[A] The Agency - GAME OVER -- SPIES WIN

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ravenvii, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. ravenvii, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015

    ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #1
    Welcome to The Agency, mark 2! This game consists of an iteration of the previous game's ruleset. With lessons learned from the previous game, we've (I and the players, with their input) improved the rules to make the game more balanced and (hopefully) more enjoyable!

    Preliminaries:

    Before going into the meat of the rules, I want to emphasize one important rule: THERE WILL BE ABSOLUTELY NO PMs BETWEEN PLAYERS DURING THE GAME. PMs will occur ONLY between the player and the GM. No exceptions!

    Additionally, this game requires participation to work. So I will enforce the dreaded "lost in the woods" rule. I apologize in advance for having to do this. :)

    1. If a vote did not reach majority by the deadline, the players who did not vote will get a strike.
    2. If a team leader does not choose a team in a timely manner (by the deadline), he/she will receive a strike, this will count as a "nay" vote, and the next leader on the list will assume leadership.

    Two strikes will cause a player to get "lost in the woods", or kicked out of the game.

    The Game:

    In this game, there will be 10 players. 6 will be members of the Agency (the good guys). 4 will be members of the Infiltration (the bad guys). The spies will know who the other spies are (but cannot PM each other!). The Agency do not know who the spies are.

    The game will occur in turns. There are a maximum of five turns -- each turn could end in a point being given to the Agency or the Infiltration -- the first team to win three points total wins the game.

    The players will be sorted via random.org into a order that will remain throughout the game. The first player on the list will be the team leader for that turn. Then the next player will become team leader, and so on. If/when the end of the list is reached, the list will wrap, and the first team leader will assume leadership again. This continues until the game ends.

    The turns will play out as in the diagram below:

    [​IMG]

    Notes:

    1. The team leader must choose players (not including himself/herself) to form a team. The number of players that forms a team depends on the current turn:
    • Turn 1 requires 3 players;
    • Turns 2 and 3 require 4 players;
    • and Turns 4 and 5 require 5 players.

    2. The vote to proceed with a mission is via a majority vote by all players except the current leader, and takes place publicly in the thread.

    3. A mission can only be voted down five times in a row. Five nay votes in a turn will immediately lead to a Infiltration victory.

    4. If the players votes for a mission to proceed, the team leader will receive three cards (chosen at random from the card stack) to assign to the team members as he/she sees fit, with the only restriction being that only one card can be given to any one member.

    5. For the mission to succeed each team member must have voted "success". One "failure" vote immediately fails a mission and awards a point to the Infiltration. Except for turn 4, where TWO "failure" votes are required to fail a mission, instead of just one.

    The cards:

    One-time use:

    Those cards can be played in any turn (i.e. a player can hold on to a card until a future turn before using it). However, all of the cards in this category, with A Close Eye being the only exception, must be played during the Mission Phase. No cards, except for A Close Eye, will be played during the Pre-Planning Phase.

    A Close Eye: Find out how a player voted in the previous Mission Phase. This card, unlike all the others, is played only during the Pre-Planning Phase.
    Result: Privately via PM after the conclusion of the vote.
    Quantity: 2

    Strong Leader: You can become the leader in the next turn.
    Result: N/A
    Quantity: 2

    No Confidence: You may null an approved vote and force a change of leadership. Counts as a 'nay' vote. Note that the new leader will not perform the Plot Distribution step.
    Result: N/A
    Quantity: 3

    In the Spotlight: The player's vote during the mission success/failure vote will be disclosed.
    Result: N/A
    Quantity: 1

    Take Responsibility: You can take a card from another player.
    Result: N/A
    Quantity: 1

    Immediate Use:

    Those cards are used immediately when given by the leader.

    Establish Confidence: The leader must reveal his/her role to a player of his/her choice.
    Result: Privately via PM.
    Quantity: 2

    Eavesdrop: You must look at the role of the player right above or below you on the list.
    Result: Privately via PM.
    Quantity: 2

    Open Up: You must reveal your role card to a player of your choosing.
    Result: Privately via PM.
    Quantity: 1

    Permanent Effect:

    Those cards immediately and permanently take effect when a player receives one from the leader.

    Under Surveillance: The player's vote during all mission success/failure votes will be disclosed. This is like In the Spotlight, but permanent.
    Result: N/A
    Quantity: 1

    General Guidelines:
    • The GM will not PM the players announcing the start of the game. This has led to confusion in the past, so from now on, the GM will announce the start of the game by @ mentioning all players in the post that officially commences the game. Only the spies will receive a PM from the GM notifying them of such.
    • Votes during the Pre-Planning Phase (the yay/nay votes) must be in BOLD. To allow for this phase to go more quickly and smoothly, the votes, once cast (i.e. bolded), cannot be changed.
    • During the Mission Phase (the success/failure vote), your PM to the GM MUST have the vote in the TITLE of the conversation. The GM should disregard anything in the body of the message, and will only count votes named in the title. No exceptions.

    Players:
    1. mscriv
    2. Koodauw
    3. Don't panic
    4. Queen of Spades
    5. TechGod
    6. WoodNUFC
    7. Sythas
    8. Moyank24
    9. FenrisMoonlight
    10. twietee
     
  2. FenrisMoonlight, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015

    FenrisMoonlight macrumors 6502a

    FenrisMoonlight

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    Expose and investigate removed is going to make this easier for the infiltrators! but the smaller initial team sizes is going to help the agents I think.
     
  3. FenrisMoonlight macrumors 6502a

    FenrisMoonlight

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    I like the fact spy (a close eye) is made private so infiltrators could try to deceive with the results. Looking at the new card - the way I'm reading it is that you have to choose someone to keep an eye on during the current mission - so before you know if anyone has failed the mission at all - that correct?
     
  4. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #5
    Yes, you tell the player "you, I'm keeping a real close eye on you," then after the votes are in, I PM you the vote that player made. :)
     
  5. FenrisMoonlight macrumors 6502a

    FenrisMoonlight

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    ok I was assuming they wouldn't know they were being kept an eye on - so its kinda like a 1 mission under surveillance except the resulting vote is PM not public.
     
  6. FenrisMoonlight macrumors 6502a

    FenrisMoonlight

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  7. twietee, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015

    twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #8

    YAY! ME TOO!
    :D

    Only nine players?
     
  8. Sythas macrumors 6502a

    Sythas

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    Oct 22, 2009
    Location:
    Québec, Canada
  9. Don't panic, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015

    Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #10
    the changes in rules might be swinging it too much to the spies side.
    i would have done less, stepwise changes, to see how it balances.
    just the size of mission and the change in no-confidence use would have brought it even in my opinion

    now there are a lot of variables with the new cards, so it will be harder to assess the effect, but at a first look they seem to help the spies a lot:
    the cards must be played at mission phase only, so this is a big help for the spies
    i assume No Confidence does not replenish the cards ofr the next leader in the same mission, as discussed at the end of last game?
    investigate, ID validation and expose are the 4 best cards for the agents and they are all gone.
    the under surveillance is subbed with 3 similar but
    open up is decided by the person with the card, not the team leader, and the result is PMd, so it helps spies
    opinion make is just a variant of in the spotlight


    comparison :
    • spy vs. close eye (2): very similar, but close eye is much weaker, as it will often be wasted during a success mission
    • establish confidence (1): seems identical
    • strong leader (2): seems identical
    • eavesdrop (2): similar, but now it is significantly weaker because timing of play is limited
    • No confidence (3): similar except it doesn't reset the cards given out (I am assuming), this is a big advantage spies compared to last game
    • Take responsibility (1): similar except timing of play. advantage spies
    • under surveillance vs in the spotlight (1): only good for one turn. favors spies

    no longer in play:
    • investigate (2): eliminated. big advantage spies
    • expose (1): eliminated. big advantage spies
    • ID verification(1): eliminated. big advantage spies

    new cards:
    • open up (1): it's decided by the player getting the card AND the result is secret. mild help to the agents
    • opinion maker (2): basically the same as 'in the spotlight' except the vote is done first (but probably spotlight would be to). I assume that unlike the other this vote cannot be changed during the mission phase? are they also one-time use, or do they last for every turn till the end of the game (like under surveillance)?

    so there is 1 card less (16 to 15) and the 4 best cards are subbed with 3 lame ones.
    in addition, take responsibility lost a lot of value, as the cards to "steal" are not as good.

    overall i don't particularly like the new set :)

    i would recommend to either go back to the previou set (with the discussed change in the No Confidence use), or at least implement some changes to the current set:
    - allow all the cards (except the immediate effect ones) to be played at any time. leave flexibility to the players
    - get rid of one of the 'opinion maker' card, and make the other one last the entire game (you can call it under surveillance then ;) ), it makes more sense thematically, too
    - reintroduce 1 investigate and 1 between expose and ID verification, or both

    ----

    Another change i think should be reversed is to allow votes to be changed until deadline or majority is reached (bolded or not).
    what is the rationale behind preventing changes of mind?
     
  10. FenrisMoonlight macrumors 6502a

    FenrisMoonlight

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    Nice analysis.

    I'd missed that in the spotlight was a one off played card now rather than permanent for the rest of the game - makes it significantly weaker and very similar to 'a close eye'.

    I agree - the removal of expose, investigate and ID verification significantly helps the infiltrators as the agents have no sure clears. We probably had too many last game but I think we need some.

    eavesdrop - i don't think its that much weaker - we were using them pretty much straight away anyway - you only have a choice of 2 people to eavesdrop so waiting to use it doesn't help much really. The fact it has to be used immediately means it cant be stolen.

    Finally opinion maker - @Don't panic I think one of us is misreading it - I was reading it as being like in the spotlight but it is for the mission yay/nay phase. The fact that they have to vote yay/nay first for every mission team I think is going to significantly slow the game down while everyone waits for their votes before making their own.
     
  11. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Madison
  12. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #13

    opinion maker: you are probably right. i hadn't even considered it could be for the yay/nay. if so, it is even weaker because it semi-useless, and you are right that it could slow the game significantly. in this case would get rid of the card altogether, and put back in the investigate/expose/ID verification.
    alternatively you can keep them in -in presence of the good cards- as a good-card "diluting factor". basically if you get this is like getting one less card.
    if you keep the new set proposed by @ravenvii and add 3 (or all 4) of the previous "good cards", you end up with a total 0f 18-19 cards, of which only 15 at most get used. so there is a good chance that you don't get the good ones, or all the good ones, but you could get stuck with some of the useless ones instead

    eavesdrop: i see your point. you are right, probably doesn't make much of a difference in real use.
    i would still eliminate the timing restrictions on most cards, unless clearly required by the type of card.
    makes it simpler and gives more power to all players
     
  13. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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    The Iron Throne
    #14
    When would this one start? I'm going to be away until the 5th.
     
  14. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #15
    I looked up the original game (the previous game was based on a game I saw played in another forum, but their rules aren't so great, so I created my own set of rules based on that). I decided to reset the rules on the actual original game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Resistance_(game)

    Since it's a widely played card game, I'd think the rules are pretty balanced already, and hence a good starting point.

    Not starting until next Monday (the 6th). We all got better things to do over the July 4th weekend :)
     
  15. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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  16. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #17
    @ravenvii,
    if the current set is the exact from the actual game, than i would have to concur that it is probably widely tested and should be well balanced.

    from the wikilink it is hard to say, as they don't list the cards, nor contain the text on them. do you have a link to the cards?
    i tried to google it but couldn't find the rules text for them. i did see that in the 'real' game, the yay/nay vote is secret, which makes the 'opinion maker' card more reasonable (since it also means the vote is open for the person playing the card)

    my point is that this is not a marginal tweaking of the previous set, but a major one with basically all the changes going substantially in one direction.
    in the last game the agent had an advantage, but it was mostly determined (IMO) by the use we did of the No Confidence Cards. without that i think it would have been close or the spies would have won.
    looking at the rules as they are now, and based on the previous games experience, i would think the spies will have a significant advantage.
    i would still swap one or both of the 'opinion maker' cards with the 'good cards' from game 1, and allow flexibility in when to play the cards.

    but at the end, the only way to find out is to play the game :)
     
  17. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #18
    a couple of clarifications to be added to the rules:
    • No Confidence: does the next mission leader get new cards or not?
    • Close Eye: do you declare on who you play it before the vote (so this is basically a private version of Spotlight) or can you look at a vote after it cast (so it is a lighter version of Spy from the previous game)?
    • Opinion Maker: applies to the yay/nay vote not the succes/failure vote
     
  18. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
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    #19
    Clarifications made. (The opinion maker should already be clear -- I specified the "pre-planning phase" vote.)

    Here's the photos of the rules that covers the cards:

    http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/2974/img0679h.jpg
    http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/2791/img0680os.jpg
     
  19. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #20
    thanks. :)
    so if i read it correctly by the way it is written in the OP here, it seems you play the card and the target KNOWS they are under scrutiny, so it is essentially the same as the Spotlight card (except the result is given by PM)
    however, in the image of the rule,you play the card to find out what a person voted AFTER they voted, so it works more like a lite version of the spy card from before

    in one case is a card to influence a play, in the other is a card to discover a play
     
  20. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #21
    In the (IRL version of the) game, it looks like with Close Eye, you see another player place a vote, then declare you want to see it. That's not really possible in the forum version, so here you simply declare you want to use it, then I PM you what that person voted after the voting is over.

    With the Spotlight, the vote is public so there's no way to hide, but with close eye, you can lie about what you find out.
     
  21. FenrisMoonlight macrumors 6502a

    FenrisMoonlight

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    #22
    I think the declaration of who you want to use it on should be private to more closely emulate the RL version - as they wouldn't know they were about to be kept an eye on. Otherwise if the player knows they are being kept an eye before they choose success/failure it could influence how they play (and also influence other players success/failure votes).
     
  22. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
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    #23
    Or maybe it could be required that a player PMs a vote, AND post in the thread saying that he/she voted?

    Would that be too cumbersome?
     
  23. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #25
    the easiest way is to simply allow the use of the Close Eye AFTER the voting is done.
    basically after the voting is closed the person with the card asks to see the vote of one of the team members.
    the request is posted publicly in the thread, and then you PM them the result. Essentially how the spy worked.

    this way the people voting do not know who is going to be looked at, but only that possibly someone could be.
    this seems in line with the tabletop version, while the other way is too redundant with the spotlight.
    it would also be one of two way, with the new cards, to actually possibly catch a spy (the other is Eavesdrop).
     

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