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Subject: "you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn" rss

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Richard Hills
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There are (at least) two interpretations of the "you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn" rule:

(a) you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn = you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn,

or

(b) you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn = you may use your Colony Ships at the start and/or the end of your action, but NOT half-way through your action.

The meaningful difference between these two interpretations occurs in this scenario:

(1) At the start of the Terran Republic's turn they have three face-up Colony Ships, but not any empty planets.

(2) The Terran Republic selects the Influence action.

(3) The Terran Republic commences their Influence action by seizing control of two neighbouring hexes.

(4) The Terran Republic interrupts their Influence action to colonise three new planets on one new hex, thus flipping their three Colony Ships face-down.

(5) The Terran Republic continues their Influence action to flip two of those Colony Ships face-up.

(6) The Terran Republic concludes their turn by colonising two new planets on the other new hex.

(7) Thus in merely one turn the Terran Republic has colonised five new planets.

However, under interpretation (b) step (4) in the scenario would be illegal, thus under interpretation (b) the Terran Republic could colonise only three new planets.

Which interpretation (if any) is correct?
 
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Daniel Hammond
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A is the answer.
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Chris
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The rules state "at any time" and not "at the start or end" of your turn, so I'm inclined to go with (a). This would indeed allow you to colonize 5 planets in a single turn.
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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They changed the wording for the second printing to try to clarify that A is indeed the correct answer.
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Richard Hills wrote:
There are (at least) two interpretations of the "you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn" rule

Surely there has to be several thousand different interpretations that are possible.

I mean, if we can't agree on what "at any time during your turn" means then there's not much hope for agreement on anything else.
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Trevor Schadt
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Richard Hills wrote:
There are (at least) two interpretations of the "you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn" rule:

(a) you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn = you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn,

or

(b) you may use your Colony Ships at any time during your turn = you may use your Colony Ships at the start and/or the end of your action, but NOT half-way through your action.

...

Which interpretation (if any) is correct?
Uh... I'm a bit confused how "at any time during your turn" can be interpreted as "only at these particular times during your turn." "At any time" has a pretty clear meaning for me: at any time. The thought that (b) was a valid interpretation never even entered my mind as a possibility, because it's right there in black and white: "at any time."
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James
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I think it's a reasonable question. Whenever we read rules we get a sense of the intent of the rules. That sense enables us to call on common sense in other rules forums when someone makes a point of what is allowable under the rules as written but that clearly wasn't intended in the spirit of the rules. This happens all the time, almost always in a constructive, helpful manner.

The only trouble is that this sense is more subjective. In this case, Richard's sense was that exploring five planets would be an abuse of the intent of the rules and he just wanted to make sure that the example he included was allowable. I don't think this was an unreasonable question to ask of fellow gamers trying to enjoy the game together.
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Agent J
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Brother Jim wrote:
I think it's a reasonable question. Whenever we read rules we get a sense of the intent of the rules. That sense enables us to call on common sense in other rules forums when someone makes a point of what is allowable under the rules as written but that clearly wasn't intended in the spirit of the rules. This happens all the time, almost always in a constructive, helpful manner.

The only trouble is that this sense is more subjective. In this case, Richard's sense was that exploring five planets would be an abuse of the intent of the rules and he just wanted to make sure that the example he included was allowable. I don't think this was an unreasonable question to ask of fellow gamers trying to enjoy the game together.


Sorry, James, but you can only make this argument at any time.
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James
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Jythier wrote:
Brother Jim wrote:
I think it's a reasonable question. Whenever we read rules we get a sense of the intent of the rules. That sense enables us to call on common sense in other rules forums when someone makes a point of what is allowable under the rules as written but that clearly wasn't intended in the spirit of the rules. This happens all the time, almost always in a constructive, helpful manner.

The only trouble is that this sense is more subjective. In this case, Richard's sense was that exploring five planets would be an abuse of the intent of the rules and he just wanted to make sure that the example he included was allowable. I don't think this was an unreasonable question to ask of fellow gamers trying to enjoy the game together.


Sorry, James, but you can only make this argument at any time.

Exactly!
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Gar Per
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Brother Jim wrote:
I think it's a reasonable question. Whenever we read rules we get a sense of the intent of the rules. That sense enables us to call on common sense in other rules forums when someone makes a point of what is allowable under the rules as written but that clearly wasn't intended in the spirit of the rules. This happens all the time, almost always in a constructive, helpful manner.

The only trouble is that this sense is more subjective. In this case, Richard's sense was that exploring five planets would be an abuse of the intent of the rules and he just wanted to make sure that the example he included was allowable. I don't think this was an unreasonable question to ask of fellow gamers trying to enjoy the game together.


Common sense tells me that "any time" means "any time".

It is marked "IMPORTANT!" in the rules that you can "use your colony ships at any time DURING your turn." (emphasis mine) I'm of the thinking that if they thought to make it "IMPORTANT", they probably put some thought into how it was worded.

The rules are also clear that "During the Influence action, you may turn two of your used colony ships face up"

It also states "After placing an Influence Disc, you may activate your colony ships to place Population Cubes". (Note that you can place 2 influence discs, but this only says after placing "an" influence disc.)
 
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James
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nate_lockhart wrote:
Brother Jim wrote:
I think it's a reasonable question. Whenever we read rules we get a sense of the intent of the rules. That sense enables us to call on common sense in other rules forums when someone makes a point of what is allowable under the rules as written but that clearly wasn't intended in the spirit of the rules. This happens all the time, almost always in a constructive, helpful manner.

The only trouble is that this sense is more subjective. In this case, Richard's sense was that exploring five planets would be an abuse of the intent of the rules and he just wanted to make sure that the example he included was allowable. I don't think this was an unreasonable question to ask of fellow gamers trying to enjoy the game together.


Common sense tells me that "any time" means "any time".

Yes, I read it in the way you did, too. I am not saying there is any ambiguity in the rule as written. I think the Eclipse rulebook is one of the best written I've seen in a while, actually. To be clear, Nate, all I was suggesting was there wasn't a need to pile on to the poor fellow for asking the question. I'm sure many of us have asked a rules question in good faith at one time or another that wasn't a question to most others. Sorry; I realize I could have been clearer in the point I was making!
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Gar Per
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Brother Jim wrote:
nate_lockhart wrote:
Brother Jim wrote:
I think it's a reasonable question. Whenever we read rules we get a sense of the intent of the rules. That sense enables us to call on common sense in other rules forums when someone makes a point of what is allowable under the rules as written but that clearly wasn't intended in the spirit of the rules. This happens all the time, almost always in a constructive, helpful manner.

The only trouble is that this sense is more subjective. In this case, Richard's sense was that exploring five planets would be an abuse of the intent of the rules and he just wanted to make sure that the example he included was allowable. I don't think this was an unreasonable question to ask of fellow gamers trying to enjoy the game together.


Common sense tells me that "any time" means "any time".

Yes, I read it in the way you did, too. I am not saying there is any ambiguity in the rule as written. I think the Eclipse rulebook is one of the best written I've seen in a while, actually. To be clear, Nate, all I was suggesting was there wasn't a need to pile on to the poor fellow for asking the question. I'm sure many of us have asked a rules question in good faith at one time or another that wasn't a question to most others.


You were on it and beat to editing in my clarification. I don't remember reading it as the poor guy getting beat up...I read it as "this discussion by multiple parties about the meaning of 'any time' is a bit absurd".
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James
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nate_lockhart wrote:
Brother Jim wrote:
nate_lockhart wrote:
Brother Jim wrote:
I think it's a reasonable question. Whenever we read rules we get a sense of the intent of the rules. That sense enables us to call on common sense in other rules forums when someone makes a point of what is allowable under the rules as written but that clearly wasn't intended in the spirit of the rules. This happens all the time, almost always in a constructive, helpful manner.

The only trouble is that this sense is more subjective. In this case, Richard's sense was that exploring five planets would be an abuse of the intent of the rules and he just wanted to make sure that the example he included was allowable. I don't think this was an unreasonable question to ask of fellow gamers trying to enjoy the game together.


Common sense tells me that "any time" means "any time".

Yes, I read it in the way you did, too. I am not saying there is any ambiguity in the rule as written. I think the Eclipse rulebook is one of the best written I've seen in a while, actually. To be clear, Nate, all I was suggesting was there wasn't a need to pile on to the poor fellow for asking the question. I'm sure many of us have asked a rules question in good faith at one time or another that wasn't a question to most others.


You were on it and beat to editing in my clarification. I don't remember the poor guy getting beat up...I read it as "this discussion by multiple parties about the meaning of 'any time' is a bit absurd".

Fair enough. That was how I was interpreting the direction of the thread. If I'm off base, I retract the point with apologies.
 
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Agent J
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It IS an important point - you are not abusing the rules to use ships, flip 'em, use 'em again. That's perfectly fine. The rulebook explains it clearly, it's been clearly answered, and it's important to know this rule when you're playing the game so you can use it to crush your opponents into space dust.

I personally am glad that it was clarified here, and that this thread exists as a testament to the coming generations that such a question was asked and that it was also answered.

Well done.
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Daniel Hammond
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Jythier wrote:
It IS an important point - you are not abusing the rules to use ships, flip 'em, use 'em again. That's perfectly fine. The rulebook explains it clearly, it's been clearly answered, and it's important to know this rule when you're playing the game so you can use it to crush your opponents into space dust.

I personally am glad that it was clarified here, and that this thread exists as a testament to the coming generations that such a question was asked and that it was also answered.

Well done.


It was even changed in the second edition rules printing that removed the influence first and then flip, now they can be done at "any time" whistle.
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Agent J
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dlhammond wrote:
Jythier wrote:
It IS an important point - you are not abusing the rules to use ships, flip 'em, use 'em again. That's perfectly fine. The rulebook explains it clearly, it's been clearly answered, and it's important to know this rule when you're playing the game so you can use it to crush your opponents into space dust.

I personally am glad that it was clarified here, and that this thread exists as a testament to the coming generations that such a question was asked and that it was also answered.

Well done.


It was even changed in the second edition rules printing that removed the influence first and then flip, now they can be done at "any time" whistle.


I colonize simultaneously with flipping colony ships, which means I don't have to physically flip anything over.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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That is what padawans are for. I try not to move anything the entire game, at least not with my hands.
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Agent J
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dlhammond wrote:
That is what padawans are for. I try not to move anything the entire game, at least not with my hands.


I often have to flip the table towards the end.
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I think the relevant issue is not whether you can colonize at "any time" but whether the influence action is splittable. It isn't stated that "the two token place/remove subactions are considered to have time in between them".

I'm thinking of MTG here - in that game there are actions with multiple steps that can't be split in two.
 
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Dragon_Slave wrote:
I think the relevant issue is not whether you can colonize at "any time" but whether the influence action is splittable. It isn't stated that "the two token place/remove subactions are considered to have time in between them".

I'm thinking of MTG here - in that game there are actions with multiple steps that can't be split in two.


You really can do it at anytime. The second printing of the rules even clarified it by loosening of when during the action you flip the colony ships.
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