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Q: If I have Doctors 7 and 8, and another player has Doctors 3 and 4, and the Goal Regeneration comes up, who wins?

A: Sounds like a classic case of two people meeting the winning conditions at the same time.

On the rule sheet itself, at end of the first page in “Notes” is the ruling for ties:

“The game doesn’t end until there is a clear winner. If for some reason two of more players meet the winning conditions simultaneously, the game continues until a single winner emerges.”

So, for your situation, the answer is actually fairly simple: there were two players meeting winning conditions simultaneously, so keep playing until a clear winner emerges. Note that the “clear winner” need not be one of the two originally tied. It could happen that the game state changes, and someone else wins instead of either one of them.

Q: Is there a rule in Homeworlds against simply undoing the previous move?

…Each of us kept attacking the same small piece to capture it to our side, and we just kept undoing the previous move. After weeks of analysis, we concluded there was no better move for either of us. Do we just end the game in a stalemate?

A: There is no formal rule barring simply undoing your opponent’s previous move. Sometimes there is some other opportunity to sacrifice a piece somewhere else that could tip things and break the stalemate… but if neither player is willing to change their move, yes, you’ll just have to call it a draw. The good news is that now you get to play another game of Homeworlds!

Q: What happens if two players simultaneously meet the win conditions because one of them has the Holographic Projection?

…For instance, if player A has Scientist, Engineer, and Hologram and player B has Expendable Crewman, Captain, and Doctor and player A plays the goal “Landing Party” on his turn (neither player has any Creepers), does player A instantly win because the Hologram says to meet the goal as though they had “Expendable Crewman” and not player B, or would neither player win because both players met the winning condition (until player A’s turn ends, at which point player B would still meet the conditions and player A would not, resulting in a win for player B)? The former seems to fit from a literal reading of the card, but it does not make sense that a holographic projection would keep something from someone else.

Although I agree, it seems counter-intuitive, logically, we rule a strict reading of the card (i.e. the first scenario is correct). Andy said, essentially:

So if you have the holographic projector, it’s like the hologram is SO REALISTIC that nobody can effectively tell the difference, so that, while you may have THOUGHT you had the real thing, suddenly you might discover that you’ve been tricked and they’re projecting the hologram to you, and they have the real one.” In actuality, the wording is deliberately written specifically to avoid the awkwardness of the sort of temporary tie discussed.

Q: If the Goal Rogues’ Gallery comes out, and one player has 4 Villains, and another has 5, does the player with more win, or is it a tie?

A: Your instinct is probably correct on this one: the player with more Villains in front of them wins. It’s a lot like 10 Cards In Hand or 5 Keepers, but we didn’t have a lot of room on the Goal card to say what happens in cases like this.

On the other hand, if two players have the same number of Villains, then it’s a tie, and, as is always the case in Fluxx: if there is a tie, then you keep playing until a clear winner emerges.

Q: Playing with the basic starter rules in Just Desserts, we ended the game without anyone having met the win conditions. How do we resolve a tie?

… With 5 very strategic players running on the basic mode (since we were all new and wanted to learn the game), we ended up running out of cards before anyone was able to complete the requirements to win. Several of us had two of one color and two or three singles of the other colors. We ran out of guest cards with them pretty evenly distributed and nobody had a chance to win.

A: You didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately it just happens that way occasionally. That’s our bad, we thought it would be more unlikely than it is turning out to be. But we have a rule now for this case:

Keep playing until all Guests have been served. Then, if no one has achieved victory, everyone gets a score: 1 point for each Guest, plus a 1 point bonus for each matching pair. High score wins. If scores are tied, the player who has the most leftover dessert cards in their hand is the winner.

Q: What happens if a Goal and UnGoal are met at the same time?

… We were playing Cthulhu Fluxx, and what complicates things is that my wife had the Secret Cultist, so she would win if the UnGoal overrides the Goal, but my son would have won with the Goal if that overrides the UnGoal. [Note from Looney Labs, in Cthulhu Fluxx, a simultaneous Goal and UnGoal could arise from either Double Agenda or The Stars Are Right. Zombie Fluxx and Martian Fluxx could also generate this condition since they both have Double Agenda and an UnGoal. Zombie Fluxx also has the Zombie Boss Rule which can make a player win in the case of the UnGoal being met.]

A: Well, this IS a doozy. Andy and I had to think this through carefully.

But in the end, the answer seems obvious: on the rule sheet itself, at end of the first page in “Notes” is the ruling for ties:

“The game doesn’t end until there is a clear winner. If for some reason two of more players meet the winning conditions simultaneously, the game continues until a single winner emerges.”

So, for your situation, the answer is actually fairly simple: there were two players meeting winning conditions simultaneously, so keep playing until a clear winner emerges. Note that the “clear winner” need not be one of the two originally tied. It could happen that someone else manages to break the tie and win instead of either one of them.

What got a little tricky for us, is that we also wanted to rule in cases where the Cultist/Secret Cultist/Zombie Boss wasn’t invoked, which is to say when there is one player winning, but the conditions for “all players losing” is also met. How could that be? Would we rule that there is only one player winning? Or would we rule that there is “no clear winner”, since that player should simultaneously be both winning and losing?

We went with the latter: If a Goal and UnGoal are met simultaneously, then, even if there is not an actual player that can claim victory in the case of the UnGoal conditions, having the UnGoal met is like having the “forces of evil” be the winner. So if a player meets the winning condition, they are actually tied with “the forces of evil” , thus play would continue until a clear winner emerges.

In a way, all that the Cultist/Secret Cultist/Zombie Boss does is make an actual player represent those forces of evil, thereby claiming that victory.

Q: If two players are tied to win with Ten Cards In Hand, and then a third player gets more than either of them, does the third player win?

… I know we’re supposed to “keep playing until a clear winner emerges” but shouldn’t that be just between the two players who tied?

A: Actually, when the rules say to “keep playing until a clear winner emerges,” that does mean “until a clear winner emerges among ALL the players”. So, in your example, the third player absolutely wins.

Sometimes there’s a tie, and what happens is that the tie is eliminated when the Goal goes away, and the game just continues until someone wins in a totally different way. That’s probably the most frequent way that “tied” situations are broken by continued play, actually.

Q: For Rock-Paper-Scissors Showdown, do we throw three times, and if it’s a tie then nobody loses cards?

Or do we keep throwing until someone has won two out of three? If Inflation is in play, do we need to play four rounds? What happens if there’s a tie in that case?

A: You keep playing games until someone has 2 out of 3 wins. Just re-throw ties: since they don’t result in a player gaining a win, they don’t count towards the number of games played.

If Inflation is in effect, you would indeed need to play 4 games instead of 3. If that turns out 2-2, keep playing until someone gets one more win. Like “sudden death” in an overtime tie situation: whoever scores first wins. Essentially, you’ll have to play until one player gets 3 wins, instead of just 2 as for the non-inflated tournament.

In either of these cases, there is no situation where no-one loses cards (unless, I suppose, someone didn’t have cards to lose in the first place). Perhaps it’s clearer to say: there is no such thing as a tie in this tournament; no situation where there is not a winner and loser.

Q: If the Goal is 5 Keepers, and one player has 5, but another player has 6 + Creepers, who wins?

A: This is actually a very tricky question. I snagged Andy, though, and we talked it over. At first it seems like player A with 5 Keepers should win, since the meet the conditions and have no Creepers, but the goal specifically stipulates that if anyone has more than 5, the player with the most wins.

We decided that in this case, there can be no winner, and the game continues until a clear winner emerges.

In a case with two players tied for Keepers, with one having Creepers, however, the Creepers would eliminate one from the running.

Note that all of these contingencies would apply similarly for the Goal 10 Cards In Hand.

Q: If I cause two elements to get seven panels connected, but I am neither of those, who wins?

For example, if I made Fire and Water win simultaneously, but I’m Earth.

A: That’s an interesting situation! The game could just end in a tie, if you’re okay with that, but we would keep playing until a clear winner emerges. The player who gets the next turn will clearly have an advantage, but it could go for while until one player or the other either gets 8 connections or knocks the other down to 6. It’s also possible that the game will grind to an end with the tie remaining unbroken, in which case the player who plays the last card wins.

To further clarify: If the game is called as a tie, then all players with the winning number of connections would be joint winners, while the other players would be losers. If you continue the game and run out of cards, then the winner will be the last of the two tied players who is able to play a card. In short, you cannot be a winner if your element isn’t the most connected.