Here's the scenario: I have a ship currently in an opponent's sector, he has no ships. Do the rules allow for me to remove his influence disc and place one of my own? The rules (2nd ed) around influence action are as follows:
You may move an influence disk to one of the following (forgive the paraphrasing):
- Sector where there is not currently an influence disk there and you have an adjacent sector under your influence
- Sector where only you have a ship
- Back to your track
I am wondering if anyone has any actual evidence one way or the other on this, because it seems that under the second condition, you may use the influence action to remove an influence tile and place one of your own.
I've seen a couple forum posts on this, most answers I have seen have been something to the effect of "you can never remove an opponent's influence disc except during combat phase" with next to no justification in the actual rules for that statement, though it seems this is still the general consensus.
Planets also complicate the question, as it is explicitly stated that you may not send population cubes to occupied planets (rather, it says you may only colonize unoccupied planets), and there is no mechanism for destroying population cubes other than at the end of combat phase, neutron bombs or not.
My group and I are looking to make an official ruling going forward, and to us evidence is paramount. What we are leaning towards is the following:
Under the second condition of influence action, it is possible to place an influence disc on an opponent's sector, returning that influence disc to their track. However, you may not colonize occupied planets. Therefore, using the influence action in this way is possible yet not necessarily wise (you are giving your opponent an extra disc to take action, without them losing their population cubes until the end of the next combat phase -- and only if you still have a ship there at the end of that combat phase).