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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Rules

Subject: Unplayable Hand rss

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Dianna
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My husband and I were playing Crimissos River last night, where he a terrible hand - all of his units were in the Center region, and he kept drawing Left/Right and having to play the single card which was usable. To give you an idea how bad it was, I was Carthage and I won (yessss). While I was able to defeat him before it became a problem, what if he had no legal cards to play?

1) Can you play a card which does nothing?
2) Just to confirm, there is no official mulligan rule, even for a completely unplayable hand?
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brian
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parelle wrote:
My husband and I were playing Crimissos River last night, where he a terrible hand - all of his units were in the Center region, and he kept drawing Left/Right and having to play the single card which was usable. To give you an idea how bad it was, I was Carthage and I won (yessss). While I was able to defeat him before it became a problem, what if he had no legal cards to play?

1) Can you play a card which does nothing?
2) Just to confirm, there is no official mulligan rule, even for a completely unplayable hand?

1) Yes, you must play a single card. You are not required to do anything on the card (just like if you could order 3 units but choose to only order 1). So this is in essence what you are doing: play a card for no effect to draw a new card.

2) No mulligan rule. Managing what you have is key. Don't leave all your units in one section. Or use what cards you do have for that section to move units to a section where you have more cards. Some people see this as a flaw of the system but I see it as an integral feature and part of the challenge in the series.
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BrentS
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This is a strong feature of the system and one of the key challenges in unit positioning and hand management. In addition to Brian's excellent points, I would also add that you are never obliged to use effective cards just because you have them in hand. If I find myself with dead or minimally useful cards in hand (not as common as some detractors would suggest), I'll wait for a "lull period" in the game, where I don't have immediate prospect of contact with the enemy, then cycle aggressively for as long as it lasts until I have a hand worthy of Hannibal. These opportunities are easier to find early in the game and harder later, which is one of the great tensions and tactical challenges of C&C:A.

Brent.
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goshublue wrote:
If I find myself with dead or minimally useful cards in hand (not as common as some detractors would suggest), I'll wait for a "lull period" in the game, where I don't have immediate prospect of contact with the enemy, then cycle aggressively for as long as it lasts until I have a hand worthy of Hannibal.
Brent.


Thanks for the tip! I had never actually thought of discarding and doing nothing if I had other cards in my hand that I could work with. You're right, sometimes it doesn't matter too much if you do nothing and sometimes it is deadly. Such a simple game and yet I am always learning new strategy.
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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Not to say this is the case here, but I've witnessed players complain about "dead" hands, when in fact, they have a very good card but they are trying to save it for later. For example, a Mounted Charge card that could be used to move some cavalry into another section where they have cards but they won't play it if they cannot move the cavalry to attack with the +1 extra die. In the meantime, they get whittled down here and there until they are a banner or two down and playing from even further behind.
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Dianna
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atilla66 wrote:
[q="goshublue"]
I've always played according to the rule that if you have an effective card, you must use it instead of passing, discarding and redrawing, but I can't find anything in the rules that states whether either of our ways of playing is correct.


Yes, I'd assumed that before too, hence how we nearly ended up in this situation. So it's really interesting to me to hear of this purposeful discarding tactic - well, in part because usually our games are tight enough that one false move is enough to spell doom.
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Scipio O.
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atilla66 wrote:
if you cannot use that card and no other cards in your hand allow you to order any of your units, your only option is to pass, discard, and draw a new card. This is not explicitly stated in the Ancients rules, but it is given in the C&C: Napoleonics rules.


Edit (withdrawing overstatement of rules): Consistent with what you are saying, the C&CN rules say that you may discard and not order any of your units, and draw a new card.
 
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BrentS
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Scipio Oaklandus wrote:


Consistent with what you are saying, I believe the C&CN rules say that you may discard only if you cannot order any of your units with a card. Not if you just don't really like the cards you have.


I've played only a small fraction of Napoleonics compared to Ancients and don't have my paper rulebook with me but the preview rulebook at the GMT site doesn't say this in the section on playing a command card....and I would be surprised (and disappointed) if such a rule were introduced to the system. I would see it as a retrograde step in the system's development. Not only would it be impossible to enforce without revealing your hand, but this level of control over hand management is a central, highly challenging and enjoyable feature of the game. I also see it as very thematic, where a patient commander waits and conserves his best resources until the time, weather, omens, etc, are right....if the enemy allows him to

Brent.
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BrentS
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atilla66 wrote:
[q="goshublue"][q="Scipio Oaklandus"]

C&C: Napoleonics, top of Page 6.
"If the situation arises where the Command card just played cannot order any of your units; disregard phase 2 through 4 of the Game- Turn and draw a new Command card, which ends your turn."


This doesn't force you to play a command card that does something. What this is saying is that if you play a card that can't order a unit, you skip ordering, movement and combat and go straight to card draw and the end if your turn. In fact, even if the card you play could order a unit, you're never obliged to do so.

Brent.
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BrentS
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atilla66 wrote:


I agree with the first two sentences of your reply but not the last one. The phrase "If the situation arises where the Command card just played cannot order any of your units" appears to repudiate your assertion that "even if the card you play could order a unit, you're never obliged to do so."


No, all this sentence in the rules is saying is what happens when you play a card that can't order a unit....i.e you don't get any orders and go straight to the end of your turn. It's not restricting your play in any other way. You can play any card you want at any time (with the obvious exception of First Strike). Also, if a card let's you order X units, you can always order from zero to X eligible units at your discretion. I apologise that I'm typing from a phone and don't have easy access to a rulebook or FAQ to quote you a reference, but this is definitely how it works. I'll see if I can get you a proper reference when I have access to the rules, unless someone else can find it first.

Brent.
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brian
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Brent is correct. It is just confirming you can play a card, do nothing, and draw a new card.
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BrentS
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Unfortunately I can't find anything concrete about issuing orders to less units than stated on the card except (from the C&C:Ancients 2009 Living Rules):

Quote:
Section 6 - Play a Command Card The card you play will indicate in which section or sections of the battlefield you may issue orders, and how many units (and possibly leaders) you may order.


May implies an option. I would agree this is very much open to interpretation but then further rulings make this a moot point anyway.

Quote:
Section 8 - Movement A unit that is ordered does not have to move.


Quote:
Section 9 - Battle: A unit that is ordered does not have to battle.


.....which combined amount to the same thing (there are identical rules in C&C: Napoleonics).

In all games I've played players have never chosen to order units they have no intention of moving or battling with but maybe this is just an easy convention.

It is interesting to note, though it doesn't make any functional difference, that many of the Tactics and Troops cards do say "Order X units or less" whereas the section cards just say "Order X units".

Brent.



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brian
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OK, so you can order everything but then just not move them or use them to battle. Which amounts to not ordering them at all.
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Dianna
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atilla66 wrote:

C&C: Napoleonics, top of Page 6.
"If the situation arises where the Command card just played cannot order any of your units; disregard phase 2 through 4 of the Game- Turn and draw a new Command card, which ends your turn."


Hmm. Consider that it says "if the situation arises". Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but doesn't that sound like that shouldn't happen too often?
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mateenyweeny
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Even if you do order a unit, you are not forced to move or attack with it.
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The order would be: HOLD
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Todd Rewoldt
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parelle wrote:
atilla66 wrote:

C&C: Napoleonics, top of Page 6.
"If the situation arises where the Command card just played cannot order any of your units; disregard phase 2 through 4 of the Game- Turn and draw a new Command card, which ends your turn."


Hmm. Consider that it says "if the situation arises". Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but doesn't that sound like that shouldn't happen too often?


Late arriving to this thread, but you are not reading too much into this. It is very rare that ones hand would not allow any units to be ordered (when it does happen, almost always towards the end of an attrition laden game, and even then it is much much more often the case that units may still be ordered, just not the desired ones ). As Brent, Brian, and others have noted above, it is much more frequently the case that a card is played and nothing (or seemingly nothing devil ) is done in order to build a better hand, or with even more devious players, bluff the other player into thinking ones hand is depleted. Play the game often enough, and soon you will be outsmarting yourself just as I do laugh
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BrentS
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toddrew wrote:
Play the game often enough, and soon you will be outsmarting yourself just as I do laugh


....although you usually outsmart me long before you outsmart yourself

Brent.
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Angelus Seniores
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goshublue wrote:
Unfortunately I can't find anything concrete about issuing orders to less units than stated on the card except (from the C&C:Ancients 2009 Living Rules):

Quote:
Section 6 - Play a Command Card The card you play will indicate in which section or sections of the battlefield you may issue orders, and how many units (and possibly leaders) you may order.


May implies an option. I would agree this is very much open to interpretation but then further rulings make this a moot point anyway.

Quote:
Section 8 - Movement A unit that is ordered does not have to move.


Quote:
Section 9 - Battle: A unit that is ordered does not have to battle.


.....which combined amount to the same thing (there are identical rules in C&C: Napoleonics).

In all games I've played players have never chosen to order units they have no intention of moving or battling with but maybe this is just an easy convention.

It is interesting to note, though it doesn't make any functional difference, that many of the Tactics and Troops cards do say "Order X units or less" whereas the section cards just say "Order X units".

Brent.





There are many occasions where you want to move a unit, but not battle with it and others where you only want to battle with it but not move, all for the sake of staying in a good spot or keeping your line of units intact
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