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Subject: The negotiation rule is way too open? rss

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Pedro Parente
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well, the first times that i've played CE, me and my friends were VERY confused about the negotiation card. "You negotiate" the rulebook said. but negotiate what? to what extent?? what are the limits to your negotiation? people often trade colonies or cards in hand, but there are limits to the amount of cards or colonies?

Once a friend negotiated with his oponent and each traded 5 colonies onto each other systems. they both won on the first round. or he may attack someone who has only 2 colonies, when he has 4, so he negotiates three colonies for one. Is that anti-game? yes to me. but the negotiations rule are SO OPEN that forces me to limit it somehow.

How do you guys think of the negotiate card?
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Nathan
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You can only trade a maximum of one colony each, otherwise you get silly situations like the one you mentioned. The game cannot be won this way in the first encounter.

Other than that, cards are up for grabs. Someone might negotiate when they have 4 colonies - the other player says no way do you get a colony, but I will trade you 2 cards at random for a colony for me.

Things like that. Also, people may try and ask for help in future encounters, although such deals are non-binding.

1 colony each is the maximum can be negotiated however.

Negotiations are great, but I still quash them whenever possible
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Ben Finkel
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Well, for one thing each player may only gain one colony during a negotiation, so you were at least playing that wrong. The only other thing the game always hold s as binding is unlimited card trades. And some aliens also have enforced powers they can use during negotiations (as explicitly mentioned on the power, like for Zombie).
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Matt Becker
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From the Fantasy Flight rule book, p 10
Quote:
In a deal, a player may trade cards and/or allow his or her
opponent to establish one colony on any one planet where the
player already has a colony.
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Ken H.
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Actually, I think Negotiations are almost too limited.

You have a misunderstanding of the rules -- a player can only get ONE colony per negotiation. Otherwise, yes, it would ruin the game.

Other than that, you can also trade encounter cards, and... that's it.

Any other "promises" are non-binding and essentially worthless (and you don't even need a Negotiation card to make non-binding promises).

Also, you only get 60 seconds to negotiate.


Edit: Wow, ninja'd three times! You guys travel in packs?
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Just a Bill
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You can trade any number of cards, with whatever qualities the players can agree on (any cards without qualification, cards of a certain type, etc.; see the example below), but no more than one colony per player. The rules are very clear about this limit (page 10):

If Both Players Reveal
Negotiate Cards


In a deal, a player may trade cards and/or allow his or her
opponent to establish one colony on any one planet where the
player already has a colony. In this way each main player may
gain a new colony and/or new cards. Any of a player’s ships that
are not in the warp can be used to establish this colony. Cards
must come from the players’ hands, not from the deck. Any
ships remaining in the hyperspace gate after the deal return to
any of the offense’s colonies. Allies are never included in a deal.
If no agreement is reached within one minute, the deal fails.
The players cannot agree to do nothing as a deal – either a card
or a base colony must change hands for a deal to be successful.

Example: The Anti-Matter and the Clone ... have one minute to reach a deal.
The Clone wants a colony (she is behind in colonies) and agrees to
give the Anti-Matter her three lowest cards in return for a colony
(the Anti-Matter likes low cards due to his alien power). The
Anti-Matter agrees to this and the deal is done. The Clone gains
a colony and places two ships on it. The Anti-Matter gets three
attack cards with values of 4, 6, and 8.
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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:
Edit: Wow, ninja'd three times!

And four for me. That's the scourge of trying to be thorough; sometimes you come in last.

Rubric wrote:
Actually, I think Negotiations are almost too limited.

Agreed. With homebrew materials I'm always trying to come up with new things to negotiate about. This in my mind is the number one underutilized game mechanic: there's probably more potential to be exploited here here than in moons, Lucre, etc.
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David Dawson
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I love the negotiations over cards. It's great when your opponent is someone who needs something specific, like Antimatter. "I'll give you my three lowest attack cards" for instance.

And then there's always the variations of getting specific things, letting the other person pick from a few options, and picking cards at random.

I think my last game, I wanted to get rid of my hand. It was average, but wasn't going to win me the game. So I let them have a colony in exchange for taking my entire hand, so I could draw a new hand next turn. They were a new player, and were definitely suspicious of what I was up to when they got all that!
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Mi Myma
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usagimomiji wrote:
well, the first times that i've played CE, me and my friends were VERY confused about the negotiation card. "You negotiate" the rulebook said. but negotiate what? to what extent?? what are the limits to your negotiation? people often trade colonies or cards in hand, but there are limits to the amount of cards or colonies?

Once a friend negotiated with his oponent and each traded 5 colonies onto each other systems. they both won on the first round. or he may attack someone who has only 2 colonies, when he has 4, so he negotiates three colonies for one. Is that anti-game? yes to me. but the negotiations rule are SO OPEN that forces me to limit it somehow.

How do you guys think of the negotiate card?

Have you tried actually reading the rules?
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Nathan
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Rubric wrote:
Wow, ninja'd three times! You guys travel in packs?


ninja

We travel alone, but strike from different directions simultaneously...
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Greg Filpus
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Rubric wrote:
Actually, I think Negotiations are almost too limited.

Agreed. With homebrew materials I'm always trying to come up with new things to negotiate about. This in my mind is the number one underutilized game mechanic: there's probably more potential to be exploited here here than in moons, Lucre, etc.


Yeah, it's on my list of "places where Cosmic should steal more Twilight Imperium mechanics." Not sure if Trade Agreements (cards that grant an ongoing income if you exchange them with someone else) or Promissory Notes (binding "You may force me to do X" cards you offer someone) are more interesting.
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Ken H.
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GregF wrote:
Yeah, it's on my list of "places where Cosmic should steal more Twilight Imperium mechanics." Not sure if Trade Agreements (cards that grant an ongoing income if you exchange them with someone else) or Promissory Notes (binding "You may force me to do X" cards you offer someone) are more interesting.


I know nothing about TI (other than everything I hear about it sounds awesome), but the Promissory Note idea would be really cool in Cosmic. Force me to ally. Force me to invite you. Force me to play N. Also force me NOT to do various things.

Re/ the other one, I don't see how "income" would work without a lucre system, which is an idea that is universally (except for me) reviled.

The subject can also be approached from the angle of alien design. The game needs more aliens like Zombie, who can allow their negotiating partner to do something special -- draw from the deck, discard, re-order the destiny pile, gain a token that does something, even draw a new alien (at least temporarily).

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Mi Myma
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Some have discussed the idea of additional negotiable things added to various powers, like how Zombie can grant ships from the warp as part of a deal. Some other powers could grant:

Cards from the deck (obviously)
Extra encounters
Bonuses to Attack totals
Access to/Development of Tech
Destiny manipulations
Reward deck cards
Unused flare deck cards
Hazard manipulations
Additional temporary/permanent ships
Temporary use of unused powers
etc.

There have been several unofficial aliens that added various possibilities to deals, such as

Knot - makes future binding agreements. e.g., "If I ally with you now will you ally with me when I tell you to?"
All the "Prisoner" powers - a whole new mechanic that adds the taking of prisoners, and therefore the exchange of prisoners as part of a deal.

And there have even been official aliens and variants that added new things to negotiate:

All the Lucre powers - Lucre can always be traded as part of a deal.
Assessor - both the original Eon version and the Mayfair version essentially created a "prisoner"-like mechanism, and you could negotiate for the return of your prisoners.
Diplomat - triggers three-way deals

The possibilities are unlimitless.
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Just a Bill
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Rubric wrote:
The game needs more aliens like Zombie, who can allow their negotiating partner to do something special -- draw from the deck, discard, re-order the destiny pile, gain a token that does something, even draw a new alien (at least temporarily).

Definitely. I tried to accomplish exactly this in my Flagships variant: flagships pick up all kinds of unique little abilities throughout the game, and players can trade them at will during deals. The thread is a bit long-winded, but you can go straight to this post to see the list of proposed effects (all of which are tradeable). Oh, and there's a poll (nudge, nudge).
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Eric Matthews
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The negotiation rule is exaclty as open as it should be; the game wouldn't have remained this popular for over 30 years if it weren't. The current rulebook, should have been formatted a little better to hightlight this section though. Why there is no call out/quick tips for negotiation in it baffles me.

From the base game rulebook:
In a deal, a player may trade cards and/or allow his or her opponent to establish one colony on any one planet where the player already has a colony. In this way each main player may gain a new colony and/or new cards. Any of a player’s ships that are not in the warp can be used to establish this colony. Cards must come from the players’ hands, not from the deck. Any ships remaining in the hyperspace gate after the deal return to any of the offense’s colonies. Allies are never included in a deal. If no agreement is reached within one minute, the deal fails. The players cannot agree to do nothing as a deal – either a card or a base must change hands for a deal to be successful.
 
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Jack Reda
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I have a power that tries to open up the Negotiate experience:

NEGOTIATOR [O:Warp] Adds Terms to Negotiations Jack Reda

You have the power of Compromise. As a main player, when a Negotiate card is revealed in the encounter, use this power. If you revealed the Negotiate and your opponent revealed an attack card, you lose at most one ship. Your other ships return to your colonies (or stay on the planet if you are the defense). If your opponent revealed a Negotiate, he or she gains at most one card in compensation.

If two Negotiates were revealed and a deal situation arises, as part of the deal you may grant or receive up to two colonies, give cards from the deck, or give one random flare from the unused flare deck. If the deal fails, your opponent loses five ships instead of three, and you only lose one ship.

History: The multi-mouthed Negotiators easily confuse their adversaries with double-talk, half-truths, and the power of suggestion. Discussions covertly become one sided in the Negotiators favor, and the art of compromise is transformed into an all or nothing victory.

Wild: As a main player, if you both players revealed attack cards, you may transform your attack card into a Negotiate card.

Super: If you fail to make a deal, the encounter counts as a win for you.
 
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