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Subject: How Would You Decide? rss

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Bernhard Rohrbacher
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Friends,

For an article I am writing, I need your solution to the following two problems. Please answer regardless of how many others have already given the "correct" or "incorrect" answers.

BACKGROUND

Three players A, B, and C, seated in that order, are playing the basic board game. It is player A's turn.

Player A would like to give Player C two woods in exchange for one brick. Player C is willing to make the deal, but only if Player A agrees to hold the two woods in his hand for him until it is Player C's turn, as he would already have six cards without the woods and the brick and is afraid that Player B or he himself will roll a seven, in which case he would lose half his cards if he now accepts the two woods. Player C's exact words are: "I'll give you one brick for two woods, but you have to hold them for me until my next turn."

Player A agrees.

NOTE: I know that many of you believe that the rules do not allow this kind of deal. Please assume that it is, in fact, allowed.

PROBLEM 1:

Player B rolls a seven on his turn and steals one of the two woods held by Player A for Player C. As a result, after Player C rolls the dice on his turn, Player A has only one wood to give to Player C.

QUESTION: Does Player A have to give Player C the next wood he gets?

ANSWER: Please pick only one of the following two options:

___ Yes


___ No


PROBLEM 2:

After Player B's turn is over, Player A has eight or more cards. Player C rolls a seven on his turn and player A loses half of his cards. Among the cards he relinquishes are the two woods, which are his only woods. As a result, he has no woods to give to Player C on this turn.

QUESTION: Does Player A have to give Player C the next two woods he gets?

ANSWER: Please pick only one of the following two options:

___ Yes


___ No


Many thanks for your help.
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This is a good example for the reasoning as to why the rules, at least as I recall, do not really allow or at least intend for this kind of deal. Had they not been violated, the situation would have never arose. Its a prime example of why changing or circumventing the rules can lead to problematic outcomes.

If memory serves, and I freely admit I could be wrong, at some point the rules mention that the entirety of a trade must be concluded during the trading phase of a turn. (i.e. A trade or parts of a trade cannot extend into other turns.) However, I'm really too tired to read through the entire manual to find it.

My advice is to follow the rules next time, or to create a different hypothetical situation for your article, unless your article is trying to point that changing or circumventing the rules can lead to problematic outcomes. If that is the case it fits perfectly.

Maybe its not what you wanted to hear, but I think it needed to be said.
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James W
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BRohrbacher wrote:
Friends,
NOTE: I know that many of you believe that the rules do not allow this kind of deal. Please assume that it is, in fact, allowed.

Many thanks for your help.


We don't have to "BELIEVE" anything. The rules are explicit. This is NOT allowed.

You're welcome.
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James W
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Also, as a general appeal to other users:

Stop using BGG to settle your arguments.
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Tom Patterson
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These trades aren't really allowed, but let's say you're playing a home rules situation and you let them happen.

My answer to both would be "NO." In fact, player A would have no obligation to give player C cards even if none of these things happen. If you wanna play home rules that circumvent this (in my opinion extremely important) aspect of the game, prepare to be screwed.
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Chris in Kansai
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kingjames01 wrote:
Also, as a general appeal to other users:

Stop using BGG to settle your arguments.


Hey! Don't spoil our fun!!
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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I vote YES to both. Mainly because player A is a willing accomplice to breaching the rules and thus should be made to suffer
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Billy McBoatface
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I'll answer your question with another question. Let's say that we lived in a world where water, instead of making you wet when you went swimming in it, made you drier. Then if you drank some, would you become more or less thirsty?

That's the equivalent to your question. You have changed the rules of the game dramatically, then you are asking us to use the rules of the game to resolve a complication that arose. You are asking us to finish writing this new rule set for you, which is silly. If you want to change the rules, then at the very least write a complete rule set, not this half-assed make-it-up-as-you-go rule set where you go to the internet whenever you hit a situation that isn't spelled out.
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Brook Gentlestream
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I'm confused. The rules don't say he has to "hold" anything. He may make the deal, and you may both agree, but the rules do not require him to honor his side. (If he breaks his deal, simply do not trade such deals with him again.)

But you've presumably made some house rule that said such deals do have to be honored. Okay. Now that's led to some special problems and you want our opinions on how to resolve the house rule? Why? Simply house rule it one way or the other.

Personally, I don't believe the player should be forced (by the rules) to "hold" any cards to begin with. But if he is, and circumstances force him to get rid of those cards, I don't see the rules should further force him to uphold a deal that was impossible for him to resolve. So no, I don't think he should have to give up newly acquired resources to compensate you for the held resources that were lost.

That being said, he may offer to anyway just to keep you trading with him in the future.
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Kelly Bass
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I'd say NO to both questions. In all the games I'm familiar with that allow deal-making, no deal involving a future action is binding.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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Personally, I think the trades and social dynamics are more interesting if you follow the Settlers rules, two of which would be important here:

1) Each side of a trade must give up at least one card each time cards are exchanged and those cards can not be identical.

2) Immediate exchanges must be honored but any kind of promises or deals for future turns are not enforced by the rules of the game.


So you can make a deal like this, it's just got to be a little more complex, and it may not necessarily be honored - either because he betrayed you or because he couldn't keep the bargain.

You could still request he compensate you for the wood that was promised, but if he tries to uphold his end of the deal this way then its still an exchange of cards and you must give something in return.
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Bernhard Rohrbacher
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Friends,

The next words after that greeting in my original post were "For an article I am writing." So obviously, this is not a real-life problem I have encountered and need solving, but a hypothetical. (When this situation did arise during past plays, we never had any problem resolving it.) The original post also anticipates your believe, conviction, knowledge -- call it what you want -- that such deals are not allowed in Catan. The post finally contains two possible answers - "yes" and "no." That's really all I am interested in: As many "yes" and "no" answers so I can quantify how people would deal with this situation, if it arose, and assuming that such deals are allowed. If you cannot assume that, please don't respond.

Once you've marked you answers, by all means, continue the sermonizing. But until then, please spare me the wiggling index finger.

Best,

Bernie.
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What kind of article is this?
 
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Brett
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BRohrbacher wrote:
Friends,

For an article I am writing, I need your solution to the following two problems. Please answer regardless of how many others have already given the "correct" or "incorrect" answers.

BACKGROUND

Three players A, B, and C, seated in that order, are playing the basic board game. It is player A's turn.

Player A would like to give Player C two woods in exchange for one brick. Player C is willing to make the deal, but only if Player A agrees to hold the two woods in his hand for him until it is Player C's turn, as he would already have six cards without the woods and the brick and is afraid that Player B or he himself will roll a seven, in which case he would lose half his cards if he now accepts the two woods. Player C's exact words are: "I'll give you one brick for two woods, but you have to hold them for me until my next turn."

Player A agrees.

NOTE: I know that many of you believe that the rules do not allow this kind of deal. Please assume that it is, in fact, allowed.

PROBLEM 1:

Player B rolls a seven on his turn and steals one of the two woods held by Player A for Player C. As a result, after Player C rolls the dice on his turn, Player A has only one wood to give to Player C.

QUESTION: Does Player A have to give Player C the next wood he gets?

ANSWER: Please pick only one of the following two options:

___ Yes


___ No


PROBLEM 2:

After Player B's turn is over, Player A has eight or more cards. Player C rolls a seven on his turn and player A loses half of his cards. Among the cards he relinquishes are the two woods, which are his only woods. As a result, he has no woods to give to Player C on this turn.

QUESTION: Does Player A have to give Player C the next two woods he gets?

ANSWER: Please pick only one of the following two options:

___ Yes


___ No


Many thanks for your help.



The answer to both is no. Even though the cards were in A's hand they were still C's cards.
 
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Seth Owen
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This sort of problem arises in just about any kind of deal-making or diplomatic style game and I think the answer is always the same one -- you can make whatever promises of future behavior you want, but there's no enforcement outside of whatever damage to your reputation might occur by reneging. Players never have to follow through. This happens in Diplomacy all the time. Settlers prohibits this sort of deal for precisely the reasons your situation details.
 
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Kelly Bass
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BRohrbacher wrote:
The post finally contains two possible answers - "yes" and "no." That's really all I am interested in: As many "yes" and "no" answers so I can quantify how people would deal with this situation...

Next time, you may find it useful to create a poll, which you could put in the original post, so you could quickly get straight results. Then other posters can both give you their yes/no and then reply with their various sermons.
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Mil Myman
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The answer is that there is no way of knowing. The question postulates a different rule set that none of us have read. If you've written a new rule set of your own, then you should already know the answer to your question - it's whatever it says in your rulebook. If your rulebook doesn't address the issue, then you haven't written a complete rulebook.

wmshub wrote:
I'll answer your question with another question. Let's say that we lived in a world where water, instead of making you wet when you went swimming in it, made you drier. Then if you drank some, would you become more or less thirsty?

That's the equivalent to your question.

Good! I think perhaps an even better equivalent would be:

Once upon a time there was a boy named Tommy.

What happened to Jimmy?

Are you asking us to complete your rule set for you? Are you asking us for our preference as to how this hypothetical alternative rule set should be completed?

If so, I have to say I really don't have much of a preference at all. I am slightly inclined to a rule which says that A is under no obligation at all. Or that all future promises made in deals are non-binding, and that A doesn't have to give C anything, even if he does have the wood.
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Nacho Facello
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I don't agree with "there's no way to know since you're using house rules". The house rules OP is using overrides the "no exchanging something for nothing" rule. The "future trading is not binding" rule is not said to be changed, so it's still there. So, to both questions: no, A doesn't have to give anything. In fact, if A says "screw you, I won't give you even half a wood" even when he didn't lose anything, he can do it — he's not bound by any rule to give up his wood.
 
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Bernhard Rohrbacher
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It is a law review article that uses this problem to illustrate two different rules in the Jewish (i.e., biblical and Talmudic) law of bailment (borrowing and lending, renting and renting out). As you can see from the answers, different people have different answers to this problem, and I will explain that by arguing that they are (unwittingly) analyzing the problem under one or the other of these two rules. It is a bit of fun in the otherwise extremely boring world of law review articles.
 
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Bernhard Rohrbacher
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I would have created a poll if I had the technical skills to do so - alas, I do not. On a German forum, some tender soul created a poll for me and it indeed worked wonders.
 
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kingjames01 wrote:
Also, as a general appeal to other users:

Stop using BGG to settle your arguments.


That actually does not bother so long as the argument is actually based in the rules, or "law" of the game, to start with, and is a situation where the rules are unclear or vague.
 
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BRohrbacher wrote:
It is a law review article that uses this problem to illustrate two different rules in the Jewish (i.e., biblical and Talmudic) law of bailment (borrowing and lending, renting and renting out).

Then I don't see the point. Are you assuming that people's answers to your proposed gaming problem are the same they would give to a real-life situation? That would be a huge mistake.
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Mil Myman
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BRohrbacher wrote:
It is a law review article that uses this problem to illustrate two different rules in the Jewish (i.e., biblical and Talmudic) law of bailment (borrowing and lending, renting and renting out). As you can see from the answers, different people have different answers to this problem, and I will explain that by arguing that they are (unwittingly) analyzing the problem under one or the other of these two rules.

No they aren't! They're analyzing the problem under the assumption that it's a game. If you're looking for real-world legal, moral, ethical answers, the the question is this:

A and C want to make a trade of one brick for two logs, but C is afraid that a robber will come and steal the logs after the trade, leaving him with nothing for having traded his brick away. So C asks A to keep the logs until the threat of being robbed has passed.

In the mean time, a robber comes and steals the logs from A before he can pay them to C. Having been robbed of the thing he promised to give to C, what is A's obligation? What recourse does C have? How is this situation resolved?

And more importantly, why is there a robber running around unchecked, even though everyone knows he's there?
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Brook Gentlestream
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Quote:
And more importantly, why is there a robber running around unchecked, even though everyone knows he's there?


The robber was a disgruntled former employee of Player A's company, and knows many of the passwords and security checkpoints of the warehouse. Some of the valuable logs will have to be stored elsewhere until new security measures have been put in place.
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Bernhard Rohrbacher
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"No they aren't! They're analyzing the problem under the assumption that it's a game. If you're looking for real-world legal, moral, ethical answers . . . ."

You are assuming either that there is a distinction between "game[s]" and "real-world legal, moral, ethical answers." That assumption is dubious at best.

In case there was a misunderstanding, of course folks aren't analyzing this with Jewish laws in mind. What I am trying to say here is that there answers can be explained as if they were the product of Jewish law, which is to say that the same principles underly both.

With a sigh I note that people just don't seem to be able to stop the sermonizing . . . .
 
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