Tommy Roman
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I've looked in the forums but couldn't find the specific answer I was looking for, and the rulebook was not helpful in resolving this issue, either.

I'm trying to tease out the practical consequences of committing a betrayal (in our example, the Klingons revoke their trade agreement with the Federation by spending a command token to conduct an attack on Federation units). Previously at peace, the Klingons must now return the Federation's trade card. However, the rules do not clearly state that the Federation must return the Klingon TA.

Is this, in fact, what is supposed to happen? Or can the Federation hold onto the Klingon TA and gain the designated production credits during the recharge phase? (Likewise, having returned the Federation TA, the Klingons lose this production income during their recharge phase).

While it seems a simple conclusion that both sides suspend trade during combat, it also means that combat doesn't carry a disproportionate economic consequence for the aggressor (which seems like a major oversight in game design).

In other words, after the Klingons conduct combat they are eligible to exchange new trade agreements and be buddies with the Federation again (a cycle that could become quite tiresome until the Federation player a] stops trading altogether or b] starts behaving as badly as the Klingon).

Can someone who has actually gameplay experience clarify my (mis)understanding of this ruleset? Much appreciated!
 
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Nova Cat
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You are correct that only the attacker must return his trade agreement as a consequence of betrayal. That's how it works on paper.

In reality, there is precious little reason for a player to allow his own trade agreement to be held while he does not hold one from the corresponding player. In your example, the Klingons might allow the Federation to hold their trade agreement during the attack, but if the Federation doesn't re-establish trade with the Klingons after the attack, they can withdraw their trade agreement at any time.

So in practice, both players will almost certainly lose trade agreements as a result of a betrayal, or else they will re-establish trade afterward, possibly with some modification to the original terms due to the shift in politics.

Where it becomes important to get technical is when a player betrays the Romulans. As the defending player, the Romulans don't lose their trade agreement, and don't have to receive a new one if they re-establish trade after the attack. This means that their trade income will not be disrupted by their Suspicious trait. Conversely, if the Romulans betray an ally and then wish to re-establish trade with that ally, their agreement will be exhausted, and they will suffer the consequences of their betrayal.

Among other factions, it basically doesn't matter, though.
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Tommy Roman
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The trade mechanic seems somewhat dysfunctional, for the reason that I mentioned (there's not a true economic cost to "breaking the peace" as an aggressor). However, does this perceived effect make the gameplay awkward, or similar add a "cost of doing business" flavor to the player turns?
 
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Marc Bennett
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tommygunn2011 wrote:
The trade mechanic seems somewhat dysfunctional, for the reason that I mentioned (there's not a true economic cost to "breaking the peace" as an aggressor). However, does this perceived effect make the gameplay awkward, or similar add a "cost of doing business" flavor to the player turns?


the ecconimic cost to the attacker is they lose the trade agreement.

in your example, the klingons (attackers) lose and return the federation trade card, losing the production gained from it.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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i think you are not seeing the overall picture of the trade and possible betrayal; namely that its up to the players to decide what consequence they give to it.

on paper, only the aggressor must give back the trade he holds, but in truth he will as well take back the trade he gave to his opponent to deny him the resources and possibly his opponent will avenge the attack in some way.
betrayal isnt just a mechanical effect, but moreso up to the players to choose what to do about it.

if you start a full war, then consequenses will likely be extensive, but if the attack was just a pre-arranged deal to get a specific planet then it might be limited to giving back the trade only while the other keeps the trade as compensation.

thats where ascendancy truly shines as its more about the human factor than about mechanics.

note that you must be adjacent to establish a new trade.
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Harvey O'Brien
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I'm still not getting this mechanism. Being able to break a trade at any time seems to make betrayal meaningless. Suppose you plan to attack. You break the agreement at any time for no reason. You hand back agreements. You attack. No betrayal. Make peace and exchange contracts again.

Am I missing something? If you break a contract, is it just that you hand the rival's card back, but they keep yours? That would make more sense, but I'm not seeing that in the rules, which is not to say it's not there.
 
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James J

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The simplest way to remember the mechanic is that you always maintain control of your own agreement. So you can ask for your card back or exchange it for another at any time. But you cannot simply hand another player back their card. Unless you betray them by attacking. Then you are forced to give it back.

It gets trickier for the Romulans since they always exhaust any new agreement they receive (including a new card received when you exchange an existing agreement for one of a different value, like giving them a 3 to replace the 2 you gave them earlier). This deters them from betraying someone who has given them a juicy agreement, because they will lose an entire round of trade even if they get the card back right after the fight. So it isn't meaningless for them.

Likewise, the upcoming Ferengi expansion will do some interesting things with trade. They want to get their fingers into everything, and it can be hard to shake them loose. LOL
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Andrew Jordan
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tommygunn2011 wrote:

I'm trying to tease out the practical consequences of committing a betrayal (in our example, the Klingons revoke their trade agreement with the Federation by spending a command token to conduct an attack on Federation units). Previously at peace, the Klingons must now return the Federation's trade card. However, the rules do not clearly state that the Federation must return the Klingon TA.


I think the main reason for the Betrayal rule is strategic. Under any other circumstance in the game, revoking a TA is up to the players involved. But if you attack a player who's TA you hold, then you must give back their TA. The only way to get another TA from this is to become adjacent and re-exchange.

On the topic that only the attacking player needs to return the TA, I would say it is implied in almost every case that you would revoke your own TA as part of the attack. I can think of no reason why you would allow another player to hold your TA with no benefit to yourself.

It would all be much clearer if the rules simply stated: In the case of Betrayal, both players must return their Trade Agreements. I mean, that's what's going to happen anyway.
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Donald Jensen

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andyjobo wrote:
On the topic that only the attacking player needs to return the TA, I would say it is implied in almost every case that you would revoke your own TA as part of the attack. I can think of no reason why you would allow another player to hold your TA with no benefit to yourself.

It would all be much clearer if the rules simply stated: In the case of Betrayal, both players must return their Trade Agreements. I mean, that's what's going to happen anyway.

I really don't see this as "implied" but even if it were it is not required. I can see several possibilities where the attacker would allow the defender to keep the TA.

Let's say that I am the Romulans and I have a TA with the Klingons. I want one of their planets that happens to be deep in my space so I make a deal with them that I will let them keep the agreement if they will let me conquer and keep the planet. They can't surrender the planet normally due to the Klingon disadvantage. Now technically the Klingon player would have to be very trusting of me because I can still revoke the TA at any time, but it could happen.
 
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Andrew Jordan
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DrakosDJ wrote:
andyjobo wrote:
On the topic that only the attacking player needs to return the TA, I would say it is implied in almost every case that you would revoke your own TA as part of the attack. I can think of no reason why you would allow another player to hold your TA with no benefit to yourself.

It would all be much clearer if the rules simply stated: In the case of Betrayal, both players must return their Trade Agreements. I mean, that's what's going to happen anyway.

I really don't see this as "implied" but even if it were it is not required. I can see several possibilities where the attacker would allow the defender to keep the TA.

Let's say that I am the Romulans and I have a TA with the Klingons. I want one of their planets that happens to be deep in my space so I make a deal with them that I will let them keep the agreement if they will let me conquer and keep the planet. They can't surrender the planet normally due to the Klingon disadvantage. Now technically the Klingon player would have to be very trusting of me because I can still revoke the TA at any time, but it could happen.


Well, for what it's worth, I said it was implied in almost every case. I can understand how my wording may have sounded absolutist, sorry about that. I only meant to convey the idea that it is much MUCH more likely that you would revoke your TA whenever you lost a TA. Do cases exist? Sure. Do they happen often? Not by a long shot.
 
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