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Dominion: Empires» Forums » Rules

Subject: Overlord as a crown in Buy Phase? rss

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Roger Wood

Ohio
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I was playing a scenario with Crown and Overlord. Can Overlord serve as a Crown in the Buy Phase? I was reading Overlord card, with it's abilities as the chosen card throughout the turn and I interpret Crown as an action you can play in the Buy Phase, so it seems like this could be used to play a treasure twice. But since Crown is also an action/treasure, I wasn't sure if Overlord will still apply to this card.
 
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Clive Jones

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Strictly speaking the answer is that yes, if you play Overlord in the Buy Phase, it can be a Crown.

However, in your Buy Phase you can only play Treasures, and Overlord is not a Treasure.
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Roger Wood

Ohio
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So in other words, there is not a way to "activate" the Overlord ability to be a Crown Treasure, holding it in your hand until the Buy Phase, as strictly speaking, it is an action card (and you can't play actions in the Buy phase)? So thus, Overlord could only utilize the Crown's abilities in the action phase.

So does the action nature of Crown stop as one enters the Buy Phase and then it only functions as a Treasure?
 
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David desJardins
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woodra wrote:
So does the action nature of Crown stop as one enters the Buy Phase and then it only functions as a Treasure?


Crown always is an Action and a Treasure. You can play it as either. Usually, in the Buy phase, you can only play Treasures, so if you are playing Crown in the Buy phase then you are playing it as a Treasure. But, if you had some weird ability that let you play Actions in the Buy phase, then that would apply to Crown as an Action just as to any other Action.
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Clive Jones

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I used to think of cards as playable "as an action", or "as a treasure"; I think a lot of people did.

But Crown has demonstrated that we were wrong.

It turns out that cards have an effect when played; there's no such thing as playing as an action or as a treasure. In the action phase, you can play cards which are actions; in the buy phase, you can play cards which are treasures.

Crown's effect is distinguished by which phase you're in, not how it is played. This gives rise to (for me) counterintuitive effects like it causing an action to be played twice if you play Crown to Black Market or Storyteller, even though you're playing treasures. It also means that if you use Crown in your buy phase to play a treasure twice, you can call Royal Carriage because Crown is an action and you've just resolved it.


The practical upshot of that is pretty subtle. But it does mean that if anything ever allowed you to play an action in the buy phase, you could choose Crown to play, but you wouldn't be playing it "as an action", and it would play a treasure twice, not an action.
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David desJardins
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clivej wrote:
I used to think of cards as playable "as an action", or "as a treasure"; I think a lot of people did.

But Crown has demonstrated that we were wrong.


No, that seems exactly right. You can play Crown as an Action or you can play it as a Treasure. It happens to have the same effect when played as an Action as if played as a Treasure, but you're still playing it as one or the other (e.g., if you play it as an Action, it decreases your available Actions by 1, but not if you play it as a Treasure). Crown could say that it does one thing if played as an Action and something different if played as a Treasure; it doesn't happen to say that but that doesn't rule out the possibility of cards that would.
 
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Clive Jones

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DaviddesJ wrote:
Crown could say that it does one thing if played as an Action and something different if played as a Treasure

As I say, I get the very strong impression Donald X. doesn't recognise the notion of "playing as an action" or "playing as a treasure", which is why Crown was worded the way it was.

He replied to me here, then LastFootnote added this in the same vein.
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David desJardins
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clivej wrote:
As I say, I get the very strong impression Donald X. doesn't recognise the notion of "playing as an action" or "playing as a treasure", which is why Crown was worded the way it was.


Suppose you have some effect that lets you play Treasures during the Action phase. Can you play Crown "as a Treasure", without decreasing your number of available Actions? I would have thought so, but perhaps the answer is supposed to be no.

It seems more complicated this way than if you could just play it as an Action, or as a Treasure, with different effects.
 
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Matt E
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DaviddesJ wrote:
clivej wrote:
As I say, I get the very strong impression Donald X. doesn't recognise the notion of "playing as an action" or "playing as a treasure", which is why Crown was worded the way it was.


Suppose you have some effect that lets you play Treasures during the Action phase. Can you play Crown "as a Treasure", without decreasing your number of available Actions? I would have thought so, but perhaps the answer is supposed to be no.

It seems more complicated this way than if you could just play it as an Action, or as a Treasure, with different effects.


If an ability lets you play Treasure cards during your Action phase (as Black Market and Storyteller do), you don't have to spend Actions to play them, even if those cards are also Actions.

If an ability lets you play Action cards during your Action phase (as Throne Room, King's Court, Golem, and Herald do), you also don't have to spend Actions to play them.

Where's the confusion here?
 
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Clive Jones

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LastFootnote wrote:
Where's the confusion here?

Personally, I'm no longer confused, but from my software-engineering object-oriented-leaning mindset I still find Crown's implementation counter-intuitive and inelegant.

The bit that feels wrong to me is: play Black Market or Storyteller, allowing you to play a Treasure during your Action phase; choose Crown; Crown has its Action phase effect.

If there was a way to play an Action during the Buy phase, what happened if you chose Crown then would similarly feel wrong.

I would have expected Crown to be more like:
Quote:
When you play this as an Action, you may play an Action from your hand twice.
----
When you play this as a Treasure, you may play a Treasure from your hand twice.

...which makes sense to me, as someone who had previously always thought of playing as an Action and playing as a Treasure as different "triggers" for a card.
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Matt E
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clivej wrote:
LastFootnote wrote:
Where's the confusion here?

Personally, I'm no longer confused, but from my software-engineering object-oriented-leaning mindset I still find Crown's implementation counter-intuitive and inelegant.

The bit that feels wrong to me is: play Black Market or Storyteller, allowing you to play a Treasure during your Action phase; choose Crown; Crown has its Action phase effect.

If there was a way to play an Action during the Buy phase, what happened if you chose Crown then would similarly feel wrong.

I would have expected Crown to be more like:
Quote:
When you play this as an Action, you may play an Action from your hand twice.
----
When you play this as a Treasure, you may play a Treasure from your hand twice.

...which makes sense to me, as someone who had previously always thought of playing as an Action and playing as a Treasure as different "triggers" for a card.


Here's a hypothetical card that is perfectly legal by Dominion rules:

PlayACard: Action, $?
You may play an Action or Treasure card from your hand.

Bam, you play a card. You're not playing it "as" an Action or "as" a Treasure; you don't declare it. Your suggested version of Crown is ambiguous in this (again hypothetical but perfectly reasonable) case. But Crown-as-printed has well-defined effects in this and all other hypothetical cases. Even in some surreal hypothetical case where you were in your Action phase and your Buy phase at the same time, Crown would still have an unambiguous effect (you may play an Action card from your hand twice, then you may play a Treasure from your hand twice).

From an object-oriented standpoint, a card can have an effect when played. There are not separate methods for actionAbility and treasureAbility, it's just playAbility.
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Donald X.
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Here's how I see it.

You have the ability to play an Action card in your Action phase. Some cards give you +Actions, which gives you more uses of this ability for that turn. Making use of this ability uses up one use of it. Playing Action cards other ways does not.

Crown is always an Action and a Treasure (it's Dominion so any absolute statement probably eventually has exceptions). When you play Crown, you're not "playing it as an Action." You are however either making use of your ability to play Actions in your Action phase, or not.
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Confusing Manifestation
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clivej wrote:
Personally, I'm no longer confused, but from my software-engineering object-oriented-leaning mindset I still find Crown's implementation counter-intuitive and inelegant.

Does it help to think like this (pardon the horrible pseudocode)?

Crown inherits both the Action and Treasure archetypes. During the Action phase, when you try to play a card, it checks the property isActionCard, and if it's true, then it calls the function whenPlayedEffect. Crown's effect has a check:

if (isActionPhase)
c = choose(type = Action, location = hand)
play(c)
play(c)
elseif (isBuyPhase)
c = choose(type = Treasure, location = hand)
play(c)
play(c)
endif


By comparison, cards that are just Action cards or just Treasure cards have no such check in their whenPlayedEffect function. So you can have cards like Storyteller that include calls to choose(type = Treasure, location = hand) that can then play Crown (because it returns true on isTreasureCard), but then when Crown is played it confirms that it's currently the Action phase and so the first part of its conditional is activated, rather than the second.
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Clive Jones

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LastFootnote wrote:
Here's a hypothetical card that is perfectly legal by Dominion rules:

PlayACard: Action, $?
You may play an Action or Treasure card from your hand.

Now, if you'd shown me that card before Empires, my thought would have been "that's fine, but it'll run into trouble if there's ever an Action-Treasure (not that there ever will be)".

But now I know Donald X. and the playtesters see how cards get played differently from how I did. It's interesting that it took Crown to show up a discrepancy which feels like it ought to have been a major issue somewhat sooner!
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Maarten Robinson
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Villa might be interesting in this context ... Taking you back to action from buy phase
 
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