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Star Trek: Fleet Captains» Forums » Rules

Subject: Confused about Interrupts and Combat Cards rss

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John Shoemaker
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I'm confused about when you can play interrupt cards and when you can play combat cards outside of combat.

Can I play an interrupt card during a systems test after the die roll (assuming of course I did not play a card at the beginning of the test)? For example, Battle Stations gives +2 Shields as an Ops Interrupt. If I have an encounter that asks for a Shield Test, and my roll doesn't get me there, can I then play this card?

If the answer to the above question is "No", when is Battle Stations an Ops card? The rules state that Combat cards can be played when you have a Weapons or Shields test. (Someone has since pointed out that this can be used when an opponent is making a sensor test attempting to beam something onto your ship)

However the card "All Power to Weapons" is another example: in its case, the "Interrupt" Ops effect provides 1 less weapons than the Combat effect. Why would I ever use it?

Also, if I can't play interrupt cards after the roll, does that mean Kor is unplayable as an Ops card?
 
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Barry Miller
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Hi, I see you're a brand new member of BGG! Welcome!

First, let me share a little forum etiquette that will help others help you. Your post asks questions about several specific cards. While some of us who'll jump in to answer your questions are rabid fans of the game who know every card by heart, a lot of us don't - yet we know the game itself enough to offer a good answer. So in the future when you ask questions about specific cards (for any game), it's always appreciated when you also include the text and other relevant markings from the card in question. This way, we can see exactly what the card says without having to pull out our own copy of the game and sift through a 100 cards or so, to be able to answer your question.

OK, on to your questions!

Interrupt Cards
Interrupt cards are almost exactly the same as "Response:" cards that you'll find in many other card games. I.e., they can be played essentially at any time which the effect on the card fits the situation. (Except Combat)

The effect on most Ops cards begins with a timing restriction stipulated in uppercase letters, which limits the play of the Ops effect to occur during a specific action only. But "Interrupt" cards don't have this restriction. Think of them as "wild" Ops cards which can be played anytime the situation fits! Also, as Interrupt cards all fall into the OPs category, they can't be used for combat. Always keep that in mind.

Can you play them during a system test after the die roll? Normally, No.
For any system test, cards are played before the die roll. The only time I can think of when you can play a card after the die roll, is when you decide to discard a crew card to take advantage of it's Combat or Ops effect (which would be in addition to playing a Command Card), or when the situation specified in the Interrupt effect calls for abnormal timing. Either way, these sort of after the die roll card play examples aren't usual. Perhaps some more experienced players can help out here.

You included the text from the 'Battle Stations' card - that it provides a "+2 Shields" Ops effect as an Interrupt. So in your example of resolving an encounter, you would have to decide to play the card for its +2 shields before you roll the die. You can't decide afterward.

You asked when 'Battle Stations' is "an Ops card". Well, if it has the "+2 Shields" Ops effect, then it's an Ops card anytime you wish to use it for +2 shields when using the Combat effect isn't legal! For instance, if your opponent is trying to transport something on or off your ship he must attempt a Sensor Test against your shields rating. As this is NOT a test you are attempting, you can't use the Combat effect to bolster your shields.

But you CAN use the Ops Interrupt effect of that card to increase your Shields rating, hopefully enough so that his test will fail. Remember, in this example your opponent is attempting a systems test, which means both of you have an opportunity to play a Command Card before he rolls the die.

There may be a couple other situations that call for using the +2 Shields OPs effect vs the +2 Shields Combat effect, for that card, but I can't think of any immediately off the top of my head.

And I'm sorry that I can't help you with your 'Kor' question as I don't know what the card says. But I'm guessing by the way you worded your question, that it has an Interrupt effect that effects the result of a test. The best I can offer now without seeing the card is, to remember again, that Interrupt cards can be played anytime the situation fits! Sometimes their advantage is to provide a systems boost for ANY KIND of test, and other times they are akin to a "Response" card, as I mentioned earlier. At these times they are especially useful on your opponent's turn, and in some outlying situations can be used outside the normal rules. When I get a chance to look at the card I can be more specific. Also, always remember the cardinal rule for ANY game that uses cards: The card text usually/always/typically overrides the rulebook.

Combat Cards
Combat effects are only valid during combat, or when YOU are attempting a Weapons or Shields test outside of combat. (In the above 'Battle Stations' example, again, you weren't the one attempting the test).

I'm not intimately familiar with the 'All Power To Weapons' card, so the best I can offer is that the same concept applies here as well. Simply put: You are limited to when you can use a card's Combat effect. On the other hand, the opportunities to use a card's Ops Interrupt effect are wide-open! So without being able to draw an example this very minute, I'm sure there are times when you would be able to play the Interrupt effect of that card and not the Combat effect. Again, I hope others will be able to provide a good example.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope I provided enough clarity to help! Either that or I provided more confusion!

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John Shoemaker
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Thank you very much! Here are the full text of those cards, and how I understand they work now.

Kor - Ops / Crew
OPS - Interrupt: Target ship must re-roll a Sensor Test it just made against this ship.
CAPTAIN - ...

So, while I normally can't play interrupts during a Systems Test (or Opposed System test) after the die roll, this card specifically states that I can. HOWEVER I am still bound by the 1-card per test rule, so if I chose to play a card during the designated timing, I can't play this after the roll. But if Kor is a crew member on my ship, I can sacrifice him for his OPS effect in addition to playing a card during the designated timing. (Opposed Sensor tests seem extremely rare as they don't exist outside of a few other cards that call for them).

All Power to Weapons - Combat / Ops
COMBAT: Turn this ship's dial to the highest Weapons Rating in its current Alert Level and give the ship +1 Weapons.
INTERRUPT: Turn this ship's dial to the highest Weapons Rating in its current Alert Level.

With this card, if I am resolving an Encounter with a Weapons test, I would still play this as a COMBAT card and get +1 extra weapons. However if I'm resolving an Encounter with a Sensor test, I could play this card as an OPS, and potentially get a bump to my Sensors if the dial with the highest Weapons Rating has more Sensors than my current setting. I can also play this card anytime during my turn (right?), getting a free power adjustment, but I can't play it freely during my opponents turn (but I could play it during my opponents turn during one of his systems test or opposed systems test).

I also had a quick question about timing. Lets say my opponent attacks me and doesn't play a card, and I play Combat:Eject the Warp Core. That card states that it deals damage to my ship and all other ships in the hex. My opponent has the opportunity to play a card. Does my card resolve before his? (Say that damage would destroy his ship, but he has a card that prevents 1 damage in this combat. Normally that card would be played before normal damage, but Eject the Warp Core isn't normal damage).

Another quick question about Sensor Glitch:

Sensor Glitch - OPS
SCAN ACTION: After looking at the target Location Tile, you may choose to discard it and replace it with a new face-down Location Tile (without looking at it).

I couldn't find any rules regarding the timing of ACTION cards, but the way this is worded sounds like I have to play this before looking at the tile as part of my Scan Action, is this accurate?
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Chris
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Yes, the SCAN ACTION means that on your turn you play this card as a Scan Action and follow the instructions on the card. Generally "XXXX ACTION" means that you play that card on your turn as an action of the specified type (Reinforcement, Cloak, etc).
 
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Barry Miller
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mrfantomex wrote:
So, while I normally can't play interrupts during a Systems Test (or Opposed System test) after the die roll, this card ['Kor'] specifically states that I can. HOWEVER I am still bound by the 1-card per test rule, so if I chose to play a card during the designated timing, I can't play this after the roll. But if Kor is a crew member on my ship, I can sacrifice him for his OPS effect in addition to playing a card during the designated timing.

With this card ['All Power To Weapons'], if I am resolving an Encounter with a Weapons test, I would still play this as a COMBAT card and get +1 extra weapons. However if I'm resolving an Encounter with a Sensor test, I could play this card as an OPS, and potentially get a bump to my Sensors if the dial with the highest Weapons Rating has more Sensors than my current setting. I can also play this card anytime during my turn (right?), getting a free power adjustment, but I can't play it freely during my opponents turn (but I could play it during my opponents turn during one of his systems test or opposed systems test).

I believe you have both of those paragraphs 100% correct! You did a good job applying the rules to some solid examples. One note about playing the APTW card "anytime" during your turn (for the Interrupt effect)... remember that you cannot normally interrupt an action to play a Command Card (again, there will be rare exceptions which should be obvious from a card's text). So basically, Command Cards are played between actions, or as the one card allowed during a systems test.

mrfantomex wrote:
I also had a quick question about timing. Lets say my opponent attacks me and doesn't play a card, and I play Combat:Eject the Warp Core. ... My opponent has the opportunity to play a card. Does my card resolve before his? (Say that damage would destroy his ship, but he has a card that prevents 1 damage in this combat. Normally that card would be played before normal damage, but Eject the Warp Core isn't normal damage).

The way I interpret the rules (I should've made that clear from the beginning - that all my words is merely my interpretation of the rules as I am not one of the game's designers!), is the Command Cards played by both players during a systems test aren't resolved till after both players have either played their card or passes. This is because each card is played as a response to the other.

In your example, your opponent passes his first opportunity to play a card. But you decide to play one during your (one and only) opportunity. Now, because you played a card, he has an opportunity to respond to your card play. As his card is in response to yours, the effect on his card, which prevents 1 damage, will cancel the effect of your 'Eject the Warp Core' upon his ship. You'll end-up only hurting yourself in this case. But the fun of the game is that you didn't know that before you played your card!

Anyway, the above is how I interpret the rules on pg 8, and also from pgs 4 and 5 of the FAQ.

And finally, about the timing of ACTIONS, look at pg 25 and the top of pg 26.
EDIT: At first I was going to disagree with Chris above, as the way he interprets 'Sensor Glitch' is that the card is played in lieu of a normal Scan Action. I was going to take the position that unless the card actually says, "As an action," (pg 26), the OPs effect is played as a modifier to the normal action being taken, not in lieu of it. And for most cards this is true. But 'Sensor Glitch', with the way it's worded, is a special case. So Chris is correct.
2nd EDIT: I see also that Shemar jumped in to confirm.

Again, if I'm wrong with any of my interpretations, I hope that Shemar or Hoya will jump in and set things straight!

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Ilias Sellountos
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mrfantomex wrote:
SCAN ACTION: After looking at the target Location Tile, you may choose to discard it and replace it with a new face-down Location Tile (without looking at it).


This is my personal absolutely non-official interpretation on this. It does replace the regular scan action. The reason I say this is because of the way it is phrased. It does not say "replace the tile..." which is what I would expect from a card I get to play after I have already looked at the tile with my regular scan action. It says "After looking at the target Location Tile, you may choose to discard it and replace..." and I can't think of a possible situation this would make sense if I have already looked at the tile before I have to decide if I will use the card or not.
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Dave, or "Phineas" or "Tolstoy" or,
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bgm1961 wrote:
Again, if I'm wrong with any of my interpretations, I hope that Shemar or Hoya will jump in and set things straight!


Ack! I have been named! Now the pressure is on, oh woe is me in the future!

Seriously, thank you very much for the recognition. A lot of my "help" with this game is just my personal opinion, sometimes augmented by quotes from the rules or FAQ, as I also am only a (infrequent, unfortunately) player, and not a designer or play-tester. But you seem to have handled this very well.

In fact, I would go so far as to say you have evolved into a "higher life-form", progressing from one who was at one time asking a lot of questions, into one who is now answering the questions, and with great detail and helpfulness as well! Good job!
 
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Barry Miller
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Hoya wrote:
... progressing from one who was at one time asking a lot of questions, into one who is now answering the questions,

Damn, you remember my early-on questions! ... back in the day when I was trying to make sense of the rules via a narrow perspective. It's weird how taking some considerable time away from the rules brings about a fresh, new perspective upon picking them up again...
"OH! OK, I get that NOW. How come I didn't see it that way, before"?

Anyway, just wanted to return the favor to the community that helped me!

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John Shoemaker
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bgm1961 wrote:
EDIT: At first I was going to disagree with Chris above, as the way he interprets 'Sensor Glitch' is that the card is played in lieu of a normal Scan Action. I was going to take the position that unless the card actually says, "As an action," (pg 26), the OPs effect is played as a modifier to the normal action being taken, not in lieu of it. And for most cards this is true. But 'Sensor Glitch', with the way it's worded, is a special case. So Chris is correct.
2nd EDIT: I see also that Shemar jumped in to confirm.


I felt the same way. All the other "as an action" cards are worded the same way, while this card is templated in such a way as to indicate its played during a Scan action. But the wording on it just doesn't make sense if you could play it at the end of the action. So this is either replacing the action, or played when the action is declared but not yet resolved, which is effectively the same. (You could argue that once you flip over the card your Scan action has resolved, and you are no longer Scanning thus can't play the Ops card).
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