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Signal Jam: Cancel a Deployment Action?


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#1 Alazzar

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:04 PM

A quick question, for any rules gurus:  

 

Is it possible to use Signal Jam from Balance of the Force to stop a card from being deployed by the Light Side?  I ask because my friends and I just tried out Balance of the Force after not having played the game in a long time (read: we're rusty on the rules), and we seemed to recall that the act of deploying a card on your turn is considered an action.  So, the DS player tried to stop Wedge from being played onto Rogue Three, arguing that playing Wedge is an action, and Signal Jam cancels actions.  Is this how it really works?

 

Thanks!



#2 Demas

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:40 PM

Yep, page 13... Deployment of a unit or enhancement is an action.

#3 Alazzar

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 07:21 PM

So if you use Signal Jam to cancel, say, the playing of a Yoda, does Yoda just go to the discard pile?



#4 Demas

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:06 PM

Discarding the unit goes beyond the effect of deployment.  The effect of deployment is to pay resources to move a unit from the hand to the board.  Since there is no discard involved, cancelling would not cause the unit to go to the discard but instead back to the hand.

 

An analogous situation is on Page 16... spells out how a card is played... first it is revealed, then the resources are generated, then if the resources are insufficient, the card cannot be played and it returns to the hand.

 

Since Signal Jam says, "When an action . . . is initiated", that could mean the timing must be at the reveal (page 24, "Interrupts may be executed when the specified triggering condition occurs"), but before the resources are generated (and if they already have been, as a matter of etiquette, you allow them to take back the generated resources; otherwise, all games would be bogged down by asking "Any Interrupts?" after the reveal of every card to be played) because the Action of Deployment starts with the reveal of the card.

 

Page 16 tends to imply then that the card would return to the active deploying player's hand.  However, if the card returns to their hand and no resources have been spent... what would be the point of "canceling" that action?  You'd be down a powerful card and resource and they could simply deploy the unit again.

 

Therefore: Either units can't be cancelled meaningfully (as in the above interpretation) OR "initiated" doesn't mean at the literal first step of the deployment and simply means "not completed (by virtue of playing an interrupt)"... in which case, Signal Jam simply returns the unit to their hand, but they still have to pay the cost for the unit, if able.


Edited by Demas, 06 April 2014 - 08:08 PM.


#5 PBrennan

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 03:56 AM

For cancellation abilities, the game is always careful to say "cancel its effects". It doesn't cancel the ability's process, which is as follows, per FAQ

 

1) Check play restrictions: can the card be played, or
the effect initiated, at this time?
2) Determine the cost (or costs, if multiple costs are
required) to play the card or initiate the effect.
3) Apply any modifiers to the cost.
4) Pay the cost(s).
5) Choose target(s), if applicable.
6) The card is played, or the effect resolves.

 

The triggering condition of "initiation" ensures that it triggers on step 1 of this process, but it actually only cancels point 6 from resolving, not the other points.

 

So for Signal Jam, the resources are still paid, but the card remains in hand. A future deployment action could therefore be used later on in another attempt to play it, using different resources.


Edited by PBrennan, 07 April 2014 - 03:57 AM.


#6 Alazzar

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:29 AM

Awesome--thanks for the answers!



#7 PBrennan

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 03:33 PM

Apologies, but here's a clarification, one I should have caught yesterday. (Blame it on the boogie.)

 

Signal Jam (or any ability that cancels an effect) only cancels the second half of point 6 (i.e the part that says "or the effect resolves") - as you'd expect from a literal reading. It does not cancel the first half of point 6. As such, Signal Jam cannot cancel or affect deployment of a card in any way.

 

This has now been confirmed by the FFG design team. Sorry for the temporary mislead.

 

Patrick



#8 Angus Lee

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:01 PM

I thought we have played it wrong in the past (we did not think that Signal Jam can cancel the playing of a card) after reading this thread yesterday.  But thanks for your clarification. Signal Jam is not that (over)powerful.


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#9 KennedyHawk

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:58 AM

I'm confused so does Signal Jam allow you to prevent your opponent from playing a unit or not? I feel like the thread leans both ways.


Edited by KennedyHawk, 08 April 2014 - 07:58 AM.


#10 PBrennan

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:13 AM

Signal Jam does not affect the playing of a unit.



#11 Demas

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:15 PM

I'm confused so does Signal Jam allow you to prevent your opponent from playing a unit or not? I feel like the thread leans both ways.

 

Basically, although deployment is an action, this characterization is mostly for the benefit of timing.  Deployment does not involve the SW terms "initiated" (FAQ 3.5, page 4) or "effect".  Therefore Signal Jam does not apply to framework deployment (which is not an "effect").

 

(In other words, revealing a unit to be deployed initiates the effect of moving that unit into play in common English... but in Star Wars terms, "initiate" only applies to "effects" and "effects" do not include framework unit deployment.)

 

However, if there is "deployment" by card-effect (whether directly or indirectly), Signal Jam would likely work against that (and the card to be "deployed" would likely return to the hand).  For example, the H&L objective, Secret Guardian, Kuat Reinforcements, Sith Holocron, etc.


Edited by Demas, 08 April 2014 - 12:58 PM.


#12 PBrennan

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 04:18 PM

Initiation is not limited to card effects though. The deployment action is still an action, and an action must be initiated, and the 6 steps followed (which is why the 6 steps cover off on deploying/playing a card). But this is by the by, it doesn't change the answer.



#13 Demas

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 05:04 PM

So far, "initiate" has been limited to effects throughout the rules and the cards (well, card- new Dash).  I completely get where you're coming from- hence my first interpretation- but if you read the heading for the 6 steps (FAQ page 7), it says "Effect Resolution."  Additionally, the first step arguably limits initiation to effects: "can the card be played, or the effect initiated"... it doesn't say, "can the card to be played be initiated, or the effect initiated".

 

I'm not saying you're wrong to equivocate playing a card with deployment, but then that's awkward titling by FFG- implying deployment is an effect, when you were told otherwise.  Either way, you're carving out an exception- that deployment isn't an effect (in which case, Step 1 should have been written- "can the card be played OR the effect initiated" tending to indicate that an effect is something different / distinct from deployment, while still under the subtitle of Effect Resolution) or that deployment follows its own steps which are substantially similar to Effect Resolution, but which- so far- excludes the term-of-art "initiated." (which seems to be how they wrote it... "can the card be played, or the effect initiated, at this time" where "effect initiated" is a parenthetical describing the playing of a card under the Effect Resolution subtitle... which is completely consistent so-long-as "the card be played" is not a reference to deployment which you were told is not an effect).

 

All that said, it REALLY doesn't matter, unless and until FFG makes a card that references "initiate" with respect to deployment, so I don't really take a position on it since it's all theoretical at this point.






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