I was playing with an opponent who would often 'take back' or 'adjust' moves.

In general I'm OK with this if:

  • The player is new to the game
  • It is a minor tweak on a part of the board that doesn't effect me directly (e.g. changing your mind on what planets to exhaust to pay for units)

The problem is that this player doesn't satisfy either of my criteria, because:

  • The player actually owns the copy of that we're playing
  • The 'take backs' involve changing how many units to commit to battle after that combat has been resolved

During the game I expressed my displeasure, which was heard by the table. It's the only time I've seen a player be eliminated from the game. Obviously the player didn't like this, so 2 of the 6 players didn't have a great time.

So, my question is how can I encourage a 'no take backsies' policy in the game?


2 Answers 2


You need, however annoying it may seem, to formalize a policy that deals not only with minor 'take back' adjustments, but with mistakes that were not noticed at the time. Before the next game, ask the group for a rule on which everyone can agree.

Some possibilities are:

  • No changes after the dice have been rolled (for any reason). This has the advantages that it is clear, and if you forgot to take an action before you rolled the dice, you have nobody to blame but yourself. It has the disadvantage that the sort of player you describe may well miscount the numbers in a combat (accidentally or otherwise), announce the wrong odds, and roll the dice before anyone has a chance to object; does the result stand?
  • To avoid this (and other results of haste), no changes after the next player has rolled the dice. Even this is vulnerable to cheats (see The Bum's Rush in Monopoly), but it gives a reasonable period for checking.
  • Any changes you like, any time during your turn. It sounds as if you would hate this; but if you put it forward as a possibility, saying "That's what we were playing last time", the player in question may realize that other people can do it to him, so perhaps it's not such a good idea.
  • Whatever other players suggest in your particular game, including extra leeway for new players. Since this is a house rule, there is no 'correct' solution; but apparently two of you were playing by different house rules, so the table needs to agree. I would strongly advise against "a reasonable time" since that will be open to interpretation, and both sides of the argument will think the other is trying to cheat. Even "Five minutes after the action" is unlikely to work except in one of those games with an eggtimer or chess clock running at all times.

Sadly, there is no perfect solution.

The previous answer addresses a specific attempt for the scenario of say combat. But you really should have standing policies for your game group as a whole and always be willing to tweak it as necessary. This may cause some issues within your gaming group, as has even caused some a member of mine to leave the group. while this was upsetting at the time, the gaming experience going forward has been much improved.

TL;DR In Conclusion, have an agreed upon policy that the whole group agrees upon and stick to it.