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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Rules

Subject: Negative Immediate Effects rss

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Adam Carter
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On the player board, only the Credits Production track allows you to go negative. It was explained to us at GenCon that immediate effects from a card that would drop a track to or below zero cap at zero and can never go negative, hence only the credits track having negative spaces. But can I still play a card that asks me to lower a value that is already at zero?

For example, the rule book has several example cards that have an immediate effect that is negative balanced by one positive (Cupola City causes energy to go down 1 to increase 3 Credit Production). If my energy track was at zero before playing that card, am I still allowed to play it? We had one player who was able to play a bunch of cards that lowered energy for other effects which had really no drawback since he was already at 0, and stayed that way for multiple generations really capitalizing on that effect.

The rule book was really vague about whether that's OK, and we allowed it since we couldn't find anything against it. Is that the way it works, or do you have to be able to absorb the negative immediate effect to be able to play the card?
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David Etherton
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Carlsbad
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Based on the rules and exceptions in the first column of page 9, I'd say it was illegal play because he wasn't paying part of the cost. "Removes resources for any player" seems different from paying a cost to me.

But of course I'd wait for one of the Fryxelius brothers to chime in for an official response.

-Dave
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Thomas Leitner
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Madison
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You cannot play a card if you cannot pay its cost. If you are required to reduce income for one resource and that reduction would cause you to go below zero, the card cannot be played.

The only exception I can think of is when the effect of a played card is to affect another player. You may choose to enact all, part, or none of that effect.
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Isaac Fryxelius
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Short answer: No, you cannot play a card that lower production below zero (or below -5 for MC).

Page 9 (and page 7) in the rulebook says that you must fulfil the requirement and be able to perform the effects, and there are only 3 exceptions to this: You may play a card that
1. raises global parameters that have already reached their goal (you do not get TR for that)
2. adds resources that you can’t collect (for example adding microbe resources without having any microbe project to place them on).
3. removes resources for any player (red-bordered resource icons) if you can’t or do not wish to.
All other effects must be performed, or you can not play the card.

Also (page 15):
A card effect that reduces production for any player (red-bordered production of a resource) must be performed, so if your opponent doesn’t have that production, then you must lower your own production or not play the card at all.
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Adam Carter
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Thanks. That's kind of what I was thinking, but glad to have it confirmed.
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Matt Smith
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The way I try to remember it is:
- Resource production reduction is mandatory, red-bordered or not.
- Red-bordered resource reduction is optional.
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Enoch Fryxelius
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Isaac Fryxelius wrote:
Short answer: No, you cannot play a card that lower production below zero (or below -5 for MC).

Page 9 (and page 7) in the rulebook says that you must fulfil the requirement and be able to perform the effects, and there are only 3 exceptions to this: You may play a card that
1. raises global parameters that have already reached their goal (you do not get TR for that)
2. adds resources that you can’t collect (for example adding microbe resources without having any microbe project to place them on).
3. removes resources for any player (red-bordered resource icons) if you can’t or do not wish to.
All other effects must be performed, or you can not play the card.

Also (page 15):
A card effect that reduces production for any player (red-bordered production of a resource) must be performed, so if your opponent doesn’t have that production, then you must lower your own production or not play the card at all.


This is important, both for the game mechanics and thematic.

If you do not have the energy production to support a city, for example, then of course you cannot build that city card!! If you do not have the plant production to feed your livestock, for example, then of course you cannot play that card either! It would be very strange if it would suddenly become an advantage NOT to have the required resources or production!

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Enoch Fryxelius
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mvettemagred wrote:
The way I try to remember it is:
- Resource production reduction is mandatory, red-bordered or not.
- Red-bordered resource reduction is optional.


Very good summery!

Basically, all effects of a card needs to be performed. The exception is that you can still smash asteroids and comets to the surface even if you cannot find any plants to land them on.
 
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