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Subject: To test my grasp of the rules, a simple conflict: Pacifist Vs. Warhawk rss

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Michael Marvosh
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Pacifist says:

As a main player, if you reveal a negotiate card and your opponent reveals an attack card, use this power to win the encounter. If you both reveal negotiate cards, you attempt to make a deal as usual.

Warhawk says:

As a main player, when your opponent reveals a negotiate card, use this power to change it into an attack 00.

As a main player, when you reveal a negotiate card, use this power to change it into a morph card.

As a main player, if both you and your opponent reveal negotiate cards, use this power to change both negotiates into attack 00 cards.


Pacifist reveals negotiate.

Both powers have the same precondition, so the same timing. Hence, this is subject to the timing rules, no? That means whichever one of these powers in on offense wins, correct?
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Big Head Zach
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Actually, for Warhawk as offense, Pacifist revealing N would only benefit the Warhawk if they play an Attack (Offense wins, no compensation, provided the ship count wasn't counterbalanced). If offense Warhawk also played N, the resulting Attack 00 vs Attack 00 would favor the defense, if the ship totals are also tied.
 
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Michael Marvosh
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Yes, of course. I missed that. If Warhawk is on offense, number of ships/allies/reinforcements takes precedence.
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Jefferson Krogh
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Yes, the timing rules would apply (just in case no one else agreed with that part yet).
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Drinkdrawers wrote:
Both powers have the same precondition, so the same timing. Hence, this is subject to the timing rules, no? That means whichever one of these powers in on offense wins, correct?

(emphasis added) To be more precise, whichever power is on offense takes its effect, and the other doesn't. Pacifist plays N on offense - wins the encounter. Pacifist plays N on defense - it is changed to a 00.

Now, what happens in an encounter between Warhawk and Empath? IIRC, Empath's timing is a bit different or doesn't necessarily rely on changing the value of the cards.
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Toomai Glittershine
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I really don't know what you guys are thinking.

Using a power to win an encounter does not mean the encounter immediately skips to the Resolution phase. You can always play Emotion Control, or Wild Mirror, or something else like that.

If Pacifist plays an N, it doesn't matter when he uses his power, because Warhawk will change it to a 00 before Reveal ends and the winner is determined.
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Rob Burns
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I'm pretty sure Toomai is right here. The same principle is at work when Empath reveals a N - the other player's card is transformed into a N. Empath versus Warhawk means that both cards are 00s.

If Pacifist plays a N against Warhawk, his card will become a 00 no matter what card Warhawk plays. As Toomai pointed out, Warhawk's effect has to be counted in before the game goes to the Resolution phase.
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Just a Bill
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I'm still trying to make sense out of all this in a way that can be applied consistently. Is this what you two are saying?

1. Offensive Pacifist reveals a Negotiate.
2. His power activates (in Reveal) and schedules/enqueues a "win override" (to happen in Resolution).
3. Defensive Warhawk's power changes Pacifist's card into an attack 00.
4. This invalidates the scheduled effect.

I don't think I believe step 4. Once something is scheduled, it's scheduled. The game is chock-full of scheduled/enqueued effects, and trying to figure out which ones are invalidated by later actions would be a nightmare.

I guess I always thought you applied everything that is trying to change the type and value of the encounter cards. Once the dust settles and you know what the two cards have finally become, then you apply the "downstream" stuff that is affected by those cards. In other words, do all the "affects" first and then all the "affected bys".

The game has distinct sub-phases. They are not called out anywhere, but they clearly exist structurally. Here are some examples (quotation marks indicate wording conventions from the cards):

Alliance
• "Before allies are invited"
• invitations
• "After allies are invited"
• acceptance/rejection
• "After alliances are formed"

Planning
• "Before encounter cards are selected"
• Encounter card selection
• "After encounter cards are selected but before they are revealed"

Reveal
• Encounter card revelation
• "After encounter cards are revealed"

In this context, I guess I always thought that Reveal broke down into further subphases like this:

Reveal
• Encounter card revelation
• "After encounter cards are revealed"
• apply all game effects that change the cards
• apply all game effects that trigger off the cards without changing them

But I must admit I'm not really sure this is right, and I'm still very fuzzy on what happens when there are competing "you win" effects; you'd think it would just be a Timing Rule situation but I keep feeling like there's a ruling somewhere that implies that the last mandated win overrides any earlier mandated wins.
 
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Toomai Glittershine
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Every time something happens in Reveal you have to recalculate who the winner will be. Pacifist's N being a win shouldn't be any different than Warpish's 30 ships in the warp or Tripler's altered card - if they change during Reveal, you have to recalculate.

Another example: Anti-Matter's power both makes his and opponents' allies ships negative and chances the win condition from "highest total" to "lowest total". You can zap Anti-Matter at any time during Reveal and both effects are cancelled, even if someone already did something based on the power being used (e.g. played a Reinforcement on the opposing side). If someone had played a theoretical flare saying "If your ships total zero or less than they instead total 4", then the flare's effect would no longer be valid because its precondition was wiped out.

Also, the rules state that the winner is determined in Reveal; Resolution only carries out the related results.
 
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Big Head Zach
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Bill Martinson wrote:
But I must admit I'm not really sure this is right, and I'm still very fuzzy on what happens when there are competing "you win" effects; you'd think it would just be a Timing Rule situation but I keep feeling like there's a ruling somewhere that implies that the last mandated win overrides any earlier mandated wins.


I've always tried to interpret Pacifist (and Loser and several other powers) as modifying the Win Determination Clause, which is executed at the very end of Reveal (since Resolution is SOLELY the bureaucracy of carrying out the results of winning, losing, dealing, etc.).

Warhawk's power doesn't change the win determination; it changes the value of the cards. However, if Pacifist's power (by invoking the Timing Rule) goes off first, it will change the WDC to "The player who is the Pacifist wins the encounter". Changing the value of his card after that event wouldn't affect anything, just as how Morphing a card doesn't take into account what happens to that card later.

So, my version of the above is:

1. Offensive Pacifist reveals a Negotiate.
2. His power activates (in Reveal) and schedules/enqueues a "win override".
3. Defensive Warhawk's power changes Pacifist's card into an attack 00.
4. Win Determination Clause is executed, and Pacifist wins the encounter.
5. Proceed to Resolution barring any interrupts (Emotion Control, etc.)
 
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Big Head Zach
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
You can zap Anti-Matter at any time during Reveal and both effects are cancelled


For the sake of power rule cleanliness and streamlined application, I would dispute this, and argue that the power goes off "after you and your opponent both reveal Attack cards" as the alien placard states. In general, the game does not allow you to see what effects your power has and then decide to turn it off if player response results in an unfavorable situation. I would suggest that interrupts such as Reinforcements, Flares, and Artifacts like EC are played AFTER powers that [may] go off during that subphase are allowed to execute.
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Jefferson Krogh
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bhz1 wrote:
Bill Martinson wrote:
But I must admit I'm not really sure this is right, and I'm still very fuzzy on what happens when there are competing "you win" effects; you'd think it would just be a Timing Rule situation but I keep feeling like there's a ruling somewhere that implies that the last mandated win overrides any earlier mandated wins.


I've always tried to interpret Pacifist (and Loser and several other powers) as modifying the Win Determination Clause, which is executed at the very end of Reveal (since Resolution is SOLELY the bureaucracy of carrying out the results of winning, losing, dealing, etc.).

Warhawk's power doesn't change the win determination; it changes the value of the cards. However, if Pacifist's power (by invoking the Timing Rule) goes off first, it will change the WDC to "The player who is the Pacifist wins the encounter". Changing the value of his card after that event wouldn't affect anything, just as how Morphing a card doesn't take into account what happens to that card later.

So, my version of the above is:

1. Offensive Pacifist reveals a Negotiate.
2. His power activates (in Reveal) and schedules/enqueues a "win override".
3. Defensive Warhawk's power changes Pacifist's card into an attack 00.
4. Win Determination Clause is executed, and Pacifist wins the encounter.
5. Proceed to Resolution barring any interrupts (Emotion Control, etc.)


That's a really long way of saying that Pacifist's power goes first, therefore Pacifist wins. Why overcomplicate things?
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bhz1 wrote:

Warhawk's power doesn't change the win determination; it changes the value of the cards. However, if Pacifist's power (by invoking the Timing Rule) goes off first, it will change the WDC to "The player who is the Pacifist wins the encounter". Changing the value of his card after that event wouldn't affect anything, just as how Morphing a card doesn't take into account what happens to that card later.


REVEAL
The offense and defense turn their cards faceup simultaneousy and a winner is determined.

Obviously(?), winning and losing sides are not determined the instant that cards are revealed, even in Pacifist's case. There is time in the REVEAL phase to use many effects to alter those revealed cards and the totals on each side. I think it gets messy trying to determine a winner at any time before 'the dust settles'. Winner/Losers are declared as the last action in REVEAL, before moving into RESOLUTION.

As you say yourself:

bhz1 wrote:

I've always tried to interpret Pacifist (and Loser and several other powers) as modifying the Win Determination Clause, which is executed at the very end of Reveal (since Resolution is SOLELY the bureaucracy of carrying out the results of winning, losing, dealing, etc.).


Even if you want to put offensive Pacifist in the timing queue immediately with : "Pacifist wins if he reveals an N", by the time the condition is checked (near the end of reveal, immediately before declaring a winner/loser), Pacifist would not have a revealed N at that time since Warhawk would have changed it before then.


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Greg Filpus
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I think we have to treat an auto-win differently from something like Loser, though. Wild Hate and Wild Loser declare a winner before encounter cards are played, and saying there's a Reveal phase in those cases becomes messy. So I'm tempted to say that when Pacifist goes off it skips the rest of the Reveal phase.

The one potential problem with that is that if we say that all mandatory effects go off before anyone has the opportunity to invoke optional effects, Pacifist becomes immune to all optional "after encounter cards are revealed" effects. (most notably Emotion Control) So we could say that "determine what the cards are" and "determine the winner" are separate phases as Bill proposed, or say that you can preempt a mandatory effect with an optional one if you go before them per the Timing Rule.
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Anthony
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So much for a "simple" conflict. whistle
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Lacombe
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btblack wrote:
Even if you want to put offensive Pacifist in the timing queue immediately with : "Pacifist wins if he reveals an N", by the time the condition is checked (near the end of reveal, immediately before declaring a winner/loser), Pacifist would not have a revealed N at that time since Warhawk would have changed it before then.


Pacifist still revealed a Negotiate card; it just got changed after the revelation into something else.

It doesn't matter who goes first or whatnot. You should apply all powers to the fullest extent possible.

If Pacifist reveals a Negotiate card and their opponent reveals an Attack card, Pacifist wins.

There's no timing rule to consider here. It doesn't matter what happens to Pacifist's card, either.

Yes, the revealed Negotiate card gets changed into something else [to the fullest extent possible, apply Warhawk's power]. It was still revealed, though, regardless of the change.

If Warhawk's effect changes what type of card was revealed, thus invalidating Pacifist's win, it also must invalidate itself since it depends on what card was revealed.

I guess I'm obviously in the minority on this strictly literal interpretation of the rules.
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Sean Franco
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NateStraight wrote:
Pacifist still revealed a Negotiate card; it just got changed after the revelation into something else.

It doesn't matter who goes first or whatnot. You should apply all powers to the fullest extent possible.

If Pacifist reveals a Negotiate card and their opponent reveals an Attack card, Pacifist wins.

There's no timing rule to consider here. It doesn't matter what happens to Pacifist's card, either.

So, if there's a game effect that somehow changes the Pacifist's Attack card to a Negotiate, does the Pacifist's power go off?
 
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Lacombe
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logopolys wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Pacifist still revealed a Negotiate card; it just got changed after the revelation into something else.

It doesn't matter who goes first or whatnot. You should apply all powers to the fullest extent possible.

If Pacifist reveals a Negotiate card and their opponent reveals an Attack card, Pacifist wins.

There's no timing rule to consider here. It doesn't matter what happens to Pacifist's card, either.

So, if there's a game effect that somehow changes the Pacifist's Attack card to a Negotiate, does the Pacifist's power go off?


I would say not.

I have no idea what everyone else here would say.

The primary game effect that changes attack cards to negotiate cards is "Emotion Control".

"Emotion Control" lays out a very specific thing that happens after the change: "The players must attempt to make a deal."

So, the answer is "definitely not" where Emotion Control is concerned. It tells you what happens.

What are the other effects that change attack to negotiates?

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Rob Burns
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NateStraight wrote:
btblack wrote:
Even if you want to put offensive Pacifist in the timing queue immediately with : "Pacifist wins if he reveals an N", by the time the condition is checked (near the end of reveal, immediately before declaring a winner/loser), Pacifist would not have a revealed N at that time since Warhawk would have changed it before then.


Pacifist still revealed a Negotiate card; it just got changed after the revelation into something else.

It doesn't matter who goes first or whatnot. You should apply all powers to the fullest extent possible.

If Pacifist reveals a Negotiate card and their opponent reveals an Attack card, Pacifist wins.

There's no timing rule to consider here. It doesn't matter what happens to Pacifist's card, either.

Yes, the revealed Negotiate card gets changed into something else [to the fullest extent possible, apply Warhawk's power]. It was still revealed, though, regardless of the change.

If Warhawk's effect changes what type of card was revealed, thus invalidating Pacifist's win, it also must invalidate itself since it depends on what card was revealed.

I guess I'm obviously in the minority on this strictly literal interpretation of the rules.


Hmmm... I have to admit, I hadn't thought of it like this. I wholeheartedly agree with "you should apply all powers to the fullest extent possible" and your last point, i.e. that if Warhawk's effect changes what type of card was revealed not only invalidates Pacifist's win it also invalidates itself, forced me to stop and think through it slowly, but I think that's right.
 
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Sean Franco
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NateStraight wrote:
logopolys wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Pacifist still revealed a Negotiate card; it just got changed after the revelation into something else.

It doesn't matter who goes first or whatnot. You should apply all powers to the fullest extent possible.

If Pacifist reveals a Negotiate card and their opponent reveals an Attack card, Pacifist wins.

There's no timing rule to consider here. It doesn't matter what happens to Pacifist's card, either.

So, if there's a game effect that somehow changes the Pacifist's Attack card to a Negotiate, does the Pacifist's power go off?


I would say not.

I have no idea what everyone else here would say.

The primary game effect that changes attack cards to negotiate cards is "Emotion Control".

"Emotion Control" lays out a very specific thing that happens after the change: "The players must attempt to make a deal."

So, the answer is "definitely not" where Emotion Control is concerned. It tells you what happens.

What are the other effects that change attack to negotiates?


I don't know. I was just throwing that out there as a big if. You'll have to ask one of the more knowledgeable regulars. However, it is not impossible or unlikely that in the future, a flare or something else would cause that effect, so I think it's still a valid question.
 
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Lacombe
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logopolys wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
logopolys wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Pacifist still revealed a Negotiate card; it just got changed after the revelation into something else.

It doesn't matter who goes first or whatnot. You should apply all powers to the fullest extent possible.

If Pacifist reveals a Negotiate card and their opponent reveals an Attack card, Pacifist wins.

There's no timing rule to consider here. It doesn't matter what happens to Pacifist's card, either.

So, if there's a game effect that somehow changes the Pacifist's Attack card to a Negotiate, does the Pacifist's power go off?


I would say not.

I have no idea what everyone else here would say.

The primary game effect that changes attack cards to negotiate cards is "Emotion Control".

"Emotion Control" lays out a very specific thing that happens after the change: "The players must attempt to make a deal."

So, the answer is "definitely not" where Emotion Control is concerned. It tells you what happens.

What are the other effects that change attack to negotiates?


I don't know. I was just throwing that out there as a big if. You'll have to ask one of the more knowledgeable regulars. However, it is not impossible or unlikely that in the future, a flare or something else would cause that effect, so I think it's still a valid question.


The knowledgeable regulars generally have a very strange approach toward the game.

The special condition that is outright clarified on Emotion Control isn't the reason I say "I would say not". It's just the nail in the coffin for that particular case; the reason I said "definitely" not.
 
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Jefferson Krogh
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NateStraight wrote:
The knowledgeable regulars generally have a very strange approach toward the game.


Cosmic encourages strange thinking, man.

If I'm reading all this correctly, the main question here is when "reveals" actually happens. If it's the instant you flip the card over, that makes Pacifist nigh unavoidable.

Also, it makes the rulebook almost unworkable. Have a look at page 9. Each section talks in terms of "reveal:"

If one player reveals an Attack card and other reveals a negotiate card

If both players reveal Negotiate cards


etc.

Nate, as much as I want to agree with your interpretation, saying that "reveal" means "the instant your flip the card" makes a mess of any power that changes attacks to negotiates, or vice versa. Warhawk just flat out doesn't work at all if you do that. If Generic alien reveals an N, it becomes an Attack 00. But by your logic, he still revealed an N, so Generic alien still gets compensation! I think there are other aliens this messes up, but I can't go through the whole list right now.

I have to conclude that when they say "reveals," they mean what the card says after things stop changing the value.
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Lacombe
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
The knowledgeable regulars generally have a very strange approach toward the game.


Cosmic encourages strange thinking, man.

If I'm reading all this correctly, the main question here is when "reveals" actually happens. If it's the instant you flip the card over, that makes Pacifist nigh unavoidable.

Also, it makes the rulebook almost unworkable. Have a look at page 9. Each section talks in terms of "reveal:"

If one player reveals an Attack card and other reveals a negotiate card

If both players reveal Negotiate cards


etc.

Nate, as much as I want to agree with your interpretation, saying that "reveal" means "the instant your flip the card" makes a mess of any power that changes attacks to negotiates, or vice versa. Warhawk just flat out doesn't work at all if you do that. If Generic alien reveals an N, it becomes an Attack 00. But by your logic, he still revealed an N, so Generic alien still gets compensation! I think there are other aliens this messes up, but I can't go through the whole list right now.

I have to conclude that when they say "reveals," they mean what the card says after things stop changing the value.


Since the text on the cards generally overwrites the text in the rules, I would change the rules before attempting to interpret the text on the cards in light of the text in the rules.

That might mean it is necessary to change what is said in the section in the rules about who wins encounters and what they get.

The only reason Generic alien would get compensation in your example above is because the rules say a player who "revealed" a negotiation card receives compensation.

There's a difference between rules, which are intended to lay out game processes, and card text, which lay out special game effects.

The rules are not a card effect. You cannot interpret them as such. Forcing them to interact with things that are supposed to break them is a counter-productive process.

The "reveal" language in the rulebook is a fall-back, not an interpretative framework. The interpretative framework is the Encounter card text.

The question, to me, isn't when "reveals" happens, it's what "reveals" means.

In a game of card effects like this, the rules interpret the cards, not the other way around. Apply what the cards say, looking at rules if necessary.
 
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Just a Bill
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These discussions quickly become exhausting because everyone has an opinion based on one or two cases or one or two facts or one or two text snippets. You really have to look at the totality of the game system or any conclusions reached here will not last. Somebody will find a new reason why it should have been the other way, or bring up a different situation where whatever is "agreed to" here breaks something else. That's probably why we keep debating this kind of stuff over and over again ... the people who want a quick answer get one they like that works for their immediate need and go on about their business, and the people who want a thorough, general-principle answer get so worn out by the propcess that they give up in exhaustion. And the real problem never gets fixed, because none of the designers or players have ever had the stamina to really sit down and fix these things once and for all.

To answer Jefferson, the reason we don't go for the simple answer is because it's not a simple problem. Even if "who goes first" happens to coincide with the eventual answer in this particular case, it isn't going to work in every case and thus it probably cannot be the reason for the eventual conclusion. I love the simple answer when it works consistently. I hate the simple answer when it's twelve different simple answers for twelve superficially different (but foundationally similar) cases.

To answer Nate, I diagree with the general principle that a card is "revealed as" one card and then changed to something else. The changing must retroactively change what card you "revealed". Cosmic has alwasy had game effects written around an understanding that things like "revealed a negotiate", "both players revealed attacks", etc. refers to the final situation that occurs after modifications. Without that, you end up with game effects trying to numerically modify negotiate cards or do something with a "winner" or "loser" in a context where there is't one (i.e., N vs. N).

EDIT: You guys beat me to some of this while I was typing...

Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
I have to conclude that when they say "reveals," they mean what the card says after things stop changing the value.

Exactly.

NateStraight wrote:
That might mean it is necessary to change what is said in the section in the rules about who wins encounters and what they get.

But it's not just rules. Cards have been written with this understanding since the 1970s ... let's not go change all of those just to support a different interpretation.
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I'm no rules expert but the way I have always understood this game was that an effect would happen if no immediate effect could counter it.

Kind of like a "stack" system where the last stack is resolved first going all the way back to the first effect.

In my eyes an Offensive Pacifist playing an N against an Attack from Warhawk would provide him with an easy win... IF Warhawk could not counter it. However Warhawk still having his Alien Power should THEN be able to follow it up with an IMMEDIATE effect which is turning the N into an Attack 00, countering Pacifist's power. Now this would provide Warhawk with an easy win... IF Pacifist doesn't Cosmic Zap Warhawk's power or play Emotional Control. If Pacifist was on defense but same cards are played, Warhawk would change the N to Attack 00 first and then Pacifist would need to rely on having a ton of ships or a counter card as previously mentioned because his power cannot even be used. However I do not think Pacifist would ever play an N as defense against Warhawk because it is a waste of the card.

I think you get my point, once an effect is happening, there is like a pause in the game where the hidden question needs to be asked, "Can anyone stop me from doing this? No? Then it happens successfully."

Edited: Because my typos and grammar are horrendous late at night.
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