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Subject: Diplomats and Duplicates rss

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Justin Chay
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Poll
Can a player use the diplomat to swap a building with Player B, such that Player B ends up with a city having two of the same building (i.e. 2 churches in Player B's city)?
Yes
No
Unsure
      18 answers
Poll created by Mythdracon


My friend and I had a dispute about whether a diplomat could swap out one of his buildings with another player's, with the end result that the victim of the swap would have two identical buildings (two churches, for example). He was playing as the Diplomat, and argued that he could indeed swap out one of his buildings for mine such that my city would have 2 churches after the swap. I argued that was clearly not the intent of the "no duplicates rule" and that Boardgamegeek.com had expressly said his suggested move was illegal.

This is a question that was asked before:http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/595412/diplomat-and-two-othe...

FAQ to which those who replied to that thread referred: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/406296/the-faq-to-end-all-fa...

In pertinent part, the FAQ states:

Quote:
Diplomat
--Can Diplomat force another player to receive a duplicate building (without having a Quarry)?
no
--Can Diplomat exchange for a duplicate building (without having a Quarry)?
no
Source of FAQ answer as to this question: http://www.faidutti.com/index.php?Module=mesjeux&id=328&fich...

In pertinent part, it states:

Quote:
Q: Can a player build two or more identical districts (same name and illustration)?
A: In my game, no. You can build a district that is already in someone else's city, but you cannot build the same district that is already in your city. This minor rule has been forgotten in Frank Branham's english translation, and therefore in the german game. Nobody lacked it, though, and I discovered this four monthes after the game was published. This means that this rule is not critical, though I like it since it makes the magician a bit more necessary.

Quote:
Q: Can you have two identical districts in your city through use of the Diplomat?
A: No.
My friend believes that the FAQ does not actually cite to any authority from Bruno Faidutti's answer. Faidutti does not specifically say "You may not swap buildings such that your victim ends up with a city that has 2 buildings that are the same" (i.e. two churches in the victim's city).

My friend instead interprets "Can you have two identical districts in your city through use of the Diplomat?" to mean "Can I, the person who played the Diplomat, create two identical districts in my city by using the Diplomat." Thoughts? Who is right, and who is wrong?

(Below is the entire conversation my friend and I about this rule. You need not read it, but you might get a clearer picture of the situation if you did. It features legal citations.)

Quote:

A: I was right abt the duplicate buildings, just confirmed with boardgamegeek.com forums, it's in the thread titled "The FAQ to end all FAQs" and there are a lot of other interesting rules situations there too. At this time I'd like to exercise my right to say "I told you so."
It's in the Citadels game forums specifically

B: They're wrong, rules say "build" and "your city." The authority they cite doesn't support that construction of the rules, in fact the game dev supplies his own rule of construction — that the no duplicates rule "isn't critical" and therefore should be narrowly construed. (I would have just dropped this if you hadn't been smug )

A: The authority they cite is the game designer. That ends the discussion in my favor. You have no actual authorities favoring your interp other than yourself. Whereas the authority I cite is the "FAQ to end all FAQs" and widely agreed to be authoritative. Rebuttal, counsel?

B: They cite the game designer for a proposition that isn't supported by the game designer's answer. The designer's responses supplement my interpretation. Much like we might defer to an agency's interpretation based on their expertise, such deference is not owed when they have not correctly interpreted the facts in front of them. See State Farm.

Board Game Geek's interpretation fails Hard Look review and is therefore arbitrary and capricious. Its interpretation does not carry any weight.

A: How is the proposition not supported by the game designer's answer? Present the original Italian and the pertinent translation please.

It's not arbitrary or capricious either. Clearly the intent of the "no duplicates" rule was to make the Wizard and other purple buildings special, and prevent the abusive possibility of the Diplomat making a church, switching it with an opponents building to create 2 churches, then building another church from his hand to repeat, thus devaluing card draws and making the Diplomat overpowered.

A: I am not disputing that a player who plays the Diplomat cannot perform a swap that results in the PLAYER WHO PLAYED THE DIPLOMAT having duplicates.

Rather, I'm disputing that there is nothing in the rules that prevents the PLAYER WHO IS BEING SWAPPED WITH from having duplicates at the end of the transaction.

A: I realize that. So where's your Italian translation supporting your assertion that the game designer was cited for a proposition he did not make as to diplomats and duplicates?

To clarify, the abusive possibility I talk about involves a diplomat switching HIS church with another player's building, causing that person to have two churches, then building another church in HIS area to switch out again. The diplomat has been able to use two church cards and build them when the no duplicates rule was clearly intended to make players value card draws, as duplicates are ordinarily worthless and create strategic obstacles for which other roles like the wizard were intended to combat. Think along the lines of game balance rather than "the base game rules don't explicitly say no, therefore I shall take that as affirmative proof that I MAY do that, even without citing any actual evidence."

I should also add that you argued for your interpretation at a time when successfully switching out your church to create duplicates in my area would have sped you along to victory.

Your move was per se contrary to the clear intent of the no duplicates rule, especially as switching out YOUR building for mine functionally builds a new building in my area that was not there before
A new building that becomes a duplicate

B: You can't argue that my interpretation is lessened because it would have benefited me. You have the exact same conflict of interest.

wrote:
Q: Can you have two identical districts in your city through use of the Diplomat?
A: No.
It says "your city."

Also you are presuming the purpose of rules without evidence. Your interpretation of purpose as a litigant, without citation, holds no more weight than mine, and my interpretation about the no duplicates rule being narrowly construed is supported by a citation to mandatory authority. (IE the words "Build" and "Your City" meaning what they say rather than what you decide they mean)

Quote:
Think along the lines of game balance rather than "the base game rules don't explicitly say no, therefore I shall take that as affirmative proof that I MAY do that, even without citing any actual evidence"

Yes, it's called textualism and it is currently the prevailing statutory interpretation method at the United States Supreme Court.

A:
Quote:
"Diplomat
--Can Diplomat force another player to receive a duplicate building (without having a Quarry)?
no"

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/406296/the-faq-to-end-all-fa...
Link to official FAQ included

B: I know that is what I was talking about

A: So that entire argument you put up there is irrelevant

B: no its not. That is exactly what I was talking about. It is citing to the FAQ for a prospect that the FAQ doesn't support

A: It says exactly that. Let's look at what Faidutti, the designer, says:

Quote:
Q: Can a player build two or more identical districts (same name and illustration)?
A: In my game, no. You can build a district that is already in someone else's city, but you cannot build the same district that is already in your city. This minor rule has been forgotten in Frank Branham's english translation, and therefore in the german game. Nobody lacked it, though, and I discovered this four monthes after the game was published. This means that this rule is not critical, though I like it since it makes the magician a bit more necessary.
What that means is that if someone else has a church, you can build a church in your own city. But you cannot functionally build two or more identical districts, period. Swapping is the same as building, functionally.
 
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Mike
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I wasn't even aware of the rule that you can't have two of the same until you pointed it out...
 
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brian
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You can't have two of the same building. Whether you build them or swap them. Unless something else specifically says you can.

Your friend is rules lawyering and is wrong.
 
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brian
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Also, I am not sure how he can argue the "your city" part because no matter who you are talking to, it is "your city." It doesn't matter if you played the diplomat or someone else. You can NOT have two of the same building. Quite explicit.
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Justin Chay
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That's what I thought. My friend's argument hinges on the meaning of "your" and I think that slight (i.e. almost nonexistent) ambiguity shouldn't be grounds for him to argue that the diplomat can cause a victim to have duplicates when duplicates are barred in every single other situation not involving a Wizard or a particular special purple building.

I need more voices to chime in though, in case this is not enough to convince him that he is wrong (and trust me when I say it takes a lot to get him to concede that he is wrong). [I wish Bruno Faidutti would drop in, if only to say that you cannot have duplicates. But that's unlikely to happen.]

 
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brian
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Mythdracon wrote:
[I wish Bruno Faidutti would drop in, if only to say that you cannot have duplicates. But that's unlikely to happen.]

Maybe not. Try geekmailing him.
 
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bruno faidutti
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I've not played with th Diplomat for years, but I would rule that you can't.
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DaviD Muñoz
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Nosotros llevamos mucho tiempo jugando a este juego y aplicamos la regla de no tener 2 distritos en una misma ciudad aunque sea el Diplomatico el que cambia la carta.

Hay una carta especial de color violeta donde su texto menciona que si podemos tener distritos del mismo nombre (esta es la unica excepción)
 
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Justin Chay
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Thank you all. The matter is resolved.
 
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