Jon Schultz
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Card texts, for reference:

Wolverine - Canucklehead:
When Wolverine attacks alone, he cannot be blocked.

Mr. Fantastic - Brilliant Scientist:
Global: Pay [1 mask]. Target character must attack this turn.

Distraction:
Global: Pay [1 Mask] to remove one attacker from the attack zone to the field.

Two friends were playing last night and the following situation came up. Both players had spare Mask energy in their reserve pools. Player A declared an attack with Wolverine - Canucklehead and Loki - Gemkeeper. Given that Player B wants Loki gone and doesn't want Wolverine attacking alone, he's fine with this and doesn't respond.

They get to the attack step, and Player A pulls Loki back by spending a Mask to trigger Distraction's global. Player B wants to respond by forcing Loki to attack with Mr. Fantastic's global. I direct Player B to the FAQ where it explicitly states that using this ability after the Main step is in fact useless.

Quote:
Players can activate “target character must attack” effects during the Attack Step, but since attackers have already been assigned (during the Assign Attackers phase of the Attack Step) the opportunity for those characters to attack has already passed and the net result would be paying for an effect, choosing a target, and the effect of the Global Ability would do nothing.


Next, Player A claims Wolverine is now attacking alone, and thus cannot be blocked. Player B counters that when attackers were declared, Wolverine wasn't attacking alone, so his effect doesn't trigger.

Three questions:

1) Did we screw up any interpretations with the text or timing of when these effects can trigger?

2) Would Wolverine's text trigger here, thus making him unblockable?

3) Forcing Loki-Gemkeeper to attack is one of the useful ways to get rid of his annoying power. As we have interpreted it, Distraction can always be played after any effects that might force Loki to attack. And thus anyone playing Loki can keep him around by bringing Distraction as one of their actions and holding on to a Mask energy to use in their reserve pool. Or, put another way, there's no way to counter Distraction's global after it's triggered. Is that correct?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Rauli Kettunen
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bootylactin wrote:
1) Did we screw up any interpretations with the text or timing of when these effects can trigger?


"Attack Step
Select attackers. Resolve effects that occur due to attacking.
Assign blockers. Resolve effects that occur due to blocking.
Use action dice. Place them in your used pile when finished.
Both player can use global abilities." (p. 24)

So defenders are assigned before Distraction's Global can pull Loki back and I don't see the defender assigned to Wolverine going "poof" even though he is left as the lone attacker with Loki called back. And even if he did go poof, he was still assigned to block Wolverine, "once blocked, always blocked."
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Steve Cates
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"When Wolverine attacks" happens at the beginning of the combat phase and the rule that he cannot be blocked applies in the assign blockers phase. The apply global abilities step happens after blockers have already been assigned. So, from a rules perspective and thematically I'd argue that Wolverine is already blocked because he wasn't attacking alone and Loki just got distracted later.
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Dusten Mcadams
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Couldn't player B use the mask for Distraction instead of Mr. fantastic?! Remove wolverine and now no attackers!
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Rauli Kettunen
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Yep, Canucklehead buckles under against Distraction for one mask. However, in this scenario, I think the idea was to try and get Loki out of the field so his ability would stop (doesn't work when both have one mask to spend though).
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Brook Gentlestream
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bootylactin wrote:
Two friends were playing last night and the following situation came up. Both players had spare Mask energy in their reserve pools. Player A declared an attack with Wolverine - Canucklehead and Loki - Gemkeeper. Given that Player B wants Loki gone and doesn't want Wolverine attacking alone, he's fine with this and doesn't respond.

They get to the attack step, and Player A pulls Loki back by spending a Mask to trigger Distraction's global. Player B wants to respond by forcing Loki to attack with Mr. Fantastic's global. I direct Player B to the FAQ where it explicitly states that using this ability after the Main step is in fact useless.


Here's the sequence. Player A declares an Attack with Wolverine - Canucklehead. This ends his Assign Attackers step. It's time for Player B to declare blockers, but he can't because Wolverine is unblockable. Now, both players may use globals. Player B may spend a mask to remove Wolverine from combat, moving him out of the attack zone. Now there are no attackers. There is no way, even with any existing globals, for Wolverine to re-enter the attack zone since the Assign Attackers step is already finished.

Another option player B could have done is BEFORE any attackers were declared, Player B could have spent a Mask to force another character to attack. This would happen during the Main Step, but wouldn't do anything until the Assign Attackers step. Playing the Distraction global now wouldn't do anything as no one is in the Attack Zone. Next, the Assign Attackers step would happen and the selected character MUST attack, if able. Wolverine can also attack, but he won't be attacking alone anymore. The attacker can't yet play globals during the Assign Attackers step. Next, it's the Assign Blockers step, and now the opponent can declare blockers, and even block Wolverine since he isn't attacking alone. Once all attackers and blockers are declared, NOW the Distraction global can be used, but by now certain characters have already been blocked, even if those blockers are then removed from combat.

Hope that helps.



The bottom line:

* "Force attack" effects can't be used to add an attacker that has been removed from combat, because by the time combat starts, its too late to use this.

* Distraction's global can't be used until after attackers and blockers have both been assigned and any "when attacking" and "when defending" effects have been resolved.
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Dusten Mcadams
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I agree with that.

What if player A pays mask to use Mr. Fantastic Global, before the attack phase, on their own Wolverine? (Edit: player A only assigns Wolverine to attack) Would this negate a distraction global since he "must" attack or would distraction be a legal play?
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Brook Gentlestream
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Dustenmc wrote:
I agree with that.

What if player A pays mask to use Mr. Fantastic Global, before the attack phase, on their own Wolverine? (Edit: player A only assigns Wolverine to attack) Would this negate a distraction global since he "must" attack or would distraction be a legal play?


He did attack. That is to say, he was declared as an attacker. Any "when wolverine attacks" abilities kicked in. So Mr Fantastic's global was successfully resolved during the Declare Attackers step.

Later, after blockers are assigned (if any), Distraction could still be used and it will remove Wolverine from the attack zone for the rest of the attack.
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Adam
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Short answer: Distraction Global and Mr. Fantastic's or Phoenix's Global to Force Attackers basically neuters SR Wolverine

Chiming in late here but here is how the turn breaks down.

Player 1 is the active player and has the following:
Fielded-
Wolverine - Canucklehead: When Wolverine attacks alone, he cannot be blocked.
Loki-Gem-Keeper: When fielded, choose an opponent's character card, canceling all previous choices. Your opponent cannot field that character while Loki is active. This effect lasts until you field another Loki.
In Reserve Pool-
1 Mask Energy

Player 2 has the following:
Fielded-
Mr. Fantastic - Brilliant Scientist: Mr. Fantastic gets +2A and +2D while blocking.
Global: Pay [1 Mask], Target character must attack this turn.
In Reserve Pool-
1 Mask Energy

The Basic Action card Distraction is available for both players and has the following Global: Pay [1 Mask] to remove one attacker from the attack zone to the field.

RAW Rules as Written:
Wolverine must be the only attacker in the Attack Zone at the end of the Declare Attackers step in order to get his "cannot be blocked" ability.

Mr. Fantastic's Global Ability can be played during the active player's Main Step to force a character to attack.

The Distraction Global ability can be used after the Declare Attacker and Declare Blocker steps.

Player 2 could use their 1 Mask energy to use Mr. Fantastic's Global to force another character, other than Wolverine to attack.

If Player 2 does not, then Player 1 moves to the Attack Step and Declares Attackers. Player 1 moves Wolverine to the Attack Zone and Wolverine gains his "Cannot Be Blocked" ability.

Player 2 Declares Blockers, but Wolverine cannot be blocked, so no blockers are declared.

Both Players can now use any Global abilities. Player 2 who opted not to force another character to attack during Player 1's Main Step, now uses their 1 Mask to play Distraction's Global Ability to remove Wolverine from the Attack Field.

The Turn Ends.

Other optional plays using the Globals

If Player 2 would have used their 1 Mask energy to force another character to attack (Loki) during Player 1's Main Step, then Loki and Wolverine would enter the Attack Zone together during the Declare Attackers step and Wolverine would not get his "cannot be blocked" ability.

Player 1 could then respond after Blockers are Declared to use their 1 Mask energy on the Distraction Global to pull back Loki, but Wolverine's ability trigger has already passed so he would not get his "cannot be blocked" ability.




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John Galietta III
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Dustenmc wrote:
What if player A pays mask to use Mr. Fantastic Global, before the attack phase, on their own Wolverine? (Edit: player A only assigns Wolverine to attack) Would this negate a distraction global since he "must" attack or would distraction be a legal play?


Essentially he "must be assigned as an attacker". Distraction won't be effective until AFTER he has been assigned as an attacker, so the Mr. F global has been fulfilled. The other player could still use Distraction to remove him from combat before he is able to deal damage.
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Adam
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Dustenmc wrote:
What if player A pays mask to use Mr. Fantastic Global, before the attack phase, on their own Wolverine? (Edit: player A only assigns Wolverine to attack) Would this negate a distraction global since he "must" attack or would distraction be a legal play?

Mr. F's Global is considered resolved as soon as the attacker enters the field. So it's complete and gone. Distraction is played after declared blockers. It would remove Wolverine from the attack zone it would be considered resolved.

Basically with a Global that can force a player to attack and a Global to remove an attacker, your only chance of getting Wolverine through is catching a turn where your opponent doesn't keep a mask in their reserve pool.
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Rauli Kettunen
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1havok12 wrote:
Basically with a Global that can force a player to attack and a Global to remove an attacker, your only chance of getting Wolverine through is catching a turn where your opponent doesn't keep a mask in their reserve pool.


Looking ahead from this aspect, reckon they'll put out some stuff that can move energy dice from opponent's Reserve Pool to Used or Prep Area to nullify energy-saving in some measure?

Speaking from a POV where Distractions been in more games than not, sometimes I was keeping back 3-5 masks, sure, try and attack through those (and with almost all games also featuring Fantastic and/or Phoenix, no lack of forced attacks either).
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John Galietta III
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I highly doubt it. it's really the only source of disruption we have during the opponent's turn. Creating an easy way to remove energy dice like that would pretty easily unbalance the game.
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Jon Schultz
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I just wanted to thank everyone who has read and responded to this thread, particularly the step by step descriptions of how the phases play out and when particular actions can be taken.

If one doesn't exist already, I'm thinking about taking this information and trying to make a chart that others could follow to resolve their own timing questions.

This was very helpful folks, thanks!
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John Galietta III
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Indeed there are a couple already. One good one to follow would be 1havok12's: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1179560/new-mdm-players-aid-...
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Kevin Maschler
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As I understand the timing of the various steps you could not use Distraction's global ability to nerf Black Widow's Tsarina card then.

Set-up and sequence:

Player 1 is the active player and has the following:
Fielded-
Black Widow - Tsarina (3rd level facing): When Black Widow attacks, she deals 2 damage to your opponent. Your opponent can prevent this by spinning one of his or her characters down a level.

Player 2 has the following:
Fielded-
Mr. Fantastic - Brilliant Scientist (1st level facing): Mr. Fantastic gets +2A and +2D while blocking.
Global: Pay [1 Mask], Target character must attack this turn.
In Reserve Pool-
1 Mask Energy

The Basic Action card Distraction is available for both players and has the following Global: Pay [1 Mask] to remove one attacker from the attack zone to the field.

At the start of the Attack Step, Player 1 assigns Black Widow to attack. Her "when attacking" ability immediately triggers. As Mr. Fantastic is the only character Player 2 has in the field and he is already level one and cannot be spun down, Player 2 immediately suffers a loss of 2 health.

Player 2 assigns Mr. Fantastic to block.

Player 1 does not play any actions or global abilities.

Player 2 wants to spend his Mask Energy to activate Distraction's global ability in the hopes that it might keep Black Widow from attacking, but since her "when attacking" effect already activated, this spend would only result in Black Widow returning to the field rather than being knocked out by Mr. Fantastic during the next phase of the Attack Step, Assign Damage. It has no retroactive effect on the loss of 2 health Player 2 suffered.

Is this correct?

If so, it's interesting that this global ability prevents the SR Canucklehead from doing what it was designed to do (inflict direct damage on the opponent), but has no effect on the SR Tsarina. Also, it would not prevent the character damage Cyclops - If Looks Could Kill would inflict, or the knockout effects of Nightcrawler - Abandoned or Circus Freak. But it would yank Nightcrawler - Fuzzy Elf back before he could inflict unblocked damage on an opponent, just as it would Angel - High Ground and Soaring. It would have no effect on the Wolverine - Wildboy spin down effect, or the 2 points of damage an Avenging Angel might deal.

If Global abilities were allowed to interrupt at any time, they would be a little more intuitive and a lot more effective. But they would probably make the game incredibly chaotic, with players trying to re do steps after they've seen a result and claiming they were not given an opportunity to interrupt in order to prevent that result. The strict timing order at least keeps the game moving forward.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Torpedo wrote:
Is this correct?


Yes. Distraction can be used to pull back people that have "when X attacks" to trigger their ability next turn again (Storm and Punisher the ones I've used it most on).

Quote:
If Global abilities were allowed to interrupt at any time, they would be a little more intuitive and a lot more effective. But they would probably make the game incredibly chaotic, with players trying to re do steps after they've seen a result and claiming they were not given an opportunity to interrupt in order to prevent that result. The strict timing order at least keeps the game moving forward.


Yep, only Globals you can do at any time are damage cancelling and redirection.
 
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John Galietta III
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Yes, "When X Attacks.." and "When X blocks.." powers happen immediately upon that character being declared as such. Distraction can't be used until after both attackers and blockers have been declared and all such abilities have resolved.
 
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