If you own a Law Office tile and two other players are tied for a goal (but you are not), do you win that goal?

Do you have to be one of the players that is part of a tie in order to win that tie with Law Office? From the way that the tile reads, it does not seem to clarify whether it refers to only breaking your own ties, or if you can benefit from goals that any other players are tying.

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My base instinct is to assume not, but I was reminded of a similar ruling in Eminent Domain, which had the same situation on the promo card Exclusive Victory (see left card in the image below).

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In that game, the card does allow you to win the game if any players tie for first place, even if you're not one of them, resulting in you taking first instead of them. Online rules clarifications confirm this.

Effect: If the game ends in a tie, you win the game. (Even if you're not one of the tied players)

Does the Law Office tile in Suburbia work the same way as the Exclusive Victory card in Eminent Domain?

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The rules seem pretty clear about this:

In addition, at the end of the game when goals are being scored, the player with a Law Office scores points if he is tied with another player for achieving one goal (public or his own private goal, which he picks from any of his tied goals) as if he had won it. If two players have the Law Office, they may each score the same tied goal.

(emphasis mine)

So no, it does not let you win a tie that you're not part of. (It doesn't work the same as your example from another game.)

As a general rule of thumb, you should take the approach that if the author/designer's intention was the unusual interpretation of a rule, they should specifically say so, so even if the rules weren't clear - as the previous answer pointed out - you still could reasonably assume that the "normal" procedure would apply, and that is that tie breakers don't favor a third party.

Certainly there are situations where people may disagree what the "normal" is, and a missing rule for one interpretation is not always and automatically an evidence for the opposing interpretation, but I think here we have a quite obvious case, so even if you missed the expressly statement for the "normal", you should have trusted your base instinct.

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