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Subject: What prevents Alchemy from looping with itself? rss

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Marco Nurmi
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The way I see it, I could use Alchemy to get all of my cubes out of the bag during one turn? Surely I'm missing something here?

The rules and FAQ say that when I remove a cube to add a cube, I have to put the new cube where the removed cube was. It is also stated (FAQ) that
technologies that have had cubes removed, can be activated again.

So according to this, I can activate Alchemy with a blue cube, draw a cube from the bag, remove the blue cube from Alchemy and replace it with a new cube, which activates Alchemy again --> repeat until bag is empty.
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Tom Cannon
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We have been playing that technologies can only be activated once a turn or once a reset. Thus, you can activate it again but not in the same turn.

I don't know what the official ruling is, but this interpretation helps to keep the game moving as well.
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James Mathias
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TheGuul wrote:
The way I see it, I could use Alchemy to get all of my cubes out of the bag during one turn? Surely I'm missing something here?

The rules and FAQ say that when I remove a cube to add a cube, I have to put the new cube where the removed cube was. It is also stated (FAQ) that
technologies that have had cubes removed, can be activated again.

So according to this, I can activate Alchemy with a blue cube, draw a cube from the bag, remove the blue cube from Alchemy and replace it with a new cube, which activates Alchemy again --> repeat until bag is empty.


Alchemy allows you to draw one cube, then you may discard any visible cube on your unused cube pile, or on your basic or advanced technologies, to gain a new cube of any color (except gray) from the supply.

The new cube is placed on the same space that you removed the cube from, when you place this cube you do not activate the technology again.

Think of it as changing the color of one of your visible cubes, not as removing then adding a cube to a technology.

Your loop doesn't work, as when you remove the blue cube from Alchemy to gain a new cube, you put the new cube onto Alchemy and block it from being reactivated later, as it will not activate when you place the replacement cube.

I hope that helps.
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Simon Blome
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When I asked one of the designers at Essen about those exchanging cubes effects, he told me that you can reactivate technologies immediately if you choose to exchange a cube with a cube of the same color. So in the case of Alchemy 'exchanging' blue for blue would reactivate the technology (leading to a cascade of cubes if you wish), which seems odd.
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James Mathias
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BenOni wrote:
When I asked one of the designers at Essen about those exchanging cubes effects, he told me that you can reactivate technologies immediately if you choose to exchange a cube with a cube of the same color. So in the case of Alchemy 'exchanging' blue for blue would reactivate the technology (leading to a cascade of cubes if you wish), which seems odd.


That doesn't sound quite right to me. I'm sure Andrea or Maurizio will drop by and give us an official ruling. But in general, they have been ruling against anything that causes/allows infinite loops.

In the case of Alchemy, trading a blue cube for a blue cube has a finite end. You are drawing 1 cube per loop, but not putting anything in your bag, and you are not gaining any new cubes for points, because you are looping the same 2 blue cubes to get extra draws.

Once you empty your bag, the move is no longer useful, except to stall the game.

Potentially drawing your entire bag every turn, is broken, so I assume this loop if currently legal will be patched.
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Simon Blome
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jmathias wrote:
Potentially drawing your entire bag every turn, is broken, so I assume this loop if currently legal will be patched.

That's the issue. I think that erasing a cube to get the same color on the exact same spot is a bit gamey anyway. I don't think it's intended that way. Also thematically, Alchemy should change your materials/resources.
 
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Giovanni Intini
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Hello everyone, I asked Maurizio to jump in the thread and he'll give you the super official version of it, but basically there is no loop here.

There are two type of effects that "kill cubes", the ones like Alchemy that turn a cube into another color, and the ones like Corruption, that get rid of it for good.

When you get rid of a cube, i.e. corruption, if that cube you got rid of was on a technology you can reactivate that technology with another cube.

When a cube gets traded for another cube, i.e. alchemy, it takes the place of the previous cube, and the technology can't be activated again, since it's like if the original cube never left it anyway.
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Andrea Chiarvesio
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jmathias wrote:

Alchemy allows you to draw one cube, then you may discard any visible cube on your unused cube pile, or on your basic or advanced technologies, to gain a new cube of any color (except gray) from the supply.

The new cube is placed on the same space that you removed the cube from, when you place this cube you do not activate the technology again.

Think of it as changing the color of one of your visible cubes, not as removing then adding a cube to a technology.


Correct.

While if you "remove" or "regenerate" (this latter being putting a cube back in the bag) you are actually making the technology activable again, when you "swap" you are changing the color of the cube (think to it as if painting the cube in a different color), not removing it and replacing it with a new one.

I do agree that the graphic icons are not that crystal clear on that regard, however.
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Maurizio Vergendo
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Hi all and thanks for asking questions about Hyperborea!
Giovanni already explained it correct but let me go deeper in it:

as specified at pag 13 of the rulebook: "in the case a player removes a cube to gain a different cube, this new cube is positioned in place of the removed cube".
So when you activate alchemy you are simply changing the color of one cube, you are not generating a cube inside your bag.
This change of color do not triggers that tecnology again so basically if you are activating alchemy changing blue for blue you are simply drawing one cube from your bag (and you are allowed to do it).

If you are removing a cube instead with technology effetcs (like corruption or technical improvements) or ruins you are allowed to remove a cube from one technology and reactivate it with one of your avaiable cubes.
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Simon Blome
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Thanks guys!
I found the answer I got at SPIEL a bit odd myself. But it was probably due to a misunderstanding.
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Marco Nurmi
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Okay! Thanks for all the answers!
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Davide Paris
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ziomauri wrote:
Hi all and thanks for asking questions about Hyperborea!
Giovanni already explained it correct but let me go deeper in it:

as specified at pag 13 of the rulebook: "in the case a player removes a cube to gain a different cube, this new cube is positioned in place of the removed cube"
So when you activate alchemy you are simply changing the color of one cube, you are not generating a cube inside your bag.
This change of color do not triggers that tecnology again so basically if you are activating alchemy changing blue for blue you are simply drawing one cube from your bag (and you are allowed to do it).

If you are removing a cube instead with technology effetcs (like corruption or technical improvements) or ruins you are allowed to remove a cube from one technology and reactivate it with one of your avaiable cubes.


Wait wait wait. Sorry Maurizio Vergendo, I have thought to have understood the question but your last words confused me.

The rulebook says: "in the case a player removes a cube to gain a different cube, this new cube is positioned in place of the removed cube". We can find this effect in some silver ruins (in particular we can discard a grey cube to abtain a colored one) and in two advanced technology cards (Alchemy and Technical improvements).

Alchemy.
We pick a cube from our bag and if we want, we can decide to discard a colored cube to obtain a new colored one. Basically, we have two effects: the 1st one is free, while the 2nd one, optional, requires the sacrifice of one of the ours visible colored cube to obtain the benefit.
All correct?

Technical improvements.
We discard a grey cube to obtain a new colored one.
All correct?

Now, if all is correct, the big question is: Does the new cube activate the technology again? And, reading the FAQ (posted below), the answer is: NO. Why? Because we have to interpret it as a cube swap, nothing else.

--------------------
If an effect makes me remove one cube from a technology (Advanced or Base) which was previously completed,
can this technology be activated again?

Yes. This mechanic is also valid for effects that restore cubes (ex. Black Market) or for effects that eliminate cubes from
the board/cards (ex. Corruption).
It is not applicable to effects that eliminate cubes in order to generate other cubes (for example Alchemy): in such case
the generated cube replaces the eliminated cube in the very same activation space, as it is in all aspects nothing but a
“cube swap”.

--------------------

My problem is I'm very confused about this your affirmation.

"If you are removing a cube instead with technology effetcs (like corruption or technical improvements) or ruins you are allowed to remove a cube from one technology and reactivate it with one of your avaiable cubes."

Why?!

I'm agree for tech like Corruption where we ONLY discard a cube but I'm not agree for the silver ruins and for "Technical improvements". Is it not the same situation of Alchemy? We are again in the case "discard a cube to obtain a new one", so in theory, following the FAQ, we should simply swap the cubes, not activating the tech a 2nd time.

Sorry for my english. Thanks in advance.
 
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Levi Hobbs
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jmathias wrote:
Alchemy allows you to draw one cube, then you may discard any visible cube on your unused cube pile, or on your basic or advanced technologies, to gain a new cube of any color (except gray) from the supply.


Just wanted to highlight the word then and point out that you do not have to carry out the effects in this order.

"Every effect generated by an action (mandatory or op- tional) must be spent during the player’s turn, before their end-of-turn phase. Effects can be accumulated and can be spent in the order chosen by the player."

This does not change the fact that Alchemy is not an infinite loop, but I just wanted to point it out so that others are not misled.
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