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Author Topic: Moving action cards when you play them  (Read 1366 times)

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crj

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Moving action cards when you play them
« on: July 08, 2021, 11:44:38 am »
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I can't believe I'm really asking this, after years of playing Dominion, but I've just gone down the rabbit hole in considering the repercussions of a fan card, and I didn't like what I saw. So...

What happens when you play an Action card? The rules seem superficially simple enough:
Quote
Playing an Action card has three steps: announcing it; moving it to the "in play" area - the table space in front of you; and following the instructions on it, in order, top to bottom.

If you're playing a card from your hand, all is well.

If I Command an Action, it explicitly says you play the card "leaving it there"; is that just a clarifying remark, or would it otherwise have ended up in your "in play" area?

When you use Innovation or Summon, it seems clear playing the card moves it to your "in play" area. That also suggests there's no requirement for a card to be in your hand in order for playing it to move it to your "in play" area.

When you Throne a card and play it for the second time, it doesn't much matter whether or not you move it to the "in play" area, since that's where it is already. Except...

When I Throne a Mining Village and trash it on the first play, when I play it for a second time, what actual rule of the game stops it being moved from the Trash to my "in play" area?
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Donald X.

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2021, 12:01:36 pm »
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If I Command an Action, it explicitly says you play the card "leaving it there"; is that just a clarifying remark, or would it otherwise have ended up in your "in play" area?
It would otherwise have been put into play.

When you use Innovation or Summon, it seems clear playing the card moves it to your "in play" area. That also suggests there's no requirement for a card to be in your hand in order for playing it to move it to your "in play" area.
There isn't. The card only has to be where the card playing it expected it to be.

When you Throne a card and play it for the second time, it doesn't much matter whether or not you move it to the "in play" area, since that's where it is already. Except...

When I Throne a Mining Village and trash it on the first play, when I play it for a second time, what actual rule of the game stops it being moved from the Trash to my "in play" area?
The Mining Village isn't where Throne Room expected it to be (which is, in play).
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AJD

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2021, 12:13:46 pm »
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Quote from: crj
When I Throne a Mining Village and trash it on the first play, when I play it for a second time, what actual rule of the game stops it being moved from the Trash to my "in play" area?
The Mining Village isn't where Throne Room expected it to be (which is, in play).

The rule is known as the "Stop-Moving rule".
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crj

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2021, 12:25:03 pm »
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I'm aware of the Stop-Moving wall, of course. But it doesn't seem to apply in this case.

It's not playing Throne Room that puts the card in play; Throne Room plays the card, and then playing the card puts it in play.

Surely, if we argue that Throne Room can determine that playing Smithy will result in it being in play, we can also argue that Throne Room can determine that playing Embargo will result in it being in the Trash? Why would Throne Room know one but not the other?
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Chappy7

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2021, 12:43:43 pm »
+1

I'm aware of the Stop-Moving wall, of course. But it doesn't seem to apply in this case.

It's not playing Throne Room that puts the card in play; Throne Room plays the card, and then playing the card puts it in play.

Surely, if we argue that Throne Room can determine that playing Smithy will result in it being in play, we can also argue that Throne Room can determine that playing Embargo will result in it being in the Trash? Why would Throne Room know one but not the other?

Throne room doesn't read the action cards it plays, it only knows that they are action cards capable of being played.  It doesn't know what's going to happen after it is in play. 
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crj

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2021, 01:30:43 pm »
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Sure, that's a plausible rationalisation. But it's not an actual printed rule of the game, so far as I can see.

Look at this another way: I'm playing a real-life game of Dominion against someone and they Throne a Mining Village. On the first play, they trash it. On the second play, they bring it back into play from the Trash. Where is the rule I can point at to prove to them this isn't allowed?
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MiX

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2021, 01:36:09 pm »
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Sure, that's a plausible rationalisation. But it's not an actual printed rule of the game, so far as I can see.

Look at this another way: I'm playing a real-life game of Dominion against someone and they Throne a Mining Village. On the first play, they trash it. On the second play, they bring it back into play from the Trash. Where is the rule I can point at to prove to them this isn't allowed?

The Stop-Moving rule.

Surely, if we argue that Throne Room can determine that playing Smithy will result in it being in play, we can also argue that Throne Room can determine that playing Embargo will result in it being in the Trash? Why would Throne Room know one but not the other?

Throne Room doesn't know the text of Embargo, but it knows what playing a card means.
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crj

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2021, 02:05:55 pm »
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The Stop-Moving rule.
But it doesn't.

First issue: which, if any, consequences is Throne Room allowed to anticipate when it provokes the play-an-Action-card effect. This interpretation of the rules relies on it anticipating that playing the Action card will put it into play, but not any of the other effects of playing it. Nothing in the rules states that's the correct interpretation.

Second issue: when Mining Village is being played a second time, is it the Throne Room or the play-an-Action-card "effect" which needs to correctly anticipate the card's location? This interpretation of the rules relies on it being the Mining Village that has to anticipate it. Again, nothing in the rules states that's the correct interpretation.
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spineflu

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2021, 02:14:13 pm »
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The Stop-Moving rule.
But it doesn't.

First issue: which, if any, consequences is Throne Room allowed to anticipate when it provokes the play-an-Action-card effect. This interpretation of the rules relies on it anticipating that playing the Action card will put it into play, but not any of the other effects of playing it. Nothing in the rules states that's the correct interpretation.

Second issue: when Mining Village is being played a second time, is it the Throne Room or the play-an-Action-card "effect" which needs to correctly anticipate the card's location? This interpretation of the rules relies on it being the Mining Village that has to anticipate it. Again, nothing in the rules states that's the correct interpretation.

I think a better rationalization for this would be the Trash is a special zone that things don't leave unless they're specifically allowed to leave (via Lurker, Fortress, etc). This is indicated by the "Cards in the Trash are essentially out of the game, though some expansion cards can get them." rulebook line.
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crj

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2021, 02:43:18 pm »
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I think anything along the lines of "X is a special Y" definitely needs mentioning, if it's a rule!
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faust

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2021, 05:56:14 pm »
+2

With the latest errata, it is clear that playing a card twice or three times is already functionally different from playing a card any other way. I think the best way to resolve this issue would be to say that the second playing of a card this way does not actually move the card.

Another way would be to say that, since the trash is unordered, once a card moves there it is indistingiushable from any other of its copies in the trash, so it would be impossible to pick out the exact Mining Village you just trashed. But that reasoning fails with something like Encampment, so it's not the rule that we want.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 05:58:02 pm by faust »
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crj

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2021, 09:03:32 pm »
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Ooh - I missed that erratum. Good to know, thanks!
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GendoIkari

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2021, 12:25:37 am »
+3

I definitely don’t think it’s good to think of the trash as special, because the same results happen for Horse, Island, or Ratcatcher. Stop moving rule by itself should be sufficient, but I would agree that perhaps there needs some extra written clarification on how it is determined where an effect “expects” a card to be. I think it’s really that “move a card into play” is part of the definition of “play a card”; it’s not just a side-effect that comes from playing a card. Those 3 steps quoted in the OP that happen when you play a card aren’t just a list of things that result from playing a card, it’s what the term “play a card” means.

Under that understanding of “play a card”, after Throne Room plays a card, it expects that card to be in play. You can think of it as Throne Room really says all that quoted stuff rather than “play a card”. Throne Room doesn’t “know” anything that happens to the card when it gets played outside of the instructions written on a TR itself. It always acts under the assumption that nothing else has happened to change or move anything. So when it goes to play Mining Village the second time, it expects it to be in play because that’s right where it left it. Then when you get to the 2nd step in the “play a card” definition, the Stop-Moving rule kicks in and prevents Mining Village from moving.
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AJD

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2021, 01:14:37 am »
+1

I think it’s really that “move a card into play” is part of the definition of “play a card”; it’s not just a side-effect that comes from playing a card. Those 3 steps quoted in the OP that happen when you play a card aren’t just a list of things that result from playing a card, it’s what the term “play a card” means.

Under that understanding of “play a card”, after Throne Room plays a card, it expects that card to be in play. You can think of it as Throne Room really says all that quoted stuff rather than “play a card”. Throne Room doesn’t “know” anything that happens to the card when it gets played outside of the instructions written on a TR itself. It always acts under the assumption that nothing else has happened to change or move anything. So when it goes to play Mining Village the second time, it expects it to be in play because that’s right where it left it. Then when you get to the 2nd step in the “play a card” definition, the Stop-Moving rule kicks in and prevents Mining Village from moving.

Yes, exactly. The stop-moving rule:

"An effect can move a card if it specifies where the card is coming from, or if the effect put the card where it is now."

Throne a Mining Village. Throne Room says "play an Action card from your hand". Fine, it specifies where the card is coming from, it's from your hand, so you put the Mining Village in play. You trash the Mining Village, now time to play it again, aha, but it's in the trash. Throne Room doesn't say "from the trash", and Throne Room isn't what put it in the trash (Mining Village did that itself), so Throne Room can't move it.
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AJD

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2021, 01:16:10 am »
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I guess there are implied exceptions to "if it specifies where the card is coming from", where specific sources are inferred but not specified. If you're supposed to discard something from your hand, "discard" is sufficient without explicitly stating where it's coming from; if you're supposed to gain something from the supply, "gain" is sufficient without explicitly stating that.
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crj

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2021, 01:26:47 am »
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Hmm.

Maybe what this boils down to is determining what does and does not constitute "an effect"?
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GendoIkari

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2021, 01:31:06 am »
+1

I guess there are implied exceptions to "if it specifies where the card is coming from", where specific sources are inferred but not specified. If you're supposed to discard something from your hand, "discard" is sufficient without explicitly stating where it's coming from; if you're supposed to gain something from the supply, "gain" is sufficient without explicitly stating that.

This has always been something special about “discard”; play, reveal, and trash have always had to specify from where. I suppose gain is special in the same way discard is. And then play has a different special thing where the regular game rules allow you to play action cards from your hand during your action phase as long as you have actions remaining; without a game effect allowing you to play a card,
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GendoIkari

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2021, 01:33:49 am »
+1

Hmm.

Maybe what this boils down to is determining what does and does not constitute "an effect"?

I’d agree with your general line of reasoning if the steps quoted in the OP were considered effects of playing a card, similar to how trashing a card from hand is an effect of playing Chapel. But I think in the context of the stop moving rule at least, if not everywhere in Dominion, “effect” is referring to an instruction on a card or card-shaped thing.

One could argue about a hypothetical card that says “Buy a card. At the start of cleanup this turn, put that card on your deck.” Now, does that card expect the bought card to be in your discard because that’s where gained cards go? For sure if it had you gain a card then it would work that way, but it has you buy a card instead. So does the second effect of that card expect it to still be in the supply because that’s where a card still is immediately after buying it? Or does it know that a bought card would then be gained?

I don’t know the answer to that for the hypothetical card, but I think that Throne Room avoids that issue completely by what I was saying about the definition of “play a card”. It’s not the same as buying a card, where buying a card then causes you to gain that card. Putting a card into play isn’t a separate step that is caused by playing a card, it’s part of what playing a card is.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 01:38:32 am by GendoIkari »
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crj

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2021, 10:37:49 am »
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Putting a card into play isn’t a separate step that is caused by playing a card
And yet the rules literally say "playing an Action card has three steps...".
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AJD

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2021, 11:34:47 am »
+3

Putting a card into play isn’t a separate step that is caused by playing a card
And yet the rules literally say "playing an Action card has three steps...".

Right, putting the card into play isn't caused by playing a card; it's part of playing a card.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2021, 07:30:22 pm »
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Putting a card into play isn’t a separate step that is caused by playing a card
And yet the rules literally say "playing an Action card has three steps...".

Right, putting the card into play isn't caused by playing a card; it's part of playing a card.

Right, I feel like my interpretation is what matches the quoted rule exactly. Playing an action doesn’t cause those 3 steps to happen; playing an action literally is composed of those 3 steps. It would be the opposite of the rule were worded “whenever you play an action; do these 3 steps”. Though if the rulebook were worded that way I would argue that it’s just imprecise and not well-written language; it would be so much messier if following those 3 steps were actually a reaction that was caused by playing an action.
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Jeebus

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2021, 04:14:58 pm »
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But I think in the context of the stop moving rule at least, if not everywhere in Dominion, “effect” is referring to an instruction on a card or card-shaped thing.

The lose-track/stop-moving rule is really about card abilities; that is to say, the ability is the whole set of instructions on the card (either above or below the dividing line). When Throne Room or Mining Village loses track, it's really the card's ability that loses track. And a card's ability can consist of several instructions. The rulebooks sometimes call these abilities "effects" and sometimes call instructions "effects". (In my rules document I have defined these more strictly.)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 04:06:36 am by Jeebus »
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Jeebus

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Re: Moving action cards when you play them
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2021, 04:30:46 pm »
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Putting a card into play isn’t a separate step that is caused by playing a card
And yet the rules literally say "playing an Action card has three steps...".

Right, putting the card into play isn't caused by playing a card; it's part of playing a card.

Although... Donald has also ruled that a card is considered played right after you announce it. (This matters for cards that are played after a card is announced but before it's resolved.) It's not so easy to understand.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 05:10:25 am by Jeebus »
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