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Subject: Question on the Fountain, Action Choice, and Smuggler/Governor rss

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Benjamin Brewster
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Hi all, this is my first question on BGG, though I've lurked here for years! I've searched and searched for the answer to this extreme corner case, so I thought I'd finally just ask it here.

I have a question about the Fountain. Imagine this scenario: my merchant, with no assistants, lands on the Fountain, which has all four other player's merchants, the smuggler, and the governor on it. If I choose NOT to take the Fountain's action, can I use the smuggler and/or the governor?

I see that my turn doesn't end as per the rules about the first step of my turn, since the Fountain is the sole exception to landing on a space with no assistants.

For step 2, I see that I don't have to pay any of the other merchants, since this is one of the powers of the Fountain.

For step 3, here I choose to NOT take the action of the Fountain. Normally, you would, and this is how you would gain your assistants back, but let's pretend I have exactly the right setup of assistants, and don't want to mess them up.

For step 4, do I get to use the smugglers and/or governor? On any other space, the answer would be no, because my turn would have ended way back in step 1, as I didn't either drop off an assistant or pick one up at the fountain.

So what's the right call? Can I use merchant and/or governor on the Fountain if I make it to step 4 on the Fountain without any assistants?
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Rich A
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Stonesand wrote:
Hi all, this is my first question on BGG, though I've lurked here for years! I've searched and searched for the answer to this extreme corner case, so I thought I'd finally just ask it here.

I have a question about the Fountain. Imagine this scenario: my merchant, with no assistants, lands on the Fountain, which has all four other player's merchants, the smuggler, and the governor on it. If I choose NOT to take the Fountain's action, can I use the smuggler and/or the governor?

I see that my turn doesn't end as per the rules about the first step of my turn, since the Fountain is the sole exception to landing on a space with no assistants.

For step 2, I see that I don't have to pay any of the other merchants, since this is one of the powers of the Fountain.

For step 3, here I choose to NOT take the action of the Fountain. Normally, you would, and this is how you would gain your assistants back, but let's pretend I have exactly the right setup of assistants, and don't want to mess them up.

For step 4, do I get to use the smugglers and/or governor? On any other space, the answer would be no, because my turn would have ended way back in step 1, as I didn't either drop off an assistant or pick one up at the fountain.

So what's the right call? Can I use merchant and/or governor on the Fountain if I make it to step 4 on the Fountain without any assistants?


Yes you can use them. The rules say that if your turn does not end in steps 1 or 2 then you can go through to step 4. It also says the Fountain is the exception to ending your turn in Step 1 by having no assistants. Then as you point out, Step 2 is not applicable to the Fountain. So since your turn doesn't end you can do Step 4.
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Inky Bloc
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I think the answer is, you do take the action. Since you can return any number of your own assistants to your merchant, that number can be zero. So you did the Fountain action, even if it had no effect, and now you can use the Smuggler or Governor.
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Benjamin Brewster
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Excellent, thanks!
 
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Christopher Corrigan
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Thank you for for your hypothetical case law study. I have long considered that "rules lawyers" are not bad folks who are parsing simply to technically win via semantic loop hole, but they are additionally just playing on their own fascination with language and narrow almost symbolic logic.
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Clive Jones

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(Note that rules p4 says you "may" carry out the action the Target Place provides, so you clearly don't have to do the action if you don't want to, anyway.)

inkybloc wrote:
Since you can return any number of your own assistants to your merchant, that number can be zero.

Hmm. While I do like that thinking, I'm tempted then to contemplate returning -100 of my assistants, so that I end up with a hundred anti-assistants stacked at the Fountain and a convenient stash of spare assistants in every other Place. (-8<
 
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