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Subject: $$ Money is NOT PUBLIC, while Stocks ARE. rss

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Bob Wilson
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Stocks are 'public knowledge' and money is not. That is the official news from the Eagle Games forum:

http://eaglegames.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=6130

Quote:
keith3036
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Re: Rules Question: 'Most Money' Tycoon Card (Ayeegit) 11:13 PM 11/29/2005

You can only issue shares on your turn. Money is not public (LordBobbio's emphasis) while shares are, so this situation can get dicey at the end of the game (how many shares should you issue and how much money do you think the other person has).

Keith Blume
Director of Marketing
Eagle Games


This was debated slightly in my gaming group, and finally we have found the definitive answer, from Keith Blume of Eagle Games himself.

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Randy Brown
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It makes sense. It's hard to hide shares during the income phase, "All right Johnny, you're at $18 on the track, how much money do you get?" Of course each player could do their own trips to the banking, but that could lead to *hem* sloppy accounting.
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Bob Wilson
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Yeah, I agree the Stocks being public is pretty obvious. The Money was what our question was about.

As for 'questionable accounting', what kind of folks are you playing with? Unless we were playing Risk or Monopoly, I don't think I'd want to play with people who I couldn't trust to play fair. wow

I do think 'fair' by the way does include psychological
manipulation.
 
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J C Lawrence
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LordBobbio wrote:
Stocks are 'public knowledge' and money is not. That is the official news from the Eagle Games forum:


And its bollocks. Both money and shares are perfectly trackable public information. If the players insist for whatever reason on keeping them private, then just memorise the values as you go along or use a pencil and paper and keep track for yourself.
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Patrick Swinkels
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clearclaw wrote:
Both money and shares are perfectly trackable public information.


Exactly! And because some people are better in this than others, we agreed to have our money public. No discrimination based on accounting skills in our games
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Bob Wilson
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I agree, it's HARD to keep the $ private. Much easier to let it be public. And I personally don't have any 'place holding' ability, so I'm terrible at keeping track of many items not currently in view during a game, and do very poorly games that depend on remembering so much information.

The idea of keeping-track with paper and pencil is an intersting one, but a tricky one. What about games like Columbia Games' block wargames? The whole idea is about remembering what is on the block, facing your opponent but not you. Same is true with many games that use cards as components.

Secret knowledge is a very common feature. What do people think, would it be OK or outright cheating to keep-track of enemy unit movement via pencil-and-paper in a hidden-information-dependent block game like Pacific Victory? I think that maybe it's my tough-luck that I can't remember things in a given game. If the rule calls for secret info, I think it's only fair that I'm at a disadvantage for not being able to keep it in my head.

That being said, I see how RRT's money is a borderline case.
 
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It hardly matters except for the holders of the Tycoon cards that award points for the most cash. Since the game rules allow you to issue shares at any point in the game, including the auction round, the amount of money another player has is meaningless in most cases.
 
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Bob Wilson
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Good points.

Basically doesn't matter in RRT except in the end-game.
 
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Robert Jones
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However, since there are two Tycoon cards which pay off for most money, the game designer, Martin Wallace has said that he thinks money should be open. After all, the owners of all the other Tycoon cards know exactly where they stand throughout the game. Why shouldn't the players who draw the "Most Money" cards know as well?

We play it open.
 
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Bob Wilson
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Can you point-out where the designer stated this? Reason-being, it wouldn't be the first time people from Eagle had differing interpretations of the rules!
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John Bohrer
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Ipecac wrote:
the game designer, Martin Wallace has said that he thinks money should be open.


Look at the rulebook, it lists TWO game designers.



John
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Robert Jones
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John Bohrer wrote:
Ipecac wrote:
the game designer, Martin Wallace has said that he thinks money should be open.


Look at the rulebook, it lists TWO game designers.



John
Pittsburgh


True. But it's based on Wallace's Age of Steam so I'd give him the tiebreaking vote.

I'll see if I can find the Wallace quote.
 
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John Bohrer
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Ipecac wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
Ipecac wrote:
the game designer, Martin Wallace has said that he thinks money should be open.


Look at the rulebook, it lists TWO game designers.



John
Pittsburgh


True. But it's based on Wallace's Age of Steam so I'd give him the tiebreaking vote.

I'll see if I can find the Wallace quote.


Good luck. My co-worker's brother said a guy told him that a frog told Alfonso that...
Maybe it will be on the Warfrog website.

laugh

John
Pittsburgh


 
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John Bohrer wrote:

Good luck. My co-worker's brother said a guy told him that a frog told Alfonso that...
Maybe it will be on the Warfrog website.

laugh

John
Pittsburgh

Insightful as your co-workers brother is, in a private message with Martin Wallace, he stated to me that he would always play with open holdings, though he concedes that some aspects of the game were changed after he submitted it to Eagle, so their stance should be the official one.

:no laugh:

Dave
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John Bohrer
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:

Good luck. My co-worker's brother said a guy told him that a frog told Alfonso that...
Maybe it will be on the Warfrog website.

laugh

John
Pittsburgh

Insightful as your co-workers brother is, in a private message with Martin Wallace, he stated to me that he would always play with open holdings, though he concedes that some aspects of the game were changed after he submitted it to Eagle, so their stance should be the official one.

:no laugh:

Dave
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Fascinating, Dave, but when I played the final version of Railroad Tycoon with Martin, Glenn Drover (the other listed author) and Keith Blume (Eagle mojo) at GenCon, money was private and stocks were public.
Glenn won, of course!

DD

John
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Seth Jaffee
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swinkelp wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Both money and shares are perfectly trackable public information.

Exactly! And because some people are better in this than others, we agreed to have our money public. No discrimination based on accounting skills in our games

Since Railroad Tycoon is pretty straightforward, player actions are also trackable. Therefore in our games we agree to simply roll a die to see who wins. No discrimination based on logic, deductive reasoning, or strategic thinking skills in our games
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Seth Jaffee
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LordBobbio wrote:
would it be OK or outright cheating to keep-track of enemy unit movement via pencil-and-paper in a hidden-information-dependent block game like Pacific Victory?

That would be cheating. Just like looking at my opponents cards in a game of poker would be cheating.

I agree with you, it's your tough luck if you can't remember how much money your opponents have earned and spent. Similarly, it's your tough luck if you get your yellow cube ninja-looted before delivering it to Jacksonville for the Service Bounty because you didn't notice your opponent's clever play.

For all those who decry memory mechanics or trackable hidden information in games: When you win a game, do you feel pride or achievement from outplaying your opponents? Or is it a shallow victory because they just aren't any good at the kinds of things it takes to win that game?

I assume the answer is the former. So please don't try to eat your cake and have it too* by saying (or implying) that losing a game is any less of a victory for your opponent because it has trackable hidden info and you're just no good at tracking it.

* Note that the phrase "have your cake and eat it too" is misleading, one could have cake and then eat cake. The intention of the phrase is that you can't do both - you cannot eat cake and then still have cake.
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Robert Jones
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John Bohrer wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:


Insightful as your co-workers brother is, in a private message with Martin Wallace, he stated to me that he would always play with open holdings, though he concedes that some aspects of the game were changed after he submitted it to Eagle, so their stance should be the official one.

:no laugh:

Dave
Maryland


Fascinating, Dave, but when I played the final version of Railroad Tycoon with Martin, Glenn Drover (the other listed author) and Keith Blume (Eagle mojo) at GenCon, money was private and stocks were public.
Glenn won, of course!

DD

John
Pittsburgh


This issue came up in the second game we played. Dave asked Wallace and just reported what Martin Wallace said. That's it. No need to get into a pissing match.

Eagle has said closed money and some play it that way. Others seem to prefer open. Based on my limited playings, I prefer it open for the reasons stated in my first post. Your mileage may differ. The only time it really makes a difference is at the very end of the game and only to the player(s) with the Most Money card.

It's not nearly as contentious an issue as it is with Acquire. laugh
 
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sedjtroll wrote:
* Note that the phrase "have your cake and eat it too" is misleading, one could have cake and then eat cake. The intention of the phrase is that you can't do both - you cannot eat cake and then still have cake.


From the wiki:
"The phrase's earliest recording is from 1546 as "wolde you bothe eate your cake, and have your cake?" alluding to the impossibility of eating your cake and still having it afterwards; the modern version (where the clauses are reversed) is a corruption which was first signalled in 1812."
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Kim Milvang-Jensen
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Hate to ressurect threads, but someone pointed me here on a question on money being secret.

Have anyone got a quote from the rules that says you can keep money sectret? I believe that unless its in the rules, it doesnt count. And just not being mentioned either way doesnt count. I firmly believe that unless you specifically mention in the rules that some information can be kept sectret, then its public. And if its secret then it should state how secret, like are you allowed to keep it in your pocket?
 
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Bob Wilson
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milvang wrote:
Hate to ressurect threads, but someone pointed me here on a question on money being secret.

Have anyone got a quote from the rules that says you can keep money sectret? I believe that unless its in the rules, it doesnt count. And just not being mentioned either way doesnt count. I firmly believe that unless you specifically mention in the rules that some information can be kept sectret, then its public. And if its secret then it should state how secret, like are you allowed to keep it in your pocket?


I like the main gist of "if it's in the rules", but with modern gaming, often the FAQ's, errata and "living rulebooks" sort of overrule the printed manual that ships with a game. Case in point: Dragon Lairds by Tom Wham. Seems an entire paragraph, a very important one, was missing from the printed rulebook. I think a narrow interpretation of your point would exclude the intended rule from being used, and the mis-printed rulebook would have to be followed.

Does it really matter how players obscure something that's supposed to be kept secret like money? (In their pockiet or behind an ad-hoc player screen, is there a difference?)
 
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David Tolin
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sedjtroll wrote:
LordBobbio wrote:
would it be OK or outright cheating to keep-track of enemy unit movement via pencil-and-paper in a hidden-information-dependent block game like Pacific Victory?

That would be cheating. Just like looking at my opponents cards in a game of poker would be cheating.

I agree with you, it's your tough luck if you can't remember how much money your opponents have earned and spent. Similarly, it's your tough luck if you get your yellow cube ninja-looted before delivering it to Jacksonville for the Service Bounty because you didn't notice your opponent's clever play.

For all those who decry memory mechanics or trackable hidden information in games: When you win a game, do you feel pride or achievement from outplaying your opponents? Or is it a shallow victory because they just aren't any good at the kinds of things it takes to win that game?

I assume the answer is the former. So please don't try to eat your cake and have it too* by saying (or implying) that losing a game is any less of a victory for your opponent because it has trackable hidden info and you're just no good at tracking it.

* Note that the phrase "have your cake and eat it too" is misleading, one could have cake and then eat cake. The intention of the phrase is that you can't do both - you cannot eat cake and then still have cake.


This is a good point. I think the ability to track hidden information is a perfectly valid skill and winning that way is no less of a victory. However, where is it written that you can't use a pencil and paper to keep track of things?
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Michael Webb
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DavidT wrote:
where is it written that you can't use a pencil and paper to keep track of things?


This is not a valid argument.

Absurd arguments that follow similar logic abound, an example: Where does it say that I'm not allowed to punch someone in the face when they deliver a cube to Chicago? Where does it say that I'm not allowed to score an extra 1 income when I deliver a cube if I blow a kazoo like a train whistle and call out each stop along the way?

Writing information down does need to be explicitly forbidden in the rule book to be considered illegal. Rule books are positive law documents: they make explicit what is allowed within game, they do not have to forbid everything that isn't.
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David Tolin
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CortexBomb wrote:
DavidT wrote:
where is it written that you can't use a pencil and paper to keep track of things?


This is not a valid argument.

Absurd arguments that follow similar logic abound, an example: Where does it say that I'm not allowed to punch someone in the face when they deliver a cube to Chicago? Where does it say that I'm not allowed to score an extra 1 income when I deliver a cube if I blow a kazoo like a train whistle and call out each stop along the way?

Writing information down does need to be explicitly forbidden in the rule book to be considered illegal. Rule books are positive law documents: they make explicit what is allowed within game, they do not have to forbid everything that isn't.


I didn't mean "written" as in "written in the rulebook." I was aiming more for the figurative "Who (in the collective) says we can't do that?".

I think your comparison between writing down information in a game and punching someone in the face is more than a bit silly, though. I'm genuinely curious why writing something down about hidden information would be illegal. Is it also illegal to count on your fingers under the table? Where do you draw the line on making notes in a deduction game?

In a practical sense, physical bookkeeping of income earned during a game of RRT would definitely have a negative impact on the play experience--simply because it would slow everything down. That doesn't make it illegal or cheating though; it just makes it annoying.

I'm perfectly aware that a rulebook doesn't have to state everything that's not allowed. Common sense can dictate these sorts of things. However, I would posit that framing note-taking as an inherently verboten activity is not necessarily common sense. It's nothing like your silly examples of breaking the rules through physical violence or musical flights of fancy--it's simply a physical way to do the same thing other players are already free to do in their heads. It doesn't alter the gameplay and gives no player an advantage not already anticipated and accommodated by the rules (since the income rate is open information and could, potentially, be tracked by someone with a good memory).

If it could be done without slowing the pace of the game (which I don't think is possible), then I don't see why it would be illegal.
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Michael Webb
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The whole point of making an absurd statement using similar logic (reductio ad absurdum) is to illustrate that the logic behind the initial argument is unsound. My arguments follow the same logic that the original statement did.

This doesn't mean that there aren't cases using better logic for the note-taking in games. There are proponents of it. Based on personal experience, it is not accepted unless a game already has note-taking as part of its system (i.e.: many deduction games). Other games where it is allowed specifically highlight that fact (i.e.: the Dirk Henn game that I'm forgetting the name of, Tournament Magic (not sure if this is the case anymore, they keep switching on this). The reason for this, I would conjecture, largely comes down to speed and effort. Mentally keeping track of information consumes mind resources. Presumably, doing this for game with a great deal of potentially trackable information (E&T 4 players for example) will negatively impact the play of the person doing it. Taking notes also, essentially, means that if one person is doing it, the entire table will feel equally compelled, lest they lose out on the advantage gained. Many would not even want all notes to be kept public though, under the belief that all information that is intended to be hidden (despite fleetingly being available in public) must be mentally tracked if at all (again, following the logic of wasted memory resources making it acceptable).

In short, it's somewhat group dependent, but I would never assume that note-taking would be allowed unless the entire table were advocates of it. Many of us are virulently against it unless it is explicitly allowed for in the rules, the same way that many people are virulently against politics in games that don't explicitly allow for them. That doesn't mean that there aren't groups that like note taking (not me) or extraneous politics on occasion (I love them), it just means that they should not be considered standard in any way, shape, or form and if you have a preference for note-taking, you are well-advised to advertise it up front and acquire the consent of the group before doing so, because otherwise it could be perceived as a breaking of the "social contract of gaming" for lack of a better phrase.
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