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Subject: Preventing Cheating in Codenames (A weird new house rule) rss

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Leron T
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I realized that Codenames, by trying to be progressive and inclusive, has created a possibility for hard to detect cheating to enter gameplay.

Because the agent tiles contain both male and female sides, they can be used to give additional clues to your teammates. For example:

If the team goes into the game secretly knowing that a face-up female tile means that another agent is diagonally adjacent to that one, but a face-up male tile means that none of the diagonally adjacent words are agents for that team, it can greatly increase that team's odds of figuring things out.

A clue of "Feline. 4." on a board with "cat", "pet", "fur", "claws", "tail", and "tiger." seems kind of scary at first because you have a 1/3 chance of ending your turn early, but using the above strategy can clue you in to false answers very quickly. If you guess "cat" and they place the agent male side up, and you see that diagonal to cat are "claws" and "tiger", you now KNOW that those those are not your team's words...

I'm not saying that I think people actually do this, but it's just something I realized could be done. and because I like to be honest, I told my group about this, and we agreed that in order to prevent such a thing from happening, the spymasters have to agree on an a style of placement. (like alternating male, female, male or always placing the gender of the person who guessed face up, etc. just something that is clearly not going to affect the game).

What are your thoughts BGG? have you ever noticed cheating in Codenames? have you ever cheated?
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Mark Nicosia
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I can't imagine anyone I play with thinking that way ... at least not until we start playing for money.
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Matt Hindmarch
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Here's how I prevent cheating in Codenames or any other game. I spot it: last game with you. Despicable.
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Joseph Betz
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I probably would not want to play with someone if I felt they secretly went into the game with some sort of agenda such as this. Codenames is meant to be a party game. Anybody who needs to win that bad is a lowlife. I guess I am saying if I felt like I needed to institute a rule like this with the people I play with I would find others to play with.
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James C
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This would be the definition of "you're doing it wrong."

Meaning those that would try to play like you've described.

I can potentially see people cheating at things that matter, but not Codenames.
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Stephen Rochelle
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"Progressive and inclusive" doesn't matter. You could accomplish the same thing by orientation. The correct answer, short of tournament play, is "don't play with people who cheat". For tournament play, it's "have an umpire".

edit: for that matter, the signal could be "did I flip the theoretical featureless blue tile over in my hand before placing it on the word". There's no limit to the potential for cheating via signalling. And yet it's not actually a problem for most people.
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Susan
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Correct answers without the agony of not being sure exactly what word the want you to pick is where a big part of the fun is.

Have you ever played with someone who gives one word clue? It's a total snore fest.

This smacks of that.
 
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This is another reason the opposing spymaster should always be the one covering up the cards, not the current teams spymaster.
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Leron T
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To clarify, I don't actually expect there to be a bunch of cheating going on in a casual party game, but it was an interesting thing to think about. I find it neat when outside conventions are brought in to make a game easier (like how the color = play and number = save conventions have shaped Hanabi). So I think about that sort of thing often and wanted to know if anyone else had come up with similar theorhetical, yet not to be practiced sneakery (I thought the "flip the tile in hand" thing to be particularly devious.

I'm also glad that BGG at large, does have a consensus that games are about playing for the experience, and that winning is not the only goal.
 
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Leron T
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toober wrote:
This is another reason the opposing spymaster should always be the one covering up the cards, not the current teams spymaster.
same thing could apply though, using the other team's cards to give sneaky clues to your own team.
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Leron T
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isellsunshine wrote:
Correct answers without the agony of not being sure exactly what word the want you to pick is where a big part of the fun is.

Have you ever played with someone who gives one word clue? It's a total snore fest.

This smacks of that.


Agreed, it removes the fun, but isn't all cheating about removing the fun? nothing is fun about a guaranteed victory.

To further your point on Agony though, I once had a game where the only word my team needed was "round" the only word the opposing team needed was "ball" and the assassin was on "circle." there was actual sweat on the other spymaster's forehead.
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Leron T
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lomn wrote:
"Progressive and inclusive" doesn't matter. You could accomplish the same thing by orientation. The correct answer, short of tournament play, is "don't play with people who cheat". For tournament play, it's "have an umpire".

edit: for that matter, the signal could be "did I flip the theoretical featureless blue tile over in my hand before placing it on the word". There's no limit to the potential for cheating via signalling. And yet it's not actually a problem for most people.


That does give a good idea for a new style of team information game though. having to give secret information to a teammate without the opponent being able to figure it out, but the teammates need to agree upon how to do so prior to seeing any of the information... sort of a "Mogel Motte" meets "Codenames"
 
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Leron T
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zenpunk wrote:
I can't imagine anyone I play with thinking that way ... at least not until we start playing for money.


Losing team buys pizza?
 
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Leron T
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MHindmarch wrote:
Here's how I prevent cheating in Codenames or any other game. I spot it: last game with you. Despicable.

What's your opinion on unintentional voice pitch changes in Hanabi?
 
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Leron T
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jbetz45453 wrote:
I probably would not want to play with someone if I felt they secretly went into the game with some sort of agenda such as this. Codenames is meant to be a party game. Anybody who needs to win that bad is a lowlife. I guess I am saying if I felt like I needed to institute a rule like this with the people I play with I would find others to play with.


That's the problem with party games though, is that they're designed for anyone to jump in at any time, can't exactly vet everyone out beforehand. so one bad apple can spoil the bunch.
 
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Donagh Molloy
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Leron wrote:
I realized that Codenames, by trying to be progressive and inclusive, has created a possibility for hard to detect cheating to enter gameplay.

Because the agent tiles contain both male and female sides, they can be used to give additional clues to your teammates. For example:

If the team goes into the game secretly knowing that a face-up female tile means that another agent is diagonally adjacent to that one, but a face-up male tile means that none of the diagonally adjacent words are agents for that team, it can greatly increase that team's odds of figuring things out.

A clue of "Feline. 4." on a board with "cat", "pet", "fur", "claws", "tail", and "tiger." seems kind of scary at first because you have a 1/3 chance of ending your turn early, but using the above strategy can clue you in to false answers very quickly. If you guess "cat" and they place the agent male side up, and you see that diagonal to cat are "claws" and "tiger", you now KNOW that those those are not your team's words...

I'm not saying that I think people actually do this, but it's just something I realized could be done. and because I like to be honest, I told my group about this, and we agreed that in order to prevent such a thing from happening, the spymasters have to agree on an a style of placement. (like alternating male, female, male or always placing the gender of the person who guessed face up, etc. just something that is clearly not going to affect the game).

What are your thoughts BGG? have you ever noticed cheating in Codenames? have you ever cheated?


You have to much time on your hands.
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Peter Mulholland
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Dear god, why would anyone bother to cheat at codenames?! If you're taking it that seriously then you're not enjoying the game properly. Its a fun, light game with a bit of tension. Besides the fact that cheating in any game is just wrong, and if you're caught you're out of the group - why would you bother cheating in a game like this?! It's like cheating in Knit Wit or Rhino Hero - whats the point!?
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Sam Cook
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The spymaster can communicate the same information to the players by either placing the tile with his left or right hand, blinking when placing a tile, clearing his throat when his team is about to choose something wrong, crossing his arms when they are close to a right selection, or do any number of pre-determined secret codes to cheat. The fact that the tiles have 2 different sides doesn't really change anything if a team wants to cheat.
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Is it cheating if this happens?
The spymaster gives a clue: word:number
Then as the team is discussing cards, the spymaster opts to spell out the clue themselves (because the team is thinking of a homophone and discussing wrong cards)
 
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Tilou
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toober wrote:
Is it cheating if this happens?
The spymaster gives a clue: word:number
Then as the team is discussing cards, the spymaster opts to spell out the clue themselves (because the team is thinking of a homophone and discussing wrong cards)


No spelling.

Edit: forget what I wrote...
 
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Vance VanGogh
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toober wrote:
Is it cheating if this happens?
The spymaster gives a clue: word:number
Then as the team is discussing cards, the spymaster opts to spell out the clue themselves (because the team is thinking of a homophone and discussing wrong cards)


No it's not cheating, there is a whole section of the rule book about "homophones and spelling" that explicitly says you are allowed to spell it out.
 
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Vance VanGogh
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NyQuil Driver wrote:
toober wrote:
Is it cheating if this happens?
The spymaster gives a clue: word:number
Then as the team is discussing cards, the spymaster opts to spell out the clue themselves (because the team is thinking of a homophone and discussing wrong cards)


No it's not cheating, specifically because there is a whole section of the rule book about "homophones and spelling" that explicitly says you are allowed to spell it out.


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Tilou
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NyQuil Driver wrote:
toober wrote:
Is it cheating if this happens?
The spymaster gives a clue: word:number
Then as the team is discussing cards, the spymaster opts to spell out the clue themselves (because the team is thinking of a homophone and discussing wrong cards)


No it's not cheating, specifically because there is a whole section of the rule book about "homophones and spelling" that explicitly says you are allowed to spell it out.


I don't have that section in my french rulebook. Interesting. Don't know why they didn't put that too for french since it also has a lot of homophones.
 
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Robert Stewart
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For the male/female thing, I have all the tiles the same way up for the game, so gender is determined by the starting team's colour.

For reducing cheating generally, have the other team's spymaster give the clue to your team and cover your team's guesses, while your team's spymaster gives the clue and covers the guesses for the other team.

It still doesn't prevent covert signalling, but it ensures both spymasters agree clues are legitimate, and it makes most accidental tells disadvantageous rather than advantageous.
 
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Kirk Monsen
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for this to work you would have to have an agreement with your partner(s) before the game, and you would have to make sure you are always partnered with that player(s) for all future games, because if the other team caught you cheating in this way, they most likely would never play any games with either of you ever again (at least I wouldn't).
 
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