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Subject: Help me understand the ruling about Thalin and "surge" rss

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Boian Spasov
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The general consensus seems to be that when you have Thalin committed to a quest and a card like Eastern Crows appears, its surge keyword will not trigger since Thalin destroys the card before the surge keyword is resolved. This is based on the following FAQ ruling/errata:

Quote:
When an enemy card is revealed from the encounter deck, Thalin’s ability resolves before any keyword or “When Revealed” card effects on the encounter card


I interpreted this as a timing clarification that the crows should be destroyed (and shuffled back in the encounter deck) before resolving "Surge", but as I searched the forums it seems that people are certain that "Surge" should never trigger in this case.

Probably due to my background as a former Magic player, I have trouble understanding why destroying the crows will prevent the surge from triggering. Specifically, the FAQ says in another place:

Quote:
Surge, Doomed, and Guarded keywords should be resolved any time the card on which they occur enters play, including during setup.


Can you point me to a rule (or designer ruling) that explains why "surge" doesn't even trigger when the card is destroyed at an earlier time? I am all for my Thalin being more useful, but I want to know how exactly do the rules work in this case.
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blizzardb wrote:
The general consensus seems to be that when you have Thalin committed to a quest and a card like Eastern Crows appears, its surge keyword will not trigger since Thalin destroys the card before the surge keyword is resolved. This is based on the following FAQ ruling/errata:

Quote:
When an enemy card is revealed from the encounter deck, Thalin’s ability resolves before any keyword or “When Revealed” card effects on the encounter card


I interpreted this as a timing clarification that the crows should be destroyed (and shuffled back in the encounter deck) before resolving "Surge", but as I searched the forums it seems that people are certain that "Surge" should never trigger in this case.

Probably due to my background as a former Magic player, I have trouble understanding why destroying the crows will prevent the surge from triggering. Specifically, the FAQ says in another place:

Quote:
Surge, Doomed, and Guarded keywords should be resolved any time the card on which they occur enters play, including during setup.



Can you point me to a rule (or designer ruling) that explains why "surge" doesn't even trigger when the card is destroyed at an earlier time? I am all for my Thalin being more useful, but I want to know how exactly do the rules work in this case.


Look like is special case errata for Thalin only. He can destroy enemies before the surge triggered. Just like this.
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Boian Spasov
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Glaurung2 wrote:

Look like is special case errata for Thalin only. He can destroy enemies before the surge triggered. Just like this.


That would be great, however the errata does not say this, does it? It just says "Thalin’s ability resolves before any keyword or “When Revealed” card effects on the encounter card". I don't see how this leads to the conclusion that the surge will not trigger.
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Oleg volobujev
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When an enemy card is revealed from the encounter deck, Thalin’s ability resolves before any keyword or “When Revealed” card effects on the encounter card.

Surge is keyword. So as well as doom. So if Thalin kill the enemy no any keyword ability will resolve.

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Boian Spasov
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I agree, but this doesn't mean that the keyword can't resolve after Thalin kills the enemy.

(edit) To clarify: I know that Thalin ability resolves first. Still I find it strange that the keyword doesn't resolve second after the card is destroyed. I found no rule that states that keywords do not have effect if something destroys their card before their resolution.
 
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Paul Leigh
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If that is so, why does Thalin's special ability specifically refer to it's taking place 'before' keywords are resolved. If the keywords are resolved anyway it wouldn't matter!
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Rauli Kettunen
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There is no stack in LotR, not like in W:I where if something goes in the stack, that action resolves even if the source of the action is removed prior to it resolving in the stack.
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Thalin's ability happens as an enemy is revealed, which is technically before that card is revealed, which is technically before that card is in play. Keywords resolve immediately when a card comes into play.
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Boian Spasov
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trouvere wrote:
If that is so, why does Thalin's special ability specifically refer to it's taking place 'before' keywords are resolved. If the keywords are resolved anyway it wouldn't matter!


As I explained in the first post, I took this as an explanation of timing and nothing more - one thing happens before the other, but both of them happen.

Thanks all for the feedback. I agree that the game does not have a stack (although this seems irrelevant to me), but I still need to see a rule that triggered keywords are cancelled when their card is destroyed, or that a card may be destroyed before it enters play so its keywords will never trigger...
 
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Benedetto Loffredo
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blizzardb wrote:
trouvere wrote:
If that is so, why does Thalin's special ability specifically refer to it's taking place 'before' keywords are resolved. If the keywords are resolved anyway it wouldn't matter!


As I explained in the first post, I took this as an explanation of timing and nothing more - one thing happens before the other, but both of them happen.

Thanks all for the feedback. I agree that the game does not have a stack (although this seems irrelevant to me), but I still need to see a rule that triggered keywords are cancelled when their card is destroyed, or that a card may be destroyed before it enters play so its keywords will never trigger...


There is no such rule (for now, maybe this case will be addressed in future FAQ release), but this is what I think:

Read page 18 and 20 of the rules (about damages immediatly taken by heroes/allies/enemies). Thalin makes one damage to the Crows, immediately dealt. So the card doesn't exist anymore at the time you should resolve the "Surge" keyword.

IMHO.
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Jonathan Ramundi
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I understand where you're coming from being a Magic veteran (I'm not, but I understand the mechanics of Magic enough).

In this game, if a card is moved out of play before it's effect gets resolved, that effect is cancelled.

Another example is using Sneak Attack on Beorn, and then activating his ability in the same phase, which requires you to move him to the discard pile at the end of the phase in which the ability is triggered.

Since Sneak Attack and Beorns ability both trigger at the end of the phase, and since you could choose which one to resolve first, you can resolve Sneak Attack's first, bringing Beorn back into your hand, and now, since Beorn is no longer in play, his ability (again, requiring he go to the discard pile) is cancelled.
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Boian Spasov
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Actually the Beorn example will work just about the same way in Magic if the abilities resolve in the same order (since the card is no longer in play when the Beorn's ability to be discarded will resolve), but I understand your point.

Still, I find it strange that if the rules work like this this is not stated somewhere explicitly. A text akin to "If a card leaves play its not yet resolved abilities are cancelled" would've been most welcome.

Is this rule the same in the other FFG living card games? (I played only Game of Thrones and too little to get to such details)
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Jonathan Ramundi
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blizzardb wrote:
Actually the Beorn example will work just about the same way in Magic if the abilities resolve in the same order (since the card is no longer in play when the Beorn's ability to be discarded will resolve), but I understand your point.

Still, I find it strange that if the rules work like this this is not stated somewhere explicitly. A text akin to "If a card leaves play its not yet resolved abilities are cancelled" would've been most welcome.

Is this rule the same in the other FFG living card games? (I played only Game of Thrones and too little to get to such details)
Wouldn't know. LOTR is my first LCG. Star Wars is looking to be the next.
 
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Tony Fanchi
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blizzardb wrote:
Still, I find it strange that if the rules work like this this is not stated somewhere explicitly. A text akin to "If a card leaves play its not yet resolved abilities are cancelled" would've been most welcome.

There are many things missing from the rules of this game.
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AdmiralACF wrote:
blizzardb wrote:
Still, I find it strange that if the rules work like this this is not stated somewhere explicitly. A text akin to "If a card leaves play its not yet resolved abilities are cancelled" would've been most welcome.

There are many things missing from the rules of this game.
Sad but true. Thankfully I have a good memory, but if I ever put the game down for a good while, it will be most difficult to get back into unless FFG gets FAQ up to snuff.
 
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Andy Mills
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I don't think it's necessary to say that "if a card leaves play its not yet revealed abilities are cancelled" because they're not truly cancelled. The enemy is merely killed before the ability has a chance to initiate. There's nothing to cancel; the enemy is merely dead, and so all its hopes and dreams for the future, like maybe one day being able to surge, are shattered. cry

IMO, the ruling was necessary to avoid game-breaking infinite Thalin/Crows loops.
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Jotora wrote:
unless FFG gets FAQ up to snuff.


Agreed. This more than anything else is needed for the overall health of the game.
 
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manydills wrote:
I don't think it's necessary to say that "if a card leaves play its not yet revealed abilities are cancelled" because they're not truly cancelled. The enemy is merely killed before the ability has a chance to initiate. There's nothing to cancel; the enemy is merely dead, and so all its hopes and dreams for the future, like maybe one day being able to surge, are shattered. cry

IMO, the ruling was necessary to avoid game-breaking infinite Thalin/Crows loops.


If that were so, this FAQ text is wrong:

Quote:
Surge, Doomed, and Guarded keywords should be resolved any time the card on which they occur enters play, including during setup


Or indeed the card is destroyed before it enters play which seems rather strange.
 
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Andy Mills
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The card is destroyed before entering play. Basically, it enters play already dead, so goes straight to the discard pile (and then its Forced effect triggers).
 
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blizzardb wrote:
Still, I find it strange that if the rules work like this this is not stated somewhere explicitly. A text akin to "If a card leaves play its not yet resolved abilities are cancelled" would've been most welcome.

I think that the idea of the "stack" is more applicable here and affecting your thinking more than you believe. Here's some of what you've said:

blizzardb wrote:
I agree, but this doesn't mean that the keyword can't resolve after Thalin kills the enemy.

(edit) To clarify: I know that Thalin ability resolves first. Still I find it strange that the keyword doesn't resolve second after the card is destroyed. I found no rule that states that keywords do not have effect if something destroys their card before their resolution...

Thanks all for the feedback. I agree that the game does not have a stack (although this seems irrelevant to me), but I still need to see a rule that triggered keywords are cancelled when their card is destroyed, or that a card may be destroyed before it enters play so its keywords will never trigger...

Everything you're saying is built on the idea that there is a stack, and that when a trigger happens, all the abilities that key off that trigger fire off and are floating around waiting to be resolved. In the LotR LCG, there is no time between the trigger and the resolution of an effect.

Instead, this game has a specific order in which effects are resolved. Usually, Forced effects take place first, then When Revealed effects. And if multiple abilites would trigger at the same time, the first player gets to decide the order in which they take place. In this particular case, the errata actually states that Thalin's ability happens before anything else, dealing one damage to the Crows.

On page 20 of the rules, it states that "Any time one of these cards has 0 hit points, it is immediately defeated." And from all interpretations that I've read, this "immediately" pretty much interrupts anything else going on and causes the card to go to the discard pile right then. So when you then look for the next effect to trigger, the card is already removed from play, and therefore those effects no longer exist.

Lastly, surge specifically says (on page 24) that it takes place after any when revealed effects of the card. So its timing is last in this order, and it therefore would not resolve.

The Forced effect of the Crows, however, is a little less clear to me. I don't see any reason that it wouldn't resolve, because it's a Forced effect that happens when the Crows are defeated (by the definition above, "has 0 hit points"), therefore happening in response to them attempting to go to the discard pile. So unless an "official" person says otherwise, I'll be playing that the Surge is prevented but the shuffling back into the deck takes place.
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blizzardb wrote:

If that were so, this FAQ text is wrong:

Quote:
Surge, Doomed, and Guarded keywords should be resolved any time the card on which they occur enters play, including during setup


Or indeed the card is destroyed before it enters play which seems rather strange.
This quote is actually irrelevant here. The Surge effect would have taken place in this case, except that the card (and therefore the effect) is destroyed and cancelled earlier in the order of resolution (before it would actually happen).

[The context of this FAQ was to clarify that these effects do actually happen during setup, which was a big question before it was published. It does not mean that the effects can't be prevented or cancelled by some other card, however.]
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Boian Spasov
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This sounds logical and consistent. I admit that I operate with the idea of abilities triggering and waiting to be resolved. You are probably right, or at least I can't say that you are wrong. Still, pity that it is not explained clearly in the rules and FAQ.
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Yeah, I totally agree. But it's really no different than Magic was back in the early days, where no amount of playtesting could have ever predicted all the details and inconsistencies that thousands of players would discover.

And I don't get the feeling that making consistent rules and specific rulings is really FFG's strong suit, so we as a community may have to help fill in the gaps from time to time. As was mentioned above, I think that the Thalin FAQ ruling was probably made to prevent the "infinite loop" regardless of whether it was "right" or not, but after accepting that one point of "divine intervention", you can still find some level of consistency or underlying principles to guide further rulings.
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James Ludlow
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blizzardb wrote:
Still, pity that it is not explained clearly in the rules and FAQ.

It is clearly defined in the rules. The section on forced and "when revealed" effects states:
Quote:
These effects initiate and resolve immediately, whenever their specified prerequisite occurs.

There is no stack. At all. It's not mentioned, because it doesn't exist. You do what 1 card says completely and then move on to the next one. In this case Thalin comes first. There is no next, because the Crows are gone after you get done executing Thalin's effect.

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Allan Clements
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Basically I just see it as an event happens, you check the game to see if any cards interrupt or respond to this event. You resolve one of them (either by choice or forced first) and then after resolves you check to see there are any more cards in play that can interrupt or respond to the event. If cards are removed during that then they simply do not happen.

So I would say there is a stack of events that can be responded to but not a stack of responses played. (though of course those could trigger more events that could be responded to, but I dont think we have anything that complicated yet)
 
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