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During Charity, the rules state to play or give away cards until there are only 5 in your hand. Can you play a monster card and fight it at this point?

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2 Answers

From the rules "When To Play Cards" (page 5):

Monsters

If drawn face-up, during the “Kick Open The Door” phase, they immediately attack the person who drew them. If acquired any other way, they go into your hand and may be played during “Looking For Trouble,” or played on another player with the Wandering Monstercard.

Monster cards can only be played during the "Kick Open The Door" phase or by other cards like Wandering Monster which explicitly allow them to be played. Thus you cannot simply play and fight them prior to charity.

Theoretically if you happened to also be holding a card that allowed you to play a monster as part of its effect, then you could play that card and the monster, depending on the conditions of the card. For instance, Wandering Monster itself doesn't help here as it is played on a player already in combat, but there could come along a new card someday (or there could be one in some expansion I don't have) that could allow it.

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Thanks for the answer. I read the rules though and did not see where it said explicitly that monsters (not including Wandering Monsters) had to be played from your hand only during Looking for Trouble. It says in the rules that "you may play" a Monster card during Looking for Trouble, but it does not say "you may only" play it at this time. In Charity, it states you play cards to reduce your hand to five, but it gives no clarification or mention any restrictions on what type of cards you can play. –  user6471 Dec 31 '13 at 0:55
    
@user6471 Did you see anywhere else in the rules where it says when you can play a monster card? If not, then it's pretty clear that that's when you can play them. –  Charles Boyung Jan 6 at 20:51
    
@user6471 And amcintosh's answer actually quotes the rule that explicitly states when monster cards are allowed to be played. –  Charles Boyung Jan 6 at 20:59
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Playing and fighting are not the same thing. For example, Wandering Monster allows you to play a monster, but you don't get to fight it. Playing is to put on the table. Something must instruct that player to fight it if he is to fight it.

The Charity phase doesn't instruct any player to fight monsters played during Charity phase, so if you were to play a monster, you'd be left with a monster on the table that no one has a way of attacking. It would be stuck in limbo for the rest of the game. That doesn't make any sense, so playing a monster during charity doesn't either.

The Charity phase is simply giving you the chance to play cards before you have to discard, but you still have to follow the rules that cover how each type of card can be played. The section titled "When to Play Cards" details this. For monster cards, it says:

If drawn face-up, during the “Kick Open The Door” phase, they immediately attack the person who drew them.

If acquired any other way, they go into your hand and may be played during “Looking For Trouble,” or played on another player with the Wandering Monster card.

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Thanks guys for the answers. I think you can see where the confusion is for me. It says to "play" a monster card during looking for trouble. It also says you can "play" cards during Charity. They use the same verb in both cases but they have a different meaning to play. Thanks for the clarification. –  user6471 Jan 8 at 20:33
    
No, same meaning. "play" is not the same verb as "attack", though. It's just implied that you can't play a monster that can't be attacked. –  ikegami Jan 8 at 20:54
    
Another way they are different: "You must play or give" is another "You may play. If you don't, you must give". "May play" is merely a permission to play; one must still follow the normal rules for playing. "Play" is an instruction to perform now; this can override timing restrictions mentioned elsewhere. –  ikegami Jan 9 at 20:40
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