Will Mitchell
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The Spying strategy card has as part of its actions:
Quote:
As an action, pay 1 Silver to view your opponent's Hand or Reserve.
And in the rulebook under Reserve a Card (5.4.5) it states:
Quote:
Select any card from your Hand (including a Location) and place it face up in the box marked "Reserve" on your Player Aid.

Maybe I'm missing something, but why would you ever pay to look at your opponent's reserve? As a default rule, I tend to play games where if information is ever public, it stays public and can be inspected unless the rules state otherwise. Other aspects of the game seem to follow this principle. For example in 2.14 of the Companion Guide, coincidentally about the Spying strategy card, it states that the number of cards remaining in your opponent's draw deck is public knowledge an may be inquired about.

So should the Reserve deck not be considered public? Should they be played face down instead? What about the discard pile of an opponent. Should it be considered public information and therefore one could look through the opponent's discard pile? What about the Empire deck of an opponent, is that public?
 
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Jeremy Kidder
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This is because one of the official variants listed in the Companion Guide has each player's reserve be hidden (cards played face down). The wording on the card allows it to be players with this variant.
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Daniel Berger
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Jeremy is correct. Reserves are normally public, but there's a variant that allows you to keep them hidden.

Discard piles and empire decks are public.
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Will Mitchell
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That makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for the clarifications.
 
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Kenneth Stein
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djberg96 wrote:
Jeremy is correct. Reserves are normally public, but there's a variant that allows you to keep them hidden.

Discard piles and empire decks are public.



So if I wanted to raid a location I could ask to go through opponent's discards to see if that location had been played already?

If I knew he had 4 ship symbols total, could I ask to count how many had been used? Same goes for raid blocking cards.

I don't mean to be snarky, but doesn't the public concept open the game to the requests I've described? Seems a bit much.

Of course if the game is on Vassel you obviously have a free hand to keep track. Can one ask for a gentleman's agreement to just leave the discards alone and rely on memory when playing FTF?

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Daniel Berger
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kenstein wrote:
djberg96 wrote:
Jeremy is correct. Reserves are normally public, but there's a variant that allows you to keep them hidden.

Discard piles and empire decks are public.



So if I wanted to raid a location I could ask to go through opponent's discards to see if that location had been played already?

Yep, sure can.

Quote:
If I knew he had 4 ship symbols total, could I ask to count how many had been used? Same goes for raid blocking cards.

Yep.

Quote:
I don't mean to be snarky, but doesn't the public concept open the game to the requests I've described? Seems a bit much.

Of course if the game is on Vassel you obviously have a free hand to keep track. Can one ask for a gentleman's agreement to just leave the discards alone and rely on memory when playing FTF?

I leave this up to the players. Do you request this kind of information in other deck builders?

In practice I rarely ask to go through my opponent's discard pile, though I might do it once in a while to look to see if a specific location card has been played. Mostly I rely on memory, but it depends on my opponent announcing which cards are being used for each action.

This becomes a non-issue in online play where you can just mouse-over the discard pile to see what's been played.
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Kenneth Stein
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Thanks for your clarification and opinion Dan. I am a bit disheartened at what this means for face to face play. My opponent complains he has a bad memory and is at a disadvantage, so he writes down each location card as I play it.

Next there's talk of making up a spreadsheet with all cards listed down the side with 12 turns across the top. Groan.

Yes, it's "legal" by your ruling, but is it "cricket"? And, no, in the other 2 deck builders I've played, we haven't written down the cards or examined discards.

I consider this a coin flip, as it is just as easy to have said "All discards are face down and not for examination." I've noted that this changes with Vassal.

Just another grognard missing the old ways, like Obi-Wan and his light saber. ^_^

 
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Kenneth Stein
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"An elegant weapon....for a more civilized age."
 
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Daniel Berger
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kenstein wrote:
Thanks for your clarification and opinion Dan. I am a bit disheartened at what this means for face to face play. My opponent complains he has a bad memory and is at a disadvantage, so he writes down each location card as I play it.

The thing is, you're supposed to announce which cards you're playing when you play them. Consequently, keeping the discard pile hidden would mean more memorization, not less.

Mostly what happens in my F2F games is that I ask something like, "Did you discard the Syracuse card?" instead of constantly digging through my opponent's discard pile. Usually you're focused on one enemy location or card in particular, so you focus on whether or not it ever got played, to the point where you don't usually need to ask.
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Jon McVety
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I searched for discard info specifically because of the spying strategy card. The rules say the reserve is face up but I don't see anywhere in them that states whether the discard pile is face up. We've played it that way because afaos was played that way.

Looking through the discard pile is awful. We call out and show our cards when taking actions. This is especially true since the game is new and we're checking each other's moves to make sure they're within the rules. If I can't remember Rome played a city card that I want raid, I'd say that's my problem. I can see the top card of my opponent's discard pile but that's it, same for the reserve.
 
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Kenneth Stein
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I never meant to imply that you secretly discarded cards. Of course you call them and show them! And what if I really don't remember what I've played if you ask?
Dunno, it just seemed odd to have opponents rifling through discards.
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