toober wrote:
It is not in the spirit of the game for the spymaster to repeat team discussion as clues. Optimum would be to have the spymasters only relay clues on paper and never hear any of their teammates. Then apply the appropriate cover card once a card is touched by their team.

edit: Bring on the Codenames earmuffs!
No, no, no, absolutely no! Spymasters can and must hear what both teams are saying. How else would they know when to use the 'zero' clue for instance? How else would the blue spymaster know if the red team, having picked an innocent bystander, decide that it must therefore be 'x', a blue word, that they will pick next turn, so blue spymaster can pick something else to clue? It would completely ruin the game if the spymaster can't hear the team discussions. They need to know which of the clues their team has missed is more likely to get picked up on correctly, and which they might have to reclue. They also need to know that their team is considering the essential question on every single clue, that is: would the spymaster have used this word to clue words x and y or are there easier ways to do it? If there are, then they probably don't mean x and y, but perhaps x and z.

I also disagree profoundly about preventing someone using a word from team discussion as a clue. I've only seen it happen once (in over 180 games played to date) but I had no problem with it at the time and would not again. It's so rare as to not be worth fussing over. It would only be objectionable if the guessers were obnoxious about it (e.g. "Our spymaster is crap, so here are some suggestions").
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mfl134
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Robrun wrote:
toober wrote:
It is not in the spirit of the game for the spymaster to repeat team discussion as clues. Optimum would be to have the spymasters only relay clues on paper and never hear any of their teammates. Then apply the appropriate cover card once a card is touched by their team.

edit: Bring on the Codenames earmuffs!
No, no, no, absolutely no! Spymasters can and must hear what both teams are saying. How else would they know when to use the 'zero' clue for instance? How else would the blue spymaster know if the red team, having picked an innocent bystander, decide that it must therefore be 'x', a blue word, that they will pick next turn, so blue spymaster can pick something else to clue? It would completely ruin the game if the spymaster can't hear the team discussions. They need to know which of the clues their team has missed is more likely to get picked up on correctly, and which they might have to reclue. They also need to know that their team is considering the essential question on every single clue, that is: would the spymaster have used this word to clue words x and y or are there easier ways to do it? If there are, then they probably don't mean x and y, but perhaps x and z.

I also disagree profoundly about preventing someone using a word from team discussion as a clue. I've only seen it happen once (in over 180 games played to date) but I had no problem with it at the time and would not again. It's so rare as to not be worth fussing over. It would only be objectionable if the guessers were obnoxious about it (e.g. "Our spymaster is crap, so here are some suggestions").
Codenames works great without feedback. Makes it harder for sure.
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Mike Walko
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That happens on occasion, but we let it stand. The cluegivers can't say anything other than their clue, but we let the guessers talk to their hearts content.

So far we've only had one game where that situation lead to the cluegiver using the clue we were talking about. As a guesser, you have no idea which words are yours, so it's just luck if you happen to name three words that are yours. For all you know, you could be giving the enemy team an easy clue.
 
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Dawn and Chris
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My 2 cents.

The situation the OP brings up would not be allowed in our games. That type of discussion should be saved for the debrief. Dazzle your teammates and opponents with the perfect clue after the game; not during.

I think the situation mentioned by Will Yum is a bit unfortunate, but it is fine. So long as the guessers aren't actively soliciting certain clues and their logic is relating to a clue already given, I see no harm.

Spymasters absolutely need to hear the chatter (from both teams)!!!

Lastly and loosely related...

We had a game where the spymaster gave a clue (I honestly can't recall the words targeted) and the number two. His team quickly got the first word and the clue giver covered the word without hesitation. Then they made a hasty guess for the second word. The clue giver then took time to reference the grid and laid his color again. This delay indicated to his team, even though they got 2 words covered, that the second one was not the intended target. Thus they knew that his clue still had a word in play. To counter this unintended communication, we have the opposing clue giver do all of the tile laying.
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Julius Besser
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kakitamike wrote:
That happens on occasion, but we let it stand. The cluegivers can't say anything other than their clue, but we let the guessers talk to their hearts content.

So far we've only had one game where that situation lead to the cluegiver using the clue we were talking about. As a guesser, you have no idea which words are yours, so it's just luck if you happen to name three words that are yours. For all you know, you could be giving the enemy team an easy clue.
Unless you're playing two player, which is actually what we were playing in the original question
 
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Anthony Hoang
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Should be allowed because the guessers DON'T know what the answers are. When they're talking it could be helping their opponents how the heck do they know. If they somehow manage to link two words together during their discussion then consider it LUCKY which is a part of every game. Now if they are doing it intentionally listing every single combination then yeah that's obvious cheating
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Viking Erik

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As a guesser, you have no idea which words are yours, so it's just luck if you happen to name three words that are yours. For all you know, you could be giving the enemy team an easy clue.
But the problem is the guessers can keep doing this until it's not luck. Suppose Red Team has three agents left to find. They could iterate over all possible groupings of three names on the board, saying "a clue for A+B+C could be X, a clue for A+B+D could be Y, a clue for A+C+D could be Z" and so on. If done exhaustively for all possible combinations, then the team is guaranteed to supply the spymaster with a clue that will let them find all three agents. And if they're going to win this turn, it doesn't matter if the other team gets fed the same info.

I suppose the timer would prevent an exhaustive search like this. But it's still unsettling that any backtalk from the operatives to the spymaster could in theory result in a perfect solution. But the game would also be less fun without any backtalk at all. So where can you draw the line on acceptable operative chatter?

My group frequently tells the spymaster something like this: "We wrongly guessed X last turn but now we know that clue was for Y. So we will guess Y this turn to make up for it, so don't try to clue on Y and give us a number one higher than your actual clue." Is that kosher?
 
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Susan
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vikingerik wrote:
Quote:
As a guesser, you have no idea which words are yours, so it's just luck if you happen to name three words that are yours. For all you know, you could be giving the enemy team an easy clue.
My group frequently tells the spymaster something like this: "We wrongly guessed X last turn but now we know that clue was for Y. So we will guess Y this turn to make up for it, so don't try to clue on Y and give us a number one higher than your actual clue." Is that kosher?
We allow it for the most part but if there was a codenames tournament no way.

I think most of the time it's done in more of a "let's see if we have this right" kind of a way rather than any sort of intentional or unintentional cheating.
 
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Jim Pooley
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toober wrote:
It is not in the spirit of the game for the spymaster to repeat team discussion as clues. Optimum would be to have the spymasters only relay clues on paper and never hear any of their teammates. Then apply the appropriate cover card once a card is touched by their team.

edit: Bring on the Codenames earmuffs!
A few weeks ago I gave the clue "King 2". The guessers mentioned a card or two during their guessing that I had not linked with the keyword as it seemed too much of a stretch. They got a one of the words correct.

Next turn I said "King 3" based on the words they thought I meant but hadn't.

Next turn I gave "King 2" based on their further discussions.

Not only did it cuase much hilarity but from the point of view of effect guessing where the spymaster is still only giving a word and number the feedback from guessers discussions makes for a more effective win strategy and isn't against the rules.

People really are being too ready to say 'against the spirit' of the game when it's a game based around spying. Follow the rules within the rule book but any feedback from the guessers in hints etc to the spymaster are totally valid...as they hints may not be valid becasue they don;t know what the words are!!!!
 
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Hmm, now that I read that again, maybe I should have phrased it as "it's not in the spirit of the theme of the game" since a spymaster giving clues to agents wouldn't technically hear the discussions after they left the room. Maybe this is getting to meta. But yeah, since everyone is in the same room for 'the game', then clue away as you will, heh.
 
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Mark Blasco

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There is a difference between discussing a clue that has been given, and making suggestions about what clue should be given. Talking about whether to pick Jet or Flute, which one is noisy, and how the musical instruments may or may not be considered separate, is completely in the spirit of the game, and if the spymaster uses that info later on to help guide them, that makes sense. All of the discussion was trying to figure out the intent of the clue given.

When the team is telling the spymaster what clues would work with different combinations, that's not at all in the spirit of the game. You are in essence telling the spymaster what you want them to do, and I can't see how that would be allowed.

This is a game where I feel there should be lots of discussion between the team as they try to guess, but there should be absolutely no discussion (intended or otherwise) between the players and their clue giver. Obviously the clue giver will be listening as the discussion happens, but if the players are purposefully trying to change what clues are given, that really starts to ruin the game.
 
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