Michael Kraack
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The rules say that agreements are binding.

Suppose it is the trading phase. The following discussion occurs.

Player A: "I will give you X for Y."
Player B: "I accept."
Player C: "Wait, I will give you X+Z for Y."

My understanding of language says that once player B says "I accept," an agreement has been struck and it is too late for player C's offer to be considered. At this point, player A is obligated to give player B item X in exchange for item Y.

Can player B change his mind here and NOT complete the exchange with player A, instead striking a deal with player C?

Edited to clarify who might want out of the original deal (Player B).
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Frank QB
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sabash wrote:
The rules say that agreements are binding.

Suppose it is the trading phase. The following discussion occurs.

Player A: "I will give you X for Y."
Player B: "I accept."
Player C: "Wait, I will give you X+Z for Y."

My understanding of language says that once player B says "I accept," an agreement has been struck and it is too late for player C's offer to be considered. At this point, player A is obligated to give player B item X in exchange for item Y.

Can player A change his mind here and NOT complete the exchange with player B, instead striking a deal with player C?


I would say yes, it's too late, but I am not a rules lawyer.
 
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Scott Seifert
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Players would just stop saying "I accept" and start briefly asking for counteroffers before accepting. The only effect of such a rule would be annoyance as players must now watch what they say or risk falling into a binding deal. Immediate deals are binding once the goods are exchanged. Future deals, by necessity, are binding upon verbal agreement (unless part of the deal can be performed immediately).
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Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
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I'm curious what more experienced players (or the designer) have to say.

My preference is that the deal isn't binding until goods are exchanged. So in your example, player B could change his mind and trade with player C instead.

 
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Michael Kraack
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Player A: "Next turn I will give you X for Y, which you will give me next turn."
Player B: "I accept."

So, when does this become binding? As soon as Player B accepts? Or next turn, when they exchange goods?

If the former, does that mean C couldn't chime in with "Wait, next turn I will give you X+Z for Y, which you will give me next turn."

I'd say obviously it can't be the latter, that it becomes binding when they exchange goods, since that would make future deals unenforceable.

So it's either "as soon as Player B accepts" or it's some other time. But what other time?

It seems like we're adding a lot of rules, when the rule of "agreements are binding" works just fine on its own, if you just accept that verbal agreements ARE agreements, and are binding.
 
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Frank QB
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I think "agreements are binding" is simple enough.
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Geoff Speare
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I think it will vary by player group.

I think my usual group would consider "I accept" to be mostly binding. Going with a counteroffer wouldn't be banned but might carry some degree of moral hazard.
 
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Peter Strait
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I'd say Player A is within their rights to insist on honoring the deal, should they so choose, but that it's also never too late to renegotiate, and the goodwill savings of releasing B from their contract (or the cost of choosing not to) is certainly something Player A should consider.
 
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TauCeti Deichmann
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First off, I like the responses we already have.

But, my words carry official weight for some reason, so my answer:

I intentionally left rules of player etiquette vague, because each group is going to have their own preferences. Nothing here will break the balance of the game, so I'd rather you do whatever works best for your group, and ignore what I'm about to say.

<=oOo=>


Alright, my group's way of doing things. When a deal involves the immediate exchange of goods (resources, cards, weird alien stuff), the deal is binding the moment everything exchanges hands. So long as there's something that hasn't been handed off, the deal is still open. When a deal is entirely about future trades, the deal becomes binding once both players explicitly say that they accept the deal. Since there's no exchange of goods, we tend to be more formal about declaring the deal accepted. These sorts of deals are relatively rare anyway (maybe one in five games has one?).

When I'm about to sell something that I have a near-monopoly over, and expect that there should be more demand for it than I'm seeing, I often pause a deal I'm in to announce to the table that I'm selling the whatever-it-is, and if anyone wants to buy it this is their last chance to make a counter offer. This happens more frequently when the buyer is an experienced player who I expect has good odds of winning -- given the same price, I'd rather sell to an inexperienced player, or someone doing poorly.

We're pretty friendly about players realizing that the deal they just finalized was in fact bad for them, and letting the player go back and renegotiate. Especially if the player with second thoughts is new to the game. We'd rather players make trades quickly, confident that they can “undo” a mistake, than that they over analyze simple deals before accepting them. (It's better for the person who lost out on the deal as well, since it means more, faster deals in general). That said, reneging on a recently finished deal because a better offer was just made isn't something we generally do, and we'd consider it perfectly normal for the other side of the deal to be very annoyed with such behavior, and even have the right to demand that the first deal be kept to. (As ErsatzDragon points out, there's some social value in being friendly to the other player and letting them back out of the deal. In game terms, this is equivalent to both players making a very quick deal to cancel the previous one and re-open negotiation).

Really, though, part of the etiquette here has to do with interrupting people. In my group, most of my friends are perfectly happy interrupting each other to get deals through, and will often edge in on each others deals. If your group finds interruption unacceptably rude, then it's better to pause an important deal just before finalizing it and briefly ask the table if anyone else wants to jump in.
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Michael Kraack
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Thanks for the clarification!
 
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Peter Strait
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TauCetiDD wrote:
When I'm about to sell something that I have a near-monopoly over, and expect that there should be more demand for it than I'm seeing, I often pause a deal I'm in to announce to the table that I'm selling the whatever-it-is, and if anyone wants to buy it this is their last chance to make a counter offer. This happens more frequently when the buyer is an experienced player who I expect has good odds of winning -- given the same price, I'd rather sell to an inexperienced player, or someone doing poorly.

Bold simply to highlight: it just occurred to me that the game organically encourages assisting weaker players because it's safer for a leader to help someone further behind than it is to help someone they're neck-a-neck with. And because this safety has value, it's even rational to offer a better deal to a weaker-positioned player than you would someone else.

Not really related to the current topic, but just... wow.
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TauCeti Deichmann
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ErsatzDragon wrote:
And because this safety has value, it's even rational to offer a better deal to a weaker-positioned player than you would someone else.

This is true, but not to the greatest extreme. If the difference in what you offer is too large, the weaker player could buy the stuff from you, sell it to the stronger player for a price below the one you offered them, and still make a profit. Basically, arbitrage. Thus, outright refusing to trade with another player doesn't really work. But moderate differences in selling price for something really valuable do make sense.
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