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Subject: Collaboration/Communication rss

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Mark Chiddicks
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It amazes me how big a deal people make over this in this forum. To myself and the group I play with, the spirit of the rules is clear. Firstly, the "Note On Collaboration" is in a sidebar - its not part of the mainstream rules. Its a advice on how to play the game in the spirit in which it was intended -after all theres no negative consequence to failing to obey it!

The way we play is simply to make sure that when discussing intentions and cards we have/don't have/have seen, we make sure we only say things that knights might plausibly say - thats all!

e.g. "I have seen the dragon stirring and it looks mighty - I need strong men at arms to fight it"

instead of "Thats was an 11, I need 3 5s to have a chance!""

See how much more fun the game is the first way?

Those who think the rules should forbid ANY communciation about the contents of hands are being crazy. So Arthur asks "which of you men has the favour of Merlin?" and the knights all say "sorry thats a secret" ?

Its obviously completely within the spirit of the game for a player on the Pictish war, who has played 1 and 2 , has 4 and 5 and needs a 3 top say to the Arthur player - "Sire, I need aid and I need it NOW!". Its amazing anyone ahs difficulty understanding why thats not only acceptable, but infinitely better than saying "I need a 3"

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Jim Cote
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For me it's the subjectivity that is the problem. You say it's more fun to "role play". I say it's taking the long way to say exactly the same thing. If you can say "I have a 5" directly or indirectly, you are saying you have a 5. If I want to role play, I'll play an RPG. If I want to play a board game, I'll buy a game with rules can only be interpretted one way by anyone who plays the game.
 
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Mark Chiddicks
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As I said in my post.

Its NOT a rule. (Ok - it is, but its presented as an aside)

"The note on Collaboration" is advice on how best to enjoy the game. If you ignore it, nothing happens. Theres no negative sanction available in the rules to prevent you ignoring it.

Anyway - in some circumstances, its obvious what you need without saying it. On the Grail Quest if you say "I need aid", then you clearly need Grails. The rules can't possibly forbid this, it'd be insane. On the other hand its clearly against the spirit of the game to say "Arthur, trade me a 5 for this Piety Card".

Why can;'t you see this? Its obvious!
 
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Luca Iennaco
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Play in the way that most amuses you and your group.
Maybe other groups enjoy it more playing in other ways. That's fine.
Have fun!
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Barry Figgins
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Our group enjoys this rule because it requires trust. It makes the game table more social.

Here's an example.
Open communication: "Sacrifice a life point so you don't have to do the evil part of your turn, then play a special white card. I can play a 5 to end this quest, then I'll play Piety, so you'll be back up to 6 life."

Veiled communication: "Do not finish this quest just yet. I will lay a stalwart blow against it, and strengthen us against evil."

I find the bottom one just more interesting, and requiring more trust. Will the other player follow my command? He wonders what I've got planned - or perhaps he is heeding the advice of a traitor? He takes his turn, then waits with tension to see what I'll do.

I also think veiled communication is a necessity in a cooperative game, to prevent the experienced players from bullying new players into just following their instructions.
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Jim Cote
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chiddicks@woosh.co.n wrote:
As I said in my post.

Its NOT a rule.


It's not a question of rules. To me the game is not interesting if you can say what you have in your hand. But since there's no objective way to enforce non-specificity, the game is broken to me, much like games with judgement calls like line-of-sight of hand-measured range.
 
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Mark Chiddicks
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The only thing youa re not allowed to do is specifically say what cards you hold.

This is NOT to make the game harder, its to protect the mood.

Hence you CAN say things, in character, that give precisely the same information as saying what cards you have/need - its really not at all hard to keep to this rule.

"I need some scouts to start my assault on the Pictish invaders" clearly
means "I need a 1", and its FINE to say that!

Why do you need a method of enforcing this in a collaborative game? If all the players agree its OK, its Ok, if one disagrees, don't do it.
 
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Barry Figgins
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chiddicks@woosh.co.n wrote:
The only thing youa re not allowed to do is specifically say what cards you hold.

This is NOT to make the game harder, its to protect the mood.

Hence you CAN say things, in character, that give precisely the same information as saying what cards you have/need - its really not at all hard to keep to this rule.

"I need some scouts to start my assault on the Pictish invaders" clearly
means "I need a 1", and its FINE to say that!

Why do you need a method of enforcing this in a collaborative game? If all the players agree its OK, its Ok, if one disagrees, don't do it.


Actually, that's your opinion. I've been trying to steer my group away from obvious 'code-talk', as that's just saying what you have in your hand with funy words. Some people like it better, some people really dislike it - but it's true that the rules aren't explicit on exactly how much you can communicate.
 
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Mark Chiddicks
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You say its just my opinion, but I think its a literal reading of the rules. Its pretty obvious that SOME communication of general hand strength/capability is allowed. Obviously if you ask for ANY help on the Grail quest you need Grail cards. Its also clear that you can't specifically refer to cards by value. I don't see many cases where these 2 facts lead to arguments - you can always make it pretty clear what you need by your actions and general statements. In wars you can certainly make statements of the nature of "I have the troops with me to launch initial assaults on the Saxons, but will require aid to polish them off" I can't imagine why anyone would think that wasn't allowed.

If you go on the Black Knight quest, play 2 5s and a 4 and say "Arthur, aid me" then everyone needs you need a 4 from the King. Should this be disallowed? If so, what exactly CAN you say? I personally don't see many situations where you need to be any more explicit than what is clearly allowed in the rules.

I think the reason this 'issue' puzzles me is that we've never had the slightest trouble with it. We all understand what the rules are saying and we all find it very very easy to stay within both letter and spirit. Those who seem to imagine you can't even hint at the specific card you require seem to me to think that the rule is there to make the game harder. Its not. Its there to make the game more fun.

 
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Matthew M
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chiddicks@woosh.co.n wrote:
Those who seem to imagine you can't even hint at the specific card you require seem to me to think that the rule is there to make the game harder. Its not. Its there to make the game more fun.



For me, those reasons are one and the same.

The game is already pretty easy WITH the strictest interpretation of the note on collaboration. I can't imagine ever wanting to play where there the traitor has even fewer ways to hide himself and impact the game than he already has.

-MMM
 
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Barry Figgins
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chiddicks@woosh.co.n wrote:
Those who seem to imagine you can't even hint at the specific card you require seem to me to think that the rule is there to make the game harder.


Oh, that's not what I'm talking about. We forbade 'code talk'.

For us, it's the following:
Fight 1: Lepers
Fight 2: Men-at-arms
Fight 3: MIDDLE-ing warriors
Fight 4: Strong FOUR-ces
Fight 5: Champions

That got boring quickly. We were just talking about what was in our hand, but in secret code!

So we allow: "Begin this war, and I shall end it."
We don't allow: "If only some lepers and men-at-arms would take the field against the Picts!"
 
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Daniel Edwards
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I agree.

While you can play the game any way you want, the rules prevent you from communicating what you have in your hand. While its sometimes a wavy line, fairly obviously, if the other plays can tell what you have based on what you've said whether you communicate it outright, use flowery language or say it in swahili then your not playing by the rules.

The real grey area is the communication of what you don't have which is where all the "um milord well I can start fighting the picts and beat most of them but I can't quite finish it alone " stuff comes from. What you need is generally more important than what you have. You can take differing views about whether communicating what you don't have constitutes communicating what you do have but for me the game is easy enough to win as it is (except for the rare case where the progression of black cards is such that the game is mathematically impossible to win in which case you had no chance anyway). In my view applying an absolute restriction on communication of cards in hand adds that extra level of difficulty which makes the game more interesting and accordingly fun. Of course its often broken (often by me) inadvertantly but that seldom makes a huge difference to the result.
 
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Mark Chiddicks
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OK - it makes the game harder, and in doing so completely breaks the theme of the game.

You have Arthur and his knights mysteriously refusing to inform each other of their resources, asking for help without giving any clues as to what KIND of help they want and basically keping secrets from each other for no reason whatsoever.

Why isn't it obvious to others, as it is to me, that the collaboration rules exist to get you to play in character? To Kay there's no such thing as a 'Fight card of value 5' - instead he has military resources to call upon. There's no such thing as a Grail card - there's varying levels of faith and religious inspiration, and the game intends you to treat the cards as the things they represent, not as cards, when communicating between players.

"While you can play the game any way you want, the rules prevent you from communicating what you have in your hand."

Nope - they forbid you explicitly revealing the values of cards in your hand. EXPLICITLY. Implication is not only allowed, its suggested!
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Mark Chiddicks
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The traitor has some very nifty moves to mess up the game

1. On the Excalibur Quest he can discard all the best cards in his hand

2. He can discard Grails to get healing during the Grail Quest (very nasty)

3. If he has Launcelot's Armour he can always choose the worst black card

4. He can ask for help he doesn't need

discarding white cards face down is a great way for the traitor to disrupt the Knights' efforts, and I have to say I don't see how the interpretation of the collaboration rules have any relationship to this. The traitor can clearly lie about his hand anyway, the only thing he can't do is play 3 mixed cards face down for healing - doing this is the PLAYER cheating the other players, not the traitor cheating the other knights.

I would argue that the more information the traitor can give about his hand and gain about others, the better for him, as everyone else will be telling the truth and he won't!

 
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Matthew M
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chiddicks@woosh.co.n wrote:


I would argue that the more information the traitor can give about his hand and gain about others, the better for him, as everyone else will be telling the truth and he won't!



If the rule were just to encourage roleplaying and not to inhibit communicating about cards it becomes too easy for everyone to know what everyone else has. If a traitor doesn't play according to what the rest of the group thinks he should do with the cards he claims to have he is immediately outed - free white sword for the heroes! Hooray!

As a social event SOC works fine and your interpretation of the collaboration rule would work fine too. Among gamers who know how to and play to work the system it would cause the game to break down.

-MMM
 
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Barry Figgins
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chiddicks@woosh.co.n wrote:
Nope - they forbid you explicitly revealing the values of cards in your hand. EXPLICITLY. Implication is not only allowed, its suggested!


You know, several members of my group know Spanish. Would you say it's okay to just say what we have in Spanish, as long as we don't explicitly say 'Fight 2'?

I'd say no - and code-talk is the same thing, just using another language (albeit a language we've developed) to communicate information.

This is one of those things each group will have to determine for themselves - but as long as I'm the only one in my group who owns Shadows, we're playin' by my no code-talkin' rules!
 
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Mark Chiddicks
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Thats still explicit!

The trick is not to refer to the cards as cards - thats all!

The rules do not intend you not to communicate, they intend you to talk AS KNIGHTS.

Hence: "I have no 'Fight 1' cards" is forbidden. "I require scouts to start an assault on the Picts" is allowed.

Its allowed because it makes perfect sense for a knight to say the latter, and none for him to say the former.

Why do people have such difficulty understanding this?
 
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Mark Chiddicks
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Well - one thing we never do is discuss what cards we have in our hands divorced from a context.

In other words we will discuss relative military strength prior to sending someone in to a battle, but nobody ever asked anyone what special cards they have - because doing that is out of character - its talking about the game as a game, rather than the Knights situation as a situation. Thats the only guideline you need to follow - does it make sense for the knights to say it or not?

A smart traitor won't tell lies he can be caught in - when asked if he can aid in the Grail Quest, for example, he says 'no', goes to Excalibur and starts discarding Grails!
 
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Matthew M
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MarkC_NZ wrote:

Why do people have such difficulty understanding this?


I don't think anyone is having difficulty understanding your position. I think everyone simply disagrees with it.

-MMM
 
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Matthew M
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MarkC_NZ wrote:


A smart traitor won't tell lies he can be caught in - when asked if he can aid in the Grail Quest, for example, he says 'no', goes to Excalibur and starts discarding Grails!


"What are you going to be discarding at the lake, good sir knight?"

"Oh...um...some scouts?"

"We have use for them at the fight with the Saxons! I need some scouts to start the battle"

"Oh...um...I mean...not scouts...I have a couple of warriors with average experience"

"In that case go take on the black knight!"

"Oh...um...hmmm...actually...all my cards are blank. For real!"

"Traitor! Free white sword for us! Hooray!"

-MMM
 
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Jim Cote
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Octavian wrote:
I don't think anyond is having difficulty understanding your position. I think everyone simply disagrees with it.


Exactly. It would have been a much more compelling game if it were designed such that players do not want to give away too much. There would be forces at work making you want to cooperate, and opposing forces making you want to say as little as possible. That would make the collaboration issue moot. The mechanic of the traitor is not sufficiently strong enough to create these 2 forces.
 
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