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Subject: Two questions: weathercontrol/atomics, karama powers rss

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Alexander Stevens
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First:

The FAQ specifically states that when the family atomics card is played, the storm *never* affects the territory it starts in. However, this situation occurred in the last game I played:

The storm was over the Arrakeen sector, and Bene Gesserit troops were in Arrakeen. The Harkonnen player played weather control to move the storm 0, and played family atomics. We played that the Bene Gesserit troops were eliminated, because the storm "moved" 0, but is this accurate?

Second:

The back of the player aid sheet states that each faction can use the B powers once. (the group of actions that include the Harkonnen switching part of their hand for another player's) Does this mean playing the Karama allows them to use the power once, or that they may use a Karama for that power once per game? Does this mean that the BG may only use one worthless card as a Karama per game?
 
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Daniel Corban
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I agree that the units should be destroyed.

I feel the intent of the storm is to always keep the storm sector clear of spice and tokens. If a storm phase goes by, even if the storm didn't move, the sector should be cleared.

*edit* To clarify, I think the rules text is just intended to state that tokens/spice are not immediately removed from the storm sector. They should only be removed after the storm "movement" phase, regardless of the storm actually moving or not.

However, I could see an argument that the rules text is intended to always give the potential victim a chance to move out of the storm.
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Tim Thorp
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Zero counts as movement for the storm. Normally, no tokens or spice will be destroyed in the sector where the storm starts movement. So, if the storm moved zero sectors, it has performed its movement phase and has, in effect ended its movement in the sector it started. Any spice or tokens in that sector will be destroyed.

Karama powers occur once per card, not once per game. If you have a karama card, you can use the faction ability associated with it. If you get another, same thing. Worthless cards act for the BG as if they drew a karama card. Again, the ability is used each time a card is played, not as a once per game thing.
 
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Bill V
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I have to concur with Dan and Tim.

The Q&A from the rules say the sector which the storm currently occupies is never affected at the time the atomics is blown. Since Weather Control is used afterwards, it all comes down to this: do you believe playing a weather control card to keep the storm in it's current placement constitutes a movement of the storm?

I feel the person playing a Weather Control for 0 movement should be able to choose whether the storm calms down, or if it's whipping around in a vortex and slams into the same sector again.

As for your Karama question, Jack Kittredge (one of the 3 designers for the basic game) replied that it means "once per Karama card" instead of "once per game". Jeffrey Vaca was kind enough to host the entire Q&A on his website http://www.starbasejeff.com/dune_rules.asp
 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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A rare case that has no clear-cut ruling.

My first reaction would be to say the BG tokens stay. The reason that the storm does not affect the sector it is on when the atomics is blown is that it is considered to have passed the current sector (see rules IX.A and XXV.A.1). Neither Weather Control nor any other game effect allows for the Storm to move BACKWARDS, so 0 movement would be just that – no movement and therefore no change to the existing situation.

The main rule that keeps this concept from being airtight is that the Fremen can deploy into the storm and are affected by it – but this is an optional rule and therefore not written by the original designers (meaning that it may violate the ‘coherency’ of the original rules).

If trying to stick to the actual rules (and not institute a house rule) I’d err on the side of the basic rules and say that the Storm does not ‘backtrack’ and that the tokens in the sector are still safe.
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Daniel Corban
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One Fat Pug wrote:
Neither Weather Control nor any other game effect allows for the Storm to move BACKWARDS, so 0 movement would be just that – no movement and therefore no change to the existing situation.

When I was typing up my original post, I had typed out this same thing. It seemed rather gamey to say that a movement of zero was actually movement. After thinking about the intent of the storm, and how it keeps the sector clear by not allowing tokens to be shipped or moved into it, and any spice blow there is also destroyed, I felt that the storm was intended to be "ongoing", and therefore under almost all circumstances, any tokens that manage to get there should be destroyed by the next storm phase if the storm sticks around.
 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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dcorban wrote:
One Fat Pug wrote:
Neither Weather Control nor any other game effect allows for the Storm to move BACKWARDS, so 0 movement would be just that – no movement and therefore no change to the existing situation.

When I was typing up my original post, I had typed out this same thing. It seemed rather gamey to say that a movement of zero was actually movement. After thinking about the intent of the storm, and how it keeps the sector clear by not allowing tokens to be shipped or moved into it, and any spice blow there is also destroyed, I felt that the storm was intended to be "ongoing", and therefore under almost all circumstances, any tokens that manage to get there should be destroyed by the next storm phase if the storm sticks around.


It’s arguable either way, but I try to heed the letter of the law (when possible) rather than inferred intents of game effects.

If the reasoning for a ruling is the intent of the storm, and the intent of the storm is judged by game effects (specifically, keeping the sector clear), then why wouldn’t the storm affect the sector it is in when the shield wall is blown? This would seem to violate the intent of the storm.

The ruling (and intent) of the Family Atomics card seems to be in line with the player order ruling in that the storm is considered to have passed the sector it is on. So which intent do we go with?

Of course, this is inconsistent with the fact that players may not ship into the sector and that they remain trapped for the turn. That’s just the nature of the game. One could rationalize game effects endlessly and come to any number of extremely diverse conclusions (none of which would be any better than any other), but there is just no explaining away the thematic inconsistencies. Does this diminish the game? In no way. Every boardgame must function within a rigid framework that sometimes violates ‘common sense’, but that’s just the nature of the beast.

[looks back] Hmmm. Managed to drift a bit on this one. Babble session concluded.
 
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Daniel Corban
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One Fat Pug wrote:
If the reasoning for a ruling is the intent of the storm, and the intent of the storm is judged by game effects (specifically, keeping the sector clear), then why wouldn’t the storm affect the sector it is in when the shield wall is blown? This would seem to violate the intent of the storm.

The ruling (and intent) of the Family Atomics card seems to be in line with the player order ruling in that the storm is considered to have passed the sector it is on. So which intent do we go with?


I see what you mean, but from the gameplay aspect, it is probably a little too strong to blow the shield wall and instantly wipe out the entire contents of a stronghold.

It is also the rule, and the intent, that the sector where the storm is at the end of movement is wiped clean.

So what we have are two absolutely exclusive ways to play, both backed up by the printed rules.
 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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dcorban wrote:
I see what you mean, but from the gameplay aspect, it is probably a little too strong to blow the shield wall and instantly wipe out the entire contents of a stronghold.


Indeed.

Most of the 'unclear' aspects of Dune are not nearly so unclear as they are made out to be, but there are a few cases (like this) that need to be ruled on as each gaming group sees fit.
 
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Robert Manning
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If a group of Fremen end the turn in a sand territory storm sector will they be reduced again when the storm moves in the next turn?

What if Weather Control is used to move the storm 0 sectors?

I think the answers here should match up with the earlier discussion on tokens caught in a storm after the use of Family Atomics on the Shield Wall.

I would argue that the storm does not effect tokens in the sector where it starts unless that sector also happens (through Weather Control) to be where it stops as well.
 
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Daniel Corban
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rmanning wrote:
I would argue that the storm does not effect tokens in the sector where it starts unless that sector also happens (through Weather Control) to be where it stops as well.


I agree.

I think of it like this: each game round represents a fixed amount of real time. Sometimes the storm moves very quickly and covers several sectors per round. Sometimes it stays in one place. Either way, the storm phase is meant to represent the damage done by the storm over the period of one round. It doesn't make sense for the storm to mysteriously do no damage for a whole round.
 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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rmanning wrote:
If a group of Fremen end the turn in a sand territory storm sector will they be reduced again when the storm moves in the next turn?

Certainly not. The storm is considered to have passed the sector.

rmanning wrote:
What if Weather Control is used to move the storm 0 sectors?

I think the answers here should match up with the earlier discussion on tokens caught in a storm after the use of Family Atomics on the Shield Wall.

They should indeed, and (as you have read above) you are pretty much on your own there.
 
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Bill V
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Very convincing arguments on both sides. I really enjoy reading these discussions as the topics are multifaceted and present fresh ways to look at things. This topic is especially neat because both viewpoints are well thought out.
 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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I'm pretty much playing devil's advocate on this one.

The more I think about it (and research the rules), the more I come down on the storm-does-damage side. All things being equal, to me this is the most compelling argument:

dcorban wrote:
It doesn't make sense for the storm to mysteriously do no damage for a whole round.


My primary concern, though, is making sure that people know the difference between a ruling that has support in the rules/q&a (one way or another) and one that does not (like this one).
 
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Dan The Man
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Looking at the rules:

* the Weather Control rules state that the storm "moves" zero spaces (thus stops in the same sector),
* the rules state that "Any tokens in a sector of a sand territory over which the Storm passes or stops..."
* the Family Atomics says the three listed territories "...are no longer protected from the Storm."
* Fremen - "If caught in a storm..."

Thus, the Storm moves zero and stops in a sector, eliminating all tokens and spice in that sector (exceptions and additions noted above).

I believe the wording is clear enough. If you blow the Shield Wall, the tokens under the Storm are safe until after the Storm is moved. If the storm moves zero sectors, anything in the sector the Storm ends in are eliminated. If Fremen troops are in vulnerable terrain, their numbers are halved (again if need be), per the Optional Rules.

Few things are this clear in Dune...
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