Bryan Thunkd
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If the opponents ask a question about publicly available information is it wrong not to answer if it adversely affects your position?

For example, in Brass if the opponent is building railroads and is looking for the best spot and asks if anyone sees anything, is it wrong to not tell them when you see a better spot? Especially if you are building railroads immediately after them?

Or another example, in Bora Bora last night, in the last task selection phase an opponent had no task he could take and complete, so he started looking how he could block other people. When he was looking at one of the tasks another player mistakenly said that no one could complete the task. I knew I could, but said nothing. He took a task that blocked another player, costing that player the win and giving it to me. If it makes a difference after the game he said he would have blocked me if he could. Also, there was a second task I could have completed, so I wouldn't have lost points, but the second place player lost 12 points (1 task and the "all task" bonus) which was more than the difference between our scores.

These are both examples from the same player, who I think considers it bad sportsmanship on my part. Is he right? Am I supposed to tell him when he asks if I see a better play for him? Am I forced to rat myself out? I'm limiting this to situations where all the information is publicly available for him to see himself. I'm not including decisions that are dependent on hidden information that he's not privy to.



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Pete Goch
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If it's some general question about the "game state" the answer to which is available equally to everyone then, no, it's incumbent upon the player to figure out what his options are and which is the best one. I mean that's just part of playing the game!

If it's a basic, direct question about what you have (# of cards in your hand or something basic like that) that's available to everyone but it would simply be more expedient if you told him the answer then, yeah, sure you should tell him
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TL Gorski
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whats the point of playing if you can't make the decisions yourself? How will they learn if they don't learn from their mistakes? Theres many sides to this but im fairly certain you owe them no information and were in the right.
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David Sant
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In cases of strategy, like your examples, I'd say no - you aren't obligated to talk. For other public information things, like "how many shells do you have" not answering and making the guy lean over and count your tiles would be bad form.

I sometimes will help with strategy questions, regardless, to keep a game moving and fun, though. If it is just a question of time before a player figures it out, why prolong it, you know?
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Dan T
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If it amounts to asking for a suggestion, which I interpret your case to be, then I think it is not bad sportsmanship to stay quiet. It would be poor sportsmanship to lie, but you did not do that.
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Max Lampinen
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I don't think it's bad sportsmanship to not play the game for others. "What's the best move?" - isn't the point of most games to figure out just that.
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Moe45673
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If the player is new or it's some kind of learning game, then yes. If it's a FFA, then no and if he's asking these kinds of questions, he clearly has a different idea about the table dynamics than you do
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E Rigby
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I have two answers.

If the player asking is your significant other you are required to provide any and all information that will end the night peacefully. (Some couples have an agreement that what happens in the game stays in the game. We don't.)

Otherwise, I don't believe you have an obligation to hand the game away. The only caveat being that you are not playing a game that is new to everyone in the room but you.

I am curious is the person with sour grapes someone who grew up in the "everyone gets a trophy" era?
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If it's a basic question about public information, I'd say you have to answer him. Stuff like "How many cards are in your hand?" Or "What color is that space?" for the colorblind among us. If it's the sort of game with cards and abilities that are public, it's fair to ask what a card does.

But asking for strategy or assessment really isn't fair. I shouldn't be asking "If I were to attack, do you think I'd win?" It's basically asking the other players to do your thinking for you. Which is the whole point of the game.

My favorite story about this was this one couple I used to play with. And the wife of the couple could not make decisions. She group-sourced every single turn, and took forever. Most of the time her husband would basically take her turns for her. But one time he wasn't doing his job, so she harangued the table for 10 minutes about what card to take in Thunderstone.

Which ones can I get? Well you can get one of these five cards.

Which one is better? Well the ones that cost the most are better.

What do they do? This one is better for attacking, this one helps get rid of junk.

Which one should I get? That's up to you.

Which one do you think I should get? It depends what you want to do.

What do I want to do?

Finally someone snapped and shouted "YOU HAVE TO DECIDE! THAT'S THE FUCKING GAME! DO YOU WANT TO PLAY OR NOT?!"

I'm just glad it wasn't me. Another minute longer and it would have.
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Darrell Hanning
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From my perspective, you're putting your finger on the difference between playing with someone in "learning mode", and playing the game in a normal, competitive mode.

I'll play any game once, with someone just learning the game, in learning mode, if they are having a hard time getting their head around what's going on. I don't mind that at all. But if they continue to expect that sort of assistance thereafter, I try to gently point out to them that they should be playing the game, and not asking me to play it for them.
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Greg Schmittgens
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Player A asked a question. Player B responded, but was in fact wrong.

There's nothing in the Rules of Sportsmanship that says you have to correct someone else's unforced error.

You did fine. You won the game, taught Player A to accept responses like that with care, and taught Player B that the whole board situation needs to be analyzed better.

Win, win, win.
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Magic Pink
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There's a difference between asking for publically available information and asking for a decision based on publically available information. You're asking two questions.

The title question, yes it's wrong, The explained question, no it isn't.
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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There's also the metagame, where you provide assistance freely, lulling your opponent into a false sense of security. Then you stab them in the back and take their stuff.

Also legal.

Edit: especially if everyone does it.
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egrigby wrote:
(Some couples have an agreement that what happens in the game stays in the game. We don't.)


Would you prefer to have that agreement? Do you also take your life with you into the game?

(Edit: rewrote it to be more intelligible, I hope.)
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Wasn't this asked very recently? Like in the past month? Or am I thinking of some subforum?
 
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Aaron Yoder
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Geosphere wrote:
Wasn't this asked very recently? Like in the past month? Or am I thinking of some subforum?


Are we worried about the internet running out of room, or something?

"Crap, there goes 1 mb that could have been devoted to lolcats."
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Aaron Kaiser
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I suppose it depends on the people you are playing with and the "feel" of the game. If I am playing with seasoned and serious gamers, I might not say anything. If it is clear we are competing, I might stay quiet. If, on the other hand, I am playing in a casual or friendly game, or with a person that doesn't know the game real well, I would tend toward disclosing. I guess it's about winning or fun, and generally speaking I lean toward fun.
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E Rigby
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Quote:
Would you prefer to have that agreement? Do you also take your life with you into the game?


Duly noted. I'll have to mention that to him. He helps me play because I have dyslexia and ADD, and he likes LONG complicated strategy games. So our agreement is, he doesn't play cut throat with me, and is willing to point out things for me on visually chaotic boards.

I don't expect that of other players though, because then it's a co-op game.....
 
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GeekInsight
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I think the OP is fine in both situations. It would be supremely bad form to lie about the open information. But staying quiet is fine.

Similarly, if someone else makes a mistake, you don't need to correct that mistake for the table (assuming a competitive game and you're not picking on a new player).

However, I also don't think its bad form to point out public information. If your opponent was looking for the best rail space (point-wise) in Brass, and someone else correctly pointed out a better space, I don't think you can get upset by that.

Similarly, in your Bora Bora example, player A asks a question, player B answers it wrong, and Player C (you) benefits. But if player D had piped up and said, "Player B is wrong. Player C can still do that action," I don't think that would be bad form either.
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Neil Christiansen
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I would never stay silent. If I were not going to help, I would say "You have to figure it out for yourself". This would insure they knew my silence didn't mean there was nothing.

Sometimes it is really a short-cut in time to ask. I did same in Bora Bora Tuesday at the end in similar scenario. No task at end could I complete, so I decided to block. I asked if a given task would help anybody. The player it did was honest and I took it.

If you are NOT going to do that, and I know it, I will go through the process of asking "Sid, do you have this or that man tile? Woman tile? No? How about you Nancy?" Those I believe you do have to answer (much like how many cards do you have left in your hand in some games). If you don't do that either, I will get up and walk around table each and every turn and look at your set-up (sorry, cannot see small tiles across tables very well).

It is a courtesy that speeds of the game.

But I will also faithfully answer strategy questions to my own detriment too if asked. I give advice freely when asked, take it for what it is worth. The only time I wouldn't is if I thought I player had been an arse above and beyond, in which case I would again say "You have to figure it out for yourself". I don't really feel like winning if it means not helping out someone who asks for it. Just don't care that much.
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B C Z
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Strategy question? Silence.

Factual question? Happy to answer.

It's not my role in a competitive game to tell someone that they have a better move, because I am not thinking the same way they are.
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Mike Geller
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To get more specific about your Brass example, there is absolutely no obligation to tell someone things like "the link to Manchester is your best bet because it will probably eventually be worth more points." If he's asking for which link at the current time is worth the most points, you might as well speed up the game by helping him count the circles. Certainly it's not required but why not help with the clerical tasks (unless you think counting the circles is the main strategy of the game)?
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Ben Crane
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To play devil's advocate here for a bit, yeah, you should have told the person that you could complete the task if that assessment is based on publicly available information.

Everyone else is drawing a line between "how many cards do you have?" and "can you complete this action?" but I don't see it. They are the same question. Both are derivable from public information, and it is just a matter of time before the correct assessment is reached.

The player wasn't asking a qualitative question, but a quantitative one.

What's worse, having asked the question, they were told something that one player knew to be incorrect and then acted on that information. Should they have been more cautious in trusting another player? I guess, maybe, if that's the kind of game you want to play. But I'd rather play a game where:

(1) Things move as quickly as possible.
(2) The players don't hate each other, unless that is the point of the game.
(3) The winner is the person who best synthesized the quantitative information into a qualitative analysis and strategy.

Answering all questions about the game state based on public information as completely and honestly as possible achieves all of these goals.

Answering questions dishonestly or (the functional equivalent) failing to correct quantitative mistakes, hinders all of these goals.

So I would answer the question and out myself, even if it costs me the game.
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I generally do not like this kind of questions, since they often risk to transform any game in a diplomatic effort, with people trying to manoeuvre less experienced or less wilful players into doing their bidding.

Like in your Bora Bora example, in which the situation would have become a struggle to convince the weakest player to damage "the other guy".

I really don't like diplomacy in games which are not built around it.

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Sjoerd Dijkstra
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Thunkd wrote:
If the opponents ask a question about publicly available information is it wrong not to answer if it adversely affects your position?

For example, in Brass if the opponent is building railroads and is looking for the best spot and asks if anyone sees anything, is it wrong to not tell them when you see a better spot? Especially if you are building railroads immediately after them?

Or another example, in Bora Bora last night, in the last task selection phase an opponent had no task he could take and complete, so he started looking how he could block other people. When he was looking at one of the tasks another player mistakenly said that no one could complete the task. I knew I could, but said nothing. He took a task that blocked another player, costing that player the win and giving it to me. If it makes a difference after the game he said he would have blocked me if he could. Also, there was a second task I could have completed, so I wouldn't have lost points, but the second place player lost 12 points (1 task and the "all task" bonus) which was more than the difference between our scores.

These are both examples from the same player, who I think considers it bad sportsmanship on my part. Is he right? Am I supposed to tell him when he asks if I see a better play for him? Am I forced to rat myself out? I'm limiting this to situations where all the information is publicly available for him to see himself. I'm not including decisions that are dependent on hidden information that he's not privy to.



For me, I pretty much always answer every question, although I do not give advice. Talking someone through the pro and cons of every move is something I would do though, even if it affects me in a negative way.
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