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With writing you can cancel a city action of another player. Do I have to do that directly after his action or am I allowed to react later in my city action time or in the city action time of another player? In this case I would interpret the city action as a phase in which all players can do city actions like this at any time.

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Where is the 2 in the title of the question coming from? There are a lot of Civilization board games, but I'm not aware of any that are referred to as "Civ 2". –  bwarner Aug 11 at 17:28
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I'm guessing it's refering to the board game based on the computer game, rather than the original board game that the computer game was based on. –  xorsyst Aug 15 at 16:21
    
Could simply be that civ 2 was the best of the civ series (which it is) so OP assumes that's the core game it's modeled after. –  corsiKa Dec 8 at 23:03

2 Answers 2

From the Rules (page 12):

In the City Management Phase, the first player takes one action with each of their cities. A city may produce an item (such as a building or unit card), devote itself to the arts to gain culture, or harvest a resource as its action (see pages 15–18). After the first player completes their City Management Phase, play passes to the left and the next player completes their City Management Phase, until all players have done so.

Players take city actions in turn order and take city actions one at a time. To cancel a player's city action, you have to declare that your use of the writing ability immediately after they take that city action. The cancellation has to be declared before anyone else takes a subsequent action because the cancellation could affect their later actions. So, for example, if you cancel a player building a wonder with one of their cities, they could still build it with the other. It is standard procedure in board games for you to be able to request they wait after taking an action (before taking any subsequent action) for you to decide whether or not you want to cancel it.

The game rules are ambiguous as to whether or not any trade spent to rush production is lost or not when writing is used, but this is answered in the FAQ:

The player whose city action was cancelled gets back any resources and trade spent, but cannot take any other action with that city. Likewise, if the player used a culture event card such as “A Gift from Afar” as part of the canceled action, he would get that card back

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With writing, you can deploy a diplomat to cancel another player's city action (at least that's the mechanic in the computer version). The diplomat can be deployed at any time on one of your turns, and will operate on an opposing city action that is underway on that turn.

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Which "computer version" are you referring to? –  bwarner Aug 11 at 13:24
    
@bwarner: Civ II. I'm assuming that the OP is referring to the board version of the game, whose rules are analagous to, but obviously not the same as, the computer version. –  Tom Au Aug 11 at 13:53
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I assume you mean Civ V, which is the version the boardgame referenced by the tag is based on. That game does have a Spy unit (and in recent expansions, a diplomat unit), but it doesn't work at all analagous to how the boardgame unit does, so I don't think it is worth referencing. –  bwarner Aug 11 at 17:35

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