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Subject: Sleight of Hand and Jenny's Twin 45s? rss

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Bruno Wolff
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Is there an official ruling on whether Jenny's Twin 45s can be played with any ammo via Sleight of Hand? Arguably you could pick any cost since you don't have to pay it. For normal use this wouldn't be a problem as the weapon will need to disappear at the end of your turn. But if there is a way to move the charges somewhere during your turn this could break things. Arguably X is undefined if you don't actually pay the cost and takes on the value 0, so it would come into play without any ammo.
 
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Tollas McClane
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You could Sleight of Hand it into play, but it would have 0 ammo.
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Bruno Wolff
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Tollas wrote:
You could Sleight of Hand it into play, but it would have 0 ammo.

Did you see that as an official ruling somewhere? If not, what is your reasoning for a player not being able to choose X as a non-zero value?
 
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Tollas McClane
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The letter “X”
The value of the letter X is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice. If X is not defined, its value is equal to 0.
=For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X.

Put into Play
Some card abilities cause a card to be “put into play.” Such abilities place the card directly into play from an out-of-play state.
=The resource cost of a card being put into play is not paid.
=Unless otherwise stated by the put into play ability, cards that enter play in this manner must do so in a play area that satisfies the standard game rules associated with playing or drawing (for encounter cards) that card.
=A card that has been put into play is not considered to have been played or drawn.


You do not have an opportunity to pay X so X is 0.
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Bruno Wolff
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You found one rule that I missed, but I don't think your conclusion is air tight. I think it will probably have to be ruled that way so as to not break things down the road. But I really think this needs some official errata based on what I have seen so far.
Thank you for elaborating on your initial response.
 
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MC Shudde M'ell
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brunowolff wrote:
You found one rule that I missed, but I don't think your conclusion is air tight. I think it will probably have to be ruled that way so as to not break things down the road. But I really think this needs some official errata based on what I have seen so far.
Thank you for elaborating on your initial response.


I don't see any counter argument beyond wishful thinking. No one loves Jenny more than I do, but there is absolutely no justification in the rules to invent a number other than zero. It's counter intuitive and unsupported.

Edit: I'm retracting this judgement, see below.

Second Edit: ...and my retraction has been contradicted by the designer. The final word is that Jenny's Twin .45s could only have 0 Ammo if brought in by Sleight of Hand.
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Bruno Wolff
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Esgaldil wrote:

I don't see any counter argument beyond wishful thinking. No one loves Jenny more than I do, but there is absolutely no justification in the rules to invent a number other than zero. It's counter intuitive and unsupported.

The counter argument is that the player gets to choose X which sets both the amount of ammo that comes with the card and what it costs. Sleight of Hand allows you to bring the card into play without having to pay the cost, so you aren't limited by the amount of resources you have.
The rules say "The value of the letter X is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice." and the latter applies here. The rules also say "For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X." which indicates that it is OK for the cost actually paid to be different than the nominal cost.
Overall, based on the rules as written (unless there is a rule I have missed), I think the better argument is for you being able to put as much ammo on the card as you want. However, I think that is a bad idea because now you have to be careful when introducing future cards that they don't allow for someway to break the game by providing someway to use a rediculously large amount of ammo over a player's turn (most likely by transferring it someplace else).
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MC Shudde M'ell
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brunowolff wrote:
Esgaldil wrote:

I don't see any counter argument beyond wishful thinking. No one loves Jenny more than I do, but there is absolutely no justification in the rules to invent a number other than zero. It's counter intuitive and unsupported.

The counter argument is that the player gets to choose X which sets both the amount of ammo that comes with the card and what it costs. Sleight of Hand allows you to bring the card into play without having to pay the cost, so you aren't limited by the amount of resources you have.
The rules say "The value of the letter X is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice." and the latter applies here. The rules also say "For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X." which indicates that it is OK for the cost actually paid to be different than the nominal cost.
Overall, based on the rules as written (unless there is a rule I have missed), I think the better argument is for you being able to put as much ammo on the card as you want. However, I think that is a bad idea because now you have to be careful when introducing future cards that they don't allow for someway to break the game by providing someway to use a rediculously large amount of ammo over a player's turn (most likely by transferring it someplace else).


On reflection and careful examination of the two cards and specific rule, you have a point. Nothing about the Twin .45s makes X anything other than a Player Choice, and the rule does specify that an X cost can be reduced without changing the base value of X. Additionally, Sleight of Hand effectively limits its own value, so that you are essentially playing a card to get two or three free Resources (assuming you fire three times, four with Leo) and one free Action (i.e. the Action of putting the Twin .45s in play), which is very good, but not game breaking.
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Bruno Wolff
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Esgaldil wrote:

Sleight of Hand effectively limits its own value, so that you are essentially playing a card to get two or three free Resources (assuming you fire three times, four with Leo) and one free Action (i.e. the Action of putting the Twin .45s in play), which is very good, but not game breaking.

Right. (And avoid AOOs.) The problem is that if the designers ever put in a card that lets you transfer an unlimited amount of ammo somewhere else, it could be way over powered. So far, I think all of the transfers have been rate limited. (Except sort of contraband, but that wouldn't help here.)
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Grim rule.
 
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MC Shudde M'ell
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
Grim rule.


Around here, I think we need to codify the Grim Grim Rule Rule, which is that no one may invoke the Grim Rule outside of game play.
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B.D. Flory
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Sleight of Hand does not play cards, it puts them into play. The cost is never defined because it's never required.

So, no ammo.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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bd flory wrote:
Sleight of Hand does not play cards, it puts them into play. The cost is never defined because it's never required.

So, no ammo.


That's what I thought at first, but the ammo of Twin .45s is not defined by the cost - X is defined by the player's choice, which is then used to determine both the ammo and the cost. The very explicit rule "For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X." seems to be written for exactly this situation.
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B.D. Flory
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Esgaldil wrote:
bd flory wrote:
Sleight of Hand does not play cards, it puts them into play. The cost is never defined because it's never required.

So, no ammo.


That's what I thought at first, but the ammo of Twin .45s is not defined by the cost - X is defined by the player's choice, which is then used to determine both the ammo and the cost. The very explicit rule "For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X." seems to be written for exactly this situation.


This was quoted above, but I'll put it here again for reference:

"The letter “X”
The value of the letter X is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice. If X is not defined, its value is equal to 0.
=For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X."

These are actually two separate points that are being conflated.

First, the value of x is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice. Neither of those things are the case here. Jenny's guns would have to explicitly say that you choose the value of x or similar. They don't, so it remains undefined on this point.

Separately, *costs* involving the letter x are defined by player choice. But we do not have the opportunity to choose the cost since we aren't playing the card nor paying its cost -- it's being put into play, which is a distinct procedure from playing a card.

Since neither of these things are defined by putting a card into play (rather than playing it), it remains undefined, and thus, 0.

This distinction exists in every current FFG LCG, and works the same way in all of them. There's no reason to believe it would be different here.

The rule you cite above is designed to handle interactions like Ever Vigilant, where you could play the guns at x-1 cost because of the reduction, but still receive the full x ammo(notwithstanding Jenny can't play Ever Vigilant). Sleight and putting into play is an entirely different procedure.
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Nelvin C.
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Tollas wrote:
The letter “X”
The value of the letter X is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice. If X is not defined, its value is equal to 0.
=For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X.


The value of X is defined by a card ability (such as Sleight of Hand) or a granted player choice (such as you DECIDING to play it with 10 resources, if you have 10 resources).

I believe the 'player choice' here only applies if YOU have the choice. While playing Sleight of Hand, you do NOT have the choice.

Tollas wrote:
Put into Play
Some card abilities cause a card to be “put into play.” Such abilities place the card directly into play from an out-of-play state.
=The resource cost of a card being put into play is not paid.
=Unless otherwise stated by the put into play ability, cards that enter play in this manner must do so in a play area that satisfies the standard game rules associated with playing or drawing (for encounter cards) that card.
=A card that has been put into play is not considered to have been played or drawn.


The reason you don't get the choice to decide, is because you do not even have the opportunity to pay it. You merely put it into play. So, "player choice" does not apply here.

Also, you're not really getting a "discount of resources" to play the card. This card is considered to not have been played. It was merely... "moved into play". The X cost was not paid, due to the lack of opportunity, and thus the X in the ability box is.. well, undefined. A card discount card example has been mentioned by Flory.

That's my 2 cents.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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bd flory wrote:
First, the value of x is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice. Neither of those things are the case here. Jenny's guns would have to explicitly say that you choose the value of x or similar. They don't, so it remains undefined on this point.


You may be taking precedent from other games that may or may not apply here. As far as I can tell, the rule is defining two categories of X - X on a card with a card ability defining X is defined by that card ability. X on a card without a card ability defining X is defined by a granted player choice. JT45s never has a card ability defining X, and has no explicit instructions for when or how to choose X. The kicker for me is looking at that card and seeing that the two places where X shows up are independent of each other, meaning that whenever you choose X, you choose one number for both places at the same time. I don't see anything on that card or in the rules as written that restrict the granted player choice to a particular window that shows up when playing this card but does not exist if putting this card in play.
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Bruno Wolff
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Part of the issue seems to be people are assuming you choose the cost to set X. And because you don't pay the cost, you don't get to choose it, so X is undefined and hence treated as 0. I don't think the rules as written support that intrepretation. I think the player gets to choose X which in this case sets both the cost and the amount of ammo. And then you don't have to pay the cost, so you are not limited by the number of resources you have on hand to be able to actually put the card in play. I can certainly believe that the designers intended for you to not be able to put any amount of ammo on the twin 45s when using sleight of hand. If so, I really think there should be some errata detailing why that is the case so that it could be applied to other similar cases in the future.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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As far as balance goes, it's worth noting that even for Jenny, Chicago Typewriter is a better use of Sleight of Hand - since CT is clearly not an abuse of SoH, there's no reason to think JT45s are overpowered.
 
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Bruno Wolff
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Esgaldil wrote:
As far as balance goes, it's worth noting that even for Jenny, Chicago Typewriter is a better use of Sleight of Hand - since CT is clearly not an abuse of SoH, there's no reason to think JT45s are overpowered.

I would expect one would only use sleight of hand to play the twin 45s if you were already engaged and didn't want to take attacks of opportunity.
Playing and using the twin 45s even if you have multiple extra actions doesn't seem unbalanced.
I worry more about some future cards, such as an X / asset version of forbidden knowledge. That would be broken. Something that let you move an unlimited number of uses (ammo) around in one action would also be broken by unlimited ammo on the twin 45s. Careful design can avoid this, but the more potential for broken combos, the more likely something will slip through at some point.
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Nelvin C.
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brunowolff wrote:
I think the player gets to choose X which in this case sets both the cost and the amount of ammo.


Ahhh, I think the difference comes from this then.


You believe it could be understood as:
"You decide the value of X, you pay X, you get X ammo."
"SoH skips cost paying, you get X ammo anyway."

I understood it as:
"If you pay X cost, you get X ammo."
"As SoH skips cost paying, you get 0 ammo."

If you really need an errata on this, you can send in a rules question to FFG. They will respond swiftly.

But I wonder how many people actually think in the first way, compared to the second.
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Gigi Trottola
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No pay?
No party!
Cost=0 Ammo=0
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brunowolff wrote:
Part of the issue seems to be people are assuming you choose the cost to set X. And because you don't pay the cost, you don't get to choose it, so X is undefined and hence treated as 0. I don't think the rules as written support that intrepretation. I think the player gets to choose X which in this case sets both the cost and the amount of ammo. And then you don't have to pay the cost, so you are not limited by the number of resources you have on hand to be able to actually put the card in play. I can certainly believe that the designers intended for you to not be able to put any amount of ammo on the twin 45s when using sleight of hand. If so, I really think there should be some errata detailing why that is the case so that it could be applied to other similar cases in the future.

If you are not paying the cost, why do you think you get to choose X?

The value of the letter X is defined by a card ability OR a granted player choice. If X is not defined, its value is equal to 0.

OR a player choice. Not and. In this case, X is defined by cost. If no cost is paid, X is zero.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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X is not defined by cost, cost is defined by X after X has been defined by player choice. There is no card ability on this card that defines X, only effects (cost and ammo, separate and equal) that both are determined after X has been chosen.
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Brendan Riley
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Esgaldil wrote:
X is not defined by cost, cost is defined by X after X has been defined by player choice. There is no card ability on this card that defines X, only effects (cost and ammo, separate and equal) that both are determined after X has been chosen.


I disagree -- X is defined by player choice when player pays "X" to play the card. That's the only time you can choose that value. If you don't pay the cost, you didn't get the opportunity to set that number, hence it's undefined and set at zero.

Say that later they introduce a card that lets you discard an asset from your hand to earn its resource cost. If X is defined by player choice whenever the player wants, the player could decide that value is much higher. The only time you get to choose X is when you pay the cost to play the card. Any other time, it would be undefined.

Narratively, X is Jenny choosing how much ammo to put in the gun. If you don't take the time to load the gun, you don't get to assume the ammo is in there.

I also agree with the previous commenter that at best this comes into the question of ambiguous interpretation and thus you have to yield to the Grim rule.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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My first reaction to this idea was that I pay some number of Resources to put Jenny's card into play, and those Resources determine X. The thing is - that's not a step. There is nothing in the Rules or on the Card or in any FAQ I know that defines X as a consequence of the number of Resources spent to put JT45s into Play, it's just something we think of because we look at the number of Resources we have available first, in order to see what size X we can afford. The one and only step that determines what X is is Jenny's Player declaring "X is 7 (or whatever)" After that, you pay 7 Resources (possibly modified) to put JT45s in Play, but in game terms that's an effect, not a cause. The definition of The Letter X (quoted above) doesn't have any reference to the Card being put into Play, either.
 
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