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Subject: Mobius Tubes vs Masochist rss

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Jaffak Landsdown
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Is the Masochist obligated to retrieve his ships if a player plays Mobius Tubes ?
It say All ships are free but the second line says the players May put them on any colonies they control.
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Jefferson Krogh
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Yes. Everybody, out of the warp!
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Josh Koehn
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Yes they all are "freed", even if they enjoyed the nothingness of the warp more than the feeling of life.
It may seem like it breaks the power, but that is cosmic for you. Just try to hold on to a zap.
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Jaffak Landsdown
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Why did FFG put MAY return his ships to his colonies ?
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Jonathan Chaffer
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The "may" goes with an "any." It is there to indicate that the player has the option of choosing the ships' destinations (which colony/colonies), not to say that freeing them in the first place is optional.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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jaffak78 wrote:
Why did FFG put MAY return his ships to his colonies ?

Because game designers typically are not writers or editors, and FFG generally doesn't use professional editing. Probably nobody analyzed the text to realize they were saying "may" in a must situation.

JonBob wrote:
The "may" goes with an "any." It is there to indicate that the player has the option of choosing the ships' destinations (which colony/colonies)

It's not an option, it's a requirement. Once your ships are released, you must choose which colonies to send them to.

FWIW, the original Eon version had no "may", just an implied "must": "FREE ALL TOKENS. ALL PLAYERS [must] RETURN THEIR TOKENS FROM SPACE WARP TO THEIR BASES."

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Andy Leber
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Bill Martinson wrote:
It's not an option, it's a requirement. Once your ships are released, you must choose which colonies to send them to.


Yes, but they are essentially saying "You may place them anywhere, as opposed to one specific place". I see why the OP was confused, and I agree that it should be worded better, but also agree with JonBob's interpretation of the writers intent, and don't find the writing to be technically wrong.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Yes, that's what they were trying to say, but they didn't do it correctly. It is technically wrong because "may return" puts optionality on the very act of returning, when what was intended (structurally) was "must return; may choose where." The unintended interpretation is reinforced by the fact that the word "any" is already making it clear that you get to choose destination(s), which makes it seem even more likely that the "may" is doing a different job (the job its placement would suggest).

Bottom line, if you include the "may" then some people are confused, but if you leave it out then it's structurally correct and nobody is confused. It's not the end of the world, but it's not good writing. It's basically the sloppy American public school writing (which I, too, was taught) that plagues the game industry in general, and this publisher in particular.
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