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Subject: Exchange Commodities requires Freight Train rss

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David desJardins
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Suppose I have no Freight Train in my shipyard, but I have $6. Can I spend $6 for a bonus action which is Purchase Commodities, then select Exchange Commodities to trade in the card I just bought?

The strict reading of the rules seems to be "no". On page 7, under "Exchange Commodities", it reads, "If you have no Freight Train cards, you cannot choose this action." And, at the time you choose actions (step 2), you have no freight train.

But is that the intent? Or is it enough that you are able to perform the action, because you're going to buy a freight train before you have to perform it.
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Alan Goodrich
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I thought you could only buy extra actions after you take the main one.
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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There's no requirement to be able to execute the bonus action at the time you are on the action step. And on page 5, it specifically says your bonus action can come before or after your regular action. "It is not possible to use guilders gained from your bonus action to help pay for itself, but it is possible to use guilders gainer from your required action to pay for your bonus action, if your bonus action is performed second.". This should also apply to freight trains, in my assessment.
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David desJardins
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cayluster wrote:
I thought you could only buy extra actions after you take the main one.


Well, that's certainly not true. Page 5: "You may perform your bonus action either before or after your required action." I did get that right.
 
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David desJardins
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jschlickbernd wrote:
There's no requirement to be able to execute the bonus action at the time you are on the action step. And on page 5, it specifically says your bonus action can come before or after your regular action. "It is not possible to use guilders gained from your bonus action to help pay for itself, but it is possible to use guilders gainer from your required action to pay for your bonus action, if your bonus action is performed second.". This should also apply to freight trains, in my assessment.


I don't understand whether you are saying yes or no to my question.

I quoted the rule that says you cannot choose the Exchange Commodities action (Choose Action is step 2 of the turn sequence) if you don't have a freight train. Do you think this is a mistake in the rules?
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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DaviddesJ wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
There's no requirement to be able to execute the bonus action at the time you are on the action step. And on page 5, it specifically says your bonus action can come before or after your regular action. "It is not possible to use guilders gained from your bonus action to help pay for itself, but it is possible to use guilders gainer from your required action to pay for your bonus action, if your bonus action is performed second.". This should also apply to freight trains, in my assessment.


I don't understand whether you are saying yes or no to my question.

I quoted the rule that says you cannot choose the Exchange Commodities action (Choose Action is step 2 of the turn sequence) if you don't have a freight train. Do you think this is a mistake in the rules?


You can do Purchase Commodities and then Exchange Commodities, just like you can take the money action (in a four player game) and then use that money to get a bonus action. You could not choose the Exchange Commodities and then the Purchase Commodities, but I don't know why you would do it that way.
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Suppose I have no Freight Train in my shipyard, but I have $6. Can I spend $6 for a bonus action which is Purchase Commodities, then select Exchange Commodities to trade in the card I just bought?

The strict reading of the rules seems to be "no". On page 7, under "Exchange Commodities", it reads, "If you have no Freight Train cards, you cannot choose this action." And, at the time you choose actions (step 2), you have no freight train.

But is that the intent? Or is it enough that you are able to perform the action, because you're going to buy a freight train before you have to perform it.


Addressing this more directly...there is no rule that says that each action is not a separate choice; in fact page 5 implies that each action is in fact a separate choice and as long as you have the payment for the action at the time you choose the action, you can choose the action. When you choose Purchase Commodities, you get the Freight Train. Then when you choose Exchange Commodities, you have the requisite Freight Train and you can take the action. You would be adding an additional rule if you played it otherwise. That rule being "You must have all payments for actions chosen at the start of the action phase before choosing any actions" which is not stated anywhere.
 
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David desJardins
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jschlickbernd wrote:
You can do Purchase Commodities and then Exchange Commodities, just like you can take the money action (in a four player game) and then use that money to get a bonus action.


That certainly seems logical, we all agreed that you should be able to do this, but the rules say the opposite. Thus the question.
 
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David desJardins
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jschlickbernd wrote:
When you choose Purchase Commodities, you get the Freight Train. Then when you choose Exchange Commodities, you have the requisite Freight Train and you can take the action.


Again, the problem is that you have to choose your "chosen action" in Step 2, and you can't buy your "bonus action" until Step 4. So, after you buy and perform your bonus action, it's too late to change your "chosen action".
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Steve Duff
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Good question.

Before you pointed it out, I would have said obviously you could use the bonus to get the rail car before selling it, but reading those rules, it's very specific that you have to be able to perform the action when you move your pawn, and at that moment, you can't.
 
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Mark Tyler
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** EDIT - please ignore this post. It was based on my misunderstanding of a rule.

DaviddesJ wrote:
That certainly seems logical, we all agreed that you should be able to do this, but the rules say the opposite. Thus the question.

True. The letter of the law forbids it, but I believe the spirit of the law allows it. Until Vladimír Suchý or someone from Czech Games Edition says otherwise, I believe the intended turn steps should be as follows:

1. Advance the previously chosen action.
** Perform bonus action.
2. Choose an action.
3. Income.
4. Perform action.
** Perform bonus action.
5. Shakedown Cruise

** At most one bonus action per turn (and it must be different from action chosen in step 2)

My clarified steps above clearly show that if you perform your bonus purchase commodities action before step 2, you would have the required freight car to choose exchange commodities in step 2.

Also these clarified steps above eliminate the need for special rules saying whether or not you can apply your income to your bonus action. If the bonus action comes before the income step, clearly you can't use income to purchase it.

So the only question is whether or not the designer would agree with my clarification. The good news is that so far only one fringe case has been found (this thread's freight car example) which hinges on the answer.

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David desJardins
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m_r_tyler wrote:
Until Vladimír Suchý or someone from Czech Games Edition says otherwise, I believe the intended turn steps should be as follows:


I don't understand your clarification, it seems to create more problems than it solves. Are you saying it would be illegal to move your pawn, collect money for the tile you put it on, and use that money to pay for a bonus action that comes before your regular action? That's entirely legal in the current rules.

I think all bonus actions should be in Step 4, the only question is whether you're allowed to select the Exchange Commodities action in Step 2 if you don't have a freight train yet but you will by the time you perform the action.
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Chris McMahon
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You can use your bonus action to Purchase Commodities and then use your regular action to Exchange Commodities.

When you select the Exchange Commodities action, whether it be the regular action or the bonus action, you need to have Freight Train cards.

 
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David desJardins
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Leppy wrote:
You can use your bonus action to Purchase Commodities and then use your regular action to Exchange Commodities.

When you select the Exchange Commodities action, whether it be the regular action or the bonus action, you need to have Freight Train cards.


Well, these two statements contradict each other, since you have to select your regular action (Step 2) before you perform your bonus action (in Step 4), so you don't have a freight train when you select it.
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Mark Tyler
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I don't understand your clarification, it seems to create more problems than it solves. Are you saying it would be illegal to move your pawn, collect money for the tile you put it on, and use that money to pay for a bonus action that comes before your regular action? That's entirely legal in the current rules.

You are right. My clarification was based upon my incorrect interpretation of this rule:

Shipyard Rules wrote:
You may perform your bonus action either before or after your required action. You pay for your bonus action when you use it. It is not possible to use guilders gained from your bonus action to help pay for itself, but it is possible to use guilders gained from your required action to pay for your bonus action, if your bonus action is performed second.

I thought the rules were saying you can use income to perform a bonus action only if it follows your regular action. After a more careful reading I see that the rules are saying you can use money acquired during your regular action (such as exchanging commodities or receive 2 guilders) to help purchase a subsequent bonus action. The rule wasn't talking about income at all. It was just telling us what is logical - that you can't spend money you don't have.

Sorry for the confusion.
 
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Chris McMahon
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I thought the rules stated that in Step 2 you 'Choose a New Action'. I don't remember seeing 'Regular' or 'Bonus' used to describe the action.

I don't have the rules with me at work, so I could be wrong on the wording.
 
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Steve Duff
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Leppy wrote:
I thought the rules stated that in Step 2 you 'Choose a New Action'. I don't remember seeing 'Regular' or 'Bonus' used to describe the action.


In step 2 you choose your new main action, as you move your figure at that time. You don't move anything for your bonus action.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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At like 2:00 AM this morning, it hit me as to what the question actually was, and I am reversing myself and apologizing for defending what I clearly didn't understand.

I had forgotten that you place your token on the action you want. So no, you can't place your token on the Exchange Commodities action if you don't already have a freight train.Otherwise you would put yourself into a type of time warp where you would have something that you don't already have when you went to take the action.

Apologies again.
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Bruce Linsey
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The rules are clear on this. You must choose an action that you can take (Step 2), and you must do this before taking a bonus action (Step 4). So even though you can PERFORM the bonus action before the required action, you must CHOOSE the required one first. Ergo, you can't choose to Exchange Commodities as your required action unless you have a Freight Train at the time you choose it. You can't use the bonus action to get the necessary Freight Train.

Seems a little counterintuitive, but that's what the rules clearly say.
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David desJardins
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Bruce Linsey wrote:
Seems a little counterintuitive, but that's what the rules clearly say.


Now I think we've all converged to where I was when I first asked the question. Is there any hope of getting the designer or publisher to say what was intended?
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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He has made exactly one post in the Shipyard threads and that was back when the game balance was being discussed the first time. It would be nice if he would comment.
 
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Christopher Hill
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Excellent question, David. Here's my two cents.

In step 2 it does not indicate when you must perform the selected action only that you are able to. I think it has been established the bonus action must be taken in step four either before or after the selected action. So, it makes logical sense (at least to me) that if you can use a bonus action to purchase commodities you can then use your selected action to exchange commodities.

I think even this scenario would be possible. The active player has four gilders at the start of the turn and no commodities. The player advances the previously chosen action then places their pawn on the exchange commodities action which happens to be behind two other players giving the player an income of two gilders. The player now has six gilders and spends them on purchase commodities bonus action then exchanges them for his selected action. For this example, the only freight commodity card he would be able to purchase is the one in the zero space.

I know it's not the rule, but I think it should be allowed to place your pawn on an action you can't perform anyway. Maybe just to collect income or block another player from taking the action and/or force them to spend gilders to take it as a bonus action.
 
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David desJardins
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kinga1965 wrote:
In step 2 it does not indicate when you must perform the selected action only that you are able to.


Sure. But that's not the problem. There's a statement on page 4 that you must be able to perform the action you choose. We all agree that is satisfied here.

There is a different statement on page 7, that specifically says you can't choose the Exchange Commodities action if you have no Freight Train cards. That's what I'm talking about.
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Hi David.

I'm not sure if we'll ever see an 'official' ruling, but for now I've taken the more strict view of the rules:

You can't choose the exchange commodities action without having a freight car even if it's your intent to first use your bonus action to purchase commodities.

I'm assuming this was the intent as this restriction is specifically mentioned. (As opposed to some unintended consequence arising from poor wording or a mistranslation.)

One might be able to choose a buy commodities as their action and use the exchange as a bonus action, but I understand that may not always be possible due to pawn placements.

That's only my opinion, but folks can always 'house rule' the conundrum up front I 'spose.

If anybody here ever gets an 'official' answer, please share!
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Christopher Hill
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Quote:
There is a different statement on page 7, that specifically says you can't choose the Exchange Commodities action if you have no Freight Train cards. That's what I'm talking about.


Ah, yes. I missed yet another sentence when reading a rule book. Seems pretty clear now at least in print, but obviously, the question remains whether or not this was the intent.

This isn't the only rule that is specific to the exchange commodities action. The other 'move a pawn' actions (i.e. manufacture equipment, recruit crew, hire employees) all allow you to pay to move the pawn further along the track. You're not allowed to do this with exchange commodities. It is also the only track with a specific starting point for the pawn.

In retrospect, it may well be the intent to not allow selection of the exchange action if you have no freight cars in possesion at the time. Maybe this is to limit the power or usefulness of this already fairly strong action.
 
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