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Lazax ally advantage question


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#1 brownpanthro

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:42 AM

During our most recent game, there was a dispute over whether or not the ally who receives influence from the Lazax player must immediately make a bid on a card or not. The advantage clarification in the rulebook seemed ambiguous:
The Lazax may give his ally any amount of influence during
this Bidding Phase. This influence must be given before the
player makes a legal bid
on the current Strategy card. The ally
is not required to bid all of the influence given (or any at all),
and keeps any influence given to him that he does not spend.

Is the idea that she must make a bid but she is not required to win a card auction (thereby not spending "any at all"), or is it that she can take the money and run without actually bidding anything at all?



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:11 PM

brownpanthro said:

The ally is not required to bid all of the influence given (or any at all),
and keeps any influence given to him that he does not spend.

Read that sentence carefully.

"The ally is not required to bid all of the influence given (or any at all)"

Any what?  Any of the influence given, clearly.  If your interest is on the "any at all" bit, then this sentence can also be read "The ally is not required to bid any [of the influence given] at all, and keeps any influence given to him that he does not spend."

A player is not generally required to bid any of the influence he already has on a card (ie: he can pass), and this rule makes it clear that he is also not required to bid any of the influence given to him by Lazax if he doesn't want to.  Therefore he is not required to bid.  This is certainly how it works in Dune, and I don't really think that sentence is terribly ambiguous, except perhaps to rules lawyers who feel it helps their cause to interpret it differently.



#3 Wh0isTh3D0ct0r

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

I concur with Steve-O. Playing that particular strategy definitely adds to the intrigue of the game. I can't guarantee that the Lazax's ally would be quite as generous in the future. That's what makes this game so interesting.

..and this is coming from one of the aforementioned "rules lawyers" that Steve-O is so fond of.


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#4 subochre

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:57 PM

In the BGG thread on this topic, I was 100% with you guys, until Dolus pointed out the text of the card itself: 

"Before you bid at least one influence on a Strategy card, the Lazax player may give you any amount of influence from his reserve"

Which obviously complicates matters in that it sounds at least somewhat more like the ability expects you to make a bid (even if doing so doesn't require you to spend the influence you've been given).  That said, he has a fairly plausible interpretation wherein the "before" is just there to make sure the Lazax can't give you influence after you've already made your first bid on any given strategy card.  

Though I'm still, like...75% with you, I think this is another one that we can't settle without Corey.



#5 Wh0isTh3D0ct0r

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

There is no explicit or implicit expectation that the Lazax's ally will or won't make a bid; the rules are simply clarifying that the movement of the influence from the Lazax player to the Lazax's ally cannot occur after a bid has been placed by the ally on each Strategy card.

The word "before" refers only to the point in time, as it distinguishes itself from any point after which any bid has been made by the ally on a Strategy card. It is not referring to a foregone conclusion of a bid that is definitely about to be placed.

This forces the players to discuss openly how much they "plan" to commit to the purchasing of a Strategy card beforehand instead of the Lazax player simply helping his ally with purchase(s) once the bidding dust settles. The two players would not know for sure how intent any of the other players is in obtaining Strategy cards, so they would have to make a choice beforehand about how much influence the Lazax player is willing to risk to ensure that his ally obtain the card(s). His ally may not get any card, so then the offering of influence to his ally would have been pointless--except, of course, that the influence could be spent elsewhere, just not on that specific card.

If the ally then chooses to betray his Lazax "friend" by not placing any bids at all, he is well within the rules to make that choice, thus the plot thickens and the knife is placed firmly between the shoulder blades of his unsuspecting Lazax compatriot.


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#6 Dolus

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:03 AM

subochre said:

In the BGG thread on this topic, I was 100% with you guys, until Dolus pointed out the text of the card itself: 

"Before you bid at least one influence on a Strategy card, the Lazax player may give you any amount of influence from his reserve"

 

I was and still am 100% with you guys. For the above quote, I argue that the "Before you bid at least one influence on a Strategy card" is merely a disqualifier for receiving Lazax influence if you've already bid on a card.

This wording did lead to another question on the ally advantage, though. If I bid on the first Strategy card. Then during bidding for the second strategy card, can I receive Lazax influence before my first bid for the second Strategy card is placed? Or am I disqualified from receiving Lazax influence due to bidding on the first Strategy card (a Strategy card) this round? I'm leaning slightly more towards allowing it, but I'm not so sure on this one.

I sent the question to FFG for a direct answer over a week ago, but haven't heard back, yet. I'm anxiously awaiting FAQ/Errata for some of the minor details of this game.



#7 Wh0isTh3D0ct0r

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

 

I wondered that myself until I re-read the Lazax advantage clarification on Page 22 which states, "...This influence must be given before the player makes a legal bid on the current Strategy card."

The word "current" implies that the advantage resets each time a new Strategy card is bid upon during the Bidding Phase. Otherwise, the rules would have said, "...before the player makes a legal bid on a [or "any"] Strategy card."


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#8 Steve-O

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:13 PM

Wh0isTh3D0ct0r said:

If the ally then chooses to betray his Lazax "friend" by not placing any bids at all, he is well within the rules to make that choice, thus the plot thickens and the knife is placed firmly between the shoulder blades of his unsuspecting Lazax compatriot.

It isn't even necessarily a betrayal to not spend the money on bidding.  There are times when the ability to pass money to an ally earlier in the round can be quite beneficial to the entire alliance, by allowing the Lazax to distribute his ridiculous wealth so everyone can revive units, ship, etc.  Not much point in having the money if you have nothing to spend it all on, after all.



#9 Wh0isTh3D0ct0r

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:34 PM

Dolus said:

 

subochre said:

This wording did lead to another question on the ally advantage, though. If I bid on the first Strategy card. Then during bidding for the second strategy card, can I receive Lazax influence before my first bid for the second Strategy card is placed? Or am I disqualified from receiving Lazax influence due to bidding on the first Strategy card (a Strategy card) this round? I'm leaning slightly more towards allowing it, but I'm not so sure on this one.

I sent the question to FFG for a direct answer over a week ago, but haven't heard back, yet. I'm anxiously awaiting FAQ/Errata for some of the minor details of this game.

 

 

Here is the official response that I just received from FFG:

 

:::BEGIN MESSAGE:::

 

The Lazax Ally advantage card may be used before the bid on each strategy card. It does not need to be used at the start of the bidding phase, but may only be used once per ally.

 

I hope this answers your question!
-Corey Konieczka
VP of R&D
Fantasy Flight Games
 

:::END MESSAGE:::

So, I hope this clarifies it for all. Each Lazax ally may receive influence from the Lazax player before any one of the Strategy cards, but only ONCE per Bidding Phase.


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#10 galonso

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:42 AM

Steve-O said:

brownpanthro said:

 

The ally is not required to bid all of the influence given (or any at all),
and keeps any influence given to him that he does not spend.

 

 

Read that sentence carefully.

"The ally is not required to bid all of the influence given (or any at all)"

Any what?  Any of the influence given, clearly.  If your interest is on the "any at all" bit, then this sentence can also be read "The ally is not required to bid any [of the influence given] at all, and keeps any influence given to him that he does not spend."

A player is not generally required to bid any of the influence he already has on a card (ie: he can pass), and this rule makes it clear that he is also not required to bid any of the influence given to him by Lazax if he doesn't want to.  Therefore he is not required to bid.  This is certainly how it works in Dune, and I don't really think that sentence is terribly ambiguous, except perhaps to rules lawyers who feel it helps their cause to interpret it differently.

It has been clarified by Corey that the person receiving influence from the Lazax must bid, he doesnt have to use the influence he received but instead can use any of the influence he had before the exchange. The person can bid whatever is a legal bid at that time.

 



#11 coppercow

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hello everyone,

Our group had an issue with the "Legal" bid. Does this mean that the player potentially receiving the influence must be able to make a legal bid before receiving influence from the Lazax.

e.g. It is Lanax's ally turn to bid and he would have to bid 4 to beat the last bid. He only has 3 influence at that moment, he would be unable to make a legal bid at that point. Since he is unable to make a legal bid, would he still be able to receive the influence from Lanax to give him the ability to make a legal bid?

With the rules seem to contemplate the ally being able to keep all the influence and not use it to win the bid, it gives the impression that the ally should be able to win without and that the lanax help is to either solidify the current bid or allow a future bid.

Any and all thoughts appreciated.

 

 



#12 Steve-O

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:27 AM

coppercow said:

Our group had an issue with the "Legal" bid. Does this mean that the player potentially receiving the influence must be able to make a legal bid before receiving influence from the Lazax.

The ability says that the Lazax must transfer influence before his ally makes a legal bid.  So the amount he declares in the bid has not been set in stone yet.  Nothing can interrupt the transfer (AFAIK) so there's no chance of the player committing to make "a bid" and then finding himself short-changed and unable to up the bid on the current card.

I don't really like Corey's ruling on this one, but I don't see a problem with it.






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