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Questions:

1) If one plays the bluffing token during one of their turns, and they do not play one of their Combat tokens, do they keep that un-played token into the next round?

The rules say draw until each player has "a total of six tokens behind the screen."

Therefore, does this unused Combat Token carry over into the next turn?

Also, can one accumulate more than six Combat Tokens behind their screen? For instance the Lion player has a +2 on their bluff Combat Token. It is to their advantage to play the bluff Combat Token. Therefore, if they draw a 1 Combat Token and do not play it during the Placement Phase, are they allowed to draw a set of five Combat Tokens during the Draw Combat Token part of the Upkeep Phase? This would technically give them 6 tokens (and possibly more as the game progresses if they continually play their bluff token), plus their bluff Combat Token?

2) When one plays a Diplomacy token into a province being attacked by another player, does this the Diplomacy token negate all attacking Combat tokens including the Raid token?

3) How many Raid tokens does one get? In my copy of the game the Unicorn Clan has two.

Thank you.
 
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Snow Blind
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1. Yes, the unused token remains. Actually, we've played it so that you get to draw 5 combat tokens every turn thus raising the number of tokens you get to choose from later on in the game if you've used the bluff token. I felt it gave a needed incentive to bluff since you could have more tokens for the next round. But now that I've read the rules it seems that you're correct in your assumption that players can only have 6 tokens behind their screens. (I'm gonna house rule this, though )

2. You can see the resolution phase order on the last page of the rule book. The order of the tokens is: raid > diplomacy > battle tokens. So diplomacy negates all the other tokens except raid, which is the most powerful token in the game.

3. All the clans have the same basic tokens plus one clan specific token which is printed on the player screens. For the Unicorn clan this token is an extra raid token.
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1. “Placing a bluff token can also give you the opportunity to save a more valuable combat token for a later round, as over the course of the placement phase you will use five of the six tokens that you drew at the beginning of the round. By saving your most powerful combat tokens for future rounds”

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/11/8/lay-you...
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Capadokia wrote:
1. “Placing a bluff token can also give you the opportunity to save a more valuable combat token for a later round, as over the course of the placement phase you will use five of the six tokens that you drew at the beginning of the round. By saving your most powerful combat tokens for future rounds”

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/11/8/lay-you...


Interesting. I thought there had to be a reason why I believed players always take 5 fresh tokens every round and using the bluff token would increase the number of options you have at later rounds. The rulebook however quite strictly says twice on page 7 that players only have 6 tokens behind their screens. This is in line with what is written under bluff token explanation aswell.
 
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Too be honest i am more confused now because of the 2 different clarifications ( website + rulebook)

How I see it know:
When u spend 5 tokens and the 6th token behind you screen is a attack token
U keep the attack token and take the bluff token back behind your screen aswel, now u draw 4 tokens so u have a total of 6 tokens again.

Can a developer please confirm this please
 
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Tahsin Shamma
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You don't need a developer. That is correct.

Quote:
Draw Combat Tokens: Players place their bluff combat
tokens faceup behind their screens. Then, they draw
combat tokens from their combat token pools and place the
tokens behind their screens until they each have a total of
six tokens behind the screen. Then, players flip their drawn
tokens faceup; these six faceup tokens are the player’s hand.
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Hail:

a. I like your interpretation. Yes there is no incentive to bluff. I agree and noted that in my own rating/comments for the game. We house ruled it the same too.

b. That helps in regard to Raid and Diplomacy.

c. The player screen for Unicorn does not indicate two Raid Tokens. Like all of the other screens it just says Raid with no number count.

New Question:

One more question in regard to the Unicorn Clan, please. The Unicorn Clan is allowed to "switch" two tokens. There was some debate over this special power. In particular, there were two questions. The questions asked were 1) when can the Unicorn Clan perform this action and 2) what is the meaning of "switch"?

To illustrate the two questions I will clarify by adding:

1) Is the Unicorn clan allowed to make this "switch" at any time of the Token Placement Phase or do they wait until the Token Placement Phase is over and then perform the action just before the Resolution phase begins?

2) The issue of switch is a matter of semantics. I interpreted it to mean that the Unicorn Clan can "switch" places for two of their already placed Combat Tokens. However, someone made the case that it should mean "swap" because to them "switch" meant that they could take two of their Combat Tokens and relocate them elsewhere on the board (within legal parameters for the Unicorn Clan), regardless of the Unicorn Clan's initial placement. We ruled that this second interpretation was too powerful, and ruled that the first interpretation was correct. However, nagging behind my brain is the question, were we correct?

Thank you for your answer in advance.

I feel there is a great deal of ambiguity in the rules. There is ambiguity in some of the player powers which need clarification. There is ambiguity in how some of the Combat Tokens play out (i.e. the questions I list above regarding the Bluff Token and the Raid/Diplomacy Tokens). Examples and clearer writing were needed. A FAQ seems necessary.

 
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Clayton Weaver

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HailTheSun wrote:
Actually, we've played it so that you get to draw 5 combat tokens every turn thus raising the number of tokens you get to choose from later on in the game if you've used the bluff token. I felt it gave a needed incentive to bluff since you could have more tokens for the next round. But now that I've read the rules it seems that you're correct in your assumption that players can only have 6 tokens behind their screens. (I'm gonna house rule this, though )
The only problem I see with buffing the bluff is that it feels like a direct buff to the Lion clan since they are already bluffing on a regular basis.

It might work as something like a Mantis clan ability and give them a Navy 3 token.
 
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WLMIV wrote:
c. The player screen for Unicorn does not indicate two Raid Tokens. Like all of the other screens it just says Raid with no number count.

New Question:

One more question in regard to the Unicorn Clan, please. The Unicorn Clan is allowed to "switch" two tokens. There was some debate over this special power. In particular, there were two questions. The questions asked were 1) when can the Unicorn Clan perform this action and 2) what is the meaning of "switch"?


Each of the player screens list the 25 common combats all the clans have on the bottom left. In addition to this each clan has a clan specific extra token which is listed under the clan ability. It's the same with all the clan screens.

As for clan abilities, there haven't been any clarifications on those. But personally I read the unicorn ability the same as you do, meaning the player can swap 2 tokens with one another. Reading it otherwise would be OP and imo very illogical, although I understand that players like to think the clans they play with have extra powers Unicorn clan is powerful as it is, enabling it to surprise others with raid tokens etc they never saw coming. As for when it is allowed to do so, the text says "before combat tokens are revealed" which imo means the player can do so even at the start of the resolution phase. Otherwise the text would say "in your turn" or "after placing combat token" etc.

Clayton7 wrote:
The only problem I see with buffing the bluff is that it feels like a direct buff to the Lion clan since they are already bluffing on a regular basis.


I'm not so sure about that. There is very little incentive for other players to bluff if they always have a hand of 6 tokens no matter what, which means the Lion clan gets to save one powerful token for the next round whereas others have used all of theirs. If all players get to draw 5 fresh tokens, it would encourage everyone to use bluff tokens early on and bank their best tokens for an epic last round.
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Snow Blind
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Capadokia wrote:
Too be honest i am more confused now because of the 2 different clarifications ( website + rulebook)

How I see it know:
When u spend 5 tokens and the 6th token behind you screen is a attack token
U keep the attack token and take the bluff token back behind your screen aswel, now u draw 4 tokens so u have a total of 6 tokens again.

Can a developer please confirm this please


I asked this from FFG (amazing customer service btw, answering in the middle of Christmas!) and it is indeed so that players only have 6 tokens behind their screens. So if you use the bluff token to save 1 token you've previously drawn, you will only draw 4 new tokens for the next round.
 
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James Lyvers
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People should learn to bluff more. Especially on offense, to draw out more real tokens from their opponents. To be fair, the first time I played we missed the part about the bluff token going back behind the screen, and it didn't change the game overly much. However, I would almost say, the designers expected/intended for all players to bluff each round. But it is correct to say that not bluffing potentially gives you an advantage due to the draw mechanics of the game.

The game might be slightly better if you could ditch the extra combat token at the end of the round you bluff, before drawing your new hand. I like this more than always drawing 5 new tokens, and ending up with extra at the end. This gives you the ability to keep a token you like but ditch a token you don't. But, also prevents people from avoiding having to use their 1 strength Army tokens too easily, which is the obvious flaw with the always draw 5 modification.

Judicious use of the First Player/Scout/Shugenja cards help a lot. In point of fact, we find in the 3 and 4 player games that the 1st player card seems overly powerful, it can very easily tilt the game in favor of the player(s) who get the extra use out of that card. As you are effectively reducing the number of tokens a player gets to place over the course of the entire game.

The other thing to keep in mind is play balance. As written, the bluff can be a powerful tool, BUT means you see one fewer combat tokens. This may be intentional as a bluff token can and should cost the player you use it against a token as well.

Note: if you never bluff there is still 1 combat token (unless you are Dragon) that you never see, while if you bluff every round there are 6 you never see. Depending on what those tokens are can have a huge impact on how the game plays out. Because everything else is so even. But the bluff token also potentially allows you to keep a powerful token until it is needed. And the power of that can not be understated.

Ultimately I think all the clans were designed to use the bluff often, if not every single turn.

Crab should be using theirs to bluff on defense to try and convince opponents to over commit to an attack. After all, nobody wants to just let crab accumulate those +2 defense tokens and extra victory points, right?
Crane can easily bluff due to their ability to win ties.
Dragon should have relatively higher quality draws plus the threat of the Blessing 3 token, making a Dragon Bluff very effective.
Lion, well the defensive bonus is obviously nice, but bluffing offensively late with a powerful token in your hand to win a key province is the nuts as they say.
Phoenix makes any token on a capitol province a threat.
Scorpion should use their bluff constantly as the vehicle to use their special ability before over/under committing.
Unicorn, holy cow bluff attack 1 province then if your real attack is getting blunted switch the bluff token there so you get something as opposed to nothing.

The point is if you aren't using the bluff tokens then you probably aren't doing it right, as they say. And while it is true that the player that doesn't bluff the whole game has somewhat of a numerical advantage, that advantage is most likely negated by his opponents use of their bluff tokens.

 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Midknightwraith wrote:
But the bluff token also potentially allows you to keep a powerful token until it is needed. And the power of that can not be understated.


Is that so? It always tripped me. "When it is needed" in a game of 5 rounds, feels... I don't know, farfetched? In all honesty, when it "isn't needed" in such a tight game? If you don't play powerful tokens now, you will probably lose some provinces. Sure, you can make that one powerful attack or defense later one, but is that really (most of the time) a good tradeoff?

Midknightwraith wrote:

Crab should be using theirs to bluff on defense to try and convince opponents to over commit to an attack. After all, nobody wants to just let crab accumulate those +2 defense tokens and extra victory points, right?


Their bluff token doesn't count as successful defense.

Midknightwraith wrote:

Crane can easily bluff due to their ability to win ties.
Dragon should have relatively higher quality draws plus the threat of the Blessing 3 token, making a Dragon Bluff very effective.
Lion, well the defensive bonus is obviously nice, but bluffing offensively late with a powerful token in your hand to win a key province is the nuts as they say.
Phoenix makes any token on a capitol province a threat.
Scorpion should use their bluff constantly as the vehicle to use their special ability before over/under committing.
Unicorn, holy cow bluff attack 1 province then if your real attack is getting blunted switch the bluff token there so you get something as opposed to nothing.


I think I could summarize all of this with - "I fail to see the connection".

Quote:

The point is if you aren't using the bluff tokens then you probably aren't doing it right, as they say. And while it is true that the player that doesn't bluff the whole game has somewhat of a numerical advantage, that advantage is most likely negated by his opponents use of their bluff tokens.


How? Why? If I attack with Army 1 and you bluff defense, I'm winning. Tempo-wise, you've just suffered a significant tempo hit.
 
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I don't know that I'd ever bluff defense (excepting Lion). Maybe if you want someone to go all in on attacking a province you can lose without using a strong token.

Bluffing a raid serves to use up people's scout and shugenja cards. You can also bluff attacks early in the round to force people to respond when you don't actually have good enough tokens to make a strong attack.

During the course of the game, most of your tokens get drawn and I've seen a few rounds so far where I had one stronger token and then a bunch of eh ones, so bluffing to save a token does seem to make sense at times.

I'm not sure I'd bluff all the time, but it can certainly be handy to do so a couple times in the game.
 
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Chris McDowall
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The utility of the Bluff Token lies entirely in Hand Management (ignoring the special Lion bluff). The most obvious situation is drawing a hand full of high powered tokens and not wanting to be left with only weak tokens later on. There are more specialist cases like drawing a Diplomacy when you want to attack from all of your provinces this turn, but it's still hand management.

The misdirection comes as a side effect, the decision to play it comes firstly from a hand management point of view.

I go into this in some detail here.

The bit that made it sink in for me is imagining it's the last turn of the game. You're probably still going to try and misdirect your opponents, but in what situation would you ever use your Bluff token? There's no hand management in the final turn, so there's no use for the Bluff token there.

I like the Bluff Token mechanic, but it's presented in a way that doesn't necessarily suggest its true purpose.

Bluffing is a key part of the game, but you can Bluff all day long without even touching your Bluff Token.
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@Sebastian - it is more about forcing your opponent to make a play. In chess if you can force your opponent to react to your moves you are winning, even if it appears to cost you a piece along the way. It is about forcing your opponent to react to you. instead of the other way around. If you are doing it with a bluff, not only have you forced your opponent to react, but you've done it with a piece that costs you very little if anything in the long run. When you play a bluff token your opponent won't know if it is a bluff or not, and unless he peeks has to treat it as a real token, and if he peeks that is a very limited resource he has wasted. And that is what the bluff is about, as well as managing your hand.

I ran some numbers after I posted this to try and gauge the numerical impact of using the bluff token vs not. Since not using it at all leaves less of your tokens undrawn. (What was I thinking?)

The numbers say that if you do not bluff at all, the chances of any particular token being the one left in your pool is about 3%(not adjusted for piece frequency). Obviously since a 1 strength token is the most plentiful in the game this means that there is very little risk of not seeing your more powerful tokens if you never bluff.

Each time you bluff that percentage increases by about 4%. To a max of a little over 23% that any particular token you might be looking for is left in your pool at the end of the game. If you consider the 5 army, Diplo, Raid, Faction, Ninja 2, and Navy 2 together as a group and bluffed all 5 turns you should expect to be missing 1-2 of these tokens (50% chance for only 1 or none, 89% chance to be missing 0-2, but only an 11% chance to be missing 3-6 of them. This is true for any particular grouping of 6 tokens, including the 6 Army 1 tokens.

So the remaining pool probably looks like 2 of your "best" tokens + 2 of your worst Tokens plus 2 of your other tokens, IF you bluff all 5 turns.

If you only bluff 2-3 times, then basically the numbers get halved.
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Chris McDowall
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Midknightwraith wrote:
If you are doing it with a bluff, not only have you forced your opponent to react, but you've done it with a piece that costs you very little if anything in the long run.


Playing a Bluff is really more costly than playing an Army 1 or 2. You're paying a higher price in return for that bit of hand-management.

The reasons you went into in your post are a part of this. You're drawing less of your pool so increasing the risk that you will miss out on your strongest tokens.

But you're also paying the cost of one actual token placement. At the start of the resolution phase, after the bluffs are taken back into hands, you've got one less combat token impacting the board.

To put it into context, a player that never bluffs is playing 25 functional tokens over the whole game. A player that bluffs every turn is playing 20.

I wouldn't focus too much on the misdirection element, or forcing your opponent to react, as that's nothing to do with the Bluff Token itself. That could happen no matter what token you were using to bluff.
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My sentiments. It is only really good if you have a really good token that you want to use at a later date for a bigger turn depending on your draw

It may force an opponent to react or use a card, but generally there is little incentive to use it because as stated above, one's opportunity of drawing better tokens diminishes.
 
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Bluffing is definitely situational, and has a lot to do with each of your hands in turn, and the board position. Bluffing should be used more as a special token (Ninja, Navy, Diplo, Raid) as your Army 1/2 tokens are equivalent to Bluff in those circumstances, except you don't get them back. Also, having 2+ face down tokens in your pool at the end of the game even if some of them are your more powerful tokens would be better than having just a single token, as your opponents will have less information about what you have available.

I'm not saying they are uber, I'm just saying they aren't the disadvantage you make them out to be. Used judiciously, they are powerful.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Midknightwraith wrote:
@Sebastian - it is more about forcing your opponent to make a play. In chess if you can force your opponent to react to your moves you are winning, even if it appears to cost you a piece along the way.


You're not forcing anyone to do anything. You're playing a token facedown. You could as well place Army 1 there and for your opponent it would work exactly the same. It's just that Army 1 is way better, because if opponent ignores that or misreads as a bluff, you are actually winning. Your tempo is better. That's especially good for Crane clan, as they additionally profit from ties (which are more often with Army 1 vs Army 1).

The chess comparison doesn't work for me. Chess consists of plethora of moves and doesn't last finite amount of rounds. You don't bluff in chess, there's always perfect information. It's just that your strategy can be interpreted better or worse, but that's another thing.

Let's analyze simple cases:

- your opponent is attacking your province. You put bluff token inside, faking defense. So they put another token to increase their army (or maybe they do nothing, as they've already played a good one). You reveal tokens. Bluff does nothing. Opponent is taking the province (and potentially a region card, maybe). Your gain?

- you are faking an attack towards opponent's province, you're using bluff token for that. Opponent is putting an actual defense token inside, to defend. You reveal. Opponent succesfully defended. Gains more defense and more honor for province. Your gain?

In both these cases, the answer is: "I've lost draw and tempo, but saved a token that I *might* be able to put to a good use later on, but there's no guarantee it will pay off, either". Sure, you could say: but opponent had to consider my move and spend one of his tokens that he maybe wanted to use elsewhere. But the thing is, that opponent will also perform sane calculations and see if it makes sense to engage in attack/defense or not. So he might gain. You will definitely not gain, but might lose, during this particular round. Tokens aren't worth anything. Provinces and regions are.

I tend to agree with the other poster, that the bluff token is almost completely devoid of "bluff" aspect and just has everything to do with hand management and drawing.

I don't think there's enough time to use bluff token in this game. Especially, that it comes with such severe punishment as limiting your next draw. Also, in most games involving bluffs, at certain level, you don't "check" bluffs. You make assumptions and calculations and you go with them. The "check" is performed during actual play (a quick example I can think of is that in Android: Netrunner, skilled gamers almost never use cards with "expose" mechanic - they just run the servers and see for themselves. But they are prepared for the worst.).
 
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Chris McDowall
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rattkin wrote:
In both these cases, the answer is: "I've lost draw and tempo, but saved a token that I *might* be able to put to a good use later on, but there's no guarantee it will pay off, either". Sure, you could say: but opponent had to consider my move and spend one of his tokens that he maybe wanted to use elsewhere. But the thing is, that opponent will also perform sane calculations and see if it makes sense to engage in attack/defense or not. So he might gain. You will definitely not gain, but might lose, during this particular round. Tokens aren't worth anything. Provinces and regions are.

(my bolded emphasis)

I think this is the core of it. All played tokens end up discarded at the end of the round (excluding the bluff), so they don't hold the same value that a pawn does in chess, or an army in risk.
 
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Hi.

As per the discussion with my questions at the start of the thread - it has been determined that you do not need to discard the toke you saved if you used the bluff token. As one person pointed out, you draw back up to your limit including the bluff token so that you will have 6 behind your screen. Please see above. Of course you may interpret the rules any way you wish, but the information above may change the way you see things.
 
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