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Subject: Boarding in Advanced Rules rss

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John Jackson
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I find the discussion of advanced boarding rules on page39 a bit confusing. The Rules state (emphasis mine):

"When playing with Advanced Rules, the Boarding action represents preparing offensive or defensive boarding parties."

So, does this mean that you have 3 options in choosing your actions once two ships are in contact:

1. You want to organize your sailors to attack and board the other ship, i.e. "offensive boarding" (use boarding chit with cutlasses for this action ?)

2. You want to organize your sailors to stay put and defend against a boarding attempt, i.e. "defensive boarding" (use blank "boarding" chit for this?)

3. You don't assign any sailors to attack or defend (i.e. no boarding chit of either the cutlass type or blank type is assigned)

Moreover, for two opposing ships, if one ship has chosen option 1. it can only gain an advantage over its opponent (as described in the third column of page 39) if the opponent ship chose option 3.

Are any of these presumptions correct????

 
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Steve Pultorak
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Pretty Close but I interpret it as:

1) Player decides whether to have sailors grapple/board offensively or defend against grapple/board. This requires players to place the Boarding Action Counter into a Planned Actions box.

2) If one player does not place a Boarding Action counter in Planned Actions box, he is at the disadvantage (of suffering an E damage before boarding begins).

3) If both players have selected the Boarding Action, each player selects either a Boarding or Blank counter to reveal his choice.
Boarding = Boarding; Blank = Repelling

Then compare each player's choice: If both players selected to Board (Boarding Counter) there is Boarding Combat; If one player selected the Blank and the other the Boarding = random flip.

Being Entangled is a tie breaker, meaning as long as one player selected the Boarding counter, there is Boarding Combat!
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Mayor Jim
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Steve Pultorak wrote:
Pretty Close but I interpret it as:

1) Player decides whether to have sailors grapple/board offensively or defend against grapple/board. This requires players to place the Boarding Action Counter into a Planned Actions box.

2) If one player does not place a Boarding Action counter in Planned Actions box, he is at the disadvantage (of suffering an E damage before boarding begins).

3) If both players have selected the Boarding Action, each player selects either a Boarding or Blank counter to reveal his choice.
Boarding = Boarding; Blank = Repelling

Then compare each player's choice: If both players selected to Board (Boarding Counter) there is Boarding Combat; If one player selected the Blank and the other the Boarding = random flip.

Being Entangled is a tie breaker, meaning as long as one player selected the Boarding counter, there is Boarding Combat!
Yep, my take as well. The boarding rules may take a few readthroughs as they're a little different than those found in other sailing games. A bit more abstract...but more playable IMHO
 
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Robert Finamore
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Steve Pultorak wrote:
Pretty Close but I interpret it as:

1) Player decides whether to have sailors grapple/board offensively or defend against grapple/board. This requires players to place the Boarding Action Counter into a Planned Actions box.

2) If one player does not place a Boarding Action counter in Planned Actions box, he is at the disadvantage (of suffering an E damage before boarding begins).

3) If both players have selected the Boarding Action, each player selects either a Boarding or Blank counter to reveal his choice.
Boarding = Boarding; Blank = Repelling

Then compare each player's choice: If both players selected to Board (Boarding Counter) there is Boarding Combat; If one player selected the Blank and the other the Boarding = random flip.

Being Entangled is a tie breaker, meaning as long as one player selected the Boarding counter, there is Boarding Combat!

I disagree with this interpretation. The rules on page 39 specifically state:

“Only a ship that planned a Boarding action may declare a boarding. It is not mandatory to do so – for example, a ship may plan a Boarding action, and then declare a Blank counter against the boarding attempt of an opponent.”

Your interpretation does not allow for “declaring a blank counter” which is the defensive boarding action. Based on the written rule, I interpret it that even though you plan Boarding actions, you must still go through the grappling/boarding declarations defined on page 37 because you can plan a Boarding action and not use it. The only difference is you execute the declarations at the end of the Action Phase (per the Advance rules) instead of at the beginning of the Planning Phase. Ships that did not plan a Boarding action would automatically declare a Blank counter. Therefore, possible permutations are:

1. Ship 1 plans Boarding, Ship 2 plans Boarding
---Ship 1 declares Grappling/Boarding (offensive), Ship 2 declares Grappling/Boarding (offensive)
---Ships automatically Grapple and Boarding Attacks will take place

2. Ship 1 plans Boarding, Ship 2 plans Boarding
---Ship 1 declares Grappling/Boarding (offensive), Ship 2 declares Blank Counter (defensive)
---Pull an “E” chit and on a Crew hit Grappling occurs and Boarding Attacks will take place; on a Blank chit Grappling and Boarding Attacks do not occur

3. Ship 1 plans Boarding, Ship 2 plans Boarding
---Ship 1 declares Blank Counter (defensive), Ship 2 declares Blank Counter (defensive)
---No Grappling and therefore no Boarding Attack occurs

4. Ship 1 plans Boarding, Ship 2 does not plan Boarding
---Ship 1 declares Grappling/Boarding (offensive), Ship 2 automatically declares Blank Counter
---Pull an “E” chit and on a Crew hit Grappling occurs and Boarding Attacks will take place with Ship 2 at a disadvantage; on a Blank chit Grappling and Boarding Attacks do not occur

5. Ship 1 plans Boarding, Ship 2 does not plan Boarding
---Ship 1 declares Blank Counter (defensive), Ship 2 automatically declares Blank Counter
---No Grappling and therefore no Boarding Attack occurs

Also the rules specifically state that grappling and entanglement are two different things (see page 40), so just because you are entangled does not mean you can board. You still have to go through boarding/grappling declarations each turn as described above.

I have spelled out the full Advanced boarding process in more detail in my Advanced Rules Summary which is available in the files section here on BGG.



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Steve Pultorak
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You may be over complicating the process.
I think your example 4 is not correct.
Ship 2 would not have the option of selecting a defensive blank counter because he sent no sailors to defend against the enemy boarding.
Follow the example on page 39. There is no drawing of an E counter 'to determine a successful grapple/board' in this case. It is used to determine whether ship 2 loses a crew first.

On page 40, it explains the tie-breaker of being entangled. As long as one ship declared offensive boarding, there is boarding combat without and E counter needed to be drawn (on your example 2).

 
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Robert Finamore
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Steve Pultorak wrote:
You may be over complicating the process.
I think your example 4 is not correct.
Ship 2 would not have the option of selecting a defensive blank counter because he sent no sailors to defend against the enemy boarding.
Follow the example on page 39. There is no drawing of an E counter 'to determine a successful grapple/board' in this case. It is used to determine whether ship 2 loses a crew first.

No, I believe I am correct. Don't confuse the process of planning a Boarding Action as a crew action and then choosing a Boarding or Blank counter to make a Boarding/Grappling declaration.

See second bullet under Advanced rules on page 39. It states: "If a ship succeeds in grappling and boarding an opponent, and the opponent does not have a boarding action planned..." Because of the If in that statement, it must be possible that a ship may fail to grapple and board an opponent who did not plan a Boarding Action. That means you must draw an "E" chit to determine grappling/boarding success as in the rules on page 37 and 38.

Also, notice in Example 4 that I do not list (defensive) for Ship 2. Ship 2 has not planned a Boarding Action so cannot have a defensive boarding party (irrespective of the fact that it plays a Blank Counter for boarding/grappling declaration), which is why Ship 1 has the advantage for that example.

The example on page 39 is just meant to cover the non-simultaneous damage situation. The example says Courageuse "is boarding", which means the grapple was already successful. I believe they skipped the boarding/grappling declaration part of the process in the example because it is already covered in the Basic/Standard rules and occurs in a separate phase from the boarding attack.

Steve Pultorak wrote:

On page 40, it explains the tie-breaker of being entangled. As long as one ship declared offensive boarding, there is boarding combat without and E counter needed to be drawn (on your example 2).

I am not sure where you are seeing this. The rules on page 40 merely state that you cannot MOVE unless the ships are both disentangled and ungrappled. It does not make any mention of the impact of entanglement on boarding.
 
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Steve Pultorak
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Hi Robert:
I have re-read the rules and your logic and I am leaning toward agreeing with you. However, I am having difficulty with your assumption that a ship can defend itself against boarders WITHOUT planning a Boarding Action.

At the top middle of page 39 ...

"When playing with Advanced Rules, the Boarding action represents preparing offensive or defensive boarding parties"

In your example 4, what rule says ship #2 can 'automatically declare a blank counter'. To me the blank counter IS the defensive boarding party. It is like you are giving the ship an additional free action to defend against boarders. Furthermore, the example on page 39 refers to the Terpsichore being too busy to do so. This tells me there may be times when you don't have enough men to fight a fire AND defend against boarders.

I can see the ship repelling grappling without a boarding action but not repelling boarding.

Regarding the IF statement ...yes, of course it is possible to fail to grapple (and thus board) a ship that has not planned a boarding action. I think we have to separate grapple/board into grapple-to-board. Grapple attempts are free but boarding requires 'committing' boarding parties (boarding actions).

Regarding page 40 top left... it is titled 'Boarding and Entanglement' It seems to me that being entangled would have some benefit to a ship attempting to grapple?

It is late at night where I am so I could certainly be quite wrong so I will read more tomorrow ???
 
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Roberto Di Meglio
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Robert's interpretation is correct.

The Boarding action is a prerequisite to actually boarding the enemy ship, and useful to be prepared and fight better against boarders.

But (1) the choice of actions, and (2) the determination of boarding attempts by declaration and random draw, are two independent steps.

 
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Steve Pultorak
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Okay. My understanding then would be:

At Beginning of Planning Phase:

Entanglement: Either player draws an E counter; the crew loss side means ships are entangled.

Grappling: Each player declares their grappling intentions by showing either a Boarding or Blank counter. If the players choose opposites, the result is chosen randomly. Being already entangled has nothing to do with this random selection process.

At End of Planning Phase:

Boarding (only between grappled ships): A ship that placed a Boarding Action into one of its planned actions boxes may attempt to board its opponent if it chooses by declaring a boarding action counter. The opponent can still prevent the boarding if he declares a blank counter, even if there is no Boarding Action counter (boarding parties committed) in his planned actions boxes. Draw an E counter to decide if boarding is successful. But if the opponent did not have a Boarding Action in their planned action boxes (boarding party), it suffers the ‘disadvantaged’ rules of drawing an additional and first E damage counter as well as non-simultaneous damage.

Is this correct?
 
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Robert Finamore
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Steve Pultorak wrote:
Okay. My understanding then would be:

At Beginning of Planning Phase:

Entanglement: Either player draws an E counter; the crew loss side means ships are entangled.

Grappling: Each player declares their grappling intentions by showing either a Boarding or Blank counter. If the players choose opposites, the result is chosen randomly. Being already entangled has nothing to do with this random selection process.

At End of Planning Phase:

Boarding (only between grappled ships): A ship that placed a Boarding Action into one of its planned actions boxes may attempt to board its opponent if it chooses by declaring a boarding action counter. The opponent can still prevent the boarding if he declares a blank counter, even if there is no Boarding Action counter (boarding parties committed) in his planned actions boxes. Draw an E counter to decide if boarding is successful. But if the opponent did not have a Boarding Action in their planned action boxes (boarding party), it suffers the ‘disadvantaged’ rules of drawing an additional and first E damage counter as well as non-simultaneous damage.

Is this correct?

Not quite per my understanding.

At Beginning of Planning Phase:

-Check for Entanglement/Disentanglement - draw an E counter; the crew loss symbol means ships are entangled. (p.35)

During Planning Phase:

-Choose to plan a Boarding crew action or not. You do not use the Blank counter here. (p. 39)

At the End of Planning Phase / Beginning of Action Phase:

-Reveal Crew actions.
-Grappling: Each player declares their grappling intentions by showing either a Boarding or Blank counter. Note: Players that did not plan a Boarding action this turn can only show a Blank counter.
>If both choose Boarding, ships are grappled
>If the players choose opposites, draw an E counter; the crew loss symbol means ships are grappled.
>If both choose Blank, ships are not grappled.
>Being already Entangled has nothing to do with this process.

At the End of Combat Phase:

-Resolve Boarding Attacks between grappled ships.
-If a ship is grappled and did not have a Boarding Action in its planned crew action boxes, it suffers the ‘disadvantaged’ rules of drawing an additional and first E damage counter as well as non-simultaneous damage.

 
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Steve Pultorak
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I can live with your understanding.

Your interpretation merges the Grappling and Boarding into one 'Crew Action' at the end of the planning phase... per the middle of page 39.

Would this mean that a ship without a Boarding Action in its planned actions boxes cannot even attempt to grapple for next turns boarding?

 
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Robert Finamore
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Steve Pultorak wrote:
I can live with your understanding.

Your interpretation merges the Grappling and Boarding into one 'Crew Action' at the end of the planning phase... per the middle of page 39.

Would this mean that a ship without a Boarding Action in its planned actions boxes cannot even attempt to grapple for next turns boarding?


I know it's odd, but the way the rules are written, from the perspective of boarding, each turn is independent. See Ending A Boarding on page 38, which states "At the beginning of the Planning phase of the next turn, repeat the procedure to see if the boarding continues or not." Note: The timing for that statement obviously changes to accommodate the Advanced rules.

Just because two ships were grappled and fought a boarding action last turn, does not mean they automatically have Boarding actions planned and does not mean they are automatically grappled on the following turn. You have to go through the whole process again, from planning the Boarding action, to grappling declarations, to the Boarding Attack.
 
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Steve Pultorak
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Are you sure it is okay to ignore the grappling process described on the right column page 37 ... and especially the top left of page 38 where it says "If one counter is a Boarding counter and the other one is a Blank, shuffle them, and draw at random"

In your example #2 you are saying to instead draw an E counter to determine if they are grappled.

In the Advanced Rules middle section page 39, "Grappling and Boarding are resolved in the same way as in the Basic and Standard Rules, with the following exceptions"

What exception says that a ship (without a Boarding Action planned) that wants to attempt a grapple cannot select the boarding counter?

The middle section of page 39 seems to be referring to the 'Boarding' process not the grappling. Couldn't Boarding (which requires a Boarding Crew Action (party) in the planned boxes be separate from grappling. Couldn't a ship grapple one turn, then plan to board the next?

I guess I am having trouble merging the grappling and boarding all into one step? I don't have a problem if grappling is meant to be a Crew Action (like boarding) only available to ships who placed a Boarding Action counter into their planned boxes ... but I don't see where it says that?

This is making this old guy dizzy. Isn't is weird how rules can sometimes be interpreted differently by different people.
 
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Steve Pultorak
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yes I see where you attempt to 'ungrapple' at top left of page 40 too.

I try to just see things as a simulation of men chopping away to get free of enemy grappling hooks starting to sink into their wooden ships. That is probably why I imagine attempting to grapple one turn then (if successful) planning to board next turn. Obviously it is better to plan the Boarding Action the first turn but why is that the only time. After all, a Boarding Crew Action is simulating a bunch of sailors. Grappling on one turn at least keeps you locked for re-grappling attempt the next.
 
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Robert Finamore
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It kind of makes sense. The first order the crew receives would be to form a boarding party, which is what is represented by planning the Boarding crew action. Then the boarding party would attempt to grapple the enemy ship (which is represented by choosing the Boarding counter during grappling declarations). If the grapple is successful, the boarding attack occurs with the Boarders succeeding (wiping out the enemy crew) or being repulsed (both ships still have crew left).

In the following turn, you plan the Boarding crew action if you want to maintain the boarding party, otherwise they are disbanded to do other tasks aboard ship. You can try to maintain grapples in the grappling declaration phase (by selecting a boarding counter) otherwise you try to cut grapples (by playing a blank counter).
 
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Steve Pultorak
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Yes, you are right, it does make sense when the ship has placed the Boarding Action counter in its planned action boxes.

Does it concern you though that a ship who hasn't placed that Boarding Action counter in its planned action boxes has the same chance (an E chit draw) to fend off the enemy boarders as a ship who did place the Boarding Action counter in its planned actions but decided to declare the blank counter to defend? The former received a 'free' blank counter.

Does it also concern you that a ship without that Boarding Action in its planned action boxes, can't start throwing grapples as soon as it finds itself next to an enemy (before the boarding parties are formed)?

I could be just splitting hairs resulting in bending the rules???

In any case, thanks, as it has been fun exchanging with you.
My concern was whether I needed to change my reference sheet below (and in the files section) but it appears I have grappling correctly being recognized as a Boarding Crew Action in the right time-slot and necessary to begin the process.

 
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Robert Finamore
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Steve Pultorak wrote:
Does it also concern you that a ship without that Boarding Action in its planned action boxes, can't start throwing grapples as soon as it finds itself next to an enemy (before the boarding parties are formed)?

Not so much. I would think grappling is a fairly major operation. Assembling the ropes and grapples, snagging the other vessel, and then pulling it in. Makes sense that you would need to form a boarding party to do that.

Quote:
Does it concern you though that a ship who hasn't placed that Boarding Action counter in its planned action boxes has the same chance (an E chit draw) to fend off the enemy boarders as a ship who did place the Boarding Action counter in its planned actions but decided to declare the blank counter to defend? The former received a 'free' blank counter.

Agree that this is definitely an abstraction. If you have boarders formed on deck, it seems logical that they would have a much better chance of preventing a successful grapple by an opponent. Perhaps house rule it that if both ships plan Boarding actions and only one declares a grapple, you pull two E chits and only grapple if both show crew hits. That would reduce the probability of a grapple in this situation to 25% (as opposed to the normal 50% when the target vessel has not planned a Boarding action).

 
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Steve Pultorak
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I will stay with the interpretation that NO Boarding Crew Action counter (boarding party) placed in the planned actions boxes = no ability to select a blank declaration counter to fend of a potential enemy boarding party.

Yes, it does guarantee a successful grapple and puts the defenseless ship into the disadvantaged rules but doesn't guarantee a successful boarding combat result for the attacking boarding party.
 
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Robert Finamore
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Steve Pultorak wrote:
I will stay with the interpretation that NO Boarding Crew Action counter (boarding party) placed in the planned actions boxes = no ability to select a blank declaration counter to fend of a potential enemy boarding party.

Yes, it does guarantee a successful grapple and puts the defenseless ship into the disadvantaged rules but doesn't guarantee a successful boarding combat result for the attacking boarding party.

I would really say that is a house rule, not an interpretation. The rules specifically state "Only a ship that planned a Boarding action may declare a boarding." Choosing a Boarding action counter for grappling/boarding declaration is "declaring a boarding." Choosing a blank counter would not be "declaring a boarding" so a ship without a Boarding action planned should still be able to choose the Blank counter.

Remember that having crew on deck to fend off a grapple would not be the only factor here. If the helmsman sees an opponent trying to grapple, he could just turn the wheel to try to break away from the enemy ship.

I think your interpretation also reduces tactical options to some degree by forcing ships to plan a Boarding action when they get close. It doesn't give them the option to take a "risk" by not planning a Boarding action in hopes that the grapple might fail.

 
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Steve Pultorak
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yes, that is the rule that I tie into 'Declaring a Boarding' on page 37 and the first sentence under 'Boarding in Advanced Rules".

If grappling is part of the boarding process, as you have suggested, then I interpret (in the Advanced Rules) that "Only a ship that planned a Boarding action may declare a boarding (offensive or defensive)."

It doesn't say "ships that DO NOT plan a boarding action also get to draw a blank counter". That is where I think you have introduced something that is not in the rules. I don't think a ship that didn't plan a boarding action can hope its non-existent defending boarding party can equally fight (with a blank) the boarders who did plan the Boarding Party.

Otherwise, I could initiate the grapple/boarding process (Declaring a Boarding) without planning the Boarding Action...

I also think it enhances more tactical decisions when getting close. You have to decide if you want to form a boarding party INSTEAD of another crew action when your crew is limited
 
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Steve Pultorak
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I also interpret that "Choosing a blank counter would be "declaring a boarding ... a defensive boarding action (repelling) based on the first sentence under Boarding in Advanced Rules P39

Therefore if no defensive boarding party is planned, let the defenders fight the boarders under the disadvantaged rules...per bottom middle of p39
 
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Roberto Di Meglio
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Robert Finamore is right - whether you have choseb a Boarding action or not, you may still try to avoid combat by choosing a blank counter during the grappling procedure.


"Choosing a blank counter" means "try avoiding being grappled", "Choosing the boarding counter" means "try to grapple the enemy to board it".


We used "grappling" deliberately as a different term from "boarding" to try to avoid confusion - clearly, we failed
 
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Steve Pultorak
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Thanks Roberto and Robert. Even the best of games often need clarifications. It is no problem as I like the separation of grappling from boarding.

Would you mind checking my Reference Chart below (before I ask BGG to re-post) as I corrected by moving the 'Grappling' up into the end of the Planning section and clarified the counter selection.

 
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Steve Pultorak
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Roberto
Does the Bkank Action counter get placed into one of the 'Planned Action' boxes during the planning phase?
 
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Robert Finamore
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No it is only used during the grappling declaration procedure.
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