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Subject: Can a card with a deploy troops effect be played if the troops can not be deployed? rss

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Michael Weber
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There are a few cards that specifically ask players to deploy troops (rather than given them granting POWER with which troops may be placed.

Example:

The Elemental card "Water element"'s text reads:

"Deploy two troops Conquest Focus -> Draw a card"

Now, what happens if a player cannot deploy two troops because of him being encircled. Can he still play this card for the conquest focus effect or does he have to discard it at the end of the round as he cannot follow the card's instructions?

 
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Chris Ruf
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Mixo wrote:
There are a few cards that specifically ask players to deploy troops (rather than given them granting POWER with which troops may be placed.

Example:

The Elemental card "Water element"'s text reads:

"Deploy two troops Conquest Focus -> Draw a card"

Now, what happens if a player cannot deploy two troops because of him being encircled. Can he still play this card for the conquest focus effect or does he have to discard it at the end of the round as he cannot follow the card's instructions?



Can't quote the rules right now, but if you take the deploy troop action and you have no troops left to deploy, you earn 1vp per troop that can't be deployed.
 
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Chris Ruf
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I misread your post. You are saying that you can't place because their are no legal or open spots, right?

I don't recall any rule that says you can't play a card if you can't take the action. I believe you do as much on the card as you can in the order it is wtitten.
 
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Michael Weber
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Right I was refering to no valid location for the troops to be placed on.

I do not have the rules in front of me right now, but I remember that somewhere in the rules it was stated that the card text has to be followed which would indicate that the card can not be played if you cannot follow its text.

EDIT: Here is the rule I was referring to:

pg 9, section "Playing cards"

"To play a card (..) Follow all the card's instructions in the order they are presented."

and especially

"Note that unlike following the instruction of other card text, paying the cost of an ability is optional"

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Gary Masters
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If you can't perform actions that aren't listed as optional then you can't play the card.

So in your example, if you're physically unable to place two troops then you can't play the card to use the focus action.

Some abilities on cards feature text along the lines of "you may choose to" before an action. You would be able to play cards without performing those actions. There wouldn't be any point in having this text on some actions if you could choose to ignore any actions that you couldn't / didn't want to perform.
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Michael Weber
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I certainly agree with your logic regarding not be able to voluntariy ignore/ partially fulfill a card's instruction. The case is not as clear though when you want to follow the instructions, but can't due to the board's state.
 
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Chris Ruf
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Gazbowski wrote:
If you can't perform actions that aren't listed as optional then you can't play the card.

So in your example, if you're physically unable to place two troops then you can't play the card to use the focus action.

Some abilities on cards feature text along the lines of "you may choose to" before an action. You would be able to play cards without performing those actions. There wouldn't be any point in having this text on some actions if you could choose to ignore any actions that you couldn't / didn't want to perform.


It's not an issue of ignoring an ability. It's when you can't because of the game state. I couldn't find in the rules where it said you can't play a card if you can't do the action in whole or in part.

Drawing from other sources as an example: In Ascension, if a card says to defeat a monster of cost 3 or less, but there are not any, you can still play the card. It just won't do anything.

In Magic, if a card says each player sacrifices a creature, but one or all players don't have any, you can still play the card. It just won't do anything.

I bring these two examples up because Tyrants is designed by people that I would assume have experience with both games.

Edit: fixed a word
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Anthony Rubbo
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Gazbowski wrote:
If you can't perform actions that aren't listed as optional then you can't play the card.


Have you a quote or reference for this?
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Andrew Stingel
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The card in question is defined in the Quick Reference on the back of the rules as an "Ability With Cost".

The text on the left side of the arrow is a "cost", which can be paid to get the effect described on the right side of the arrow.

"Paying the cost is optional; if you choose to play the card and not pay the cost, the ability does nothing, but you still follow the instructions of the card's other abilities."
 
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Chris Ruf
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freelunch wrote:
The card in question is defined in the Quick Reference on the back of the rules as an "Ability With Cost".

The text on the left side of the arrow is a "cost", which can be paid to get the effect described on the right side of the arrow.

"Paying the cost is optional; if you choose to play the card and not pay the cost, the ability does nothing, but you still follow the instructions of the card's other abilities."


The card reads:

Deploy 2 troops.
Conquest focus -> Draw a card.

The question has to do with the first line of text when it can't be done due to the state of the board.
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Michael Weber
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Legend5555 wrote:
freelunch wrote:
The card in question is defined in the Quick Reference on the back of the rules as an "Ability With Cost".

The text on the left side of the arrow is a "cost", which can be paid to get the effect described on the right side of the arrow.

"Paying the cost is optional; if you choose to play the card and not pay the cost, the ability does nothing, but you still follow the instructions of the card's other abilities."


The card reads:

Deploy 2 troops.
Conquest focus -> Draw a card.

The question has to do with the first line of text when it can't be done due to the state of the board.


+1 plus, as I stated in my initial post, this is not about ONE card, but there are a few cards that say "deploy x troops"
 
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Fuante Momiage
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I am not a rules lawyer but I think you have to lose out on the Deploy 2 Troops part because the board state denies you that action but you would be able to do the Focus part of the card.

From the rule book:

Focus

The Elemental half-deck features the Focus keyword ability. Whenever you play a card with Focus, if you played another card of that card’s aspect this turn or if you reveal a card of that aspect from your hand, you get the Focus effect described after the dash.


Now if the card read Deploy 2 Troops -> Draw a card, well you would be unable to pay the cost and that card is now taking up space in your deck until the board state changes.
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Chris Ruf
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Fuante wrote:
I am not a rules lawyer but I think you have to lose out on the Deploy 2 Troops part because the board state denies you that action but you would be able to do the Focus part of the card.

From the rule book:

Focus

The Elemental half-deck features the Focus keyword ability. Whenever you play a card with Focus, if you played another card of that card’s aspect this turn or if you reveal a card of that aspect from your hand, you get the Focus effect described after the dash.


Now if the card read Deploy 2 Troops -> Draw a card, well you would be unable to pay the cost and that card is now taking up space in your deck until the board state changes.


I think you misunderstand what has been asked. Or you didn't read all the posts.

The question was, "Can you play a card from your hand if you CAN'T perform the action on the card?"

We have already established that "optional" efects with "->" don't matter in this case since they are optional.

Let's simplify this. Let's say the card simply says: Deploy 2 troops. You have 15 troops left, but you can't place any troops on the board because all legal adjacent spaces are already filled and you don't have any power in your resource pool to use to assassinate. Can you sill play the card?

See some of my above posts for why my answer is "yes."
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Tahsin Shamma
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My opinion would be that you can't use the effect because you can't play the troops. My guess would be that this is intended to allow players to shut down cards that have these effects.

Just my 2c.
 
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Chris Ruf
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veector wrote:
My opinion would be that you can't use the effect because you can't play the troops. My guess would be that this is intended to allow players to shut down cards that have these effects.

Just my 2c.


Obviously you can't use the effect. But can you still play the card? This matters for cards that still have a Focus ability.

Again read my previous post that references Ascension and Magic to see what I mean.
 
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Fuante Momiage
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Yup, totally misunderstood you're question. But may have discovered the answer. Does this help?


"Playing Cards
To play a card, lay it on the table face up in front of you. Follow all the card’s instructions in the order they’re presented..."

Then:

"Special Abilities
Most cards simply grant resources or tell you to take an action described in the “Actions” section on page 11."

I.e Deploy Troops.

Then a little further down under Abilities With Costs:

"Note that unlike following the instructions of other card text, paying the cost of an ability is optional."

To me that means that following the text on the card must be done in order to be played (if you can't do it, you can't play it). Only using a Special Ability or Focus Ability are optional, unless of course the card specifically states otherwise.
 
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Chris Ruf
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Fuante wrote:
Yup, totally misunderstood you're question. But may have discovered the answer. Does this help?


"Playing Cards
To play a card, lay it on the table face up in front of you. Follow all the card’s instructions in the order they’re presented..."

Then:

"Special Abilities
Most cards simply grant resources or tell you to take an action described in the “Actions” section on page 11."

I.e Deploy Troops.

Then a little further down under Abilities With Costs:

"Note that unlike following the instructions of other card text, paying the cost of an ability is optional."

To me that means that following the text on the card must be done in order to be played (if you can't do it, you can't play it). Only using a Special Ability or Focus Ability are optional, unless of course the card specifically states otherwise.


It doesn't say that you have to be able to take the actions listed on the card to play it. It says play the card THEN take the actions listed on it. Again, I referenced how Ascension and Magic handle this. Even in Dominion you can play cards if you can't do the action. Example: playing a With when there are no curses left. You just execute as much of the card as you can.

The last rules line starting with "unlike" to me just implies that actions that don't have an arrow aren't optional. So if you CAN do them, you must. But I don't see any see why you wouldn't be able to play a card because you can't do the actions. Playing the card and executing its instructions are two separate things.
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Fuante Momiage
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Then why have the choice to reveal a card in your hand to gain the focus ability? Especially since you're discarding your entire hand at the end of your turn. Why not just play your entire hand and do whatever you are able? Unless there's a reason you can't play a card and it's "stuck" in your hand.


The rules could use an errata/faq for sure. But until then, house rule and adjust if necessary later.
 
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Chris Ruf
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Fuante wrote:
Then why have the choice to reveal a card in your hand to gain the focus ability? Especially since you're discarding your entire hand at the end of your turn. Why not just play your entire hand and do whatever you are able? Unless there's a reason you can't play a card and it's "stuck" in your hand.


The rules could use an errata/faq for sure. But until then, house rule and adjust if necessary later.


The reveal rule still makes sense because the order in which you play cards matters. If you have two focus cards you might need/want to play one before the other. You have to resolve each card in full (or as much as you can) as you play it.

Maybe my experience with card games and deck builders is different, but I can't remember one that said you couldn't play a card if you couldn't do everything on the card.

It is such an edge case that card would get "stranded" in someone's hand that the extra rules overhead seems silly. Can I play it if I can still do some of the actions on the card? Does it have to be all of the actions? What if I can place 1 troop but not 2? It's easier to just say do as much of what is written on the card as possible. That covers all scenarios.
 
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Fuante Momiage
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You're right about the focus reveal rule. That is its intended use. But I think revealing a card can be used in the manner I implied as well. There's a number of ways that you could end up with a card stuck in your hand due to you being unable to follow its instructions.

OP's original question is a pretty good scenario (and a brilliant bit of playing by the opponent if you ask me) for not being able to play a card because you couldn't follow the first line of the instructions.

Also, place a spy but not having one to place and assassinate or supplant a white troop when they've all been removed already are some other situations. Probably time to start promoting those junk cards.

And "do as much of what is written on the card as possible" is exactly what I said in my first response. You are denied deploying 2 troops but get to use the focus ability. But then your response made me read the rules closer and now I feel my original answer is incorrect.

The only time you have an option about resolving any of the text on a card is when it's paying the cost of a special ability. Why the direct call out saying this is the case twice in the rules? Once as I quoted above under the Special Ability rules and once in the Quick Reference section on the last page of the book under Ability with Costs. Both say you may choose not to pay the cost of the special ability followed by an arrow, foregoing the use of that ability, but you still follow the instructions of the cards other abilities.

Per the Playing a Card rules, for you to play a card you have to follow the instructions in the order they're presented starting with the first sentence and going down. So if you can't follow the first sentence, you can't continue. Think of it like following the instructions to make mac n cheese. First instruction, boil water. Gotta do it, no choice. Second instruction, add pasta, gotta do it no choice. Etc, etc. Add butter or margarine (optional). Don't gotta do it, your choice. You couldn't get to the optional part of the instructions until you've followed the preceding instructions.

That means if a card has two instructions neither of which is an Special Ability option choice, you still have to follow the instructions. You don't get to choose. If you can follow the first instruction but not the second, it's not playable this round. If you can't follow them both, it's not a card you can use at the moment. There's also temptation cards, ones where you get a strong effect but take an insane outcast into your hand or have to promote the top card of your deck and risk losing a really powerful card to play with. You can't play the card, get the powerful effect and then choose not to do the negative text, it has to be followed. If you don't want the bad then you are stuck with that card in your hand until you discard it at the end of your turn. You could of course reveal it in order to use a focus ability. Finally, there's cards that have Choose One or You May wording, those are the exceptions to the rule of not following all the instructions.

If you could pick ala carte what you can, don't or do want to follow, the text would be called suggestions and not instructions.

So, ok, I can't play a card because I can't follow all of the text instructions, either because of the board state or lack of resources or because there's no card that costs 4 or less in the market, etc. Now what? Well I do want to use a card that has a focus ability using the same aspect as the unplayable card. Thankfully, there's a rule that allows me to reveal a card in my hand to focus. I should probably promote this junk card the first chance I get otherwise it's just gonna end up as clutter in my deck. Or maybe I'll try to build a deck that uses that particular focus aspect. Lots of options and subtle strategic tweaks to be adapted. It's part of why I love this game.

I also very much look forward to resoundingly being proven incorrect by errata. I love the taste of crow. Mmm just like mama used to make.

Tl;dr: Just house rule the game until you and your friends find it fun and balanced. It's the best answer to most boardgame rules questions.

 
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Gary Masters
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Having had a few days to think about this, and also having played another game of it having a market deck made up of the Elemental and Demon decks, I've now completely changed my mind on this subject.

A lot of this is to do with a card that had two effects on them

- Assassinate a troop
- Gain a Malice card from the market without paying it's cost

(apologies if the wording is slightly wrong, but that is pretty much what was on the card.)

Now at this point there were no Malice cards in the market, which would mean that by my original thoughts a player would not be able to play this card at all. That does sound harsh though, and if it is the case makes this card nowhere near as useful as it first appears to be.

Similarly if there had been no troops available to be assassinated but three valid Malice cards to take from the market, it would seem incredibly harsh that a player would not be able to play this card.

Having looked through the deck at various other cards it's become apparent that the game would be incredibly clunky if people were not able to play cards because the game state didn't allow them to.

Imagine not being able to play cards that do something good for you before telling you to give Insane Outcast cards to other players, just because there weren't any Insane Outcast cards available. That would suck.

Therefore we've house ruled it for now (pending some kind of official ruling from WotC or GF9) that if you *can* do what the card says, then you must, but if you can't perform every instruction on the card (due to troop placement, not having the right cards, etc.) then you can still play the card to take advantage of the parts of the card that you're able to do.

TLDR: in answer to the original question, yes it can - until we're told otherwise
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Mixo wrote:
There are a few cards that specifically ask players to deploy troops (rather than given them granting POWER with which troops may be placed.

Example:

The Elemental card "Water element"'s text reads:

"Deploy two troops Conquest Focus -> Draw a card"

Now, what happens if a player cannot deploy two troops because of him being encircled. Can he still play this card for the conquest focus effect or does he have to discard it at the end of the round as he cannot follow the card's instructions?



First: you can always play a card. There is no rule anywhere in the rulebook that forbids you from playing a card, ever.

If you do, you have to follow all the instructions on the card. It goes:

Deploy 2 troops.

So you HAVE TO deploy 2 troops. Not optional. You try to do as much as possible. If you have two troops and only two valid spots, you have to put them there, no exception, even if you don't like those spots. If you have only one troop, you deploy it then per the rules you get 1 VP when you try to deploy the second one and there's a valid spot but you have no troops in your reserve. (The question of whether you'd get a VP if there was no second spot available is a bit more murky, I would expect not, but maybe a designer can chime in?) If there are no spots available, you attempt to deploy but nothing happens.

Then the next instruction is a cost so is optional. If you decide to show a Conquest card in hand or that was played previously, you draw a card.

That means yes, you can play the card even if there is no room for deployment, and if you get the Focus you get to draw your card even if you didn't get to deploy any troops because you have no valid spots.
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Michael Weber
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Lots of different perspectives on the given situation. I just hope the designer/publisher chimes in here and clarifies this case.
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Tahsin Shamma
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Mixo wrote:
There are a few cards that specifically ask players to deploy troops (rather than given them granting POWER with which troops may be placed.

Example:

The Elemental card "Water element"'s text reads:

"Deploy two troops Conquest Focus -> Draw a card"

Now, what happens if a player cannot deploy two troops because of him being encircled. Can he still play this card for the conquest focus effect or does he have to discard it at the end of the round as he cannot follow the card's instructions?



I've gone back over the rules again on this. The rules say nothing about a card having any requirements in order to play it. Abilities have costs/requirements but the card does not.

In other words, play the card and follow as many of the instructions on the card. If the instruction is a cost, it's optional to use the ability. If it's not a cost and it can be completed, I would say that as much of the instruction as can be completed must be completed (deploying only 2 troops instead of 4 because that's all you have left or that's all the spaces you have presence with).

Sorry for the earlier confusion.
 
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Jason Monroe
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Been awhile since anyone commented on this topic and was wondering if it was clarified somewhere else?
I haven't been able to find the FAQ on the website
 
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