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Subject: Command Card "Heavy Armor" rss

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I am not sure how the following situation is resolved. Figure 1 attacks a vehicle and gets one surge for pierce 2. The player of the vehicle plays the command card "Heavy Armor" (Use while defending during this attack the pierce keyword has no effect). Can i reassign the surge used for pierce to another effect? Or is the surge 'lost'?
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Jorgen Peddersen
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This is a slightly tricky one. Arguably, the Pierce effect happens immediately after spending the surge, as it applies modifiers via a surge effect. Heavy Armor isn't an interrupt, so it would need to be applied before the ability is activated to have an effect.

Thus, you perhaps can't wait until the ability is activated to play the card, so there is no surge to be reassigned if that is correct.

I'm not totally sure on this one, though...
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Pasi Ojala
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From the rules it isn't obvious when Pierce is applied. Pierce allows you to ignore the corresponding number of
, but we don't know whether it happens during step 7 or immediately when the Pierce is triggered.

In practice we play in the latter way. Pierce removes blocks as soon as it is triggered (if it is an innate pierce without a cost, it happens during step 4: apply modifiers).

The card is more powerful if Pierce is applied at step 7 of the attack. Then the card could be played after the spend surges step and the attacker would have spent the surge already and Pierce gets negated after that, (thus not be able to reassign the surge).

So, the question to ask is: when is each Pierce ability applied to the results?
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I also think that the surge can be reassigned, but i send FFG a question for clarification.
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Pasi Ojala
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You would not be able to reassign the surge in either case. But if Pierce is applied immediately when triggered, you would either get the effect of the Pierce before it gets ignored, or you would not spend the surge for Pierce, because you would know at that point that Pierce would do nothing.

If Pierce is performed during step 7, you can't go back to Spend Surges step.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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It definitely happens in the Surges step as I stated.

Here is the reason:

RG - Attacks wrote:
4. Apply Modifers: If players have any effects that gain or remove icons or Accuracy, they are applied at this time. This includes spending (evade) results to remove (surge) results. Any (surge) abilities that provide modifiers are not resolved until step 5.

Pierce is definitely a modifier ability as it removes icons. Thus, if it is not activated via surge, it happens in Step 4 and if it is activated via surge, it happens in Step 5 (which is the Spend Surges step).

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Is there a better definition of Pierce than that it lets you ignore block results?

Pierce in RRG does not talk about cancelling blocks, it uses the word ignore.

To me it is not clear from the wording of the rules that Pierce is removing icons. Evade is said to remove surges, why isn't the word remove used with Pierce? (Pierce removing blocks is a reasonable interpretation and extrapolation from how evade works, but the wording leaves some room for doubt.)
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Blocks cancel Damage.
Evades cancel Surges.

But Pierce is a keyword (rather than something on the dice) and isn't involved in the above symmetries. Perhaps that is why it uses the different wording ('ignore'). Or to put it another way, I'd suggest that Pierce becomes an attribute of the attack, rather like Blast and Cleave. And as an attribute, it's effect doesn't come into play until step 7.

In any event, as you usually you all argue for RAW, given the ignore wording I'd argue Pierce is only applied in step 7.

PS:
Actually you could argue that Pierce is only applied after the attack resolves, and therefore never does anything. From RRG:

"The following keywords are in the core game: [...] Pierce [...]"
"A [S] ability that relates to a keyword, such as Blast, Cleave, or
a condition, applies after the attack resolves."
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reserved89 wrote:
Actually you could argue that Pierce is only applied after the attack resolves, and therefore never does anything. From RRG:
That is hard to argue, because Pierce (RRG) explicitly says "while attacking".

Pierce, RRG wrote:
This keyword allows a figure to ignore a number of
(block) results while attacking. For example, "Pierce 2" allows an attack to ignore up to 2
results.

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Craig S.
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Clipper wrote:
It definitely happens in the Surges step as I stated.

Here is the reason:

RG - Attacks wrote:
4. Apply Modifers: If players have any effects that gain or remove icons or Accuracy, they are applied at this time. This includes spending (evade) results to remove (surge) results. Any (surge) abilities that provide modifiers are not resolved until step 5.

Pierce is definitely a modifier ability as it removes icons. Thus, if it is not activated via surge, it happens in Step 4 and if it is activated via surge, it happens in Step 5 (which is the Spend Surges step).


This, exactly. Ignoring blocks is equivalent to removing block icons by any reasonable standard. Pierce is an ability that removes blocks in the same way that evades remove surges.
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csouth154 wrote:

This, exactly. Ignoring blocks is equivalent to removing block icons by any reasonable standard. Pierce is an ability that removes blocks in the same way that evades remove surges.

Except that it isn't necessarily equivalent. Isn't that what's being debated?
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reserved89 wrote:
csouth154 wrote:

This, exactly. Ignoring blocks is equivalent to removing block icons by any reasonable standard. Pierce is an ability that removes blocks in the same way that evades remove surges.

Except that it isn't necessarily equivalent. Isn't that what's being debated?

Heh...yeah...but just because it's being debated doesn't mean there should be a debate.

Surge pierces are obviously meant to be applied in step 5 of an attack.
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a1bert wrote:
reserved89 wrote:
Actually you could argue that Pierce is only applied after the attack resolves, and therefore never does anything. From RRG:
That is hard to argue, because Pierce (RRG) explicitly says "while attacking".

Pierce, RRG wrote:
This keyword allows a figure to ignore a number of
(block) results while attacking. For example, "Pierce 2" allows an attack to ignore up to 2
results.


Lol I knew I shouldn't have put that troll postscript in. It's distracted from my actual argument
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csouth154 wrote:

Heh...yeah...but just because it's being debated doesn't mean there should be a debate.

Surge pierces are obviously meant to be applied in step 5 of an attack.

But why is it obvious? Why can't pierce be treated as an attribute of an attack just like blast and cleave (as I argued earlier)?
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reserved89 wrote:
csouth154 wrote:

Heh...yeah...but just because it's being debated doesn't mean there should be a debate.

Surge pierces are obviously meant to be applied in step 5 of an attack.

But why is it obvious? Why can't pierce be treated as an attribute of an attack just like blast and cleave (as I argued earlier)?

Was that actually a serious argument? I thought you were being intentionally ironic to make a point about over-interpreting wording into absurdity...

So, your argument that we should apply Pierce after an attack is fully resolved, which would make it have absolutely no effect on the attack whatsoever (how do you ignore blocks that have already been subtracted from the damage?), is a serious one? Are you sure?

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csouth154 wrote:
reserved89 wrote:
csouth154 wrote:

Heh...yeah...but just because it's being debated doesn't mean there should be a debate.

Surge pierces are obviously meant to be applied in step 5 of an attack.

But why is it obvious? Why can't pierce be treated as an attribute of an attack just like blast and cleave (as I argued earlier)?

Was that actually a serious argument? I thought you were being intentionally ironic to make a point about over-interpreting wording into absurdity...

So, your argument that we should apply Pierce after an attack is fully resolved, which would make it have absolutely no effect on the attack whatsoever, is a serious one? Are you sure?


Okay the part of my post after the PS was a piss take. But the part before it was a serious argument, that Pierce is a keyword and doesn't participate in the symmetries of damage-blocks and surges-evades, and therefore doesn't necessarily act in the same way.
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To nitpick, according to the steps of the attack, blocks do not cancel or remove damage results. Both of those stay separate for the whole attack resolution.

The damage suffered is calculated by subtracting the number of blocks (a number of which can be ignored upto the Pierce value) from the number of damage results.

It's unfortunate that Pierce is not mentioned in the steps of an attack.
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That makes the answer clear then. Pierce only matters in step 7, therefore Heavy Armour/Power to Shields can be used to negate the Pierce from a Surge after the surges are spent.
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It would if it the part in parenthesis were written in the rules. Unfortunately it is only my interpretation of how to perform the ignore of Pierce.

The other possibility is that Pierce's ignore means it actually does remove block results.


The answer to what and when Pierce does what it does is also relevant for Gideon's Military Efficiency. If a Pierce removes block results, they can't be converted to surges. If a Pierce lets you ignore blocks (while calculating damage to apply), you can convert blocks to surges.
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Sorry, I do get the two possibilities, I was just trying to pull a fast one Strange mood today I guess.

I'd perhaps re-frame your two options as:

(a) Pierce is instantly applied in step 5. Blocks are modified.
(b) Pierce is an attribute of the attack, just like blocks and damage. And just like blocks and damage don't interact with each other until step 7, Pierce doesn't affect blocks until step 7.

Given how all the other keywords work, I'd lean to (b). But I can see why others would lean to (a) as the obvious choice.
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a1bert wrote:

The answer to what and when Pierce does what it does is also relevant for Gideon's Military Efficiency. If a Pierce removes block results, they can't be converted to surges. If a Pierce lets you ignore blocks (while calculating damage to apply), you can convert blocks to surges.

I think this is a different case. Wouldn't Military Efficiency apply in step 4? So even if Pierce does remove blocks in step 5, Gideon would get to choose to use ME first.

Or alternatively, Gideon would have to choose to use ME before knowing what the surge is going to be spent on. He has to use ME in step 4. He can't wait and use ME after step 4.
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There are also Pierce that are not surge abilities (Savage Weaponry), so if Pierce removes blocks, with that kind of Pierce the removal of blocks would happen during step 4. Being an attacker ability it happens before defender abilities (Military Efficiency while defending).
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Yeah I thought of that and the interesting thing is how in one case (built in pierce) the Pierce happens before ME, and in the other (from a surge) it happens after ME.

To me, that's just more evidence that Pierce should happen in step 7. It's more consistent that way.

Also note that the RRG says if Pierce happens from multiple sources then the values are added together. If pierce is applied instantly (at steps 4 and 5) then that rule wouldn't be needed because you would simply be applying the different pierce abilities in sequence, just like with multiple +2D abilities.
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While I personally don't believe that 'ignore' is meant to be treated any differently to 'remove' here, there's no way we are going to solve this argument ourselves. It will need official input indicating intent, so we should probably just wait for that (as it seems the question has been asked already).
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How long do they normally take?

I asked a question on something around a month ago but have yet to receive a reply.
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