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Author Topic: Discard Pile  (Read 1184 times)

Offline sprocket science

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Discard Pile
« on: 02 February 2017, 02:31:27 AM »
This is definitely a low priority topic, but would it be possible to provide a visual cue concerning the size of the discard pile?

I am aware that the rules say "A player is allowed to count how many cards are left in his Deck, but not in his Discard pile.", so I understand that the current implementation reflects that and having a counter as on the deck would be in violation of the rules. I have to admit I don't fully understand the motivation for the rule - I found a comment on f.ds that this was because counting the cards would lead to examining them, as they are face up, which is irrelevant online as the game does the counting; and the information might be critical at the end of a Gardens game, which is rendered moot by the VP counter. If there is no other motivation, I don't think a counter on the discard pile would hurt, but I don't want to start another rules discussion if that would be considered variant territory.

However, in a real-life game you do have a feel for the size of the discard pile. Visual inspection allows you to distinguish whether you have 1 card, 10 cards, 20 cards, or 30 cards in there. So having a visual indication of approximate discard pile size would in fact make the online experience more similar to the tabletop game, if that is the primary goal. You might argue that a competent player should have an idea whether there are 5 or 30 cards in the pile, which is certainly true, but having no information on this at all is still quite different from real life and does not feel intuitive. E.g. in one game with heavy Forager trashing, I overtrashed in a way that I don't think would have happened to me with physical cards.

If a counter is not acceptable, and visually indicating stack size is too complicated to implement, maybe an approximate counter in steps of 5 or 10 would be acceptable? That would be something completely new, though.



Offline Cave-O-Sapien

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Re: Discard Pile
« Reply #1 on: 02 February 2017, 02:52:19 AM »
Why does this rule exist in the first place?

Is it to prevent slowing the game down at the table? (if so this certainly doesn't apply here)

Is it to prevent counting for Gardens? (with a VP tracker, this is a non issue)

Some other reason? 


Offline sprocket science

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Re: Discard Pile
« Reply #2 on: 02 February 2017, 09:19:45 AM »
Is it to prevent slowing the game down at the table? (if so this certainly doesn't apply here)

If that was the case, counting the deck (draw pile) should also be prohibited - but this is explicitly allowed.

Also, Donald X. should not have made Philosopher's Stone then. ;-)

Offline Donald X.

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Re: Discard Pile
« Reply #3 on: 02 February 2017, 09:37:55 AM »
Why does this rule exist in the first place?

Is it to prevent slowing the game down at the table? (if so this certainly doesn't apply here)
Yes. Some people will paw through their discard pile constantly if allowed.

Offline Donald X.

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Re: Discard Pile
« Reply #4 on: 02 February 2017, 09:39:06 AM »
If that was the case, counting the deck (draw pile) should also be prohibited - but this is explicitly allowed.

Also, Donald X. should not have made Philosopher's Stone then. ;-)
Since you can't see the cards in your deck, counting it is much less of an isssue; people normally aren't interested.

Philosopher's Stone was fine in playtest games, but yes it contributed to the overall feeling of Alchemy being too slow.

Offline sprocket science

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Re: Discard Pile
« Reply #5 on: 02 February 2017, 10:37:40 AM »
Yes. Some people will paw through their discard pile constantly if allowed.

That makes total sense. If you were allowed to inspect the cards in your discard pile, it would eliminate most of the need for deck tracking in order to remember how many of your key cards remain in your deck. If only counting was allowed, we would constantly have to ask people to turn the discard pile face down before counting it.

But as you are replying, could you comment on the original point: Could we have a card count as this reason does not apply online; do you consider keeping the rules identical between tabletop and online most important, even though this means that less information is in fact available online as we don't get to estimate pile size; or should the experience be as similar as possible, which would mean providing some way to estimate the size of the discard pile in the online version?

Personally, I would prefer the counter (it changes the rules, but not in spirit), which would also be easy to implement, but would also be happy with a way to estimate pile sizes.