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Subject: Geeks response cards rss

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Marek Čtrnáct
Czech Republic
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For some time now, I've been helping Nomad Games with the rules for the digital edition of Smash Up, which forces me to think long and hard about the various rules interactions.

Today, I've been thinking about the "response cards" in the Geeks factions: Control Minion, Force of Wil, and Wil Wheaton.

There are some things I'd like to clarify in order to ensure that the cards will work the way they are supposed to.

So, let's have a look at them:

Quote:

Control Minion
Action
Choose a minion. You control that minion until the end of the turn. Special: Play when another player plays a minion. You gain control of that minion until the end of the turn.
Geeks x1

Force of Wil
Action
Special: Play when an opponent plays an action. Discard that action; it has no effect.
Geeks x1

Wil Wheaton
Minion, Power 4
Special: You may play this minion when an opponent plays an action. Discard that action; it has no effect.
Geeks x1


So, first, Control Minion. How exactly should its special ability work? I can see three possible scenarios:

1. You can use Control Minion to interrupt playing and resolving a minion (like you can use Force of Wil to interrupt playing and resolving an action). After stealing the minion, you make all decisions, including what base it gets played at and how to use its on-play effect.
(I favor this implementation because it's strongest and most unique.)

2. Like 1, but you can't change the base the minion gets played.

3. You can only play Control Minion after the minion enters play, so its original controller gets to resolve the on-play ability before you can steal the minion.

Which interpretation do you favor?

As for Force of Wil/Wil Wheaton, those can definitely interrupt playing an action, but the question is when exactly you can play them. Again, I have several options:

1. You must use Force of Wil immediately after the action is announced, before any choices are made and before it takes any effect.
This might be supported by the rules, and it's very consistent, but it is fairly weak. For example, if an opponent plays a card that destroys a minion, you will probably want to know which minion is to be destroyed before deciding whether to use Force of Wil or not. This interpretation doesn't allow for this.

2. You can let the player make choices, but you must use Force of Wil before the game state actually changes.
For example, if opponent plays Cannon, he first chooses minions to destroy, then actually destroys them. Under this interpretation, Force of Wil could be played after the minions are chosen, but before they are destroyed. (Note that in the digital edition, I imagine the game would pause at the point where Force of Wil can be used to give the Geeks player a chance to react.)
This interpretation is more intuitive, but more complicated. Smash Up generally doesn't make choices "in advance", choices are done when they are relevant.
So, this would work fine with simple actions. Actions played on a minion or base could be canceled after their target is selected but before they enter play. But there are some weird exceptions that would either have to stay weird or be concepted on card-by-card basis. For example, Backstab:

Quote:

Backstab
Action
Discard a treasure card to destroy a minion of power 3 or less.
Thieves x1


Under interpretation 2, Backstab would have to be cancelled immediately, before the player discards a card. At this point, it's not selected yet which minion is to be destroyed (on the other hand, this actually perfectly fits the idea of sneaky backstabbing).

Another weird case is Bear Hug:

Quote:
Bear Hug
Action
Each other player destroys his or her minion with the least power (owner chooses in case of ties).
Bear Cavalry x1


Under interpretation 2, the point where Force of Wil could be used would be after the first player selects a minion to be destroyed.

3. Force of Wil can be used after game state changes, and rolls it back.
This is the broadest application, but it's much more complicated. Some changes in game state can be rewound, but some cannot (for example looking at opponent's hand or shuffling a deck). This would lead to large amount of card-by-card exceptions.

I am interested in how you play these cards in your group and whether there are any official sources to support one interpretation over another.
 
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Andre Oliveira
Brazil
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I've always played control minion as 2 because it lacks "resolve it ability first" phrase. Bonus points for countering alien's invader. (TT-Alien x Geek-zombie was a tense game)


Again I played with both will cards as 2. Tough in bear hug case, no one gets to choose a target before geek player declines countering it. Because there's no need for target choosing by the action the bear player played.
Basically I'd say geek's foes choose only explicit targets their cards require but not effects you get after the action is actually played (for instance backstab grants the thief an one-shot ability that immediately triggers after it is resolved)
 
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Chet C.
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I think Control Minion would be case 3 - te Geek player does not choose the base and gains control AFTER the other player uses any in-play abilities. I think this makes sense with the order of operations for playing a minion described in the somewhat official (at least globally consistent) Smash Up Wikia. (If the final ruling of Nomad Games is contrary to this, I suggest we update the Wikia accordingly.)

The other two questions are more difficult to me because the word "when" is not clearly defined. I hope a precedent is set that will properly balance the Geek faction in 2- and 4- player games.
 
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Marek Čtrnáct
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Cheddarific wrote:
I think Control Minion would be case 3 - te Geek player does not choose the base and gains control AFTER the other player uses any in-play abilities. I think this makes sense with the order of operations for playing a minion described in the somewhat official (at least globally consistent) Smash Up Wikia. (If the final ruling of Nomad Games is contrary to this, I suggest we update the Wikia accordingly.)

The other two questions are more difficult to me because the word "when" is not clearly defined. I hope a precedent is set that will properly balance the Geek faction in 2- and 4- player games.


Yes, I hope for that too. As for Control Minion, I'd prefer it to work like 1 or 2 because it seems to me that if Geeks have cards that can interrupt playing actions, it's only proper for them to have one that could interrupt playing minions. But Nomad Games have the ability to go and ask the game designer for clarifications.

The Rules document on the Wikia is a great resource and it was the first thing I told Nomad to check up when I heard they're doing Smash Up. I made some contributions (like the "exactly one" and "exactly two" rule for determining which place a player gets on the base). The problem is that, as the document itself states, it's not authoritative so I can recommend its interpretations, but that's about it. When we discussed Infiltrate, for example, I had no other recourse than to throw my hands in the air and say "Talk to the designer and ASK him how it's supposed to be played because it really doesn't make much sense." And both Ninjas and Geeks are going to be free-to-play factions: this means that they will appear in online play more often than the others, they will be the ones people will use to judge the game, and so they should work as good as possible...

Other rules puzzles:

1. How exactly do cards that increase/decrease power of multiple minions work? I know that official rulings say that if you play, say, Form Mergacon and increase the power of your minions there, any minion that appears on the base later will get the bonus while minions who move from there will lose the bonus (or minions you lose control of, I guess). So this effect basically creates a temporary Ongoing effect. It's not the most intuitive thing, OK. But does this only work with effects that work on bases, or does it work even for global cards like Genetic Shift? Worst problem here is with The Deep Ones. With strict interpretation, a minion with power 2 will get its power increased to 3, which will cause it to be outside The Deep Ones' range, so its power will fall back to 2, which will cause it to be in The Deep Ones' range, which will cause... etc.

2. When exactly do you use effects that modify where minions go after scoring a base? They are templated like "Play after the base scores". C&D Rulebook says that such effects are played in step 5 of scoring, with special note that they may affect what happens in later steps 6-8.
But this contradicts a ruling in SmashUp Munchkin which says that you cannot use two Deep Friars on one base to save each other. According to C&D, you would use Deep Friar's ability in step 5, and it would setup an effect that moves a minion instead of discarding it, but it wouldn't move it right away -- that will wait until step 6 when the discarding occurs and is replaced. So according to this, two Deep Friars SHOULD be able to save each other.
The possible solutions are:
a) To ignore the "instead of discarding" template on these effects and perform them right away in step 5.
b) To ignore the ruling for Deep Friar and say that the more precise rules lined up in a later expansion have priority.
 
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Brendon Browning
United States
COLORADO SPRINGS
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Control Minion has fortunately been discussed before, and answered. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1390382/control-minion-play....
Essentially, it's #1. You respond to a minion play with your control minion, and immediately gain control, including its on play ability. If you use control minion on your opponents Alien invader, YOU'D get the victory point. As to picking the base, this hasn't been answered as far as I know. However, my feeling is that your opponent picks the base--he is required to choose the a base before playing the minion. When you play control minion, you take control of the minion just as it enters play--which is right as it lands on the base. Control minion does not allow you to take the minion from your opponents hand and play it as your own.
 
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Vespert Ilio
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Marek14 wrote:

1. How exactly do cards that increase/decrease power of multiple minions work? I know that official rulings say that if you play, say, Form Mergacon and increase the power of your minions there, any minion that appears on the base later will get the bonus while minions who move from there will lose the bonus (or minions you lose control of, I guess). So this effect basically creates a temporary Ongoing effect. It's not the most intuitive thing, OK. But does this only work with effects that work on bases, or does it work even for global cards like Genetic Shift? Worst problem here is with The Deep Ones. With strict interpretation, a minion with power 2 will get its power increased to 3, which will cause it to be outside The Deep Ones' range, so its power will fall back to 2, which will cause it to be in The Deep Ones' range, which will cause... etc.

It's been confirmed by Bryan Stout, the Playtesting Director at AEG among other things, that cards like Howl and Swashbuckling also have that counter-intuitive rule. Any card that makes multiple minions "gain", "have" or "get" power works like that.
However, cards that "give" power to minions may work differently.
Quote:

2. When exactly do you use effects that modify where minions go after scoring a base? They are templated like "Play after the base scores". C&D Rulebook says that such effects are played in step 5 of scoring, with special note that they may affect what happens in later steps 6-8.
But this contradicts a ruling in SmashUp Munchkin which says that you cannot use two Deep Friars on one base to save each other. According to C&D, you would use Deep Friar's ability in step 5, and it would setup an effect that moves a minion instead of discarding it, but it wouldn't move it right away -- that will wait until step 6 when the discarding occurs and is replaced. So according to this, two Deep Friars SHOULD be able to save each other.
The possible solutions are:
a) To ignore the "instead of discarding" template on these effects and perform them right away in step 5.
b) To ignore the ruling for Deep Friar and say that the more precise rules lined up in a later expansion have priority.

When you invoke Deep Friar's ability and you choose to move a minion, you have to move it right away, it doesn't wait for step 6.
 
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Marek Čtrnáct
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Vespert wrote:
Marek14 wrote:

1. How exactly do cards that increase/decrease power of multiple minions work? I know that official rulings say that if you play, say, Form Mergacon and increase the power of your minions there, any minion that appears on the base later will get the bonus while minions who move from there will lose the bonus (or minions you lose control of, I guess). So this effect basically creates a temporary Ongoing effect. It's not the most intuitive thing, OK. But does this only work with effects that work on bases, or does it work even for global cards like Genetic Shift? Worst problem here is with The Deep Ones. With strict interpretation, a minion with power 2 will get its power increased to 3, which will cause it to be outside The Deep Ones' range, so its power will fall back to 2, which will cause it to be in The Deep Ones' range, which will cause... etc.

It's been confirmed by Bryan Stout, the Playtesting Director at AEG among other things, that cards like Howl and Swashbuckling also have that counter-intuitive rule. Any card that makes multiple minions "gain", "have" or "get" power works like that.
However, cards that "give" power to minions may work differently.


Very confusing.

Quote:

Quote:

2. When exactly do you use effects that modify where minions go after scoring a base? They are templated like "Play after the base scores". C&D Rulebook says that such effects are played in step 5 of scoring, with special note that they may affect what happens in later steps 6-8.
But this contradicts a ruling in SmashUp Munchkin which says that you cannot use two Deep Friars on one base to save each other. According to C&D, you would use Deep Friar's ability in step 5, and it would setup an effect that moves a minion instead of discarding it, but it wouldn't move it right away -- that will wait until step 6 when the discarding occurs and is replaced. So according to this, two Deep Friars SHOULD be able to save each other.
The possible solutions are:
a) To ignore the "instead of discarding" template on these effects and perform them right away in step 5.
b) To ignore the ruling for Deep Friar and say that the more precise rules lined up in a later expansion have priority.

When you invoke Deep Friar's ability and you choose to move a minion, you have to move it right away, it doesn't wait for step 6.


This means it would affect all similar cards? Bin and Gone, First Mate, Flying Monkey, Gone with the Wind, Hotel of Holiness, Return to the Sea, Scout, and The Grey Opal? So it's my interpretation No. 1 and the word "instead" doesn't actually refer to a replacement effect here.

New questions:

1. How exactly does Tortuga work? Where exactly is the selected minion between the moments minions are discarded from the old base and the moment new base appears?

2. If Mass Enchantment or Min-Maxing is used to cast a Madness card (for its first effect), where will the Madness card end up? It has no owner, so will it remember whose deck it came from and go to its discard pile, or will it go to the discard pile of its current controller?
 
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Vespert Ilio
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Marek14 wrote:

1. How exactly does Tortuga work? Where exactly is the selected minion between the moments minions are discarded from the old base and the moment new base appears?

Tortuga's ability is resolved at step 8. Once the new base appears, the runner-up moves one of their minions to there. A move is only possible between two different bases, so between the moments minions are discarded from the old base and the moment new base appears, the minion is on another base than Tortuga.
Quote:

2. If Mass Enchantment or Min-Maxing is used to cast a Madness card (for its first effect), where will the Madness card end up? It has no owner, so will it remember whose deck it came from and go to its discard pile, or will it go to the discard pile of its current controller?

Its current controller. The rules are pretty clear:
"Madness cards that you discard go to your discard pile" (The Obligatory Cthulhu Set rulebook)
Since the player with Mass Enchantment or Min-Maxing played it, they get to discard it.
 
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Marek Čtrnáct
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Tortuga is still a bit unclear to me. So the effect implicitly gives the selected minion immunity from discarding in step 6, but then step 7 is discarding the old base and step 8 is putting a new base in play. This doesn't seem like a normal movement because source and destination base are never in play at the same time.

However, cards like Terraforming allow to replace one base with another, with the minions holding their breath in vacuum for an instant, so perhaps it should work like this?

All cards on the old base are discarded, except one minion the runner-up chooses, then old base is discarded, with the minion staying in the "void", then new base appears and the minion is there, but unlike Terraforming it's treated as movement, so for example the minion gets +1 counter if the new base happens to be Trailer Park?
 
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Vespert Ilio
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I think there's a misunderstanding about Tortuga. You simply cannot select one of the minions that are on Tortuga, because they are discarded before the new base comes into play. Tortuga's ability occurs when it is replaced by a new base, at which point the runner-up selects their minion. The minions that were on Tortuga are already in the discard pile, so they cannot be chosen.
 
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Marek Čtrnáct
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Oh. Right, that makes more sense... I always read it as "from here" for some reason...
 
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