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Scythe: Invaders from Afar» Forums » Rules

Subject: Albion's Shield mech ability - edge case rss

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Torgo Shuffle
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Shield: Before you engage in combat as the defender, gain 2 power.
This happened in our last game: I got attacked by Rusviet, and I was sitting on 15 power. The Shield ability pumped my power up to maximum - does that trigger a star, or would you have to wait for combat to resolve first?
[we figured I didn't get the star at that point, but the word "before" in the description makes me wonder otherwise]

[edited for getting power track numbers wrong]
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Don Sombrero
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I'm pretty much sure you get your final star before the beginning of combat and then battle is "reversed" as described in the rulebook - so the attacker returns to their original position(s).
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Jamey Stegmaier
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That's a tough edge case, and Don's point has merit. I slightly lean in the other direction: All of the aspects of combat kind of happen within a bubble, so even though you would get your star right away, the rest of that particular combat would proceed to completion. Then the game would end.

I'm certainly open to other opinions about this one.
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Joshua Ryan
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I like the idea of getting the star immediately and then finishing the combat. That way the attacker has to decide whether or not it's worth engaging in combat and giving Albion a free star, potentially two if they also win.
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Mike George
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What would happen if the end of Combat gave the other player his sixth star?
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Mike George wrote:
What would happen if the end of Combat gave the other player his sixth star?


After that combat ended, the game would end.
 
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Patrick G.
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Mike George wrote:
What would happen if the end of Combat gave the other player his sixth star?


After that combat ended, the game would end.

If getting the 6th star from max power waits until the end of combat why wouldn't you finish the action of placing the star from winning the combat as well?
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Torgo Shuffle
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I think what this comes down to is: can stars be placed in the middle of an action?
Here's another example: say Polania is sitting on 17 popularity with 3 mechs, and then Anna & Wojtek have encounter #3 - they use Meander to "herd the sheep on the hillside for an afternoon" for 2 food and 1 popularity (ding! star for max popularity) and then "use the sheep to trip up a passing mech" - pay 3 popularity to deploy 1 mech (ding! another star, this time for 4 mechs deployed)
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Torgo: Yes, stars can be placed in the middle of an action. In the case of the encounter, you could gain those bonuses in any order.
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Evan Schwartzberg
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torgoshuffle wrote:
I think what this comes down to is: can stars be placed in the middle of an action?
Here's another example: say Polania is sitting on 17 popularity with 3 mechs, and then Anna & Wojtek have encounter #3 - they use Meander to "herd the sheep on the hillside for an afternoon" for 2 food and 1 popularity (ding! star for max popularity) and then "use the sheep to trip up a passing mech" - pay 3 popularity to deploy 1 mech (ding! another star, this time for 4 mechs deployed)


However, if the star you get for max popularity is your sixth star, the game ends and you won't get a seventh star or the chance to choose another option on the encounter card. This has been discussed on the main game's forums.

Back to the original situation. This isn't the only scenario where that would occur, Togawa's Ronin ability: 'before combat where you have exactly 1 unit, gain 2 power' could also end the game from the maximum power star if that is your 6th star before the combat plays out. Just move one mech or Akiko into combat and max out. Combat wouldn't take place, Togawa moves back to the territory it came from, game ends.

As previously discussed on the forums, if you start multiple combats on a turn (through move actions to different territories), you can choose the order to resolve them and if one of those causes a 6th star to be placed (either attacker winning or defender winning), the game ends. All other combats are rolled back to the state before the attacker moved in to the territory.

I would be inclined to keep the ruling once a 6th star is placed, the game ends. It is clear and decisive. I know many have expressed their desire to change the ending condition to allowing a 'final turn', but I think the game works better without it. It makes sure players pay attention and if you attack Conner/Albion in this situation, you better be ready for the end of the game.
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Evan: Thanks for sharing this. I'm on the fence about it, but the reason I lean the way I do in my original answer is that combat has already begun when Togawa gains the power. It seems like that specific combat should be completed, as it exists in its own bubble. But it's a really tough call.
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Don Sombrero
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Evan: Thanks for sharing this. I'm on the fence about it, but the reason I lean the way I do in my original answer is that combat has already begun when Togawa gains the power. It seems like that specific combat should be completed, as it exists in its own bubble. But it's a really tough call.


Jamey, I would support Evan's interpretation - there are three layers of reasoning:

1. Wording
All similar combat abilities are phrased in the rulebook "Before you engage in combat" - so I would argue that the combat has not yet started

2. Logic and Rules Coherency
You have mentioned yourself numerous times that after acquiring the sixth star, the game ends immediately and there is no way to score the seventh star - winning the battle, Togawa or Albion would be able to score the seventh star. Reversing the battle is lesser evil than saying "You won't score the star for the battle because that would be your seventh"

3. Precedent
As mentioned in a couple of posts above, there are numerous other situation when continuing the action would allow to score the seventh star. Ruling once and for all that after acquiring sixth stat the game ends immediately is clear and coherent.

There are for sure plenty of similar situations that are yet to be discovered. Ruling the possibility of acquiring the seventh star would create a precedent that would lead to more confusion in the future.
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Steven Albano
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I think the rules as written show that you once a sixth star is gained, the game is over. Nothing else happens. Nada.

However, I think there could be an interpretation that allows all stars gained within a "bubble" to resolve and then the game ends.

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Jamey Stegmaier
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Don and Steven: Those are great points. I should point out that because there is no 7th star, it's simply impossible to gain it (even in a situation where it could be gained). It's just not there to gain it.

As for whether or not combat has begun when those abilities trigger, those abilities only trigger because combat is currently happening.
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Evan Schwartzberg
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I understand Jamey's ruling. We all come here looking for an official response and Jamey is very obliging and as official as we can get thumbsup. While I like the clarity of 6th star = end game full stop, these two factions have raised questions. Normally, I could reason that Albion is preparing to defend so they gain the power before the attack occurs. Or Togawa is preparing for battle so they get the power before engaging in battle.

However, I could lean to Jamey's interpretation based on a better situation that I will throw out here:
Togawa attacks Albion. Ronin gives Togawa +2 power and Shield gives Albion +2 power, both for the max and 6th star each. Combat doesn't even occur.

All of these situations could cause two players to end the game with 6 stars. End of the world, no. Confusing, possibly. Likely to happen, rare? - I really don't know. So far we have only discussed the possibility. Has anyone actually had this occur in game?
Jamey - What was the playtest for these two factions like. Was it as extensive as the original five? I'm guessing none of these situations ever came up or you would have included something in the rules.

Agreed there will never be a 7th star even if the situation allows. No physical star to place = no star gained.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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tylex wrote:

Jamey - What was the playtest for these two factions like. Was it as extensive as the original five? I'm guessing none of these situations ever came up or you would have included something in the rules.


Good question. The blind playtesting for the expansion wasn't nearly as extensive as the original 5 factions. You're right that this situation never arose, though it is certainly possible.
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Steven Albano
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tylex wrote:
However, I could lean to Jamey's interpretation based on a better situation that I will throw out here:
Togawa attacks Albion. Ronin gives Togawa +2 power and Shield gives Albion +2 power, both for the max and 6th star each. Combat doesn't even occur.

All of these situations could cause two players to end the game with 6 stars. End of the world, no. Confusing, possibly. Likely to happen, rare? - I really don't know. So far we have only discussed the possibility. Has anyone actually had this occur in game?


From my reading of the rules, it says that the attacking mechs use their abilities first followed by the defending mechs, so Togawa's would trigger first, getting their sixth star and winning before Albion's would trigger. This, to me, is pretty clearly defined in the rules. But I guess others might not agree.
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Evan Schwartzberg
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colormage1 wrote:
tylex wrote:
However, I could lean to Jamey's interpretation based on a better situation that I will throw out here:
Togawa attacks Albion. Ronin gives Togawa +2 power and Shield gives Albion +2 power, both for the max and 6th star each. Combat doesn't even occur.

All of these situations could cause two players to end the game with 6 stars. End of the world, no. Confusing, possibly. Likely to happen, rare? - I really don't know. So far we have only discussed the possibility. Has anyone actually had this occur in game?


From my reading of the rules, it says that the attacking mechs use their abilities first followed by the defending mechs, so Togawa's would trigger first, getting their sixth star and winning before Albion's would trigger. This, to me, is pretty clearly defined in the rules. But I guess others might not agree.

Good catch. I forgot about the Attacker Advantage WRT mech abilities (pg22 of the rules if other want to look up the reference). So it could go back to only one faction placing the 6th star to end the game.
 
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Eric Hogue
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I don't see the problem with considering combat to be a bubble, just like if you get six stars from a bottom-row action, you can finish that entire even if two different parts of it (say the last upgrade and the getting to power 16) trigger at the same time.

I don't find the concept of two different players getting six stars to be confusing, either, since stars don't decide the winner in and of themselves.
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Don Sombrero
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tylex wrote:
I understand Jamey's ruling. We all come here looking for an official response and Jamey is very obliging and as official as we can get thumbsup.


To be honest, I will be happy with any ruling but my impression was that Jamey is still making his mind on this one? Or would I be wrong?

Should we then consider the bubble the official ruling? If so, is it safe to say that the battle always needs to end, no matter the situation?
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Don: I'll consider this an ongoing conversation, but for now the official ruling is that each combat is a bubble and needs to be carried out to completion. The game can end immediately after 1 combat, even if another combat or other things would happen afterwards.
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Steven Albano
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Don: I'll consider this an ongoing conversation, but for now the official ruling is that each combat is a bubble and needs to be carried out to completion. The game can end immediately after 1 combat, even if another combat or other things would happen afterwards.


So you would rule that in the Togawa versus Albion example, both could get would place their sixth star? (Let's assume they both already have both combat stars.) (And it sounds like I'm being... snarky, but I just want to make sure I'm fully understanding what's being said in this thread!)

And so another thought: So let's say Polania gets an encounter card that gives them their final star after their first choice. But their second choice would give them 4 more resources. The game ends after the entire encounter is completed so they get those extra bonus points from the resources?
 
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Pawel Garycki
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colormage1 wrote:

And so another thought: So let's say Polania gets an encounter card that gives them their final star after their first choice. But their second choice would give them 4 more resources. The game ends after the entire encounter is completed so they get those extra bonus points from the resources?

So do the encounters also act as a bubble? E.g. when you get two things without paying for them - which part of the sentence comes first? Also there is Polania ability to pick up two options.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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I wouldn't say that encounters happen in a bubble, simply because with the Polania ability, you can choose the order they happen in. Unless the Polania player wants the game to end in the middle of the encounter, they should choose the opposite order.

Steven: You're not being snarky. I see that as an edge case where two players could feasibly place a 6th star.
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Don: I'll consider this an ongoing conversation, but for now the official ruling is that each combat is a bubble and needs to be carried out to completion. The game can end immediately after 1 combat, even if another combat or other things would happen afterwards.


I'm inclined to go with this ruling with the inclusion of combat being carried out to its end. I'm imagining a scenario where Togawa makes an attack, activating Ronin and thus maxing out their Power and gaining their 6th star; if they win combat it would have been a 7th star but no star is gained.

In my mind, I'd imagine you wouldn't gear up an attack and NOT follow through - that feels like a cop out. Plus, territory control would be important; it would be unfair to the defender to have an opponent score a star from a faction ability and not get a chance to defend the territory (and maybe even score a star for winning) - or having the opposite scenario of Albion pulling the defensive power ability and getting a 5th star but not getting a chance to pull a 6th star from winning. The combat still happens in a "bubble" and means these stars happen simultaneously, both factions possibly gaining their 6th stars though no 7th star can actually be obtained.

My thoughts on the 7th star are that at 6 stars, you're "maxed out", like maxing out leveling in a video game. Doesn't make sense in reality, as there's no real limits to what one can actually achieve, but imagining it this way feels better than just saying, "Well, it's because there are only 6 wooden stars per player". I also agree that though there seem to be some weird edge cases like the one in this thread, it makes better sense - and adds a bit of tension in end-game decisions - if gaining a 6th star ends the game immediately.

That's just me.
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