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Subject: Can you play combat cards that cannot be effective? rss

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Tom Stein
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Can a player "play" a combat card even though it cannot be effective?

There are two scenarios as to how this can occur.

1. You have combat cards that say "only play if _____" and you don't have the "if" (like a nazgul is required)

2. There is no "only if" restriction (or you meet the restriction), but the effective will be impossible to apply; i.e., sacrifice leadership in order to cancel a companion's powers for this turn ... but there is no companion in the battle, or you have no leadership.

This is important for two reasons:

a. You may want to bluff sometime and are willing to discard a worthless card to make the bluff and get your opponent to play a card.

b. The dark player with the witch king can recycle such cards by getting to draw another. This is obviously the more important reason and what this rule is can have a big effect on the course of the game.

I could not find an answer in the rules or the FAQ's. I am assuming that scenario #1 is not allowed (and the rules seem to imply that, without directly stating it). As for scenario #2, I simply don't know, it really could be either way.

Does anyone know? Is there an FAQ or errata on this?

Thanks.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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In the past I asked a narrower question in the same vein, wondering if I could negate the leadership of a companion who wasn't actually present in the battle. The response came back "no, you can't do that". I'm too lazy to go dig it out, but its here somewhere.
 
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Tom Stein
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Thanks for the reply, but that is not a definitive answer. Does anyone know this answer for certain? Has it been addressed in an FAQ or something official?
 
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Kevin Chapman
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You must satisfy the prerequisites of a Combat Card in order to play it. Here is a link to the FAQ:
http://home.rixtele.com/%7Echarmtroll/wotr/wotr.htm
 
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Tom Stein
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Thanks Kevin, but you will notice that that does not answer my question. I have seen that FAQ response ... I belive you are referring to this:

Q Several of the Shadow's Combat Effects are dependent on Nazgûl being present but then in the actual text of the Battle Effects the word Leadership seems to be used in a generic sense, this raises the question of which Combat Effects are negated by Gandalf the White's presence since he can negate Nazgûl Leadership?

A There has been some errors in the editing of the English cards and no matter what the actual card says the following Shadow Combat Effects are dependent on Nazgûl Leadership, when the text says Leadership it should say Nazgûl Leadership:
Dread and Despair, They are Terrible, Cruel as Death and Foul Stench.
All the cards mentioned above, except Cruel as Death (which requires Nazgûl Leadership 2+) just require the presence of a Nazgûl to be played; but to be effective you must have Nazgûl Leadership to "use" their effect. So in practice you could play them whenever their pre-requisite is fulfilled, but they would be useless if Gandalf the White is there.


That might answer the first scenario I posed (and probably does, though one can still argue abiguity of the word "played" and argue that you could still bluff, but I consider that a weak argument).

But it does not in anyway answer the scenario where there are no prerequisites, or the prereqs are clearly complied with, yet it is obvious that the card cannot have any effect. Perfect example is Words of Power: It says play if a Nazgul is in the battle. Ok, let's say I have a Nazgul. But let's look at the effect, it negates a Companion's leadership. But what if there is no companion in the battle? I have met the pre-req, but it cannot have any effect.

You will note, that in the example above the effect is probably useless, but not a guarantee, b/c the FPP could choose to NOT negate the Nazgul's power. My situation poses an impossiblity and is not addressed by the FAQ.

This issue actually comes up a lot and it is an important one for cycling through Witch King cards.

I think the rule should be that you cannot bluff/discard(to draw again with WK) with the "play only if" cards if you do not meet the prereq, but that you should be able to bluff/discard if it is only the effect that is impossible. My friend disagrees and believes you should not be able to play the combat card in either situation -- which is how we play since we feel the Shadow has an advantage. But we both want to know how the rules intended to deal with this situation.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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I will see what I can do to get you an answer, but it may take a little while.
 
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Tom Stein
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Thank you Kevin.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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Tom326 wrote:
I think the rule should be that you cannot bluff/discard(to draw again with WK) with the "play only if" cards if you do not meet the prereq, but that you should be able to bluff/discard if it is only the effect that is impossible.

I have checked with reliable sources, and this is the correct interpretation.
 
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