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Subject: Special battle cards - order of play rss

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How important is it to play the special battle cards in order?

The rules say that the pillaging player has the choice of playing or passing FIRST. But that destroys the flow of the battle, in my opinion. You then have to wait for a verbal confirmation. What if some other player plays a special battle card first? Would it really matter who played first, as long as everybody got the chance to react with their own special battle cards if they want to?

We were playing it like that the last 6 games but recently I looked through the rules and was surprised that they put priority on the pillaging player. What could be the reason for that?
 
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Joel Schuster
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Bretten
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Bluffing.

I am the pillaging player and throw a high card into battle. I have an additional card at hand but I am not sure whether it is worth to play it on top. I pass to see what you do. You play another card on top.

I can now decide what is better for me, win the battle and lose both good cards, or let you win and lose your two cards. Additionally, if I let you win, you will not know I have that additional card to play.

So, I think it might not really be an advantage to go first, but order of play MAY matter in some situations.
 
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arry -
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The reasons, I imagine, would be Order and Risk.

Order means that the game always specifies who has the right to act, and when it's time to move on to the next step.

Risk means that if the first player wants to bluff playing the increase (to pass and wait for some other player to play it, then play one himself), but everybody passes, he loses the chance to play the card.

By the way, they are the same considerations as for the Call to Battle rule, as the flow of these two phases are identical. Bear in mind, though, that the rule about Call to Battle was reversedclarified in a ruling (it doesn't stop when everybody passes in succession, but goes around and around until a nebulous point where "nobody else wants to join"), so if the same applied to the Play Special Cards step, then the Risk part would be removed from consideration, and it wouldn't matter who has the right to play first, bringing Order down along.

In practice, though, here's how we play: we see who can benefit from the special card at the moment and wait whether he would play it: it's implied that everybody passed to him. If the pillager and another player would benefit equally (say, when it's a tie), then the pillager has the first word. The rules ensure that everybody would have a chance to respond anyway. The fine points of rules, like confirmation of passing, are there not so much for casual play as for special cases: resolving rules disputes, online play, tournament play, and satisfying rules pedants.

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A Frag
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We simply just defer to whomever is behind. "I'm winning, are you playing any Heimdall cards?"... More intuitive, far less robotic. It just happens naturally.
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