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Subject: Recalling the governor of Italia rss

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Curt Sellmer
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We had the following situation arise in our game this evening.

The player who was the current emperor had the following in Italia:
- Governor at 2 support
- An army in the capital
- 2 mob counters

He used 2 blue influence points to recall his governor which was replaced by a neutral governor at 1 influence as it was the only neutral province. The mob counters were removed. He then played 1 blue influence point to place his governor back in Italia which immediately went to level 3 support as he controlled two other provinces.

We couldn't find anything in the rules that prevented this, but it seemed a bit gamey as it allowed him to both remove multiple mob counters and improve the support of Italia simply by spending 3 blue influence points.

Doing this in any other province, would result in only 1 level of support in the province after retaking it. But in Italia is allows you to increase the support.

Was this a valid play?

We thought that perhaps the recall governor action should be prohibited in Italia or that you should not be able to use the place governor action in the same province where you recalled a governor earlier in the same turn.

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Adam Ruzzo
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Oh wow, this is a very interesting exploitation of the rules. I agree that this is too strong a move which makes it kind of boring.

If it's not already disallowed (though I can't think of any rules which prohibit it?) I'd simply add a house rule that you cannot place a governor in a province where you recalled a governor earlier in the same turn.
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Wray Ferrell
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sellmerfud wrote:
We had the following situation arise in our game this evening....


Nice loophole Brad and I are talking. I will update this thread when we are done.
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Ferro Ostil
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Suggestion:

6.3.2 Senate Actions

Recruit Governor (...)

Place Governor
(...)
Each province can only be the target of one Place Governor
action
Senate Action during your turn.
(...)

Recall Governor (...)


quickest fix, if you think a fix is necessary. Of course that sentence should ideally appear right at the beginning of 6.3.2. ideally.
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Dan Poole
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An easy fix would be to disallow placing a governor in a province in which removed a governor during the same turn
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Wray Ferrell
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As a few of you have said, not allowing a Place Governor action in a province you just recalled a Governor from will be the fix. And this does need to be fixed because it means you can always defeat a mob of any size for 4 Blue points (2 to Recall, 2 to Place) which was never the intention. I have updated the clarification/errata which can be accessed from the community wiki.

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Ferro Ostil
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Wray wrote:
As a few of you have said, not allowing a Place Governor action in a province you just recalled a Governor from will be the fix. And this does need to be fixed because it means you can always defeat a mob of any size for 4 Blue points (2 to Recall, 2 to Place) which was never the intention. I have updated the clarification/errata which can be accessed from the community wiki.


Community wiki? Where do I find that? Thanks!
 
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J. R. Tracy
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Wray wrote:
sellmerfud wrote:
We had the following situation arise in our game this evening....


Nice loophole Brad and I are talking. I will update this thread when we are done.


One of our players discovered this and we all agreed it was legit in the rules as written. We all thought it was a deliberate feature that didn't seem out of line thematically - "Citizens! We have heard your demands and have sacked Puppet Number One! Greet your new governor, Puppet Number Two!" The player has to burn some actions to do it so it's not a freebie, but if it is indeed a loophole the suggested patch looks fine.
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Aaron Cinzori
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MGabriel wrote:
Wray wrote:
As a few of you have said, not allowing a Place Governor action in a province you just recalled a Governor from will be the fix. And this does need to be fixed because it means you can always defeat a mob of any size for 4 Blue points (2 to Recall, 2 to Place) which was never the intention. I have updated the clarification/errata which can be accessed from the community wiki.


Community wiki? Where do I find that? Thanks!


Near the bottom of the game's main page here on BGG.
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Wray Ferrell
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jrtracy wrote:
One of our players discovered this and we all agreed it was legit in the rules as written. We all thought it was a deliberate feature that didn't seem out of line thematically - "Citizens! We have heard your demands and have sacked Puppet Number One! Greet your new governor, Puppet Number Two!" The player has to burn some actions to do it so it's not a freebie, but if it is indeed a loophole the suggested patch looks fine.


Thematically sacking one puppet to install another makes sense, but it is the ability to remove a Mob of any size for the cost of 4 Blue that is the problem.
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J. R. Tracy
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Wray wrote:
jrtracy wrote:
One of our players discovered this and we all agreed it was legit in the rules as written. We all thought it was a deliberate feature that didn't seem out of line thematically - "Citizens! We have heard your demands and have sacked Puppet Number One! Greet your new governor, Puppet Number Two!" The player has to burn some actions to do it so it's not a freebie, but if it is indeed a loophole the suggested patch looks fine.


Thematically sacking one puppet to install another makes sense, but it is the ability to remove a Mob of any size for the cost of 4 Blue that is the problem.


Agreed.
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Brad Johnson
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For what it's worth, the half dozen different playtest groups we had looking at this never seemed to recognize this as a viable exploit (or at least never alerted us to it), so frankly it was just missed. However, for all intents and purposes, we essentially played with this rule in effect, since I think most people assumed it; it just didn't get explicitly stated in the rules. Credit to you guys for finding it so fast (and accepting a quick ruling on it.)

For reference, here's the errata from our document:

6.3.1 Place Governor
Replace the first sentence in the section with: "You may replace the Governor of a province by gaining enough votes in the Senate. You may not replace the Governor of province in which you have already performed the Recall Governor action this turn, or that contains a Breakaway or Seat of Power marker."
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Jim C
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tempus42 wrote:
For what it's worth, the half dozen different playtest groups we had looking at this never seemed to recognize this as a viable exploit (or at least never alerted us to it), so frankly it was just missed. However, for all intents and purposes, we essentially played with this rule in effect, since I think most people assumed it; it just didn't get explicitly stated in the rules. Credit to you guys for finding it so fast (and accepting a quick ruling on it.)

For reference, here's the errata from our document:

6.3.1 Place Governor
Replace the first sentence in the section with: "You may replace the Governor of a province by gaining enough votes in the Senate. You may not replace the Governor of province in which you have already performed the Recall Governor action this turn, or that contains a Breakaway or Seat of Power marker."


I'm actually the guilty party that "exploited" this in our game.
The funny thing is, never once did I even consider why you'd want to recall a governor in the first place. Then a light bulb went off and getting rid of the mob was the only thing that came to mind.
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Brad Johnson
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Design note: The sole reason the Recall Governor action was included in the rules was to allow someone who has all their governors placed on the board (or who can't afford a new Governor) a way to still become Emperor (or maybe take over a better province.) Recall an existing governor to place it elsewhere. Wray actually tried to talk me out of even having that rule in the game several times, I think, and I kept convincing him that it was needed at least as an emergency outlet.
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Bill Dyer
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tempus42 wrote:
Design note: The sole reason the Recall Governor action was included in the rules was to allow someone who has all their governors placed on the board (or who can't afford a new Governor) a way to still become Emperor (or maybe take over a better province.) Recall an existing governor to place it elsewhere. Wray actually tried to talk me out of even having that rule in the game several times, I think, and I kept convincing him that it was needed at least as an emergency outlet.


So what you are saying is that it is all your fault.
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Howard Posner
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Mightily impressed with designers who are honest enough to accept the discovery of a minor loophole and fix it without making spurious defences.
Had our first play last night as a 4 player. Got about halfway through but we were learning the rules. Love the game. Was afraid it would lean too much towards Euro and not enough towards theme but we thought it really hit the spot. Everything worked, and there didn't seem to be any imbalance between the various mechanics. It has obviously been thoroughly play tested (despite the loophole discovery.
A couple of questions.One of us almost got wiped out of his only Province in turn 1 by an unlucky event card pull. He survived, but we assumed the even if he had gone he stays in the game because he still has 3 blue influence cards and and can go for another Governorship, even though he can't use his red cards to place any armies or use his yellow cards. Is that right?
Also what would have happened to his surviving army if it did not have a home to go to?
Many thanks,

Howard.
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Brad Johnson
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hposner wrote:
A couple of questions.One of us almost got wiped out of his only Province in turn 1 by an unlucky event card pull. He survived, but we assumed the even if he had gone he stays in the game because he still has 3 blue influence cards and and can go for another Governorship, even though he can't use his red cards to place any armies or use his yellow cards. Is that right?
Also what would have happened to his surviving army if it did not have a home to go to?


Thanks for the kind words.

Parts of your questions I can answer, and part I'd like to hear more about:

First, if you do get unlucky enough to lose your last governor on the board, you are NOT out of the game. You would need to try to get a new governor placed as soon as you could, of course. Any armies you have on the board would be completely unaffected. They don't have "homes" - they're assumed to be camped where ever they are located. Moving your army, if you have one, to help take over a province would be a good idea.

But can you tell me more about exactly what led to a player almost losing his starting province in turn 1? Wray and I really tried hard to make sure that there wasn't a degenerate situation where this would be likely to happen (because it would be no fun for anyone.) What was the event and how did it affect him?

Be aware that if a Rival Emperor or such was placed, it would not reduce support until the end of the governing player's turn, so he'd have a chance to bolster support to keep the province, even if he couldn't fight militarily yet. And he should definitely be grabbing a second province during his first turn, so even if he did lose his starting province, he should still have one on the board.

Also, it's a good idea to learn where the Rival Emperors show up (Gallia, Aegyptus, and Syria), so you can think twice about starting in those provinces if you're risk-averse.
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Howard Posner
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Hi,
The situation arose because of a combination of dice rolls at the start of the game. The player going 3rd chose Aegyptus as his starting province. The first player random evented Zenobia into Egypt as a rival Emperor. The 2nd player Crisised a Nomad activation and then rolled a black 1/white 4 so he marched into Egypt.
It was now 3rd player's turn. If he did not have 2 Populace cards in his hand (to up his support to 2)and had gone for 3 military and 2 Senate he was in trouble. One of the Rival Emperor or active barbarian must survive even if he beefs up the army and attacks so he will drop down to 0 support and lose the Province(I know he ony loses 1 support even if both are there but it doesn't matter as he only has 1 to lose). Then he is sweating on his 2 Senate cards making a play for another province and not rolling a 1 (assuming they don't roll 6s). As it turned out he had 2 Populace cards, upped his support and survived.
Were we right that he could have lost his only province on turn 1, and that anyone who started in a Province with a potential rival Emperor could face the same grief with suitably insane dice rolls by the others?

thanks,
Howard.
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Wray Ferrell
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hposner wrote:
The situation arose because of a combination of dice rolls at the start of the game. The player going 3rd chose Aegyptus as his starting province. The first player random evented Zenobia into Egypt as a rival Emperor. The 2nd player Crisised a Nomad activation and then rolled a black 1/white 4 so he marched into Egypt.


Wow, what a perfect storm of events. Brad could calculate the odds of the top of his head, but that has got to be less than 1 in 1000.


Quote:
Then he is sweating on his 2 Senate cards making a play for another province and not rolling a 1 (assuming they don't roll 6s).


If you don't mind some more clarification. With 2 Senate cards he would have to spent 1 Blue point to buy his 1 point Governor leaving only 1 Blue point left to take a province. To do so he would need to roll a 6 on the die (assuming he is going after a neutral province). Remember you need support level times two in votes to replace the Governor. Also during a Place Governor attempt the targeted party does not roll dice.


Quote:
Were we right that he could have lost his only province on turn 1, and that anyone who started in a Province with a potential rival Emperor could face the same grief with suitably insane dice rolls by the others?


The only reason you would lose the province is due to support loss. The Rival Emperors don't attack and co-exist peacefully with any barbarians. They only roll dice when defending themselves in battle.
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Adam Ruzzo
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That's a good reason to always put 3 blue in your first hand. It guarantees you can take over a neutral province.
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Howard Posner
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You speak true. We forgot the need to buy a spare Governor before you can make a political play. You would really need all 3 initial Senate cards to have a decent chance of taking over another province, and even that is not a guarantee.
Is there an optimal 1st turn card pick? At the moment we don't think so, which is a good thing. Three Senate for the 2nd province and either 2 populace for the support gain or 2 military to add another Legion to the army looks a healthy bet, but 3 populace/2 military for an early limes and a 2nd army could also set things up nicely.

Thanks for a brilliant game,

Howard
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Tom Cannon
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hposner wrote:
You would really need all 3 initial Senate cards to have a decent chance of taking over another province, and even that is not a guarantee.

3 senate actions does guarantee replacing a neutral governor on turn 1 since you received a +1 to each die result for neutrals. 1 action to recruit the first senator and 2 actions for 2 votes to replace a neutral governor. After that it gets more interesting ...

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