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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Rules

Subject: Limitations on Judge's fiat rss

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SpaghettiToastBook
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Can the Judge declare the fiat "the winner gets a colony and gives his or her hand to the loser"?

If one or both of the main players has extra options in a deal (e.g. Zombie), can those be part of Judge's fiat? If playing with space stations, can those be involved in a fiat?
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David Montgomery
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Your Judge fiat example is an example of the judge super because the winner and the loser are both getting something from the encounter.

I don't believe power specific extras can be incorporated, nor space stations, though feel free to add them in as house rules.

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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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I would agree with David. Definitely only one player can "get" or "gain" something unless the Super is being used. The text is quite explicit: "either the winner or the loser (but not both)." I understand that, conceptually, ditching a bad hand is an advantage for the person benefiting from the fiat, but there's no denying the fact that the opposite player would be getting/gaining something (even if unwanted), which is disallowed by the text.

On the other question, the text says "These extra gains are limited by the rules on deals" and this certainly seems to preclude stuff like Zombie and Tyrant releases. If the text had ended there, we could have argued for the inclusion of space stations because such deal-trading is indeed rules-based ... but we can't, because the text continues: "one colony where the opponent has a colony and/or card(s) from the opponent." It might be tempting to interpret this last bit as just an example, but it is not presented parenthetically. In fact, the use of a colon here indicates that what follows is the specific explanation of what preceded. It is specifying exactly which rules are meant.

That's kind of unfortunate, really, and illustrates why I yammer on about how cards and sheets should just reference rules but not copy them. When the original rule is later expanded or modified, the card or sheet is trapped in the past, stuck with the original version it is explicitly prescribing (instead of just referencing whatever happens to be the current state of the rule).
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SpaghettiToastBook
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I guess I'll house rule out the part after the colon.

Another question: if you receive a rift as part of a fiat, do those rifts detonate?
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Rift situations can be tricky to interpret. Were you given the rift, or did you take it (and keep it)?

First we have to decide whether we accept that there's a meaningful difference between taking and giving. If there is, then Philanthropist cannot use rifts as bombs, and rifts given in deals would (generally) not detonate. However, I also believe that if your own action forces another player to "give" you a rift, you have still essentially "taken" it because it was not given willingly.

That leads to situations where certain actions may or may not cause a Rift transfer to be "taking" the Rift, depending upon who's getting it. If the card is going to the person who initiated the action, then it would be taken. When Trader swaps hands, if he gets a Rift he has taken it, but if his opponent gets a Rift that opponent has been given it. Similarly, I would say a Rift transferred in a fiat detonates if it goes to the Judge, but not if it goes to his opponent. Since the Judge is the one who activated the forced transfer, he has implied a "polarity" to it.

I have an essay about this on the Cosmodex under the heading rift detonation. My guiding principle was the fact that the specific design purpose for these cards was to create a risk for intentionally trying to get reward-back cards from other players. This consideration of intentionality seems to imply, at least for some card transfers, the polarity I mentioned above: if one player unilaterally activated an effect that led to him receiving a card, he is basically a "taker."

Having said all that, I'm very open to discussion and revision about this opinion. The rift rules are pretty squishy and it was not easy finding an interpretation that could be applied consistently to generally result in what it seemed "should" happen in each case.

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