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Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Van Hauge vs Greyfire Mutagen rss

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James B.
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Card Text:

"Greyfire Mutagen: After a system is activated you may prohibit the Yin player from using faction abilities or faction technology during this tactical action. Then, return this card to the Yin player"

Is Van Hauge (Yin Flagship) a faction tech, faction ability, or none of the above?

In other words, does Greyfire Mutagen stop the Van Hauge from blowing up?
 
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mikael mordai
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No it is a ship ability so the ship goes...
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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The ability on the Yin Flagship isn't 'used'. It's a passive ability and must go off when triggered (the Yin player cannot choose to ignore it).

Thus, Greyfire Mutagen will not stop the Van Hauge from destroying other ships.
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Scott Lewis
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I would say it's neither. While flagships are unique to each faction, their ability is a "unit" ability, not a "faction" ability.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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The following rules entry hints that it might be a faction ability:

Living RR v1.1 wrote:
1.21 Each faction has faction abilities presented on its faction sheet. Each faction’s flagship has one or more unique abilities. Some abilities provide players with perpetual effects.


Whether or not it is a faction ability or not isn't that important, though. It definitely is a perpetual effect and we know from the recent ruling on Political Secret that perpetual effects are not considered to be 'used'.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Clipper wrote:
The following rules entry hints that it might be a faction ability:

Living RR v1.1 wrote:
1.21 Each faction has faction abilities presented on its faction sheet. Each faction’s flagship has one or more unique abilities. Some abilities provide players with perpetual effects.


Whether or not it is a faction ability or not isn't that important, though. It definitely is a perpetual effect and we know from the recent ruling on Political Secret that perpetual effects are not considered to be 'used'.

I saw that, but I don't read that to imply it's a faction ability. It's two separate sentences, and while both are faction-related, I don't read it as saying "flaghip unit abilities are also faction abilities."

Otherwise, one could interpret it that same first sentence to say EVERY unit ability on the faction sheet is a "faction ability" (even the generic ones), which would then imply that you could use Greyfire Mutagen to prevent Bombardment or Production.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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I'll agree with you there, it's only a slight implication. You agree that it is also a moot point, right?
 
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Scott Lewis
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Clipper wrote:
I'll agree with you there, it's only a slight implication. You agree that it is also a moot point, right?

Hmm, not sure on that, though - while the ability is mandatory, I'm not sure that qualifies it as not being "used", or that it's a perpetual effect. Its a "triggered" effect in my interpretation (as opposed to Letnev's Armada, for instance, which has no trigger, it's just always there) - something happens (ship blows up), triggering the ability (killing everything else).
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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Let's quote the important part of Dane's ruling:

Dane wrote:
Any faction ability that requires the player to make any kind of active decision cannot be used.


There is definitely no player choice in Van Hauge's ability. If the ship is destroyed, the rest of the ships in the system must be destroyed, even if the Yin don't want to do so. Thus, the ability is not one that can ever be considered 'used'.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Clipper wrote:
Let's quote the important part of Dane's ruling:

Dane wrote:
Any faction ability that requires the player to make any kind of active decision cannot be used.


There is definitely no player choice in Van Hauge's ability. If the ship is destroyed, the rest of the ships in the system must be destroyed, even if the Yin don't want to do so. Thus, the ability is not one that can ever be considered 'used'.

I'm not convinced this specific application was in mind when he said those words, given the context of the ruling was referring to abilities that aren't triggered.

By that logic, if there were a (hypothetical right now) Action Card that said "Your opponent cannot use his flagship's abilities this round", that would make quite a few flagships immune, including Arc Secundus, Genesis, Hil Colish, Fourth Moon, C'morran N'orr, J.N.S. Hylarim, Salai Sai Corian, and Van Hauge.

IE, I don't think the words you quote were necessarily intended to be universal, but rather specific to the ruling in question (and maybe specific to Faction abilities).
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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This is a fun debate. We both agree the Van Hauge will definitely go nuclear even with Greyfire Mutagen, but neither of us can agree that the other's explanation as to why it must go nuclear is sound.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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OK, I have a new argument.

Consider the Nekro's Propagation:
"You cannot research technology. When you would research a technology, gain 3 command tokens instead."

This is similar to the Van Hauge ability in that it uses a "when" timing. Thus, if one can be 'used', the other can be 'used' as well.

Now, let's assume we are in the Agenda Phase resolving the For effect of Ixthian Artifact, a 6-10 has been rolled (each player may research two technologies) and Nekro's Political Secret has been played. If the Nekro's Propogation is considered to be an ability that is used, then Political Secret will negate it and you would have to rule they either get nothing, or would actually research two Techs normally (depending on whether you negate the cannot research issue).

I don't think that this is really meant to be the case and Nekro would receive the 6 command tokens they should get regardless of Political Secret.

Given that, the Van Hauge ability is the same and thus cannot be suppressed by effects that stop you using abilities.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Again, I'll go back to the context of the ruling - it was asking about Faction Abilities (in that case, Armada). Propagation is also a faction ability, so the same ruling that applies to Armada would apply to Propagation.

My point was I don't think the statement about "using" was necessarily meant to be universal for everything in the game, but rather talking about faction abilities, as that's what Political Secret refers to. I do not necessarily think it was meant to apply to flagship abilities in the same way (and honestly, it's possible that since the context of the question was about faction abilities, that the wording he used did not take into account flagship abilities during combat).

While it's nice to have some rulings for specific cases be able to be applied as a broad, universal thing, I don't think that such assumptions are always valid.

In the case of this ruling, the only thing I would agree with for certain is what abilities it affects when referring to a "Faction Ability" that cannot be used when voting. I don't think it can be used as a universal ruling in its own right (even if it ends up having similar application elsewhere).
 
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Sander Stroom
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Clipper wrote:
The ability on the Yin Flagship isn't 'used'. It's a passive ability and must go off when triggered (the Yin player cannot choose to ignore it).

Thus, Greyfire Mutagen will not stop the Van Hauge from destroying other ships.


This is a wrong implication. Passive ability or not, Flagship is not a faction ability or faction technology. So its abilities are not tied to the faction, rather it's a units unique ability.
 
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Andrew S.
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Most times listening to you guys debate these things is insightful and interesting.
Sometimes, as in right now, it’s hilarious.

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Scott Lewis
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Well, here's an official answer:

ME
Are flagship abilities "faction abilities"? For instance, if a player has Yin's "Greyfire Mutagen" card, can they play it to prevent Yin's Van Hague from exploding?

DANE
Nope, a flagship's ability is not a faction ability. In that situation, Greyfire Mutagen does not prevent the Van Hague from exploding.
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James B.
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Thank you :-)
 
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