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Subject: Rule 9.4 Isolation - Can Units Trace LOC by agreement? rss

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Michael Sosa
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Isolation occurs if LOC cannot be traced back to a friendly space in Home territory for a Power. Can powers agree to allow other Power's units to trace LOC through their territory? Kind of like an alliance? Of course an alliance only happens with the play of the Alliance card, but can such LOC cooperation happen at all, either way?

I personally find such LOC cooperation abhorrent, it could dangerously skew the game by allowing unrealistic projection of power.
 
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Neil Randall
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The answer is no, not without a formal alliance.
 
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Michael Sosa
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So this type of cooperation is allowed. Under rule 4.4 "Talk the Talk" then no formal alliance would be necessary, as players can do anything unless specifically denied in the rules.

Rule 6.16 states that LOC may not be traced through an enemy occupied Space. It would appear then that under talk the talk, friendly relations can be temporarily established for such purposes as LOC.

Hmm, I'm not happy!
 
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Michael @mgouker
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You need to play an Alliance card to trace supply though.
 
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Neil Randall
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Belisarius88 wrote:
So this type of cooperation is allowed. Under rule 4.4 "Talk the Talk" then no formal alliance would be necessary, as players can do anything unless specifically denied in the rules.

Rule 6.16 states that LOC may not be traced through an enemy occupied Space. It would appear then that under talk the talk, friendly relations can be temporarily established for such purposes as LOC.

Hmm, I'm not happy!


Well, if it's an actual alliance, why wouldn't they be able to trace LOC through an ally's space? Seems entirely reasonable to me.

You could, of course, play without the "Talk the Talk" option (the game was designed without it and developed for a long time without it), or you could agree to limit specific things.

 
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Michael Sosa
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I think that with email play it is better to play with Talk the Talk due to it being impossible to safe guard against player cooperation through subterfuge. Face to face though I do believe that the alliance card mechanism works best.

In my specific case above, this appears to be a secret agreement between the other three players (!), revealed now at tend of turn, to allow an invading East army in Greece proper to trace LOC back to the East through Roman and Carthage territory. Greece is dominating the VP race in this game. :-)
 
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Colin Hunter
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For me it depends on what you allow. This is the way I see it (this is how we play in face to face games). You should allow people to discuss freely between players, organize strategy and discuss. However we don't let players do anything that would affect the rules, so basically you can table talk and trade money in certain specific circumstances (as outlined in the rules). We don't allow any rules modification except with an alliance card, so when we play face to face you can only draw loc through your territories except with the play of an alliance card. However in our PBEM game I was kind of going with the flow on that.

I don't know what michael and neil think, but personally it seems to necessarily restrict the game to not allow people to table talk. Good players will often not need it as informal nonbinding agreements are rarely more than a strategic calculation. Having said this in face to face play alliances are far too powerful to simply allow anyone to do them all the time. So I agree you shouldn't able to trace supply through powers without an alliance card. I have done it in the game we are playing as i assumed that everyone else thought it was the "done thing." In my own games I would make people play an alliance card to do it. As for dominating the vp, I blame that firmly on the east
 
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Michael Sosa
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You know Colin, I think you are right. We should allow strategy communication in email play but not rule bending alliance type of activities without the alliance card. The alliance mechanism is too powerful and would turn this into a pound the leader game more than necessary and rather weaken the historical simulation part of the game.

I'm going to email the group about this....
 
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Colin Hunter
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The only danger you run into is that people have potentially planned their strategy around it now. Its worth discussing either way....
 
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Michael @mgouker
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In nearly every PBEM game I've played prohibiting diplomacy outside of the Diplomacy Phase, I invariably receive emails that bend the rule. In Pax, I think it is essential to have ongoing diplomacy. When we play online, we always use Vassal chat windows, and in face-to-face play, the fellows I play with talk across the table and it's a big part of the fun (mostly because they are lying so often). I think the only option that would ever work for me is the "talk the talk" option.

That is why in the PBEM games that I moderate, I just assumed it was best to adopt the "talk the talk" rules. This led to a tremendous weakening of the Alliance card, however, but by various rulings I think it has a definite purpose. When the Alliance card is played, a Formal Alliance is then in place.

1. A Formal Alliance must last at least one Activation for each side, not including the Activation in which it is declared (which of course may not be an Activation of either player since it is held-in-hand). I thought about having it last until the end of the turn and be renewable like Sword of Rome, but I think that is too long in Pax to allow for player flexibilities. Making it last until the second player in the alliance has an activation puts an element of risk on both parties. You cannot simply declare a Formal Alliance and then immediately back stab (also see 3 below).

2. If you want your armies to treat each other's spaces as friendly, then you must have a Formal Alliance. This allows tracing supply and even stacking together.

3. Once a Formal Alliance is ended, if forces are stacked together, one side must withdraw to the nearest now-friendly space. In the case of a home province, the no-longer-friendly army may choose to return to its own home province and such movement cannot be intercepted. In the case of being outside of a home province, movement to the nearest empty adjacent space is enough.

4. Even with an Alliance card, you can never activate another power's armies however, however you may use galleys from another power to escort an allied power's naval transport.

5. If you wish to give up a city or town, you may only do so if an Alliance card is played.

6. With an Alliance card, you may exchange cards - even without a line of communication. In no other case may you exchange cards, though there is a card to steal another player's card (used nicely with Spies).

7. Even without a Formal Alliance, you may use a minor move to transport one or more Talents to any other power as long as you have a line of communication. In the case of a Formal Alliance, it no longer costs a minor move. Movements of funds may not be intercepted, but it may not be traced through unfriendly spaces or pirates.

These are just guidelines of course. I think each group should similarly offer what they consider are the powers and limitations of the Alliance card and what type of ongoing diplomacy is allowed.

Most importantly, though, have fun!

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Colin Hunter
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Quote:
In Pax, I think it is essential to have ongoing diplomacy. When we play online, we always use Vassal chat windows, and in face-to-face play, the fellows I play with talk across the table and it's a big part of the fun (mostly because they are lying so often).

exactly how I feel, it seems so artificial to prevent people speaking to eachother, and it take away from the social aspect of the game. I'm not convinced that the rules say you can't talk or even have diplomacy, only that it can't affect the game state without an alliance card.
 
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Neil Randall
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I like Michael G's distinction between Formal and Informal Alliances. I'm going to give it some thought and make a ruling. Hopefully before too long.

Thanks for the discussion, guys.
 
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Fred Donoso
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nrandall wrote:
I like Michael G's distinction between Formal and Informal Alliances. I'm going to give it some thought and make a ruling. Hopefully before too long.

Thanks for the discussion, guys.


Was an official ruling ever determined for this? I found this really interesting and was wondering what the official word would turn out to be.
 
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