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Subject: Ellen's Manipulative ability and ineligibility of the previous title holder rss

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Pieter
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Here's a situation that has already been answered:

If Ellen uses her Manipulative ability to take the Presidency, then loses the Presidency to someone else (for instance because Administration is used), does it still return to the previous title holder? The answer supplied by the designers is "No, because Ellen no longer holds the title, she cannot return it."

Now here is a related situation that almost cropped up during the game that I am modding now (but did not, so I can discuss it):

Suppose that Ellen takes the Admiral's title from Adama, then gives Adama an XO, and he reveals as Cylon. What happens to the title at the end of her turn? It cannot go to Adama, because he is now a revealed Cylon. Does she get to keep it, because it is now impossible to return it to the previous title holder? Or does it go to the character highest in line of succession?

Naturally, the answer to this question would also answer what would happen if the previous title holder would be brigged (and thus cannot get the Admiral title any more) or executed (getting removed entirely).

I think it would be most in line with the spirit of the ruleset if the title would go to the person highest in line of succession, but considering the designers' answer (and especially their argumentation) for the situation in which Ellen loses the title during her turn, I am definitely not sure. Opinions or definite answers?
 
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Hendrik R
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I'd say it goes to the highest eligible player in the line of succession. The ability is meant to be a short term power grab to do one specific thing. If the Admiralcy would remain with Ellen, then it would be way too easy for President Ellen to grab the Admiral title, then Arrest Order the former Admiral into the Brig and remain Admiral.

If you compare Ellen's OPG to Saul's, hers is stronger by not needing an action and weaker by only being for a single turn. This kind-of evens out, so it shouldn't be easy for her to retain the title.
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Michael Aldridge
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I would think that you would follow normal Brigging/Executing rules: the title would go to the person highest in the line of succession.

I see the other answer as being an entirely different situation; Administration changes the Presidency regardless of who was President, so it's not Ellen's to return. Similarly, if a Crisis forces the Presidency/Admiralcy to be changed, it's not Ellen's to return.
 
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Hendrik R
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BosonMichael wrote:
I would think that you would follow normal Brigging/Executing rules: the title would go to the person highest in the line of succession.

I see the other answer as being an entirely different situation; Administration changes the Presidency regardless of who was President, so it's not Ellen's to return. Similarly, if a Crisis forces the Presidency/Admiralcy to be changed, it's not Ellen's to return.


You missed the point of the question, I believe: What happens if Ellen cannot return the Admiral title because the former Admiral is in the Brig or in Cylonia? Then the term "Return that title to the previous owner" is just not applicable anymore. Does that mean it is ignored, or rather adapted to the new situation?
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Pasi Ojala
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You try to return it, but it bounces back and falls to the one highest in line...
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David Goldfarb
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It seems pretty obvious to me that the title goes back to the previous holder, then notices it's in an impossible place and so goes to the character highest in the line of succession.
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Pieter
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I mostly agree with what has been said, but we have seen several rulings along the lines of: you are not allowed to perform an action that would lead to a result that conflicts with the rules. E.g., you are not allowed to use Administration to hand the President's title to the current President. Neither can you use Administration to try to elect a Cylon Leader as President; Cylon Leaders are ineligible for a title, so they can never be the target of a title. So saying: "she tries to hand it back and since the person she tries to hand it back to cannot bear the title, it falls to the first person in line" seems less legal than saying "she cannot hand it to the person she took it from, so she cannot even try to give it back."

Moreover, note that the previous ruling on what happens if Ellen loses the title during the turn that she used her OPG stated specifically that Ellen is the one who actively hands the title back. It is not as if the title flows back by itself. And according to a lot of other rulings players are not allowed to even attempt to create a situation that is illegal. So, since she is not allowed to hand the title back in this new situation, you might conclude that it stays.

Mind you, as I said I agree that it seems most in the spirit of the rules to say that it goes to the first person in line. I said that because indeed I believe that Manipulative was designed as a one-turn thing. Still, the designers have often shown that they prefer to take the rules as literally as possible, even if that is conflicting with what you would expect. So, in this case I think the interpretation that Ellen keeps the title might very well be the conclusion that must be reached.

One might wonder why this was never discussed before, and my answer is threefold: (1) Ellen is not a popular character to be picked; (2) if she is picked, she often does not use her OPG at all; and (3) if she uses her OPG, it is usually with the specific purpose to jump the fleet and choose the next destination, or to leave New Caprica. So this tricky stuff did not come up often yet.
 
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Michael Aldridge
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Furunkel wrote:
BosonMichael wrote:
I would think that you would follow normal Brigging/Executing rules: the title would go to the person highest in the line of succession.

I see the other answer as being an entirely different situation; Administration changes the Presidency regardless of who was President, so it's not Ellen's to return. Similarly, if a Crisis forces the Presidency/Admiralcy to be changed, it's not Ellen's to return.


You missed the point of the question, I believe: What happens if Ellen cannot return the Admiral title because the former Admiral is in the Brig or in Cylonia? Then the term "Return that title to the previous owner" is just not applicable anymore. Does that mean it is ignored, or rather adapted to the new situation?


I didn't miss it at all; I addressed it in the first paragraph. When Ellen returns the title to the previous owner, and the previous owner is ineligible (either by brigging or execution), the title would go to the person highest in the line of succession, just like it does anytime someone with a title is brigged or executed.
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Pieter
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Furunkel wrote:
I'd say it goes to the highest eligible player in the line of succession. The ability is meant to be a short term power grab to do one specific thing. If the Admiralcy would remain with Ellen, then it would be way too easy for President Ellen to grab the Admiral title, then Arrest Order the former Admiral into the Brig and remain Admiral.

If you compare Ellen's OPG to Saul's, hers is stronger by not needing an action and weaker by only being for a single turn. This kind-of evens out, so it shouldn't be easy for her to retain the title.

First of all, to keep the title she would still need an action, just as Saul.

Secondly, it would make Ellen a much more interesting character to play
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Carl Bussema
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Agree with everyone who says that she tries to return it to that character, either fails to find that character or finds that character cannot receive the title, and therefore passes it to the character highest in succession.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
And according to a lot of other rulings players are not allowed to even attempt to create a situation that is illegal. So, since she is not allowed to hand the title back in this new situation, you might conclude that it stays.


There is no decision to hand the title back. The title is going back, it was going to go back the instant it was taken. Also, the target was decided when the title was grabbed, not when the title is given back.
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Pieter
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a1bert wrote:
There is no decision to hand the title back. The title is going back, it was going to go back the instant it was taken. Also, the target was decided when the title was grabbed, not when the title is given back.

No, that's not the case. If that was the case, it would also go back in the case when the title changes hands during the turn that Manipulative was used, and it does not. The previous ruling entails that it is an activity of Ellen to hand it back -- that's the way it is formulated, and that is the way the designers explain it.

But to cut matters short, I am trying to look into the minds of the designers here, and evidently that is not possible, so I did the second-best thing and that is to look into the minds of fellow players. And everybody (including me) agrees that the title should go to the first person in line.

There is just still that nagging doubt that I have, springing from all those previous times I had a rules question and the designers came up with a ruling that was completely contrary to what I thought was in the spirit of the rules (the previous ruling on what happens if Ellen loses the title during her turn is one example). But since they do not seem to answer many questions anymore, and we all seem to agree, for now we can put the matter to rest.
 
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Quote:
No, that's not the case. If that was the case, it would also go back in the case when the title changes hands during the turn that Manipulative was used, and it does not. The previous ruling entails that it is an activity of Ellen to hand it back -- that's the way it is formulated, and that is the way the designers explain it.


The two positions can be consistent. You could view at as "Ellen's ability queues the event 'move title from ellen to X' for the end of the turn when it is first executed. If the title is Admiral, when that event is executed, it fails because the Admiral is in the brig and thus bones to the first in succession. If Ellen holds the title, the action fails because she didn't have it to move in the first place, and nothing happens". I don't see the two rulings as contradictory at all.
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Pasi Ojala
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fizzmore wrote:
If Ellen holds lost the title, the action fails because she didn't have it to move in the first place, and nothing happens". I don't see the two rulings as contradictory at all.


You summarized it better than I explained it. (Except the error I fixed above.)
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Pieter
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fizzmore wrote:
The two positions can be consistent. You could view at as "Ellen's ability queues the event 'move title from ellen to X' for the end of the turn when it is first executed.

Yeah, if you view it like that. But the ability says: "Return that title to its previous owner at the end of your turn." Nothing gets queued. Two activities are described when Ellen uses her OPG: one she does at the start of her turn, and one that she is supposed to do at the end of her turn. Only at the end of her turn, it is examined whether she can return the title.

Really, taking all these descriptions literally, combined with previous rulings, Ellen cannot return the title and so she does nothing. The only thing is that I personally do not agree with many of these previous rulings for the same reason that I would not agree with Ellen keeping the title. But the designers often see it differently.

And frankly, I think that Ellen could use a boost... But yeah, that's no reason...
 
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*combined with one interpretation of the implications of the previous ruling.

Since everyone agrees on the correct ruling here, is the point just to emphasize that you don't like some of the designers' past rulings?

Quote:
Yeah, if you view it like that. But the ability says: "Return that title to its previous owner at the end of your turn." Nothing gets queued. Two activities are described when Ellen uses her OPG: one she does at the start of her turn, and one that she is supposed to do at the end of her turn. Only at the end of her turn, it is examined whether she can return the title.


Um, that's what "queued" means here. The action is triggered at one time, but has an effect that isn't implemented immediately...it's queued and goes off later (in this case, at the end of her turn).
 
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Pieter
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fizzmore wrote:
Since everyone agrees on the correct ruling here, is the point just to emphasize that you don't like some of the designers' past rulings?

No, just to say that the designers in the past have often ruled contrary to what we would expect.
 
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Flyboy Connor wrote:

No, just to say that the designers in the past have often ruled contrary to what we would expect.


Slight correction: they have ruled contrary to what you would expect. They've ruled almost always the way I would have expected (including the other example in your original post).
 
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Pieter
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BosonMichael wrote:
Slight correction: they have ruled contrary to what you would expect. They've ruled almost always the way I would have expected (including the other example in your original post).

So noted.

Still -- argument stands: they often decide what I would object to...
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Carl Bussema
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I poked Tim. He's been pretty responsive, so an answer should be here in a day or two.
 
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I think the correct answer is why are you taking a player's title and then XOing him in the same turn?
 
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This was best explained by Pasi Ojala. The fact that it is returning and who it is returned to is decided the moment Ellen uses her OPG. If the title then returns to that character and the character is no longer eligible to hold the title, it passes to the next person in the order of succession just like it would have had they been holding it when they became ineligible. I honestly don't even see where the debate on this is coming from. There should never be a circumstance where Ellen's OPG allows her to take and retain a title. That was never the ability's intent.
 
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j0frenzy wrote:
I think the correct answer is why are you taking a player's title and then XOing him in the same turn?


Current President is in the Brig. You use your ability to take the Presidency, take the Q-cards, and play Execute Prisoner.
 
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InfoCynic wrote:
j0frenzy wrote:
I think the correct answer is why are you taking a player's title and then XOing him in the same turn?


Current President is in the Brig. You use your ability to take the Presidency, take the Q-cards, and play Execute Prisoner.


You missed the XO part!

You steal the Admiral title, you XO your cylon partner so they can reveal, and then you hope for an autojump so you can pick the destination.
 
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oriecat wrote:
InfoCynic wrote:
j0frenzy wrote:
I think the correct answer is why are you taking a player's title and then XOing him in the same turn?


Current President is in the Brig. You use your ability to take the Presidency, take the Q-cards, and play Execute Prisoner.


You missed the XO part!

You steal the Admiral title, you XO your cylon partner so they can reveal, and then you hope for an autojump so you can pick the destination.


I was trying to cover how it would come up without XO. I didn't miss it, I deliberately ignored it.
 
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