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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Rules

Subject: Aggregate rule 7.4 rss

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Ben Kyo
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How does this rule work when some of the modifiers have upper/lower bounds?

Ordinarily, I'd assume you apply all modifiers in aggregate, then apply the limit. That's the only way you could really handle applying all modifiers in aggregate.

However, that is incorrect, as the China Card modifier and Vietnam Revolts are obviously intended to take you over the limit imposed by Brehznev.

Still, you can't apply the limit, then apply all modifiers in aggregate, as that would bypass Brehznev's limit when playing a 4 OP.

So that rules out applying all modifiers in aggregate. It simply can't be done as a single step.

Apparently people don't apply the modifiers with limits, then the modifiers without limits, as the consensus seems to be that a 1 OP card in SE Asia with Vietnam Revolts and RSP is still 1 OP.

You also don't apply modifiers without limits, then modifiers with limits, as the consensus seems to be that a 3 OP card in SE Asia with Brehznev and Vietnam Revolts gets you 5 OPs.

So, it seems you cannot apply modifiers in any consistent order.

So the aggregate rule 7.4, according to the consensus rulings I've dug up, is inadequate to describe the actual process, which is (again, by consensus, I've seen no official ruling) to figure out an order in which as many modifiers as possible can be applied without hitting a limit, then apply each of them in that order, obeying any respective limits as you do so.

That seems like quite a stretch from the rules as written, and a bugger to program as a general rule. I'm guessing that any programmer wanting to have all the cards trigger as intended would just write a bunch of specific exceptions for each card, which is a great way to screw things up when a 1-in-a-million scenario occurs (like multiple applications of a card from SALT and Star Wars).
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Lewis Goldberg
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No official ruling from me, but I know from recently reading it that Paths of Glory has a rule to cover this. You apply the positive shifts to the attacker first, and then apply the negative shifts. You can't go higher than the highest column, so this guarantees the negatives will have an effect.
 
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lgoldberg wrote:
No official ruling from me, but I know from recently reading it that Paths of Glory has a rule to cover this. You apply the positive shifts to the attacker first, and then apply the negative shifts. You can't go higher than the highest column, so this guarantees the negatives will have an effect.

Yeah, but I don't think anyone has ever argued that Brehznev/Containment + RSP on a 4 OP card results in 3 OPs.
 
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Dave Rubin
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The way things work, unauthoratatively, is, I think:

1) Apply all modifiers subject to caps without applying caps,
2) Apply caps, and
3) Apply all modifiers not subject to caps.


Edit: fails.
 
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dirubin wrote:
The way things work, unauthoratatively, is, I think:

1) Apply all modifiers subject to caps without applying caps,
2) Apply caps, and
3) Apply all modifiers not subject to caps.

If that were the case, then Vietnam Revolts + RSP for a 1 OP card in SE Asia would give 2 OPs. I've heard that is not the case.
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Mark Levine
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Generalized algorithm of how things seem to work:
1. Sort all positive events from lowest cap to highest cap (where no cap is the highest), and sort all negative events from highest cap to lowest cap (where no cap is the lowest).
2. Remove all pairs of positive/negative events, starting from the top of each list.
3. Apply any remaining events, applying their caps as you go along.

So if there are 3 positive (cap of 4, no cap, no cap) and 2 negative events (cap of 1, cap of 1), you'd just apply the positive event with no cap.
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Ben Kyo
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KoolKow wrote:
Generalized algorithm of how things seem to work:
1. Sort all positive events from lowest cap to highest cap (where no cap is the highest), and sort all negative events from highest cap to lowest cap (where no cap is the lowest).
2. Remove all pairs of positive/negative events, starting from the top of each list.
3. Apply any remaining events, applying their caps as you go along.

So if there are 3 positive (cap of 4, no cap, no cap) and 2 negative events (cap of 1, cap of 1), you'd just apply the positive event with no cap.

That's a good way of putting it. What interests me is that I've never seen "rule 7.4" explicitly described in this way, despite there being hundreds(?) of rule questions asking about positive and negative modifier interactions scattered across the internet. It's also quite a stretch to go from the rulebook to this algorithm. The example given certainly doesn't follow this process:

Quote:
7.4 Some event cards modify the Operations value of cards that
follow. These modifiers should be applied in aggregate, and can
modify ‘The China Card’.
EXAMPLE: The US player plays the Red Scare/Purge event
during the Headline Phase. Ordinarily, all USSR cards would
subtract one from their Operations value. However, for his
Headline card, the USSR played Vietnam Revolts. This event
gives the Soviet player +1 to all operations played in SE Asia.
For his first play, the USSR chooses ‘The China Card’. He plays
all points in SE Asia for 5 operations points. This is modified by
the Vietnam Revolts card, giving the USSR player 6 operation
points. However, the US Red Scare/Purge card brings the total
down to 5 operations points.
 
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Mark Levine
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It's a long way of saying "positives and negatives cancel each other out, apply what's left". Or an overly mechanical way describe the intuitive "have as many effects apply as possible".

Also, it's been clarified by the designers (at least, someone claims, but I'm too lazy to look any farther)
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Lewis Goldberg
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KoolKow wrote:
It's a long way of saying "positives and negatives cancel each other out, apply what's left". Or an overly mechanical way describe the intuitive "have as many effects apply as possible".

Also, it's been clarified by the designers (at least, someone claims, but I'm too lazy to look any farther)


That was a good thread. Seems to solve the question for me.
 
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Ben Kyo
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lgoldberg wrote:
KoolKow wrote:
It's a long way of saying "positives and negatives cancel each other out, apply what's left". Or an overly mechanical way describe the intuitive "have as many effects apply as possible".

Also, it's been clarified by the designers (at least, someone claims, but I'm too lazy to look any farther)


That was a good thread. Seems to solve the question for me.

That thread doesn't resolve a thing. The process KoolKow describes is literally the first attempt I've ever seen of describing what actually happens according to the two seemingly conflicting consensus rulings on how "aggregate" modifiers are applied (aside from my own attempt in this thread).

It is definitely not a long way of saying "positives and negatives cancel each other out, apply what's left", because that ignores limits and is just a restatement of 7.4. It is a step-by-step description of "have as many effects apply as possible", but that is not something stated anywhere in the rules.

It's kind of an additional rule to 7.4 that isn't written anywhere, which seems to have accreted from forum discussions.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Benkyo wrote:
lgoldberg wrote:
KoolKow wrote:
It's a long way of saying "positives and negatives cancel each other out, apply what's left". Or an overly mechanical way describe the intuitive "have as many effects apply as possible".

Also, it's been clarified by the designers (at least, someone claims, but I'm too lazy to look any farther)


That was a good thread. Seems to solve the question for me.

That thread doesn't resolve a thing. The process KoolKow describes is literally the first attempt I've ever seen of describing what actually happens according to the two seemingly conflicting consensus rulings on how "aggregate" modifiers are applied (aside from my own attempt in this thread).

It is definitely not a long way of saying "positives and negatives cancel each other out, apply what's left", because that ignores limits and is just a restatement of 7.4. It is a step-by-step description of "have as many effects apply as possible", but that is not something stated anywhere in the rules.

It's kind of an additional rule to 7.4 that isn't written anywhere, which seems to have accreted from forum discussions.


It resolved it for me in that what it demonstrates is that you put all the positives and negatives in a column, add together to get a number, and then if the end result transgresses a limit, raise/lower until legal. Seems very straightforward and intuitive to me
 
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Ben Kyo
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lgoldberg wrote:
It resolved it for me in that what it demonstrates is that you put all the positives and negatives in a column, add together to get a number, and then if the end result transgresses a limit, raise/lower until legal. Seems very straightforward and intuitive to me


If you do that, you do not get the desired (consensus) result for all the examples I gave above. Your restatement misses key parts of the calculation - two columns must be sorted first, and limit(s) must be applied during the calculation, not after the end result.

If you want the "intuitive" version, you have to cancel out pairs of positive and negative modifiers, making sure to cancel modifiers with limits first, then apply any remaining modifiers in order, starting with the modifiers that have limits.

The bolded parts are unwritten rules/assumptions that are incompatible with simply applying all modifiers in aggregate.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Benkyo wrote:
lgoldberg wrote:
It resolved it for me in that what it demonstrates is that you put all the positives and negatives in a column, add together to get a number, and then if the end result transgresses a limit, raise/lower until legal. Seems very straightforward and intuitive to me


If you do that, you do not get the desired (consensus) result for all the examples I gave above. Your restatement misses key parts of the calculation - two columns must be sorted first, and limit(s) must be applied during the calculation, not after the end result.

If you want the "intuitive" version, you have to cancel out pairs of positive and negative modifiers, making sure to cancel modifiers with limits first, then apply any remaining modifiers in order, starting with the modifiers that have limits.

The bolded parts are unwritten rules/assumptions that are incompatible with simply applying all modifiers in aggregate.


I think you are severely overthinking the problem. I see nothing in the rules that forces one to apply the limits at every step of the calculation. That seems ridiculous to me. The simplest, most natural answer seems to be the best, considering the simplicity of the rule itself.
 
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lgoldberg wrote:
I think you are severely overthinking the problem. I see nothing in the rules that forces one to apply the limits at every step of the calculation. That seems ridiculous to me. The simplest, most natural answer seems to be the best, considering the simplicity of the rule itself.

OK, that just means you aren't understanding the thread. If you don't consider the limits for each step, then you get the wrong result.

1) 3 OP card, Brehznev, Vietnam Revolts, into SE Asia.
2) China card, Brehznev, RSP, into Asia.

1) You must apply Brehznev first to get 5 OPs. Don't apply the limit at the end.
2) You must cancel out ("aggregate") Brehznev and RSP, not the China card and RSP, and apply the China card afterwards to get 5 OPs. Don't apply the limit at the end.

Dismissing all this as "overthinking" and "ridiculous" seems rude, given that it is a discussion of how to precisely describe exactly what process is intended to be described by rule 7.4, avoiding any vague language that couldn't be programmed into an app. More generally, I think that discussion to date has overlooked the contradiction in how people apply rule 7.4 to different card interactions, or how rule 7.4 doesn't actually cover those interactions at all.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Apply every modifier that you can, unless some limit makes it impossible regardless of order.

As far as I can tell that handles all situations.
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Benkyo wrote:

If you want the "intuitive" version, you have to cancel out pairs of positive and negative modifiers, making sure to cancel modifiers with limits first, then apply any remaining modifiers in order, starting with the modifiers that have limits.

The bolded parts are unwritten rules/assumptions that are incompatible with simply applying all modifiers in aggregate.


While true, it does give a consistent approach that yields the commonly accepted results stated (and it's what I've been doing for what little that's worth).
 
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Lewis Goldberg
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Benkyo wrote:
Dismissing all this as "overthinking" and "ridiculous" seems rude,


I intentionally worded my comments to apply to the processes being described in relation to the rules they are intended to implement, and not the people, because I didn't want to sound rude. Sounds like I failed. Sorry!

FWIW, I thought your explanation was very clever and logical. I just couldn't see how you got from the rulebook to that.
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Ben Kyo
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lgoldberg wrote:
Sorry!

No worries.

lgoldberg wrote:
I just couldn't see how you got from the rulebook to that.

Well, there's the problem, right? There is no direct way to link what is written in the rulebook with how most people are playing the game. I've seen lots of people claiming that the simple aggregate rule covers all these edge cases, but it doesn't. As I understand it, all the rulings on card interactions in consimworld are correct. If you walk it backwards from those rulings, you end up with a rule like KoolKow and I have described.
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Riku Riekkinen
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1) Substract from OPs times opponent has played Red Scare/Purge this turn (result can be negative)
2) Add possible bonuses for Brehznev Doctrine, Vietnam Revolts, China & Containment
3) If the result < 1, get 1OP
4) If the result is 6, Vietnam Revolts triggers and China is played, get 6OPs
5) If the result is 5 and either Vietnam Revolts triggers or China is played in Asia, get 5OPs
6) If the result is > 4, get 4OPs
7) Get as many OPs as the calculation is giving
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Ben Kyo
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
1) Substract from OPs times opponent has played Red Scare/Purge this turn (result can be negative)
2) Add possible bonuses for Brehznev Doctrine, Vietnam Revolts, China & Containment
3) If the result < 1, get 1OP
4) If the result is 6, Vietnam Revolts triggers and China is played, get 6OPs
5) If the result is 5 and either Vietnam Revolts triggers or China is played in Asia, get 5OPs
6) If the result is > 4, get 4OPs
7) Get as many OPs as the calculation is giving

That does the job, and is probably similar to how I would formulate it if I were making something like mkiefte's Vassal mod. I do like the "future/variant-proof" formulations earlier in the thread though.

So, we do all seem to agree that rule 7.4 and the example below it are inadequate to describe this process, despite there being dozens of threads in which people use 7.4 to rule on card interactions. Does anyone have links to any discussion of this? I can't be the first person to bring this up in 11 years! Was it just a case of ad hoc rulings on specific cards that led to this?
 
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