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Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne» Forums » Rules

Subject: Tyrion Leader ability with Tyrion character card rss

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Cameron McKenzie
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Tyrion's Leader ability can make the revealed hostility cards negative.
Tyrion's character card can force a player to return their revealed card and play a higher card in its place.

Which of these interpretations is correct?

A.) The character card refers to the original value of the card. If I played a 6 (even though it counts as -6), I could replace it with an 8 (higher) but not a 4 (lower). This means that revealing a new card actually hurts the total power.

B.) The reverse of the above. I could replace the 6 with a 4 (because -4 is higher than -6) but I could not replace the 6 with an 8.

C.) The revealed card is negative but none of the cards in hand are negative, so any of them can be considered higher than the revealed card.

I though C should be the correct interpretation, but my group was insisting on A. I just though that A made the effect a little bit too brutal as it forced the opposing player not only to spend a "better" card but to also end up with a worse encounter total. It's already hard enough to play around Tyrion's power!

What do you think?
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Xavier Nostradunwhich
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At first blush, my interpretation would be that the card is only turned negative when it is revealed, so when you are selecting a new card you use the positive (original) value of the card and play it. Then it is turned negative by Tyrion's Leader power.
 
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Jack Whitham
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Can't see how it's anything except A. It is a powerful combo, but lots of the characters cards compliment the power well. E.g. Ned forces Truce then plays his card to reward himself for the Truce outcome.
I think of them like the Super flare equivalent in that situation.

Edit.
Just looked at the cards and the wording does make C fit if you interpret it literally. I still think the designer intended it to work as A though, so that it compliments the power.
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The Friendly Meeple
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How I would interpret the situation.

Resolving a leader ability is always optional. Tyrion's leader ability must be used before house cards are revealed if you are an active player and it only affects the value of each revealed hostility card. Tyrion's character card must be used after house cards are revealed.

If, before cards are revealed, you used the leader ability it would make the played hostility cards a negative value when they are revealed.

If, after cards are revealed, you then used the character card, each hostility card in hand would have a higher value than the negative value revealed hostility card because they aren't affected by the leader ability while in hand. Once the revealed card is discarded and replaced with the higher card value, the new card becomes a negative value once it becomes revealed.
 
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The Friendly Meeple
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I do agree though, I think it should be A, but technically it works as C.
 
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Florian Ruckeisen
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For quick reference of the exact wording, this is Tyrion's leader ability:

Cunning
Before house cards are revealed, if you are an active player:
The value of each revealed hostility card is negative.

And this is his character card ability:

Instinct for Politics
After house cards are revealed:
Choose 1 active player that revealed a hostility card. If that player has a higher value hostility card in their hand, they discard the revealed card and replace it with the higher value card.

The way I see it though, even with the exact wording in front of me I wouldn't want to bet on which interpretation is correct. Literal interpretation would result in C.) IMO, but I highly suspect that A.) was the intended effect, so that comboing these two abilities would be something you'd want to do rather than avoid.

I guess it's houserule time on this one until we get an official ruling.
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Witold G
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Snapshot wrote:
The way I see it though, even with the exact wording in front of me I wouldn't want to bet on which interpretation is correct. Literal interpretation would result in C.) IMO, but I highly suspect that A.) was the intended effect, so that comboing these two abilities would be something you'd want to do rather than avoid.


I'm not sure if I agree with the notion that comboing two abilities should always be beneficial - they are optional, so it's up to you to decide if and when you want to use them.

In this particular case, it might be beneficial. If you play against Tyrion, then you will frequently play your lowest value house card in the first place, expecting Tyrion to use his leader power. If he does, then his character card will make you play your second-lowest value card, making your total worse, so - benefit for Tyrion.

In other words: it's interpretation C as per the letter of the rules, and I don't see anything that would make me believe that C was in any way against spirit of the rules, either.
 
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Quote:
I'm not sure if I agree with the notion that comboing two abilities should always be beneficial

I didn't mean to say that comboing leader+character abilities should always be beneficial. It just appears to me that interpretation C.) would usually lead to "anti-synergy" for Tyrion, as the opposing active player is basically free to choose any of his (hostility) hand cards to replace the original one. He'd still have to deal with Cunning, but it's giving him more options than he would have without Cunning activated (or in your extreme example, still as many options).

That to me would seem odd. Not saying that can't be the way it's intended, but as BoltzmannBrain pointed out, many characters have their abilities complimenting each other very well. Tyrion would be the oddball if C.) were intended IMHO.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Both of these abilities are extremely powerful, so there's nothing wrong with them having anti-synergy.
Anyway the C ruling also leaves the opening for Tyrion to use the card on himself to change his card to any other. Whichever ruling is most beneficial really depends on the exact situation.
 
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Florian Ruckeisen
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MasterDinadan wrote:
Anyway the C ruling also leaves the opening for Tyrion to use the card on himself to change his card to any other.

Yeah that's true.

Anyway, I shouldn't be talking out of my arse too much before I've played it a couple times myself. laugh
 
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David Williams
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We played last night and it never even occurred to anyone that the correct interpretation would be anything but option A.

I don't think whoever wrote the rules was thinking of the card's absolute value (i.e. distance from 0 whether positive or negative) when they wrote them that way; it seemed obvious that Tyrion's card is intended to be strongly compliment his leader power. Otherwise the only reason to ever play it is if you lost and want to force your opponent to waste a higher value card. Still potentially useful but not that great and potentially will have no effect.

But, I do agree that C seems a valid interpretation. It just seems a bit contrived from a design point of view because it probably wouldn't occur to most people. All 3 players last night accepted it at face value, that the number on the card must be higher, in this case making it more negative.

It's true that's a really strong combo, but the other houses also had combos that seemed really strong like effectively suffering no losses at all for losing an encounter when defending. They didn't affect the winner of the encounter as much but they had very strong effects on the actual effects of winning or losing.
 
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Benjamin Schulz
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Orion3T wrote:
All 3 players last night accepted it at face value, that the number on the card must be higher, in this case making it more negative.

I disagree.

Much like in Cosmic Encounter, all we have to go on is the exact wording of each ability/card. Both the ability and the character card specifically use the word "value".

Since we are using the value of the hostility cards in hand to compare to the revealed house card, one would expect to be using the value of the revealed house card. As the ability states that the value of each revealed house card is negative, I believe it would be negative for the sake of comparison. Each hostility card in hand would be of a higher value.
 
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David Williams
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Keraptis wrote:
Orion3T wrote:
All 3 players last night accepted it at face value, that the number on the card must be higher, in this case making it more negative.

I disagree.


I don't think you can mean you disagree that we all interpreted it the same way, which we all assumed to be obvious? That's a statement of fact.

So I can only assume you disagree with my use of 'at face value'. But I think that's still unarguable since I'm referring to the faces on the cards. They have a 'face value' as shown, then they have their value in that particular encounter. A significant percentage of casual players would not think that the cards being made negative by another card means choosing a higher card means choosing one which is 'less negative'.

Quote:
Much like in Cosmic Encounter, all we have to go on is the exact wording of each ability/card. Both the ability and the character card specifically use the word "value".


Except this game never clearly defines the term 'value'. Not that I could find anyway. So we can't be entirely sure this is something they have taken into consideration.

Quote:
Since we are using the value of the hostility cards in hand to compare to the revealed house card, one would expect to be using the value of the revealed house card. As the ability states that the value of each revealed house card is negative, I believe it would be negative for the sake of comparison. Each hostility card in hand would be of a higher value.


I'm not saying this isn't a valid interpretation; it is. But it requires considerably more thinking through and mathematical savvy than the 'face value' interpretation we all assumed without a second thought, so at this point it seems like a personal judgement call how each group decides to play it.

From other discussions I have gather that 'unbalanced' abilities tend to get naturally balanced by players taking it into account. If they know Lannisters (and Tyrion in particular) can be really tricky to deal with (which is definitely a solid thematic design) they can take that into account during negotiations and how they deal with support etc. So thankfully it shouldn't impact the game too much either way.

I think it's worth asking FFG though, so I submitted a query.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Surely if "face value" and "encounter value" were different values, it would be explained somewhere as such, and the effects themselves would specify which kind of value was relevant.

Since "value" is never qualified in the rulebook nor in the effects, I can't see any strong argument to say that Tyrion's ability refers to one value while his character card refers to another...

Furthermore, if Tyrion's character card actually refers to printed value, how would we handle a revealed character card (it's treated as a hostility of value zero, but the zero isn't printed on the card!). If we are capable of treating a character card as 0 value for the purposes of resolving another effect, we should be just as capable of treating a revealed 2-hostility as a -2 value for the purposes of resolving effects.
 
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Benjamin Schulz
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MasterDinadan wrote:
Surely if "face value" and "encounter value" were different values, it would be explained somewhere as such, and the effects themselves would specify which kind of value was relevant.

Since "value" is never qualified in the rulebook nor in the effects, I can't see any strong argument to say that Tyrion's ability refers to one value while his character card refers to another...

Furthermore, if Tyrion's character card actually refers to printed value, how would we handle a revealed character card (it's treated as a hostility of value zero, but the zero isn't printed on the card!). If we are capable of treating a character card as 0 value for the purposes of resolving another effect, we should be just as capable of treating a revealed 2-hostility as a -2 value for the purposes of resolving effects.

I would like to add that different phrasing keeps being used in this thread to describe which value we are discussing with regards to the hostility cards in hand. So far I have seen "numbers on the cards", "face value", and "printed value".

My point is that neither the ability nor the character card make use of any of this phrasing; they both use the word "value". If different phrasing is needed in our discussion to clarify what one is talking about, surely the ability/character card would need to use it as well if it was comparing anything other than the value of the revealed hostility card to the value of hostility cards in hand. As per the leader ability, the value of the revealed hostility card is negative.
 
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Orion3T wrote:
I think it's worth asking FFG though, so I submitted a query.

Tipped, because I think we can argue all year long over this otherwise.

Plus, the designer ruling on tormenting a dead hostage (trusting that source to be correct) has been enough to convince me that our best efforts at precise reading and logical deduction will not necessarily lead us to the correct (i.e. designer-intended) interpretation. whistle
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David Williams
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My only argument here, is that I think A is the most obvious way to interpret the situation 'on the fly' during a game, i.e. without scouring the rule book (which I don't have much confidence in with this game TBH) and considering mathematical technicalities.

Sure, once you do scour the rule book and consider it from a strictly mathematical point of view, I agree C seems the most justified. But I strongly suspect based on thematic and balance considerations that the designers intended the abilities to compliment each other and work in the way we thought was most apparent.

The fact the designers have gone for the 'not mentioned in the rules at all but thematically obvious' ruling in the past gives me even less confidence that a strict reading of the rules gives the correct interpretation.


But moving on, let's consider the possible game play effects of interpretation C:

1. Players choose cards and place them on the table.
2. Tyrion player uses Cunning. (query - I think this is right, but is this definitely the correct timing? Are chosen cards now finalised, or can players change their minds and swap their cards at this point? The rules seem to show this as a single step, so it could even be argued that Cunning must be used before step 1, but I don't think so)

3. Cards are revealed. At this point there are 3 possible outcomes - a draw, Tyrion wins or Opponent wins. Let's say Tyrion played a character card so has the maximum possible power. The opponent probably chose from 2 broad options:

3a) Choose a high value card attempting to win the encounter, so they have mostly lower value cards in hand. This probably means Tyrion is winning the encounter already, and has no need to use Instinct. Doing so is unlikely to help Tyrion, and in fact may make it possible for the Opponent to win. Even if it's mathematically impossible for them to win (because Tyrion has more power before cards are played so cannot be beaten even with a Character card) this would simply allow the Opponent to choose whichever card they wish to get rid of. So in this case, the ability seems worthless.

3b) Choose a low value card because they predicted Cunning. If Tyrion is still winning, then Instinct is probably still not worth using (see 3a). If Tyrion is losing, then Instinct might help him win - but only if the Opponent has just played the only card which will win for them. Which seems a pretty low probability since it's likely they have multiple character cards. It might also have some value if they played their most useful card which allows a win. For example maybe they played a character card belonging to a dead character. They are now forced to play another card which might be a living one, or they might only have numbered cards left which are too high-valued to still win.

My conclusion is that using both of Tyrion's abilities together becomes a pretty weak combination. This is not at all what I would expect.

I don't know all the other cards that well, but just looking at some we have Olenna, whose leader ability is actually very similar to Tyrion's. Her card however allows her to significantly mitigate a loss, potentially causing 2 other sides to lose 8 total power each (EDIT: I might be wrong here; it doesn't state character involved in the ecounter, but perhaps there's some general rule about which characters are affected here?). Her card in this case seems much stronger than Tyrion's (assuming my initial interpretation was correct).

Eddard can effectively avoid ever being betrayed, I didn't even need to look at his character card to know that's incredibly useful on its own and doesn't rely on guesswork.

I could go on... but my impression is still that Tyrion's abilities are intended to compliment each other, even if a strict interpretation of the rules more strongly suggests otherwise. Cunning is not that strong once the opponent knows it's a possibility (and in any case is probably just on par with Olenna) and Instinct might help occasionally if he loses, but might make things worse.

One last thought: Given Tyrion players (and their opponents) will value lower cards just as much as higher value cards, even if Tyrion does not use Cunning, I'm having trouble seeing how his character card can be put t good use if he is the leader. Obviously if he is't you can use it when you lose to force the opponent to use a better card (assuming Olenna isn't also a leader). But if Tyrion is the leader then it seems much less useful. I guess you could use it not alongside cunning and then opt to keep not using it knowing your opponent has lost some higher value cards but that seems a bit nich and if anything seems to work against his leader ability.


Sorry for rambling, this is really just me thinking out loud and intended as some food for thought. I realise the balance of the abilities shouldn't generally be used to try and settle a rules debate; that's not my intention. In fact since we have now scoured the rule book, I don't think I have much of an opinion either way. But, it can help groups who are unsure to decide which interpretation they prefer though.
 
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Witold G
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Orion3T wrote:
3. Cards are revealed. At this point there are 3 possible outcomes - a draw, Tyrion wins or Opponent wins. Let's say Tyrion played a character card so has the maximum possible power. The opponent probably chose from 2 broad options:

3a) Choose a high value card attempting to win the encounter, so they have mostly lower value cards in hand. This probably means Tyrion is winning the encounter already, and has no need to use Instinct. Doing so is unlikely to help Tyrion, and in fact may make it possible for the Opponent to win. Even if it's mathematically impossible for them to win (because Tyrion has more power before cards are played so cannot be beaten even with a Character card) this would simply allow the Opponent to choose whichever card they wish to get rid of. So in this case, the ability seems worthless.

3b) Choose a low value card because they predicted Cunning. If Tyrion is still winning, then Instinct is probably still not worth using (see 3a). If Tyrion is losing, then Instinct might help him win - but only if the Opponent has just played the only card which will win for them. Which seems a pretty low probability since it's likely they have multiple character cards. It might also have some value if they played their most useful card which allows a win. For example maybe they played a character card belonging to a dead character. They are now forced to play another card which might be a living one, or they might only have numbered cards left which are too high-valued to still win.
My conclusion is that using both of Tyrion's abilities together becomes a pretty weak combination. This is not at all what I would expect.

I think you're overlooking the possibility (already mentioned in this thread) for Tyrion to use Instinct for Politics on himself, allowing for (sometimes) winning the encounter and/or (quite often, I think) better hand management, i.e. leaving a stronger card for later. (I guess - broadly speaking - that the most useful cards for Tyrion are very high and very low ones, with the middle ones being less useful.)


Orion3T wrote:
Sorry for rambling, this is really just me thinking out loud and intended as some food for thought.

No worries - I don't know about others, but I like thinking out loud!
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David Williams
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Perf wrote:
I think you're overlooking the possibility (already mentioned in this thread) for Tyrion to use Instinct for Politics on himself, allowing for (sometimes) winning the encounter and/or (quite often, I think) better hand management, i.e. leaving a stronger card for later. (I guess - broadly speaking - that the most useful cards for Tyrion are very high and very low ones, with the middle ones being less useful.)


You're right; I had read that mentioned but didn't really consider it in my analysis above. I guess that would allow him to play a middling card, and if it doesn't win then he can use his card to play a higher one. Which is definitely potentially useful and lets him use his cards more efficiently.

Still, it doesn't sit right with me that this ability wasn't designed explicitly to synergise with his leader ability. When I first read it, that was the first thought I had - it allows him to make better use of his Cunning ability.

That is of course coming from the perspective of someone who had him as my leader in my first ever game. So I might have been looking for a synergy where none was intended. I suppose to someone else who didn't draw him as their leader, using it on themselves would be the first thing they would consider because it otherwise seems like a pretty long gamble just to make someone waste a higher card. Synergy with Cunning would be a secondary consideration, if they even know about it at all.

That does make it more useful, even aside from his Cunning ability. Also, by using it on himself alongside Cunning he can still maximise his hand management. If he played a character card but his opponent played say an 8, he can use his card to play his 7 instead. So when used on himself it could be useful in either case.

In fact, taking that into consideration it does seem possible these were indeed the intended effects; play a middle card and swap to a higher one in normal encounters, or play a low card and swap to a 'higher' one in Cunning encounters. In which case, we were misinterpreting the intent.

I guess we just wait and see what FFG say. They seem to take a while sometimes so I don't expect anything particularly soon.
 
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Benjamin Schulz
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Orion3T wrote:
The fact the designers have gone for the 'not mentioned in the rules at all but thematically obvious' ruling in the past gives me even less confidence that a strict reading of the rules gives the correct interpretation.

Assuming you are referring to the ruling of tormenting a dead character card and while they may have given a thematic illustration, I think that their ruling is precisely from a strict reading of the rules.

The rules state there are two things a player may do with hostages at the beginning of any turn: releasing and tormenting. With regards to tormenting, the rules also state that there are exactly three possible outcomes ("This has three possible effects, depending upon the type of card tormented"). The first is if the character card matches the house's leader which isn't appropriate here. The second is if the character card matches any "face up" character token which is also not appropriate here. The third isn't appropriate either, as the card must be a hostility or truce card.

With tormenting no longer being an option, this leaves releasing as there is no qualification that the matching character token must be "face up". This is exactly in line with their ruling.

Orion3T wrote:
1. Players choose cards and place them on the table.
2. Tyrion player uses Cunning. (query - I think this is right, but is this definitely the correct timing? Are chosen cards now finalised, or can players change their minds and swap their cards at this point? The rules seem to show this as a single step, so it could even be argued that Cunning must be used before step 1, but I don't think so)

This is the correct timing. Bran Stark's leader ability, for instance, states that it is used "Before house cards are placed facedown". If Tyrion's ability was to be used in this fashion it would have used this wording. Instead it states "Before house cards are revealed", and so it can be invoked after the active players have placed house cards facedown but before they are revealed.
 
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Nostradunwhich wrote:
so when you are selecting a new card you use the positive (original) value of the card and play it. Then it is turned negative by Tyrion's Leader power.

Is it turned negative though? The precise wording of leader ability is that all revealed cards are turned negative, but at that point the new card from Instinct For Politics is not revealed.

(Just exploring every possible interpretation here whistle)
 
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David Williams
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Stomski wrote:
Nostradunwhich wrote:
so when you are selecting a new card you use the positive (original) value of the card and play it. Then it is turned negative by Tyrion's Leader power.

Is it turned negative though? The precise wording of leader ability is that all revealed cards are turned negative, but at that point the new card from Instinct For Politics is not revealed.

(Just exploring every possible interpretation here whistle)


The ability is used before any cards are revealed though. If it only affected cards which were revealed at that point in time, then it wouldn't affect any cards. I think it can only mean that cards revealed during that encounter are negative.
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David Williams
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I got a reply from FFG:

Quote:
Hello,
Thank you for your rules question regarding Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne. In the case of Tyrion’s house card, the intent is that you would refer only to the printed values of the cards, unmodified by Tyrion’s leader ability. Hope that clears things up for you, let me know if you have any further questions.
Thanks,
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Dane Beltrami
Game Developer


So going back to the OP, answer A is correct.
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