Codenames meta thread (rules discussion etc)
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I have discovered a new forum game that we could play. Doesn't need a massive commitment for time.

The game needs: a moderator (I'll do that), and two teams (red and blue.) Each team has a leader.

The moderator creates a list of 25 words and posts it publicly, eg.

STICK WHIP MOSCOW SUB APPLE
TAP DWARF DRILL HELICOPTER DISEASE
FILM BOMB BERRY SOUL SCHOOL
SCALE NOTE TELESCOPE KNIGHT TEACHER
WHEEL MILK PRINCESS CLOAK FRANCE

Eight of these words are codenames of spies for the red team, and seven are for the blue team. The aim of the game is for each team to guess all their spy codenames. But beware! One of the codenames belongs to a deadly assassin, and if you reveal that codename you lose the round immediately.

To help the players guess, the team captains are told the names. So they get something like this in a PM:

STICK WHIP MOSCOW SUB APPLE
TAP DWARF DRILL HELICOPTER DISEASE
FILM BOMB BERRY SOUL SCHOOL
SCALE NOTE TELESCOPE KNIGHT TEACHER
WHEEL MILK PRINCESS CLOAK FRANCE

(Green words are innocent bystanders -- they do nothing. Red/Blue words belong to the teams. Purple is the assassin.)

The red team goes first (which is why they have an extra spy to find.) The team leader starts the turn by giving a one word clue and a number, like this:

Quote:
education: 2


This says to their team "two of our codenames are related to education.[/quote]. This is all the leader is allowed to say.

The rest of the team debates what words this might be. Eventually, they get to the point where they want to make some guesses. In this case they are allowed 3 guesses -- one more than the number the team leader put in their clue. If the clue had been "fruit:1", they'd have 2 guesses.

One at a time, someone from the team posts a guess in this format (note the bolding, to make it official):

Quote:
guess: SCHOOL


The moderator or either of the leaders posts to say that this is a red word, so they can continue. If they guessed wrong, their turn ends. If they guess the assassin, they lose the game.

A second guess is then made:

Quote:
guess: TEACHER


That's also a red word! The red team can have another guess now (they get one more chances to guess than the number the team leader posted), but after some debate they don't want to risk getting the assassin, so they post

Quote:
pass


Now it's the blue team's turn, which proceeds in the same way.

A few extra rules/clarifications:

* the "one word" clue can be a compound noun, a proper noun, or hyphenated. If in doubt, moderator's say is final.
* The leader is allowed to post a 0 as the number, which means "this is a clue about which word not to pick." If the leader uses 0 in a clue, the team can have unlimited guesses.
* Similarly, the leader can choose "unlimited" as the number. Again, this allows unlimited guesses, but is (obviously) less useful as a clue.


Going to quote a few posts from rllmuk with more information in them below. If you want to play this, post in this thread. I'll start the game early next week.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
Quote:
Righto, here's the rules:
 
There will be two teams, each with a leader. For now let's call them:
 
RED TEAM
  • Choddo <----/leader
  • TehStu
  • Xibxang
  • Huz
  • Sealflap
 
BLUE TEAM
  • Benny <----/leader
  • FuryHD
  • Danster
  • OogyBoogy
[More people can join the teams, either through signing up now or just joining a team as the game goes on]
 
There will be 25 random words posted in the thread. Let's say they are:
 
STICK WHIP MOSCOW SUB APPLE
TAP DWARF DRILL HELICOPTER DISEASE
FILM BOMB BERRY SOUL SCHOOL
SCALE NOTE TELESCOPE KNIGHT TEACHER
WHEEL MILK PRINCESS CLOAK FRANCE
 
The two team leaders will be sent a list of 7 words which they want their team to identify (these are the codenames of their spies, hence the name of the game). Whoever goes first will be sent an extra word for balancing purposes. They'll also be told the opposing teams words, and one word which is the assassin. The other 9 words are blanks.
 
The beginning team leader then gives his team a one word clue. The word can be a proper noun or a compound word, even hyphenated, but just one word. It can't be any of the words on the board, or a derivative of them (FRENCH etc). The leader follows this up with a number. This number is how many of the words are connected to that clue.
 
So let's say the red team leader wanted to guide his team to SCHOOL and TEACHER, they might say education: 2
Or WHIP, FRANCE and FILM could be kerraig: 3
 
After the clue the leader can only sit back and watch as his team hopelessly misinterpret his clue. They can uncover as many cards as the clue's number plus one more, just by one of the team members from posting uncover: (or UNCOVER:) SCHOOL. This takes place one at a time (so don't post a list of them). If the word is one of your team's colours you can continue to uncover cards up to your limit (clue number +1). If it's not your go is over and it's the opposing team's turn. I, or the leaders, will post whether you were correct or not, but be careful not to provide any more clues whilst you do this leaders.
 
You have to uncover at least one card, but you can pass instead of use all your guesses (one member of the team just post pass, or PASS). Once you've either passed, uncovered a card not your colour, or uncovered cards up to the clue number +1, it is the opposing team's go.
 
All cards uncovered stay uncovered, so if you uncover the opposing team's spy, they stay uncovered and the opposing team are grateful. If you uncover the assassin you automatically lose.
 
You win when you've uncovered all cards of your colour (8 if you go first, 7 if you go second).
 
If your team don't provide a clue or uncover a card within 24hours on your turn you pass automatically.
 
Questions?


Quote:
Okay, so these are the words shown to everybody:
 
STICK WHIP MOSCOW SUB APPLE
TAP DWARF DRILL HELICOPTER DISEASE
FILM BOMB BERRY SOUL SCHOOL
SCALE NOTE TELESCOPE KNIGHT TEACHER
WHEEL MILK PRINCESS CLOAK FRANCE
 
This is what I PM to the Blue and Red leader:
 
STICK WHIP MOSCOW SUB APPLE
TAP DWARF DRILL HELICOPTER DISEASE
FILM BOMB BERRY SOUL SCHOOL
SCALE NOTE TELESCOPE KNIGHT TEACHER
WHEEL MILK PRINCESS CLOAK FRANCE
 
The red leader wants his team to only uncover the red words, the blue leader wants his team to only uncover the blue words. The green words are nothing- they just end your turn prematurely if you uncover them. The purple underlined word is the assassin- if your team uncover him you've lost.
 
So Red goes first as they have 8 words to uncover. Choddo, the red leader, posts
education: 2
The 2 means there are 2 red words related to education, and the red team can uncover 3 (2+1) words. After much debating amongst the red team they post
uncover: SCHOOL
They are told that this is a red word and they get to continue. They then post:
uncover: TEACHER
Again they are told this is a red word and they continue. However, at this point they have only been given clues to those 2 words so instead of using their last possible guess for this clue they just pass by posting:
PASS.
 
Everybody now sees the following:
 
STICK WHIP MOSCOW SUB APPLE
TAP DWARF DRILL HELICOPTER DISEASE
FILM BOMB BERRY SOUL SCHOOL
SCALE NOTE TELESCOPE KNIGHT TEACHER
WHEEL MILK PRINCESS CLOAK FRANCE
 
And it is blue's turn.
 
Benny, the blue leader, posts music: 2, clearly hoping his team will go for SCALE and NOTE. They can uncover 3 cards this turn (2+1). However, again after much deliberation, the blue team post:
uncover: SOUL
They are then told that this is incorrect, SOUL was just an innocent bystander of a word.
Because they got that clue wrong their turn ends immediately and it passes over to the Red team. The words everyone sees look like this:
 
STICK WHIP MOSCOW SUB APPLE
TAP DWARF DRILL HELICOPTER DISEASE
FILM BOMB BERRY SOUL SCHOOL
SCALE NOTE TELESCOPE KNIGHT TEACHER
WHEEL MILK PRINCESS CLOAK FRANCE
 
The red leader posts: intercourse: 4 a mighty gamble, and not even one that's needed at this stage. This gives the red team 5 (4+1) uncovers. The red team leader may be thinking STICK, TAP, DRILL, and WHIP. Again there's much deliberation and the red team post:
uncover: TAP
They are told that this is correct and may continue.
uncover: MILK
Even though this might not have been what the leader was thinking, it's still red so they get to go again.
uncover: DWARF
Disaster for the red team! Not only is dwarf incorrect, but he is the assassin, meaning they lose the game immediately. The Blue team are the victors!
 
Then we would usually rotate the leader to the next in line and do best of three or thereabouts.


In other respects, I'm going to follow the rules used on BoardGameGeek:

Quote:
1. 24 hours without pointing or giving a clue opens up the opposing team to forcing a pass. If the last clue was given/guessed >23:59 hours ago and the opposing team posts something pointing this out then the offending team effectively passes. The hours between 8pm Friday - 8am Monday do not count against the 24 hours.
2. Restricted Google/Wikipedia use for Players is impossible to enforce so there will be no official rules on this. That said, I would prefer that it only be used by spymasters to create clues and that spymasters not create clues that they think will require google use by their spies.
-Also, if you use google don't make it obvious. I don't want to see people saying that they have no idea to what that "apoptosis" clue is referring and then 10 minutes later giving a technical definition of it. It is annoying to watch an opponent spymaster use a bizarre term/reference about which very few people are familiar and then everyone on the team appears to be experts in that topic. At least try to pretend you are not using google.
3. If you are not sure if a clue is allowable then check with opposing spy master to get approval.
4. If you need a judgement on something and I haven't chimed in then GM me.
5. Please guess one word at a time and wait until finding out the result prior to pointing at another clue.
6. Any private GM discourse about the game between anyone other than the two spymasters should go through the GM and with GM approval prior to sending it.
7. Moderation of apparently invalid clue: The rules indicate that the offending spymaster should lose their turn and that their opponent will get to choose a free word of their own color to be revealed. The moderator reserves the right to enforce that rule or to use a less harsh version of that rule if it seems more appropriate. A less harsh version could involve only a word reveal or only a loss of turn or a word reveal chosen by the offending spymaster. This may be done to deal with a borderline case.
By 'compound noun' does that mean I could have, in the example you post, 'Fairy tales:2'?

In.
So the axis of belm is in, then.

Sounds ideal.
Cap'n Gingerbeard wrote:
By 'compound noun' does that mean I could have, in the example you post, 'Fairy tales:2'?
Let's say yes, as I think more options here encourage more creativity. Maybe we'll change that in future. You can also play things like:

Quote:
- Acronyms, Abbreviations, Proper Names and Titles (fiction or non-fiction): allowed (as long as they are real and fairly common).
-Examples of acceptable clues: FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, CA, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Monmouth Heights at Manalapan, New York City, Lawrence of Arabia, George Washington, or Han Solo.


If in doubt, ask me via PM.

I've attached the official game rules, which has an FAQ about clue names but I think we should be a bit more liberal for more lulz.
I'll give it a go
I need 1 more player for balanced teams (not that I think it matters much, but my entirely random team generation has put the Axis of Belm on one team so they need all the help they can get.)
Oh I thought you were in. You were already in my list.
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Oh I thought you were in. You were already in my list.


I was deliberately ambiguous.

I do that, on occasion.
Your mum is deliberately unambiguous.
I will be in if there is a second game
Silent Kovacs wrote:
I will be in if there is a second game

It's a party game, I see no reason not to just add people mid-game. I will add you to the current roster.
Quote:
Eight of these words are codenames of spies for the blue team, and seven are for the red team. The aim of the game is for each team to guess all their spy codenames


Mild confusion - do the red team guess the red words, or the blue words?
Cap'n Gingerbeard wrote:
Quote:
Eight of these words are codenames of spies for the blue team, and seven are for the red team. The aim of the game is for each team to guess all their spy codenames


Mild confusion - do the red team guess the red words, or the blue words?

Mild cockup. Red team guess red words. I have (accidentally) flipped the teams around since writing that bit in the rules :facepalm:
I missed this, count me in next time it happens.
Long Joans Silver wrote:
I missed this, count me in next time it happens.
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
It's a party game, I see no reason not to just add people mid-game.
I hope someone got Joans some new glasses for his birthday.
Should we at least sticky the game topic?
DavPaz wrote:
Should we at least sticky the game topic?


Done.
Long Joans Silver wrote:
I missed this, count me in next time it happens.

Added Joans to the Blue team.
DavPaz wrote:
Should we at least sticky the game topic?

We could also put it in the MafiaScum folder, as that's where forum games usually live. Entirely up to the mods/people's preferences.
DavPaz wrote:
Should we at least sticky bomb the game topic?

Done.
Can't promise to be able to post much, but if people don't mind and I can jump in now, i'm happy to join a team and tell my idiotic team members what the answer obviously is each round.
Added you to the red team.
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