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Subject: Offical Guillotine FAQ rss

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Rory Madden
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We at Game Table Online (www.gametableonline.com) asked these questions while we were developing an online version of Guillotine for Wizards of the Coast's upcoming gaming and social networking website, Gleemax. When developing an online version of a popular board game, a level of precision is required that often isn't necessary for normal play; we need to be able to correctly accommodate all possibilities of play, even those rare situations that might come up only once or twice over several games. These answers came directly from Wizards of the Coast and should be considered official rulings. We at Game Table Online hope you find them helpful in future games of Guillotine.

Frequently Asked Questions for Guillotine

Clerical Error:

Q: The card 'Clerical Error' States that you collect a noble from an opponent's score pile, then that opponent collects a different noble from yours. What happens if you play this when you have no nobles? Do you get a noble from them for free, or is it not allowed?

A: If you have no nobles, and you play 'Clerical Errior', you get a free noble and your opponent gets nothing.

Foreign Support:

Q: Foreign Support' states that you draw a card "whenever you collect a Purple noble". We were wondering if this included times like when you or an opponent plays 'Clerical Error' (see #2). Does it only work when you collect a purple noble during the collecting phase of your turn? It would seem to me that you would draw here since Clerical Error does state that you "collect" the noble, but what about 'After You...' where the noble is "placed into another player's score pile'? Could that trigger Foreign Support as well?

A: Anything that specifically states that you collect a noble (as Clerical Error' does) will trigger 'Foreign Support'. If it does not specify the word collect, then it does not trigger 'Foreign Support' (thus 'After You...' does not.)

Action Deck:

Q: What happens if the Action Deck runs empty? Is it reshuffled, or can players no longer draw cards? Also, what if the discard is empty as well?

A: If the Action deck empties, it is reshuffled. If the discard pile is empty, cards such as 'Rat Break' cannot be played.

Robespierre:

Q: If you collect Robespierre, do you then immediately end the turn as well as the day and not draw any cards? Do you also not collect any further nobles? Or does it work like the Scarlet Pimpernel and allow you to finish your turn or at least still draw?

A: The player collecting Robespierre does get to finish their turn, however
the moment Robespierre is collected all remaining nobles in line are
discarded, so no more nobles could be collected by anyone from the line.

So, if you played Double Feature, and first collected Robespierre, there
would be no additional noble to collect.

Clerical Error would work just fine, but end the day and discard all
nobles in line if used to get Robespierre from someone else's score
pile.
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Mark McEvoy
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I would love to hear a VERY SPECIFIC ruling on the interaction between "Confusion In Line" and "Master Spy" (I believe the one 'ruling' they've given on this, the scenario was either not well explained or well understood - there is a vital and fundamental difference between "Milling In Line"/"Mass Confusion" and "Confusion In Line" that they've never specifically addressed).

Confusion In Line: "Choose a player. Randomly rearrange the line just before that player collects his or her next noble."


If there is a Master Spy in play, and I play Confusion In Line, and choose an opponent. When does the Master Spy run to the back of the line? Does he run away after the line gets rearranged? Or does he only run away right after the card is played (and if the eventual line-rearranging happens to land Master Spy at the front of the line, so be it, lucky day for the fortunate executioner and unlucky day for the spy)? Or (and I've seen people argue this), both?



Is your GleeMax implementation going to allow "Callous Guards" to remain in play for the remainder of the game (possibly all three days)? So many people found this to be broken/unfun that they house-ruled it to expire at the end of any day. If so, will people be able to optionally remove it from the deck before play? It's a card that could make the game simply not be a game - a player can play Callous Guards on turn 1 and it's possible other players can do nothing (make no decisions / play no cards) until the end of Day 3. That's not much of a 'game'.
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John W
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Glororhan wrote:
We at Game Table Online (www.gametableonline.com) asked these questions while we were developing an online version of Guillotine for Wizards of the Coast's upcoming gaming and social networking website, Gleemax.

Action Deck:

Q: What happens if the Action Deck runs empty? Is it reshuffled, or can players no longer draw cards? Also, what if the discard is empty as well?

A: If the Action deck empties, it is reshuffled. If the discard pile is empty, cards such as 'Rat Break' cannot be played.
Your online implementation at Gleemax does not do this.
When the cardss run out, you are not allowed to draw any more.

Has anyone checked on this?

(And their Callous Guards are exactly as the card says - and yes, this does unbalance games - I lost a game because a guy played that on the first turn and kept it out. I had -6 points and he had like 6 or 7 ; that 1 card won the game for him despite my fighting back and closing the gap quite a bit.)
 
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Brian McCarty
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Is there some sort of tiebreaker? we couldn't find one in the rules.
(we decided either the most or fewest nobles might be one tiebreaker)

thanks

Brian
 
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Matt Hoskins
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Ties haven't come up much - maybe once or twice in 50+ 2-p games. We've always accepted the tie.

Here are some other suggestions for possible tie-breakers
Least Grey Nobles
Most points excluding action cards
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David K
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Glororhan wrote:

Clerical Error:

Q: The card 'Clerical Error' States that you collect a noble from an opponent's score pile, then that opponent collects a different noble from yours. What happens if you play this when you have no nobles? Do you get a noble from them for free, or is it not allowed?

A: If you have no nobles, and you play 'Clerical Errior', you get a free noble and your opponent gets nothing.



I am shocked about this. This is completely non-intuitive. The whole way I have judged whether Guillotine cards can be played is "can you do all parts of what the card says?"

For example I have always believed that
- You cannot play "Rat Break" when there are no discarded actions, because the card presupposes the existence of actions in the discard pile.
- You cannot play 'Ignoble noble' when there are only 4 nobles in the line because the card presupposes the existence of a space 4 places ahead of any given noble
- You cannot play 'Opinionated guards' when there are less than Four nobles in the line because the card specifies "first four."
- You cannot play "milling in line" when there are less than 5 nobles in the line, because the card specifies first five. "
- You cannot play 'Escape' when there is only one noble in the line because it says randomly choose "two"
and
- You cannot play "clerical error" if you have no nobles in your score pile because it specifies that another player must take a one from your score pile other than the one you just took.

In other words, I've always assumed that if the actions described on the card cannot possibly be completed at the time you would play the card, then you cannot play the card. If I have been right about Rat Break (this FAQ says I am) and Wrong about "clerical error" what about all these other cases? Where do you draw the line?
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Glororhan wrote:
Clerical Error would work just fine, but end the day and discard all
nobles in line if used to get Robespierre from someone else's score
pile.


What does this mean?

Does it mean that if you use Clerical Error to get Robespierre from an opponent it WOULD end the day or it WOULD NOT?
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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It's sad that this thread isn't updated. Anyways, I'll chime in.

"Official Rulings" be damned, I say David K is absolutely correct on all points. Nowhere in the tiny rule sheet does it say you have to be able to do exactly what the action card says, but it also doesn't say you can't. I think it is far more important that it doesn't say you can play a card if you can't do what the card says because essentially, what is written on the cards are the rules. So, if the rules say to do something and you can't or don't, you are breaking the rules thusly playing the card is a violation. David K put it best: "Where do you draw the line?" Besides, it is far better, when you get Clerical Errors in your opening hand, to collect a single noble--a grey noble--then play it.

There is absolutely no rule for when the deck runs out. I've always played it this way and in a four or five player game, it may run out, but despite not drawing anymore cards, I've never seen a player run out of cards. If you shuffle up the deck to form a new one, you are doing so just as the game is coming to a close anyway, and you mess with Rat Break and Rain Delay and for little reason. It sounds like GleeMax is doing it correctly. If you are forming a new deck, you aren't getting that from any Guillotine rule. Doing nothing special when the deck runs out has never hurt a game in my experience.

And I play with fewer than 60 action cards. One fewer, to be exact. I just leave Callous Guards out and they've never been missed!

Yes, if you used Clerical Errors to "collect" Robespierre from an opponent's basket of heads, the day would end. Surely, you wouldn't collect a noble from the line as well, as upon collecting Robespierre, all nobles in the line are discarded, but your opponent still takes a noble from you. The action still completes and no-one said it had to be on the same day. Same as if you played Rush Job on an opponent and collected the last noble in line, the opponent is still affected by that action at the start of the next day.

Ties come up fairly frequently, especially if two days end early due to the Scarlet Pimpernel and Robespierre. In that case, there is a tie. Whoop-dee-doo! No-one has to feel like a loser. Unless there was someone else playing. And if that someone else has more points than the tied players, they can both feel like losers equally. If you want a tie-breaker, play another game! It's fast enough.

Confusion In Line is the only way I know of getting the Master Spy early, short of not playing any action cards at all. Master Spy says he goes to the end of the line "after each action card is played" which is distict from "after it resolves". I've used it to try to get the Master Spy early by announcing myself, putting the Master Spy at the end of the line and just before I collect the noble, redistributing the cards. It is random enough to not ruin the game and exciting when it works, so if you don't like the interpretation, you needn't worry. But it is as the card is written. The rules state in three distinct bullets: Play an action card (optional); Collect the first noble in line; Draw an action card. Clearly, you move the Master Spy at the end of the first bullet and Confusion In Line's effect takes place at the start of the second.

I hope this helps. And remember: It is simple game; don't lose your head over it!
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Graham Martin
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
Master Spy says he goes to the end of the line "after each action card is played" which is distinct from "after it resolves".


While I agree that he ends up in the front of the line after confusion in line, I humbly submit that your statement above is misleading and somewhat irrelevant. I know that this is not your intent, but since you said what you said above I feel compelled to clarify this.

You seem to be saing that Master Spy moves to the end of the line when the action card hits the table but before that card is resolved, If that were the case, then MANY cards would end up causing the Master Spy to NOT be the last in line. For example, if I play The Long Walk with this interpretation, the Master Spy would go to the end of the line when my card hit the table and THEN the card would resolve and the Master Spy would be in front of the line and I would snap him up! (As you put it...he moves "after my action card is played" as distinct from "after it resolves.")

Other crads that would have this effect would be:

*Milling In Line if he was one of the first five nobels.

*Missed (The Spy would go to the end of the line and THEN the nobel targeted by Missed would be placed at the end of the line)

*Bribed Guards (If the Spy was not targeted by this crad then he would end up second from the end)

*Opinionated Guards (If Spy was one of first four nobels in line)

In fact, one could argue that ANY card that rearranges the line would cause this if the line were as short as that card's range. E.G. if you play a card that moves a nobel up to four spaces forward while there are 3 nobels in line, using your distinction you caould argue that when your action card hits the table, the Spy jumps to the back and THEN (when it is resolved) you move him to the front.

I would argue that the simpler resolution of this situation is to agree that MOST action cards resolve at teh exact same time when theya re played. Only SOME cards resolved at a different time than when they are played. For cards that resolve at a different time than when theya re played, the Spy jumps when the cards is played and NOT when the action resolves.

While I assume that this is what you meant, I wanted to clarify the situation a little bit.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Grahamers wrote:
...[a lot]...


Wow, that's a whole lotta' words to agree with me but I think you may have missed the point. Some people have stated that they've been moving Master Spy to the end of the line both after Confusion In Line is played and after it resolves. (I found this in another thread but even in this one, Mark asks if he moves both times.) I was stating that Master Spy would not move after it resolves because it does not say anything about doing so.

Your list of cards that could cause Master Spy to end up at the front of the line if following what I said is completely erroneous. You changed my wording to "when the action card hits the table" from what I said:_ "after each action card is played". If it hits the table but hasn't been played yet, then that's not after it has been played, now has it? Some cards have a delayed resolution (Rush Job, Confusion In Line) but most of them resolve when they are played. After any of them are played, Master Spy moves to the end of the line.

I believe I made it as clear as possible by citing the bulleted steps from the rules:

Play an action card (optional)
Collect the first noble in line
Draw an action card

Since Confusion In Line is played in step 1, Master Spy would move to the end of the line immediately after it is played. But since the delayed effect of Confusion In Line resolves just before the noble is collected--the beginning of step 2--Master Spy could end up at the front of the line (or anywhere else) and won't immediately move to the end. This is because Master Spy doesn't say anything about moving at the beginning of step two, just before a player collects a noble, whenever the line is re-arranged, nor after an action card resolves.

The important thing is that you know how to do it correctly and I'm glad you are on my side. Honestly, though, I'm pretty sure most confusion about this situation and hundreds of other questions related to games in general arise because someone reads "after each action card is played" and hears "when the action card hits the table (but before you do anything with it)".

It's still a simple game and I sincerely hope no-one else loses their head over it.
 
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David K
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The problem is that people who play Guillotine also play Magic where the distinction of when x is "played" v. when x is "resolved" is critical and commonplace. In Guillotine, the distinction only exists in edge cases we've covered.

Simply put after an action card has played includes any effects of playing it that MUST occur on your turn. So when you confuse yourself, you get a random chance at the M Spy, because the Rearrange didn't NEED to happen on your turn, even though you chose to have it be so.
 
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Gutripper
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I have a few queries myself that I just wanted to air, and see if there is any agreement on them.

CONFUSION IN LINE WITH CALLOUS GUARDS

I assume that if Confusion in Line has already been played on another player, and that player then plays Callous Guards in his turn, before Confusion in Line takes effect, it is correct that the line is still randomly rearranged. This I see as the only way that the line can actually be changed in any way when Callous Guards is in play. I interpret it this way, since Callous Guards does not allow Action cards to be played that alter the line, but as Confusion in Line has already been played at this point it should therefore still take affect.

CALLOUS GUARDS & SCARLET PIMPERNEL

On gametableonline I believe it's possible to play Scarlet Pimpernel if Callous Guards is in play. However on closer inspection I believe this should not be the case, as cards that discard nobles can not be played, and Scarlet Pimpernel states that any nobles in line should be discarded. Is this an incorrect interpretation, and if so why?

CALLOUS GUARDS & MISSED!

Missed can not be played with CG in action as it essentially adds another noble to the line which is not allowed.

CALLOUS GUARDS & AFTER YOU....

This one I find hard to decide on. On one hand it seems that it can be interpreted as changing the line, since the front noble is removed and placed in another player's score pile. However the noble is neither being moved, added or discarded in this instance, but 'put into another player's score pile', and therefore not really altering the line. I know that on Gametableonline it does not allow After You... to be played with CG in action, but is this definitively correct?

LIST OF CARDS THAT CAN BE PLAYED WITH CALLOUS GUARDS IN PLAY

(After You... YES/NO??)
Church Support
Civic Support
Clerical Error
Double Feature
Forced Break
Foreign Support
Fountain of Blood
Indifferent Public
Infighting
Information Exchange
Lack of Support
Military Support
Missing Heads
Political Influence
Rain Delay
Rat Break
Rush Job
Tough Crowd
Twist of Fate
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Matt Hoskins
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Gutripper wrote:

CALLOUS GUARDS & SCARLET PIMPERNEL

On gametableonline I believe it's possible to play Scarlet Pimpernel if Callous Guards is in play. However on closer inspection I believe this should not be the case, as cards that discard nobles can not be played, and Scarlet Pimpernel states that any nobles in line should be discarded. Is this an incorrect interpretation, and if so why?.


SP doesn't discard nobles per se. SP ends the day. The nobles are discarded as a function of the day ending.

Gutripper wrote:

CALLOUS GUARDS & AFTER YOU....

I know that on Gametableonline it does not allow After You... to be played with CG in action, but is this definitively correct?


Dunno why you couldn't play After You, but could play Double Feature. After You seems similar to DF and Fast Noble. Both cards result in the first two noble being collected
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Gutripper wrote:
I have a few queries myself that I just wanted to air, and see if there is any agreement on them.

CONFUSION IN LINE WITH CALLOUS GUARDS

I assume that if Confusion in Line has already been played on another player, and that player then plays Callous Guards in his turn, before Confusion in Line takes effect, it is correct that the line is still randomly rearranged. This I see as the only way that the line can actually be changed in any way when Callous Guards is in play. I interpret it this way, since Callous Guards does not allow Action cards to be played that alter the line, but as Confusion in Line has already been played at this point it should therefore still take affect.
You are correct. Callous Guards prevents the playing of certain cards, not their effects. Thus, if the card, in this case, Confusion In Line was played before the guards became so callous, the effect will still occur. The guards are too calloused to go back in time and stop it.

Gutripper wrote:
CALLOUS GUARDS & SCARLET PIMPERNEL

On gametableonline I believe it's possible to play Scarlet Pimpernel if Callous Guards is in play. However on closer inspection I believe this should not be the case, as cards that discard nobles can not be played, and Scarlet Pimpernel states that any nobles in line should be discarded. Is this an incorrect interpretation, and if so why?
Scarlet Pimpernel doesn't affect the line in any way. It only affects when the day (round) ends. Perfectly valid.

Gutripper wrote:
CALLOUS GUARDS & MISSED!

Missed can not be played with CG in action as it essentially adds another noble to the line which is not allowed.
This is correct. Missed attempts to add a noble to the line and is barred by Callous Guards.

Gutripper wrote:
CALLOUS GUARDS & AFTER YOU....

This one I find hard to decide on. On one hand it seems that it can be interpreted as changing the line, since the front noble is removed and placed in another player's score pile. However the noble is neither being moved, added or discarded in this instance, but 'put into another player's score pile', and therefore not really altering the line. I know that on Gametableonline it does not allow After You... to be played with CG in action, but is this definitively correct?
An interesting point, After You... doesn't violate the wording on Callous Guards.
 
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David K
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The above commenters are correct.

On Scarlet Pimpernel, "Any remaining Nobles are discarded" is a consequence of the day ending, not an effect of SP.

After You does not change the order of the line, nor does it "add" or "discard." Ergo, you're fine to play it.
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Patrick Bauer
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
"Official Rulings" be damned


Really? The game editors clarify a ruling and that's wrong? I think that of course when playing in your circle of friends what ever results in the most fun is best. But for the creation of online version it's essential to have a standard of play and who better an arbiter of the rules than the game's editors?

I really agree with your last sentence -- Guillotine is just a fun little game no matter what your group decides.
 
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Robert Eng
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Gutripper wrote:


CALLOUS GUARDS & AFTER YOU....

This one I find hard to decide on. On one hand it seems that it can be interpreted as changing the line, since the front noble is removed and placed in another player's score pile. However the noble is neither being moved, added or discarded in this instance, but 'put into another player's score pile', and therefore not really altering the line. I know that on Gametableonline it does not allow After You... to be played with CG in action, but is this definitively correct?

We did check with Wizards on this. After You...: "Put the noble at the front of the line into another player's score pile" "Putting" a noble anywhere is moving it explicitly moving it, which is prohibited by the Callous Guards card. The fact that the noble goes into another player's score pile is incidental. It is technically not "Collecting" a noble, which is why Double Feature works. The effects are similar but different.

Robert Eng
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Gutripper
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robeng wrote:
Gutripper wrote:


CALLOUS GUARDS & AFTER YOU....

This one I find hard to decide on. On one hand it seems that it can be interpreted as changing the line, since the front noble is removed and placed in another player's score pile. However the noble is neither being moved, added or discarded in this instance, but 'put into another player's score pile', and therefore not really altering the line. I know that on Gametableonline it does not allow After You... to be played with CG in action, but is this definitively correct?

We did check with Wizards on this. After You...: "Put the noble at the front of the line into another player's score pile" "Putting" a noble anywhere is moving it explicitly moving it, which is prohibited by the Callous Guards card. The fact that the noble goes into another player's score pile is incidental. It is technically not "Collecting" a noble, which is why Double Feature works. The effects are similar but different.

Robert Eng
VP of GameTable Online



Hi Robert

So is the official ruling from wizards also that SP is ok to be played if CG is in play? I have seen people agreeing and disagreeing in other threads and i'm not sure which answers are 'official' or not...
 
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Robert Eng
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Gutripper wrote:

Hi Robert

So is the official ruling from wizards also that SP is ok to be played if CG is in play? I have seen people agreeing and disagreeing in other threads and i'm not sure which answers are 'official' or not...

At GTO we concur with KhryosFinalCut and FlatOnHisFace posts that playing the Scarlet Pimpernel card with the Callous Guards in effect is legal.
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Thomas Becker
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I've got a question that I could really use an official-ish ruling on. If a player has "Confusion in Line" played on them and then on their turn plays "Political Influence" what happens?
 
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Robert Eng
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The wording on Confusion in Line is, "Choose a player. Randomly rearrange the line just before that player collects his or her next noble."

Political Influence reads, "Draw 3 additional action cards at the end of your turn. Do not collect a noble this turn."

Hmmm, that is a challenging one. Political Influence skips the Collection phase but the wording of Confusion in Line says before that player collects their next noble. The question is whether Confusion kicks in before the collecting phase or if it happens at the start of the collecting phase. (do note that the reference to the "collecting phase" is not part of the written rules and just a construct of computer version of the game). I would have to consult with Wizards on this one.
skitzycat wrote:
I've got a question that I could really use an official-ish ruling on. If a player has "Confusion in Line" played on them and then on their turn plays "Political Influence" what happens?
 
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Stephen McNeil
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Glororhan wrote:


A: Anything that specifically states that you collect a noble (as Clerical Error' does) will trigger 'Foreign Support'.

...

Clerical Error would work just fine, but end the day and discard all
nobles in line if [Clerical Error is] used to get Robespierre from someone else's score pile.


So, to be comprehensive with this, this means that playing Clerical Error causes two nobles to be "collected", one from each affected player's score pile, and that any effects on those nobles triggered by "collection" then take effect, just as if they had been collected from the front of the line. Thus, Clerical Error triggers extra effects if Captain of the Guard, General, Rival Executioner, Fast Noble, Lord, Lady, Lady in Waiting, or Robespierre are collected. Right?
 
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Kat S
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I have a question that just came up when we were playing. There were two cards left in the day, Hero of the People and a Martyr. I played Escape, which randomly discards two nobles and randomly rearranges the rest. Since there were only two cards left, they were both discarded and a new day began. I think that it is still my turn since I have only fulfilled the first step of a player's turn, playing an action card, but not picking a noble or drawing a new action card. My friend thinks that a new day starting means the end of that player's turn. Which is it?
 
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Robert Eng
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smcneil wrote:


So, to be comprehensive with this, this means that playing Clerical Error causes two nobles to be "collected", one from each affected player's score pile, and that any effects on those nobles triggered by "collection" then take effect, just as if they had been collected from the front of the line. Thus, Clerical Error triggers extra effects if Captain of the Guard, General, Rival Executioner, Fast Noble, Lord, Lady, Lady in Waiting, or Robespierre are collected. Right?

Correct. That is how we programmed it at www.gametableonline.com with consultation from Wizards of the Coast.
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petloverkat wrote:
I have a question that just came up when we were playing. There were two cards left in the day, Hero of the People and a Martyr. I played Escape, which randomly discards two nobles and randomly rearranges the rest. Since there were only two cards left, they were both discarded and a new day began. I think that it is still my turn since I have only fulfilled the first step of a player's turn, playing an action card, but not picking a noble or drawing a new action card. My friend thinks that a new day starting means the end of that player's turn. Which is it?

I would say that having no noble to collect does not invalidate the rest of the turn. It is more like you collect something that is not there. Reading the Guillotine rules on page 8, "Play continues in this manner until there are no nobles left in line at the start of someone's turn. That day is then over and a new day begins." While not explicit, it does imply that the check for a new day is at the start of turns. Under your interpretation, how would you handle the removal of the last noble on day 3? You would also be denied collecting a noble but there is no other day for you to take your full turn.
 
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