Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Rules

Subject: Codifying the timing model (draft) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Greg Filpus
United States
Bellevue
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been thinking about all the timing threads, and trying to come up with a way to classify the existing effects and have them interact in a way that fits existing rulings. Here's what I've come up with so far- I'd appreciate hole-poking and requests for clarification.

First, some definitions:
•A game effect is some change to the gamestate. A game effect can be an Event or an Action.
•Events are game effects that happen in a particular order, such as "the main players each select an encounter card and play it facedown," and "the main players turn their encounter cards faceup."
•There is a queue of Events that will happen in the future.
•Time is the space between two Events. "Before encounter cards are selected" is (generally) a single Time, but "the beginning of an encounter" refers to any Time that occurs during the Regroup phase.
•An Action is a game effect that has a trigger, either a Time or another game effect. Actions can be optional or mandatory, and can be time-triggered, react to a game effect, or interrupt a game effect.
•The stack stores game effects that interrupt each other, where the item on the top of the stack is the next to be resolved. The bottom of the stack is always a Time or Event; on top of it are Actions which either interrupt the game effect below them, or respond to an Action that was just resolved.
•To invoke an Action puts it on top of the stack (and, when the Action involves playing a card, puts the card in play).

The base rules of the game enqueue the standard Events that happen in an encounter (basically, the bullet points in Phases of an Encounter on the back of the rules), but game effects can also enqueue new Events (like how Deuce discards one encounter card and returns the other to his hand).

The current Event or Time in the queue starts the bottom of the stack. If any mandatory Actions interrupt that effect, they are invoked automatically; otherwise players may choose to invoke an Action that is triggered at the Time on top of the stack or interrupts the effect on top of the stack. When all players agree that they do not wish to invoke an Action that interrupts the effect on top of the stack, the effect on top of the stack is resolved and removed. Players can then invoke Actions that react to the effect that was just resolved (again, mandatory ones are invoked automatically). When the stack is empty (and nobody has Actions to invoke that react to the Event being resolved), the next Event or Time starts a new stack.

So the Timing Rule, specifically stated with this terminology, is "How do we determine the order of Actions invoked due to the same trigger?" It goes as follows:
•Interrupts always go before reactions.
•Mandatory Actions always go before optional Actions; mandatory Actions are invoked the instant their trigger is on top of the stack.
•If multiple mandatory Actions have the same trigger, use the Timing Rule to choose which one goes first.
•If multiple optional Actions have the same trigger, whoever played first goes first. (There is no commitment to play the other optional Actions after the first is resolved) If it’s unclear who invoked the Action first, use the Timing Rule.

(And yes, the Timing Rule needs to be expanded to effects not sourced by a player, like Hazards.)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Filpus
United States
Bellevue
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Examples:
Anything interrupts anything: What can you do when Trader wants to trade hands with you? At this point, the stack looks like this:

--Trader uses his power to trade hands.
-(before encounter cards are selected)

The top of the stack is the use of the power, so the only Actions that can be invoked are ones that directly interrupt the trade. So you could Cosmic Zap Trader (interrupting the use of the power), but you couldn’t use a Time-triggered action that can be used before encounter cards are selected, like Finder or Space Junk.

Void vs. Zombie: To make this fit with the FAQ ruling, we have to say that winning the encounter actually enqueues the Events to resolve the effects. So the event queue starts out looking like:

-Determine the winner of the encounter and enqueue any effects.
-Offense checks to see if he can have another encounter.

In the basic case where offense wins with Attack vs. Attack and there aren’t any powers, resolving the first Event enqueues the effects:

-Offense and offensive ally ships land on the planet.
-Defense and defensive ally ships go to the Warp.
-Offense checks to see if he can have another encounter.

The trigger for Void’s action is "when you win an encounter"- so it interrupts the first Event, changing what’s enqueued to look like this instead:

-Offense and offensive ally ships land on the planet.
-Defense and defensive ally ships are removed from the game.
-Offense checks to see if he can have another encounter.

Now there’s no "going to the warp" effect for Zombie to interrupt.

Defensive hand refresh: The complicated FAQ ruling doesn't completely fit with this model, but that could be a flaw of the model or the ruling. The first refresh check is an Event at the beginning of the Planning phase:

-Invited players choose whom to ally with.
-(after alliances are formed)
-Defense refreshes hand if necessary.
-(before encounter cards are selected)
-Main players select encounter cards and play them facedown.

The one difference is that this wouldn’t allow the defense to invoke time-triggered effects before refreshing. So is there a magical special-case Time in there, (before encounter cards are selected, but the defense may only play cards in his hand)? Ugh. Additionally, there’s an optional time-triggered Action- "Before encounter cards are selected, if the defense has no encounter cards in hand, he or she may draw a new hand;" in Bill's counter-proposal, that's the only thing needed.

Comments:
The one weird case that’s hard for me to formally describe is when multiple Actions react to the same effect. The intent is that you can react to the first effect, then after the reaction is fully resolved players can react to either the reaction or the original effect. For instance, if someone’s Fury/Vacuum, when they lose ships they send another player’s ships to the Warp, then after that’s fully resolved, they can still gain their tokens.

There's also a question of interpretation over whether or not a player later in the timing order has the right to force other players to choose if they want to invoke an Action with the current valid triggers before making an action on their own.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jefferson Krogh
United States
San Leandro
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you're thinking about it too much, man.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leber
Canada
Orillia
ON
flag msg tools
Yin
badge
Yang
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I debated this in another thread, but I disagree that optional effects are a "who called it first" scenario. I believe the timing rule is still relevant in optional effects too.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Me
United States
Bowling Green
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Holmes108 wrote:
I debated this in another thread, but I disagree that optional effects are a "who called it first" scenario. I believe the timing rule is still relevant in optional effects too.


Dunno the rules, but I prefer this.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.