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Subject: Pretender token: What are their real function? rss

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Anders Berfner
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Hi,
Note I have only played the game 0,5 times (at Essen) so I might be far off here. Still, after reading the rules I can't really understand the concept of the Pretender token...

First, I get the rule for it completely so that we don't have to discuss.
What is bugging me is the reason why it is actually a part of the game at all.
In order to win you need to have one at the assembly phase. You get it by taking the action and have met at least one victory condition. Since you can always do as many actions as you want (pass or play) you always have the option to take the Pretender token as your last action just before the assembly phase. So if you play this fairly well you can basically make sure your opponent don't have any cards left once you take the Pretender token, thus making them incapable to respond.

This means there are no reason to have the Pretender token within the game at all, since it will just be a extra action taken at the end no one can do anything about.
In my view I thought the Pretender token should act like a signal to other players to stay alert and act upon, but I don't see how this will happen? Players should of course do this anyhow but that is just like any other game without a Pretender token.

Maybe I don't see the whole picture. Maybe there are some cards I don't know about? Please fill me in on this!
Thanks!
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Ian Barker
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A huge consideration is that a round ends after all players pass in a row. So, if you want the pretender token but want to wait for the end, you may pass. But then everyone else sees what you're up to, and they don't have cards to counter your win this round. So what do they do? They pass, ending the round. Since no one has a pretender token, another round is played out.

Essentially, waiting to the end isn't that clear-cut.
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Anders Berfner
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Sure, but as long as they do so you can play your one action (and build a better position) and then counter pass upon their round pass.
I still don't really see the justification for the token if it wasn't to slow down the end game.
 
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Jeffrey Speer
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So no one can say, "glad you weren't paying attention, I win now"
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Anders Berfner
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But my take on this that it won't have that effect. That is the whole question.
 
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Ian Barker
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It will have an effect. Say one person just keeps passing despite having a hand of two cards. Everyone else is depleted. On your turn, you meet a win condition. Do you pass in hopes that the other player was trying to out wait everyone to do their own actions, or take the pretender token and hope that the other player just didn't draft what they wanted? If you pass and they respond by passing, the round is over and you have to deal with another round of actions that could undo your win condition. If you take a pretender token and the other player attacks you OR gets more victory conditions than you, you have no response before they win.

Remember, even if you have a victory condition by next round, you cannot be declared the winner if you lack a pretender token.
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Anders Berfner
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I hope you are correct but I'm not convinced. I will for sure play the game a lot.
 
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Christian
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Ok, I don't want to interfere in strategic discussion, but only one hint, ok?

You want to play the pretender token as if there was no pretender token...

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