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The card says "Return Well" in the top left hand corner, but that doesn't state whether you can only play that card if you own the well, or if in fact, anyone who has already bought the well must "Return Well" when you play the improvement.

If it is only you who must return the well (assuming you own it), then can you still play the card if you don't own the well or is it only playable once you have already bought the well? (in which case, it is a very specific card to the point that it is invalid, useless and unusable if anyone else gets to the well before you!)

Any thoughts?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The "return well" wording is a cost to play the card, just like when other cards show "1 wood" or "2 clay" to play them. So you cannot play a card that says "return well" unless you pay the cost of returning a well. So you need to first purchase the well before you can play Village Well.

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