$30.00
Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Dishonourable abuse of the rules? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Andy Burgess
United Kingdom
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm posting this in "Strategy" because I don't really feel it's a rules question because they're pretty clear, but it does feel like it could be posted in "Rules" also...

Anyway...

The rules state that if you run out of pieces to place, you can pick up one of your common or heroic pieces from elsewhere on the board which isn't being used for the pattern you're trying to build and re-use it as a common piece. So far so clear (except that it makes it a bit of a pain to teach because up until that point, you have to say that you can never move a piece once placed...)

But that's not my point. My point is this - one way to abuse this rule would be to rescue your pieces from being the subject of an "Isolation", "Imprisonment" or "Envelopment" task. This situation came up in a teaching game the other day when I was trying to avoid being too destructive, and my opponent was also not being destructive, so perhaps this would be unlikely to occur in a "normal" game when we're less likely to have used up all our pieces, but even so...

It feels to me like this is quite a "negative" use of the rule, as opposed to a "positive" use being that you're just trying to complete a pattern, not directly disrupt what your opponent is doing. It doesn't seem entirely fair to use it in this "negative" way.

What do the rest of you think?

(Btw, I didn't mention it or take advantage of it in the game, because I felt that it was a bit too meta for the level we were playing at - whether or not it's considered fair in a match against equals, it wouldn't have been fair at all in this particular situation, and I think would have resulted in my opponent being put off altogether)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
flag msg tools
The statement below is false.
badge
The statement above is correct.
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that's a perfectly valid use of the rule. All is fair in love and pretend war

Edit: Very fair of you not to use it in a teaching game.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zdenek
msg tools
It is really unusual to use all your common/heroic pieces.
I have played abiut 100 games and piece shortage rule only was used wih legend tokes.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian Zarzycki
Poland
Poznan
Wielkopolskie
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Also think that this rule can be used like that. This is a rare situation anyway - there are only few tasks for this and this would only matter at the late stage of the game, when all pieces are on board - but I cannot even remember a game where I ran out of pieces. So, knowing this, a natural consequence would be to be extracareful when trying to accomplish this task.

Very nice of you to not trying to enforce this and confuse a newbie.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Larsen
Denmark
Søborg
Danmark
flag msg tools
That's right. I've got overtext, b****!©
badge
What did I just say?
mbmbmbmbmb
I think I'd actually give my opponent credit for pulling of a trick like that. No dishonor to be found here.

But as others have said, piece shortage isn't relly an issure for my gaming group.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Burgess
United Kingdom
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting responses...

I'd have to admit to being a newbie at this game myself - I just always get the task/pleasure of reading through the rules and then explaining them! My only advantage here is that explaining them really helps to get them straight for me too, so I always seem to come out a little ahead...

In the several games we played this week, we seemed to use up all the pieces fairly often. As you all said, though, I suspect this is more an artefact of the level at which we're playing - with more experience and more truly competitive play, I think it's likely that the situation won't crop up so often.

It'd be interesting to see it being forced, though, if one of the players had enough insight into what the other is trying to do - it'd make for a good feint, to leave a piece "exposed" when it's not really in any danger at all....
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian Zarzycki
Poland
Poznan
Wielkopolskie
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The point is, you can never be sure of that. Your opponent can actually play two summons and some flares and all of sudden you're surrounded and the task is his. I wouldn't really count on a strategy of leaving something in danger and the get the piece off the board during next summon. You would have to time this out properly and it doesn't seem to be worth it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The OP makes perfect sense but I don't understand the title at all. "Dishonorable abuse of the rules?" Is capturing your opponent's pawn en passant dishonorable? It's a game, it's got rules, any use of the rules can't possibly be "dishonorable".
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
When similar things have come up in a teaching game, I say "Oh-- there's a rules interaction you probably didn't think about and it's relevant now. I'll point it out but I can forego making the move; it's a weird situation for your first game."

Some people will say, "Ah, yeah, I was really planning on being able to claim that task, and I don't think you've got any other way to stop me." Some will say, "No, do it! That's a neat move. I would be disappointed if your superior experience didn't give you an advantage in the game." But then it's out in the open, and they've learned a thing.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Burgess
United Kingdom
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
The OP makes perfect sense but I don't understand the title at all. "Dishonorable abuse of the rules?" Is capturing your opponent's pawn en passant dishonorable? It's a game, it's got rules, any use of the rules can't possibly be "dishonorable".


Yeah, whilst that's true, I think it depends on the intent of the rule. To me, it seems that the intent of this rule is so as not to kill the game altogether when you run out of pieces. It sucks to not be able to do anything, so sure, go ahead - reuse a piece you've already played. It feels like another option would have been just to have more pieces available to play in the first place.

So using this rule to sidestep something your opponent was going to do, which would otherwise have been unavoidable, feels a little wrong. Maybe "dishonourable" is too harsh a term...

Btw, the "en passant" example illustrates my point, I think - it exists to correct an otherwise broken rule in the base game - that you can advance your pawn past the point that it could otherwise have been taken, with no chance of reply. So use of that is definitely not dishonourable, but rather entirely to the point of the rule. I'm not so sure that's the case here.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, regarding this particular case:

MercifulBiscuit wrote:
It feels to me like this is quite a "negative" use of the rule, as opposed to a "positive" use being that you're just trying to complete a pattern, not directly disrupt what your opponent is doing. It doesn't seem entirely fair to use it in this "negative" way.


Tash-Kalar has plenty of situations like that, though. As you point out, the rules are clear.

You might also sometimes use a Bomb in a position that kills more of your own pieces than necessary, in order to damage your opponent but avoid being flared. Or use combat moves to retreat when you could have attacked, because you don't want your opponent to get Heroic Destruction next turn. (I don't know if these are good plays, but they're legal and imaginable.)

I will also point out (though it's a totally different game) that Notre Dame also has a "if you don't have pieces to place, you can move one instead" rule, and when I recently learned it I assumed this was meant to be negative-- like, of COURSE you would prefer never to use that rule. But in reality, there are times you want to invoke that rule intentionally. All part of the game!

(If any Notre Dame players are scratching their heads over this: I'm thinking of the situation where you're out of cubes in the late game, and you have cubes in areas you don't care about anymore, like the Carriage House. If you gain a cube and then take some other action, the new cube is going straight to that action. If you take the action first, you can move a Carriage House cube to somewhere useful, and gain a cube for next turn.)

(I dunno, maybe that doesn't really come up much. Happened to me both times I've played.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
MercifulBiscuit wrote:
Yeah, whilst that's true, I think it depends on the intent of the rule.


No, the intent just doesn't matter at all. If the intent of the castling rule in Chess is to allow you to move your king to a safe position, does that make it "dishonorable" if you use castling as a way to mount an attack with your rook?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Burgess
United Kingdom
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
grasa_total wrote:
When similar things have come up in a teaching game, I say "Oh-- there's a rules interaction you probably didn't think about and it's relevant now. I'll point it out but I can forego making the move; it's a weird situation for your first game."


That's a good point, but personally I find that it breaks the flow of the play too much. I like to have as much as possible explained ahead of time, so that I can't be accused of hiding a rule on purpose, and so that everyone has a fair crack. I also find it confusing, if a new rule is introduced part way through play - especially if I'm on the learning side - I suddenly have to rethink the entire game, in the worst case.

I guess it depends on how explicitly the game is a teaching game. And whether the people you play with are likely to see it that way. ;-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Burgess
United Kingdom
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
MercifulBiscuit wrote:
Yeah, whilst that's true, I think it depends on the intent of the rule.


No, the intent just doesn't matter at all. If the intent of the castling rule in Chess is to allow you to move your king to a safe position, does that make it "dishonorable" if you use castling as a way to mount an attack with your rook?


That's an interesting viewpoint. I'd have to agree with you, and say it's not. But then it's down to whether we'd always agree on intent. I'm no great chess player, but I don't think I'd say the intent of the castling rule is just to move your king to a safer position - it can also be hard enough to get the rook out, so I'd be happy to accept that the castling rule has that intent as well.

I guess only the designer of any given game can answer the question about intent. Although again, you're right - what does that matter once the game is published and the rules are clear? :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
MercifulBiscuit wrote:
I guess only the designer of any given game can answer the question about intent. Although again, you're right - what does that matter once the game is published and the rules are clear? :-)


There are definitely chess problems that are constructed so that castling is the only winning move even though it's not a "normal" castling position or one that the "designers" of Chess were thinking about when they created this rule. When people castle in those positions, they think it's a clever solution to a problem. They don't think, "Maybe I shouldn't castle here because that wasn't what castling was intended for."

As I said, I think the OP raises a perfectly interesting question: can this rule be used in a way different than intended? I just don't think it's reasonable to call that "dishonorable" if the answer is yes. Anything within the rules is honorable.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian Zarzycki
Poland
Poznan
Wielkopolskie
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Let's just all agree that here "Dishonourable abuse" = "supposedly playing against designer's intent".

Mr Chvátil? Also, Zdenek? (IIRC, you're playtester for TK?)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rattkin wrote:
Let's just all agree that here "Dishonourable abuse" = "supposedly playing against designer's intent".


Huh? We don't agree about that. Why should I agree with that?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian Zarzycki
Poland
Poznan
Wielkopolskie
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Because I'm pretty sure that's what OP meant.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rattkin wrote:
Because I'm pretty sure that's what OP meant.


Right, he thought that using the rules differently from how the designer intended is dishonorable. But I don't think it is. Why do I have to agree with him about that?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Glickman
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
designer
Playing differently from the designer's intent is quite different from playing against the designer's intent. Not that it matters here, but I believe that the point being made is that "unintentional design quirks" and "rules lawyering/munchkining" are very different, which I tend to agree with. For an example, in D&D 3.5, Pun Pun would be "dishonourably abusing the rules". Note that "dishonourable abuse" of competitive game rules is incredibly rare, as competitive games tend to be well thought out, and problems that arise are dealt with quickly.

So the original thought here is "the designer doesn't want people doing this, it was poorly phrased!" which... is quite clearly wrong in this example. It's pretty much as powerful as it looks, and almost never come up.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, a RPG like D&D is completely different from a board game like Tash-Kalar. Although there's not really an issue of "dishonorable play" in D&D, either---you can choose to do whatever you want, and it's up to the GM to interpret the rules to allow or disallow whatever is necessary to make the game fun.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lior Kiperman
Israel
Ramat Gan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That's an interesting topic. In my opinion, I'd consider this "Dishonourable" only if you don't remind the opponent that it's a possibility. For example, when you reveal the "Isolation" mission and read its text, you should remind the other players that it is possibility and show how many tokens you have left.

Players usually forget rules if they don't come up during gameplay that often. In Mage Knight I keep reminding players the "Knocked-Out" rule when they are about to take a risky move, simply because it is very rare for a player to get knocked-out.

I don't see this issue in Tash-Kalar as being "abuse of the rules". You are not playing against the rules, so that's a legitimate move. The only problem I see is that the other player doesn't know this rule and you take advantage of that (making him waste a few turns on trying to accomplish a goal that he cannot accomplish).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Burgess
United Kingdom
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, that puts it well, I think. I suppose it only really matters with players of unequal skill or at least familiarity with the game in question. And even then, it's probably a question of whether one of the players could have discovered the lack of knowledge in the other and then abused it to win, rather than ensuring a level playing field by explaining the rule. The problem of course being that you don't want to telegraph your plans by explaining what you're about to do all the time!

As for the other point in the thread, of whether the word "dishonour" is right or not - it's about whether your opponent would think it's a cheap or dirty trick. It's about the longer game of whether or not your opponent will want to play with you again. But more importantly, it's about creating a catchy title for the thread that will stimulate discussion. :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
MercifulBiscuit wrote:
I guess it depends on how explicitly the game is a teaching game. And whether the people you play with are likely to see it that way. ;-)


Yeah. When I've played a game before and my opponents haven't, I tend to be *very* communicative about the situation. Like, what's the best way to make this a level playing field-- do you want hints as you go? Should I mostly play how I normally would, but speak up if you're about to make a total rookie mistake? Should I just do my best?

(It's not like I always win teaching games. My friends are sharp and I am prone to overinvesting in the strategies that have worked well for me before rather than adapating to the real situation.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vlaada Chvatil
Czech Republic
Brno
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Interesting discussion .

I started to answer, but then it became a bit longer and went a bit off topic, so I decided to put it to the blog section of Tash-Kalar website.

Tl;dr: Although it is not main intention of this rule, it is not against my intentions, and it is completely okay and clever to use it this way, even in situations that are less rare than the one you describe (i.e., with legendary pieces rather than common/heroic).
21 
 Thumb up
5.05
 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.