Thanks Brandobras. But I still have questions. And I found an older discussion on this.
Changes to general influence take place immediately, with a minimum of zero free general influence.
Presumably it is stating (1) changes to general influence takes place immediately after
all company composition changes happen (which are considered to happen all at once) and (2) even if you exceed your general influence, you cannot have negative GI, it just goes to 0.
No moving of characters about in such a way that influence is exceeded. Switcharoos are fine, so far as I know.
What ruling is this based on? I looked and could not find it.
Anyway, I did a search on "Changes to general influence take place immediately, with a minimum of zero free general influence" from the CRF and found this thread discussing hazards and GI. http://www.meccg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1847
From the discussion in that thread -- presumably, when Elrond controls Thranduil using bonus DI from Vilya, which lasts "until the end of the turn," then Elrond would lose control of Thranduil after the "end of the turn." Meaning that Thranduil is no longer following Elrond, though maybe he has not "moved into GI" yet, since Thranduil does not count against GI until the following organization phase. This example with Vilya doesn't cause any unexpected problems. But when a hazard forces a character out from DI (e.g., Rebel Talk), the ex-follower doesn't reduce GI to enable anti-GI hazards to work better, which seems odd.
Also, in that thread, the CRF "Changes to general influence take place immediately" refers to increases in Mind or actual changes to GI itself (e.g., Cruel Claw Perceived), not any change to GI based on an ex-follower (who is actually not controlled by DI or GI at all).
Some other notes:
URD wrote:You may not move a character out from under direct influence in order to cause such a shortage, but there is no rule that you must move a character under direct influence rather than discard them, provided that you did not move them out from under direct influence during the organization phase in the first place [CoE 61].
CoE 61 wrote:You said:
1) * This is not, in fact, legal. You must move the characters back under DI first to resolve your influence problems.
I assume this means that a player must be forced to maximize the most amount of mind under the most amount of direct influence before the end
of the organization phase (if it looks like he/she will have influence problems)?
*** Wim put this as well as I ever could:
Not in the general case.
When for some reason you come into the organization phase with influence problems you are not forced to put characters under DI, you can choose
to solve the predicament by discarding characters as well (or a mix of both).
However if during the organization phase you create an influence shortage yourself by taking characters out of DI, you have to solve it by putting them back under DI somewhere. You cannot use this self-created shortage as an excuse to discard characters outside the normal rules (that allow one character to be discarded per turn, if at haven or home site).
CoE 61 above was a clarification to CoE 60 below:
CoE 60 wrote:Old bit...
Can a player voluntarily decide to move characters out of direct influence during the organization phase so that his general influence is
exceeded? If so, at the end of the organization phase must the player:
a) discard characters until his general is resolved Or b) return characters to hand until his general is resolved?
*** You may move the character(s) as you describe, but at the end of the organization phase, you would have to first return any characters
played during that phase to your hand, then, if you are still over your GI, discard characters until you are legal again.
*** This is not, in fact, legal. You must move the characters back under DI first to resolve your influence problems.
From my understanding, the URD doesn't reflect Wim's statement in CoE61, which states that you CAN take characters out of DI, thereby creating influence shortages (contradicting the URD statement), you just can't do this as an excuse to discard characters beyond the normal rules. Meaning, you can't both play a character and discard another, and you can't discard 2 characters. CoE 60 saying it is "not legal" is an incomplete picture the same as the same MELE rule. Of course you can move a character out from DI to GI beyond GI, but you must discard them (which is essentially the same as simply discarding them). And you can't discard the ex-follower if you played a character the same turn because that would go beyond the rules, so you must either (A) move the character back under DI or (B) return the newly played character to hand.
So, from all this reading, I now think this is how the scenarios above would work:
Scenario 1 - At Rivendell, during the organization phase
Elrond (10 mind and 4 DI) uses Vilya (+6 DI) and controls Thranduil (9 mind)
Gandalf (10 DI) controls Glorfindel (8 mind)
Legolas (6 mind, 2 DI) with Elf-Stone (+2 DI) controls Elrohir (4 mind)
There is 4 free GI. No character was played this turn (e.g., Elrond used Vilya last turn as well).
Question - Can Thranduil be moved out from Elrond's DI into GI?
Answer - YES, as long as you don't do this as an excuse to go beyond the rules that limit you to playing 1 character OR discarding 1 character (e.g., you discard Thranduil but do not play another character). However, this question is actually moot because at this point because Thranduil was no longer controlled by Elrond anyway once Vilya's effect ended at the end of the previous turn.
Scenario 2 - Same as above except that Elrond used Vilya last turn but not this turn
Answer - Same note as above. Thranduil was no longer controlled by Elrond anyway once Vilya's effect ended at the end of the previous turn.
Scenario 3 - Same as above
Question - Can Glorfindel and Thranduil swap, such that Elrond controls Glorfindel and Gandalf controls Thranduil?
Answer - Yes. Elrond with Vilya can control Glorfindel and Gandalf can control Thranduil. The original MELE rule is outdated and incomplete in view of the CRF and CoE rulings.
Scenario 4 - Same as above
Question - Can Glorfindel be moved to GI and then can Gandalf play a new character under his DI? Or, can the character be played under GI and moved to DI?
Answer - Yes, as long as you do not go beyond the rules that limit you to playing 1 character OR discarding 1 character (e.g., if they are at a haven and Elf-song is in play).
Bottom line - Do any organization you want ("at the same time") and reconcile GI at the end. If a character is played and another character would be discarded, then the played character goes back to your hand. If a character is not played and a non-follower character would be discarded, they are discarded. If a character is not played and more than 1 non-follower character would be discarded, you must attempt to control characters under DI such that no more than 1 character is discarded. But if 2 are discarded (e.g., due to lost influence or lost leaders), so be it.
If anyone disagrees, please let me know why.