If you have just started and you draw a move backwards 4 card, on your next turn you get a move forward 12. You have no other pawns out to move. Do you have to move The original pawn (the one you backed up 4) forward or can you refuse the move?
Short answer: That man cannot be moved due to being too close to home and, if no other man can be moved, your turn is forfeit.
Unless the card text specifically states otherwise, you MUST perform the action indicated by the card if possible. You'll notice that all cards except 11 begin with the word MUST. The following cards have some implications with regards to this rule:
- The 2 card's DRAW AGAIN happens regardless of if you could move any man.
- The 7 card can only be used if you either one man that can move 7 or two men that can move a combined 7 spaces. If you have one man that's 2 spaces away from HOME and your only other man is 3 spaces away from HOME, your move is forfeit.
- The 10 card must be used if you have any man not on the HOME or START spaces on the board. If no man can be moved 10 spaces forward, you are required to move one man back one space if possible.
- The 11 card actually has a voluntary turn forfeit option as part of the alternate action. If none of your men can move 11 spaces forward and you do not want to exchange a margin man (a man not in your start or safety zone) with another player's margin man, you are not required to use the card.
- The Sorry card is mandatory so long as any other player has a margin man and you have one man in start. Otherwise, you forfeit your turn automatically.
In the situation where your first four card draws were a 2, a 4, a 12, and a 10, the following would happen:
- The 2 would start a man out and immediately give you another turn.
- The 4 would move that man backwards 4 spaces, to the corner space.
- Provided that man is still in the corner (the scenario outlined by Barb), the 12 WOULD BE FORFEIT because the man is 8 spaces away from HOME and no other man can move.
- Provided the man is still in the corner, the 10 would move the man back one space because the man cannot be moved 10 spaces forward and all other men are on start.