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The rule book explains Throne Room's effect as follows:

You pick another Action card in your hand, play it, and play it again. The second use of the Action card doesn't use up any extra Actions you have.

My question is:

If I played Witch with Throne Room, according to the rules, the second use of Witch doesn't use up another action, doesn't that mean the first use of Witch cost an action?

So in essence, whenever you play Throne Room, wouldn't you need to first play cards that give you additional actions?

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2 Answers 2

Throne Room costs an Action to play; the card you play twice is part of the effect of Throne Room, and neither play of it consumes an Action.

My speculation is that that particular wording was in answer to a complaint encountered during development, something like: "Village gave you two actions, but you just played that Witch two times with Throne Room, so you have no actions left." That's a mistaken understanding of the way Actions work, of course, but everyone was a novice back then.

Other cards that include allowing you to play other Actions as part of the effect include King's Court (from Prosperity), Cultist, and Procession (both from Dark Ages).

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I really don't know why the rules emphasize the second play of the other action; it really reads to me like it's implying that the first one does cost you an action. Seems like they could've just said something like "Playing the chosen Action does not cost actions; it's part of playing the Throne Room." –  Jefromi Nov 11 '12 at 17:41
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I agree. Notice that when the rulebook writers had a second chance in writing the similar card King's Court, they did it better: "This does not use up any extra Actions you were allowed to play due to cards like Worker's Village - King's Court itself uses up one Action and that is it." –  sitnaltax Nov 11 '12 at 17:56
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Note that because Throne Room is all one single action, playing Throne Room on anything giving +Actions will net you more Actions than simply playing that card twice would. So playing TR on a Village would leave you with +2 cards and +4 actions, while merely playing 2 Villages from your hand would leave you with only +2 cards and +3 actions. And TR on a +1 Card/+1 Action cantrip might be the only way to pull off a +2 Action effect in some Kingdoms... –  Standback Nov 12 '12 at 22:28

None of them cost an action, the only action cost here is playing the Throne Room itself.

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