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Subject: Cheating or a viable tactic? (cheating methinks!) rss

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brian
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Cedar Lake
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Dirty, yes. Cheating, maybe. I think the fact he offered 3 Ore when he didn't have that much was the issue. But the trade didn't go through so no rule was broken at that point. But as you said, all's well that ends well. Playing a dirty trick left him isolated on the island.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Hanover
Lower Saxony
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Re:
I wonder if you can call this definitely legal move a "tactic". Dirty tricks go well once only. You proved this by never ever trading with him again. If he has extremely bad luck, this will cause him to lose every offline game of settlers for the next few months. Noone will like to trade with him who heard of his foul "tactic".
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John N.
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Lehi
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There are a few tactics like this that people use in Settlers. We have since realised that people are fishing for information at times, to see what is out there before playing cards that steal resources. Another downright disgusting tactic is to trade away your ore (or other resource - in our games people always seem to be begging for ore, no matter what) and once you have everything you want playing a monopoly (or equivalent in C&K) to get all of their cards back. Totally allowed, totally sweet tactic, EXCEPT we always find that you need to time this perfectly as you will find yourself attacked for the rest of the game, as punishment.

This kind of thing is what makes C&K my favourite of all the Catan games. More screwage. I get annoyed when I get hit with something like this, but inside I think the person is brilliant for their cunningness.

Another tactic in C&K is that my sis-in-law will point to one of her development (I can;t remember what they are called in C&K) cards and tell you to accept some really nasty trade or she will use the card against you, hinting it might be really much better fo ryou to accept the deal. You accept and then it turns out the card is a relatively innoccuous one, which she does end up using against someone else. This one didn't sit well for me.
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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Publishing the name of your opponent while asking people whether something was cheating or not is a bit impolite.
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Hopefully becoming a restaurant owner soon! Peter Melanson
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I saw the perfect solution for that issue at a gaming store.

If someone wanted to trade resources, the person offering had to put the actual resource on the table in plain view.

Player A wants ore and is willing to give sheep for it. He places a sheep card on the table to show that he does have the sheep.

That rule prevents fishing for information in an unscrupulous manner.

But I've done the "I'll give you ore for wheat" on the bluff that the barbarians were coming and I needed to feed my knight. And then I played a monopoly card right after, giving me the resources to build a city, then I reavealed the three victory point cards for the win.
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Billy McBoatface
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I think that by the literal Settlers rules, it is illegal. You cannot offer something in trade if you don't have it. If you offer a trade and the other player accepts, you must follow through.

But it's the kind of things that "house rules" can easily override. If somebody insists on doing that, I think the only answer is to say that when you offer a trade, you have to show "your side" of the trade. Then when it is accepted, you can't reneg.

Dirty tricks are still possible. A classic Settlers dirty trick is to trade away all your ore - then at the end, play monopoly and get all your ore back! This is totally legal but very similar to what your friend was doing.
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Jason Hart
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We always play that once trades occur, playing any cards such as mono, or bishop are strictly prohibited. Plus it is just plain lame to play with someone like that.
 
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West Linn
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In your example, even if it's not cheating, it's pretty underhanded. A more acceptable way for him to be wily is to simply ask "looking for paper", "looking for paper, have ore to trade" or something similar instead of making your possession of the paper assured by preparing for an official trade.

Doing that is pretty nasty, but it's an acceptable dark tactic. It gives room for others to potentially bluff back. In any case, near cheating, or wily form will just work itself out for the player since others will be loathe to trade with that player from that point on - and trading is a big part of the game, both in Settlers and C+K.

As a side note, I have seen this done before. I was playing a first time game with a couple and the husband almost did this exact thing to his wife. I'm still not sure if he really wanted to trade or not, but she refused at any rate, and then he played the special card. She was livid, accused him of being "deceitful" and the game ended right there. Too bad for the game, but a good memory.
 
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Everett Scheer
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If this would happen during a tournament I run, it would not be a rules vialation. (The ruling would be based off of 2 tournament rules: Trades are only final once the resources (or commodities) have changed hands, and that you may be disingenious as long as it doesnt break a point of order) Of course you are probably playing a bit more casually than a tournament, but it is my belief that its very important to be careful on what information you give and to know (at some level) what other people have, no matter at what level you are playing. In addition, if someone does pull this off, its also not against the rules to personally decide to not trade with him again.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Of course nothing compensates for paying attention and a good memory.

You can use mnemonic devices, if it helps, but the only time anyone ever acquires a resource in Settlers Of Catan out of plain view is when stealing it from another player. That said, you should know still what resources the collective group is holding until they are spent.

Obviously it can be difficult to remember all the cards out there, but many things help along the way. In the most recent game I played, I offered Timber for Brick, though pretty sure there was no Brick out there. Immediately after, the player to my left offered Timber for Brick even though she didn't roll any of the Brick-producing numbers! Inwardly, I really hope she meant it as a joke, but I don't think so. In such a case, it would make a bit more sense if she'd offered anything else, but the exact same trade?? Baffling.

If you simply look at the board, you'll see who produces what on which rolls. You should also be able to recall what numbers were recently rolled. You're certainly aware of what you produced recently. You probably also remember the numbers that came up wherein you produced nothing.

"It figures you'd roll a 6 while the robber is on my Grain" or "All these 9s and I don't have anything on a 9."

You also know everything your opponents bought and what those cost, so you should be able to figure out what they're holding.

As the game progresses, it becomes more difficult to remember everything, but you have several reminders along the way. If someone is trying to get a Brick, you can be pretty sure he has none. (But be aware that sometimes a player is reluctant to use a Brick for a road until he can build 2 roads at once or a road and the settlement at the end of it. Use the number of cards he's holding as a guide.) Any time a player's hand empties completely, you can refresh your counting of his cards.

One thing some players love to do is surround a 6 or 8 hex (5 or 9, too) with 2 or more cities. This is an excellent place for a robber but it is also a good number to wait for before using Monopoly.

On that same game, the player to my right was trading 4 Grain for a Brick from the bank. I told him I'd do it for 2 Grain. He happily accepted and we made the trade as I was exclaiming, "You didn't even ask first!" His response: "Last turn you said you had no Bricks." Well, on his very roll, I collected 3 Bricks from a city and settlement next to the still-showing number.

The point of all this is that you shouldn't need to resort to filthy-but-legal tactics to gather information. If you play Monopoly when you are well aware that there is collectively 8 Ore in your opponents' hands, you'll profit well and no-one will think you a scoundrel for asking if there is Ore out there before playing the card. You can even pretend that you just got lucky and they can't even pin you for counting cards.

And that's just good playing.
 
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