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Subject: Open Information Vs. Closed rss

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EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
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I understand that the playtime is mentioned as 60 minutes on the package, but our first time was about 2.5 hours. I believe that part of that may have been due to open squires/gold (our vote cubes- only during voting- were closed, as that's what we assumed the castles were for), and all of the AP that adds to it. However, we still found it one of the most engaging, excellent games we've ever played. So, the question is:
Is the closed information to help speed up the game? Or does it genuinely address a runaway leader situation, in that it's much easier to "bluff" or lose a county with hidden squires, giving a straggling player a chance?
If it's the first, then we believe we'll genuinely play it with open information as it becomes an almost zero luck tactical/strategic masterpiece. If it's the latter, then the closed squires shall stay. Thoughts?
 
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Inno Van
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Money is closed.

Number of squires is initially open because of one of the starting law that gives points to the most unused squires, but becomes closed information after this law loses its slot and leaves the board.

Vote cubes are open information until each vote actually happens. You take them all up in your fist, then move them between your fists for how many you want to use vs how many you want to save. Present only one closed fist for your vote. When all players have presented closed fists, the contents of each presented fist are revealed and counted.

Knights, castle upgrades, and which provinces you have representatives from are always open.
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EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
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hanibalicious wrote:

Is the closed information to help speed up the game? Or does it genuinely address a runaway leader situation, in that it's much easier to "bluff" or lose a county with hidden squires, giving a straggling player a chance?
If it's the first, then we believe we'll genuinely play it with open information as it becomes an almost zero luck tactical/strategic masterpiece. If it's the latter, then the closed squires shall stay. Thoughts?


I know the actual rules, I was just curious as to the intent and importance of the closed information rules.
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Geeky McGeekface
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I've always assumed that the squires and gold were hidden because they serve as tiebreakers for the two endgame bonuses (voting cubes don't, so they're open). It also might be to speed things up, although you usually have a decent idea of your opponents' holdings. The latter makes bluffing difficult; I'd think only people who aren't paying attention could get deked out too badly.

However, 2.5 hours is way too long for this game. If it works for your group, then by all means keep playing this way. But for me, the short playing time is one of the game's nice features.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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"Once seen always seen" is how we play any game, so it was open. But it didn't take more than 1 hour, even with new players.
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John Sizemore
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Innovan wrote:
Money is closed.

Number of squires is initially open because of one of the starting law that gives points to the most unused squires, but becomes closed information after this law loses its slot and leaves the board.


Hmmm.... But one of the other opening laws affects "the player owning the most gold." Why would gold initially be closed, then, and squires open?

I'm leaning toward making everything open, anyway -- I don't see much point in having open transactions and hidden state.
 
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Daniel Corban
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skipsizemore wrote:
I'm leaning toward making everything open, anyway -- I don't see much point in having open transactions and hidden state.

The reason is the same as in any other auction game. You are essentially bidding on the counties. Squires and your Knights are currency.

Just as you could theoretically know how much money everyone has in Power Grid, or how many cubes everyone has in Tigris & Euphrates, most players will just have a general idea of your wealth/score. Knowing exactly how much each player has usually slows slows a game, as time is spent tallying everything.

I am scarred for life by a game of Acquire with open holdings. The game took forever and it was clearly due to the players constantly asking "how many X shares do you have? Who has the most of X shares?" and so on. Never again.

Also, having some uncertainty in the game adds pleasant tension. This game in particular is one of "take the path of least resistance". If you can immediately spot that path, then some of the tension is lost.
 
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