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Mercenary 52N6 question


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#1 Pfeiffer

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:08 PM

52N6's ability is interesting, and looking at the the consequences of using this ability on the basic techs, the one that seemed possibly confusing would be against Stasis Capsules.  If a fleet of say 3 cruisers w/ 3 GF's on board attacked an enemy with 52N6 and he nerfs Statis Capsules, what happens to the GF's?  Does this change if he's involved in either Space Combat versus Planetary Invasions?



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 02:33 PM

Personally, I would say they die.

Mechanics-wise, you no longer have the ability to support these GFs and - much like the rule that says you must immediately destroy ships if you are ever somehow in excess of fleet supply, I would say these GFs are destroyed for being (even temporarily) in excess of the ship's ability to sustain them.  GFs are assigned to specific ships when being transported, so havign extra room on a Carrier in the fleet won't help you, otherwise there'd be no point in assigning them to specific ships.

Fluff-wise, what would one expect to happen if 3 fighting units of soldiers in stasis found their statis capsules suddenly not working?  If the ship had enough life support and living space for them to survive without being in stasis, why would they be put in stasis in the first place?

Bottom line, the ship can't support them without the tech.  If the tech goes away, so do the GFs.

If this was done during space combat, it would have no effect on the battle, of course, although it would ensure those GF aren't around to land on planets later.  If used during Invasion combat, any GFs that were landing on the planet (or any other planet in system) would already be off the ship (there's a whole separate step for "planetary landings") so they'd be unaffected.  They don't need Stasis capsules, mechanically or fluff-wise, to survive on the surface of a planet.  Any GFs who stayed behind on the cruisers would still be toast, of course, but they aren't participating in any invasion this round anyway.



#3 sigmazero13

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:57 AM

 I disagree with Steve-O on this one.  It seems the intent of this ability is to block techs that are used in the battle; Stasis Capsules is not really "used" in the battle, since GFs don't participate (with perhaps the Yin flagship as an exception).

I think this was meant to only apply to things like Hylar V, etc, where it applies some effect to the battle itself, not passive abilities outside the battle.  Being able to cancel Stasis Capsules to kill a bunch of units not even involved seems way too powerful, and very unthematic.



#4 DavidG55311

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:11 PM

I just played a game tonight and had that mercanery used on me.
I was Letnev and he canceled my Nonuclideon (spelling) shielding.

 

Needless to say I wasn't happy, because my force had 4 dreadnaughts and a warsun.

There are some very powerful abilities and this new expansion and not many things that can counter them.



#5 Mr. Djingles

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 06:35 AM

 Can anyone post an exact wording of that mercenary card (my box is on the way with CitOW expansion)? I would like to try and solve that question.

Thanks.



#6 Nematode

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 02:53 PM

The exact wording of the 52N6's ability is "At the start of a battle, you may choose 1 Technology.  The enemy cannot use that Technology during this battle."

Another section of text I would like point out is on page 12 of the Shards of the Throne instruction book: "Any Mercenary abilities that work during battle may only be used if the Mercenary is participating in the Space Battle or Invasion Combat."

From this, I would interpret the rule as follows for some different tech cards:

Stasis Capsules: Any Ground forces being transported by Cruisers/Dreadnoughts in the system where the battle is taking place would be destroyed since there is no longer transport capacity to support them.  Ground Forces being tranported by Cruisers/Dreadnoughts in any other system would be unaffected.  I interpret it this way because 52N6's ability states that the scope of the ability is "during this battle," and I feel it is in keeping with the spirit of the rule from page 12 that combat abilities require the mercenary's presence.

Advanced Fighters: I interpret this one the same way I interpret Stasis Capsules.  All fighters in the local system would now require carrying capacity or they would be destroyed.  Fighters in any other system would not be affected.

War Sun: No effect.  This technology only allows the building of War Suns.  The player only needs enough fleet supply, not the War Sun technology itself to keep the War Sun on the board.

Assault Cannon:  The shots from Assault Cannon would be unaffected because they happen "before any Space Battle begins," and 52N6's ability does not happen until "the start of a battle."

Automated Defense Turrets:  This technology could be canceled because the Anti-Fighter Barrage takes place after the beginning of the Space Battle step.

Deep Space Cannon, Maneuvering Jets, Magen Defense Grid, Graviton Laser System: During a space battle, 52N6's ability would have no effect.  These technologies all deal with PDS fire that takes place during the PDS fire step of the Tactical Action, not the Space Battle step.  During Invasion Combat, however, Magen Defense Grid and Gravaton Laser System could be canceled to reduce the effectiveness of PDS fire because the PDS fire occurs after the beginning of the Invasion Combat step.


"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."  -- Abraham Lincoln (frequently attributed to him, but probably false)


#7 sirjonsnow

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:37 PM

Nematode said:

Advanced Fighters: I interpret this one the same way I interpret Stasis Capsules.  All fighters in the local system would now require carrying capacity or they would be destroyed.  Fighters in any other system would not be affected.

I disagree with this.  You can violate carrying capacity during a battle with no ill-effects; carrying capacity isn't checked again until the battle is over.  Ex, a fleet of 4 carriers and 24 fighters, you take one hit in the first round and put it on a carrier, you would not then immediately lose 6 fighters, combat would continue until it was over, then you would check your capacity.



#8 sirjonsnow

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:40 PM

Also, anti-fighter barrage and assault cannons are done in the same step, so if it affects one, it should affect the other.  In fact, since the defender decides what order pre-combat effects trigger, afb could happen before assault cannon shots.



#9 sigmazero13

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:23 PM

 I would again truly disagree with anyone who tried to rule that Stasis Capsules would cause all GF's to die; that does not seem like the intent of the ability at all, and seems (to me) contrary to the spirit of sportsmanship.  (Rules Lawyering loopholes to gain an unintended advantage is not "sportsmanlike", in my opinion).

It is an issue that should agreed upon before the game, though, because for me, if the group decided to play it this way, I would bow out of the game; if that's the kind of rules lawyering I can expect from a group, I don't think I'd enjoy playing with them, because I would not  be sure what other such rulings they would enforce during a game.

 

Yes, I understand how it could be interpreted that way, but there does come a point where common sense needs to be applied when making these kinds of judgments.  Causing all Stasis Capsule-carried troops to instantly DIE because of a single mercenary does not strike me as "balanced" at all.

 

I do agree with one of the above posters; choosing Advanced Fighters does NOT cause the excess fighters to die, and this is definitely more clear in the rules; fighters can exist without support during a battle.  It's not until the battle is over (AFTER the battle, when 52N6's ability is no longer in effect) that supply is rechecked.  If a Carrier is killed during battle, it doesn't affect fighters still participating.  They keep on fighting.  The same applies with this ability.



#10 Nematode

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 10:00 PM

My mistake on the advanced fighters.  Thanks for the correction.

As far as "rules lawyers" go, however, that's kind of the only way to play a game as complex as TI.  Ideally, the rules need to be written in a very precise manner, and then followed exactly as written.  Unfortunately, there are many instances in this game where the rules and cards were written in a very general sort of way that leaves way too much room for interpretation.  Every group has that one guy who will try to interpret one rule in three different ways depending on what will help him at the moment.  As far as I am concerned, you can never really be wrong by following the instructions to the letter.

It may feel unfair that one time that you lose a few units by following exactly what the card says, but remember that everybody playing the game has equal opportunity to gain posession of any given card.  Except for extreme examples where specific cards are truly broken, I would rather just play the cards as written rather than have to dig through a 15 page list of errata and special rulings every time I turn around.


"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."  -- Abraham Lincoln (frequently attributed to him, but probably false)


#11 sigmazero13

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 04:58 AM

I agree that sometimes a keen eye at the rules is needed.  But there's a point where something is taken too far.  I don't think it's even remotely unclear what the intent of the 52N6's ability is - to keep you from using a tech that will help you in battle.  Using it on Stasis Capsules is nothing less than trying to game the system and use it for something it was obviously NOT intended to be used for; the Stasis Capsules have no use in battle, and thus would not be subject to what 52N6 is doing.

Even as written, I think it's fair and reasonable to say that Stasis Capsules is not "used" during the battle;  IE, during battle, it is just passivly applied but has no bearing on anything in the battle at all (except MAYBE the Yin Flagship ability).

I guess another factor would be this:  If you DO choose Stasis Capsules, where is the assumption coming from that the carried troops would instantly die?  This is not specified anywhere in the rules either way; nothing describes what happens to a unit that is on a ship that suddenly loses capacity.  Killing the unit may be one way of doing it, but there's nothing in the rules to justify that.  So even if you say that you CAN target Stasis Capsules, there's no justification that doing so causes all the troops to die; doing so would just be an arbitrary decision.

 

Stasis Capsules are too often used as NECESSARY means to carry more forces by many races.  Allowing 52N6 the insanely powerful ability to kill all such troops instantly on a whim does not just strike me as "rules lawyery" and overly gamey, but completely imbalanced and unfair.



#12 solitear

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 05:17 PM

 I would treat it like fighters..if you take your carrier as a casualty your fighters don't die until the end of the battle..I would expect the same for gf's so then the effect would be null. and there is precedence with the fighter ruling.

 

edit: thats page 29 of rulebook last paragraph of fighter rules if your interested.



#13 sigmazero13

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:53 AM

solitear said:

 I would treat it like fighters..if you take your carrier as a casualty your fighters don't die until the end of the battle..I would expect the same for gf's so then the effect would be null. and there is precedence with the fighter ruling.

 

edit: thats page 29 of rulebook last paragraph of fighter rules if your interested.

That's a good way of looking at it :)



#14 Mr. Djingles

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:07 AM

Nematode said:

The exact wording of the 52N6's ability is "At the start of a battle, you may choose 1 Technology.  The enemy cannot use that Technology during this battle."

This wording totally affects the sequence of space battle stages which (the sequence, not the battle itself) in my opinion is the hardest thing to understand. So here is the sequence as I understand it:

  1. Before the battle - effects that are triggered before the battle happen (Friendly Fire, Fighter prototype, etc). All effects triggered before the battle happen immediately. E.g.the ship that was destroyed before the battle and was carrying fighters will be destroyed with all the fighter.
  2. Start of the battle - After the battle starts you stop checking for capacity and other things (such as stasis capsules), so no unit can be destroyed unless you assign a hit to it. Ground forces can not be directly destroyed now, but they are destroyed when the ship which is carrying them is destroyed.
  3. Rounds of battle
  4. End of battle - all the effects that were triggered during the start of battle phase are now off. You again check your capacity and destroy all the fighters exceeding your capacity limits.
So, my point is that the effects that are triggered during the battle work only during the fight and since you do not count capacity during the space battle nor your ground forces, nor advanced fighters are destroyed.
 
I am quite sure about advanced fighters tech, but not that sure about stasis capsules. The version should work according to the basic rules is described above. Though we know that sometimes game-designers tend to complex game a bit and create some new rules...


#15 ryolacap

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:05 AM

It says you can't use it in the battle.  Stasis capsules are not used in battle.  I think the assumption here would be a combat specific tech.



#16 sigmazero13

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:46 AM

ryolacap said:

 

It says you can't use it in the battle.  Stasis capsules are not used in battle.  I think the assumption here would be a combat specific tech.

 

 

On this matter, you and I are definitely in agreement.

On that note, too, it doesn't say "the Technology is completely ignored".  Like you said, it says it's not "used" in battle, so it would not be affected.



#17 Steve-O

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:29 AM

Mr. Djingles said:

So, my point is that the effects that are triggered during the battle work only during the fight and since you do not count capacity during the space battle nor your ground forces, nor advanced fighters are destroyed.
 
I am quite sure about advanced fighters tech, but not that sure about stasis capsules. The version should work according to the basic rules is described above. Though we know that sometimes game-designers tend to complex game a bit and create some new rules...

For what it's worth, I'm starting to come around to your (and Sigma's) point of view on this.  Particularly the point about not counting FT capacity in the middle of a battle (the only time this merc's ability takes effect) is a good point.  I wouldn't mind seeing the answer in black and white (so to speak) but I am starting to change my mind from what I said earlier.



#18 Orc Conquest

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:30 PM

sigmazero13 said:

Even as written, I think it's fair and reasonable to say that Stasis Capsules is not "used" during the battle;  IE, during battle, it is just passivly applied but has no bearing on anything in the battle at all (except MAYBE the Yin Flagship ability).

I'm no rules lawyer but I would argue that 52N6 can cancel Mark II Carriers. Mark II carriers by any interpretation are used in combat. Thus, if 52N6 can cancel Mark II carriers, he cancel stasis capsules.

 

 



#19 solitear

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:05 AM

 how so?   



#20 Orc Conquest

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:08 AM

If 52N6 can cancel Mark II carriers (which allows Sol's carriers to carry +2 ground forces) then it stands to reason that 52N6 can cancel Stasis Capsules (which allows dreads and cruisers to carry +1 ground force)






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