Last game, the situation arose where I scored a hit on a dreadnaught and played Direct Hit!. My brother then quickly grabbed his Emergency Repairs card.

Direct Hit! reads:

Play: "Immediately after the ship has been damaged in a Space Battle in which you participate."

Emergency Repairs reads:

Play: "At any time"

So this resulted in an argument: "Direct Hit! means that the hit was a kill shot so you can't do Emergency Repair" vs "I repaired first, so you can't play Direct Hit!".

After consulting the rules we found out that you always have to announce that you are going to play a card. Then other people can announce they also want to play a card. Then the cards are resolved in order of play.

So what would have happened in our situation if both action cards had been announced? If either is played first, the other cannot be played any more. Is the action card then discarded? Does it go back into the player's hand? Does the player have to reveal what it was? If not, can he just decide not to play it any more even though it would still be possible (i.e. to repair/direct hit another ship)?


My word here is by no means final—there is no clear answer to your question that I can find—but I have a good argument for resolving your case based on the existing rules, FAQ, and card text.

There is no rule that states that Emergency Repairs cannot be played in an action cycle began by a player announcing a card that turns out to be a Direct Hit!.

(The following is worth mentioning: Sabotage—another action with ‘immediately’ in the Play text is explicitly said to not be announced, which would mean there is no cycle of actions played by other players, as that text only takes effect after an action is announced. It would seem ideal that other immediate Action Cards be given a similar non–announced status, but no one asked me.)

The use of ‘immediately’ in the Play text of Direct Hit! implies that it happens before any other actions could possibly be announced— except for others with the same same trigger in its Play block. The closest thing a player being attacked has to Direct Hit! is Recheck, which instead reacts ‘immediately’ to the die roll— before the damage has been inflicted.

I believe there is a reason for the lack of contradictory immediate actions that are triggered by the same state. The only exception is the pre–combat phase, and the FAQ has a solution for resolving those actions. (Rulebook effects are treated here as actions, as well— which demonstrates that immediate effects on Action Cards are treated with the same priority as immediate rulebook effects are.)

So… if we got to the situation where Emergency Repairs is played in an action cycle began with the announcing of an Action Card that turned out to be a Direct Hit!, it would still resolve.

Emergency Repairs does not target a ship or fleet, but rather the system that it resides in (the targeting text is simply “Choose a system”). Other ships (if any) in the system, for example, would still be repaired. You could technically play it on a system you have no ships on, as it does not require you to have any ships in said system. (It has not received an erratum which requires presence like Direct Hit! has.)

It would be possible to play Emergency Repairs in an action cycle started by a Direct Hit!, and then use Sabotage on the Direct Hit!, though…


As I read the rules, it's pretty straight forward.

Your brother is not allowed to simply play an action card. Neither are you.

You must announce that you intend to use an action card. If anybody wants to do the same, they announce it as well. Then the cards are being resolved in turn order. The one with the smallest number (Initiative, Diplomacy...) resolves first.

If you have the smallest number the dreadnought is destroyed. Your brother's Emergency Repairs is discarded.

If your brother has the smallest number the dreadnought is repaired. Your Direct Hit is discarded.

  • Good find. This is described on p23 of the TI3 rule book. However, I can't find anything saying the Direct Hit or Emergency Repairs are discarded: can't they simply be considered unplayed, and the owner keeps them? – doppelgreener Jul 28 '13 at 4:54
  • As I mentioned in the question, we already read the part in the rules about which card gets to be played. The confusion is about what happens to the one that doesn't get played. Like Jonathan Hobbs said, I don't see where it says the card should be discarded. – Matthijs Wessels Jul 28 '13 at 19:22

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