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Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Never even getting the chance to become speaker: House rule? rss

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Hey all,

so what happened in our last round was a bit of a discussion on how we could possibly improve the speaker mechanic with the political card.

The issue we had was that in a 6 people group, the speaker always stayed with the same 2, at best 3 first people in the turn order, since everyone taking the political is
A) Naturally giving the speaker token to the player that sits just right of him/her and that
B) the round starts with the speaker, going clockwise, to choose new strategy cards when a new game round starts.

This way, it was very easy for the "one side" of the table to coordinate their game-play to always have the speaker be near the same place, as the others coming later in the order never saw the political card.

Any thoughts on that?

 
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Andrew S.
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Dreepa wrote:
Hey all,

so what happened in our last round was a bit of a discussion on how we could possibly improve the speaker mechanic with the political card.

The issue we had was that in a 6 people group, the speaker always stayed with the same 2, at best 3 first people in the turn order, since everyone taking the political is
A) Naturally giving the speaker token to the player that sits just right of him/her and that
B) the round starts with the speaker, going clockwise, to choose new strategy cards when a new game round starts.

This way, it was very easy for the "one side" of the table to coordinate their game-play to always have the speaker be near the same place, as the others coming later in the order never saw the political card.

Any thoughts on that?



Are you aware that when you use Politics, the Speaker Token must be given to a player that is not currently the Speaker? If you are, it’s impossible for two players to monopolize being Speaker.
It’s possible to do as you say with three people, but it’s a lot of effort for not much gain IMHO.
 
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Herbert Muench
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I fail to see your problem. Whenever someone picks [3] Politics he misses the chance to have Leadership, Warfare, Technology or Imperial. Politics usually is a "meeh, the good SCs are already taken" choice (except in the second to last round or you are Yssaril and have nothing better to do than to accumulate a zillion ACs).
If you want to be speaker so badly, offer the holder of Politics something in exchange for the speaker token. Or threaten/extort him (and back it with force, if called).
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David Holman
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This is a non-issue if you read the rules on the card. In our games it usually moves backwards counter to the picking order unless someone needs to be speaker badly then it skips around.

As others have said, if two or three players join forces that badly, then join it against them and give them the ultimatum that they need to start fighting or you three wont budge no matter who wins and don't brake it for anything, they will eventually break.
 
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DrewDecimal wrote:


Are you aware that when you use Politics, the Speaker Token must be given to a player that is not currently the Speaker? If you are, it’s impossible for two players to monopolize being Speaker.
It’s possible to do as you say with three people, but it’s a lot of effort for not much gain IMHO.


Well, it was basically one person A taking politics a lot with the others near him taking the card sometimes.

If that person A had the speaker, it was re-assigned to the person to the right. That person did not take politics, so next round Person A took politics again, and also grabbed the speaker token, again.

The only interrupt possible was by the one sitting right, but he didn't care.

Person A basically sacrificed her options just to keep the 6th player in the last or 2nd last turn order when picking.

And it drove the 6th player nuts, as he never got to get any chance on the strategy cards he wanted.

 
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Michal Liszewski
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Dreepa wrote:
Hey all,

A) Naturally giving the speaker token to the player that sits just right of him/her and that
B) the round starts with the speaker, going clockwise, to choose new strategy cards when a new game round starts.



A) Why? In my experience, the natural thing to do is to keep the speaker token for yourself. Giving the token to the player on the right in exchange for something is the exception.
B) Why would you take Politics if you're first in the speaker order? If I'm second in the order, I'd only take Politics if I'm desperate for a specific strategy card next round.
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Michal Liszewski
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Dreepa wrote:
DrewDecimal wrote:


Are you aware that when you use Politics, the Speaker Token must be given to a player that is not currently the Speaker? If you are, it’s impossible for two players to monopolize being Speaker.
It’s possible to do as you say with three people, but it’s a lot of effort for not much gain IMHO.


Well, it was basically one person A taking politics a lot with the others near him taking the card sometimes.

If that person A had the speaker, it was re-assigned to the person to the right. That person did not take politics, so next round Person A took politics again, and also grabbed the speaker token, again.

The only interrupt possible was by the one sitting right, but he didn't care.

Person A basically sacrificed her options just to keep the 6th player in the last or 2nd last turn order when picking.

And it drove the 6th player nuts, as he never got to get any chance on the strategy cards he wanted.



How did person A do, points wise? This doesn't seem like a good strategy.
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I do not understand the argument here. I am not complaining, and I cannot answer questions such as: "Why" or other things of intend.
Such as I described, happened in our game. It is non of my concern to judge why the player did that. I think purely to harm player F.

So I am relaying an observation with a very specific question. Player A abused the political card, to make player F never see any good strategy cards. :)

That's what happened. Anything beyond that is speculation on my part.

And it made player F very upset with the game, and as such he asked if that rule could be made better.
 
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mliszewski wrote:


How did person A do, points wise? This doesn't seem like a good strategy.



If I remember correctly, that player scored 3rd out of 6.
 
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Dreepa wrote:

I am relaying an observation with a very specific question. Player A abused the political card, to make player F never see any good strategy cards.

That'S what happened. Anything beyond that is speculation.


I think it‘s a bit much to assume that the intention was to deny Player F „good“ SCs. First of all, that‘s a lot of effort for comparatively little gain - if you are hogging the Speaker Token, you‘re picking Politics a lot, which means that approximately 50% of the time you have to take Politics - instead if something more useful. Even worse, to sccessfully „lock“ the Speaker Token, you need at least one Partner in Crime that is happy to go last sometimes - and who also has to take Politics almost 50% of the time.

That‘s a whole lot of effort for little gain.

Regardless, the answer how to break this is simple: isolate the cronies of the player by making a better offer. Plain and simple.
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Roger Reisinger
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So 3 players colluded and specifically played sub-optimally, ruining their own chances to win the game to specifically hurt 1 other player at the table?

Yikes. Sounds to me like your friends forgot the cardinal rule of playing games, have fun!
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Michal Liszewski
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Dreepa wrote:
I do not understand the argument here. I am not complaining, and I cannot answer questions such as: "Why" or other things of intend.
Such as I described, happened in our game. It is non of my concern to judge why the player did that. I think purely to harm player F.

So I am relaying an observation with a very specific question. Player A abused the political card, to make player F never see any good strategy cards.

That's what happened. Anything beyond that is speculation on my part.

And it made player F very upset with the game, and as such he asked if that rule could be made better.


I asked about intentions because I think they are important in this discussion. If the only motivation behind A's play was harming player F, then no amount of rule tweaking will help. There are many other ways you can ruin another player's game if you don't play to win yourself.

By the way, if only player A was doing it, then it means they must have taken Politics every single time. Not taking it even once means the Politics moves further and the speaker token moves closer to player F.

If player A genuinely thought this is a good strategy, then there's room to try to persuade them that there are better options that give more benefit to them and help them score points. And that's what I would try to do in player's F position.

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karl Young
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I have never experienced this issue and it appears others have not either. You would have to work very hard and it would have a detrimental effect on your game to consistently be speaker every other round for very little gain. I would suggest that if someone did that then you should just make the best of it and play a strategy to counter that player, maybe take warfare, tech or trade and prep for combat see how long they last choosing 3 every round when their empire is a blaze
 
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Casey Harmon
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This strategy also gives Player F a pretty good position when voting in the Agenda Phase.

I don't think this is any more "broken" than a player flying all of their ships at another player just out of spite. This isn't an issue with the game, it's an issue with the players.
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Andy Burgess
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Some people seem to put an inordinately high value on going first in a game round. I’m starting to think of this as the “Lord’s of Waterdeep” conundrum, since it’s for that game that I’ve most often seen people asking about how to prevent the first player from keeping the first player slot. I usually point out that if you put such a high value on going first, you’re essentially always going last, because your first action will always be the same. In that case, you always want to be second, because you’ll always have the first “real” pick.

I can’t see the point in going first just to keep yourself going first. Usually, explaining this to the player who’s insisting on going first clears this up.

But as with others - I don’t see this so much as a problem with the game, more with the particular player’s strategy evaluation. Not that that makes things any the less frustrating for the player with the last selection each round.
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Christian Witzel
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Do politics.
Offer the guy trade goods to make you the speaker. If he will not do, make an alliance with other players. Punish the guy so hard, that he will give you speaker next time.
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Marc Kob
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I have played a game where something similar to what the OP describes occured. Two players joined forces almost like twins: constantly one or the other taking politics and giving it to each other, not attacking each other, voting as a bloc etc. The one player won the game, the other literally had 0 points on turn 4, but a huge fleet able to do take another player out of the game.

It was needless to say one of the least enjoyable games of TI4 I've ever played. The game depends on a shared assumption that all 6 players are playing to win. If this is not the case, no amount of tweaking will fix it.
 
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Nick Davis
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If two players are working together to split the speaker token over the course of the game and they are sitting next to each other the one earlier in the turn order is getting screwed. Or am I misunderstanding something?

The player later in the turn order is always going first or second, that's pretty good. The player last in the turn order is going first or last. That's less good.
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Roger Reisinger
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Rakor wrote:
If two players are working together to split the speaker token over the course of the game and they are sitting next to each other the one earlier in the turn order is getting screwed. Or am I misunderstanding something?

The player later in the turn order is always going first or second, that's pretty good. The player last in the turn order is going first or last. That's less good.


Yes, that is why it doesnt makes sense. It is a player issue not a rules issue.
 
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I never claimed it to be an issue that requires a fix by any official source.

Geez, you all seem so engulfed in a certain way of thinking, AKA: what is best, fair, balanced, and equally viable, that you seem to be incapable of a casual discussion of ideas that could solve this situation for a specific play-group of people that subjectively felt this was a non-desirable outcome.

That is why I specifically asked, in light of that player-group and player behavior, what house rules anyone could possibly imagine, to milden this behavior.
And all you can do is argue about it from a pure competitive standpoint.

I'll just give up here. Your thinking just is too robotic. :D

No offense meant.
 
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Nick Davis
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Dreepa wrote:
I never claimed it to be an issue that requires a fix by any official source.

Geez, you all seem so engulfed in a certain way of thinking, AKA: what is best, fair, balanced, and equally viable, that you seem to be incapable of a casual discussion of ideas that could solve this situation for a specific play-group of people that subjectively felt this was a non-desirable outcome.

That is why I specifically asked, in light of that player-group and player behavior, what house rules anyone could possibly imagine, to milden this behavior.
And all you can do is argue about it from a pure competitive standpoint.

I'll just give up here. Your thinking just is too robotic. :D

No offense meant.


The thing is that it's a player problem. Any house rule that would solve it would also have to be adopted by those players. If you can convince everyone involved that it's a problem that needs solving then you don't need a house rule.
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jeremy root
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If you really feel this needs to be fixed, here are a couple thoughts off the top of my head:

1)Get rid of the speaker part of the strategy card and just do speaker in clockwise order. Everyone would get their turn to pick first unless you finished up the game in round 5 of a 6 player game. Or you could randomly pick the speaker each round. But you never know with random, could end up with the same result possibly.

2)Rule that you can not pick that strategy card 2 times in a row. Everyone may not get to be speaker but it may shake up the order a little more.

Now, having said that, I agree with most others on here that it doesn't need to be fixed by a rule. Maybe just get creative in the spirit of the game (trading for, threatening, bribing, stealing the card, etc...).
 
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Dreepa wrote:


Geez, you all seem so engulfed in a certain way of thinking, AKA: what is best, fair, balanced, and equally viable


So... discounting these concerns, I’m not clear on why it’s a problem to be solved, then? What other relevant concerns are there?

Dreepa wrote:
That is why I specifically asked, in light of that player-group and player behavior, what house rules anyone could possibly imagine, to milden this behavior.


And the answer you got was to address it as a subjective (“player”) problem.

This whole thread reads as really bad satire. You’re bringing an explicitly “subjective player group” problem (explicitly not a rules-based problem), but explicitly asking for a rules solution, while rejecting subjective player solutions (e.g. disincentivising this behavior with other in-game behavior, like negotiation and/or threats). Surely you see that this is a little silly?

No offense meant.
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james herbby
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Lol, there is no problem.

If the speaker is taking 3 then they are wasting the biggest advantage of taking 3 in the first place. At this point the player to their left has the greatest advantage as they reliably get first or second pick without having to actually take 3.

There is no need to house rule this as it is not a problem with the game but a problem with your players. If you need a rule about it then you will have to make one. We do not know the hows and why this happened. So any rule we give you will almost certainly not actually fix any problems with your players.

Sorry i can't help, but this is not something we can really help with if we do not know exactly what happened.

Let me ask you, you said earlier you don't know why they did it, why not? Didn't you ask them? If not, ask them. For all you know they could have been upset with one person and were trying to ruin it for them. If that is the case no amount of house rules will fix it.
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Stephen Gillespie
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Severedeye wrote:

Let me ask you, you said earlier you don't know why they did it, why not? Didn't you ask them? If not, ask them. For all you know they could have been upset with one person and were trying to ruin it for them. If that is the case no amount of house rules will fix it.


Yes, this. I understand that you are frustrated with the answers that have been given Dreepa however I understand why people are responding. The issue you must address is the player attitudes. People who purposefully ruin a 6+ hour game are not people I would want to play with. This is the question you should be asking:

How do I address this correctly with my group?

There is scope for a bit of role-playing in TI games however there is a difference between playing out your race and just being a d*ck.
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