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Subject: Stealth Turns? rss

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Vlad Taltos
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Anyone else have a player who likes to obscure his turn? I mean he will just lay down some cards grab something from the supply piles, and do his clean up and start shuffling all without saying a word. Then nod to the next player to take their turn.

This is usually 4-5 person game held in a public setting where there are distractions. I notice that I lose track of his deck. Everyone else says the name of the card as they play it, announces a total of Treasure before buying and what they bought. I do often call him on it by asking what he bought, or trashed or how much money he has. But to me it's like cheating and I kind of want to get the group to lay down the law and create a penalty for it like -2 off final score per infraction. Comments? BTW he's family so I can't just boot him if that is your idea.

Sorry thought of this at work, it may be clear in the rules but I thought of this and can’t read them now.
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Chris Dieckmann
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If he's family then ask him to show you his cards? It's normal to do so.
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Benj Davis
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Yeah, that's not on. It's a game where knowledge of what other people are doing can be crucial to the strategy, so even if he isn't cheating it's still rude. And honestly, behaviour like that probably does cover cheating.
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Dylan O'Donnell
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The rules specify that you must announce Actions that you play, that "revealed" cards must be shown to all players, and that discarded cards other than the topmost need not be revealed. Anything beyond that (in particular, buys, or the total amount of treasure played) isn't directly covered, so will be a matter for common sense and courtesy.
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Destroyer of Islands
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I have a player like that in my group. I have simply told him that while I don't think he is cheating (I really don't), he should announce his cards like everyone else.
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Chris Weeks
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We have a guy who does this all the time. We play Dominion 4-6 times a week during our lunch hour. I understand that we need to keep things moving along but it's impolite to just put your cards down, pick up a card and then clean up without telling everyone what you're doing. We've made it a rule the person to your left must verify your moves before you're allowed to do anything. This way someone has to see what's going on. If you can't shuffle and deal yourself a new hand while watching the player to your left take their turn then too bad. The game must move on if we're going to get 2 in before out lunch hour is over.
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Steve Duff
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Boxatoys wrote:
We've made it a rule the person to your left must verify your moves before you're allowed to do anything.


Should be the guy to the right, as he's the one who's least affected, having just finished his turn. The guy to the left is busy planning his move.
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Scott Russell
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When we're playing "speed" Dominion and it's a pure buy turn, we pretty much announce "six money is a gold," throw our hand and a gold in the discard pile and draw up and don't wait for verification. The announcement is enough for us to keep track of each other's decks. Even in a five player game, we sometimes are still drawing hands (after a shuffle) when its time to play again. If there are attacks out, people usually ask, "Any militia this turn?" and discard down before their turn.

We do play with a few guys that get flustered playing this way, so it's back to the more traditional laying down cards for each purchase.

We do place all the actions used on the table as they are used, but have been known to drop two or three markets or villages, then draw up all at once.

But I am with you that everyone should announce what they are buying.
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Jerbear
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This is interesting. Our WHOLE group plays like you describe this guy plays. We don't intentionally hide things. But many of our turns are - plop cards into discard grab card from piles your turn. We are all of the same mentality in gaming. We play to win, but winning isn't the point. I don't feel anyone would cheat. Occasionally I might ask what a person bought. But no one ever names each and every card they play and announces purchases. We usually watch the other player play and then groan as a group when they take a province.

I guess if we have a complicated turn with lots of drawing and actions we might call it out, but it is more for ourselves than for the benefit of the group.
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Dave Goldthorpe
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Get him to announce his turn the same way you do. "Six coins for a gold". It doesn't need much more and since you should be basing your (VP buying) strategy on the public knowledge of what everyone else buys, he should should be announcing it.
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Max Maloney
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Syvanis wrote:
We play to win, but winning isn't the point. I don't feel anyone would cheat.

My problem with this is that people make mistakes. Honest people make mistakes. I feel Dominion should be played with verbalized moves. It does NOT take any more time to say it than to do it and it involves everyone in the game. There's no reason to play in silence.

But in general, I hate when people take shortcuts in this game. Dropping stuff from their hand to the discard irritates me. Yeah, it doesn't matter 90% of the time. But I don't want to have to stop and explain why it matters the other 10% of the time. Build the play habits correctly and none of these issues ever come up!
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J
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While its a little rude if he's laying down all his cards for you to see and its verifiable then I can't say I have a problem with it.

On the other hand if he plays so fast that you can't tell if he's playing right then you can ask him to show it. Do it enough and hopefully he'll get tierd of you doing it and start instinctively doing it without you asking.

While I never have had anyone who did this I once had someone who when his turn came would simply say how much treasure he had in his hand and what card he was buying (after actions) but he wouldn't actually play any money down.

In the past people sometimes do this by accident and when I requested he show his money (on purchases 5 coins and up mostly) he got very angry at me saying that I was accusing him of cheating and that no one else he's ever played with has ever had a problem with his way of playing. I simply told him that it is my right to see the cards he's using to verify he has the money and that the rules require him to show it and that if he had a problem with it it was my copy of the game and he didn't have to play. The rest of the game he did show his money but it was more of a "I want to buy a province I have 8 coins see? see? 8 coins, Do you want to verify that?" rather than him being nice.
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Stephen Rochelle
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Expansions tend to make this more explicit, given some of the cards, but actions and buys are conducted from the play area, which is open to all players. Cards (including coins for purchases) are played sequentially, as order can matter (see Bank, Contraband in Prosperity for buy phase examples). Similarly, order of discard can technically matter (see interaction of Herbalist, Alchemist, Potion from Alchemy).

In practice, I'm all for informal enforcement. I sometimes verify the coins of the person opposite me because I (for whatever reason) find that the top corner of Gold looks a lot like the top corner of Copper when upside down. I don't care what order the discards for Herbalist-Alchemist-Potion actually happens in because the most advantageous order is legal. We get to Council Room and Militia resolution as time permits. But where possible, I try to encourage better play by being a stickler for myself. I make my coin distribution clear, I announce my Cellar discards (I'm not actually sure if that's a requirement or not). And I try to gently remind friends that things like money clarity are important because some cards, some day (grrrarghghrhghrhrrgh why didn't I tell my buddy to grab Prosperity at Gencon) are going to make it important.

And at some point, when he lays down $10 all at once with Contraband, I'll take no pity in denying him a Province rather than having to guess what his buying power might really be.
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Matthew Cordeiro
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I have a regular player that does this, and I always call her out on it. I don't think she would ever cheat, but mistakes are easy to make in this game, especially with the fast pace and the constant counting.

I also call her out on showing her hand with a burueaucrat (when she doesn't have any victory cards). Not only is it polite, but it makes a difference when planning for the use of interactive cards.
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Vlad Taltos
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Thanks all for the input.
I guess I just wanted a reality check to make sure I was within the letter and spirit of the game and not just dragging personal issues into my interpretation of the rules. I just felt it was central to the game play and annoying that I had to remind an adult that many times.

I am by no means normally a rules-stickler, and pretty laid back about winning as long as I'm having fun. So I'll make a point with him about the rules, and specifically call out that he's breaking the rules every time he's does it until he stops.

Thanks again, Golly
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Vlad Taltos
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Chrisxny wrote:
If he's family then ask him to show you his cards? It's normal to do so.


Ahh but family complicates game playing a bit, we grew up being competitive at games. There is a reason one family memeber renamed Carcassonne "Fight-in-a-Box". Not physically fighting, but very heated, to the point where we don't play it.

Love my family, but we're all stubborn
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Whitney Barnes

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Golly wrote:

I guess I just wanted a reality check to make sure I was within the letter and spirit of the game and not just dragging personal issues into my interpretation of the rules. I just felt it was central to the game play and annoying that I had to remind an adult that many times.

I am by no means normally a rules-stickler, and pretty laid back about winning as long as I'm having fun. So I'll make a point with him about the rules, and specifically call out that he's breaking the rules every time he's does it until he stops.



If that's what'll work, but really, it's less about the rules, and more about good game habits, and most importantly, good sportsmanship. It should just be good gaming etiquette to allow everyone to verify that you are doing everything right, and in this case, that just means he should call out his plays so everyone knows what he's doing, and make sure that at least one player can verify that his hand has what he says it has, in the case of batch playing Treasure.
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Stephen Rochelle
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lomn wrote:
And at some point, when he lays down $10 all at once with Contraband, I'll take no pity in denying him a Province rather than having to guess what his buying power might really be.
...And having said this, in the excitement of getting FLGS' only copy of Prosperity, I'm the one who laid down everything with Contraband in the mix. Oops.

At least it's a teachable moment, right?
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scott rutherford
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I tend to lean somewhere in-between the extremes mentioned above when playing. The action phase is always performed sequentially, although often very quickly. However, when it comes time to buy, I plop my coin cards down, grab a card(s) from supply, gather all the cards in the play area up and then put everything in discard, including any cards left in my hand. The entire process takes 2-3 seconds, and usually nobody cares aside from occasionally to say "you just bought a Lab, right?" If an error is going to be made, it's because somebody forgot to add their $2 gained from Tribute, rather than thinking they have more coin than they actually do. We also don't make ppl call out their Actions as they play them; if all players are experienced, it just gets painful to drag out the action phase by calling out the cards. "Yeah, I see what you did there with Village, Smithy, Village, Smithy, just get on with it already."

On the other hand, showing the coin in some form is still important. We used to play with one person who would look at her hand, then grab a card from the supply without playing anything down. When we asked to see her hand, she'd get insulted. Turns out that she would often be using the coin from a Woodcutter (or something similar) as part of her purchase funds without actually playing it, which then led to laborious discussions about why all Actions need to be played. So, there's a balance in there somewhere. If playing with people who are relatively new, it's beneficial for them if everyone plays all facets of their turns slowly so that they can see what's going on and can learn. If playing with experienced Dominion gamers, then just do what everyone is comfortable with. Ideally, if everybody can play quickly, you can squeeze one extra game in a night, and then we're all happy!
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Jeff Wolfe
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I've had situations where I asked someone to slow down their turn, and I discovered an error in their favor. That encourages them to slow down.
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Glen Pearce
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My regular group has a player that routinely starts an order of things, changes her mind midstream, has to get reminded about the additional benefits (buys, bucks, etc) of her actions, and has to be watched to make sure she hasn't put her discard pile face down and mistaken it for her draw pile. She was once frustrating about all this, but it was most definitely not done on purpose. I always sit to her left and watch her turn religiously as it is often me who would end up overly benefitted by some misaction (be it in Dominion or whichever game we are playing), and I'm too nice a guy to keep taking advantage of it in order to win (while winning is the goal, I don't want to sacrifice sportsmanship and friendship in order to win). Besides, generally, beyond keeping a rough idea of which cards have been purchased by whom (like keeping track when someone has bought too many gardens for my comfort), there is little effort per turn required, you set your initial game plan, and the game is normally too close to over to do much about it if your initial plan sucked.

As for the players that think you are accusing them of cheating when you want to see what they're doing, just explain that you would like to be able to understand how they got to where they got, and would like to check their math. Just make sure when they count 7 and there is actually 8 that you point it out, this will help them trust you more.

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