The rules state:

When a player passes, they must discard cards down to their Card Limit if necessary.


Only when a player passes will they have to discard down to their Card Limit, which is determined by their Politics score.

Take the following scenario: Black is at their card limit. During an Action Phase, Black passes. Later that same Action Phase another player completes a Shipping Track which awards a Governor card to Black. Black now has too many cards.

When does Black discard? Immediately, at end of turn, or not until they pass in the next Action Phase?

The above rule quotes pretty clearly indicate that Black would not need to discard until they pass in the next Action Phase. But, what if there isn't another Action Phase? For example, what if the phase in question is the last Action Phase of the game? Does this mean a player could score more cards than their card limit allows?

However, the following quote seems to imply that the card limit is lifted only during the Action Phase (because it's not mentioned anywhere else):

When drawing cards during the Action Phase there is no restriction on how many cards a player may hold...

This could indicate that the card limit is enforced continuously after a player passes (because they are no longer able to draw cards), but it's not worded very well because what about the rest of the Action Phase when not drawing cards?


Apparently even the two designers are not completely in agreement over this issue. It has come up on BGG more than once. This thread references two other threads where each designer gives an opinion on whether or not you should discard at the end of turn.

Jarret Gray says:

Discard is part of pass. The cards are supposed to return immediately to their respective piles. This can create some interesting timing effects, like blocking an opponent from drawing a good card. The downside is that when a player discards you have to wait for them. If the cards go back at the end of the turn then you can carry on the game while they number crunch. The game is intended to be played the first way.

Carl de Visser says:

You should still meet the card limit at the end of the turn. Checking the rules, this is only implied in the End of the Round section with "Once discards are complete". Basically there should be another check at the end of the turn.

de Visser was specifically responding to the question of acquiring a governor card after passing, Gray was not. He was only answering the general question of whether discarding occurs after passing or at the end of the turn. So he probably wasn't considering the odd circumstance of getting another card after passing. Had that case been brought up he might have said both, as did de Visser, but all we have to go on is what they did say and Gray clearly says you don't discard at the end of the turn.

The rules-as-written are pretty explicit that discarding only occurs immediately after passing. That is also supported by the comment of one designer, but explicitly contradicted by the other. So there is certainly evidence to back up either ruling, but no definitive answer.

Personally, I don't like the idea of exceeding the card limit for a full turn, and really don't like the idea of getting to score cards that exceed the limit. So I'll probably go with discarding after passing and also at the end of the turn. I may even consider immediate discard as that makes the most sense to me, and there is some slight justification for that in the rules.

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The rules do not specifically deal with this scenario, but the rules state as follows

Each player has a Card Limit, which is determined by their Politics score. A player’s Card Limit determines how many Asset Cards the player is permitted to keep after passing. The absolute maximum will be 5 cards, one card per normal card slot.

I have highlighted the important phrase here. So, once you have passed, you must discard down to your Card Limit. If your Card Limit changes as a result (due to losing a politic score etc), then you must keep discarding.

If you are awarded a card after you have discarded, then you keep them. After passing, your round is effectively over, so you are starting the next round at that point.

I agree that this feels a little odd, in fact we always played that when we checked our status tracks we normally discard our cards at that point. However, re-reviewing the rules seems to be clear on when the discard happens, and therefore the side effects as you have stated are implied.

The rules can be found here.

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