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Subject: When does "Counts as Solid with Harken" count? rss

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George Krubski
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Both the Alliance Ident Card (from the core game) and the Helmsman (from Breakin' Atmo) offer the following special condition: "Counts as Solid with Harken."

My question is this: In light of the Harken's Zero Tolerance, WHEN does the condition apply?

To quote the rule book:

Zero Tolerance: Receiving a Warrant for any reason will cause reputation loss with Harken, regardless of what contact the Job you were working came from. You may not become Solid with Harken while you have a Warrant.

So... Does "Counts as Solid with Harken" apply if you have receive/have a Warrant?

I can see both sides, by I would tentatively say that, yes, you DO remain Solid with Harken even if you have/receive a Warrant. Here's my reasoning:

1) Zero Tolerance explicitly states that you lose "reputation" with Harken, yet neither the Ident Card nor the Helmsman's Alliance Training has anything to do with "reputation."

2) Zero Tolerance also states that you may not BECOME Solid with Harken, but does not state anything about BEING solid (although the implication is that normally you lose the status).

3) I would argue that individual cards usually take precedent over core rules in most games.

4) Thematically, I feel like it makes sense.



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Mattias Elfström
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I lean towards your interpretation, but an official answer would be nice.

From a game perspective I also don't see your interpretation as unbalancing.
 
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Jon Snow
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devil Its a good question all right! So far I've been interpreting "losing reputation," as "loss of Solid," as nothing else makes sense to me! Its an unfortunate insertion of an undefined conversational phrase inside a rules manual.

However, I can see the individual cards continuing to work without Solid with Harken for Misbehaves! Computer nets are not infallible, and I assume that their accuracy and updating suffers from ragged edges across the vast distances of space.

In other words, they work for game purposes in the 'Verse, where skullduggery abounds. Maybe a red flash on your ident card only shows up after the relevant criminal action you are performing...
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GodRob
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While primarily used for killing vampires, a wooden stake to the heart is also highly effective against most other opponents.
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I would say "Counts as Solid with Harken" works under these three instances:

1. When you draw a "Customs Inspection" nav card.

2. When you draw "Alliance Entanglements" nav card.

3. When Dealing with Harken, you may buy Fuel.

(If you have a Warrant, you can't really benefit from the third option since you'll have to pay off and lose the Warrant before you get a chance to Deal.)

As for "Zero Tolerance", I don't think it will allow you to Work a Harken job while having a Warrant. Sure, it "counts as Solid" but that doesn't ignore the rule that Harken won't let anyone work his jobs that have warrants.
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Hardboiled Gregg
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I can sort of see the reasoning, but I think it is inherently flawed, nor do I think it makes sense thematically.

A warrant is the Alliance saying, 'If you ever see this ship: arrest them'. It doesn't matter who's onboard or what documents you have, your ship has been caught doing something illegal. I don't see any Alliance official being lax in that regard; especially if it's a Customs Inspection. However, you can clear the warrant and all is fine with them; that status will 'reactivate' without having to work another Harken job.

And if you're going by 'it doesn't mention Reputation' then that's a bit nebulous, too, because Job Contact cards don't mention Reputation either; they just say 'When Solid...' That relation is automatically assumed. If it's not a Solid Reputation, what is Solid?

So then, if cards are taking precedent over the rulebook, what about over other cards? If you get the Fuel & Custom Inspections benefits of the 'When Solid...' with Harken you're going off what it says on his Job cards, regardless of whether you were in possession of one.

And if, instead, you're trying to break it down to what can and can't be done, it seems like so much unnecessary splitting of hairs.
 
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George Krubski
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Gregg, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your interpretation -- I'm really unclear, which is why I posted -- but let me elaborate on the thematic angle a little, since I ran out of steam last night while posting.

Perhaps it is an incorrect interpretation, but I actually view "Counts as Solid with Harken" as, basically, "this special ability offers you the same benefits as if you were Solid with Harken... even though you may never have met Harken."

The Alliance Ident Card is what Shepherd Book uses to get medical services from a different Alliance Cruiser. What we can interpret from the comic book explanation of his history is that the Alliance Ident Card actually identifies him as a hero of the Alliance. Translation: This card puts you in good standing with the Alliance.

With respect to "Alliance Training," although I think the Helmsman dude actually IS from Harken's ship, once again, my interpretation is that Alliance Training means you have an "in" with the Alliance. Again, you are "solid" with the Alliance, but not necessarily Harken personally.

To put it in "story" terms, my assumption is that if you get pulled over for a Customs Inspection when you're actually solid with Harken, you can ignore it because Harken vouched for you... but if you have a Helmsman, he is able to talk the crew out of it because of his familiarity with process, procedure, or maybe he knows the inspector. If you have the Alliance Ident Card, the inspector takes one look and realizes "This is someone I don't need to be bothering with a customs inspection...."

In terms of mechanics, the way I'm interpreting Alliance Training and Alliance Ident Card is that they translate to "you are on good terms with the Alliance," but for game purposes, that is simplified to "You are Solid with Harken," because Harken is the "game" face of the Alliance.

Now, is my interpretation ACCURATE? Who the heck knows?
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Hardboiled Gregg
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I see where you're coming from and, taken alone, I would agree entirely. But I doubt things would have gone as smoothly if there were a warrant on the ship.

Those cards are still helpful while the ship has all the appearances of being clean, but a warrant means that things need to be 'set straight' before that good standing can continue.

And, clearly, Solid with Harken counts, thematically, for an 'in' with the Alliance, as it has always functioned, but attempting to break that down would be veering away from what's stated/how it is expressed on the cards. Both say 'Counts as Solid with Harken', so how it works in relation to Harken and what it says on his cards is what counts. There is no general 'Alliance Reputation'.

I think if they tried to explain the effect any other way it might confuse things. For example, if it said 'Immediately become Solid with Harken' then people would question if it's a one-time effect or wonder what happens if they'd already earned that reputation and received a Warrant. Admittedly, I'd not considered it any other way so haven't given it much thought, but I'd struggle to think of a way to express it in a concise yet clear way and avoid further confusion.

Obviously, though, that's just how either of us see it. We're both waiting for a clarification, and GF9's rules have been known for odd/contradictory phrasing (Two Fry's Carbine, for example).
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Stephen Williams
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gwek wrote:

I can see both sides, by I would tentatively say that, yes, you DO remain Solid with Harken even if you have/receive a Warrant.


I agree.

You lose your Solid rep with Harken when you GAIN a warrant. That means you discard any Harken cards you have under your ship.

The business about not becoming Solid with Harken while you have a warrant (IMHO) is clearly to cover the case where you have an active Harken job and you gain a warrant from somewhere else. You can finish the Harken job if you want, but you can't put it under your ship to become Solid. (Harken will still hold up his end of the bargain and pay you, but he's not going to be so friendly the next time you cross paths since you were stirring up trouble elsewhere and got tagged.)

Fake ident cards make you look like someone who ISN'T wanted by the law, so you can "fake" being Solid with Harken. The Helmsman sounds like an ex-Alliance soldier to me; presumably HE is Solid with Harken and Harken doesn't know he's working on an outlaw ship just yet.

Neither of these things will help you if your ship is actually caught by the Alliance Cruiser, of course. Resolving the Alliance Contact will force you to pay off your warrants no matter what.

In that case, Harken actually has a bead on the wanted ship directly. No fake ID or crew man is going to save you this time.
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James Rhys
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Regardless of the main discussion, when the "Counts as Solid with Harken" effect is active, does this include needing to be Solid with Harken for Goal purposes?

I can't remember off the top of my head if any Story Cards have Goals requiring you to be Solid with Harken, but if there are any, would either of these cards allow you to meet that criteria without completing a Harken job? I guess it's a yes, lucky player for getting hold of either of those items instead of having to do the job, could save time and make for a viable strategy...
 
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George Krubski
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HotHeart wrote:
I see where you're coming from and, taken alone, I would agree entirely. But I doubt things would have gone as smoothly if there were a warrant on the ship.

Those cards are still helpful while the ship has all the appearances of being clean, but a warrant means that things need to be 'set straight' before that good standing can continue.

And, clearly, Solid with Harken counts, thematically, for an 'in' with the Alliance, as it has always functioned, but attempting to break that down would be veering away from what's stated/how it is expressed on the cards. Both say 'Counts as Solid with Harken', so how it works in relation to Harken and what it says on his cards is what counts. There is no general 'Alliance Reputation'.

I think if they tried to explain the effect any other way it might confuse things. For example, if it said 'Immediately become Solid with Harken' then people would question if it's a one-time effect or wonder what happens if they'd already earned that reputation and received a Warrant. Admittedly, I'd not considered it any other way so haven't given it much thought, but I'd struggle to think of a way to express it in a concise yet clear way and avoid further confusion.

Obviously, though, that's just how either of us see it. We're both waiting for a clarification, and GF9's rules have been known for odd/contradictory phrasing (Two Fry's Carbine, for example).


Yeah, ultimately, we need to wait for an official call. I guess to me, if you're interpretation is correct, I'd think that the cards should have an exception like "Count as Solid with Harken except when you have a Warrant."

I think a lot of the philosophical divide comes down to whether you think the rules or the cards take priority.
 
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George Krubski
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AMarsReject wrote:
Regardless of the main discussion, when the "Counts as Solid with Harken" effect is active, does this include needing to be Solid with Harken for Goal purposes?

I can't remember off the top of my head if any Story Cards have Goals requiring you to be Solid with Harken, but if there are any, would either of these cards allow you to meet that criteria without completing a Harken job? I guess it's a yes, lucky player for getting hold of either of those items instead of having to do the job, could save time and make for a viable strategy...


Personally, I would think that, yes, it DOES count toward the goal... if you meet the other criteria of the goal (there are no goals that are JUST be Solid with Harken; they're all, like, be Solid with everyone).

Although this seems like a "cheat", getting the Alliance Ident Card is definitely harder, and a Helmsman isn't much easier! It's a great tactic for Nandi.
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