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Subject: Alchemist Power Conversion During Action rss

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Sam
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Hypothetically, if you are playing as the alchemists and you have built your stronghold, can you dig, convert power to a worker or coin, and then build a dwelling on your turn. I was recently informed in another thread that this is against the rules. However, I am unconvinced by the arguments and authority cited to support that claim. I have read numerous threads on this, and just wish to have a definitive answer.

According to the rules, "Anytime during your turn, on top of your Action, you may do any number of Conversions." Then down at the bottom of the box in a "Details" section, it states "On your turn, you may do any number of Conversions before or after your Action." Emphasis in original.

The rules state very clearly that you are allowed to make conversions "anytime during your turn." The above situation is very clearly sometime during your turn. But in something of a footnote, the rules also state that you may do conversions before or after your action. This implies that you cannot do conversions at other times, including during your action. This implication conflicts with the plain meaning of the earlier enunciation of the rule. Consequently, the rules are ambiguous as to whether you can do conversions "anytime" during your turn, or only "before and after."

The rules do not appear to contemplate this situation. If they had, one of the two sentences would have been phrased differently so that they were consistent. Alternatively, the rules would have contained an explicit statement about such a situation. With this in mind, I read the original formulation, "anytime during your turn," as the rule, and the subsequent statement merely references the times during your turn that the creator thought you might want to do a conversion. Both of these sentences are phrased permissively, announcing what you may do. The fact that the creator hadn't considered other times during your turn that you might want to convert, does not necessarily mean that the rules prohibit conversions during such times, so long as the conversion is made "during your turn".

On the other hand, a few experienced players in other threads routinely state that you cannot make such conversions. They cite to this post by the individual responsible for translating the rules as resolving this issue: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/10937712#10937712. However, his entire argument is premised on a misquote of the rules. As an aside, I don't think the translator's opinion of what the rules mean is more persuasive than anyone else's, unless the translator is conveying information received directly from one of the game's creators/developers or is clarifying an ambiguity that does not exist in the original language.

Regardless, if you look at the thread, an earlier poster quotes the rulebook with the language "before or after" in bold. Then, the translator points to that emphasis as resolving the issue. However, that emphasis is not in the rules (not in English or the original German). If it were, I would agree that the issue was clearly contemplated and resolved. But, that sentence only emphasises "on your turn" and "any number." So, I don't think that post answers the question.

I'm looking to resolve this issue soon, because I currently have a game in round 6, where I am the alchemists and the administrator, and the distinction may affect my final actions. I realise that the website permits such an action, but I do not want to violate the rule. Again, as I read them the rules do permit the above action.
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Matthias Reitberger
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For me it's very clear, both sentences are in a context.
First there is a general rule that power conversions are on top of your action and you can do any number of them in your turn.
Then in the details it further specifies that this is before or after your action. You should read those two sentences together and not as different statements, the second further details it which clearly is needed.
Anytime without the details could also be interpreted as after each dig when doing a 3 dig or after each could advance when taking tw5.
An action and all effects are stated at happening at the same time, see discussions about taking fav5 to construct a town and advancing to step 10 of red cult even if you didn't have a key before your turn.
I would interpret dig+build in the same way. There isn't any time between digging and building.
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Sam
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You're the primary experienced player I was referencing, and I've heard your arguments, and I still do not agree. I am reading the two sentences in context. As I read it the "Details" section was included not to impose additional restrictions on the rule, but to clarify an already stated rule. That sentence highlights the "on your turn" and "any number" language, emphasizing when and how many conversions you can make: any number of them on your turn.

What's more both sentences are permissive. You have the first sentence that expressly permits a set of actions. Then you have the second sentence that gives permission for a subset of those actions. There is no language or context indicating that the second sentence was intended to narrow the scope of the first sentence. It is not phrased "only before or after" nor is the "before or after" language emphasised.

I think it is actually you who are reading these two sentences out of context. If the first one did not exist, then you would have permission from the rules to make conversions before or after your action. But the first sentence gave us permission to convert anytime during our turn. You are reading a negative implication from a permissive rule as overriding previously given permission to do something.

On your examples Matthias, even read my way, you certainly could not convert between cult advancements on tw5. Those happen simultaneously, and so there is no time between them to convert. The other two are more debatable. But I suspect that they would be allowed.
 
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Loon
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harq wrote:
On your examples Matthias, yes I would say that you could convert between digs as the alchemists. On the tw5 example you give, those cult advancements happen simultaneously and automatically, so there wouldn't be any time to make a conversion between them.


I don't know what the correct ruling should be, but in your example, don't the digs happen simultaneously also? If it were three separate digs, what would keep you from digging back and forth between two colors? I would think it's a single transformation from red to black (or whatever) and doesn't actually pass through the other colors.
 
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Sam
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jsnmthw wrote:
harq wrote:
On your examples Matthias, yes I would say that you could convert between digs as the alchemists. On the tw5 example you give, those cult advancements happen simultaneously and automatically, so there wouldn't be any time to make a conversion between them.


I don't know what the correct ruling should be, but in your example, don't the digs happen simultaneously also? If it were three separate digs, what would keep you from digging back and forth between two colors? I would think it's a single transformation from red to black (or whatever) and doesn't actually pass through the other colors.


It's a single transformation that costs X spades. But you generate those spades by some combination of a special/power action and workers converted to spades. Those all seem to happen in advance of the actual transformation, and could be ordered.
 
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Sam
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1869 wrote:
An action and all effects are stated at happening at the same time.


Where does it say this? because that might resolve the issue very cleanly.
 
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Robert
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Everything resulting from your action happens "simultaneously" (source). No time to insert a direct conversion.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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harq wrote:

On the other hand, a few experienced players in other threads routinely state that you cannot make such conversions. They cite to this post by the individual responsible for translating the rules as resolving this issue: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/10937712#10937712. However, his entire argument is premised on a misquote of the rules. As an aside, I don't think the translator's opinion of what the rules mean is more persuasive than anyone else's, unless the translator is conveying information received directly from one of the game's creators/developers or is clarifying an ambiguity that does not exist in the original language.


You should take a look at the thumbs of the article you quote, one of them is from Horologiom the designer of TM.
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Sam
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Thank you. That information does resolve the ambiguity. If all parts of actions occur simultaneously there is no time during the action to convert. If this argument had been made earlier, I would have accepted it. I was merely unconvinced by dubious logic based on a misquote of the rules.

Edit: this post was in reference to DocCool's post.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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I don't think the designer would thumb a misquote.
 
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Sam
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That doesn't change the fact that it is.
 
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Nigel Misson
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I believe Snellman lets you do this irrespective of how you interpret the rules.
Given that they day before or after, but not explicitly "during", your action I'd agree that you should not be able to do this.
So Anytime is not really any time....
 
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