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Subject: Block game questions rss

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darksurtur
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I just played my first block game tonight, Hammer of the Scots. I think it went pretty well, though I did have a bunch of questions that I just posted on that game's page. In general, though, I have a question about block games: Many of the actions taken in the game manipulate blocks in such a way that your opponent is unable to verify that you are operating by the rules of the game. A specific example: If I move a block 3 spaces, do I have to reveal a unit with movement three, also revealing its strength, so my opponent can verify my movement was conducted according to the rules? Or if I draw a block for Scottish reinforcements, do I have to reveal what the block is so my opponent can make sure it starts at strength one?

My concern is that there is a trade here between creating the fog of war effect and playability. This is not a problem for me, per se, because I will most likely only be playing casual games, but I was wondering how this was handled in tournament settings or other situations where the outcome is of prime importance. Any insights would be appreciated.
 
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Stephen Harkleroad
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Eh. If you can't trust the person you're playing with, don't play with them.

You're right that there's a tradeoff, but that happens with a lot of games, even those as simple as 500 Bid or bridge, where players who don't lead properly can "cheat" if no other player is keeping track of every card player. It jsut kind of comes with the territory.

I would say, though, that for the first game or two you play with open units, since there may be rules questions that one player may catch that the other player may not, and one person may not realize they are doing it wrong until well into several sessions. That's what I did, anyway, with Hammer of the Scots.
 
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Seth Owen
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Honesty required
The block games do require honesty and trust. There is no way to verify many activities, without compromising the fog of war aspect. The same problem occurs in double-blind wargames such as Midway. If you're not playing someone you can trust then I'd play something else. And if you're the kind of person for whom winning is so important that you'd be tempted to cheat, I'd stay away from them as well.
 
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darksurtur
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Of course I trust the people I play with. I guess I was concerned about 1) was I playing the game correctly?, and 2) about what people do in tournament situations, where winning IS the most important thing, egos and often money are at stake, and you don't have the liberty to choose your opponents.
 
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Duncan Gibson
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I posted answers in your article on the HotS page, but I'll reiterate here. Don't play with cheaters. If you discover a cheater, flay them alive and then never play with them again. Thankfully, I've never encountered one. Do they actually exist?

By and large, I don't think its a problem at tournanments either. Any serious gamer attending a tournament surely loves the challenge of the game and thier opponent. If they've got such a big ego that they must win, they've still got to follow the rules otherwise they haven't won the game. They've just done "something else" (been a sociopath I suspect). The whole concept of cheating is pointless.

In any case, I suspect cheaters would be caught eventually.
Tournaments in particular have wandering spectators (especially the important games) and a bit of simple observation can go a long way. ("Hey, wasn't Douglas killed in Strathspey last turn? How come he's strength four and raiding England?")
 
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Ben Vögel
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I've been on this site for 15 years now, and I'm far from sick of games, but I think I prefer a better balance of favorites to new games. I'm also tired of playing 4+ hr multiplayer games, but I'll still happily play really long games 2 player.
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Not a problem if you have good friends
I have played countless number of block games with my brother in law. We take bathroom breaks, go off to change to the music, take care of a kid that woke up, etc.

Never once have I worried that he'd peek at my side or add steps to a block illegally. I'm sure we've made mistakes and even argued over confusing situations in the heat of battle. But concerned about cheating? Nope.

We love the games and the contest and the challenge too much to cheat ourselves that way.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Yep
.. as a grognard ..cheaters DO exist who are..oops...my lawyer just whispered.."No names.."gulp
 
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