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Subject: What are you deducing from others theories? rss

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Iliya Gabrovski
Bulgaria
Alaska
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Hello, I have played this game savereal times, and yet I haven't intentionally published a wrong theory, in order to debunk it latter. But I was always wanted to give it a try. So what are guys deduce if you now that in round 2 a have mixed G+ and R+. All the others have made one potion.
I am publishing that feather is:
1. r+g-B+
2. r-G+b+
3. R+G+B+
What do you thing I've hedged in all of the examples? And what part the teory do you believe or you simply choose to ignore the publication until there is more information?
 
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Philip Morton
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Well, if you only have R+ and G+ results, then if you tested the same ingredient twice, you know one ingredient is R+G+ and another (the one that paired to produce red) is R+G- from size information. So I would assume you hedged:

1) Blue
2) Red and it's a fake publish
3) Blue

In case 2 I might believe Feather is R+G+ anyway, because you're even more at risk if it's not.

What I usually do in this case is use separate markings (lighter pencil squiggly Xs and Os) to track what it would mean for my deduction if you're being truthful (=> hedging properly). A lot of the time I'm not in a position (=> testing the right ingredients) to make use of the information until after I've seen confirmation from my own testing, or someone else has debunked it, or you've flinched and debunked yourself.

If I do end up needing to use your published info to get out seals to hit a conference deadline or something, it'll depend on what I know about your play style from previous games and how you strike me in general (e.g., if the publisher is the guy in the group who likes to just throw out chaos in games, I'm likely to trust it less).

The thing I'm more interested in is how to interpret early information published to the expansion's Encyclopedia board. I haven't played enough games of the expansion to have anyone go there early yet; I'm wondering whether it ends up giving away more or less information than a normal publish....
 
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Iliya Gabrovski
Bulgaria
Alaska
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That's very helpful. You are saying that if I sometimes deliberately post bad publications, you will stop relaying on my true theories. So basically even though I publish, I will not give you any immediate knowidge.
Also from your post I understand that is best to publish R+G+B+, hedged for the wrongs green, if I want to lie to the others.
 
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Philip Morton
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There's been a couple of threads on whether / how you can trip up other players' deduction by publishing information you know to be false (or even just information that might be false but that it looks like you should know.

My feeling after trying it a few times is that it's got negative expected value--it's more likely to cost you points (wasting actions fixing your publish later, dropping below conference thresholds due to conflicts, getting actually hit on an unhedged debunk) than it is to gain you net points by tripping up someone else's deduction. That's why I pointed out that it's fairly rare that I'm in a position to really need to trust your information.

In the long term? The benefit of making me not trust your proper publishes is likewise reduced by the infrequency that they would have been helpful to me. Maybe it's worth it to you to put yourself at a significant handicap every few games to gain a minor advantage in the others (though against opponents savvier than I, if you don't have a good poker face the benefit might be completely negated). I feel that the false publications do make for a more interesting game--at least there's no chance of a zero-debunk game with the whole board correct at the end!

In an alternate universe where "test minimally, endorse other players' theories heavily" was a viable strategy, there would be an interesting rock-paper-scissors where the endorsing players outperformed the testers, the fakers tripped up the endorsers, and the testers debunked the fakers. I don't usually see endorse-heavy strategies outperform just doing the tests yourself, though.
 
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David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
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I agree with all of those who WISH there were more misinformation and deception in the game. I just don't see it being valuable as the game is currently structured.
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Tim Courtney
United States
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If I have the opportunity to publish a correct theory, I think it's always worth more points than whatever benefit you may get from attempting to trick people. In some cases when it's my turn to publish, my choices are to confirm an existing correct theory, or publish a new one for which the correct marker isn't available. I'll sometimes do the latter if I can hedge correctly and it earns me a grant.

I saw one player try to publish/debunk with printing press and robes, but it didn't work at all. Too many points from conferences, grants, and seals plus income from confirmations; you're better off staying on the board.
 
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