Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
21 Posts

Scythe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Why are players not allowed to trade resources with each other? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ben Lopez
msg tools
Apologies if this has been asked already, but I couldn't see it in the rules section.

It says only coins may be traded - why is this? How would it break the game, or otherwise cause an imbalance, if players could trade resources?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel King
United States
Franklin
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not sure, but I think it would certainly allow certain factions access to resources faster. Coins can't get you any resource you want except vicariously through trading. That being said, I've never even thought about trading in this game, but maybe that's just the euro gamer in me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's due to the resources being kept on the board. Players don't have the freedom to move around resources as they wish--they have to use units on the board to do that. Allowing trading of resources would create an exception to that core element of the game.
27 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
blu300 wrote:
Apologies if this has been asked already, but I couldn't see it in the rules section.

It says only coins may be traded - why is this? How would it break the game, or otherwise cause an imbalance, if players could trade resources?


I suspect it is to prevent people using this ability to "move" resources across the board.

Given that resources exist on the board, and two players cannot occupy the same hex, how would you pass the resources to another player? If you could give another player resources from anywhere on the board and they could put them in any of their hexes, they could then give them back to you later and you could put them in any of your hexes on the board. It is a loophole that a pair of players could use to severely disrupt the intentional limitations placed on how you can move resources around. Writing rules to allow trading resources, but prevent this kind of loophole from happening, would unnecessarily complicate the very straightforward rules with clunky exceptions.

ninja'd
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Lopez
msg tools
I do see that this could allow pairs of players to disrupt a larger game, but surely that's only true if the players don't care about winning? Going by the (admittedly few) games of Catan I've played, yes there's the chance for players to help each other out at the expense of any competition, but everyone is aware that they need to be on the better end of the deal - otherwise people won't agree to the trade.

I do see that it's a way of limiting resources, making sure players have a reason to explore and expand though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
fortheloveofdice
Canada
Toronto
ON
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you really want to trade resources, one of you can leave them behind in a hex and the other can move in. (Or I suppose you could collude over a battle.)
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Patterson
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
reverendunclebastard wrote:
blu300 wrote:
Apologies if this has been asked already, but I couldn't see it in the rules section.

It says only coins may be traded - why is this? How would it break the game, or otherwise cause an imbalance, if players could trade resources?


I suspect it is to prevent people using this ability to "move" resources across the board.

Given that resources exist on the board, and two players cannot occupy the same hex, how would you pass the resources to another player? If you could give another player resources from anywhere on the board and they could put them in any of their hexes, they could then give them back to you later and you could put them in any of your hexes on the board. It is a loophole that a pair of players could use to severely disrupt the intentional limitations placed on how you can move resources around. Writing rules to allow trading resources, but prevent this kind of loophole from happening, would unnecessarily complicate the very straightforward rules with clunky exceptions.

ninja'd


By the designer, no less! I'm impressed with how well Jamey monitors these boards.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Mains
United States
Roseville
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jameystegmaier wrote:
It's due to the resources being kept on the board. Players don't have the freedom to move around resources as they wish--they have to use units on the board to do that. Allowing trading of resources would create an exception to that core element of the game.


Aren't there already exceptions to this concept? When you deploy a mech or build a building the resources can come from any hex(s) on the board to deploy or build in any hex that contains a worker. This allows for free movement of the resources within your controlled territories, even from a potentially far away leader who has acquired resources via an encounter.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Challis
United Kingdom
Inkpen
West Berkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So.. I trade my resources to you and put them on one of your hexes, and then you trade them back to me, putting them back on mine. And then we reciprocate on another pair of resources of your choosing.

We have now just managed to move our resources to wherever we ant on the board, bypassing all the restrictions built into the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
krystoff wrote:
Aren't there already exceptions to this concept? When you deploy a mech or build a building the resources can come from any hex(s) on the board to deploy or build in any hex that contains a worker. This allows for free movement of the resources within your controlled territories, even from a potentially far away leader who has acquired resources via an encounter.


That's the rule--it's not an exception. The rule is that resources are spent from any territory you control. If you were to pick up a resource from a territory you control and then put it back down in a territory you don't control, that would create an exception.

To be clear, this is not a gamebreaking concept. I could have just made this a rule. But trading usually slows a game down, so unless it's a game about trading, I generally only put a trading clause in the rules so that people will have clear guidelines about whether or not they can trade (otherwise they'll just make something up, as we saw with Euphoria). Paying coins to other players seemed like the best compromise, since coins do not exist within the spatial realm of the board, making it clear and easy for players to pick them up and hand them to someone else.

That said, if you make a house rule regarding resource trading that is fun for your group, by all means, do it! I don't want to hold you back from having fun.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ivelin Belchev
Bulgaria
Ruse
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If there's a trade action it should work in both thematic and mechanical sense and as Jamey pointed out (no loopholes and teleportation), it shouldn't slow the game down (limited options). There should also be incentive to do so for both players participating, like maybe a rare trade between the players falling behind towards the middle or the end of the game, trying to bridge the gap between themselves and the leaders? Finally, it should also have a small cost, so it's not just another extra thing some players can do while others can't or won't.

So if I were to add a trade action that adheres to all the mentioned rules and restrictions, without breaking the existing game concepts it would look something like this:

- During your turn you can take a "trade action". If you do, you can perform only a top row or only a bottom row action (not both) during this turn. Trade action is taken after your top or bottom row action.
- To trade you select a territory you control, neighboring with a territory controlled by an opponent. Each of the two territories must contain at least one resource and the opponent must agree to trade with you.
- You can exchange any resources at any mutually agreed upon rate between the two territories.

This could also create some interesting dynamics (if your group is into this kind of drama) like: "OK, let's just trade my 2 wood for those 2 ore you got, or I'm marching in with the mechs!" ...or "No need to attack me here, I'll just give you the two oil you need for a single food, alright?" ...or "Look, we're both two stars behind the others, if we trade these we'll both get a star and catch up a bit."

Any input or ideas to improve this would be nice. I may try it in one of our next games - it's always fun to add a bit more diplomacy and haggling to a game!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Challis
United Kingdom
Inkpen
West Berkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess for me this would add nothing, but would detract, I don't see the point - it's not that sort of game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ivelin: I think that's a clever twist on an existing action! I like it when all of the things you can do are within the bounds of the game (i.e., printed on the player mat), so your idea accentuates that concept.

As for the specifications of the rule, I'm not sure that they wouldn't slow the game down, but you're welcome to try them the next time you play to see if it works.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ivelin Belchev
Bulgaria
Ruse
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks Jamey!

What you said actually gives me the idea that the player trade action could optionally (and situationally) replace the on-board Trade action for a single turn if the player wishes so. This makes it much clearer rules-wise.

I don't foresee more than a few of these trades being viable during a single game and if the group is prone to overthinking or over-discussing things a 1min. timer can be introduced (I'm not fond of having to add components to a game too, but then again, I'm not sure if this would be even needed for most groups). So hopefully we're looking at no more than 5min. added to play time.

Of course, none of this means anything until properly tested in actual games! I'll certainly report back if it turns out to be a good addition to an otherwise close-to-perfect game!

Cheers!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Mosaic
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
iffo wrote:
- it's always fun to add a bit more diplomacy and haggling to a game!

That's not universally true; I much prefer games that don't bog down in haggling. The fact that Scythe doesn't permit it is a definite plus in my book.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ivelin Belchev
Bulgaria
Ruse
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sphere wrote:
iffo wrote:
- it's always fun to add a bit more diplomacy and haggling to a game!

That's not universally true; I much prefer games that don't bog down in haggling. The fact that Scythe doesn't permit it is a definite plus in my book.


What I meant was "it's always fun (for me)..." Of course, everybody has their own preferences. That's the reason we have so many great games that play so differently from one another.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Schroeder

Dubuque
Iowa
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Our group didn't even realize you could trade coins. Can someone describe a situation in which trading would make sense for both players involved?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I H
United States
Alexandria
VA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Reimius wrote:
Our group didn't even realize you could trade coins. Can someone describe a situation in which trading would make sense for both players involved?


"I'll give you four coins if you let me win a battle."
"I'll give you three coins if you attack that other player instead of me."
"I'll give you two coins if you take this hex instead of this one."

I hope to never see such deals made in any games I play, but YMMV.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Williams
Australia
Marrickville (Sydney)
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
emagius wrote:
Reimius wrote:
Our group didn't even realize you could trade coins. Can someone describe a situation in which trading would make sense for both players involved?


"I'll give you four coins if you let me win a battle."
"I'll give you three coins if you attack that other player instead of me."
"I'll give you two coins if you take this hex instead of this one."

I hope to never see such deals made in any games I play, but YMMV.


How about:
"I'll give you all my coins so that player doesn't win."

Overall I'd prefer to disallow coin trading.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
James: We actually debated that situation quite a bit, and it's for that reason that the rules specify that trades may not happen in tournament play. If that type of thing happens in your game group, though, that's for you all to deal with on a human/social level. There's only so far a game's rules can/should go to deal with players who completely ruin the experience. Fortunately those types of gamers are far and few between.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Williams
Australia
Marrickville (Sydney)
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That's fair enough. I can't see it happening much... only there are some "friendly arch-rivalries" in my group where it could happen under the right circumstances.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.