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Too Much Secrecy and Trust?

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Arthur Wohlwill
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Joined: 05/30/2015

At a recent game night, someone suggested playing the game "Nuns on the Run" and somebody else didn't like the fact that the game requires a certain amount of trust. (The location of players is hidden for much of the game. Players do record their positions, but this can only be verified at the end of the game.
The reason I bring this up is that I am working on a spy game in which it possible to "turn" opposing player's spies without their knowledge. The basic idea would be something like this:
Each player has 4-5 spies. Each spy would have special powers, but only the player who controlled the spies would know which spy does what. To use a power, a spy must be in the same sector as the spy being acted upon.
The spies would gather secrets of various values. Each spy has a deck of 10 cards. Initially, they are blank, but whenever a spy gets a secret, a blank card is replaced one of the secrets.

One power would be "blackmail". A spy who is blackmailed would be susceptible to "turning" (A power of a different spy). A player would know that they have been blackmailed, but not know that they have been turned.
At the end of each round, there is a blackmail phase. Each of the blackmailers take the deck of cards from the blackmailees and puts it behind a screen. If the player is also "turned" the blackmailer can take any or all of the secrets and replace them with blank cards and shuffle them. A player who suspects that they have been turned may use an action to look at the first N (Still working on what N is) cards in their deck. The greedier the opponent, the more likely they will be able to see that they have been turned.
Whatever the mechanism, this game requires trust that the players operate within the rules. Is this too big a turnoff? There may be some ways to record all of the actions, but this might make the game too cumbersome. Thoughts?

radioactivemouse
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Joined: 07/08/2013
Arthur Wohlwill wrote:

Arthur Wohlwill wrote:

Whatever the mechanism, this game requires trust that the players operate within the rules. Is this too big a turnoff? There may be some ways to record all of the actions, but this might make the game too cumbersome. Thoughts?

There are games that are coming out that have this kind of mechanism. Roll for the Galaxy has players roll behind a screen and basically choose their actions...to which players can easily cheat and adjust their roll behind the screen.

Spectre Ops is a game from Plaid Hat Games that has the hidden player use a pad of paper to track their hidden movement.

Puzzle Strike kinda has this mechanism, but it doesn't allow you to cheat because the chips you pull are literally "cards" and the game forces you to put down your shield to show that you don't have any more to play.

But as far as an opinion, I'm kinda so-so about it. On one hand, giving that much trust to the player can really invite cheating, but I really think there should be mechanisms that counteract that (such as in Puzzle Strike). Still, it introduces something new and hidden movement is really hard to truly organize in a board game.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Other kind of mechanic

The other kind of mechanic which also can invite cheating is simultaneous dice rolling... Basically players all roll a set of dice trying to roll some kind of set (of values). And rolling is done synchronously (all players at the same time).

This also can lead to cheating because everyone is so busy focusing on their rolls, that another player can "fix" the dice and match his set first.

The mechanic in question was supposed to be used by a TableTop RTS game, where players roll dice at the same time.

Anyhow - it's another mechanic which is a little "broken" since cheating is possible also. Perhaps making the RTS genre difficult to implement in a TableTop game.

Just partaking in the convo...

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