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The "Special Orders" card states:

During this turn, the current player may move one other player's pawn (with permission) as if it were his own.

I have read this and the rule book (which gives further clarifications), but I am still unclear on the interaction of this card and the abilities of the different roles.

I am looking for a concise description of how the card works, which covers cases such as the following:

  • Generalist moving the medic through a cured disease,
  • Medic moving the generalist through a cured disease,
  • Troubleshooter moving operations expert by direct flight,
  • Someone moving the dispatcher, attempting to move a third player using their power,
  • ...

For bonus points I would be interested in any interactions with other special events that are relevant (i.e. confusion that I haven't had yet!)

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Barely worth mentioning (but you said bonus points!): anyone moving the containment specialist would remove a cube from every city the specialist enters with 2 or more cubes. – oldrobotsneverrust Jul 19 '11 at 20:15
up vote 15 down vote accepted

It's the dispatcher ability minus bringing people together. For example, you can use it to move the containment specialist or (with a cure) the medic through cities to remove cubes. We've done this to get double duty out of the medic late in the game when we were racing the board.

You are using your own move actions (and any constraints or benefits they bring) to move the other player. (You spend your own cards for flights, for example.) The other player's abilities are relevant if they are effects of moving, but not if they involve actions.

To address your cases:

  • Generalist moving the medic through a cured disease: cubes are removed; gets to move five times.
  • Medic moving the generalist through a cured disease: no effect (the medic didn't enter the city), four moves.
  • Troubleshooter moving ops expert by direct flight: Troubleshooter reveals the correct card rather than discarding it (his ability); but doesn't get to use an arbitrary card if at a research station (the ops expert's ability).
  • Someone moving the dispatcher, attempting to move a third player: no, you don't get access yourself to the other player's special abilities. (But you could just move that third player instead with this action.)

See this thread on Boardgame Geek, particularly the comments from Tom Lehmann, the co-designer of On the Brink. (Thanks to @tremby for pointing this out in a comment.)

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I still need a little extra clarification. "Troubleshooter moving ops expert by direct flight: he reveals the correct card rather than discarding it (his ability)": can you replace the "he" and "his" with role names? I think you mean the troubleshooter (the one giving the special orders) in both cases but the illustration in my set shows a woman, so I want to make sure. – tremby Oct 14 '15 at 11:20
    
Ah, see this thread (in particular the comments from Tom Lehmann, the co-designer of On the Brink) where this is all confirmed. This might be good to add to the answer. boardgamegeek.com/thread/445371/special-orders – tremby Oct 14 '15 at 11:42

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