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Cuba Libre» Forums » Rules

Subject: Free ambush question on Rebel Air Force Base #44 rss

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David Goulette
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Hi all,

On card #44 the DR or 26July get's a free ambush. Does a free ambush mean that you get a free attack-ambush combo? Normally you have to do an attack in combination with an ambush for an ambush to work, correct?

Just want to make sure I am interpreting things correctly.

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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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anaturalharmonic wrote:
Hi all,

On card #44 the DR or 26July get's a free ambush. Does a free ambush mean that you get a free attack-ambush combo? Normally you have to do an attack in combination with an ambush for an ambush to work, correct?

Just want to make sure I am interpreting things correctly.



It means just a free ambush. The event cards are to be taken very literally, so do only what it says. Normally an ambush is associated with an attack, but the event card does not say "free ambush and free attack" so it is just the ambush.
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David Goulette
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
anaturalharmonic wrote:
Hi all,

On card #44 the DR or 26July get's a free ambush. Does a free ambush mean that you get a free attack-ambush combo? Normally you have to do an attack in combination with an ambush for an ambush to work, correct?

Just want to make sure I am interpreting things correctly.



It means just a free ambush. The event cards are to be taken very literally, so do only what it says. Normally an ambush is associated with an attack, but the event card does not say "free ambush and free attack" so it is just the ambush.


But the ambush rules say:

"4.3.2 Ambush. An Ambush enables 26July to ensure the complete success of an Attack in one space. It must take place in a space selected for Attack [...]"

So I have thought that Ambush ONLY makes sense when paired with an attack.

Thoughts?
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David Goulette
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Let me add that I am asking this question precisely because the replies to rules questions often are along the lines of "do exactly what the card says, nothing more, nothing less." But this card would seem to be almost completely worthless if there is not an implied Attack that is paired with the free ambush (again... I may be missing something here).
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Rodger Samuel
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Hopefully, we'll get a more authoritative answer, but, yes, Ambush always accompanies an Attack. Certainly, the general rule is: follow event text literally and without any additions or subtractions. However, in this case, since Ambush and Attack are strictly paired in the rules, then granting a free Ambush automatically implies an Attack also.

If one could play an Event and conduct an Operation, then perhaps the card could be said to indicate that the player must pay for an Attack Operation, to which could be added the free Ambush granted by the card. However, it's not possible to conduct an Operation and play an Event. Therefore, the Attack which is required by the free Ambush must be granted by the Event. Otherwise, the Event would be meaningless.
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David Goulette
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I agree with everything you said here. This is exactly how I would play it. I would assume this is correct.

Thank you.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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DrZaat wrote:
Hopefully, we'll get a more authoritative answer, but, yes, Ambush always accompanies an Attack. Certainly, the general rule is: follow event text literally and without any additions or subtractions. However, in this case, since Ambush and Attack are strictly paired in the rules, then granting a free Ambush automatically implies an Attack also.

If one could play an Event and conduct an Operation, then perhaps the card could be said to indicate that the player must pay for an Attack Operation, to which could be added the free Ambush granted by the card. However, it's not possible to conduct an Operation and play an Event. Therefore, the Attack which is required by the free Ambush must be granted by the Event. Otherwise, the Event would be meaningless.


The event is far from meaningless, you select one space and follow the section marked "procedure" in ambush, i.e. you activate one guerilla that automatically succeeds and removes 2 units and then places a 26 July guerilla in the space.

Events never "imply" anything, especially adding an entire Operation like an attack that is not mentioned on the card.

The fact that the rules for ambush say "4.3.2 Ambush. An Ambush enables 26July to ensure the complete success of an Attack in one space. It must take place in a space selected for Attack [...]" is irrelevant because the Event is providing you the Free Ambush instead of the Operation. You cannot "reverse engineer" the operation from the special activity the card provides you.

I am sure Oerjan will be along shortly to confirm this.
 
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David Goulette
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Reverend,

The entire rule for Ambush assumes it is paired with an attack. Even the procedure you reference is written assuming an attack is occurring (the bolded part emphasizes this):

"PROCEDURE: Instead of the usual Attack procedure (3.3.3), the
Attack in that space
Activates 1 Underground Guerrilla only and
automatically succeeds (do not roll; remove the 2 enemy pieces
normally). Place an Available 26July Guerrilla in the space (Underground,
1.4.3) as if a “1” had been rolled."

This rule clearly implies an attack is occurring.

But set that aside for a minute. If I am the 26July faction and I choose to use this event, should I act as though I did an attack paired with an ambush in exactly one eligible place?
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Didier Renard
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David, this is the key question.
Since ambush implies pairing with battle, I would tend to assume you can battle in several regions and use the ambush ability in one of them. My assumption is based on the fact that the card actually does not say "in one region".
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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DrZaat wrote:
Hopefully, we'll get a more authoritative answer, but, yes, Ambush always accompanies an Attack. Certainly, the general rule is: follow event text literally and without any additions or subtractions. However, in this case, since Ambush and Attack are strictly paired in the rules, then granting a free Ambush automatically implies an Attack also.

If one could play an Event and conduct an Operation, then perhaps the card could be said to indicate that the player must pay for an Attack Operation, to which could be added the free Ambush granted by the card. However, it's not possible to conduct an Operation and play an Event. Therefore, the Attack which is required by the free Ambush must be granted by the Event. Otherwise, the Event would be meaningless.

Correct.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Oerjan wrote:
DrZaat wrote:
Hopefully, we'll get a more authoritative answer, but, yes, Ambush always accompanies an Attack. Certainly, the general rule is: follow event text literally and without any additions or subtractions. However, in this case, since Ambush and Attack are strictly paired in the rules, then granting a free Ambush automatically implies an Attack also.

If one could play an Event and conduct an Operation, then perhaps the card could be said to indicate that the player must pay for an Attack Operation, to which could be added the free Ambush granted by the card. However, it's not possible to conduct an Operation and play an Event. Therefore, the Attack which is required by the free Ambush must be granted by the Event. Otherwise, the Event would be meaningless.

Correct.

Regards,
Oerjan


I guess my question is, is that attack only considered to be occurring to trigger the ambush, or is the player actually executing an entire attack action in multiple spaces?
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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boulou wrote:
David, this is the key question.
Since ambush implies pairing with battle, I would tend to assume you can battle in several regions and use the ambush ability in one of them. My assumption is based on the fact that the card actually does not say "in one region".


But an ambush is always "in one region"! I think this is an overly generous interpretation of the card.

I think this gets at the heart of what we are disagreeing about. If we are saying that the event is basically the "attack" that is allowing the ambush to happen, I am in agreement. If we are saying the event implies that you get to execute an entire attack operation in multiple spaces, with a "free ambush" attached in one of those spaces, I am not in agreement. That would essentially be saying get a free attack action, since the ambush is always free when attached to an attack anyway, so why wouldn't the card just say "free attack" instead of "free ambush"?

So for clarity is it:

a) the event card is essentially considered an "attack" for the purposes of triggering just a single ambush in a single region and nothing else.

or

b) the event card triggers an entire attack/ambush combo for free, allowing attacks in multiple spaces to occur and an ambush in one of those spaces.

And if it is "b)" why isn't the card worded to say free attack?
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David Goulette
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
DrZaat wrote:
Hopefully, we'll get a more authoritative answer, but, yes, Ambush always accompanies an Attack. Certainly, the general rule is: follow event text literally and without any additions or subtractions. However, in this case, since Ambush and Attack are strictly paired in the rules, then granting a free Ambush automatically implies an Attack also.

If one could play an Event and conduct an Operation, then perhaps the card could be said to indicate that the player must pay for an Attack Operation, to which could be added the free Ambush granted by the card. However, it's not possible to conduct an Operation and play an Event. Therefore, the Attack which is required by the free Ambush must be granted by the Event. Otherwise, the Event would be meaningless.

Correct.

Regards,
Oerjan


I guess my question is, is that attack only considered to be occurring to trigger the ambush, or is the player actually executing an entire attack action in multiple spaces?


Ahh... Ok. Good question. I see your point. I was assuming all along that the attack was also limited to one space. But you are correct that the card doesn't say anything about this.

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Oerjan Ariander
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The Event text only allows you to use a, i.e., one, Guerrilla. That being the case, it is automatically restricted to a single space.

Regards,
Oerjan


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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Oerjan wrote:
The Event text only allows you to use a, i.e., one, Guerrilla. That being the case, it is automatically restricted to a single space.

Regards,
Oerjan




Thank you, that is very clear!
 
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David Goulette
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
boulou wrote:
David, this is the key question.
Since ambush implies pairing with battle, I would tend to assume you can battle in several regions and use the ambush ability in one of them. My assumption is based on the fact that the card actually does not say "in one region".


But an ambush is always "in one region"! I think this is an overly generous interpretation of the card.

I think this gets at the heart of what we are disagreeing about. If we are saying that the event is basically the "attack" that is allowing the ambush to happen, I am in agreement. If we are saying the event implies that you get to execute an entire attack operation in multiple spaces, with a "free ambush" attached in one of those spaces, I am not in agreement. That would essentially be saying get a free attack action, since the ambush is always free when attached to an attack anyway, so why wouldn't the card just say "free attack" instead of "free ambush"?

So for clarity is it:

a) the event card is essentially considered an "attack" for the purposes of triggering just a single ambush in a single region and nothing else.

or

b) the event card triggers an entire attack/ambush combo for free, allowing attacks in multiple spaces to occur and an ambush in one of those spaces.

And if it is "b)" why isn't the card worded to say free attack?


You have laid it out clearly here.

I don't think it is b). I think the intent is that you are doing an attack-with-ambush in exactly one space. There would be two ways to fix this. One would be to try to word the event better to clarify.

Possibly:
"A 26July or DR Guerrilla (Active or not) executes a free Attack-Ambush in one space against Government forces. Remove bases first."

I personally would rewrite the rules for Ambush in the rulebook to be clear that Ambush is an augmented Attack in one space (and then explain the procedure in a self contained way that doesn't reference Attack). I would drop the language that says Ambush assures the success of an attack. Just make an ambush it's own thing. Then add the caveat that if you execute an ambush via Special Activity, then you are simply upgrading an Attack Operation in one selected space (that you have not yet resolved) to an ambush. If you execute an ambush via event, follow the event text.

Then the event text could be:
"A 26July or DR Guerrilla (Active or not) executes a free Ambush in one space against Government forces."
Then this is perfectly clear. Because Ambush would be it's own thing with it's own self contained procedure.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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anaturalharmonic wrote:


reverendunclebastard wrote:
I guess my question is, is that attack only considered to be occurring to trigger the ambush, or is the player actually executing an entire attack action in multiple spaces?


Ahh... Ok. Good question. I see your point. I was assuming all along that the attack was also limited to one space. But you are correct that the card doesn't say anything about this.



That was always assumption too! I also assumed that you only used one guerilla for a single ambush action, which Oerjan has confirmed above. The event allows the activation of that single guerilla, which performs the ambush, and nothing else.
 
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David Goulette
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
The Event text only allows you to use a, i.e., one, Guerrilla. That being the case, it is automatically restricted to a single space.

Regards,
Oerjan




Thank you, that is very clear!


Thank you Oerjan. That is correct and confirms how I thought the rule should be played all along.

But I guess my issue is that I feel like too many rules in COIN hang on catching a minute detail that leads to a tightly woven set of rules that are hard to grok. I feel like a little repetition in the rules and slightly more verbose rules in general, would go a long way to making these games more accessible. I could give examples of other rulebooks that do not attempt to be so terse and make for much easier reading and easier learning.

(Just my opinion... don't get me wrong, I love the COIN games and the bots, I just differ on the rules writing.)
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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anaturalharmonic wrote:
reverendunclebastard wrote:
boulou wrote:
David, this is the key question.
Since ambush implies pairing with battle, I would tend to assume you can battle in several regions and use the ambush ability in one of them. My assumption is based on the fact that the card actually does not say "in one region".


But an ambush is always "in one region"! I think this is an overly generous interpretation of the card.

I think this gets at the heart of what we are disagreeing about. If we are saying that the event is basically the "attack" that is allowing the ambush to happen, I am in agreement. If we are saying the event implies that you get to execute an entire attack operation in multiple spaces, with a "free ambush" attached in one of those spaces, I am not in agreement. That would essentially be saying get a free attack action, since the ambush is always free when attached to an attack anyway, so why wouldn't the card just say "free attack" instead of "free ambush"?

So for clarity is it:

a) the event card is essentially considered an "attack" for the purposes of triggering just a single ambush in a single region and nothing else.

or

b) the event card triggers an entire attack/ambush combo for free, allowing attacks in multiple spaces to occur and an ambush in one of those spaces.

And if it is "b)" why isn't the card worded to say free attack?


You have laid it out clearly here.

I don't think it is b). I think the intent is that you are doing an attack-with-ambush in exactly one space. There would be two ways to fix this. One would be to try to word the event better to clarify.

Possibly:
"A 26July or DR Guerrilla (Active or not) executes a free Attack-Ambush in one space against Government forces. Remove bases first."

I personally would rewrite the rules for Ambush in the rulebook to be clear that Ambush is an augmented Attack in one space (and then explain the procedure in a self contained way that doesn't reference Attack). I would drop the language that says Ambush assures the success of an attack. Just make an ambush it's own thing. Then add the caveat that if you execute an ambush via Special Activity, then you are simply upgrading an Attack Operation in one selected space (that you have not yet resolved) to an ambush. If you execute an ambush via event, follow the event text.

Then the event text could be:
"A 26July or DR Guerrilla (Active or not) executes a free Ambush in one space against Government forces."
Then this is perfectly clear. Because Ambush would be it's own thing with it's own self contained procedure.


I would respectfully disagree about needing to rewrite anything, and go back to my original point, that if you follow the wording of the card literally, the single guerilla gets to do a single ambush, and that is it. That may technically mean an "attack" is happening to allow the ambush, but it doesn't mean you actually get to do anything other than the single ambush that is indicated on the card.
 
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David Goulette
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Reverend,

Well... if we unpack it literally you will do an "ambush" with one guerilla . Ok so now go read the ambush rule and it refers to making sure that an attack in one chosen space (that has not yet been resolved) is successful without rolling, etc. (I'm paraphrasing), then it leads you to reading the Attack rule to see what the conditions are... And missing a single "a" and all of it's implications can make you quickly confused on a tired Sunday when you are relaxing into a game. Lot's of rule checks sort of kill the mood at a certain point.

My main point is that the rules are tightly wound. That is all. There are many graduate level math textbooks that are absolutely correct logically but nearly unreadable. Great math writers find a way to keep the accuracy but make it reader friendly for didactic reasons. That is all I am saying here.
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