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Subject: Cudgel playing a morph card rss

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Bruno Labelle
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Here are the rules of the Cudgel power :
Quote:
You have the power to Smash. As a main player, when you win an encounter in which you revealed an attack card, use this power to force your opponent to lose extra ships of his or her choice equal to the number of ships you had in the encounter, in addition to any ships he or she would normally lose.

In our last session, the Cudgel player played the morph card and the defending player played an attack card. What did the Cudgel player "reveal" contextualy to is power ?

Personnaly, my ruling would be that the player revealed a morph card and then the morph card copied the value of the defending player. The power of the Cudgel would not work in that case. This ruling does not seem to make unanimity in our group.

Rules of the reveal in the book :
Quote:
The morph card becomes an exact duplicate of the opponent’s encounter card when revealed. For instance, if the player’s opponent reveals a negotiate, the morph card becomes a negotiate. If the player’s opponent reveals an attack 20, the morph card becomes an attack 20. Resolve the encounter normally as though both sides played the duplicated card. Once the encounter is resolved, the morph card returns to normal.

You can interpret the "as though both sides played the duplicated card" to says that the Cudgel player revealed a Attack card for the use of the power. Or you can interpret "when revealed" of the first sentence, to rule that the Morph card was revealed and thus denied the Cudgel is power.

Apart from the rules in the book, I've found this in the FFG FAQ :
Quote:
Q: Does a Morph count as an attack card if it
duplicated an attack card?
A: Yes. Once it has duplicated your opponent’s card, it
is treated as that card in all ways.

Q: If a power such as Calculator, Mirror, or Tripler
affects a card, does a Morph copy the card's value
before or after the modification?
A: The Morph copies whatever value is initially
revealed. If that value is later modified, the Morph’s
value does not change with it. However, the Morph’s
value may be affected by modifications separately.
For instance, if the Tripler revealed a Morph and his
opponent revealed a 12, the Morph would become a 12
and then get divided to a 4 by Tripler’s power. On the
other hand, if Tripler revealed the 12 and his opponent
revealed the Morph, the Morph would become a 12,
but would not get divided to a 4 just because the card it
morphed into did.


In the answer of the first question, you can interpret the "Yes" as proof that it was revealed as an attack card. On my part, I say that the "Once it has duplicate" mean that the duplication take place after the card is revealed.

Your turn!
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Darian Tucker
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The Morph becomes an Attack card and Cudgel's power will activate.
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Just a Bill
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SparkingConduit wrote:
The Morph becomes an Attack card and Cudgel's power will activate.

Right.

Basically the OP is asking whether "revealed" is retroactive or not.

The short answer is, if you treat is as not retroactive, there's quite a list of things that break down, make no sense, and create undefined situations. Whereas if you treat is as retroactive, almost everything works more naturally and without weird situations like having "attack-related" effects still trigger when a player revealed an attack but it was changed into a negotiate.

The short version of a more complete answer is, the best interpretation I've seen for resolving pretty much every situation like this in an unambiguous and usually story-satisfactory way is Phil Fleischmann's "ink rule": game effects which are not strictly related to resolution of the current encounter always refer to the "ink" on a card, meaning its actual printed value. Those which are strictly related to the encounter's resolution refer to the card's current, modified value. In other words, all card modifications make the card retroactively into its new identity for everything that's part of the encounter outcome.

Thus, when Cudgel (whose effect is related to the resolution of the encounter) wants to know what was "revealed," it sees the morph as an attack. However, when Industrialist wants to stack the card on its stack, it cannot because it sees the morph as a morph (since loading the stack for later use has nothing to do with how the current encounter resolves). This keeps Industrialist from ending up on a nonsensical state of having a morph in its stack and making everyone wonder what its numerical value would be later on.

This rule works amazingly well. There may be a few cases where somebody might prefer a different story interpretation, but I've not found any situations where it causes gameplay problems or ambiguity. Although Phil and I fight like cats and dogs on some things, I'm confident that his interpretation here is the best one for the game as a whole.
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Mil Myman
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I agree.

I suppose someone might make the argument that the Cudgel's power is an additional effect not related to the outcome of the encounter. And how can you win without revealing an attack card? The only way I can think of is the rare circumstance where the opponent is Loser, having declared upset, and the Cudgel has no attack cards and plays a Negotiate instead.

It may be that the writer specified "in which you revealed an attack card" in order to distinguish the win from a successful deal, forgetting that a successful deal is not called a "win".

But I'm not going to make that argument. The power is directly linked to a win - an encounter result.
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Roberta Yang
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My preferred version of the "ink rule" is slightly different: effects that modify a card last until that card is moved somewhere else, at which point that card reverts to its ink. For example, when a card moves from in play to the Indutrialist's stack, it forgets it was modified and returns to its face value.

In most cases, this agrees with Phil's ink rule. There are a few notable cases where they differ. If the The Claw has an Attack 06 on its sheet and plays another Attack 06 into an encounter, and their opponent plays a Morph, the "ink rule" would not allow the The Claw's power to trigger, but my interpretation would. I think it's cooler for gameplay if the The Claw's power is allowed to trigger in those cases.

This version is similar to a rule used in many TCG's in which a card is considered a new game object whenever it changes zones, and loses any temporary effects modifying it when it does so. It's also less ambiguous: we can see by looking whether a card has been discarded or not, but people can disagree about whether an effect is "strictly related" to the current encounter's resolution.

In support of my interpretation, I offer the Wild Bully's text:

Wild Bully, via Cosmodex wrote:
As a main player, when your opponent reveals a negotiate card, you may use this flare. That player must either immediately give you a colony on a planet of your choice where he or she has a ship or else lose two ships of his or her choice to the warp. These lost ships may not be involved in the encounter. Cards changed to negotiate cards (such as by Emotion Control) still trigger this effect.

The Wild Bully is, I believe Phil would argue, not strictly related to the resolution of the current encounter, and yet it refers to cards' modified values, not to their ink.

The obvious counterargument is that Wild Bully only works that way because it has extra text making it an exception, and the need for that extra text proves that the general rule is in fact the opposite. And if Cosmic Encounter were a tight game with consistently-defined rules, I would agree. But it isn't. The game is littered with edge cases the rules have no way of answering, and extraneous rules text that should be reminder text or clarification text included just to make sure. (Which often does as much harm as good; see the Chosen being unable to activate against the Chronos in both timelines.)

What I believe the Wild Bully's text unambiguously indicates to us is authorial intent -- that the author believed effects that are interested in the values of cards in play should be interested in their final modified values, not in their ink.
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Ken H.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
And how can you win without revealing an attack card? The only way I can think of is the rare circumstance where the opponent is Loser, having declared upset, and the Cudgel has no attack cards and plays a Negotiate instead.

It may be that the writer specified "in which you revealed an attack card" in order to distinguish the win from a successful deal, forgetting that a successful deal is not called a "win".


Probably not forgetfulness. I think the author most likely didn't understand that distinction at all until recently, and was operating under the assumption that a successful deal IS literally a win.

If that was the rule, then without this "reveal an Attack" language, nobody would ever make a deal with Cudgel because they'd know you could smash them afterwards. On the other hand, it would have allowed an interesting dynamic in case of Emotion Control, where you reveal an Attack, but still make a deal, resulting in a deal where the opponent is now smashable.

With a correct understanding of the rules, I think the author probably would have just made the power trigger "when you win an encounter" period.

As written, though, I personally like the idea that Cudgel has not revealed an Attack when he plays Morph. It seems thematically correct to me. However, I understand this interpretation doesn't work in the majority of similar situations, so the ink rule is much safer. It's too bad though, because I think it's interesting to allow circumstances that give cards different values in the hands of different players.
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Just a Bill
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salty53 wrote:
My preferred version of the "ink rule" is slightly different: effects that modify a card last until that card is moved somewhere else, at which point that card reverts to its ink. For example, when a card moves from in play to the Indutrialist's stack, it forgets it was modified and returns to its face value.

One obvious problem there is negotiates, morphs, retreats, and intimidates ending up in Industrialist's stack, which are undefined in that context. (Or even joker tokens in the stack? Yuck.) One of the reasons I like Phil's version is that it avoids messes like that.

salty53 wrote:
This version is similar to a rule used in many TCG's in which a card is considered a new game object whenever it changes zones, and loses any temporary effects modifying it when it does so. It's also less ambiguous

Hmm, my first reaction was that it seemed more ambiguous. Maybe I need to ponder what exactly constitutes a "zone" or a "move."

When a game effect is moving a card to a different "zone," why wouldn't you want the decision to be made in the context of that zone's meaning? For example, Reserve plays the attack -04 as though it were a reinforcement. Loser wants to use Wild Reserve to pick up the "reinforcement" which is going to cease to be a reinforcement the instant they pick it up. Doesn't really make sense. Whether or not the flareholder should be able to pick up a "reinforcement" should depend upon whether it's actually a reinforcement or not in the context of them acquiring it, shouldn't it? That is the card's purpose.

So it seems to me that, if you want to bring zones/moves into the decision, shouldn't a card's identity be interpreted according to whatever zone is relevant? In the Reserve/Wild Reserve example, the relevant zone is the player's hand. With Industrialist, the relevant zone is the stack.

salty53 wrote:
The obvious counterargument is that Wild Bully only works that way because it has extra text making it an exception, and the need for that extra text proves that the general rule is in fact the opposite. And if Cosmic Encounter were a tight game with consistently-defined rules, I would agree. But it isn't.

No argument there; it's hard to infer intent when so many texts are so badly written. But that isn't exactly evidence for the opposite view, either. I don't see Wild Bully as a good data point either way here; just a text that should be considered to make sure whatever interpretation a group adopts is reasonably consistent.

salty53 wrote:
The game is littered with edge cases the rules have no way of answering, and extraneous rules text that should be reminder text or clarification text included just to make sure. (Which often does as much harm as good; see the Chosen being unable to activate against the Chronos in both timelines.)

100% agreement on that. Almost every time I've been involved in editing game texts I've had to explain and re-explain this principle until I wanted to slam my head in a nuclear fridge. So many designers want to throw on more words "just in case," without considering the implications they are creating.

salty53 wrote:
What I believe the Wild Bully's text unambiguously indicates to us is authorial intent -- that the author believed effects that are interested in the values of cards in play should be interested in their final modified values, not in their ink.

Maybe. I would agree with you without hesitation if they had put it in parentheses. (Yeah, pipe dream.)

The problem, though, is even if that is what the designers believe ... it doesn't always work right.

I would love it if the rule could be so simple as "everything always sees the final/current value of a card." But this was creating debates because it didn't make story sense in some cases, created undefined gameplay in some cases, and brought up questions with continuous effects like The Cosmic Guardian.

I guess another way to go is to adopt a strict rule that everything sees the modified value, then just errata the things that don't work properly. But it seems cleaner to find a rulings solution that doesn't require errata.
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Darian Tucker
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To summarize for the OP, rabble rabble rabble the Morph becomes an Attack card and the Cudgel's power will activate.
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Mil Myman
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Re: the "Zone" idea:

CE isn't really about zones. What would the zones be in CE? On the table, or in someone's hand. That's about it - and those zones are in every other card game ever. Then there are a few powers and other effects that might create additional zones - the Miser's hoard, the Citadel's citadels, the Industrialist's stack, the The Claw's claw, the Cyborg's implants, the Host's collection, etc. But all of those are only due to a particular power - none of them are universally applicable "zones".

Yes, there are zones for the ships, as thematically appropriate, the planets, the warp, tech cards, (and a few others in certain circumstances). Ships are ships - that's what they're for - to travel from one zone to another. They exist in a particular place or zone.

And yes, it's perfectly appropriate for various CCGs - the zones are specifically defined in the rules.

But the cards in CE aren't about zones, they're about actions and attributes. The action of resolving an encounter is a different action from the action of activating a flare or power that isn't about the encounter outcome. Such as the Reserve/Wild Reserve action that Bill mentioned above. Playing a reinforcement to affect the outcome of an encounter is a different action from picking up a discarded reinforcement to use later.
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Roberta Yang
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Zones in Cosmic Encounter are basically places cards can be:

In a deck
In a player's hand
In a discard pile
On an alien sheet
In play
Removed from the game

In very rare cases there may be other places a card can be: on the hyperspace gate (Merchant) or on a planet (Citadel).

If a Negotiate ends up in the Industrialist's stack, then it just sits there. It's not an attack anymore, so it doesn't add anything.

I'm fine with Wild Reserve picking up a fake reinforcement. If it's been played as a reinforcement, then for now, it's a reinforcement and the game should treat it as a reinforcement.

Having a card revert to its ink when it moves is more consistent than a nebulous "is it strictly relevant to the current encounter's resolution" rule because everyone agrees on when a card moves. We can see the card physically being picked up and placed somewhere else. But whether an effect is strictly relevant to the current encounter is more nebulous, and it leads to a weird doublethink where cards are simultaneously two different things depending on who's asking.
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I see merits on both sides of this argument, but setting that aside for the moment I'd like to think some more about one of the biggest troublemakers: The Cosmic Guardian. (This is not a trick question; I'm legitimately mulling.)

While The Cosmic Guardian is in play, all attack cards
higher than 20 are considered to be negotiate cards.

Under the "affected until it moves" system, I assume that you would consider this an exception. Meaning, almost everything else that modifies cards is a point-in-time modification that activates at a particular point (usually when encounter cards are revealed or a reveal-phase action is initiated), and expires when the card moves; but The Cosmic Guardian enforces an ongoing modification that is continuously in effect; continuously "refreshed," as it were.

In your preferred system, with TCG in effect, nobody has to give Sniveler their Attack 30 when he asks for a high attack card. If Greenhorn's only attack is the 23 then he has the option to draw a new hand. It would be as though every attack 23, 30, and 40 in the game continuously has "negotiate ink." When the Attack 40 gets revealed in an encounter, stolen as compensation, picked up by Filch, etc., it is still effectively a big green N as long as TCG is in effect. If you have any lower attacks, you can't play any of these higher ones after Loser declares an upset, because they are already Ns when before you select your encounter card.

Is that how you would interpret it?

If so, are there any other effects that you would consider continuous in this way?

Now, to circle back around to the main issue, it seems like the model of saying "cards remain modified until they move to a different zone" could perhaps also be characterized by saying the modification remains in effect until the card "leaves scope." Not trying to change your terminology here, just prodding it from different angles to get my head around it.

Another of those different angles could be this. What you are saying is basically, "let everything see the modified value, and just live with the handful of things that are weird," like a pointless retreat in Industrialist's stack.
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Cosmic Guardian is kind of unique in this game. Almost everything else resolves at a specific time and just leaves behind lingering results in its wake. A power is used at a certain moment; an artifact is played and immediately discarded; a flare is played and immediately returns to the owner's hand.

In other games, effects like Cosmic Guardian are commonly termed "continuous". They stick around for exactly as long as the card generating them is in play and vanish the instant it leaves play. In Cosmic Encounter, we don't really have a word for that because almost nothing actually works like that; the only other truly continuous effect I can think of is the Pygmy's colony-halving effect. (I suppose "this power cannot be lost/stolen/etc" would also qualify.)

With Cosmic Guardian, we don't need to ask when the lingering results of its effect will wear off, because its effect doesn't linger at all, it is continuously applied. All high Attack cards, everywhere, are always Negotiates for all purposes exactly while the Cosmic Guardian is in play.

(So yes, you can't play them during a Loser's upset unless you're otherwise out of attacks; Sniveler thinks they're Negotiates; Greenhorn treats them as Negotiates... doesn't matter who's asking, they're Negotiates.)

"Leaves scope" might work as an alternate characterization, and I'm pretty happy with any version of the rule that avoids the it's-changed-for-some-purposes-but-not-for-others paradox. But the obvious question is: when has a card left scope?
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Mil Myman
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salty53 wrote:
Zones in Cosmic Encounter are basically places cards can be:

In a deck
In a player's hand
In a discard pile
On an alien sheet
In play
Removed from the game

Yes, but we're talking about cards being modified. And cards are only modified in one of those zones - In Play. (With the one odd exception of the Cosmic Guardian.)

Cards never have modified values in hand or in deck or in a discard pile, etc. It would be utterly useless to have a game effect that said, "You may use this power to declare 'Hufarb!'. If you do so, all Attack 06's in the discard pile are treated as Attack 60's." Only cards in play have any reason to be modified. Only in play does a card modification have any effect.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Yes, but we're talking about cards being modified. And cards are only modified in one of those zones - In Play. (With the one odd exception of the Cosmic Guardian.)

Cards never have modified values in hand or in deck or in a discard pile, etc. It would be utterly useless to have a game effect that said, "You may use this power to declare 'Hufarb!'. If you do so, all Attack 06's in the discard pile are treated as Attack 60's." Only cards in play have any reason to be modified. Only in play does a card modification have any effect.

It's potentially relevant in other zones, as exemplified the Cosmic Guardian interactions that Bill listed. It's just seldom done because a) it is less likely to be relevant, and b) it's harder to track that information. It's a lot easier for everyone to remember that the Attack I've played as my encounter card has its digits reversed; it's hard for anyone to remember that the fifth card from the top of the deck has its digits reversed.

This is not unique to Cosmic Encounter; it's true in pretty much every card game. And yet the "a card forgets about stuff that modified it" rule is quite common. Magic, for example, has the same zone-changing rule, but like Cosmic 99.9% of its card-modifying effects only affect cards in play, with the remaining 0.1% being weird Cosmic Guardian-style things that say stuff like "all cards everywhere are blue".

(I'm speaking of physical games here. Computer-only games can get away with a bit more weird stuff because they don't need to worry about human memory or trackability. In a physical card game, a modified card needs to revert to its original state when it's shuffled into a deck, because when a copy of that card is drawn later you couldn't know even with a perfect memory if that copy was a fresh or modified card. But in a computer card game, permanent modification is easily handled by the system because the game remembers which copy of the card is which, so these sorts of modification-wears-off rules are optional.)
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Just a Bill
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It's nice that the "ink rule" tries to keep things tidy and preserve the real intent of certain effects. Industrialist only gets actual attacks in its stack, Wild Reserve only picks up true reinforcements, etc.

But Roberta makes a valid point that "strictly related to encounter resolution" is not entirely unambiguous. It's not really bad, but there are some gray areas. For example, are the rewards granted by Daredevil "strictly" related to the outcome, or just extra rewards? How about Winner's extra foreign colony ... is he just doubling the yield of his encounter outcome, or grabbing a completely separate bonus?

There's no doubt that this all would be simpler and very intuitive if modifications always counted for everything, as long as that didn't create gameplay problems or big storyline gaffes.

So in looking at all this again with fresh eyes, I'm asking myself, how bad would it be? It seems like I've been too neurotic about not wanting (for example) a negotiate in Industrialist's stack. It does bother my sense of order, but what harm is done, really?

Skimming though all the aliens (I didn't check most of the flares), unless I'm mistaken, these are the kinds of things that change if one uses Roberta's interpretation instead of the "ink rule."

Arcade cannot pwn a ship if his attack card was converted by something like Empath or Emotion Control.

Wild Bully's effect doesn't change, but its "special sentence" is seen as merely a reminder.

The Cosmic Guardian affects all 23s, 30s, the 40, and the 21/12 everywhere. An attack-seeking Sniveler cannot get these cards, Visionary cannot individually compel them, etc. (Just as an aside, with either interpretation, I believe a revealed attack 12/21 under hazard warning conditions would convert to a 21, then immediately re-convert to an N.)

• When Super Genius predicts the opponent's attack value, modifications are taken into account.

Gambler's unchallenged bluff card likely won't, but could, match The Claw, and there's no question that Gambler can deliberately thwart Daredevil rewards.

Industrialist can actually stack negotiates, morphs, retreats, and intimidates on his sheet, if they convert to attacks. They don't affect his stack total. (Inelegant, but not problematic.) With Joker also in the game, a wildcard attack 08 converted to, say, a retreat would not go into the stack. If Super Joker names negotiates as the new wild cards, and a negotiate gets converted into an attack, that card could go into Industrialist's stack, but the joker token would return to Joker's sheet as required by that sheet's text.

Reserve playing an attack 06 as a reinforcement is seen as a reinforcement +6 by everything, so The Claw cannot trigger, but Wild Reserve can pick it up.

Wild Vacuum would see modified values and retrieve a ship from the warp for every effective attack card, thus getting thwarted by (for example) Emotion Control.

• If Winner is winning as the offense with a high attack vs. negotiate, he can get his free colony by playing Wild Joker to make the defense's negotiate into an attack 08.

Most of these seem to fall into "doesn't really matter" territory as far as gameplay balance; they are just consequences of whatever conditions are in place at the time the relevant effect would fire. The ones that seem the most "odd" to me — and that likely figured in the initial debate — are probably Industrialist and Wild Reserve. And the thing is, those are both optional. Industrialist doesn't have much incentive to get non-attacks into his stack anyway, and the Wild Reserve player (who by definition is not the Reserve) has no desire to pick up an attack of 06 or lower except in very rare circumstances.

So Roberta, I think you're convincing me that the benefits of the "ink rule" may not outweigh the downsides of the ambiguities and general counter-intuitivity of having to have two classes of effects. Here I think would be the effects of switching to your view:

Cons:
• Industrialist and Wild Reserve seemed a bit cleaner the old way.
• From a Cosmodex perspective, flip-flopping on recommended rulings is not providing the best service to the player base, and should not be done cavalierly.

Pros:
• Daredevil and Winner shed any possible ambiguity.
• Things like Arcade and Super Genius arguably make more sense this way.
• I can eliminate the bloated Cosmodex entry with all the examples of which effects work which way.
• The Cosmic Guardian, while still a duck-billed platypus, has fewer moving parts to worry about.
• In general there's probably a little more variety, interaction, and agency because players can have a bit more impact on each other's effects through their card modifications.
• It's just plain simpler, and can pretty much be summed up in three words: modifications affect everything.
• I suspect a whole lot of people who've never even read the Cosmodex or been on BGG are playing this way anyway.

Am I forgetting some other benefits of the "ink rule"?
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:
It's nice that the "ink rule" tries to keep things tidy and preserve the real intent of certain effects. Industrialist only gets actual attacks in its stack, Wild Reserve only picks up true reinforcements, etc.

But Roberta makes a valid point that "strictly related to encounter resolution" is not entirely unambiguous. It's not really bad, but there are some gray areas. For example, are the rewards granted by Daredevil "strictly" related to the outcome, or just extra rewards? How about Winner's extra foreign colony ... is he just doubling the yield of his encounter outcome, or grabbing a completely separate bonus?

There's no doubt that this all would be simpler and very intuitive if modifications always counted for everything, as long as that didn't create gameplay problems or big storyline gaffes.

So in looking at all this again with fresh eyes, I'm asking myself, how bad would it be? It seems like I've been too neurotic about not wanting (for example) a negotiate in Industrialist's stack. It does bother my sense of order, but what harm is done, really?

Skimming though all the aliens (I didn't check most of the flares), unless I'm mistaken, these are the kinds of things that change if one uses Roberta's interpretation instead of the "ink rule."

Arcade cannot pwn a ship if his attack card was converted by something like Empath or Emotion Control.

Wild Bully's effect doesn't change, but its "special sentence" is seen as merely a reminder.

The Cosmic Guardian affects all 23s, 30s, the 40, and the 21/12 everywhere. An attack-seeking Sniveler cannot get these cards, Visionary cannot individually compel them, etc. (Just as an aside, with either interpretation, I believe a revealed attack 12/21 under hazard warning conditions would convert to a 21, then immediately re-convert to an N.)

• When Super Genius predicts the opponent's attack value, modifications are taken into account.

Gambler's unchallenged bluff card likely won't, but could, match The Claw, and there's no question that Gambler can deliberately thwart Daredevil rewards.

Industrialist can actually stack negotiates, morphs, retreats, and intimidates on his sheet, if they convert to attacks. They don't affect his stack total. (Inelegant, but not problematic.) With Joker also in the game, a wildcard attack 08 converted to, say, a retreat would not go into the stack. If Super Joker names negotiates as the new wild cards, and a negotiate gets converted into an attack, that card could go into Industrialist's stack, but the joker token would return to Joker's sheet as required by that sheet's text.

Reserve playing an attack 06 as a reinforcement is seen as a reinforcement +6 by everything, so The Claw cannot trigger, but Wild Reserve can pick it up.

Wild Vacuum would see modified values and retrieve a ship from the warp for every effective attack card, thus getting thwarted by (for example) Emotion Control.

• If Winner is winning as the offense with a high attack vs. negotiate, he can get his free colony by playing Wild Joker to make the defense's negotiate into an attack 08.

Most of these seem to fall into "doesn't really matter" territory as far as gameplay balance; they are just consequences of whatever conditions are in place at the time the relevant effect would fire. The ones that seem the most "odd" to me — and that likely figured in the initial debate — are probably Industrialist and Wild Reserve. And the thing is, those are both optional. Industrialist doesn't have much incentive to get non-attacks into his stack anyway, and the Wild Reserve player (who by definition is not the Reserve) has no desire to pick up an attack of 06 or lower except in very rare circumstances.

So Roberta, I think you're convincing me that the benefits of the "ink rule" may not outweigh the downsides of the ambiguities and general counter-intuitivity of having to have two classes of effects. Here I think would be the effects of switching to your view:

Cons:
• Industrialist and Wild Reserve seemed a bit cleaner the old way.
• From a Cosmodex perspective, flip-flopping on recommended rulings is not providing the best service to the player base, and should not be done cavalierly.

Pros:
• Daredevil and Winner shed any possible ambiguity.
• Things like Arcade and Super Genius arguably make more sense this way.
• I can eliminate the bloated Cosmodex entry with all the examples of which effects work which way.
• The Cosmic Guardian, while still a duck-billed platypus, has fewer moving parts to worry about.
• In general there's probably a little more variety, interaction, and agency because players can have a bit more impact on each other's effects through their card modifications.
• It's just plain simpler, and can pretty much be summed up in three words: modifications affect everything.
• I suspect a whole lot of people who've never even read the Cosmodex or been on BGG are playing this way anyway.

Am I forgetting some other benefits of the "ink rule"?


It's a small possibility, but theoretically the Industrialist could remove every encounter card from the game if he kept adding stuff to his stack, which would undeniably cause infinite hand resets. So I think the Ink Rule works best because it avoids that, however unlikely it is to see it in practice.

I also think it's just generally more fun to allow cards to be what they are instead of or as well as their special effects. Seeing The Claw eat one of Reserve's planets because he played an Attack 06 as a Reinforcements sounds hilarious and I would totally allow it. It is technically an Attack card.

There is also another problem with not following the Ink Rule. Remember the thread with Calculator and Fodder a while back? Under your new system, Fodder could play basically any card between his card and whatever the modified encounter total of a card is instead of what the card actually is. If a player plays an Attack 11 and a Kicker x3, you're saying the Fodder could play an Attack 30 as a Reinforcements +30 to his side. I say that the rules explicitly don't allow this, based on the fact that Kickers activate first and they modify encounter totals, not actual cards. That distinction leads me to believe the Ink Rule is generally correct except for when TCG is in play.
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SparkingConduit wrote:
theoretically the Industrialist could remove every encounter card from the game

There are 55 encounter cards in the base set. For your scenario to occur, Industrialist has to lose 55 encounters. Surely somebody else long ago gained enough colonies to win the game. Even if not, Industrialist has surely lost enough ships to have lost enough home planets to have lost his power. Even if not, 15 of those encounter cards are negotiates, so Industrialist would have to have gotten his negotiate card converted to an attack fifteen times.

Sorry, but that argument is ridiculous.

SparkingConduit wrote:
I also think it's just generally more fun to allow cards to be what they are instead of or as well as their special effects.

Instead of or as well as? You might enjoy trying to write a rule for that, but I'm not interested.

SparkingConduit wrote:
If a player plays an Attack 11 and a Kicker x3, you're saying the Fodder could play an Attack 30 as a Reinforcements +30 to his side.

No, I'm not saying that at all. (I don't treat kickers as changing the value of an attack card.)

But even if you play it that way ... so what? It's no different than if the player had revealed an attack 30 instead of an 11 and a kicker x3. This isn't a problem.

SparkingConduit wrote:
I say that the rules explicitly don't allow this, based on the fact that Kickers activate first and they modify encounter totals, not actual cards. That distinction leads me to believe the Ink Rule is generally correct except for when TCG is in play.

So, you're giving an example you apparently don't believe in, and citing that as proof for the "ink rule"? None of this is really making sense to me.
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:
But Roberta makes a valid point that "strictly related to encounter resolution" is not entirely unambiguous. It's not really bad, but there are some gray areas. For example, are the rewards granted by Daredevil "strictly" related to the outcome, or just extra rewards? How about Winner's extra foreign colony ... is he just doubling the yield of his encounter outcome, or grabbing a completely separate bonus?

But neither of those relate to modifying the values of cards. Are there any examples of gray areas where a card is being modified?

Remember: This is CE, not M:TG. There are no rule-defined zones for cards.

Quote:
The Cosmic Guardian affects all 23s, 30s, the 40, and the 21/12 everywhere. An attack-seeking Sniveler cannot get these cards, Visionary cannot individually compel them, etc. (Just as an aside, with either interpretation, I believe a revealed attack 12/21 under hazard warning conditions would convert to a 21, then immediately re-convert to an N.)

And Diplomat or Reserve can discard a 23 to use their power.

With the "zone rule" a Morph can match the The Claw's claw, if it's the right attack card. Likewise an Attack 12/21 matches a 12 when there's no hazard warning, and an Attack 21/12 matches a 12 then there is, etc. Intimidate 19 opposed by an attack matches Attack 19. Attack 06 with Kicker x2 matches Attack 12., etc. Likewise the claw could match the modified value of a Joker-modified wild card.

EDIT: And the Wild Human could also be added to the Industrialist's stack.

The The Claw selects Attack 30 as his claw. A short time later, The Cosmic Guardian comes into play. Now, the claw matches any Negotiate card played for as long as TCG remains in play, whether a "natural/ink" N, or a card modified to an N, as by Cosmic Guardian, or Emotion Control, or Empath, etc.

SparkingConduit wrote:
I also think it's just generally more fun to allow cards to be what they are instead of or as well as their special effects. Seeing The Claw eat one of Reserve's planets because he played an Attack 06 as a Reinforcements sounds hilarious and I would totally allow it. It is technically an Attack card.

This has happened in games I've played.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Bill Martinson wrote:
But Roberta makes a valid point that "strictly related to encounter resolution" is not entirely unambiguous. It's not really bad, but there are some gray areas. For example, are the rewards granted by Daredevil "strictly" related to the outcome, or just extra rewards? How about Winner's extra foreign colony ... is he just doubling the yield of his encounter outcome, or grabbing a completely separate bonus?

But neither of those relate to modifying the values of cards. Are there any examples of gray areas where a card is being modified?

They are not effects that modify cards, they are effects that need to know the value of modified cards, because they both need to know the margin that a side won the encounter by. However, it's not clear whether their effects are "strictly related to the resolution of this encounter." Thus, I find them ambiguous under the ink rule.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Remember: This is CE, not M:TG. There are no rule-defined zones for cards.

There also is no "ink rule." We made it up, and if we can do that, we can also make up zones — if we need them. Though I'm not convinced we do. There's a good chance it would be enough to simply say that a modified card "remains modified until it's moved", which I think is really what Roberta is getting at. Nice and simple.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Quote:
The Cosmic Guardian affects all 23s, 30s, the 40, and the 21/12 everywhere. An attack-seeking Sniveler cannot get these cards, Visionary cannot individually compel them, etc. (Just as an aside, with either interpretation, I believe a revealed attack 12/21 under hazard warning conditions would convert to a 21, then immediately re-convert to an N.)

And Diplomat or Reserve can discard a 23 to use their power.

With the "zone rule" a Morph can match the The Claw's claw, if it's the right attack card. Likewise an Attack 12/21 matches a 12 when there's no hazard warning, and an Attack 21/12 matches a 12 then there is, etc. Intimidate 19 opposed by an attack matches Attack 19. Attack 06 with Kicker x2 matches Attack 12., etc. Likewise the claw could match the modified value of a Joker-modified wild card.

EDIT: And the Wild Human could also be added to the Industrialist's stack.

The The Claw selects Attack 30 as his claw. A short time later, The Cosmic Guardian comes into play. Now, the claw matches any Negotiate card played for as long as TCG remains in play, whether a "natural/ink" N, or a card modified to an N, as by Cosmic Guardian, or Emotion Control, or Empath, etc.

I think most of that is true, and seems okay. The parts I disagree with are these:
• I'm not convinced that kickers are intended to modify the value of an attack card; I always thought they just modified the player's total.
• Only the encounter card modified by Wild Human could go into Industrialist's stack, not the flare itself.
• Nobody in his right might would select an attack 30 as his claw card if TCG is not already in play. (Afterwards, possibly.)

But in general, those kinds of examples are how things would work if we don't try to split hairs and have some game effects see the modification while others are blind to it.
 
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Quote:
The The Claw selects Attack 30 as his claw. A short time later, The Cosmic Guardian comes into play. Now, the claw matches any Negotiate card played for as long as TCG remains in play, whether a "natural/ink" N, or a card modified to an N, as by Cosmic Guardian, or Emotion Control, or Empath, etc.


The Claw is an idiot if he does this under any circumstances, as there are normally not any other cards in the deck that match the Attack 30.

Besides, everyone knows the The Claw's (I love the preceding the there) best strategy is to place a Negotiate card as his claw practically every time. At around 1/5 of the cards in the deck, it's bound to come up.
 
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SparkingConduit wrote:
The Claw is an idiot if he does this under any circumstances, as there are normally not any other cards in the deck that match the Attack 30.

Right. I meant Attack 23. Of course, there's also the Attack 03/30 which matches the 30 if there's a hazard warning.

Quote:
Besides, everyone knows the The Claw's (I love the preceding the there) best strategy is to place a Negotiate card as his claw practically every time. At around 1/5 of the cards in the deck, it's bound to come up.

Except that the The Claw isn't allowed to use a Negotiate as his claw.

And I still don't see how Winner and Daredevil have anything to do with this. They get their benefits based on attack totals, which are directly relevant to the encounter outcome. If the difference in totals is less than 4, it doesn't matter to the Daredevil at that point that one or both of the cards were modified.

I really can't think of any cases (apart from potentially ones that include the Cosmic Guardian) where it's ambiguous whether a card purpose is for an encounter outcome. Cudgel is clearly tied to winning the encounter. Daredevil and Winner don't care about the card values, only the totals (totals - directly part of the encounter outcome). The Claw is clearly not tied to the outcome of the encounter. Emotion Control is clearly tied to the encounter outcome. Wild Reserve clearly isn't.

And Kickers clearly say they multiply the card value.
 
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Quote:
Except that the The Claw isn't allowed to use a Negotiate as his claw.


Is that a house rule? Because there is nothing on The Claw's sheet preventing him from switching his initial non-negotiate card for a negotiate during any regroup phase.
 
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SparkingConduit wrote:
To summarize for the OP, rabble rabble rabble the Morph becomes an Attack card and the Cudgel's power will activate.
Thank you, I'll go with that. Seems to have the majority.
 
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Ilmion wrote:
SparkingConduit wrote:
To summarize for the OP, rabble rabble rabble the Morph becomes an Attack card and the Cudgel's power will activate.
Thank you, I'll go with that. Seems to have the majority.


Yes. Please ignore pretty much all the rest of the discussion. It's certainly interesting and possibly relevant, but if you just want to play the game, these forums aren't for you. They're really more for the old timers (Bill, Roberta, and Phil) and me (the guy who's only played for five years or so) to have great philosophical debates about meaningless differences in rules interpretations. Fun exercise, but daunting (and unnecessary) for the uninitiated.
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SparkingConduit wrote:
Quote:
Except that the The Claw isn't allowed to use a Negotiate as his claw.


Is that a house rule? Because there is nothing on The Claw's sheet preventing him from switching his initial non-negotiate card for a negotiate during any regroup phase.

It's the general consensus as to how the alien should be played. Otherwise, the alien is completely broken - you'd never use anything other than a Negotiate, because as you said, it's the most common card - and also because people do often want to get compensation or make deals. And if the Pacifist, Empath, or Diplomat are in the game, you completely screw them over.

And if you could use a Negotiate, why would they bother specifying a non-Negotiate in the setup text, if you can immediately change it to a N on the first encounter?
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