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Pax Pamir» Forums » Rules

Subject: Hey, what card did you just purchase? rss

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longhunter

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We have a house rule that if a player purchases a card, but does not immediately play it, the other players may ask to see the card. Why enforce such a pansy rule in an otherwise cutthroat game?

It took me awhile to realize that often the most important card in the game is hidden in your opponent's hand. Sure, I could closely watch and even memorize the market as other players take their turns, or maybe I could take a mental photograph of a newly purchased card the instant before it disappears, but I'd much rather be using that downtime to plan my strategy, which is something I seem to be constantly tweaking, to no avail I might add, as the board state evolves.

So what do you "Great Gamers" think of this house rule? In particular, does this rule enhance or detract from the game's brilliant interactivity?
 
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Steve
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If no other actions have taken place, I am always happy to reiterate my latest action in case someone missed it. Once another player has started their turn, the information state of the game has moved on, and I would be reluctant to share my previous action. "Ahh, so now that they've done that you want to know what I last bought? Tough."
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Gillum the Stoor
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longhunter wrote:
We have a house rule that if a player purchases a card, but does not immediately play it, the other players may ask to see the card. Why enforce such a pansy rule in an otherwise cutthroat game?

It's not clear what is meant here with regard to the relative timing of the purchase and the request to see.

Asking to see some number of plays after the purchase is similar to asking to see any card in any player's hand. It is not generally consistent with the notion of a "hand" in a card game - usually a player's cards unseen by others. In some playing styles (e.g., online), players may agree to keep hands open if their contents were all public originally.

Asking to see immediately after purchase is different. In this game, purchases are made from an open array of a dozen cards. If a player asks to see immediately after purchase, I think that it suggests that the purchasing player snatched the card quickly so as to prevent others from knowing which card was purchased.

Personally, I don't think that this is sporting or necessarily consistent with this particular game. It may make sense to expect good players to benefit by memorizing what cards have been purchased. It seems different to expect players to memorize all 12 cards in the market (and their positions) so as to know which is missing after a purchase.

I suppose that you could play that cards are exposed only briefly when they are placed in the market and then turned upside down. Not a game for pansies that way, but I'm a pansy, I suppose.
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longhunter

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slashing wrote:
If no other actions have taken place, I am always happy to reiterate my latest action in case someone missed it. Once another player has started their turn, the information state of the game has moved on, and I would be reluctant to share my previous action. "Ahh, so now that they've done that you want to know what I last bought? Tough."


Agreed. But I think the nuance here is that I am asking for more than just a rehash of the player's turn, e.g. "I bought the British Regulars for 2 coins." I need to briefly study the purchased card (type, regime changes, actions, rank, location) with respect to the current board state and my current game plan.

I do agree that hands are generally private information, but it might be an interesting variant for those of us with apparently poor faculties to add the following action:

Action: A player may, if he has a spy on an opposing player's tableau, use an action to briefly reveal the opposing player's hand.
 
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upandawaygames.com
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Why not just play with open hands? Don't think it's meant to be a memory game.
 
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Christopher
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heli wrote:
Why not just play with open hands? Don't think it's meant to be a memory game.


I don't think the game is meant to be calculable either. Playing with open hands would lead to different interactions b/w players, etc. Ultimately it reduces some of the tension induced by trying to remember if your opponent can still change the regime or end the game on his turn.
 
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longhunter

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falafel007 wrote:
I don't think the game is meant to be calculable either.

It certainly hasn't been calculable for this particular gamer! And I suppose my poor retention makes for some anxious moments once the Topple card appears. I just really need to improve to the point of getting through the first couple topples - and I think that means making a better effort at knowing my opponents' hands. Also, maybe I begin to collude/negotiate when it is already too late to stop the topple.

Is anyone else surprised by how often the early topples succeed?

On the bright side, early topples let us start another game of Pax Pamir.
 
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Chris Montgomery
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I could see doing this for a while, until the basic card types are internalized and the players learn how to play. After that, though, I think this rule would really bog down play - better to simply have players read the cards out loud when they purchase them and move on.

I haven't had an opportunity to play Pax Pamir yet, but one of the great things about Pax Porfiriana was the color-coded nature of the cards. At a glance in the market and the table you can see the general gist of the game.
 
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Gillum the Stoor
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longhunter wrote:
I am asking for more than just a rehash of the player's turn, e.g. "I bought the British Regulars for 2 coins." I need to briefly study the purchased card (type, regime changes, actions, rank, location) with respect to the current board state and my current game plan. I do agree that hands are generally private information.

Thanks for clarifying this.

I misread your OP as suggesting that the cutthroat nature of the game might motivate more "aggressive" play in card purchasing, but I see now that the "no showing after purchase" was a house rule in your group perhaps general across games and not something added to be consonant specifically with Pamir. I apologize for any overreaction on my part.

Although the purchase of a card has no direct game impact other than payment (an amount that does not depend in any way on the card itself), I agree with the others that there is too much information on each card for it to be fair to withhold some of it by quick play.

In addition to Mode, Rank, Patriot, and Loyalty Prize, there are the card's Actions. These may be associated only vaguely with Mode. It may be especially interesting to know, for example, that a player is acquiring a Military card with Intelligence Actions, for example.

The Impacts can be very important, especially Regime Change. If a Topple is near, it is extremely important to know if a player is purchasing a card that would cause a regime change - although it is still up to you to figure out whether it's a change he's hoping to cause - or prevent.
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longhunter

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gillum wrote:
...but I see now that the "no showing after purchase" was a house rule in your group perhaps general across games and not something added... with Pamir.


We never really had a problem before this game. Hands are private, end of story. But the cards in Pax Pamir really stand out. They are publicly marketed, so there is really no excuse to be caught unawares, and yet they contain so much varied content...so here's the hypothetical situation...please imagine everyone drinking and laughing...this is a game, after all...

"Sorry, we were discussing the Supremacy situation...could you review the actions you took?"

"I bought the 3-rank purple card for 4 coins, and then my spy traveled."

"Doesn't that card have a Regime change?"

"I dunno, haven't played it yet."

"Well, that's not very helpful."

"Next time I'll say 'Fath-Ali Shaw' ."

"You should avoid difficult pronunciations when you're drinking or from Tennessee."

"Hey, watch it, the OP is from Tennessee."

"That explains everything."

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Steve
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longhunter wrote:
"Sorry, we were discussing the Supremacy situation...could you review the actions you took?"

"I bought the 3-rank purple card for 4 coins, and then my spy traveled."
Just to be clear, when I said "reiterate" in my answer above, I would show the card, not just give a partial description.
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longhunter

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In this game, do you find yourselves especially prone to revising or reordering your regular actions and free regime actions to find the optimal combination or sequence? With so many different aspects to each decision, our group often has a hard time anticipating all the different effects and interactions until we actually start going through the motions. And I can't tell you how many times I've unknowingly attempted to play another factions' patriot. Last game I exceeded my tableau limit and didn't catch it until my next turn. Even after the introductory sessions, we are all still working together to help each other make logical moves.

I'm also surprised at how many what-if scenarios regarding the market need to be inspected in order to play well. I hope this game always has that 'unknowable' quality. I can't resist it.

I wonder how much of our assisting, forgiving sentiment is present in games among experts.

 
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william bauer
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In our games, when someone buys a card, you can ask to see it "one last time" before it goes in their hand - to get one last chance see its info - but from then on hands are kept private (don't like the house rule idea of using spies to reveal hands - but house rules are house rules :-)

In our games, we also allow some latitude when an play is likely unintended (like playing a patriot which would change alignment - and sometimes a little re-sequencing - like getting a commerce and a purchase in the right order for best effect) - the idea is simply to learn to play better.

I think there may be times when, prior to the game, we intentionally limit such latitude - basically letting everyone know we are playing the "pro" game :-)
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