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Basically, my question is this: when I discard cards for Militia, do the other players have the right to see all the cards that I discard, or just the card that ends up on top of my discard pile.

I believe this comes down to the question whether the cards are discarded simultaneously or one after the other. There are contradicting sources on this. The DominionStartegy Wiki page states

When attacked by Militia, you do not have to let players see all the cards you discard, just the one you leave on top of your discard pile.

However, the book Complete Rules for Dominion and All Its Expansions v.7.0 on page 40 under "Discard down to x cards in hand" (explicitly including Militia) states

Discard cards from your hand, one at a time, until you have x cards in your hand.

Are there some official words from Donald X. Vaccarino?

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2 Answers 2

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No you don't have to. It is clearly in the rules:

"Discard a card" - Move a card from your hand to your discard pile.

• Sometimes a card will tell you to discard a card from another location, but by default discarded cards come from hands.

• You place the discarded card on top of your discard pile, face up.

If you discard multiple cards at once, you do not need to reveal them all, just the one you put on top.

There is a thread on BGG about militia in which came to the same conclusion.

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  • Sure, but the wording of Militia does not make it clear whether the discarding is all at once: "Each other player discards down to 3 cards in hand."
    – M. Rumpy
    Oct 13, 2021 at 11:23
  • @M.Rumpy I added a link to a BGG discussion. I agree it is vague, but I looks like the have the same conclusion. Oct 13, 2021 at 11:55
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    Thank you. To emphasize, the BGG link properply answers the question because it contains the answer "You discard the cards all at once, with only the ends-up-on-top card revealed" from Donald X himself.
    – M. Rumpy
    Oct 13, 2021 at 14:31
  • Donald has contradicted that in more recent discussions. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone linked him to that BGG thread at the time to remind him that he’d already ruled on it. See comments on the question for relevant links.
    – GendoIkari
    Oct 22, 2021 at 1:12
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    In that same BGG thread, you need to scroll down further to see where Donald X actually corrected himself: boardgamegeek.com/thread/1678764/article/24804068#24804068
    – GendoIkari
    Oct 25, 2021 at 15:45
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The official rulings on this have gone back and forth, but the current rule from the designer is that Militia causes you to discard one at a time, and thus your opponent would get to see all cards being discarded.

This has been a topic of discussion both at BGG and the Dominion Strategy Forums multiple times. Most recently the discussion has come up in regards with how to handle discarding Village Green (which lets you play it when you discard it), but the same discussion would affect whether your opponents are allowed to see all cards that have been discarded.

The most recent statement by Donald X I have been able to find is from November 2020, in which he says:

I still tentatively plan to change [Militia causes you to discard one at a time] to, discard all at once, then do the Village Greens.

Emphasis mine; he was considering making a rule change to discard all at once, but no decision had been made. In January 2021, in regards to whether he had made a decision, he stated:

It's not on my mind. I have no game night currently, etc.

In a BGG thread from 2016, Donald first stated

You discard the cards all at once, with only the ends-up-on-top card revealed

as the other answer quotes. However, shortly after in the same thread (2 months later), he corrected that:

Yes, sorry; Inn is "discard 2 cards at once" while Militia is "repeatedly discard 1 card until at 3."

In a 2014 thread on the Dominion Strategy Forums, Donald X discussed both interpretations:

Minion is "discards his hand." Militia is "discards down to 3 cards in hand." The question is, how does the process of "discard down to 3" work - it's specific to that phrasing. It seems to me like you keep discarding until you have 3. Tunnel could interrupt that because it does something when discarded.

It may feel like Militia is "calculate the number of cards in your hand minus 3, and if it's greater than zero, discard that many." It doesn't say that though.

As always very few people will see any ruling I make on this, and if I'm not contradicting a rulebook I would tend to like things to work how people who didn't think about it would play them. Maybe everyone is subtracting 3; it's hard to say.

Another slightly more recent ruling from Donald X:

Oh I see. I don't know what the online version does there either, but yes. One at a time for both [Monastery and Militia], except, maybe the interface can be friendlier for typical no-such-weirdness cases.

Finally, a couple threads with more discussion and information, but no other specific rulings to quote:

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=20160.0

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=10683

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