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Author Topic: Codenames etiquette  (Read 388 times)

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Kuildeous

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Codenames etiquette
« on: July 02, 2018, 01:29:39 pm »
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What is your stance on etiquette for Codenames?

I saw someone try to justify that it's okay to give invalid clues as long as the other team doesn't catch you. If they don't catch it, then it's a valid clue.

For example, let's say that someone uses the clue LOVE to try to get someone to say GLOVE. Not allowed by the rules, but the opposing team may not realize that's what's happening until later in the game. The spymaster gets away with it!

I feel that this is poor sportsman and is exploiting a rule that is intended for accidental invalid clues, such as saying SHOE for HORSESHOE.

Just making sure I'm not alone in my mini-outrage.
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 01:45:59 pm »
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"If they don't catch you, it's valid" is a crap rationalisation, I think that's pretty obvious. That being said, if people agree on it beforehand it's cool. And I'm personally lenient on some of the rules in games like this, LOVE for GLOVE doesn't sound that bad to me, I wouldn't mind in some contexts.


Also, this reminds me of a question that came up when playing Taboo recently, if somebody says "United States" when "United Nations" is under taboo, is that legal? I was arguing that it wasn't and I'm pretty sure I was right, but I'm curious if anybody else disagrees with me.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 02:41:51 pm »
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Worth noting that rhyming clues are mentioned in the rulebook as an optional rule you can play with.

So I had written up this whole thing about how this is an example of clearly cheating, because unless you are playing a game where bluffing is built into the mechanics, you can't ever "hope to get away" with doing something that isn't normally allowed.

But then I double checked the Codenames rulebook, and... it seems that those people are technically correct.

Quote
If a spymaster gives an invalid clue, the
team's turn ends immediately. As an additional
penalty, the other team's spymaster may cover
one of his or her words with an agent card
before giving the next clue.

But if no one notices that a clue is invalid, it
counts as valid.

So they are playing within the rules when they try to give an invalid clue... if it were completely outside of the rules, then you wouldn't have a penalty for it; games don't generally need to give rules for what to do when you don't do what the rules tell you to do.

That being said, that sounds like adding a very un-fun meta game on top of the rest of Codenames, and it's not a way that I would want to play, nor would I want to play with people who do play that way.

So really, it's just something that needs to be discussed and agreed upon at the start. They aren't cheating when they do it, but it doesn't seem like the rules are intending for that to be used as part of a strategy. Plus, it's an extremely risky strategy anyway; you should be getting caught much more often than not, and the penalty for getting caught is really bad.

*Edit* I just noticed that you referred to "exploiting a rule", so you already knew what I quoted. I agree with you, the rule seems to be intended to deal with accidents; not to be used as a strategy. Again, I wouldn't allow such a thing in my games.

Puerto Rico actually has the same problem; the rule book says how to handle the situation when you later realize that you forgot to load the ship at the end of the Mayor phase. This opens the door for people to purposefully "forget" because they want the alternate outcome. Such rules are bad and shouldn't be in rulebooks. The proper rule for "what do I do when the rule wasn't followed" should always be up to the people playing the game to handle as best they can without screwing things up.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 02:59:53 pm by GendoIkari »
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Kuildeous

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2018, 02:57:45 pm »
+1

The discussion that prompted this was someone was asking if it was legal to say THINK, 4 as a clue to encourage the team to think back on the last 4 clues (or words or whatever he was trying to do; it was a really bad and awkward clue anyway). So very much an invalid clue since the spymaster was intending to convey a meaning not related directly to the words.

But how would the other team know? Say he was saying THNK, 2. Then I challenge it because he's not referring to the words. Only he is because he wanted to have the team guess GROUP and IDIOM. He has to explain that for me to be satisfied and now the game is at a weird state. Some of these clues might not get caught as invalid until later.

I'd much rather play the game where an invalid clue was an honest mistake than worry that the other guy is going to try to pull one over on me.

Sorry to invoke the name of the blasphemy, but Monopoly has a similar rule in that if you land on a space and owe rent, you don't have to pay rent if the next person rolls the dice. Seems awfully easy to screw another player over by snatching the dice and rolling them before that player notices. And how has modern gaming changed me? I feel like if I were to play Monopoly again, I would instantly hand over my rent money before the owner realized I landed there because that rule is awful anyway.
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Watno

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2018, 03:19:41 pm »
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But then I double checked the Codenames rulebook, and... it seems that those people are technically correct.

Quote
If a spymaster gives an invalid clue, the
team's turn ends immediately. As an additional
penalty, the other team's spymaster may cover
one of his or her words with an agent card
before giving the next clue.

But if no one notices that a clue is invalid, it
counts as valid.

So they are playing within the rules when they try to give an invalid clue... if it were completely outside of the rules, then you wouldn't have a penalty for it; games don't generally need to give rules for what to do when you don't do what the rules tell you to do.

Well more technically, they are allowed to give an invalid clue intentionally, but then their turn immedaitely ends. The part where "no one notices" clearly doesn't apply.

Btw, i guess this is a good place to mention that we're looking for one more to continue PBF codenames: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=14888.msg759980#msg759980
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Kuildeous

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2018, 03:36:56 pm »
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Nice segue.

Hmm, it occurs to me that I haven't updated the list of words since I created that randomizer. Is that still being used?

If it is, I really should see if I can get an updated list of words to add to the randomizer. Though I guess it doesn't technically have to be from the Codenames list.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 10:12:14 am »
+1

But then I double checked the Codenames rulebook, and... it seems that those people are technically correct.

Quote
If a spymaster gives an invalid clue, the
team's turn ends immediately. As an additional
penalty, the other team's spymaster may cover
one of his or her words with an agent card
before giving the next clue.

But if no one notices that a clue is invalid, it
counts as valid.

So they are playing within the rules when they try to give an invalid clue... if it were completely outside of the rules, then you wouldn't have a penalty for it; games don't generally need to give rules for what to do when you don't do what the rules tell you to do.

Well more technically, they are allowed to give an invalid clue intentionally, but then their turn immedaitely ends. The part where "no one notices" clearly doesn't apply.

Btw, i guess this is a good place to mention that we're looking for one more to continue PBF codenames: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=14888.msg759980#msg759980

Oh dang, yeah. It doesn't say "if the other team doesn't notice." It says "if no one notices".

I revert my previous answer back to "it's clearly against the rules". They noticed that they were giving an invalid clue, so therefore "if no one notices" isn't what happened. If they noticed, and they didn't say anything, then they cheated.
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sitnaltax

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2018, 11:25:44 pm »
+2

In the Codenames games I've played, the opposing spymasters often have a sense of shared suffering, since the position is pretty stressful. Therefore, we've been pretty good about getting permission from the opposing spymaster before giving optional-rule or gray-area clues (word meanings, short phrases, etc.).
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popsofctown

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2018, 01:23:27 am »
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One weird thing about the rules is that you might accidentally give a clue that contains a word included in a bystander, and according to the rules that's an invalid clue.  But you're unlikely to track the bystanders that carefully.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2018, 10:18:33 am »
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One weird thing about the rules is that you might accidentally give a clue that contains a word included in a bystander, and according to the rules that's an invalid clue.  But you're unlikely to track the bystanders that carefully.

I havenít seen this issue. Usually at least one player will notice the problem immediately. The code givers generally need to care about all words that arenít their own color. And the guessers definitely are looking at all words equally.
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AJD

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2018, 09:19:35 pm »
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The discussion that prompted this was someone was asking if it was legal to say THINK, 4 as a clue to encourage the team to think back on the last 4 clues (or words or whatever he was trying to do; it was a really bad and awkward clue anyway). So very much an invalid clue since the spymaster was intending to convey a meaning not related directly to the words.

But how would the other team know? Say he was saying THNK, 2. Then I challenge it because he's not referring to the words. Only he is because he wanted to have the team guess GROUP and IDIOM. He has to explain that for me to be satisfied and now the game is at a weird state. Some of these clues might not get caught as invalid until later.

Yeah and you can always say, hey, I wasn't using LOVE as a clue for GLOVE because it rhymes, I was using it because... I really like gloves. Or, I wasn't cluing GLOVE, I was cluing some other word, and it's just by coincidence that my team guessed GLOVE which also happens to be one of our correct words. This seems to make "don't use invalid clues" formally unenforceable if someone really wanted to break the rule.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 11:39:56 pm by AJD »
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ipofanes

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Re: Codenames etiquette
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2018, 12:09:43 pm »
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That's why the thread title reads "Codenames etiquette" instead of "The Laws of Codenames".
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