My opponent was playing the Soviets and and played the 5 year plan as his last action for the Ops points which meant that I got the "advantage" of him randomly discarding one card which had to be his last card (which in normal circumstances he would have hold onto until the next turn.) He had engineered his hand so that this last card was a scoring card and hence this scoring card was discarded without triggering the event. My question is whether this is legitimate? There is a logic that argues by playing Five Year Plan as his last action then by definition he must have "held" the scoring card which is not permissable.
I believe I've read elsewhere that a player CAN'T discard a held scoring card as part of the "Eagle/Bear has landed " ability on the Space Race and this seems similiar.
The FAQ specifically addresses this question. # 5 Five Year Plan
Q. Is it permissible for the USSR player to play (on his last action phase) the Five year Plan knowing that he will be forced to discard the sole remaining card in his hand which is a scoring card.
A. It is illegal to hold a scoring card. A player may use the Five Year Plan in order to force himself to discard a scoring card. This would be especially smart if the card would a score a region where the player is not well-represented.
It's quite legal and smart play really. If you follow the steps of a turn the check for a scoring card is after this discard occurs. The space race track specifically disallows discarding scoring cards as it would break the game to allow it. Half the cards would never get scored and anyway the space race mechanic has no correlation to events as such so I do not see it as similar at all.
I've done it myself and it's great to watch the American player seethe. :D
That's what I love about this game. It's about finding those combinations that just seem like bastardizations of the rules, but in fact that is the game. It's politics at it's finest.
The other day my opponent suddenly realised that although she held 4 cards and her VP track was fine she was guaranteed to lose the game. She simply hadn't spotted it as a danger before it was too late (nor would I have) It was great fun when she suddenly declared 'In about 10 minutes the world will end, please put on your seat belts and prepare to die'
The reason it works is that a card isn't 'held' until after all the action rounds in a turn are completed as the USSR you could even hold onto a scoring card that would auto-lose you the game anyway in the (probably vain) hope that the US will finish the turn with a card that makes you discard it (pretty risky, but if you were going to lose anyway!).