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Subject: Proposed variant rules for Dune Game 12. rss

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Glenn McMaster
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I'm off to Europe today, but when back on the 15th I'm looking to start Dune Game 11. I want to do a 6 player variant, using Ix instead of BG. I'm interested in what people think of this variant rules set.

Comments?

Special Rules of Play.

1. The Ix replaces the B.G. as the sixth faction.

2. Hand Limit. All players may hold 6 cards in their hand except the Harkonnen, who may hold up to 8.

3. The playing deck is 46 cards, not 33.

4. B.G. Advisors.

Each player receives one B.G. leader. This is your faction’s B.G. spiritual advisor and it allows you to use B.G. powers in play.

(a)You may play your B.G. leader in battle and ‘voice’ your opponent if you do so, with the aggressor ‘voicing’ first.
(b) You may declare co-existence in a territory by placing your B.G. advisor there from reserves. It must remain there as long as you co-exist, returning to your reserves at the end the turn. You may ‘accompany’ shipments to that territory as long as you remain in co-existence. If you come out of co-existence, your BG leader may fight in tthat territory, but not another. It is killed in a lasegun/shield explosion normally
(c) If your B.G. leader is killed you may not revive it.

5. Prediction Victory.


*** there are two prediction victory proposals here. I like the 1st one better than the second one.

Each faction will have its own prediction victory condition.

At the start of play you will be randomly dealt two cards from a deck of 12 cards, with each card bearing the name of one of the factions. One of the cards you will select as your predicted faction. The other card is the faction that YOU must be allied to at the moment your prediction victory is fulfilled. If the ‘ally’ faction is yourself, then you must win alone.

Example 1: You are dealt cards “Harkonnen” and “Ix”. You predict Harkonnen to win on turn 6. If you are allied to Ix on turn 6 and Harkonnen wins, reveal your prediction and you alone have won.
Example 2: You are Guild and you are dealt, Guild and Emperor. You may predict yourself to win in alliance with Emperor, or you may predict Emperor to win while you are solo.
Example 3: You are dealt Guild, Guild. You must predict yourself to win solo. On the other hand, you now know no one else has predicted you.

This is Version 2 of the prediction -

At the start of play all players will be secretly dealt one of the following Prediction Cards, most of which are from Rex:
1: Path of Peace: most units in Polar Sink
2: Cautious Command: Fewest tokens in the ‘tanks’
3: Ready for the Aftermath: Most tokens in reserves.
4: Control Mecatol City: Most units on board
5: Control the Populous: control most spaces
6: Lead the Assault: control the most number of strongholds
7: Rule the skies: control Arrakeen and Carthag.
8: Master of Deceit: control no strongholds.
9. The Joker: Possess the most worthless cards.
10. Air of Authority: Have the highest total value of leaders outside the ‘tanks’.

At the start of play each player is assigned one of the six factions at random. You will then predict the turn that this faction will win the game. If your faction and turn prediction is correct and if you have fulfilled the conditions of your prediction card at the moment of their victory, then reveal your prediction and you alone have won the game.

6. Factions:


Fremen

The Fremen have these additional character advantages:
1. Your ability to take half losses in the storm is optional.
2. You dial at full strength in battle in desert territories at no cost in spice.
3. Each of your tokens group containing Fedaykin may always move each turn.
4. Your tokens may cohabitate in territories with your ally as if they were his and can be dialed by your ally in battle. If your tokens commence the movement round stacked with your ally’s tokens, he may move the whole stack two territories by foot, or three by ornithopter. He may always move each of his groups containing one of your starred tokens. Your tokens may only be moved by one player each turn.

The Ix:

At Start 20 tokens in reserve (off-planet).
Spice: 5
Free Revival: 1
Leaders –
Vizier (5)
Bronso (4)
Bator (3)
Levenbreche (2)
Baltern (1)

Advantages – You specialize in the production and distribution of technology.
1. You may pass your treachery card(s) to any player that wants it.
2. At the start of the bidding round you secretly receive one spice for each weapon and defense card that will be auctioned in the bidding round.
3. You draw one free card from the top of the treachery deck at the end of the bidding round. (Subject to hand limit, Atreides does not see).
4. One half of the total spice paid for support in battle (rounded up) is paid to you.

Alliance: Your allies draw one free card at the end of the bidding round.

Karama – Trade treachery cards in your hand one for one with any in the discard pile. You may not take a karama card and you do not replace the karama card you played.

(All) - you may play a Ghola card to revive your BG leader.

7. Treachery Deck


The treachery deck consists of 46 cards.
33 cards of the regular treachery deck.
1 additional Shield
1 additional Snooper
1 additional Poison Weapon (Semuta Drug)
1 additional Projectile Weapon (Hunter Seeker).
1 Laza Tiger weapon. Kills your opponent's leader unless they play a projectile or lasegun weapon.
1 Body Double defense. Play two of your leaders on your battle wheel. One you designate as your battle leader, the other becomes the body double. Your opponent's weapon kills the body double while your battle leader survives and counts towards the battle total. A Lasegun/Shield explosion kills both. Discard after use.
1 Poachers. Choose one stronghold and in the collection round collect an additional 2 spice each turn as long as you continue to control it.
1 Harvester. Move a spice blow to any stronghold during the spice blow round. (Discarded after use).
1 Cone of Silence = Diplomatic Influence from Rex. (wording required).
1 Reinforcement Your faction leader (value 7) is brought into in play. You may not revive it if lost and if you get this card again treat it as worthless.
1 Tactical Retreat (Rex)
1 Mercenary weapon. (Rex).
1 Kanly Duel Challenge another player to a duel for an offense made against your faction. This will be a new system, the one designed by Ryan in the last 9-player game.


 
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RJ
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Re: Proposed variant rules for Dune Game 11.
I'm a bit dubious about allowing all factions the ability to co-exist and use the voice. I'd rather just see the BG out of the game, or involved as their own faction with rule tweaks to address their known issues.

I wish I could play in this, but I'll be busy until the end of November.
 
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Liam
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Re: Proposed variant rules for Dune Game 11.
Moved to Variants
 
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Doug Green
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Re: Proposed variant rules for Dune Game 11.
I really like the new take on the BG. I also prefer the first of the two prediction methods. Count me in when you're ready to start the game.
 
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Klaude Thomas
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Re: Proposed variant rules for Dune Game 11.
Sounds highly cool, but like Ryan I'm extraordinarily busy this year

I'll spectate
 
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Glenn McMaster
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Re: Proposed variant rules for Dune Game 11.
Dune game 12, not 11.

rjphelan wrote:
I'm a bit dubious about allowing all factions the ability to co-exist and use the voice. I'd rather just see the BG out of the game, or involved as their own faction with rule tweaks to address their known issues.

I wish I could play in this, but I'll be busy until the end of November.


I'm a bit concerned on the "solution" to the voice problem as well, because the order of voicing either forces the aggressor to play 'chicken' by issuing a 'kill' voice, or forces him to forgo voicing, which gives the 2nd player a free ride with the voice (if he can assure his BG leader lives).

OTOH, this may also open up more opportunities for solo wins and such, and might make it easier to win.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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vonklaude wrote:
Sounds highly cool, but like Ryan I'm extraordinarily busy this year :(

I'll spectate :)


I'm in no rush to start - are you freer in November?
 
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Klaude Thomas
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GLENN239 wrote:
vonklaude wrote:
Sounds highly cool, but like Ryan I'm extraordinarily busy this year

I'll spectate


I'm in no rush to start - are you freer in November?

I am freer in November. I'll be taking a fortnight away in December for Christmas with family, but then pretty good until the end of April.

I'm interested in your variant rules for Fremen and would like to try them. At present my 'shortlist' for Fremen includes extra movement (for me, allowing splitting the 2 move works, but your Fedaykin option is an interesting take on it), ability to move back into reserves (you've given part of that with Storm half-losses optional), free support in desert (check), and why not let their allies ride worms?! (sadly not present).

BTW rule 4. is optional right? Fremen can decide not to let their ally do those things?

Of the two prediction options, I prefer the first as it is less randomly good/bad - for example Guild vs Fremen trying to get card 10. I guess option 1 will mean players want to ally with both the players they drew cards for, right? Is that as you intend? So if I draw BG and Emp I ally with them and win alone if the alliance wins? That creates an interesting centripetal force on 3-way alliances. For 2-way alliances, I suppose the question is whether I'm being played for a chump or not, but a-priori that feels easier to deal with: it's easier to respond when you notice your ally isn't sincerely trying to win. Much harder when you see that they are trying to win, but can't be sure if that will lead to you winning too.

Hard to anticipate how the game will go. Everyone getting one co-exist is kind of huge - I rate that more important than the Voice although, of course, the Voice for the win is going to happen. You know, you always notice when Voice beats you, but it is less obvious that the positional advantages of coexisting are what really won the game.

For other matters, are you using WBC rules?
 
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Glenn McMaster
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Quote:
and why not let their allies ride worms?! (sadly not present).


Sure, why not. Let’s first get the Fremen too powerful, because then it’s easy to scale them back.

Quote:
BTW rule 4. is optional right? Fremen can decide not to let their ally do those things?


Yes, alliance powers are always optional, always at the discretion of the giving faction.

 
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Glenn McMaster
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Quote:
I guess option 1 will mean players want to ally with both the players they drew cards for, right? Is that as you intend? So if I draw BG and Emp I ally with them and win alone if the alliance wins?


The idea is that, given average prediction cards, you’re going to either have to try for a sub-optimal alliance partner or predict a suboptimal faction for victory, such that the predictions will collectively skew the alliance talks in the nexus and lead to an action-reaction cycle where all six players are acting unpredictably, angling towards alliances that are suboptimal in terms of known game position and then becoming suspicious of one another as this bias becomes evident.

I’m hoping all six factions having a residual alliance victory will increase the chance of it happening from about 6% to maybe 20% or 25% - high enough to be fun, low enough not to be too crazy. Part of the process will be players that have lost their residual, or are looking to reduce the danger because of a non-residual win opportunity, sharing information to figure out the remaining cards of the other players.

Quote:
Hard to anticipate how the game will go. Everyone getting one co-exist is kind of huge.


Tough to say – I’ve always seen coexistence more as a method to duck a battle you don’t want to fight, more defensive than offensive. One risk is that your BG leader is killed in lasegun/shield explosions, making it riskier if these cards are not accounted for; killing 8 or 10 tokens and nailing a player’s BG leader at the same time would be pretty sweet.

I think the aggressor will probably be marginally disadvantaged by having to voice first, meaning that the option to coexist may help balance things out. The ghola card seems more important, because you can ‘voice’ and then immediately revive your dead leader and ‘voice’ again. Once some players have lost their BG leader while others still have it, the incentive for those still with BG leaders to ally, and those without to kill those leaders at any cost, will increase. So part of play would be holding on to your BG leader while trying to see many of the others go into the tanks.

Quote:
For other matters, are you using WBC rules?

Yes, but I would go with an alternative interpretation or two if someone was set on trying something that looked worthwhile.
 
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Klaude Thomas
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GLENN239 wrote:
The idea is that, given average prediction cards, you’re going to either have to try for a sub-optimal alliance partner or predict a suboptimal faction for victory, such that the predictions will collectively skew the alliance talks in the nexus and lead to an action-reaction cycle where all six players are acting unpredictably, angling towards alliances that are suboptimal in terms of known game position

Accepted. It should draw people into alliances that would otherwise be considered sub-optimal and that in itself will give clues. How does the prediction interact with the Guild default?

GLENN239 wrote:
I’ve always seen coexistence more as a method to duck a battle you don’t want to fight, more defensive than offensive.

I see co-existence as primarily offensive. You build up in sietches and challenge for them when it suits you; no one can block you out. The tempo is extremely positive. I presently believe that a 3-way alliance containing BG, Emperor, and Guild cannot be defeated in Dune. They play for the turn 15 win (but take any earlier opportunity that presents itself). The facing alliance would be Atreides, Fremen, Harkonnen. Assuming equal skill I cannot see how the latter beat the former.

GLENN239 wrote:
Once some players have lost their BG leader while others still have it, the incentive for those still with BG leaders to ally, and those without to kill those leaders at any cost, will increase. So part of play would be holding on to your BG leader while trying to see many of the others go into the tanks.

Agreed. I see the BG leader as a 'hold on for the game-winning fight' deal. Very reluctant to play it in incidental skirmishes. That said, I would risk it to co-exist in the stronghold I wanted to win with.

What happens when multiple players come out of co-existence at once?
 
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Glenn McMaster
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How does the prediction interact with the Guild default?


Two possibilities; Either the default victories are exempt from the process, or you can’t predict the Guild or Fremen for the default but you can predict one of their allies.

Quote:
I presently believe that a 3-way alliance containing BG, Emperor, and Guild cannot be defeated.


Not an unreasonable assertion. One assumes that if facing such a menace, the other three players either accept the loss and end the game without wasting 5 hours, or conspire to hand one their number a solo victory. My response if faced with this unbreakable three-way to boredom would be to ‘suicide’ another player into a solo win, to teach the three never to do that again.

Quote:
Very reluctant to play it in incidental skirmishes.


Presumably the aggressor may be unwilling to play their BG leader in skirmishes, because they commit their leader first. The other player, having seen that no voice is coming, can play their BG leader to voice that it survives. Alternatively, if he has the proper defence the aggressor can voice their opponent’s leader dead as sort of an ‘all in’ poker play, a game of chicken to push off the opponent from the pot, where the other player either accepts the loss of the battle or the loss of their BG leader.

Quote:
What happens when multiple players come out of co-existence at once?


Two choices. First, only in player order can you come of co-existence so that occupation rules are not violated. Second, that this is an exception to the rule, so that as many players as desired can exit co-existence and the battles are treated as if in a non-stronghold territory. Either solution will create skullduggery in the co-existence ‘game’.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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Had another idea for a treachery card, one that allowed you to break the terms of a binding agreement. That way, until that card was located and out, no one could be absolutely sure that the agreements they've made will be honoured.

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Klaude Thomas
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GLENN239 wrote:
Had another idea for a treachery card, one that allowed you to break the terms of a binding agreement. That way, until that card was located and out, no one could be absolutely sure that the agreements they've made will be honoured.

Like? Don't like?

I like it!

Under WBC T/T, does it let you wriggle out of your answer? devil
 
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vonklaude wrote:
Under WBC T/T, does it let you wriggle out of your answer? devil

What about going back on an Atreides combat prescience? ninja
 
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Klaude Thomas
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riks wrote:
vonklaude wrote:
Under WBC T/T, does it let you wriggle out of your answer? devil

What about going back on an Atreides combat prescience? ninja

The prescience is not a question or deal, literally Atreides sees the future. (You 'show' them the element of your plan.)
 
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Glenn McMaster
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vonklaude wrote:
GLENN239 wrote:
Had another idea for a treachery card, one that allowed you to break the terms of a binding agreement. That way, until that card was located and out, no one could be absolutely sure that the agreements they've made will be honoured.

Like? Don't like?

I like it!

Under WBC T/T, does it let you wriggle out of your answer? :devil:


No, not against a truthtrance.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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riks wrote:
vonklaude wrote:
Under WBC T/T, does it let you wriggle out of your answer? :devil:


What about going back on an Atreides combat prescience? :ninja:


No, not against the prescience. Only the terms of a binding contract negotiated between players. Say, you've agreed to dial 0 with no weapon in a desert tussel. You could renege on that agreement after revealing a battle plan with weapon and dial by playing the treachery card to negate the original agreement.
 
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Klaude Thomas
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GLENN239 wrote:
Say, you've agreed to dial 0 with no weapon in a desert tussel. You could renege on that agreement after revealing a battle plan with weapon and dial by playing the treachery card to negate the original agreement.

A question is whether your opponent should know you are reneging while setting up their own plan. It seems to me that logically you must be required to play the card at the moment of reneging, which is when you set up your plan rather than when you reveal it. Revealing it happens to disclose that you have reneged, but setting it up that way is when you broke the deal. A canny player might find weasel-wording to dodge that, but SFAIK 'playing' a weapon in Dune means putting it onto the wheel. Revealing it is a later step. Similarly 'dialling'.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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vonklaude wrote:
GLENN239 wrote:
Say, you've agreed to dial 0 with no weapon in a desert tussel. You could renege on that agreement after revealing a battle plan with weapon and dial by playing the treachery card to negate the original agreement.

A question is whether your opponent should know you are reneging while setting up their own plan. It seems to me that logically you must be required to play the card at the moment of reneging, which is when you set up your plan rather than when you reveal it. Revealing it happens to disclose that you have reneged, but setting it up that way is when you broke the deal. A canny player might find weasel-wording to dodge that, but SFAIK 'playing' a weapon in Dune means putting it onto the wheel. Revealing it is a later step. Similarly 'dialling'.


That would preclude using the card to break a binding battle agreement, since the intention to betray is broadcast before the battle is even fought.

I'm thinking the card is played when the table sees a breach of the agreement has just occurred. So, if you've agreed not to be in three strongholds that turn, you play the card just after you enter the 3rd stronghold. For a battle, you play it after the revelation of battle plans. That sort of thing.

 
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Klaude Thomas
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GLENN239 wrote:
the card is played when the table sees a breach of the agreement has just occurred

That ruling makes sense. Three other questions

1. Can players make the same deal twice in order to subvert the card?
2. Does the caster need to be a party to the deal(s) to be ignored?
3. Does the card erase the deal(s), or does it allow the caster to ignore terms binding them either permanently or temporarily?

I believe it is mechanically necessary to say 'no' to 1. and therefore the card must target as many deals as the caster wishes (caster specifies which are to be affected). Letting casters target deals that don't involve them would perhaps then give the card too much reach: eroding the value of negotiation without really making the card much more interesting.

I believe it will be helpful to answer 3. with 'yes - it does erase the targeted deals'. If parties could get trapped into asymmetric arrangements then wording deals becomes difficult as one is forced to hedge against such a possibility: that would slow the game down for probably not much benefit.

I think the question of permanence is an open one. My hunch is that 'until the start of next turn' will work. Permanently erased is cleaner, but maybe the card need not be that powerful?

Choose as many deals involving you as you wish. The terms of the chosen deals cease to be binding on any party until the start of the next game turn.

 
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Glenn McMaster
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Quote:
1. Can players make the same deal twice in order to subvert the card?


I suppose the card owner could make a deal, play the card to break it, then make the same deal again. This might be necessary if his hand is full and he’s bidding on a card or something.

Quote:
2. Does the caster need to be a party to the deal(s) to be ignored?


The caster must be a party to the deal. All the treachery card does is to turn the deal to a voluntary one. The terms, the arrangements, all of it are still in place, but now you don’t have to follow through. You can break it, just like in Rex.

Quote:
3. Does the card erase the deal(s), or does it allow the caster to ignore terms binding them either permanently or temporarily?


One deal, the terms of which can now be honoured, ignored, or broken by all players to that agreement. If you made two deals with that player, then you have to pick which deal is no longer mandatory and which deal is still to be binding.
 
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GLENN239 wrote:
One deal, the terms of which can now be honoured, ignored, or broken by all players to that agreement. If you made two deals with that player, then you have to pick which deal is no longer mandatory and which deal is still to be binding.

That doesn't mechanically work. I can break the card by repeating the same deal verbatim (or with modifications or additions) immediately after making it the first time. As in -

'You will not occupy two strongholds this game' and
'You will not occupy two strongholds or Gara Kulon this game'

Made one immediately after the other. The card cannot now free you of the constraint to not occupy two strongholds because it can only target one of those two deals. You can say it targets the terms, but that just poses a rewording challenge that will slow the game down.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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I don't follow. You and I just made a deal. Now you want to make the exact same deal again, but with slightly modified terms. You don't want to make it the same deal, an updated single deal that negates the first, but as two deals with the same terms.

I'm going to accept this request, why? I will shoot myself in the foot by negating the effect of the treachery card I'm about to play on you. Why would I agree to do that?
 
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GLENN239 wrote:
I don't follow. You and I just made a deal. Now you want to make the exact same deal again, but with slightly modified terms. You don't want to make it the same deal, an updated single deal that negates the first, but as two deals with the same terms.

I'm going to accept this request, why? I will shoot myself in the foot by negating the effect of the treachery card I'm about to play on you. Why would I agree to do that?

That's correct analysis when one or other of us holds the card, but many games any given pair of players will see fewer than half the cards.

So a situation that will be common is that neither of us have the card and we both want the deal to work: that's why we made it. At that point we can accept as a reasonable proposition that we double it up so neither of us can break out of it. If you won't double it up, you've disclosed to me that you have the card. Or you can make it your policy to never double up deals which makes you a bit less desirable as an ally I think.

Or, fix the card so that it strips as many target deals involving the caster as desired. That's cleaner IMO. I guess I dislike rules that can be circumvented and would, in some set of cases, reasonably be circumvented by serious strategists. Still, I know we don't approach these questions in the same way and it's your mod
 
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