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Subject: About that sand timer... rss

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Ian Finn
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I've been playing 3rd ed Space Hulk with a friend, and he has an interesting interpretation of the rule regarding the use of the sand timer. His interpretation is different from how I interpreted the rule, and I'd like to know how others view it.

The rules state on page 9 that the Genestealer player starts the sand timer "after the Space Marine player has placed his command points marker on the '0' space of the mission status display." My friend interprets this to mean that the Space Marine player can draw his command point chit, look at it, and then take as long as he wants to plan his Space Marine move in exquisite detail, as long as he hasn't yet placed the command point chit on the '0' space of the mission status display. This leads to my friend taking up to half an hour to ponder and calculate his move in exacting precision before finally slapping the counter down and then rapidly executing his move, usually with less than half the sand trickled down by the time he is done.

I don't think this is in the spirit of the game. I believe the idea is for the Space Marine player to feel time pressure, not ponder for eons then suddenly execute his move in an orgiastic spurt. I feel the intended application of the rule was for the Space Marine player to look at his command chit and place it down immediately. If he wants to ponder or calculate his move he has to do it while the sand is running.

In my friend's defense, he is indeed following the letter of the rule, I just don't think it's what the game designers had in mind.

How do others feel about this?
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J B
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He pulls the chit, places the chit straight away and gets on with his go is how I see it.
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Kevin Outlaw
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You play games with this person?

There are other threads on this topic.

You're friend's being a doofus, and as the stealer controls the timer, turn it anyway...
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Jon Grey
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I'm going to say that's not correct. The idea of the timer is to "simulate" the lightning fast reflexes of the genestealers and by using this exploit, he's effectively eliminating that gameplay element.
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Rob Corn
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Finachetto wrote:
I've been playing 3rd ed Space Hulk with a friend, and he has an interesting interpretation of the rule regarding the use of the sand timer. His interpretation is different from how I interpreted the rule, and I'd like to know how others view it.

The rules state on page 9 that the Genestealer player starts the sand timer "after the Space Marine player has placed his command points marker on the '0' space of the mission status display." My friend interprets this to mean that the Space Marine player can draw his command point chit, look at it, and then take as long as he wants to plan his Space Marine move in exquisite detail, as long as he hasn't yet placed the command point chit on the '0' space of the mission status display. This leads to my friend taking up to half an hour to ponder and calculate his move in exacting precision before finally slapping the counter down and then rapidly executing his move, usually with less than half the sand trickled down by the time he is done.

I don't think this is in the spirit of the game. I believe the idea is for the Space Marine player to feel time pressure, not ponder for eons then suddenly execute his move in an orgiastic spurt. I feel the intended application of the rule was for the Space Marine player to look at his command chit and place it down immediately. If he wants to ponder or calculate his move he has to do it while the sand is running.

In my friend's defense, he is indeed following the letter of the rule, I just don't think it's what the game designers had in mind.

How do others feel about this?

I would throw something at him, not too heavy (like a brick) but not too light (like a wadded up paper towel). Maybe a cat.

Technically, on page 9 the rules say (I can't believe I'm arguing this):
"After examining the counter he places it face down on the '0' space on the command track of the mission status display board, without showing it to the Genestealer player."

If your opponent wants to be nit-picky, as soon as his eyes leave the command counter (indicating he's in the "after examining" step of the rules) he must place it face down on the track.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I was a bit baffled by the exact wording in the rulebook for this one. The 1st Ed text was a lot clearer:

Quote:
Set Timer Phase: The Marine player is under time pressure.
Because the Genestealers are so much faster than humans, the
Marine Sergeants must think and act fast, or their squad is dead. To
simulate this, the Marine player has only three minutes to move his
pieces. To make matters even worse, if a Marine Sergeant is ever
killed, the Marine player has even less time to make his move!

In the Set Timer Phase, the Stealer player announces the beginning
of the Marine player’s turn, From then on, he keeps track of the
passage of time on a stopwatch or wristwatch; once three minutes
have passed, the Marine player’s turn is over.


That is the very first phase of a Marine player's turn. AFTER that, you draw your command chit. Granted, 1st Ed doesn't have the redraw ability, but it's definately a lot clearer as to how much time the Marine has to do his turn.

I would play that once he's done looking at the chit, if he starts looking at the board, then start the timer. Give him a few seconds to decide if he's going to redraw, but no more than 10 seconds.

-shnar
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Reading posts like this makes me so grateful I have a gaming group with enough imagination not to take everything in the rulebook literally.

Seriously - why would the turn be timed if you could have half an hour to think before the turn started?

That's just silly. And ultimately, it's a waste of time (no pun intended) - does anyone really play Space Hulk determined to win at all costs, even by cheating? I just go along for the ride.
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Yeah... this is a great example of "but the rule book doesn't say I CAN'T do that!" That's not a good case for being lame.

Your buddy is being lame, tell him to be a space marine and get fighting!
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:

That's just silly. And ultimately, it's a waste of time (no pun intended) - does anyone really play Space Hulk determined to win at all costs, even by cheating? I just go along for the ride.


True that. GWs best games in my opinion (SH and Blood Bowl) are pure "for fun" games.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Actually, the rule book is quite clear on the fact that the timer doesn't start until the Marine player puts his command chit down. I can very easily see how a rules lawyer would interpret this way (hence the rulebook is poorly written), but it is very silly to play this way...

-shnar
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Mauro Casalese
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Find different opponents. This guy is cheating and knows it.
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The Galaxy is Just Packed!
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Easy fix.

The timer starts as soon as the Space Marine player draws the CP chit. If you want to spend time redrawing, that's your prerogative.

Pretty sure that was always the point, but they had to mention the slick new command center thingy.
 
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Jim P
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LOL... I'd get a new friend to play...

Brother Jim cool
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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shnar wrote:
Actually, the rule book is quite clear on the fact that the timer doesn't start until the Marine player puts his command chit down. I can very easily see how a rules lawyer would interpret this way (hence the rulebook is poorly written), but it is very silly to play this way...

-shnar


There's no way I'm pinning this one on the rulebook (for all its other sins). It may say that, but the fact that the timer EXISTS precludes the need to specify in the rulebook that this sort of tactic is against the spirit of the game.

A rulebook can teach you how to play a game. It can't teach you how to be a good sport.
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We haven't even been using the timer, since when we do use it, the SM player is done long before the sand runs out, and the GS player wants to watch what the SM player is doing, rather than watching the sand timer.

 
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Richard Jackson

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Finachetto wrote:
in an orgiastic spurt.


HA! That's what SHE said!

But, seriously, your friend is wrong. That even flies in the spirit of the game. That feeling of 'holy crap' is necessary for the theme of SH.
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shnar wrote:

I would play that once he's done looking at the chit, if he starts looking at the board, then start the timer. Give him a few seconds to decide if he's going to redraw, but no more than 10 seconds.

-shnar


Drawing a new chit should only take a second or two.

Pulls chit, sees "2", pulls new chit...

It really doesn't take that long. You should already know what the lowest acceptable number is before you pull the chit.
 
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Solution for the OP:

When the GS player finishes their turn, they let the SM player know by flipping the sand timer.

1) Remove any counters that are removed at end of turn
2) "I'm done, your turn"
3) flip timer

The SM player should be planning and revising their plan as the game progresses.
 
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Andreas Krüger
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When it is your turn, get up and start reading some strategy articles on BGG. Take your time. snore The rules don't say you can't... Ask for advice in the forums and don't play before you get some really good advice. Repeat after each action. Now the timer offers you an advantage again: The SM player cnnot ask for advice during his turn, because three minutes are not enough time... shake
 
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Jeremy Yoder
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He knows he's cheating. These are the types of "gamers" that give real gamers a bad rap.

It's time you sat him down and had "the talk" with him. (No, not that talk -- the one about sportsmanship, healthy competition, etc.)
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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joedogboy wrote:
Solution for the OP:

When the GS player finishes their turn, they let the SM player know by flipping the sand timer.

1) Remove any counters that are removed at end of turn
2) "I'm done, your turn"
3) flip timer

The SM player should be planning and revising their plan as the game progresses.


Agreed, this is how I would play it, but note, that *is* against the rules (and it's not they were poorly worded, it's they shouldn't have ruled it this way).

-shnar
 
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Jon Grey
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JYoder wrote:

It's time you sat him down and had "the talk" with him. (No, not that talk -- the one about sportsmanship, healthy competition, etc.)


"You see, Timmy, when a Genestealer and a Space Marine love each other, there's a "passionate" courting ritual involving storm bolters and claws... and that's where baby Genestealers come from...?"
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Rami Finkelshtein
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Going back to the same point I made in the other thread.

If you are trying to find ways to cheat the timer then just play without it...its just as fun and u won't feel bad about "breaking rules" honestly its that simple.
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Rob Corn
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
shnar wrote:
Actually, the rule book is quite clear on the fact that the timer doesn't start until the Marine player puts his command chit down. I can very easily see how a rules lawyer would interpret this way (hence the rulebook is poorly written), but it is very silly to play this way...

-shnar


There's no way I'm pinning this one on the rulebook (for all its other sins). It may say that, but the fact that the timer EXISTS precludes the need to specify in the rulebook that this sort of tactic is against the spirit of the game.

A rulebook can teach you how to play a game. It can't teach you how to be a good sport.

I think in this case it is against the rules to delay. After the Marine player is done examining his chit, he puts it on the track. No actions in between, like looking at the board.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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shnar wrote:
joedogboy wrote:
Solution for the OP:

When the GS player finishes their turn, they let the SM player know by flipping the sand timer.

1) Remove any counters that are removed at end of turn
2) "I'm done, your turn"
3) flip timer

The SM player should be planning and revising their plan as the game progresses.


Agreed, this is how I would play it, but note, that *is* against the rules (and it's not they were poorly worded, it's they shouldn't have ruled it this way).

-shnar


This whole thread makes me sad, and I think after reading this I may have lost the will to live.

This isn't chess. I don't think people are playing tournament-level Space Hulk.

This game is just supposed to be a bit of fun, played by friends who want to have fun and not cheat each other. The rules don't need to be air-tight, and the way they are written implies the writers never foresaw people hitting each other around the head with this sort of nonsense.

People don't need a better class of rulebook, the need a better class of opponent.

I think that's me done on this topic
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