Looney Labs Fluxx Mailing list Archive

Re: [Fluxx] RE: Must draw first?

  • FromAnthony Kozar <anthonykozar@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 09 Oct 2007 14:34:44 -0400
I am honestly quite shocked by this ruling.  I didn't chime in earlier in
this discussion because the answer seemed "obvious" to me.  So, I have gone
back and reviewed all of my Fluxx cards, rules inserts, and boxes -- and
there are still a few things troubling me.

For one, the part on the rules inserts (which I thought was new with my
EcoFluxx or Family Fluxx deck, but turns out to have been in my Fluxx 2.1
rules too) where it says "Turn Sequence".  The word "sequence" certainly
implies (requires?) an order to the steps below that heading, especially
since they are numbered.  (*1) (*2)

I will admit that looking at the basic rules and "Draw N" cards now, that
there is little evidence on these cards for a strict "Draw, then play"
interpretation.  But the "Turn Sequence" section of the rules insert, in my
opinion, makes it clear, just as it clarifies other aspects of the game that
are not on the cards.

Secondly, "play first" breaks "Trade Hands" in my opinion: save that card as
the only card in your hand, and then play it at the beginning of your turn
before drawing any cards.  It also seems unfair with "Time Vortex".

I also think that "No-Hand Bonus" becomes problematic with "play first".  Do
you have to draw the 3 cards before playing any if your hand is empty?  In
my opinion, "No-Hand Bonus"'s text definitely implies that "observing the
current draw rule" is the first thing you do "at the start of your turn".

Another problem that I see with allowing "play first" is that it
counteracts, in my humble opinion, one of the most important and most fun
features of Fluxx:  that sometimes you are forced to do things that are
disadvantageous to you or that even make someone else win.  The addition of
Zombies to the game makes the "Draw first" "requirement" even more exciting
because, yes, you might have the cards to win on your turn _as_long_as_ you
do not draw a zombie.  I don't have a copy of "Zombie Quartet" to look at
yet, but I imagine that if another player can strategically get it onto the
top of the deck so that you will draw it, you should not be able to simply
"ignore" your draw and win.

Further, I think "play first" allows players to skirt around the intentional
chaos of cards like "Final Card Random" and "First Card Random".  I believe
that it is counter to the spirit of these cards to allow a player to play
the cards that they want (or significantly increase their chances) by
waiting to observe the existing draw rule.

One last troubling issue with "play first" is this: when you do choose to
draw, do you have to draw all of the cards that your are required to by the
current draw rule or can you draw only as many as you like, then play more
cards (if allowed) before finishing drawing?  It just seems simpler to
stipulate "must draw first".
I know that I can "play however I want" and that I cannot "force anyone else
to play the way that I think is correct", but I wanted to point out that I
think there are a number of issues that allowing "play first" makes MORE
confusing or less fun (IMHO).  I _do_ play Fluxx first and foremost to have
fun, just like the rest of you.

Anthony Kozar
anthonykozar AT sbcglobal DOT net

*1 - And no, the hand limit video does not contradict this sequence at all
because the card clearly states that you "may ignore" the hand limit during
your turn.  And regardless of whether you previously chose to observe the
hand limit in the middle of your turn, you always have to check again at the
end of your turn since you may have additional cards in hand by that time.

*2 - This sequence is important to me, since one of the ambiguous aspects of
the Fluxx rules has always been the order that cards are discarded when
necessary.  And this sequence specifies that you should observe the hand
limit at the end of your turn before the keeper limit.  The order of the
discard pile has always mattered because of cards like "Pilfer the Trash"
and even more now with "Composting", etc.

I have always tried to suggest when I play that players also discard "in
order" when somebody plays a new hand limit or keeper limit.  I believe that
the lack of specificity on this point is a hole in the rules.  Yes, I know
that Fluxx is supposed to be fun, but having a clear sequence to follow when
multiple people are required to take some action makes the game fairer and
could help avoid "broken" interactions between future cards.

Andrew Plotkin wrote on 10/9/07 12:05 PM:

> I wrote the back cover copy (and donated it to Looney Labs). It was a long
> time ago, obviously. I wasn't thinking about this issue at all; I thought
> (and continued to think, up until yesterday) that the basic rules were
> unequivocal.