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The Neverchosen

Archaeotech Shrine question

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Hello any and all Relic players,

I've played a couple dozen games and like to think I know the game fairly well but I have here a card that really stumps me. Or rather has a very clear meaning and outcome to me, and another player has a contradictory interpretation and I have found no FAQ or clarification or anything to clear up the argument.

Attached is the card in question, Archaeotech Shrine. The way I read it, to interact with the card in any way, you must spend charge tokens from assets. The other player believes that this is unnessecary; that once he has a Mechanicus affiliation, landing upon the space and reaching the encounter step of Engagement phase will always yield a Cunning increase for nothing. 

Have I missed something simple here? In particular, I think the wording makes it clear that the Cunning increase is an alternative reward ('Instead') for spending the charges. In addition, it just seems wrong to have a infinite, no risk, costless source of attribute increases.

All thoughtful responses are welcome and appreciated, thank you.

Archeotech_Shrine.jpg

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At first glance, I was ready to go with your buddy (free Cunning), but mulling it over a bit, I think I lean for your side of the court. 2 charges needed, only the reward changes, depending on whether you have Mechanicus affiliation or not.

It's not an ideally formatted card IMO, leaving it somewhat open to interpretation.

Also, I think you'll get quicker responses these days posting on Boardgamegeek's Relic forums (under Rules), since Relic forums here have been relegated to the Forum Archives.

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