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Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition» Forums » Rules

Subject: Deep Space Cannon activation ? rss

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Esben Heick
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If i activate a system with a deep space cannon pds, can I use that pds to shoot at the enemy in the neighbor system (they are in range, after all) ?

Rules mention that hits must be assigned in the active system, but is that in every case ?
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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No, all shots must be directed at the active system.
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Dan Heck
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Right. If you want to shoot into a system, activate that system, not the system with the canons.
 
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Jeff S
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This actually came up last night in our game - we've played plenty of TI3, this was our first TI4 bout.

As well as many rules have been explained in the new rulebook I find the Space Cannon section very poorly written.
1 - it says that units with SC in the active (or adjacent with the upgrade) may fire, but never specifies they shoot at the active systems. It does later say "The hits are still assigned to units in the active system."
2 - it never specifies that other players' SC have to shoot at the active player; the closest it gets is active player removes his casualties.

Just very oddly written section that could have been both clearer and more succinct.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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It may seem confusing, but it is logically separated.

Step 1 of Space Cannon Offense simply determines how many hits you generate. Determining your number of hits does not care about who you are shooting at. All parts of Step 1 are also equivalent regardless of whether you are the active player or a different player.

Step 2 of Space Cannon Offense informs you what happens with the hits that were generated in Step 1. They tell you who assigns that damage and in which system they assign the damage.

Taking the two Steps together makes the mechanism very clear and unambiguous how the whole system works.

If they were to try to indicate who you were shooting at in Step 1, then it would lose its property of being the same for all players. They would need to duplicate the paragraph from Step 2 every time they mention what you are shooting at, as they would now have made both steps depend on whether you are the active player or not. This would be a less optimal situation in my opinion.
 
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Esben Heick
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Since we have this discussion, I guess its not that optimally written. It might be correct, but if players get confused, its not good enough.

...but youre right, of course.
 
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Scott Lewis
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esque wrote:
Since we have this discussion, I guess its not that optimally written. It might be correct, but if players get confused, its not good enough.

...but youre right, of course.

I would argue that there will always be questions, regardless of how well something is worded.
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Ascuris Wurm
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sigmazero13 wrote:

I would argue that there will always be questions, regardless of how well something is worded.


I'm not sure what you mean...


Sorry, could't help myself.
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Jeff S
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Clipper wrote:
If they were to try to indicate who you were shooting at in Step 1, then it would lose its property of being the same for all players. They would need to duplicate the paragraph from Step 2 every time they mention what you are shooting at, as they would now have made both steps depend on whether you are the active player or not. This would be a less optimal situation in my opinion.


You could easily say:
1 - all shots are at ships in the activated system only.
2 - the active player shoots at his opponent in the system, any other players may shoot only at the active player.
3 - after determining hits, the targeted player (or players) removes their casualties.

Very easy, no repetition.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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sirjonsnow wrote:
You could easily say:
1 - all shots are at ships in the activated system only.
2 - the active player shoots at his opponent in the system, any other players may shoot only at the active player.
3 - after determining hits, the targeted player (or players) removes their casualties.

Very easy, no repetition.

So all of those things are mentioned in Step 2 of Space Cannon Offense (paragraph 66.5). What you actually want is that section to be expanded into multiple paragraphs?

You also haven't mentioned quite a few parts, such as:
• How do I know if a unit has Space Cannon?
• Which units with Space Cannon can fire?
• How do you determine if there was a hit?
• Do ships have to move or not to trigger Space Cannon Offense?
• In what order are the dice rolled?

Those are the things that are dealt with in Step 1 of Space Cannon Offense. They definitely need to be in any description too.
 
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Jeff S
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*sigh* really? Here:

66.2 SPACE CANNON OFFENSE
During a tactical action, after the “Move Ships” substep of the “Movement” step, players can resolve the “Space Cannon” abilities of their units by performing the following steps:
66.3 STEP 1 — Beginning with the active player and proceeding clockwise, each player may target the active system using the “Space Cannon” ability of each of his units in the active system. Each player rolls a specific number of dice for each of those units; these are called space cannon rolls. A hit is produced for each die roll that is equal to or greater than the unit’s “Space Cannon” value.
•If a unit has a “Space Cannon” ability, it is present on its faction sheet and technology cards
• The active player's shots hit his opponent in the system. All other players may only hit the active player.
•“Space Cannon” is displayed as “Space Cannon X (Y).” The X is the minimum value needed for a die to produce a hit, and Y is the number of dice rolled. Not all “Space Cannon” abilities are accompanied by a (Y) value; a space cannon roll for such a unit consists of one die
•If a player has the “Deep Space Cannon” technology, he can use the “Space Cannon” ability of his PDS units that are in systems that are adjacent to the active system. The hits are still assigned to units in the active system.
•Game effects that reroll, modify, or otherwise affect combat rolls do not affect space cannon rolls.
66.4 This ability can be used even if no ships were moved during the “Move Ships” step.
66.5 STEP 2 —Players must choose and destroy one of their ships in the active system for each hit result produced against their units.


I added one note with two sentences (19 words), dropped two words from STEP 2, and completely dropped the final note (two sentences totaling 45 words). I also made it clear early in the steps who can fire at who, instead of burying it at the end and making players triple-read everything to make sure they didn't miss it.
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Jeff S
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And if you want to be pedantic, the original section 2 states:

STEP 2 —The active player must choose and destroy one of his ships in the active system for each hit result produced against his units.
•If the active player is using the “Space Cannon” ability of his units, he chooses a player who has ships in the active system. That player must choose and destroy one of his ships in the active system for each hit the space cannon roll produced


It says what the active player does with hits on his units and that his hits go on his opponent, but nowhere does it says who other players can shoot at. Having to deduce that from the absence of a rule is poor writing.

Maybe a clearer example would be to take out the statement specifying structures can't move - nowhere in the rules would it say they can move, but can you imagine how many people would be asking just that? It gets asked enough as it is.

Anyway, the short of it is PDS still shoots the same as TI3, it's just a poorly written section.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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What you have done to step 2 is fine, but your added sentence requires a bit more info. What it means to take a 'shot' or to be 'shooting at' is not defined nor used elsewhere in the rules. The minimum required to maintain the terminology used is:

• The hits produced by the active player will be assigned to his chosen opponent's ships in the system. The hits produced by other players' units must be assigned to the active player's ships.

That probably would be an improvement over the original wording, but that new point is now very similar to the one you removed from Step 2.

Note that strictly reading your wording:

• The active player's shots hit his opponent in the system. All other players may only hit the active player.

Means there's no point in the active player rolling dice, as all the shots apparently hit his opponent. That's making assumptions that each die rolled for a Space Cannon is a shot and that hitting the opponent actually means that you are hitting the opponent's ships. That distinction is rather important, as I'm sure you want to hit me right now.

I know I'm being pedantic, but that's what the RRG is for. It writes the rules in a consistent, highly pedantic way so that it is difficult to misconstrue what is being said. things do really need to be more wordy that you would want them to be, but that makes them unambiguous.
 
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Matt Martens
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Jeff S
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Oy. It's a shots/hits replacement mistake after a 20-hour day.
The active player's hits are assigned to his opponent's units in the system. All other players' hits may only be assigned to the active player's units.

My point is put it near the beginning and include the fact that non-active players only hit the active player, something that is not clear to many with the current rules. It's also still 20+ words shorter and much clearer. Why are you agreeing with me that the rule should be better written, yet still somehow trying to have an argument?
 
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Brian Petersen
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Jeff, TI4 PDS do not shoot exactly like they did in TI3.
Wormholes: In TI4 only, Deep Space Cannon can fire thru wormholes.
Firing at inactive systems: In TI3 only, if you activated a system containing your units with deep space cannon, you could fire at a single adjacent system.
Direct Hit: In TI4 only, Direct Hit can be played during the PDS fire step.

Edit: Reread the TI3 rules & I must have been playing with a house rule.
 
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Jeff S
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TomBoombs wrote:
Jeff, TI4 PDS do not shoot exactly like they did in TI3.
Wormholes: In TI4 only, Deep Space Cannon can fire thru wormholes.
Firing at inactive systems: In TI3 only, if you activated a system containing your units with deep space cannon, you could fire at a single adjacent system.
Direct Hit: In TI4 only, Direct Hit can be played during the PDS fire step.

Yes, understood, and I'm not referring to any of those rules, but I believe, "In TI3 only, if you activated a system containing your units with deep space cannon, you could fire at a single adjacent system." is incorrect:

After the owner of the PDS has activated a system,
and after any friendly ship movement into the system,
each of the active player's PDS units in range may
fire once at any enemy fleet in the activated system
before a Space Battle begins
 
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Scott Lewis
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TomBoombs wrote:
Firing at inactive systems: In TI3 only, if you activated a system containing your units with deep space cannon, you could fire at a single adjacent system.

This is incorrect. In TI3, only the active system could be shot at with any PDS, just like in TI4. Activating a system with a PDS that had DSC did *NOT* let you shoot into adjacent systems.

While there are some minor differences between how PDS work (such as the examples of wormholes and Direct Hit you mentioned), this particular aspect of how PDS/Space Cannons work is the same in both editions.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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sirjonsnow wrote:
Oy. It's a shots/hits replacement mistake after a 20-hour day.
The active player's hits are assigned to his opponent's units in the system. All other players' hits may only be assigned to the active player's units.


That's still too short. What are a player's hits (the ones he produced or the ones he must assign)? Who is assigning the hits? When are they assigned? Does the fact that you assign the hits in Step 2 mean that you are assigning them here and then assigning them again in Step 2?

That is why I put my corrections above, you absolutely need to use 'hits produced by a player' rather than 'the player's hits'. You also shouldn't use 'are assigned', but 'will be assigned' to avoid confusion about how many times those hits are assigned. Given that, we can ignore the issue of who assigns the hits, as that will be dealt with in Step 2.

Quote:
My point is put it near the beginning and include the fact that non-active players only hit the active player, something that is not clear to many with the current rules.

And my point is that it is actually difficult to do that using unambiguous language.


Quote:
It's also still 20+ words shorter and much clearer.

I disagree on the clarity. It opens many loopholes.

Quote:
Why are you agreeing with me that the rule should be better written, yet still somehow trying to have an argument?

I am just showing that it is not as easy as you think to add such a statement to the rules and that the existing wording is somewhat as concise as they could get it to be.

Yes, there probably are more intuitive ways they could have structured this particular rule. Finding such a way that maintains the lack of ambiguity in the rules is not as easy as you think.
 
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Jeff S
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Quote:
Given that, we can ignore the issue of who assigns the hits, as that will be dealt with in Step 2.

One last time, if you want to be that pedantic, then PDS against the active player are useless if an opponent is in the system, because the current rules say, "The active player must choose and destroy one of his ships in the active system for each hit result produced against his units." without ever saying which player hits are produced against. It goes on to explain that the active player can target an opponent, but never says who other players target.

The more you try to show that rules are hard to write, the worse you show the current written rules to be.

Anyway, I have no more time for you, good day.
 
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Scott Lewis
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sirjonsnow wrote:
Quote:
Given that, we can ignore the issue of who assigns the hits, as that will be dealt with in Step 2.

One last time, if you want to be that pedantic, then PDS against the active player are useless if an opponent is in the system, because the current rules say, "The active player must choose and destroy one of his ships in the active system for each hit result produced against his units." without ever saying which player hits are produced against. It goes on to explain that the active player can target an opponent, but never says who other players target.

The first part of your quote here says just that - the active player. The only exception given is for the active player's own PDS, which can target opponents.
 
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Jeff S
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sigmazero13 wrote:
The first part of your quote here says just that - the active player. The only exception given is for the active player's own PDS, which can target opponents.

You and I understand that, but try explaining it to the other guy.
 
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Alwin Derijck
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Is space cannon technically still part of the move step of tactical action?

Reason for asking are these rules

Quote:
84.2 Any fighters and ground forces that a ship transports must
move with the ship and remain in the space area of a system

Quote:
16.4 Fighters and ground forces are not assigned to specific ships,
except while they are being transported.


Trying to ascertain how PDS fire affects capacity loss.
 
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Allan Clements
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PDS fire is after movement, so if you lose some capacity, you can choose what to lose if you are now over the limit after PDS fire. (it is during the movement step, but it is still after the ships have moved)

 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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Yeah, just check capacity after the battle.

The bit about during movement is to ensure any single ship doesn't transport more than its capacity at any time.
 
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