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Subject: Automa + American Oystercatcher rss

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Gavin McGruddy
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Hi guys,

Just played a game against the Automa on Tabletopia and immensely enjoyed it!

I had the opportunity to play "American Oystercatcher", but wasn't sure how to perform it's action when playing with the Automa.

The wording on the card says:

When played: Draw cards equal to the number of players +1. Starting with you and proceeding clockwise, each player selects 1 of those cards and places it in their hand. You keep the extra card.

What I'm thinking, is I would not include the Automa as a player, since it's not a human player, and therefore simply draw two cards (1 human player + 1) and then keep them both, but I thought I'd just double check for future games.

Thanks in advance!
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James Bywater
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I went the same way with this card vs automa... intention of the card vs humans is that you end up with two cards, this interpretation has the same outcome, so I'm pretty sure that's the intended ruling.
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David Studley
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Hi Gavin and James,
Great question! First of all, the Automa is a player
Now that we have that out of the way... I'd like to respect the intent of rule that Elizabeth set up for the American Oystercatcher. It gives you a choice, not simply two cards. So, when played against the Automa, the player draws 3 and keeps 2. The remaining card is discarded.
Cheers,
David
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Gavin McGruddy
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DJStudley wrote:
Hi Gavin and James,
Great question! First of all, the Automa is a player
Now that we have that out of the way... I'd like to respect the intent of rule that Elizabeth set up for the American Oystercatcher. It gives you a choice, not simply two cards. So, when played against the Automa, the player draws 3 and keeps 2. The remaining card is discarded.
Cheers,
David

Sounds good to me! Thanks for that clarification David.

And while you're here - you and your team have done an absolutely ace job developing the automa! Looking forward to many more solo plays, and especially when I get the physical copy of the game.
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David Studley
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Thanks for your kind words, Gavin. Your 'Automa Fan' badge made me smile. It's great to hear you are enjoying!
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Rob D
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DJStudley wrote:
Hi Gavin and James,
Great question! First of all, the Automa is a player
Now that we have that out of the way... I'd like to respect the intent of rule that Elizabeth set up for the American Oystercatcher. It gives you a choice, not simply two cards. So, when played against the Automa, the player draws 3 and keeps 2. The remaining card is discarded.
Cheers,
David

Hey David. Much respect on putting together this great solo version.

Couldn't it also be said though, that the intent of the rule is to benefit your opponent a little and yourself more? And if so, would it not make sense to keep 2 and give the other to the automa face down? It seems to be overpowered if you are getting 2 cards with every action without any repercussion. At least if the automa were to get the one card you didn't choose it would make you think twice about triggering that card...just like you would have to at least give a thought that your human player might get a card that really benefits them.

I may even house rule this for myself to take one, do a 50/50 die roll to see which one the automa gets, and then take the last one. That probably defeats the purpose of keeping things streamlined, but it might be something I consider for myself when playing.

Thanks to the OP for bringing this situation up.
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Matthew McFarland
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I was going to say the same thing! I think I'd play by choosing one, randomly dealing one to the Automa, and keeping the last.
 
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David Studley
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budsticky wrote:
And if so, would it not make sense to keep 2 and give the other to the automa face down?

Hi Rob. Thanks for the question. In neither case, will the Automa gain a card. In fact, the Automa never gains anything from any of the powers of the bird cards (and it's balanced based upon this fact).

For this specific case, you are getting two bird cards for placing this bird. The decision related to how it works against the Automa is whether you gain two random or three random and keep two.

Were you to change that for this particular card, you would need to change it for all of them. That would lead to a very different solo variant.

Hope that makes sense.

Cheers,
David
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Ori Avtalion
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Since a real second player might grab a card you also want, I think this better simulates a real opponent:
Draw 3 cards, choose one. Shuffle the other two, and blindly pick one to keep, discarding the remaining card.
 
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Dusty Craine
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The Automa Rulebook states that the Automa does not benefit from activated Brown bird powers.
 
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Sam Gray
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BeardedOne wrote:
The Automa Rulebook states that the Automa does not benefit from activated Brown bird powers.

The American Oystercatcher has a white "When played" power.
 
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David Studley
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SaltyHorse wrote:
Since a real second player might grab a card you also want, I think this better simulates a real opponent:
Draw 3 cards, choose one. Shuffle the other two, and blindly pick one to keep, discarding the remaining card.

Hi Ori,
While it is true that your suggestion would make it closer to a real player interaction, it's a more complicated rule than I would want to place on an edge case bird. Many of the bird cards could get a tighter ruling, but that's an awful lot of work (and/or reading) for the player and not the sort of thing we're going for here.

If you go through the bird cards, some are slight weaker and some are slightly stronger as compared with how they get used in the multiplayer game.

Ultimately though, you are choosing between cards for yourself, which ones to select, which ones to spend food and eggs to play, and which habitats to run. As such, the overpower/underpower gets minimized because its situational and only applies to you. So the difference between our two idea is truly tiny. You are welcome to house rule as you wish. All that I really care about is that you all have fun! That includes bouncing ideas around here in the forums. I'm always happy to do that!

Some players, however, want to know the official ruling and that's what I've laid out here: Draw three, keep two.

Cheers.
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Ori Avtalion
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Thanks, David. I trust your judgement here. The automa is surprisingly simple to operate, and it's a good idea to keep it that way. (BTW, you've done a great job! )
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Taco Knight
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SaltyHorse wrote:
Thanks, David. I trust your judgement here. The automa is surprisingly simple to operate, and it's a good idea to keep it that way. (BTW, you've done a great job! )

Agreed, the automa is buttery-smooth with no fiddly bits.
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David Studley
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blush Thanks everyone. That's why we do what we do.
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