$10.00
Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Battlestar Galactica» Forums » General

Subject: Secrecy: Asking a player to contribute X worth of points? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Dwayne Elizondo
Denmark
flag msg tools
In a recent game this came up:

It's a 5-player basegame and we had ourself an IC'ed skill check. Player 1 and 2 are revealed cylon, so everyone knows who's who.

Player 1 - 3 add cards, and then player 5 ask player 4 to contribute cards worth x points as he would then cover the rest to pass the check.

Is this allowed under the secrecy rules?

I say nay! since player 5 thereby in specifics declares how many points he can add to the skill check before his turn, and i dont think player 4 should have this information available to him.

I couldnt find anything in the UFAQ, so what do you guys think?

edit: I just saw this was posted in the wrong forum - sorry about that
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
GRRRRR!!!
badge
GRRonimo!
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think this is a violation of the secrecy rules, or at least it wouldn't be in my playgroup.

If the Cylons hadn't both been revealed, then Player 5 could definitely be a Cylon asking Player 4 to underplay so he could spike it.

With the Cylon identities already being known, and this being the bottom of the cycle after the known Cylons have played cards, and an Investigative Committee in play, then it really doesn't matter at this point.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
flag msg tools
This too shall pass.
badge
Good intentions are no substitute for a good education.
mbmbmbmbmb
No, it IS a violation, as it now can be easily deduced how many points the last player wants to (and thus can) contribute. He is therefore giving away information on the values of the cards that he holds, which is secret information which he is not allowed to reveal. He CAN say "I can contribute a little/a lot", and if he is going to contribute more than one card, he can say "I can contribute medium". Or he can ask the other player to contribute "a little" or "a lot".

I admit that this is a gray area. I would, for instance, allow a player to say that he does not need anyone else to contribute, by which he is indicating that he has enough points in hand to cover the whole check. But this feels similar to saying "I can contribute nothing", which is allowed. Calling for an exact number of points, however, is bending the rules too far IMHO.

EDIT (made after the next 15 or so posts were made): Upon inspection of the FAQ, I conclude that this is actually NOT a gray area. The FAQ specifically forbids listing the strength of the cards that you plan to play into a check. And it actually also states that you cannot state that you plan to play "medium" -- you can only say that the value is "medium" if you have played multiple cards into the check.
25 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ackmondual
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
While we're on that subject, if you have a case where all cylons are revealed and only 1 human and/or cylon contributes one skill card to a skill check, face down... you still need to shuffle the face down cards. If you just flip them over as is, then EVERYONE will know who put in what, and will know what Destiny deck put in. The people who contributed may know or have a very good idea, but the other players should NOT have this knowledge.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ackmondual wrote:
While we're on that subject, if you have a case where all cylons are revealed and only 1 human and/or cylon contributes one skill card to a skill check, face down... you still need to shuffle the face down cards.


Right - it shouldn't matter whether or not the Cylons are revealed, because allowing them to keep their actions hidden is only part of the point of the secrecy rules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
GRRRRR!!!
badge
GRRonimo!
mbmbmbmbmb
I certainly do agree that you still have to shuffle the Destiny Deck if other facedown cards are in the check, no matter what.
"Counting" the Destiny Deck is part of the game, and nobody should get any freebies there.

I just think that this specific situation is OK by themy personal interpretation of the secrecy rules, because there is still room for imperfect information.

In summary, with Investigative Committee in play, this is how I would judge it:
OK: Player 5 says to Player 4: "Don't play any more than 4 points into the check. I'll handle it."

NOT OK: Player 5 says to Player 4: "I'm going to put 3 points into the check, so that means you only have to play 4."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dwayne Elizondo
Denmark
flag msg tools
jozxyqk wrote:

OK: Player 5 says to Player 4: "Don't play any more than 4 points into the check. I'll handle it."

NOT OK: Player 5 says to Player 4: "I'm going to put 3 points into the check, so that means you only have to play 4."


I dont think there is a difference between the two since the amount of information revealed about player 5's hand is the same imo.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
GRRRRR!!!
badge
GRRonimo!
mbmbmbmbmb
My reasoning for saying it's different is because Player 5 could plausibly be lying for Loyalty reasons, i.e. a Personal Goal or Final Five clause.

If we're talking about the base game only, with the base game Investigative Committees (face-up destiny) and no alternative loyalties, then maybe I'd take my "ruling" back.
But as long as there is still some unknown variable, I think this would be OK.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ackmondual
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jozxyqk wrote:
My reasoning for saying it's different is because Player 5 could plausibly be lying for Loyalty reasons, i.e. a Personal Goal or Final Five clause.

If we're talking about the base game only, with the base game Investigative Committees (face-up destiny) and no alternative loyalties, then maybe I'd take my "ruling" back.
But as long as there is still some unknown variable, I think this would be OK.
TO me, secrecy isn't just about having some or any variables... it's also about having ENOUGH varaibles. If all we needed among the unknown were the bare minimum, then we could've been allowed to play into a face down skill check and say out loud "I'm playing 3 strength in purple and 2 in green". Sure, such a player could always be lying, but since there's almost no reason for a human to lie, you'll be able to much more easily deduce who's the cylon spiking skill checks in this case.


In fact, the phrase "you could always be lying" used in this game is such a loaded one... While not always true, anytime you get lax with certain secrecy rules (admittedly, some of these truly are gray areas), then it's that much easier to out the cylons.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
GRRRRR!!!
badge
GRRonimo!
mbmbmbmbmb
ackmondual wrote:
In fact, the phrase "you could always be lying" used in this game is such a loaded one... While not always true, anytime you get lax with certain secrecy rules (admittedly, some of these truly are gray areas), then it's that much easier to out the cylons.


Right; I still think you can not specifically say "I have 3 green and 2 purple in my hand". But in my experience, people tend to try and find creative ways to express the things they can do without violating the secrecy rules anyway.

And this case is after all possible Cylons are revealed.
So the relevance of the secrecy rules in the OP's case is mainly so that the humans don't have perfect card efficiency. (And, if using Pegasus ICs, to avoid perfect knowledge of Destiny)

Anyway, I do admit that my groups are generally pretty lax with the secrecy rules beyond "you can't reveal the exact colors/values/names/texts of facedown/in-hand/in-deck cards" (cards of any type), and "all you can say in a skillcheck is 'helping a lot or a little'", but "you can ask for whatever you want". Too much strictness can lead to more arguing and less fun.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I wouldn't have a problem with it, but it can provide information that's not allowed by the secrecy guidelines.

An interesting question is whether you'd be allowed to ask someone to contribute a "medium" amount? Or only if you intend to play multiple cards if they do?

The underlying issue here is pretty obvious - that players are treating the secrecy rules as an obstacle to be lawyered around, rather than as something that enhances the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ackmondual
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rmsgrey wrote:
I wouldn't have a problem with it, but it can provide information that's not allowed by the secrecy guidelines.

An interesting question is whether you'd be allowed to ask someone to contribute a "medium" amount? Or only if you intend to play multiple cards if they do?
that's what I do in some groups, though it may not make it "right".

rmsgrey wrote:
The underlying issue here is pretty obvious - that players are treating the secrecy rules as an obstacle to be lawyered around, rather than as something that enhances the game.
In games where humans lose alot, or we have newbies, I tend to be more lax with secrecy rules. I'll still remind every1 about it though.

I've never been in a game where some1 deliberately break secrecy rules to try to gain that advantage. The most is I've witnessed some a group where 1 person says outloud exactly how much he put in. That really did passively put the unrevealed cylons under scrutiny. I did have 1 game where someone showed me his super crisis card, but at that point, the game was winding down and we shifted more heavily into a social mode.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Cochran
United States
Costa Mesa
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmb
With certain situations all you can do is poll the internets and decide how your group should rule it. The rules are designed to allow a certain amount of leeway between groups, and in a lot of cases it helps to keep them a bit vague to avoid group consensus on what certain words mean.

So as a data point: our group would call this a violation.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul W
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
jozxyqk wrote:
My reasoning for saying it's different is because Player 5 could plausibly be lying for Loyalty reasons, i.e. a Personal Goal or Final Five clause.


The same could be the case with either phrasing...functionally they're communicating the exact same thing. I think both statements are secrecy violations, but it really doesn't make sense to differentiate between the two statements regardless of which way you rule on it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hurd
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
In my group, we let this kind of thing go. The complaint seems overly technical. IMO, the secrecy rule is not designed to obscure logic. I think that if you can figure out what someone's desired contribution number is, good for you. Forcing people to avoid presenting mathematical scenarios is not fun.

(I would also note that this is the exact reason IMO the Exodus cards to be 100% required. In the base game and Pegasus, math is absolute, because there are only five potential values. In Exodus, the text boxes on the 0s drastically change players' ability to predict outcomes.)

If the OP's scenario is a violation of secrecy rules, then IMO one person saying "no one else play into this check" is also violation. You know what that person's desired contribution is: the difficult of the check, plus/minus expected value of destiny. To me, that doesn't serve the game.

Which brings me to the larger point.

jsciv wrote:
With certain situations all you can do is poll the internets and decide how your group should rule it. The rules are designed to allow a certain amount of leeway between groups, and in a lot of cases it helps to keep them a bit vague to avoid group consensus on what certain words mean.

So as a data point: our group would call this a violation.


I have a lot of respect for the other contributors to this thread, but ultimately, I think this is the most relevant statement. I don't think there's one "right" way to play the game when it comes to secrecy. That's primarily because different players have different degrees of skill in subterfuge and sabotage. My friends are right bastards. Your friends may be nice, pleasant people. So our groups will necessarily play differently.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andre
Germany
41472 Neuss
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Often players start to get lax on the secrecy once cylons are revealed. This is not very fair.

Secrecy is also needed so the humans cannot play 100% optimal. As some ppl before me said already as well, all the secrecy rules that were applied before still apply.

In general discussions should be done BEFORE the check starts, and then you play in. The only think allowed is by the player who just put in cards: low, med (if multiple cards) or high. No med-high, no asking for cards during this part.

In reality it does not work all the time, sometimes ppl will ask or beg someone else not to play even while the check is ongoing. So I would not complain about every little thing, but what the OP described clearly violates the rules in my opinion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
flag msg tools
This too shall pass.
badge
Good intentions are no substitute for a good education.
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Secrecy: Asking a player to contribute X worth of points?

hybridfive wrote:
jsciv wrote:
With certain situations all you can do is poll the internets and decide how your group should rule it. The rules are designed to allow a certain amount of leeway between groups, and in a lot of cases it helps to keep them a bit vague to avoid group consensus on what certain words mean.

I have a lot of respect for the other contributors to this thread, but ultimately, I think this is the most relevant statement. I don't think there's one "right" way to play the game when it comes to secrecy.

Agree and don't agree.

I agree that it is up to the groups on how to play it. That is the case for ALL games. If your group plays Monopoly and collectively decides that Free Parking pays large amounts of money to the player who lands on it, I can point to the rules and complain until I am blue in the mouth, but that is your prerogative.

However, I do not agree that the rulebook of BSG is vague on the secrecy rules. It very clearly states (if not in the rulebook, then in the official FAQ) what you can and cannot say about the values of cards. It is not vague at all. And according to what it states, you cannot reveal the exact value of what you are going to play; you can only say "I will contribute low" or "I will contribute high".

And in my personal opinion, you have to stick to that, unless you agree differently BEFORE the game starts. Because once the game is going, a hidden Cylon has less ability to complain about the bending of the rules.

I know, it is all about fun, and being strict might hurt the social interaction. But realize that there is also supposed to be fun in the actual mechanics of the game. A Cylon who loses because the humans have been bending the rules too much might have had a great time interacting with the other players, but might also leave the game with a sour taste because he experienced an undeserved loss -- and will therefore be less willing to play the game on future occasions.

And it goes both ways. If there is a crucial reckless check and both Cylons are known, and one says "I will throw in a By Your Command if you throw in at least 5 negative points", team Human would probably not be happy. But if they themselves have been bending the secrecy rules up to that point, they cannot complain.

The secrecy rules in BSG are a fickle bunch -- it is easy to break them, even innocently. But they are at the core of the BSG gameplay, they help to keep the teams' strengths balanced, and support the feeling of paranoia which this game is so famous for. If you allow the secrecy rules to be bent, you are harming that core aspect of BSG. So do not be too lenient about that. It will hurt your experience in the end.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
GRRRRR!!!
badge
GRRonimo!
mbmbmbmbmb
Not trying to prolong an argument, but this is what the official Secrecy Rules Clarification says about asking for things:

Skill Card Abilities wrote:
If a player is hoping that another player has a specific Skill Card ability, he may ask other players.

For example, if a player is thinking of using the “FTL Control” location during his Action step, he may ask if any players have a “Strategic Planning” Skill Card.

Players may admit to having a requested card, but are not required to.

This information should not be abused (for example, a player should not just list off all card abilities in his hand).


Granted, it doesn't say anything specifically about numbers, but it could logically follow. For example, if I'm asking "Do you have any Strategic Planning in your hand?", then I am also getting information about purple cards with values between 3 and 5 in that player's hand.
So by extension of this rule, my group doesn't see a problem with saying "Please play 5 points into the check", leaving the other player to make a decision on what he really wants to do.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
flag msg tools
This too shall pass.
badge
Good intentions are no substitute for a good education.
mbmbmbmbmb
No, that's not under "Asking for things". What you quote is under "Skill Card Abilities", which is completely different from what we are discussing at present. If I can give you the quotes from the FAQ which ARE relevant:

Quote:
Secrecy Golden Rule

When in doubt, players may make statements that are “polar opposites”. This means that players may say if they have a “high” or “low” strength card, but may not say that they have a “pretty high”, “kinda low” or even a “medium” strength card.

Skill Checks

When adding cards to skill checks, players are forbidden from listing what card types, colors or strength they played into (or plan to play into) the skill check. They may only share information that follows the “Secrecy Golden Rule”.

Notice that players are explicitly forbidden to list what strength they plan to play into a check. That is exactly what we are discussing now.

And if you (weakly) counter-argue that in the given example Tigh was not stating what he planned to play, only the exact value that he wanted someone else to play (so he was implicit on what he was planning to play), then I refer you to the Secrecy Golden Rule: "When in doubt..."

So I do not think that the FAQ leaves any doubt on what the rules say about the OP's question. Which, of course, does not preclude you from playing with secrecy in whichever way your group likes.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kakaris Maelstrom
United States
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
The FAQ specifically says you can't do this. You either contribute "a little" or "a lot". No further clarification is allowed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ackmondual
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jozxyqk wrote:
Not trying to prolong an argument, but this is what the official Secrecy Rules Clarification says about asking for things:

Skill Card Abilities wrote:
If a player is hoping that another player has a specific Skill Card ability, he may ask other players.

For example, if a player is thinking of using the “FTL Control” location during his Action step, he may ask if any players have a “Strategic Planning” Skill Card.

Players may admit to having a requested card, but are not required to.

This information should not be abused (for example, a player should not just list off all card abilities in his hand).


Granted, it doesn't say anything specifically about numbers, but it could logically follow. For example, if I'm asking "Do you have any Strategic Planning in your hand?", then I am also getting information about purple cards with values between 3 and 5 in that player's hand.

So by extension of this rule, my group doesn't see a problem with saying "Please play 5 points into the check", leaving the other player to make a decision on what he really wants to do.
If you say "please put in 5", then people can subtract that from the difficulty and know how much you or others put in. When everyone checks out the played skill cards and realize that someone didn't put in what they were supposed to, then it throws suspicion that wasn't supposed to be there. When saying "umbrella phrases" like "someone can always lie", that can be difficult in this case if you have one player who's highly probable of being human or IS human, and others could be cylons... it makes it much easier to out the cylons since you can use known humans and skillsets to narrow down what others have put in.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Asking a player to contribute X does two things:

1) It allows humans to co-ordinate their plays better and avoid overplaying into checks
2) It makes it much harder for Cylons to spike without being caught because there's too much information about what others played

The former effect is more legitimate than the latter - groups where humans have trouble winning because they keep misjudging skill checks can use it to compensate - but it's still an advantage that the rules don't support. If your playgroup doesn't analyse skill checks to figure out who could have played what, then I'd be generally okay with the improved coordination.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dwayne Elizondo
Denmark
flag msg tools
I would like to thank all for the contributions to this discussion, but i think the concensus is that it's not okay to ask another player to play in cards worth X points into a skill check.

I especially think Flyboy Conner's logic and arguments are worth taking note of.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dean Martin
msg tools
I have a question about this...

I understand the rules say that you can state, "a little, or a lot." But if someone asks someone what they can play, and they can only play a medium amount, does the person asked violate the rules by not saying anything?

I mean if I can play a medium amount into a skill check, but I am only allowed to say a little or a lot, then by NOT saying anything, isn't the assumption that I can only play a medium amount?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ackmondual
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
dlouismatin wrote:
I have a question about this...

I understand the rules say that you can state, "a little, or a lot." But if someone asks someone what they can play, and they can only play a medium amount, does the person asked violate the rules by not saying anything?

I mean if I can play a medium amount into a skill check, but I am only allowed to say a little or a lot, then by NOT saying anything, isn't the assumption that I can only play a medium amount?

I had someone who was like this... 3 was the middle number, and he couldn't tweak that to be anything other than medium. Of course, he shouldn't be saying "medium" unless he played 2 or more skill cards into a check. Once you play more than 1 skill card, "medium" can then have many more meanings. In that case, you need to go with high or low. Probably "low" since there are more cards in the lower strength range.

Think of it as a "true or false" test. The answer can only be "true" or "false". Not "none of the above"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.