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Catan» Forums » Variants

Subject: Open hand variant rss

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Ben Dean
United States
Muncie
Indiana
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There is a gaming friend that insists on playing Catan with open hands. Specifically, all your resource cards are face up on the table for all to see. Development cards are still secret. I kind of hate it a lot and was wondering what other people think.

Here's some of the pros/cons as stated by him and myself:

Pros:
* Faster trading because you don't have to wonder what people have
* More strategic trading since you can have a good idea exactly what people will do with their resources (essentially, "I'll give you a city for a road").
* Friendlier since bad deals are more obvious

Cons:
* No ability to bluff in trading
* Monopoly card is too powerful
* Rewards fairness in trading rather than shrewdness
* Makes it harder to hide what you're trying to accomplish

Thoughts?
 
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Mike B
Canada
Whitby
Ontario
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Personally I don't like this because if I don't want a trade, I just say I don't have the resource. I rarely declare that I have it but don't want to give it away.

I don't think it will make the game friendlier since it will encourage badgering the player that has what you want, even if they don't want to trade it. And I also think it will lead to more aggressive actions, since if you know that they can build a settlement on their turn, you are more heavily incentivized to block them if you can.
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Jack of Clubs
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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There should be a Word Games Subdomain, or at least a Word Games Forum!
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Seems like a horrible idea to me.

The only other Pro is the case where one player is really good at remembering what everyone else got and what they spent. If one player has that kind of memory, he has a serious advantage over other players. Essentially, he *is* seeing everyone else's hand, while no one else can.

But I don't know anyone who can actually do this past the first few turns of the game.
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Max DuBoff
United States
New Brunswick
New Jersey
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"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
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Most resources are open information, so you might think it wouldn't mess anything up, but it gets problematic once people start rolling 7s and playing Knights. At that point open hands drastically reduce the tension, albeit also increasing the memory aspect. It's usually not too hsrd to figure out what people have based on the board, what's rolled, and their interactions eith others, though, so memory isn't too much of an issue, and the cons are thus rather serious. It can be good for families with young children, but it shouldn't really be a consideration for anyone who wants a serious game.
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ackmondual
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SoCal
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The purist in me says this isn't good. However, as I've long since stopped playing this game years ago (even any computer versions), I wouldn't mind to give this a try a few times for some variety.
 
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Kevin Rush
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NinjaMike wrote:
Personally I don't like this because if I don't want a trade, I just say I don't have the resource. I rarely declare that I have it but don't want to give it away.

Really? My group almost always knows what every player has. If people were to say they didn't have the card and others knew about it, they would be targeted so fast for lying. It would be better to just say, sorry can't trade that right now. Interesting to see how other people/groups play.
 
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Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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I'd only play open when playing with youngish children. Even then after a few games we would/did graduate to playing normally.
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SpaghettiToastBook
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You could write down what everyone's resources are, so I don't see the point of making everyone remember what everyone else has. The only exception is when cards are stolen, but I don't think that matters very much. Hidden hands just add a memory aspect that I don't like.
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