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Subject: Promo Card First Lightning - What happens when US plays card for ops? rss

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Brian Pierce
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First Lightning is a 2 ops USSR Early War card that was included in a promo pack as part of the Digital Kickstarter. Its text reads:

Quote:
First Lightning - 2 OPS - USSR - Early War

Play at the same time you play a card with a US affiliated Event for its Operations

Ignore the event text and place the card in the discard pile

Reduce DEFCON by 1 if this card is played for Operations or its Event.
(remove from deck if event is played)


I must admit that I am quite confused by how to actually play this card. I would love if the designer could walk through what happens for each possible use of the card (USSR used as event, USSR used as Ops, USA used as Ops, Space Race).

For reference, there has been a thread discussing what happens when this card is headlined (Designer response: It cannot be headlined), as well as a thread discussing when it reduces Defcon (still no definitive ruling from what I can see). That latter thread's discussion basically revolves around when the "Reduce DEFCON by 1 if this card is played for Operations or its Event" comes into play.

I am really having a hard time wrapping my head around one thing. What really happens when the US player plays this card for the ops (i.e. how is the USSR event resolved)?

1) Can the USSR player enact the top portion of the event and discard a US card to use its operations?

2) If they are not allowed to do this (because they can't technically play the card at the same time they are playing a card for operations), did the event take place and the card is removed from the game?

3) Is DEFCON decreased by 1? (same question as other thread so I assume we are still waiting for a designer ruling)
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Snooze Fest
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It seems this is just a USSR-specific version of UN Intervention, with the added effect of lowering DEFCON. If the US were to play it, I would think the only real event that would trigger would be the DEFCON reduction -- all the other text seems explanatory.
 
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Brian Pierce
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snoozefest wrote:
It seems this is just a USSR-specific version of UN Intervention, with the added effect of lowering DEFCON. If the US were to play it, I would think the only real event that would trigger would be the DEFCON reduction -- all the other text seems explanatory.


The problem I run into is that UN Intervention isn’t a US or USSR specific card. Since it is a neutral card, it is always either played as the event or for Ops. There is never any ambiguity about when the event takes place. For the case of First Lightning, you run into the situation where the US player can play this card for Ops. This will trigger the USSR event according to the rules, but I can’t really determine how to trigger the event. It would seem quite unusual that the USSR player would be allowed to discard a US card and use the Ops from the wording on the card, but maybe that is the intent. If that is the case, then it is extraordinarily powerful for the USSR (a free action, ability to double degrade DEFCON, and a way to dump a powerful US event). This would make it (as far as I can remember), the first DEFCON suicide card that would be unplayable with DEFCON at 3.

Maybe I am just being very dense about it, but it doesn’t seem that straightforward to me. My first thought when I read it was:
1) If played by USSR, can be used for event or Ops. Effects: Degrades DEFCON either way. If used as event, removed from game.
2) If played by the US player for Ops, the event text cannot happen (not sure if this is true!). Effects: Degrades DEFCON and goes to discard pile.
3) If played on the Space Race, does not affect DEFCON (but this is still to be determined since it was pointed out that you are technically using a card for Ops on the space race).

I would just love some clarification on whether this is an appropriate interpretation.
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
3) If played on the Space Race, does not affect DEFCON (but this is still to be determined since it was pointed out that you are technically using a card for Ops on the space race).


Twilight Struggle Living Rules wrote:

Quote:
6.4.5

Regardless of text on the card, an Event discarded to make a die roll to advance on the Space Race track is not implemented. The card is placed in the discard pile.


Unless the card text specified that it overrides the Space Race rule, I'd say it's still possible to send First Lightning to space.

6.4.5, as I read it, says that card text cannot override the Space Race safety valve.

Granted, we do seem to have the contradiction that the rules say card text can override rules, but there's also a rule that says card text is completely disregarded for Space Race operations.

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Grayson
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alexdrazen wrote:

6.4.5, as I read it, says that card text cannot override the Space Race safety valve.


I'm with you here; I think 6.4.5 allows you to play hot potato with it across the reshuffles without the defcon drop (which sort of is antithetical to the point of the space race).

I think the "event" text is the UN Intervention function, everything else is the "this bad stuff happens anyway."

Thus, I agree with the following (and thats how we play with it when we use it in the deck):

bpierce72 wrote:
My first thought when I read it was:
1) If played by USSR, can be used for event or Ops. Effects: Degrades DEFCON either way. If used as event, removed from game.
2) If played by the US player for Ops, the event text cannot happen (not sure if this is true!). Effects: Degrades DEFCON and goes to discard pile.
3) If played on the Space Race, does not affect DEFCON (but this is still to be determined since it was pointed out that you are technically using a card for Ops on the space race).
 
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Ananda Gupta
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bpierce72 wrote:

Maybe I am just being very dense about it, but it doesn’t seem that straightforward to me. My first thought when I read it was:
1) If played by USSR, can be used for event or Ops. Effects: Degrades DEFCON either way. If used as event, removed from game.
2) If played by the US player for Ops, the event text cannot happen (not sure if this is true!). Effects: Degrades DEFCON and goes to discard pile.
3) If played on the Space Race, does not affect DEFCON (but this is still to be determined since it was pointed out that you are technically using a card for Ops on the space race).

I would just love some clarification on whether this is an appropriate interpretation.


For the record, I don't think you are being dense.

RULING:
All three statements are correct.

Specifically, if First Lightning is played for Ops by the US, the event text cannot trigger, because the USSR is not playing a card with a US affiliated event for ops. However, the DEFCON reduction is a separate trigger and does occur even if the ops play is made by the US.

And, as others upthread have pointed out, per 6.4.5 DEFCON does not decrease when First Lightning is played to the space race.
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Brian Pierce
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Thanks so much for the reply Ananda! Crystal clear to me now
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Peter Card
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Space-Racing First Lightning definitely does reduce DEFCON in the Android version. This may be a bug ...

https://www.reddit.com/r/twilightstruggle/comments/5jbt6x/fi...
 
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PeterCard wrote:
Space-Racing First Lightning definitely does reduce DEFCON in the Android version. This may be a bug ...

https://www.reddit.com/r/twilightstruggle/comments/5jbt6x/fi...


it is, I contacted Playdek about it before the Christmas break and they acknowledged the bug and said a fix would be forthcoming in January.
 
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