Nathan Morse
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1. First off, the way I read the card, I may… do all that stuff …or I may play it for absolutely no effect (blank action card), possibly triggering Conspirator. Strange, but it seems pretty clear to me. Is this correct?

Now to the point. I've played Prince, opted to set it aside.

2. If I don't have any Action cards in hand to set aside with it, what happens to Prince?

I've set aside an Action card with Prince. My turn starts.

3. Must I play the Action? There's no "may" there, so I suspect that's a yes (which leads to quick regrets when the Action starts with "Trash").

4. If I fail to set the Action aside again at discard time, what happens to Prince? From the lack of explanation, I infer that it just sits there, set aside for all eternity, impotent; however, that seems a terrible fate for a card that costs 8, especially in that it could happen on the first go.

This next one is absolutely not addressed by the text:

5. If I forget to play the Action on Prince at the start of my turn, what happens? "It just stays there until next turn" gives me a loophole around #2 above. "Do it when you remember it" only makes sense on your own turn, and creates more loopholes than the previous options. I can't think of anything else that isn't so far-flung from the card text as to be ludicrous.

6. The it in "Stop playing it", I presume, refers to the Action set aside with Prince. Is this correct?

Thanks!
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Tim Mierz
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Re: Please clarify: mandatory play, mistakes, appositive
You may set this aside. If you do, set aside an Action card from your hand costing up to 4. At the start of each of your turns, play that Action, setting it aside again when you discard it from play. (Stop playing it if you fail to set it aside on a turn you play it).

I am not official, but the answers seem to be:

1. Correct, you can play this for no effect.

2. You do as much as you can, then stop. You set Prince aside, and you try to set aside an Action but can't. So Prince just stays set aside for eternity, uselessly. (This also happens if you, say, play a self-trashing card like Treasure Map with Prince. It triggers once, is trashed and not discarded, and so Prince is just off there, sulking on his own.)

3. If you play Prince and set aside an action, it must be played every turn.

4. If you can't set aside the card after playing it (like the Treasure Map example above), then Prince is infinitely impotent.

5. Rules can't cover a case where you don't follow the rules, whether intentional or not. One might as well ask, "What if I accidentally buy a Province for 6 coins instead of 8?" or "What if my opponent sneaks a Curse into my deck when I'm not looking?"

6. The "it" refers to the non-Prince action.
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Nathan Morse
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Re: Please clarify: mandatory play, mistakes, appositive
Heh heh, I agree with everything you say there, Tim, except #5. This case is not analogous to your examples, although there is some overlap. This is a recurring effect in a high-speed game, in which players are chomping at the bit to play their cards on their turns — not necessarily policing each other closely. I think it's a pretty legitimate question. I wasn't asking the question as a criticism. I really want to know what happens. First game with this card, the majority of these questions actually came up.

Sure, early enough in your turn, you could just rewind and correct the mistake. The nasty, can-of-worms-opening situation that made us realize we had no good ideas to address #5 here was that one player had Trader on Prince, while another had Pawn. Each forgot to trigger the effect of Prince at the start of a turn. The latter missed out on some "free stuff". The former may have missed out on a nice conversion, or may have inadvertently avoided trashing something valuable. I think we just decided to leave the card on there, such that it would trigger again next time, because that seemed congruent with the "do as much as you can" philosophy.

Anyway, if anyone has any ideas for #5 — or better yet, knows the intent — please pipe up! Tim's answers to the other five are congruent with my suspicions and assertions.

Thanks, Tim!
 
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Chris Schumann
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Re: Please clarify: mandatory play, mistakes, appositive
Trader cannot be played as a Reaction while set aside with Prince. It must be revealed from your hand, not anywhere else.

ETA: But boy having that in play forces you to trash a card every turn. That could be nasty.
 
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Nathan Morse
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Re: Please clarify: mandatory play, mistakes, appositive
Correct and correct.
 
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Chris Schumann
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Re: Please clarify: mandatory play, mistakes, appositive
Covering irregularities (what happens when someone breaks the rules) is a practice I've only seen done where money or prestige is on the line: gambling and tournaments. Most board games do not cover them.

What do you currently do if someone cleans up a Duration card prematurely? or fails to clean it up? You do the best you can while maintaining some harmony.

There does not have to be any intent from the designer on what should happen if rules get broken (but there could be).
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Jeff Wolfe
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Re: Please clarify: mandatory play, mistakes, appositive
Interesting questions.

Prince doesn't have an anti-cheating provision to prevent you from invoking #2 even if you have Actions in your hand. If you want to uselessly set aside Prince, I guess we have to believe you. In a tournament, presumably you have anti-cheating rules to handle Throne Room and such, so you could use them if someone for some obscure reason wants to use Prince in this way. Obviously, you wouldn't want to do it in normal play. Usually, if you play Prince at all with no actions you just do nothing.

For #5, there are already cases where you can forget to do stuff that you're supposed to do in Dominion. For example, you can discard Duration cards that you're supposed to leave out. You pretty much have to house rule how to deal with them. I guess it's more hazardous with Prince because you could "forget" to play that trashing action when you don't have anything you want to trash. Perhaps one of your opponents could helpfully remind you. Unless you genuinely forgot, and then maybe they don't want to remind you because they're more interested in winning than making sure you play strictly by the rules. Man, who knew Dominion could be such a political game?
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Donald X.
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Re: Please clarify: mandatory play, mistakes, appositive
zefquaavius wrote:
Heh heh, I agree with everything you say there, Tim, except #5. This case is not analogous to your examples, although there is some overlap. This is a recurring effect in a high-speed game, in which players are chomping at the bit to play their cards on their turns — not necessarily policing each other closely. I think it's a pretty legitimate question. I wasn't asking the question as a criticism. I really want to know what happens. First game with this card, the majority of these questions actually came up.

There are games with rules covering misdeals and so on; it's not unprecedented. Dominion has no such rules though.

What I personally do depends on the situation. If it's easy to rewind, probably we rewind. If it's hard and the player who made the mistake is losing out, probably they suck it up. If it's hard and the player who made the mistake is making out, maybe there's some obvious compensation.

Normally someone put a card on Prince because they actually wanted to endlessly play it, and normally they aren't trying to cheat by not playing it; so, if they forget to play it, in a game with me, they would tend to just miss out on that play, and would play it next time on schedule. If the card were say "gain a silver" then maybe we would give them the silver right then. Pawn and Trader involve decisions and are generally too hard to rewind for. If they realized at end of turn that they missed Trader and had an Estate in that hand and hadn't done things that added information not present at start of turn then I'd let them trash it.

None of that is rules for Dominion though; do whatever your group likes to do in these situations. Try to establish a basic plan that can be used in game after game, that's my advice.
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Nathan Morse
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Thanks, Donald! Yes, I think that's the catch with Prince: Depending on how well-thought-out and/or risky your plan was, you could regret failing to trigger it (as with other cards that you might need to rewind upon error), but you also could be relieved by the error. This duality is what led me to bother asking the question.

Thanks, everyone, for chiming in!
 
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Robert Crawford
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donaldx wrote:
If it's hard and the player who made the mistake is making out, maybe there's some obvious compensation.


Maybe he wouldn't have forgotten to play his card if he weren't distracted by making out...
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