# Turn Count Inconsistency when using Attack in Exploding Kittens

When playing Attack, the turns of the current player are transferred to the next player, and a fixed number of turns are added. However, this seems to be inconsistent with the official text:

ATTACK 2X 4 CARDS

Do not draw any cards. Instead, immediately force the next player to take 2 turns in a row. Play then continues from that player. The victim of this card takes a turn as normal (pass-or-play then draw). Then, when their first turn is over, it's their turn again.

If the victim of an Attack Card plays an Attack Card on any of their turns, the new target must take any remaining turns plus the number of attacks on the Attack Card just played (e.g. 4 turns, then 6, and so on).

The text suggests that this would be the effect:

• P1 plays Attack, so P2 has 2 turns.
• P2 plays Attack, so P3 has 4 turns.
• P3 plays Attack, so P4 has 6 turns. (Pn refers to P(n mod p) for p players.)
• P4 plays Attack, so P5 has 8 turns.
• P5 plays Five Different Cards (to get Attack) and draws Shuffle, with 7 turns left.
• P5 plays Attack, so P6 has 9 turns.

The inconsistency is that P1 already has 1 turn when playing Attack, which would imply adding 1 turn per Attack card:

• P1 plays Attack, so P2 has 1+1=2 turns.
• P2 plays Attack, so P3 has 2+1=3 turns.
• P3 plays Attack, so P4 has 3+1=4 turns.
• P4 plays Attack, so P5 has 4+1=5 turns.
• P5 plays Five Different Cards (to get Attack) and draws Shuffle, with 4 turns left.
• P5 plays Attack, so P6 has 4+1=5 turns.

This is clearly not what the text suggests, which is that 2 turns should be added. But even with that change, it seems like 1 extra turn should be added to everything:

• P1 plays Attack, so P2 has 1+2=3 turns.
• P2 plays Attack, so P3 has 3+2=5 turns.
• P3 plays Attack, so P4 has 5+2=7 turns.
• P4 plays Attack, so P5 has 7+2=9 turns.
• P5 plays Five Different Cards (to get Attack) and draws Shuffle, with 8 turns left.
• P5 plays Attack, so P6 has 8+2=10 turns.

Is the inconsistency a result of misinterpreting the description, or is it just that the Attack card has a special extra effect of subtracting 1 turn when the turn count is 1 before adding (3 after adding)?

Transfer turns to the next player, add 2 turns, and subtract 1 turn if the turn count is 3.

I say that it seems inconsistent because in this example, P3 can have 2 extra turns from a 1 turn count difference:

• P1 plays Attack, so P2 has 2+2-1=2 turns.
• P2 plays Shuffle and draws Shuffle, with 1 turn left.
• P2 plays Attack, so P3 has 1+2-1=2 turns. (P3 has 2+2=4 turns if the previous line is deleted.)

Or would P3 get 3 turns (4 if the second line is deleted) in this case, corresponding to the following effect?

Transfer turns to the next player and add 2 turns. The turn count is normally 0, and players still take 1 turn if the turn count is 0.

This last rule avoids removing 2 turns from using 1, but it means 1 original turn and 1 Attack turn left are different states (but only when using Attack).

• I would interpret as the attack card having a special rule when played as the victim of an attack card (making it more powerful). This is possibly intentional to encourage people to wait until they are attacked to play their attack card, or to lessen the pain of being attacked Sep 24, 2020 at 5:01
• @MatthewJensen, so it would be as described in my last example? Sep 25, 2020 at 1:14
• If you want to follow the rules exactly, I think the first example is correct (2, 4, 6...). This is looking more and more like an oversight from the developers, thinking that the attack card gives a player 2 turns, instead of 1 plus their normal turn. If you want to add house rules, your second example seems more intuitive (2, 3, 4...). The rule is more simple too; "give the next player all your remaining turns". Sep 25, 2020 at 2:35
• From the official description, (2, 4, 6, 8, 10) turns should be satisfied when Attack is played repeatedly without any other move. However, it's still unclear what happens in the last case of my question: P1 plays Attack, P2 uses 1 turn, P2 plays Attack. Should P3 have 2 or 3 turns? Is it significant that P2 had 1 turn left as an Attack victim (3 turns), or is it no different from having 1 original turn (2 turns)? If it's 2, then does it seem correct that P3 loses 2 turns because P2 used 1 turn? Sep 26, 2020 at 15:46

I have a very interesting answer to this question that might or might not be correct...

For all of this to make sense, I believe the first step should be to differentiate between a normal turn and an attack turn.

If you do that, all different scenarios and rules start slowly making more sense and matching up:

### 1) Official Rules:

ATTACK 2X 4 CARDS

Do not draw any cards. Instead, immediately force the next player to take 2 turns in a row. Play then continues from that player. The victim of this card takes a turn as normal (pass-or-play then draw). Then, when their first turn is over, it's their turn again.

If the victim of an Attack Card plays an Attack Card on any of their turns, the new target must take any remaining <attack> turns plus the number of attacks on the Attack Card just played (e.g. 4 turns, then 6, and so on).

See how I edited in a word there? Would it remove the contradiction from your examples?

### 1.1)

• P1 plays Attack, so P2 has 2 turns. (0 normal and 2 attack)
• P2 plays Attack, so P3 has 4 turns. (0 normal and 4 attack)
• P3 plays Attack, so P4 has 6 turns. (0 normal and 6 attack)
• P4 plays Attack, so P5 has 8 turns. (0 normal and 8 attack)
• P5 plays Five Different Cards (to get Attack) and draws Shuffle, with 7 turns left. (0 normal and 7 attack)
• P5 plays Attack, so P6 has 9 turns. (0 normal and 9 attack)

So far so good!

### 1.2 & 1.3)

The inconsistency is that P1 already has 1 turn when playing Attack, which would imply adding 1 turn per Attack card

Now this inconsistency is gone! Normal turns don't get carried over, only attack turns!

### 2) Mobile Game

Another source for rules that gave me this idea is the mobile Exploding Kittens game. The game has interesting type of cards called "Slap" (as a replacement for attack cards, functionality seems to be identical):

There are double slaps, triple slaps as well as single slaps and their behavior does seem to fit in with my answer:

Imagine you start the game by single slapping someone:

• P1 (1 normal turn, 0 attack) -> Slap
• P2 (0 normal turns, 1 attack)

This is the behavior that you would expect according to my explanation but what if P2 slaps back?

• P1 (1 normal turn, 0 attack) -> Slap
• P2 (0 normal turns, 1 attack) -> Slap
• P3 (0 normal turns, 2 attack)!

That's precisely what happens in the game! It seems like for the rules to make sense you really need to differentiate between normal turns that happen when someone finishes their turn, and the forced "attack" turns that happen once someone gets attacked/slapped.

### 2.1) Official Rules (again)

The game behavior and my explanation both match up with the "Double Slap" description as well:

Double Slap

3 Cards with 4 Cards without

End your turn without drawing a card and force any other player to take 2 turns in a row.

This is not the same as drawing 2 cards in a row! The target of this card should take their first turn (play cards and/or draw). When their turn is over, it’s their turn again.

If the targeted player plays a Slap Card in return, they pick a player to take ALL remaining turns (4 turns, then 6, and so on). Play always continues from the targeted player.

Triple Slap works the same way as Double Slap, but adds 3 turns instead of 2.

This description matches my explanation as well!

Whether this is the correct interpretation of the rules or not is up for debate, but this was the one and only way I have managed avoid any logical inconsistencies while playing the game both in real life and virtually and reading different rules (old rules are even more different!).

• Your system is essentially the last system I described in my question (players take one "normal" turn when the turn count is 0, leading to different behavior when Attack is played when the turn count is 0 or 1). The Double Slap card is described the same as the Attack card, and if the official software implements it this way, I would consider it to be an authoritative ruling. Jan 6, 2021 at 3:06