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Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars» Forums » Rules

Subject: Controlling Faction/Opposition Faction Communication rss

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Robert Champer
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OK, it seems clear that each City-State wants to gain as much Startegos and issues as possible during the Assembly Phase. Is it a legitimate strategy to “make an arrangement” with your partner prior to the games start to, when possible, play weaker cards for issues your compatriot selects and stronger cards for issues you select? This is not that different from an understanding that Leader use would be predicated on optimizing maximum acquisition of Strategy Board Strategos Plague status, etc.). I realize that all this goes out the window late in a scenario when you and your compatriot may think somewhat less of cooperation, but early on it may make sense?

I don’t play Bridge, but have been told that similar non-verbal communication can take place in that game. So is “tanking” a debate a legal strategy to avoid gridlock?
 
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Ladson
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If by "make an arrangement" you mean actually somehow communicating and agreeing who will win an issue, short answer, no. Long answer, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Discussed here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/26186474#26186474

Also see Mark's post "Love your dogs" here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1769399/love-your-dogs which says instead of tipping your hand so to speak to rig the political phase, use low-value cards to avoid gridlock and still generate strat tokens.

 
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BrentS
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Well, my short answer is yes .

Stated before play (not debate by debate) or simply an unspoken understanding between canny politicians, I think this is a fundamental and perfectly legitimate strategy to navigate one of the game's key tensions......the need to effectively prosecute the war while competing with your compatriot. I would think that between experienced players it would be a given, without needing to be specifically arranged, as per your Bridge analogy. You just can't discuss or reveal the nature of your cards, but an understanding that you will give your compatriot political slack to win the issues he chooses to debate while still playing the weakest card that will pull you Strategos ("you bid high, I bid low") is an approach that will occasionally result in political deadlock but most often empty your Strategos pool and get the majority of your issues into play for the theatre phase.

I wasn't aware of Mark's "Love Your Dogs" article until now but this is exactly what he is saying there. I'll often keep low value cards for issues I'm not intending to choose or win, knowing that my compatriot may choose them, thereby maximising my chance of pulling Strategos for every debate. Keeping all the strongest cards and throwing the weakest into your Entourage isn't necessarily always the best play. Sometimes a broad selection of cards covering multiple issues is best, even if that results in what looks to be a weaker hand simply based on card values.

And yes, later in the game (or from the start in the shorter scenarios), this all goes out the window. Knowing when that moment arrives, when your compatriot becomes a bigger threat than the enemy city state, is another of the game's key tensions.

I think this give and take aspect of debate is a wonderful simulation of participatory politics, particularly the Athenian democracy, one of the best aspects of the game as a simulation, and unique in historical wargames (at least in my limited experience).

Brent.
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Mark Herman
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The answer is you can work out a political doctrine as described, but once the Political phase has begun you cannot communicate what you are going to do.

Mark
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Ladson
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Ok, on further reading, I get what the OP is asking. I missed the part where you said an arrangement made before the game even starts where players agree that if it is an issue they selected, the other player will play low and expect reciprocation on his issue. That's not really an issue I guess, but do read the love your dogs thread because that's still how one would manage that to avoid the 5-average gridlock.
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Robert Champer
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Thank you everyone for the rapid feedback. “Love your Dogs” ties in perfectly with what we are hoping to accomplish. Glad to hear what we are planning is acceptable behavior!
Pericles will become an integral part of my “Mark Herman Retirement Portfolio”, whose ROI is off the charts!
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