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Subject: Deals and who "leads" the discussion rss

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Michael Barclay
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Okay two scenarios here.

1) It's my turn. My neighbor is building up a scary fleet. I offer them a pile of trade goods or maybe a promissory note to leave me alone. Let's say I'm more specific than that and I say "leave me alone for this round". I understand this is completely non-binding because it cannot be resolved right now. On their next turn they could completely ignore me and move in and attack.

2) It's the player with the scary fleet's turn. They're thinking of attacking me and I pipe up and say "If you don't attack me this turn you can have some trade goods!". Now as far as I can tell this is binding as it will be resolved right now. Of course if they decide to attack me next turn that's absolutely fine but this deal - trade goods in exchange for not attacking me right now - is binding. Correct?

So the big question here is whether or not I'm allowed to behave that way in scenario 2? Am I, as the non-acting player allowed to offer stuff to the acting player? Or does the acting player have to initiate and lead deals? I'm guessing the rules are intentionally quite loose here because it wants players to come up with all sorts of fun arrangements.

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Andrew S.
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Gaiduku wrote:
Okay two scenarios here.

1) It's my turn. My neighbor is building up a scary fleet. I offer them a pile of trade goods or maybe a promissory note to leave me alone. Let's say I'm more specific than that and I say "leave me alone for this round". I understand this is completely non-binding because it cannot be resolved right now. On their next turn they could completely ignore me and move in and attack.

2) It's the player with the scary fleet's turn. They're thinking of attacking me and I pipe up and say "If you don't attack me this turn you can have some trade goods!". Now as far as I can tell this is binding as it will be resolved right now. Of course if they decide to attack me next turn that's absolutely fine but this deal - trade goods in exchange for not attacking me right now - is binding. Correct?

So the big question here is whether or not I'm allowed to behave that way in scenario 2? Am I, as the non-acting player allowed to offer stuff to the acting player? Or does the acting player have to initiate and lead deals? I'm guessing the rules are intentionally quite loose here because it wants players to come up with all sorts of fun arrangements.


1)This is your transaction with that player for your turn. No issues here.

2)This actually is not a binding deal. The window of “immediately” is actually much narrower then what you’re describing. There are a few threads where this is explained thoroughly. That aside, you are allowed to act in this way. Not being the active player does not stop you from initiating deals and transaction, but it would count against the active player in terms of the limits on his transactions regardless of who starting talking first.
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G. Sullivan
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Going to rules reference find these sections

Deals
27.1 Players can make deals with each other at any time, even if they are not neighbors. However, deals that include a transaction must follow the rules for transactions, including that the players be neighbors.

Transactions
83.1 During the active player’s turn, he may resolve up to one transaction with each of his neighbors.
• A player can resolve a transaction at any time during his turn, even during a combat.

The way I read this is that anyone can offer deals at any time, the active player can choose to ignore you if they want or take your deal, don't think it is a hard rule but since they haven't said that as the non-active player you are not allowed to initiate a deal the 27.1 section would argue for you. So both of the scenarios would be allowed,

For scenario 1, since it is non-binding I would offer a promissory note that they lose if they attack for added insurance but everything you say is correct.
For scenario 2, I would say that it is binding as the agreement boils down to here are trade goods to not activate any of my systems this turn which is the current stage.

Edit - As per discussion below, scenario 2 would not be binding
 
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Michael Barclay
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Ahh interesting that there's a bit of disagreement on whether (2) is binding.

I guess a lot of it is dependent on the language used. If i just say "here's some trade goods don't attack me" then yeah this seems to vague to be binding. However, "here's some trade goods if you don't activate any of my systems this turn" seems immediate to me.

I'm very interested by Andrew S. mention of the window of immediately. The example above, to me, looks similar to the one provided in the book.

Why is "here's some trade goods to not activate my systems this turn" less immediate to "here's some trade goods if you don't use your PDS in this system this turn"?
 
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Clayton Threadgill
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A promise to not do something for any period of time - including one that is currently ongoing - is not immediate. So scenario #2 in the OP is not binding.

However, it can be made binding very easily - just change the negative to a positive. Instead of "I will give you 4 trade goods to not attack me this turn", make it "I will give you 4 trade goods to attack Player C right now." Since Player B is currently deciding what system to activate, that would be a binding deal.

Alternately, if you don't want to tie Player B's hands you can use the notes to seal the deal. "I will give you 4 trade goods for your Ceasefire note" is binding, and just as good if not better than a promise to not attack for a round.
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G. Sullivan
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hooliganj wrote:
A promise to not do something for any period of time - including one that is currently ongoing - is not immediate. So scenario #2 in the OP is not binding.

However, it can be made binding very easily - just change the negative to a positive. Instead of "I will give you 4 trade goods to not attack me this turn", make it "I will give you 4 trade goods to attack Player C right now." Since Player B is currently deciding what system to activate, that would be a binding deal.

Alternately, if you don't want to tie Player B's hands you can use the notes to seal the deal. "I will give you 4 trade goods for your Ceasefire note" is binding, and just as good if not better than a promise to not attack for a round.


This makes sense to me, will edit my initial response, thanks Hooligan and DrewDecimal
 
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Michael Barclay
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hooliganj wrote:
A promise to not do something for any period of time - including one that is currently ongoing - is not immediate. So scenario #2 in the OP is not binding.

However, it can be made binding very easily - just change the negative to a positive. Instead of "I will give you 4 trade goods to not attack me this turn", make it "I will give you 4 trade goods to attack Player C right now." Since Player B is currently deciding what system to activate, that would be a binding deal.

Alternately, if you don't want to tie Player B's hands you can use the notes to seal the deal. "I will give you 4 trade goods for your Ceasefire note" is binding, and just as good if not better than a promise to not attack for a round.


I don't understand why this is the case. The example in the Learn to Play book is ostensibly negative. "Here's trade goods to NOT activate your PDS". Why is that binding and my example not binding?
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Adam McLean
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Gaiduku wrote:
hooliganj wrote:
A promise to not do something for any period of time - including one that is currently ongoing - is not immediate. So scenario #2 in the OP is not binding.

However, it can be made binding very easily - just change the negative to a positive. Instead of "I will give you 4 trade goods to not attack me this turn", make it "I will give you 4 trade goods to attack Player C right now." Since Player B is currently deciding what system to activate, that would be a binding deal.

Alternately, if you don't want to tie Player B's hands you can use the notes to seal the deal. "I will give you 4 trade goods for your Ceasefire note" is binding, and just as good if not better than a promise to not attack for a round.


I don't understand why this is the case. The example in the Learn to Play book is ostensibly negative. "Here's trade goods to NOT activate your PDS". Why is that binding and my example not binding?


This is because PDS fire is an event that happens at a specific time, when that time comes and deal is made, there wouldn't be another opportunity to fire that PDS at those ships at the time they move into the system. However, if on a later action you move other ships into a different adjacent system, for example, the deal you made earlier not to fire the PDS is no longer valid on this action (unless another deal is made).

As opposed to saying "not this turn", the other player could take several more actions before he decides to change his mind and attack anyways ... so it's not really in that 'immediately' window.
 
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G. Sullivan
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In the case of activating the PDS you are going through the steps of activation, the wording is poor but since the system has already been activated.
From Rules
For example, the active player might move his ships into a system that contains another player’s PDS, at which point the active player might offer the owner of that PDS a trade good to refrain from using the “Space Cannon” ability. Because the effect can be resolved immediately, this deal is a binding deal.
When a deal is binding, a player must honor his end of the bargain. In the previous example, if the owner of the PDS agrees to this deal and takes the trade good, he cannot fire his PDS as this would violate their agreement.

So there are two cases that correspond to not activating your PDS
1) As written, system is activated I move I offer you trade goods to not activate your PDS, you accept (binding)
2) I offer you TG to not activate your PDS if I move my ships into the system, you accept, I activate the system, move my ships and you can choose to not attack or attack (not binding)
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Michael Barclay
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So by "by this turn" I mean literally their turn in the action phase not the whole round. Sure over the course of the whole round (and game) they could attack but in the here and now....when they're doing their one action I don't see why asking them to use that action to do something is any different to asking to them to not do something with that action.
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Clayton Threadgill
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Gaiduku wrote:
So by "by this turn" I mean literally their turn in the action phase not the whole round. Sure over the course of the whole round (and game) they could attack but in the here and now....when they're doing their one action I don't see why asking them to use that action to do something is any different to asking to them to not do something with that action.

You can probably get a lot more value out of your trade goods, but if you insist on making such a vague trade, you still can. The flaw is less in the timing window than it is in the logical structure of the wording, so it's easily fixed by re-wording the offer.

"I will give you 4 trade goods to activate a system that does not contain one of my units."

You probably don't want to be invaded on an empty planet either, so another modification.

"I will give you 4 trade goods to activate a system that does not contain a unit or planet that I control."

That is the deal you are looking for, worded so that it is irrefutably an immediate and binding deal.
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Michael Barclay
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Cool gotcha. I understand it was a crap deal I was more just trying to drill down on how immediate a binding deal needs to be.

Another (quick) question - I'm guessing deals made during the Agenda phase are immediate enough to be binding right?

"Here's 4 trade goods if you vote for the Hacan player" seems pretty immediate? And I guess I could be more specific and ask that player to vote with a certain amount of influence?
 
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Clayton Threadgill
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Gaiduku wrote:
Another (quick) question - I'm guessing deals made during the Agenda phase are immediate enough to be binding right?

"Here's 4 trade goods if you vote for the Hacan player" seems pretty immediate? And I guess I could be more specific and ask that player to vote with a certain amount of influence?

"Here's 4 trade goods if you vote for the Hacan player" is immediate as long as you offer the deal when it's that player's turn to vote. If you offer it during the negotiations before hand, it's non-binding.

I would say that the player has satisfied the deal as long as they cast at least 1 vote. If you want more you can ask for it.

And again, there's a promissory note that may help you here, though it forces a player to abstain rather than vote your way. But I bring it up because too many players just forget to use the notes, and later complain about how they don't seem to do anything.
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Sander Stroom
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To make a binding deal, you have to discuss with the other player that what action they will do if they do not attack you. Then you offer them a deal to make that specific move. For instance activating a 3rd system (not yours). Or using a strategy card. That would be binding but the player could still attack you during his next move in the same round.
 
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Joseph Cochran
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hooliganj wrote:
A promise to not do something for any period of time - including one that is currently ongoing - is not immediate. So scenario #2 in the OP is not binding.


This is the problem I have with a lot of these discussions. A lot of people want to super-narrowly define what is binding for what seems to me to be no gain. You can reword a lot of these, and that just doesn't feel like what TI should be to me. Aside from the fact that breaking your word on an edge case will probably cause most people to trust you less and harm your game, it would end up in a lot more downtime during negotiations as people work all loopholes out of their deals. Binding should be a little more friendly than it's generally interpreted in this forum IMO.

hooliganj wrote:
However, it can be made binding very easily - just change the negative to a positive. Instead of "I will give you 4 trade goods to not attack me this turn", make it "I will give you 4 trade goods to attack Player C right now." Since Player B is currently deciding what system to activate, that would be a binding deal.


It was already noted to me in another thread that "attack" as part of a "what you're doing this turn" deal cannot be binding since moving into a system happens after activating it, though "activate a system" can be. You could only make a "don't attack" deal binding after the player has activated the system and is at the "move ships" step by paying them to move no ships (and really, it's very unlikely at that point that TGs will cause the player to essentially have wasted the CC).

So as long as the deal is specific enough I can make a "don't attack me" style deal binding simply by negotiating with the active player about what specifically they will do instead of activating a system containing my ships. So I might ask "hey, what could I incentivize you to do other than activate one of my systems?" and then after we negotiate make a binding deal to have the player activate system X or use strategy card Y or whatever if I pay them the TG. As noted above though, I personally would see "don't attack me this turn" as binding though since you CAN easily get there.

hooliganj wrote:
Alternately, if you don't want to tie Player B's hands you can use the notes to seal the deal. "I will give you 4 trade goods for your Ceasefire note" is binding, and just as good if not better than a promise to not attack for a round.


It's WAY better to get someone's cease fire note than to get them to agree not to attack this turn. I don't think the active player would be likely to agree to that over negotiating what other thing this your turn you're paying them to do.
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Will
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hooliganj wrote:
A promise to not do something for any period of time - including one that is currently ongoing - is not immediate. So scenario #2 in the OP is not binding.

However, it can be made binding very easily - just change the negative to a positive. Instead of "I will give you 4 trade goods to not attack me this turn", make it "I will give you 4 trade goods to attack Player C right now." Since Player B is currently deciding what system to activate, that would be a binding deal.

Alternately, if you don't want to tie Player B's hands you can use the notes to seal the deal. "I will give you 4 trade goods for your Ceasefire note" is binding, and just as good if not better than a promise to not attack for a round.


What about the arrangement "I will give you 4 trade goods to take any action other than activating a system containing my ships or planets"? This should be binding because it's resolvable immediately and has a specific clause for both parties.

That being the case can we all agree that "don't attack me this turn" is synonymous with "immediately take any action other than activating a system containing my ships or planets"?
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Clayton Threadgill
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theepicwinguy wrote:
What about the arrangement "I will give you 4 trade goods to take any action other than activating a system containing my ships or planets"? This should be binding because it's resolvable immediately and has a specific clause for both parties.

That being the case can we all agree that "don't attack me this turn" is synonymous with "immediately take any action other than activating a system containing my ships or planets"?

This is reasonable semantically, as long as your table agrees. But if you have any players who want to argue purely logically, they'll be right that they aren't exactly the same, and one isn't binding.
 
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Sander Stroom
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Again the argument about binding and non-binding deals. You have to understand that a deal is still a deal and that binding deals is the exception. Normally all deals would be non-binding and it is up to your ethics to uphold it or not.

Long term, deals are non-binding. Most "don't attack me" deals are non-binding. At most, you can make a deal to force an opponent to make a move that does not harm you. Then you have to find out what alternative move he wants to make and give him trade goods to do that.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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Just some food for thought to further show that the ‘don’t attack me this action’ deal is tricky about its bindingness... Consider the player to accept your deal, then he plays the Focused Research Action card with the trade goods you gave him, using it to research Fleet Logistics to get a second action, and then immediately uses his new second action of the turn to activate your system and invade.

Has the player broken the deal? He certainly didn’t attack you on the action where you made the deal. Of course the player had ethical issues and is unlikely to be trusted again, but you can see that the deal is non-binding in spirit.
 
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Jan Probst
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Clipper wrote:
Just some food for thought to further show that the ‘don’t attack me this action’ deal is tricky about its bindingness... Consider the player to accept your deal, then he plays the Focused Research Action card with the trade goods you gave him, using it to research Fleet Logistics to get a second action, and then immediately uses his new second action of the turn to activate your system and invade.

Has the player broken the deal? He certainly didn’t attack you on the action where you made the deal. Of course the player had ethical issues and is unlikely to be trusted again, but you can see that the deal is non-binding in spirit.

He'd get my Support for the Throne for the sheer brazenness of that stunt.
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Sander Stroom
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Clipper wrote:
Just some food for thought to further show that the ‘don’t attack me this action’ deal is tricky about its bindingness... Consider the player to accept your deal, then he plays the Focused Research Action card with the trade goods you gave him, using it to research Fleet Logistics to get a second action, and then immediately uses his new second action of the turn to activate your system and invade.

Has the player broken the deal? He certainly didn’t attack you on the action where you made the deal. Of course the player had ethical issues and is unlikely to be trusted again, but you can see that the deal is non-binding in spirit.


You do not say to him "Do any action other than attack me."

You say for instance: "Play your strategy card" or "Activate system B" or "Use your racial action ability" or whatever. If he lets you know what action card he wants to play, you make a deal to play that specific action card.

Also you can include the non-binding clause to not attack you this turn. It is up to the other player to uphold it. If he doesn't it is like a war declaration and as the player can not be trusted anymore, you are free to mess him up as much as you like.
 
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Jesper Frödin
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You could also wait until he is reaching to activate your system and say "I'll give you X trade goods not to activate that system", only protects one system but that would be binding I assume?
 
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Michael Barclay
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A lot of this reminds me of the Wish spell in Dungeons and Dragons. Ages back we received a single use of the spell way before our characters should normally be able to use it and spent....the best part of a session coming up with a semantically sound Wish.

We had a rather vindictive DM at the time so we had to make sure the thing was airtight - binding I guess.

I think I'll go along with jsciv and if something could be binding...but is just worded slightly wonkily then we can just assume it's binding. I'd rather get on with the game then spend hours ensuring my deal is loophole proof.

(Although saying that Clipper's Fleet Logistics "betrayal" is blooming awesome so I'm all for plays like that)
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Riku Koskinen
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Clipper wrote:
Just some food for thought to further show that the ‘don’t attack me this action’ deal is tricky about its bindingness... Consider the player to accept your deal, then he plays the Focused Research Action card with the trade goods you gave him, using it to research Fleet Logistics to get a second action, and then immediately uses his new second action of the turn to activate your system and invade.

Has the player broken the deal? He certainly didn’t attack you on the action where you made the deal. Of course the player had ethical issues and is unlikely to be trusted again, but you can see that the deal is non-binding in spirit.


No deal broken if that's how it's worded. But do native English speakers say "do not attack this action?" instead of "do not attack this turn?". I'd assume the latter, and the described betrayal wouldn't occur. Fleet Logistics doesn't give an additional turn, it just lets you play two consecutive actions during a turn.

I have a question too: Do you allow take backs?

Sue activates a system with Adam's ships and planets, and Adam says "please don't do that, I'll give you tradegoods/promissory note". Sue takes her token back and they discuss the deal and make the transaction, and Sue performs another action. Or if I play an action card targeting my neighbor's planet, or a Direct Hit to kill his ship because my deep space cannon rolls got lucky, and he says he gives me a couple of TGs to not play the card.

Rules wouldn't allow this I'd say, but if playing strictly by the rules, everyone would be asking all the time for transactions before they do stuff. It may not even occur to me that the opponent may pay me TGs (which I would want to accept) to not kill his Dreadnought with Direct Hit, and I'm not going to preface my every playing of DH with a question of what they would give me to not play the card.

Do the rules even allow players to show their action cards to other players? I wouldn't blindly give TGs when someone says they are holding a DH and threatens to use it.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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I think my main point has gotten across that you have to be careful how you word things. You should probably keep your word if you want people to keep playing with you, but deals are also only binding when they can be immediately completed.

As for take backs, I would probably allow the undoing of a system activation, but not for playing a card unless it was an illegal play. The rules say to keep your action cards hidden. You can tell people you have Direct Hit, but not show them. I think the only time you would be able to show Action cards is when dealing with the Hacan, the same way you can choose to show Promissory Notes you intend to give.

JesperPersson wrote:
You could also wait until he is reaching to activate your system and say "I'll give you X trade goods not to activate that system", only protects one system but that would be binding I assume?


Yes. You could also make a binding deal that the current action not to activate any system within a group of systems.

 
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