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Subject: Question on lying in game rss

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heavy liquid
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Our group had our game night this past Saturday. Most of us are newbies in the game, having only played it once or twice previously.

Here is my question:

One person was attacking a planet and three people were defending. The attacker had the Seer so the defender laid his card down first. The Seer was adding up the ships defending and looking at his cards and mulling over what to do. When looking at the ships, the defender said (pointing at the ships, there's 11 ships and our card is 7 so you have to beat 18.

The Seer mulled over this and laid down 19. The defender said that actually they lied, they had 19 total, and the Seer should have counted the ships themselves and not taken their word for it. The Seer was quite upset as he would have played it differently had they known this (used a Negotiate card) instead of losing two good cards and sending ships to the warp.

The person said this was legal because lying is allowed in the game, and this is why he "likes competitive games". What's your guys take on this? I understand lying in Negotiation, but isn't this lying and being deceitful about a basic board state? Is this kosher?
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Sean Franco
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On one hand, lying about an evident and public board state shouldn't be an issue, since anyone can and should check it, especially if they are so involved in the encounter.

On the other hand, it's a dick move. I'd stop playing with that guy, period. Lying in the game is about breaking promises and diplomacy, not tricking someone then saying, "no take backs!!" like a five-year-old.
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Geoff Speare
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tee hee, that tickles!!!
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This is more of a metagame question than a game rule question. Nothing prohibits this in the rules, but most of the time, it helps game flow to insist on honesty in situations like this.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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I have to agree with Sean.

Forcing everyone to over-scrutinize every moment of every action, just in case some toddler is lying, will only slow the game down and put the emphasis on the bookkeeping instead of the gameplay.

I'm all for misdirection, backstabbing, and breaking promises; this game encourages that, and benefits from it. But that's a far cry from lying about the actual facts and mechanics of the gameplay. To me this is no different than peeking at hands, bottom-dealing, and sneaking ships out of the warp.

People who can't win without pulling those stunts are kind of pathetic. If I caught them doing it in my house, they would be politely informed of the ground rules. After a second infraction, they would not be invited back. I'd rather have half as many opponents and know that I'm actually playing Cosmic Encounter, not Catch the Liars.
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Roberta Yang
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Exception: I'd allow this if they were known to have the Wild Filch in their hand.
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Haha, it's a bit shady, but I'm mostly just amused that someone actually did this. Personally I like to try and be helpful in making the game state known to everyone, but if someone lied about this I wouldn't sweat it -- that techniques obviously not going to work again -- I have a feeling your Oracle will be counting his own ships from now on
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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galfridus wrote:
but most of the time, it helps game flow to insist on honesty in situations like this.

I agree; making everyone stop playing the game to count the ships for themselves is lame.

heavy liquid wrote:
The person said this was legal because lying is allowed in the game, and this is why he "likes competitive games".

If he likes it so much, then surely he'll appreciate being on the receiving end, too. "I did count, and there were 11 ships, just like you said. Now that the cards are revealed, you add another ship to the stack and claim it was there all along? How is that not cheating?"
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David Mazur
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logopolys wrote:
On the other hand, it's a dick move. I'd stop playing with that guy, period.


That sums it up for me. Technically legal, but sucks the fun out of the game so hard that it's not worth playing with the person.
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Ken H.
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I agree it would potentially not be much fun to play with people who deliberately misrepresent the board state. I wouldn't go so far as to ban the person though, especially if the issue had never been discussed before.

Bluffing about your cards (allowed) vs. bluffing about something everyone can see for themselves? Yeah it's annoying, but the previous responses seem like over-reactions to me -- how hard is it to count a few ships? It really depends on what the group will tolerate.

I also have to add that it's not that different from getting an invitation to ally with the offense, and not pointing out the you already have four colonies. FFG addressed this by using the markers around the Warp. But, I recall many games with the Eon set (especially with those indistinguishable gold and silver tokens) where the game was won by an ally who should have never been invited.

Even in the FFG set, somebody might miss it. To those of you who are against counting, if somebody with 3 colonies mistakenly invited you on offense when you have 4, would you point it out to them? If you join the alliance anyway, aren't you tacitly misrepresenting your position? Or is it only a problem if you affirmatively lie about it?



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heavy liquid
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Thanks for your responses, guys.

I will say that everyone had a few drinks at that point, so it was easy for all involved to miss counting the ships and take his word for it (the ships were also stacked awkwardly).

It definitely changed the mood of the game, and I've confirmed this with almost everyone else playing (8 people total). In fact, two other teams teamed up to win simultaneously through a negotiation to spite him, which he afterwords said was illegal according to the rules. I've since looked it up, and it is in fact legal (Page 12 of the rulebook (from FFG) "It is possible, through alliances and successful negotiations, to have more than one player gain five colonies at the same time. In this case, the players share a win."). Please correct me if I'm wrong. He is the type of person who wants to win at all costs and bend the rules as far as possible (or break them) to do so. He will go out of his way to win by two points instead of one if possible, just to win by more.

As far as not playing with this person again, it's not really doable as he is the organizer of the game sessions and owner of most of the games. But I think I'm taking a break from the games for a while to cool my head.

 
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The Dave
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heavy liquid wrote:
Thanks for your responses, guys.

I will say that everyone had a few drinks at that point, so it was easy for all involved to miss counting the ships and take his word for it (the ships were also stacked awkwardly).

It definitely changed the mood of the game, and I've confirmed this with almost everyone else playing (8 people total). In fact, two other teams teamed up to win simultaneously through a negotiation to spite him, which he afterwords said was illegal according to the rules. I've since looked it up, and it is in fact legal (Page 12 of the rulebook (from FFG) "It is possible, through alliances and successful negotiations, to have more than one player gain five colonies at the same time. In this case, the players share a win."). Please correct me if I'm wrong. He is the type of person who wants to win at all costs and bend the rules as far as possible (or break them) to do so. He will go out of his way to win by two points instead of one if possible, just to win by more.

As far as not playing with this person again, it's not really doable as he is the organizer of the game sessions and owner of most of the games. But I think I'm taking a break from the games for a while to cool my head.



All it would take is for one of you to pony up some cash to purchase a couple of the group's favorite games, invite everyone over BUT that guy, and then make sure he hears about it. I'd assume he would get the message.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Sounds like your game-town needs a new mayor. I nominate you.
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Testy Testerson
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Dude is a douche. Period. I wouldn't game with him anymore, even if it forced me to resort to playing Monopoly.
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Sean Franco
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Rubric wrote:
I also have to add that it's not that different from getting an invitation to ally with the offense, and not pointing out the you already have four colonies. FFG addressed this by using the markers around the Warp. But, I recall many games with the Eon set (especially with those indistinguishable gold and silver tokens) where the game was won by an ally who should have never been invited.

Even in the FFG set, somebody might miss it. To those of you who are against counting, if somebody with 3 colonies mistakenly invited you on offense when you have 4, would you point it out to them? If you join the alliance anyway, aren't you tacitly misrepresenting your position? Or is it only a problem if you affirmatively lie about it?

Here's the difference:

Idiot: Invite me! I'm only at three colonies?

Offense: Sounds good.

Offense wins encounter.

Idiot: Sucker!! I was at four colonies the whole time! Now I've won!!



Should Offense have checked? Sure. Should Idiot have lied about it? Nope. As Bill said, I don't want to play Catch the Liars. Bluff and betray, sure. I'm fine with that. Go ahead and lie about your intentions. But still try to be a gentleman (and equivalent) when you do play.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Rubric wrote:
if somebody with 3 colonies mistakenly invited you on offense when you have 4, would you point it out to them? If you join the alliance anyway, aren't you tacitly misrepresenting your position? Or is it only a problem if you affirmatively lie about it?

I agree with Sean, and draw the line between tacit misrepresentation and explicit dishonesty. If I invite you when I shouldn't have, you quietly hope I don't notice, and it works out in your favor, then that's a fun sneak for you and an emabarrassing lesson for me. The Finger of Blame is attracted more to my gravity than yours.

But if you actually lie to me about the game state, then it's still an embarrassment to me that I didn't catch it, but the greater dishonor is now your lying; the Finger follows you.

Put another way, if I stumble onto a money clip and don't really try to locate its owner, I've missed an opportunity to be a man of honor yet broken no law. But if I take it out of your pocket, I'm a criminal.
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Sean Franco
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Bill, we're agreeing a lot in this thread. Something's up.
 
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David Mazur
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Here are some sections from the MtG tournament rules that illustrate the difference for me:

Quote:
Free information is information to which all players are entitled access without contamination or omissions made by their opponents.
-snip-
Derived information is information to which all players are entitled access, but opponents are not obliged to assist in determining and may require some skill or calculation to determine.
-snip-
The following rules govern player communication:
• Players may not represent derived or free information incorrectly.


You can debate over which category current totals in an encounter and total foreign colonies might fall under, but there is a difference between not saying "Really, you want me to ally as offence? Because I have 4 colonies already." and stating that you have only 3 when you actually have 4*. In a formal setting like a tournament, I'm fine with that getting you disqualified. In a casual setting at someone's house or a game store, I'll either not invite you back or not sit at tables you're playing at.

* If you state you have 3, but actually already have 5 and are going for 6 in an attempt to win more before pointing out your win to everyone, then I won't mind you lying since you've already won anyway. But that's only happened once in a game I've played.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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logopolys wrote:
Bill, we're agreeing a lot in this thread. Something's up.

No we aren't.

Problem solved.
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Sean Franco
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djkc wrote:
If you state you have 3, but actually already have 5 and are going for 6 in an attempt to win more before pointing out your win to everyone, then I won't mind you lying since you've already won anyway. But that's only happened once in a game I've played.

The f?
 
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Gerald Katz
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Such problems that can be avoided when table talk is not allowed.

/end soapbox

again



Such a courtesy would technically not have avoided this particular scenario since the speaker was a donkey cavity, but the breach of etiquette would be more pronounced and there would be no appearance of a defense of table talk excuse.
 
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Markus
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In most games I would not approve this sort of behavior. However, in Cosmic Encounter I would actually encourage it.
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Steven
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heavy liquid wrote:
In fact, two other teams teamed up to win simultaneously through a negotiation to spite him, which he afterwords said was illegal according to the rules. I've since looked it up, and it is in fact legal (Page 12 of the rulebook (from FFG) "It is possible, through alliances and successful negotiations, to have more than one player gain five colonies at the same time. In this case, the players share a win."). Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Shared wins are a well-established feature of Cosmic Encounter. So are alliances formed solely to spite another player. I find it amusing that the guy who lied about open information then objected to an outcome that is indisputably legal.

Here's the thing. CE permits - indeed encourages - lying in so many ways: about the (hidden) cards in your hand; about your intentions on your turn; about your good will toward another player. Why would you have to go the extra step that your "friend" did?
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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celiborn wrote:
Why would you have to go the extra step that your "friend" did?

For some people this can be pathological. We can't know if that's the case here, but the preference for overkill victories (winning by more points than are necessary) could be an indicator.
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