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Subject: Ruling on play of scoring cards rss

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Jon Dieringer
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This came up in a game I played tonight, but I doubt it will ever happen again, but it is an interesting exercise. I was dealt 3 scoring cards in the mid war. I was very dangerously close to controlling Europe and I had the Europe scoring card. I put every ounce of my energy playing ops to control europe, even giving the USSR player all kinds of influence abroad as I played 4 ops russian cards. Anyways, I had control of Europe and it was time for my 6th card play. As I looked at my hand, I had just the three scoring cards remaining. I would not have technically held the scoring card as I ended the game with the Europe card, but what if Russia thwarted my control of europe and I was stuck with the card? See the error, I actually went back a play, undid the control and scored a turn earlier with europe so that I would satisfy the held card rule.

So in this rare circumstance, can I ignore the cards in my hand or must I plan to play out the scoring cards if I have them. (I know that the USSR player could have easily stopped me, but she wasn;t paying attention to Europe as she was planning a big score in the middle east) so most likely you will have to play assuming the turn won;t end.
 
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Jeff DeBoer
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I'm afraid you're right....you would have to play the scoring cards on your earlier turns and not have them left in your hand, otherwise you would be breaking the "must not hold" rule if the game did not end, which you cannot count on for certain?

I have a question for you. On "Missle Envy" where it says "this card" at the end must be played by the opponent as an ops card, do they mean "this cars" as in the opponents event card selected or the "missle envy" card itself....I assumed the later otherwise the missle envy card would never go away.....is that correct??
 
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Jon Dieringer
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We played it as they got to use the missile envy card for 2 ops points.
 
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Jeff DeBoer
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that is what we did too....thx...makes the most sense...your situation is very interesting and I wonder if we are really right? Anyone?

This game rocks, doesn't it?

Have a feeling it will be a very highly rated two player game.

Jeff
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Rob Winslow
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I would say that you won the game with the Europe scoring card -- when the game ends with an automatic victory, it doesn't matter what's in your hand. The game is over, no more card plays, no nothing!

It was a chance you took -- control Europe and the game is yours. Fail to control Europe and you'd lose since you held a scoring card.

An interesting strategic choice, it seems to me...
 
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Jason Matthews
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brandysta wrote:
I would say that you won the game with the Europe scoring card -- when the game ends with an automatic victory, it doesn't matter what's in your hand. The game is over, no more card plays, no nothing!

It was a chance you took -- control Europe and the game is yours. Fail to control Europe and you'd lose since you held a scoring card.

An interesting strategic choice, it seems to me...


Well, this is a case of first impression. Never heard this one during playtesting. But as Rob says, in the interest of additional dilemma's and decision making, I would say your play was legal.

Jason
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L. Scott Johnson
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I'm all for additional decision making, but the decision to follow the rules or not isn't one that I like to see added.

For instance:

The USSR player has just finished his 6th action. He holds only one card: the Europe Scoring Card.

I've got two Scoring cards in my hand (and no other cards). I also have the China Card.

With China's ops, I could take control of Europe.

Am I allowed to?

9.5 says I can't play it if it prevents the play of a Scoring Card. But, if the rule put forward above holds, then my "reneg" won't be discovered until after the game is over (and I win with Europe), so the reneg is legal?

I like the 9.5 rule as it is (written and apparent intent), and I'd like to think that the same sort of thing would apply to playing (or reneg'ing on) Scoring Cards in general -- that is, reneg'ing is illegal, even if it is not discovered until after the game ends.
 
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Jon Dieringer
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So what happens if I am thwarted and I am stuck with the scoring card? Did I now lose because I played illegally? In all honesty, I knew about the held card rule, but I was playing fast because I was so excited about setting up the win and lost track of the remaining rounds.

In a tourney scenario, what happens if someone holds a scoring card? Forfeit? Maybe there should be a stiff penalty for holding a card instead of just saying it is illegal (perhaps -10VP)
 
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L. Scott Johnson
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For a tourney, the guideline offered in 11.1.2 is to give a game loss to the player who reneged.

In friendly play, I'd suggest handling it in whatever way allows you to remain friends. :-)

If -10 VP is your choice, then remember that that again is substituting a strategic decision in place of the legal/not legal line.

 
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L. Scott Johnson
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Rulemonger wrote:
The USSR player has just finished his 6th action. He holds only one card: the Europe Scoring Card.

I've got two Scoring cards in my hand (and no other cards). I also have the China Card.

With China's ops, I could take control of Europe.

Am I allowed to?

9.5 says I can't play it if it prevents the play of a Scoring Card. But, if the rule put forward above holds, then my "reneg" won't be discovered until after the game is over (and I win with Europe), so the reneg is legal?

I like the 9.5 rule as it is (written and apparent intent), and I'd like to think that the same sort of thing would apply to playing (or reneg'ing on) Scoring Cards in general -- that is, reneg'ing is illegal, even if it is not discovered until after the game ends.


Any answers to this question on the legality of the play of the China card?

Another thought -- the ruling that holding the scoring card for last is legal and results in a loss if discovered makes the Aldrich Ames card a real game winner if you find any scoring cards in the US player's hand -- you just put the US player's scoring card at the end of the order and, assuming the US player doesn't win outright before the end of the turn (and doesn't have an "out" handy -- like UN intervention or somesuch to allow him an extra play/discard), you're guaranteed a victory by "catching" the US player's reneg at the end of the turn.
 
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David Wilson
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It is my opinion that playing the China Card would be illegal if you have two action rounds left and two scoring cards in your hand, even if one of them IS Europe and you plan to play the Europe scoring card as your next action.

Rule 9.5 is clear

You may not play the China card if it prevents play of a scoring card. So you cannot choose to play the China card as your next to final action if you have two scoring cards in your hand PERIOD!!! CAN'T do so. Playing the China card would be illegal at that point.

On the other hand, if you hold two scoring cards in your hand and play the Europe card as your final action, and EITHER you or your opponent win the game because one of your controls Europe, you did not cheat, because the game is over immediately. If you don't win, you forfeit because you HELD a card.

It is my opinion that even in a friendly game, players should opt to use the tournament rule. Simply showing (at a distance) that they did not hold a scoring card shouldn't be a big deal.

David "the preacher" Wilson
 
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Jeff DeBoer
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I agree with David's analysis. That is how we would play it as well. You can just show the bottom section of the card and show that it is not a colored scoring card w/o revealing anything else....
 
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David Wilson
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Rulemonger wrote:
I'm all for additional decision making, but the decision to follow the rules or not isn't one that I like to see added.

For instance:

The USSR player has just finished his 6th action. He holds only one card: the Europe Scoring Card.

I've got two Scoring cards in my hand (and no other cards). I also have the China Card.

With China's ops, I could take control of Europe.

Am I allowed to?

9.5 says I can't play it if it prevents the play of a Scoring Card. But, if the rule put forward above holds, then my "reneg" won't be discovered until after the game is over (and I win with Europe), so the reneg is legal?


THE PREACHER SAITH:

Rule 9.5 seems very clear to me on this issue and I believe prevents the play of the China card. However, laying aside play of the China card, if you played the Europe Card as your last action and either side wins, you didn't "reneg" (technically) because the game ended and the final portions of the game turn are not completed. Therefore, you did not hold a scoring card into the end of the turn.

 
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L. Scott Johnson
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abimilech wrote:
You may not play the China card if it prevents play of a scoring card. So you cannot choose to play the China card as your next to final action if you have two scoring cards in your hand PERIOD!!! CAN'T do so. Playing the China card would be illegal at that point.


I agree.

The rules also say that Scoring Cards cannot be held (PERIOD). Yet the official interpretation is that they can be (and deliver a victory condition to the opponent when they are).

Which is where the problem arises. The interpretation of the other rule on Scoring Cards indicates that the pardigm being used is one of detection rather than of prohibition.
 
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David Wilson
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Rulemonger wrote:
abimilech wrote:
You may not play the China card if it prevents play of a scoring card. So you cannot choose to play the China card as your next to final action if you have two scoring cards in your hand PERIOD!!! CAN'T do so. Playing the China card would be illegal at that point.


I agree.

The rules also say that Scoring Cards cannot be held (PERIOD). Yet the official interpretation is that they can be (and deliver a victory condition to the opponent when they are).

Which is where the problem arises. The interpretation of the other rule on Scoring Cards indicates that the pardigm being used is one of detection rather than of prohibition.


You miss the distinction, Rulemonger. If Europe is scored and there is a winner based on control of Europe, then neither player held a card.

By your reasoning, if the USSR player plays the Europe card on his last action phase (and assuming it is his last card or any card held is a non-scoring card) and wins the game-- if the US has a scoring card in his hand that he did not get to play then he HELD a scoring card.

The game ends IMMEDIATELY.. there is no end phase to check the held card. Therefore, no card is held, not matter what the players hold in their hands. The game was OVER.. SUDDEN DEATH! NOBODY HELD ANYTHING! There isn't even a technical violation.

David "the preacher" Wilson

 
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L. Scott Johnson
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abimilech wrote:
You miss the distinction, Rulemonger. If Europe is scored and there is a winner based on control of Europe, then neither player held a card.

By your reasoning, if the USSR player plays the Europe card on his last action phase (and assuming it is his last card or any card held is a non-scoring card) and wins the game-- if the US has a scoring card in his hand that he did not get to play then he HELD a scoring card.

The game ends IMMEDIATELY.. there is no end phase to check the held card. Therefore, no card is held, not matter what the players hold in their hands. The game was OVER.. SUDDEN DEATH! NOBODY HELD ANYTHING! There isn't even a technical violation.


The distinction is not lost on me.

What I'm saying, though, is that allowing a play to be made that can result in a scoring card being held might result in a scoring card being held.

If you don't like my set-up, just generate one of your own: a player can play China but the play of China will result in him holding a scoring card at the end of the round (unless the game ends before the end of the round). He wants to play it anyhow in the far-from-certain chance that doing so will allow him to end the game (with a win) before the end of the turn, but with a chance the game will not end before the end of the turn.

The rules disallow playing the China card if doing so leads to holding a scoring card.

Just as the rules disallow holding a scoring card in general.

The official ruling, though, is that the general rule is not a prohibition, but rather just another victory condition.

The question is whether the rule regarding the play of the China card is to be handled the same way (that is, not a prohibition).
 
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David Wilson
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Rulemonger wrote:
abimilech wrote:
You miss the distinction, Rulemonger. If Europe is scored and there is a winner based on control of Europe, then neither player held a card.

By your reasoning, if the USSR player plays the Europe card on his last action phase (and assuming it is his last card or any card held is a non-scoring card) and wins the game-- if the US has a scoring card in his hand that he did not get to play then he HELD a scoring card.

The game ends IMMEDIATELY.. there is no end phase to check the held card. Therefore, no card is held, not matter what the players hold in their hands. The game was OVER.. SUDDEN DEATH! NOBODY HELD ANYTHING! There isn't even a technical violation.


The distinction is not lost on me.

What I'm saying, though, is that allowing a play to be made that can result in a scoring card being held might result in a scoring card being held.

If you don't like my set-up, just generate one of your own: a player can play China but the play of China will result in him holding a scoring card at the end of the round (unless the game ends before the end of the round). He wants to play it anyhow in the far-from-certain chance that doing so will allow him to end the game (with a win) before the end of the turn, but with a chance the game will not end before the end of the turn.

The rules disallow playing the China card if doing so leads to holding a scoring card.

Just as the rules disallow holding a scoring card in general.

The official ruling, though, is that the general rule is not a prohibition, but rather just another victory condition.

The question is whether the rule regarding the play of the China card is to be handled the same way (that is, not a prohibition).


I hope that I can clarify this situation for you by quoting from the rulesbook

Under 4.5 D, Action rounds, First bullet:

"Ordinarily, a player will have a card left over AFTER THE COMPLETION of all Action rounds. This card is concisdered 'held', and may be played in subsequent rounds. Scoring cards may never be held"

EMPHASIS on AFTER THE COMPLETION is mine.

The card is NOT held until the completion of all action rounds.

Rule 9.5 The "China Card may not be played:...IF IT PREVENTS THE PLAY of a Scoring Card."

EMPHASIS on IF IT PREVENTS THE PLAY

Therefore, if a player on his next to last action round plays the China card with two scoring cards in his hand, even if one of them is Europe which will end the game, he has violated this rule.

If the player has two scoring cards, and plays EUROPE as his last action, if the game ends, he did NOT HOLD A CARD because he never got to the end phase. If the game does not end, he has cheated.

There is a distinction. Perhaps one you do not like. It is a similar situation, but the distinction is the SPECIFIC rule about the China card. Scoring Europe as your last action and ending the game is a weasel around the rules, but that's what rulemongers like you and I like to do. It certainly isn't a smart move to take a chance.

Personally, I feel that the tournament rule of showing the card whould take place even in a friendly environment.

David "the preacher" Wilson

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L. Scott Johnson
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abimilech wrote:
I hope that I can clarify this situation for you by quoting from the rulesbook

Under 4.5 D, Action rounds, First bullet:

"Ordinarily, a player will have a card left over AFTER THE COMPLETION of all Action rounds. This card is concisdered 'held', and may be played in subsequent rounds. Scoring cards may never be held"

EMPHASIS on AFTER THE COMPLETION is mine.

The card is NOT held until the completion of all action rounds.


Yes.

And a scoring card cannot ever be held. (same passage as you quote above).

Which means it cannot be held even if you cannot play it (by having run out of action rounds).

And then there's the official rule about what to do when it is held. Which will never be applied when following the rules, because it can never be held.

Yet the rule that it can never be held is allowed to fall -- for any reason at all -- and it therefore not part of the rules at all. The rule is "if it is held, you lose" rather than "it cannot be held".

Quote:
Rule 9.5 The "China Card may not be played:...IF IT PREVENTS THE PLAY of a Scoring Card."

EMPHASIS on IF IT PREVENTS THE PLAY

Therefore, if a player on his next to last action round plays the China card with two scoring cards in his hand, even if one of them is Europe which will end the game, he has violated this rule.


Yes. And, since with the very similar rule "may not be held" is allowed to be violated above (for a loss), it seems as if the precedent would mean, in this case, the same thing -- a violation is allowed, but if discovered, would cause a loss of game.

Quote:
If the player has two scoring cards, and plays EUROPE as his last action, if the game ends, he did NOT HOLD A CARD because he never got to the end phase. If the game does not end, he has cheated.

There is a distinction. Perhaps one you do not like. It is a similar situation, but the distinction is the SPECIFIC rule about the China card. Scoring Europe as your last action and ending the game is a weasel around the rules, but that's what rulemongers like you and I like to do. It certainly isn't a smart move to take a chance.


Not I, actually. Rulemonger though I am, I am not a rules lawyer. I just prefer clear, consistent rules.

I only raised the question in the hopes of getting the other weasel maneuver -- the holding of scoring cards -- overturned.

Among other things, for instance, allowing the holding of scoring cards conflicts with Jason Matthews' ruling on Aldritch Ames and holding scoring cards:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@86.FswNblz1K4T.8@.1dcfda...

 
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Allen Doum
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I have to agree, here. The rulings on scoring card are inconsistent. The concept that a player would deliberately put himself into a position of possibly holding a scoring card, with the hope that the game would end before the end of the turn is inconsistent with the answer given on CSW.

As I stated on CSW, and Jason agreed, the requirement to not hold scoring cards should override other events. The restriction is both in the rules, and in the text of the scoring cards, themselves. But this situation is different in that it a players choice to put himself into the position of having a scoring card left over.

The simplest situation is for a player to have three cards left with only two action rounds remaining, with the cards being Europe scoring, another scoring card, and a card, which if played, may garuntee the player control of Europe. By the ruling here, the player could play the other card, hoping to play the Europe scoring in his last action round , winning the game before the end of the turn.

In point of fact, any two scoring cards, not just Europe and another, could lead to a similer situation if a player could win a "20 point" victory.You wouldn't even need two scoring cards, just one, and a card that gave you enough VPs for the win.

The drawback of this ploy, is that if you don't get the auto-victory, then you lose the game for holding a scoring card. This doesn't really correspond to any definition of "victory", as the rules assume that a player who did this is cheating.
 
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Kenneth Wofford
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It would seem easiest to say "A player holding a scoring card at the end of the turn forfeits the game." It does not seem like cheating; Instead it is a calculated, do-or-die, victory or death decision that would fit in pretty well with the brinksmanship spirit of the game.
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Philip Thomas
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You can also hold if you have Five Year Plan and play it as your last action, automatically discarding the scoring card. Or if you have reached the space race ability where you can discard held card...
 
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John McCoy
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What if you know what cards your opponent has. Maybe you've played CIA Created or something like that. Maybe you've just been counting cards and you know that Europe Scoring (or any score card, really) must be in your opponent's hand.

It's getting towards the end of the turn, and all you have left to play are scoring cards and one non-scoring card. If you play the non-scoring card you will set yourself up to win when your opponent plays his scoring card. Is it therefore legal?

What if *both* players have been counting cards and both of them "know" they will win when their opponent is forced to play a scoring card...
 
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Philip Thomas
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The rule is- if at the end of the turn a player holds a scoring card, he loses.

The end of the turn can be prevented if the game ends prematurely.

If both players hold a scoring card, the game is a draw, I suppose.

One variation on the theme: On the last Action of the turn I have a scoring card in hand and a non-scoring card which can be played on the space race. If the roll for the space race suceeds, I will be able to discard my held card. If it fails I will not and hence I will lose. I think the ruling here is you can play on the space race...obviously you would only do that if you would lose if you played the card normally.



 
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southseasnurse wrote:
It would seem easiest to say "A player holding a scoring card at the end of the turn forfeits the game." It does not seem like cheating;


It is only cheating in that the rules prohibit it.

With the designer's adjustment of the rule from "Scoring cards cannot be held" to "scoring cards can be held in certain circumstances*, but if they are (in any circumstances), the player holding it loses.", it is no longer cheating, right.

* the "certain circumstances" is there to denote that while you can legally choose to play your cards in a particular order that will (or at least may) result in the illegal holding of a scoring card, your opponent cannot choose that same (legal) order for you via Aldritch Ames, among other things, for example.

Quote:
Instead it is a calculated, do-or-die, victory or death decision that would fit in pretty well with the brinksmanship spirit of the game.


The spirit, perhaps. But then there are other strategies that might fit but which are also prohiibited explicitly by the rules or by card text. For instance, under Quagmire, with two cards left and two action rounds left, it is legal to play a scoring card if both your cards are scoring cards. So, for extra strategic do-or-die fun, if you have a scoring card and a 2+ ops card, how about allowing the play of the scoring card if you can win the game with it? (Ending the game before the reneg is caught). That's more of a sure thing, but the rationale (and the violation of the rules) is the same. To better model the risk, though, use an example with three cards, two of which are scoring cards and, if all goes well, the pair of scoring cards can win you the game.
 
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JasonMatthews wrote:
brandysta wrote:
I would say that you won the game with the Europe scoring card -- when the game ends with an automatic victory, it doesn't matter what's in your hand. The game is over, no more card plays, no nothing!

It was a chance you took -- control Europe and the game is yours. Fail to control Europe and you'd lose since you held a scoring card.

An interesting strategic choice, it seems to me...


Well, this is a case of first impression. Never heard this one during playtesting. But as Rob says, in the interest of additional dilemma's and decision making, I would say your play was legal.

Jason



I suspect the reason this didn't come up in playtesting was that the playtesters were abiding by the rules? Just a guess. devil

John Ray Jr was nice enough to direct me to this thread regarding this ruling. I'll post here what I posted there...I see nothing in this thread that counters this argument (besides a game designer saying otherwise, lol):

[begin re-post]

Pretty new to the TS forums, and I was wondering if anyone has seen an "official" ruling on this (or if a post from JonRayJr should be considered one!). This answer seems counter-intuitive to me. At the risk of sounding like a rules lawyer...well, your honor, may I approach the bench?

I would argue that playing scoring cards is required, and thus you could not play a VP card to win the game in lieu of a forced play of a scoring card. There is no place in the game timeline where it says, "check to see if either player holds an unplayed scoring card. If so, they immediately lose" (or is there??) [Edit: yep, there is a rule in Tournament Play. Let me say that again - in tournament play]. And the opposite is written very clearly in the game: the cards themselves say, in red letters, "these cards CANNOT be held" (my emphasis), and in my understanding of the rules, this requirement is constantly "on". As someone posted earlier - PERIOD.

Put another way, before the game has to check to see if your hand is in violation of the rules [as per the Tournament Rules], the player can "check" to see if his play is in violation of the rules. Or, barring that, who says the game checks for Scoring Card violations after the end of all the Action Rounds? Maybe it checks after every card is played in EACH Action Round (in fact, I would argue this is the case for situations where a players has 2 rounds left and 3 cards, 2 of which are scoring cards! - in this example, and to use this logic, in this situation I could go ahead and play my Ops on AR5, knowing full well I have too many Scoring Cards vs. turns left? Haven't I just cheated?).

To use the OP's example, the US player has 2 cards left and one action round. One card gives him a VP with which he can win the game. The other card says, in effect: Score Asia this way, AND "if I'm in your hand and you only have 1 play left, you MUST play me". The player would of course love to play the VP card, but he can't. How do I know? The other card he had told him so!

In my mind, I can't move my Rook diagonally and take out your King, winning the game before the game checks to see if my last move was illegal - an extreme analogy, but as I read the rules, one and the same.

[end re-post]

If the apparent ruling in this thread is going to be the law of the land, shouldn't the scoring cards just be errata'ed to say "A Player Holding This Card At The End Of The Action Round Sparks Global Holocaust. Oops." or something like that, as opposed to saying, "well yes, I know the cards SAY you have to play them, but they don't mean it. What they really mean is..."

And in response to Jason's comment, I definitely see the point of having additional dilemmas and decision-making (it's what makes a great game), but I'm not sure abiding by the must play rule isn't equally as dilemma- and decision-creating. Truth is, I'm fine with the game either way, I just hate to see such a relatively "clunky" rule in an otherwise beautiful, elegant game. Especially when teaching new players (which I foresee doing a great deal of as I introduce TS to my gaming group), I hate having to throw in rules that seem to contradict what the game itself is telling them: "Ignore that card, it's lying to you!!".




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