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Subject: Are the cards in hand public knowledge? rss

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Mads Thilsing
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Can I ask which cards are in your hand/in your discard pile (and expect an honest answer)?
 
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bort
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I dont think I'd tell you
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Discard, yes, I'd think so. Hand, no.
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Ross
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We play yes, as the information is available if you pay attention.

The game should reward good strategies, not memorising cards people purchase.
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Russ Williams
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Carthoris wrote:
Discard, yes, I'd think so. Hand, no.

That seems an odd compromise for how to handle Hidden but Trackable Information, potentially displeasing to both the "memory is part of the game" camp and the "memory is not part of the game" camp!
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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Perfectly trackable? Then it's treated as public in this household at least. (Even in games where the rules for some weird reason specify that they should be hidden - why add an unnecessary memory element? Maybe some people enjoy trying to keep a handful of numbers in their head, but to me, that detracts focus from the actual decision making.)

I play games to make strategic choices, not to do memory exercises.
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Andrea Bampi
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thilsing wrote:
Can I ask which cards are in your hand/in your discard pile (and expect an honest answer)?


I can't find any direct reference to this in the rulebook, apart from "All played cards form a personal discard pile showing only the last card played" which seems to imply it's a hidden info.
Concerning the "trackability", yes of course it's all perfectly trackable - it's just a matter of taste if you choose to make all public or not.
My group prefers to keep all secret, because no one of us is particularly smarter than the others and we usually remember some info and lose some other - making the game more unpredictable and fun (for us).
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Jack Francisco
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Boite a Jeux lets you look at the discard piles but not opposing hands.
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Gillum the Stoor
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Obviously, top of the discard pile must be open: it's in the rules and necessary for Diplomat to make sense.

Hand closed and top of discard open seem standard for many games.

Whether the remainder of the discard pile is open is often less clear.

Keeping the hand closed seems pretty common; of course, in many games it is not trackable, so keeping it closed conceals the results of a shuffle.
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Mads Thilsing
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senorcoo wrote:
Boite a Jeux lets you look at the discard piles but not opposing hands.


Actually, you ARE able to see both the discard pile AND opposing hands (well I can, when I'm playing anyway).
It is my plays at boiteajeux.net that made me ask the question.
Of course, boiteajeux.net does not follow the rule, that scoring happens at the end, so I dont know if this is a reliable source when it comes to rules.
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Mads Thilsing
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It seems like its a case of 'whatever your group agrees upon'.

I think I like it best with open info. This may be because memory is one of my least developed board gaming traits.
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Luke O'Rafferty
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I'd be unimpressed if someone asked to look at my hand. I think you should just get on with it, I definitely don't want players asking every turn to check every hand
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Luke O'Rafferty
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Given that, if you asked me specifically about a card ("have you played your merchant yet") I'd probably give you a true answer
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Gillum the Stoor
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lukeorafferty wrote:
I'd be unimpressed if someone asked to look at my hand. I think you should just get on with it, I definitely don't want players asking every turn to check every hand

It might more be a question of whether to play with open hands.
lukeorafferty wrote:
Given that, if you asked me specifically about a card ("have you played your merchant yet") I'd probably give you a true answer

The more interesting kind of question might be, "who bought that Senator two turns ago?"
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Russ Williams
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In principle, your available actions could have been smaller chips which you leave face up in front of you, and as you use them, you push them to one side.

So the fact that they are hands of cards and a stack of discarded cards suggests (but does not prove) that they may be intended to be "secret".

I wonder if that was a motive for using cards. Or if it was just so that the description text and bigger art could be printed on them, and the "secrecy" is merely a side effect.
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Chris Johnson
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You can't generalize from how an online site handles HTI to best practices in person or in general.

Online sites tend to reveal HTI because if they don't, some people will track it manually, distorting the game play and results; so just put everyone on the same footing.
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Christopher Corrigan
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I personally can't remember squat - but that does not mean that I think games should not reward all you young whippersnappers who have not cluttered your memory for but a measly five adult years. This as opposed to us old farts have some 30(odd)years of memory of life - friends, family, finances, ideas, rules, etc, etc. All cluttering our wee heads. As any mature fellow well knows.
- Whats fair got to do with it?
Since the rules do not seem to address the issue directly but to imply that others players top discard is publicly known for playing off of. I've always played as your hand is private as a default but, that is simply arbitrary. I would say you should agree what is public before the game as a group.
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Nikolai
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Hidden trackable information in games sucks!
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gillum wrote:
The more interesting kind of question might be, "who bought that Senator two turns ago?"


That's a very easy question, the answer is always "nobody"...
(There are no Senators to buy, you only ever have your one initial Senator.)
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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russ wrote:
Carthoris wrote:
Discard, yes, I'd think so. Hand, no.

That seems an odd compromise for how to handle Hidden but Trackable Information, potentially displeasing to both the "memory is part of the game" camp and the "memory is not part of the game" camp!

It's habit as much as anything. I'm used to playing games with open discards, whether joint or individual, and it just seems intrusive to ask about the contents of someone else's hand.

I am in the "memory is part of all games" camp.
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Hilda Lirsch
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senorcoo wrote:
Boite a Jeux lets you look at the discard piles but not opposing hands.

Boîte a Jeux also keeps a running tally of victory points.

But in face-to-face play trackable discard piles and/or trackable victory points would waste waaaaay too much time.
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Mouldy Banana
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lukeorafferty wrote:
I'd be unimpressed if someone asked to look at my hand. I think you should just get on with it, I definitely don't want players asking every turn to check every hand
If that's your only issue, you could always just lay out your cards so they don't need to ask
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Jenny Cranston
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We've always played it as a discretionary thing. Generally with us, if you ask someone if they'd played a certain card yet, they'd give an honest answer if they were going to give any answer. They'd be under no obligation to answer you at all, but with the spirit of the game it would be odd to outright lie. It's all in how your group plays

Looking through someone else's hand and discard pile however would be seen as excessive and just bad sportsmanship, despite everything being traceable information. It would slow down the game to a crawl and probably lessen the fun for everyone else involved.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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The "if it can be tracked it should be open" crowd are party poopers. My wife and I go by the spirit of the rules wherein only the top discard is open. Of course, while we are medium competitive we are not trying to wring every last point out of every situation.
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Colin Tress
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skutsch wrote:
The "if it can be tracked it should be open" crowd are party poopers. My wife and I go by the spirit of the rules wherein only the top discard is open. Of course, while we are medium competitive we are not trying to wring every last point out of every situation.


Agreed. Playing competitively is one thing. Trying to number crunch every decision is another. Closed hands don't so much make it a memory game, but encourage players to make their decisions based on a mixture of avaialable information and intuition. Perfect information, such as you have in many abstracts, slows games down a ton. This might be fine in a two player game of go, but not so much in a 4 player Euro game. Unless your group is into that, of course.
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Jon Ben
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colintress wrote:
skutsch wrote:
The "if it can be tracked it should be open" crowd are party poopers. My wife and I go by the spirit of the rules wherein only the top discard is open. Of course, while we are medium competitive we are not trying to wring every last point out of every situation.


Agreed. Playing competitively is one thing. Trying to number crunch every decision is another. Closed hands don't so much make it a memory game, but encourage players to make their decisions based on a mixture of avaialable information and intuition. Perfect information, such as you have in many abstracts, slows games down a ton. This might be fine in a two player game of go, but not so much in a 4 player Euro game. Unless your group is into that, of course.


Making a decision based on perfect information is often faster than making it with imperfect information.
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