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Subject: Need Help With a Hidden Trade/Build System rss

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James Carlton
Australia
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I'm working on a card/token game that uses a trade/building scheme I guess somewhat like Settlers' 'one brick one wood to buy a road' etc.

What I'm trying to figure out is a way to make this process secret from one or more players.

It's ok if people can see the raw materials but I'm trying to keep secret what everyone is actually building with them - at least until other actions during the game reveal them. Of course you can't rely on the honour system regardless of how genuine the players are as ppl make mistakes and it causes tension.

The game is still very abstract so the system can be changed a great deal if you know of something that might be a better way of handling this.
 
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Matthew Kloth
United States
Wausau
Wisconsin
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Each player has a hidden area where they keep their stuff. When you pay for a building you play the building and resources face down so nobody knows what you bought or payed with. When you reveal the building you reveal the resources too (they'd be placed in a stack/pile).

This requires that the resources sit upside down along with the building. That obviously will require more components than a system where things recycle a lot faster.
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Lars Vogt

Berlin
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If the things you build have the same cost in resources, you could decide secretly what to build and could lay the building face down in front of you.
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Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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So if you want resources to be public does that mean that it's ok to see what people spent, just not what they spent it on? The implication being that for a given combination of resources there are a number of different things they could have bought.
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James Casey
United Kingdom
Caversham
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Assuming both building and resources are cards, you could place the building card face down, and the resource cards on top. Each player could have a pool of "fakes" which could be used to obfuscate the information - e.g. you could have a cheap building with a lot of fakes, which would look the same as a more expensive building where all the resources are real. You could even play an entirely fake building with fake resources played on it,
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Mark Wright
United Kingdom
Stockton-on-tees
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Reading your problem I thought of the same system as matthew.

If you have single value or multiple value goods cards then placing face down the building plus the payment cards would seem to work.

If players draw cards from a stock so they can build a card from their hand then players may add unused building cards as bluffs, allowing other players to view the number of cards under a building card but that might not indicate the number of resources actually used, let alone what type.
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Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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Another way to do it is to give everyone different costs to build something. Player A needs a wood and a stone to buy a road, player B must pay a rock and a sheep. In that way, you see people gathering raw materials, but you don't know what for.
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James Carlton
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Thanks guys... lots of good things to think about here
 
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