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Subject: Some clarification please rss

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Chris
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I have recently purchased Shadows over Camelot and it's expansion Merlin's Company. Some questions have arisen after playing 5 games.

First, With the expansion is it necessary to always play with King Arthur. I know the rules state that he must always, but does it change the game if he is not?

Second, the collaboration is causing us to constantly win. We tend to share too much about what we can and can not do. Such as "I can solo the Saxons." or "I am in need of the middle fight card." Also can we openly discuss strategy like what quest needs to be focused on?
 
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Luca Iennaco
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Without Arthur it is just a bit harder. But feel free to do so (I know I did ).
And try to enforce the "no precise info" rule... both your example should NOT be allowed. Discussing strategy on Quests is fine, while saying "I miss the 3 (or whatever name you use for it) to defeat the Saxons" is not.
Have fun! meeple
 
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Thomas Staudt
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Huey182 wrote:
"I can solo the Saxons."


From my perspective, this is OK. How could you give the info in a less precise way?

"My fellow knights, brave Sir XYZ will take on these fiendish bastards alone"

might be more flavorful, though
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Travis Hall
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Huey182 wrote:
Second, the collaboration is causing us to constantly win. We tend to share too much about what we can and can not do.

You don't actually ask a question here. I think the reason you don't ask a question here is because you already know how to deal with the problem. You share to much information. Stop doing that.

The game can be won without giving any secret information away at all (at least not with speech - there are ways to send legitimate signals just by taking certain actions on the game board). Figure out how. It's more of a challenge that way.

Huey182 wrote:
Also can we openly discuss strategy like what quest needs to be focused on?

Yes. Discussing strategies based on public information is quite acceptable (and is half the fun of the game).

So, it is fine to say, "I intend to go to the Saxons, regardless of whether anyone wishes to come and help." It is fine to say, "I intend to go to the Saxons, but victory will come faster if somebody else comes to help." It is even fine to say, "I wish to go to the Saxons, but I don't think it can be finished fast enough without assistance. Is anybody else willing to come with me?" All of these things are (or can be) true regardless of the cards in the speaker's hand.

But it is not fine to say, "I wish to go to the Saxons, but cannot finish the quest without aid." (Not by the very strict interpretations I prefer, anyway.) That gives away information about the speaker's hand, so I won't say it.
 
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Marco Fuini
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I try to avoid talking numbers or other card specifics, but saying you need help or can do it alone is within the spirit of the game.
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Travis Hall
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ashman wrote:
Huey182 wrote:
"I can solo the Saxons."


From my perspective, this is OK. How could you give the info in a less precise way?

That's the point of playing with stricter interpretations of the table talk rules. Giving the info makes the game too easy. It doesn't matter if the code is a little less precise - if the info is transmitted, the game becomes too easy for many of us.
 
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Ben Lott
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"Constantly win"? Have you been playing with a traitor (or 2)?
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Mike Jones
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Blott wrote:
"Constantly win"? Have you been playing with a traitor (or 2)?


Yeah, last time we played, we got our asses HANDED to us. Of course, King Arther insisted I was one of the traitors. And called me out on it even though I was loyal. The traitor didn't need to do much even though my son called him out fairly early. We needed up without the second being in play.
 
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Thomas Staudt
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Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
Huey182 wrote:
"I can solo the Saxons."


From my perspective, this is OK. How could you give the info in a less precise way?

That's the point of playing with stricter interpretations of the table talk rules. Giving the info makes the game too easy. It doesn't matter if the code is a little less precise - if the info is transmitted, the game becomes too easy for many of us.


Yes, but what is less precise in this case? Being able to do a quest alone and not telling the others at all sounds totally stupid to me. Why talk at all if this is not allowed?
If you didn't tell and then solved the quest while someone tries to help you, I'd call you the traitor ...

I totally agree on not saying things like "I need a 4" but unless you do some working together, it loses all the fun.

What would you say in this case?
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Michael Kefauver
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That rule can be sort of fast and loose. If you're constantly being rocked, you can loosen it up a bit and give away more information, then, once you have the game down and start winning more again, you tone it down. I know some groups that don't speak at all while playing for an even greater challenge.
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ashman wrote:
Being able to do a quest alone and not telling the others at all sounds totally stupid to me.

Giving any less information than what is permitted by the rules and your group's interpretation of the rules is stupid. Giving any more information than what is permitted by the rules and your group's interpretation of the rules is cheating. Refusing to cheat does not make a person stupid.

ashman wrote:
Why talk at all if this is not allowed?

Because there are plenty of useful things that can be said without giving away that information.

ashman wrote:
If you didn't tell and then solved the quest while someone tries to help you, I'd call you the traitor ...

And I'd call you an idiot for not checking how the group is playing the game before making an accusation on the basis of a player not cheating.

(Besides, there's not a single group quest that isn't won faster by several knights working on it at once. My completing a quest while somebody tries to help me does not harm the loyalist cause. What am I supposed to do instead? Find another action to take so that the other player can contribute? No thanks, I'll finish the quest so that both of us can more quickly move on to the next quest. That way we can work together more effectively.)

ashman wrote:
I totally agree on not saying things like "I need a 4" but unless you do some working together, it loses all the fun.

I'd like you to quote what I wrote in this thread that indicates that I believe players should not work together. I mean it. Find what I said, quote it, and tell me how you get your interpretation of it.

Because I do not believe I said anything remotely like that. Take a look at the three examples of things that I might say in a game of SOC that allow me to coordinate my play with that of my partners. How do you reconcile that with your assertion that I think players should not work together?
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Thomas Staudt
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Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
Being able to do a quest alone and not telling the others at all sounds totally stupid to me.

Giving any less information than what is permitted by the rules and your group's interpretation of the rules is stupid. Giving any more information than what is permitted by the rules and your group's interpretation of the rules is cheating. Refusing to cheat does not make a person stupid.

I did not intend to call any person stupid. But knowing I could do a task alone, and binding other players to me in a quest that in my experience can be done over several turns without problems, would make me feel stupid. Why waste actions for movement when the others could find the Grail or Excalibur in the meantime?

Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
Why talk at all if this is not allowed?

Because there are plenty of useful things that can be said without giving away that information.

Again, what would you say in this situation?
EDIT: Just saw you gave some examples. But they do not really say more than just silently moving your knight to the quest would do
Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
If you didn't tell and then solved the quest while someone tries to help you, I'd call you the traitor ...

And I'd call you an idiot for not checking how the group is playing the game before making an accusation on the basis of a player not cheating.
(Besides, there's not a single group quest that isn't won faster by several knights working on it at once. My completing a quest while somebody tries to help me does not harm the loyalist cause. What am I supposed to do instead? Find another action to take so that the other player can contribute? No thanks, I'll finish the quest so that both of us can more quickly move on to the next quest. That way we can work together more effectively.)

We will never agree on this point as what you call cheating falls into my category of information that clearly needs to be given. But yes, instead of leaving my hand full of cards that fit this quest and that I may not be able to use for something else soon, other players should work on other quests.

Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
I totally agree on not saying things like "I need a 4" but unless you do some working together, it loses all the fun.

I'd like you to quote what I wrote in this thread that indicates that I believe players should not work together. I mean it. Find what I said, quote it, and tell me how you get your interpretation of it.

Because I do not believe I said anything r.emotely like that. Take a look at the three examples of things that I might say in a game of SOC that allow me to coordinate my play with that of my partners. How do you reconcile that with your assertion that I think players should not work together?

What I'm saying (maybe in a too cynical way) is again that I find exactly this information vital. If I cannot give this information, I cannot think of anything really helpful to say. "Let's go find the Grail" - "Oh, you have grail cards, but not enough to finish the task. Please do not give away so much information".

In the end, there is no "right" solution to this discussion. The rules are vague on purpose upon these points. If you find the game too hard, play with open cards. If you find it too easy, don't talk at all. If you're in the mood, use coconuts to make horse riding noises when changing locations. There's no "tournament rules" we have to agree upon.
With my play groups, we just about spread even between wins / losses against traitor plus the odd traitorless loss due to bad cards or bad judgement. So the level of communication seems good for us.
You can interpret the rules in the way you think brings the best experience with your group.
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Travis Hall
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ashman wrote:
But knowing I could do a task alone, and binding other players to me in a quest that in my experience can be done over several turns without problems, would make me feel stupid. Why waste actions for movement when the others could find the Grail or Excalibur in the meantime?

What waste of actions for movement? You need to check out the maths of the game. As every quest gives every knight on it at least one life point for victorious completion, and every life point is worth precisely one action, there is never any waste of actions for moving extra knights there.

ashman wrote:
Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
Why talk at all if this is not allowed?

Because there are plenty of useful things that can be said without giving away that information.

Again, what would you say in this situation?
EDIT: Just saw you gave some examples. But they do not really say more than just silently moving your knight to the quest would do

WTF? "I wish to go to the Saxons, but I do not think I can complete it fast enough on my own." How does that not give more information than just silently moving my knight? It points out the advisability of using certain tactics very explicitly, and attempts to coordinate my play with that of my partners.

Does it give away non-public information that other players can't get through reasoning it out themselves? No, it doesn't. Again, that's the point. Secret information remains secret, to keep the game enjoyable for skilled groups.

Also, saying something like that conveys the information without committing me to going to the war against the Saxons. I can negotiate with the other players, to figure out how many of us can go to that quest, and whether it is worth going there with that number. If I discover that I will be the only one going there, I might decide that it really isn't worth making the attempt and choose not to go there at all. That is coordinating my play with my partners, working with them.

There are ways to give your partners secret information without actually telling them. Figuring out those signals, and how to interpret the signals from your partners, is part of the challenge. Movement to a certain quest, as you point out, does convey a certain amount of information, but there are many more possible signals.

Wraith wrote:
We will never agree on this point as what you call cheating falls into my category of information that clearly needs to be given.

What is and is not cheating is agreed upon by the group before the game starts. If you and I never agree on this point, we should never play SOC together. More to the point, if you encounter any group that plays with strict limits on table talk in order to give the game some challenge for them, you should not play with them. If you do, giving away information the way you describe is cheating when playing with that group.

Quote:
But yes, instead of leaving my hand full of cards that fit this quest and that I may not be able to use for something else soon, other players should work on other quests.

Don't give me that. I wouldn't be helping you with a quest if my hand did not also fit what I was doing there. The best thing to do is to finish the quest together, then share the cards that are part of the reward to retool both hands to fit the next task.

ashman wrote:
What I'm saying (maybe in a too cynical way) is again that I find exactly this information vital. If I cannot give this information, I cannot think of anything really helpful to say. "Let's go find the Grail" - "Oh, you have grail cards, but not enough to finish the task. Please do not give away so much information".

Asking for assistance on the Grail quest does not indicate that the asker does not have enough cards to finish the Grail quest. It indicates that the Grail quest will be finished faster (generally much faster) by several knights. (In fact, with more than four players, there's a good chance that a solo knight will never finish the Grail quest, even with an unlimited supply of Grail cards. There's no such thing as "enough to finish the task".) It is legitimate information to give, and does not give away what you believe it does.

If you can't figure that out, it's no wonder you find giving more information vital.

Quote:
In the end, there is no "right" solution to this discussion. The rules are vague on purpose upon these points. If you find the game too hard, play with open cards. If you find it too easy, don't talk at all.

And the person to whom you gave advice finds the game too easy when the group says things like "I can solo the Saxons." Hence, his group should not do that. Context is important; you should try to bear it in mind.
 
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Nessmk2 wrote:
I know some groups that don't speak at all while playing for an even greater challenge.


That sounds like real fun to me...

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Thomas Staudt
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Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
But knowing I could do a task alone, and binding other players to me in a quest that in my experience can be done over several turns without problems, would make me feel stupid. Why waste actions for movement when the others could find the Grail or Excalibur in the meantime?

What waste of actions for movement? You need to check out the maths of the game. As every quest gives every knight on it at least one life point for victorious completion, and every life point is worth precisely one action, there is never any waste of actions for moving extra knights there.


That's a strategic decision. I tend to think concentrating the players on the Grail or Excalibur quests, where unfortunate black cards drawn early can make success almost impossible, more useful.


Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
We will never agree on this point as what you call cheating falls into my category of information that clearly needs to be given.

What is and is not cheating is agreed upon by the group before the game starts. If you and I never agree on this point, we should never play SOC together. More to the point, if you encounter any group that plays with strict limits on table talk in order to give the game some challenge for them, you should not play with them. If you do, giving away information the way you describe is cheating when playing with that group.


This is a completely new issue. I thought we were comparing how our groups handled this differently, not coming to a common rules interpretation for our next game.
As with any game with "well known" house rules - like handling "Free Parking" in Monopoly (sorry for saying the word, but it's one example that springs to my mind) - or a rules set that leaves room for interpretation like this one, this interpretation has to be discussed or made known before playing.
I don't see where I said I wanted to force every gaming group in the world to succumb to my view, in fact I think I wrote the exact opposite in my previous post.

Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
But yes, instead of leaving my hand full of cards that fit this quest and that I may not be able to use for something else soon, other players should work on other quests.

Don't give me that. I wouldn't be helping you with a quest if my hand did not also fit what I was doing there. The best thing to do is to finish the quest together, then share the cards that are part of the reward to retool both hands to fit the next task.


Again, a strategic decision. If another player came and said. "I'm in a fighting mood. Let me join you, my friend" this can be considered. But that does not have anything to do with the original argument, being able to do it alone and not telling.

Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
What I'm saying (maybe in a too cynical way) is again that I find exactly this information vital. If I cannot give this information, I cannot think of anything really helpful to say. "Let's go find the Grail" - "Oh, you have grail cards, but not enough to finish the task. Please do not give away so much information".

Asking for assistance on the Grail quest does not indicate that the asker does not have enough cards to finish the Grail quest. It indicates that the Grail quest will be finished faster (generally much faster) by several knights. (In fact, with more than four players, there's a good chance that a solo knight will never finish the Grail quest, even with an unlimited supply of Grail cards. There's no such thing as "enough to finish the task".) It is legitimate information to give, and does not give away what you believe it does.

If you can't figure that out, it's no wonder you find giving more information vital.


OK, you took the example literal. I guess we might really not have much fun together if we met.

Wraith wrote:
ashman wrote:
In the end, there is no "right" solution to this discussion. The rules are vague on purpose upon these points. If you find the game too hard, play with open cards. If you find it too easy, don't talk at all.

And the person to whom you gave advice finds the game too easy when the group says things like "I can solo the Saxons." Hence, his group should not do that. Context is important; you should try to bear it in mind.


He said the game was too easy for him and gave two examples. I found one of them to be perfectly valid. I think he already knew that not allowing both would make the game harder. I interpreted the question to be "are you allowing these kinds of statements in your games?".
But thanks for your kind advice, next time I see some context I will pay more attention.

Talking about context, my apologies to the OP for hijacking this thread: I really only wanted to tell you that one of your examples is OK in my opinion.
 
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James Thompson
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I find that the game is difficult and much more fun when you do not discuss specifics of your hand with the other knights. We have a kind of running joke that in order to talk (about the game), you must talk in the third person [i.e. Sir Gallahad thinks that Sir Tristan is an asshat (This is said way to often haha)]. Telling the other players your hand just ruins the whole aspect of having any individual play in this game. Yes, you want to loyal knights to win if you are loyal, but if the other knights know your hand, why not just play in one big group on one knight with one large hand? Half the fun is not know what is going to happen next, even if you think you do.
 
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I have trained our group to begin to role play.

One of the ways to "train" a group is to appoint yourself (if it is your game of course) as King Arthur a few times. Set the ground rules about the King's role as one who can stop endless discussion having the final say in the problem solving/planning process. This will prevent too much group grope and AP. The King is also the ref about being too specific about cards. As a result of this regal appointment our group is learning to strategize openly without speaking specifically about the cards in hand. For example when there is a need to battle saxons or picts a knight may say " My men and I intend to engage the saxon dogs, but alas we only have the strength to endure until mid-day."

OR "I will take on the saxon dogs at once but your assistance will be required within the hour!"

OR "There is an outcry to resume the quest for the grail and I am quite prepared to do so!"

You get the drift...we are learning to get into the spirit of the game.

Make King Arthur more than just a board token, use him as the game facilitator. And, as more people become more familiar with the "spirit" of the game they will have a chance at being the King as well.

Remember after all, Arthur is the King of the knights of the round table, and it is good to be King. Of course if the King is the traitor that makes his role and personal strategy even more interesting.ninja

I must beg your leave now good sirs, as the Black Knight has challenged me to a joust, that heartless swine!

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