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The Golden Rule?


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#1 TheRealLeo

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

 Anyone else notice that the Golden Rule for SW:LCG is one sentence longer than pretty much any other card game? I'm rather interested to know why the extra line about "cannot" is in there. Any cards that would currently clash with a "cannot" rule?



#2 ktom

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

I didn't really notice because the "cannot" rule is fairly typical of FFG's LCGs. It's the exception to "The Golden Rule" in pretty much all of their games. I guess they just decided to incorporate the exception into the rule here. 

By definition, nothing clashes with the "cannot" rule because it is absolute. But imagine an enhancement that said "Reaction: after you win an edge battle, you may enhance a Vehicle unit with this card from your hand" and a vehicle unit that said "cannot be enhanced." Without the "cannot" rule, which card effect would you follow? Those are the kind of things the "cannot" rule settles.



#3 TheRealLeo

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

ktom said:

I didn't really notice because the "cannot" rule is fairly typical of FFG's LCGs. It's the exception to "The Golden Rule" in pretty much all of their games. I guess they just decided to incorporate the exception into the rule here. 

By definition, nothing clashes with the "cannot" rule because it is absolute. But imagine an enhancement that said "Reaction: after you win an edge battle, you may enhance a Vehicle unit with this card from your hand" and a vehicle unit that said "cannot be enhanced." Without the "cannot" rule, which card effect would you follow? Those are the kind of things the "cannot" rule settles.

Yes, I understand the purpose of the "cannot" rule in regard to card effects, but I am referring to the fact that the Star Wars rulebook extends the "cannot" rule to the rulebook itself. No other card game that I know of does that, not even FFG's other LCGs (and I know this because I just checked).

I'm just wondering why such an exception to the golden rule is necessary. Heck, it almost seems to defeat the purpose of the golden rule in the first place.

 



#4 ktom

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:00 AM

TheRealLeo said:

Yes, I understand the purpose of the "cannot" rule in regard to card effects, but I am referring to the fact that the Star Wars rulebook extends the "cannot" rule to the rulebook itself. No other card game that I know of does that, not even FFG's other LCGs (and I know this because I just checked).

I'm guess I'm not understanding the distinction. I'm sure you are right that the "cannot" rule is phrased differently, but they are all played the same way: the word "cannot" is absolute, whether on a card, in the rule book, or in the FAQ.

One example that is in a lot of the LCGs, including Star Wars, is that the affiliation card "cannot" be removed form play, even by a card effect that says "choose and discard any card in play." The only difference is that for Star Wars, this fact is in the basic rulebook, but for other games (like Game of Thrones), the "cannot discard for any reason" rule is in the FAQ. So it seems like the difference may be that FFG is learning to be more explicit about some of these things up-front. (For example, some older rule books can be "sloppy" with the word because they'll state a particular rule, then use the word "cannot" in the example used to illustrate it, making the rule seem more absolute than it really is.)

So it does seem like the card text not taking precedence over the rules when the word "cannot" appears in the rule text is an implicit part of the other games, even though Star Wars is the first one to make it explicit in the Golden Rule.



#5 TheRealLeo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

ktom said:

I'm guess I'm not understanding the distinction. I'm sure you are right that the "cannot" rule is phrased differently, but they are all played the same way: the word "cannot" is absolute, whether on a card, in the rule book, or in the FAQ.

Actually, no. The point of the golden rule (at least in most games) is to allow the "cannot"s of the rules, both implicit and explicit, to be superseded by card effects. That's the purpose of the golden rule. This game is apparently trying a new approach, but I'm not quite seeing the point. If there's a rule that you don't want to overwrite with a card ability, usually the easiest solution is just to not make the card ability. When you make a "cannot" in the rules absolute, you introduce the possibility of forgetting about a particular rule, and then making a card ability that doesn't work because it conflicts with a "cannot" rule.

That and you also limit design space, which is generally never a good idea, even if it seems like only a minor limitation.

As it currently stands, most of the "cannot"s seem pretty harmless outside of simply limiting design space a bit. There are a couple that do bother me though, such as the rule that a player "cannot" play a card unless he/she has the resources to pay for it.



#6 Budgernaut

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:17 PM

TheRealLeo said:

 

As it currently stands, most of the "cannot"s seem pretty harmless outside of simply limiting design space a bit. There are a couple that do bother me though, such as the rule that a player "cannot" play a card unless he/she has the resources to pay for it.

 

 

In that situation, you just reword a card to say "put into play" rather than "play" and you avoid the problem altogether.


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#7 FiendishDevil

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:51 PM

Applying the golden rule of cannot to the rulebook allows the below rule to be unaffected by in game card effects.

***Force Card Limits
 

Each player begins the game with three Force cards. After a player has attached all three of his Force cards to his units, he cannot commit additional units to the Force until one or more of his Force cards become available. Each player is strictly limited to three Force cards.***

Pretty important it seems to clarify that there's no way around this to allow for more units dedicated to the Force than you have Force cards. Currently that limit is three, but that limit is not stated as CANNOT have more than three, so maybe future will allow for bonus Force cards aka more committing!

 

Another one:

***The active player cannot initiate an engagement if he is unable to declare at least one attacker during the “declare attackers” step.***

Pretty clear here too. You initiated the engagement, stating an objective, but then are unable to declare attackers, the engagement cannot initiate. Card effects can allow some tricky maneuvers here. Putting focus on all possible attackers, returning possible attackers to hand, etc. With the way some effects are read, simply beginning an engagement/going through with an engagement would allow for effects to occur. By stating CANNOT, it eliminates any questions of if those abilities trigger as the engagement was never initiated and is a golden rule unaffected by card effects.

Although, there doesn't seem to be an Action window between Declare Objective and Declare Attackers, maybe immediate reactions could cause this questionable situation where you can initiate a combat and Declare Objective but be unable to Declare Attackers…

 

Here's another one:

***A card with one or more focus tokens is considered exhausted. A player cannot focus an exhausted card.***

Can definitely see some card effects that might seem as if they could bend this rule, but it CANNOT be broken!



#8 ktom

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

TheRealLeo said:

Actually, no. The point of the golden rule (at least in most games) is to allow the "cannot"s of the rules, both implicit and explicit, to be superseded by card effects. That's the purpose of the golden rule. This game is apparently trying a new approach,

Having played some of FFGs other LCGs, I just don't see it as a new approach. They create absolute rules that are then not superseded by card text, using the word "cannot," in their FAQs with a fair bit of regularity. A single cost "cannot" be applied to pay for multiple effects. You "cannot" play another copy of a unique card that you already have in play. Keywords "cannot" be canceled. 

 

Historically, when FFG uses the word "cannot" in a rule, they are indicating that this is an area of the design space that they consider "off limits" - both to their design team and to the creative comboing of card effects by the players. They tend to use the word "cannot" in rules as a ceiling beyond which the game will never go, if it is to remain the same game. There is some sense from a design standpoint, too, in that while it is relatively easy to never make a card with a particular ability, it isn't necessarily easy to predict all the possible interactions that could lead to an undesirable situation. For example, it's hard to figure out absolutely every 4-card combo that can be used to discard or sacrifice any card in play. So rather than have to worry about that, they have just made an absolute rule that affiliation card cannot be removed from play.

All I'm saying is that in practice, what you see in the Star Wars rule book for the word "cannot" is par for the course in FFG's LCGs.

TheRealLeo said:

There are a couple that do bother me though, such as the rule that a player "cannot" play a card unless he/she has the resources to pay for it.

Note that this use of the word "cannot" does not stop you from modifying the cost necessary to play a card. It only says that once the cost is determined, that's the amount of resources you'll need.

 



#9 FiendishDevil

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

Actually, I don't know why I bothered writing. I didn't check the replies else I'd have seen ktom was writing and I didn't need to say anything at all >>

 

Edit: Just for fun, the following in the rulebook doesn't say cannot have more than two objective sets per deck, which means that there is a possibility of objective sets you can have more than two copies of, since the game card text would be able to trump the deck building rules due to lack of cannot. ;)

 

***Any objective set may be included twice in a constructed
deck unless its objective card states “limit one per
objective deck.”***

 

Objective: Attack of the Clones (You may have as many copies of this objective in your deck), oh yeaaaa I went there.



#10 TheRealLeo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

FiendishDevil said:

Applying the golden rule of cannot to the rulebook allows the below rule to be unaffected by in game card effects.

***Force Card Limits
 

Each player begins the game with three Force cards. After a player has attached all three of his Force cards to his units, he cannot commit additional units to the Force until one or more of his Force cards become available. Each player is strictly limited to three Force cards.***

Pretty important it seems to clarify that there's no way around this to allow for more units dedicated to the Force than you have Force cards. Currently that limit is three, but that limit is not stated as CANNOT have more than three, so maybe future will allow for bonus Force cards aka more committing!

 

Another one:

***The active player cannot initiate an engagement if he is unable to declare at least one attacker during the “declare attackers” step.***

Pretty clear here too. You initiated the engagement, stating an objective, but then are unable to declare attackers, the engagement cannot initiate. Card effects can allow some tricky maneuvers here. Putting focus on all possible attackers, returning possible attackers to hand, etc. With the way some effects are read, simply beginning an engagement/going through with an engagement would allow for effects to occur. By stating CANNOT, it eliminates any questions of if those abilities trigger as the engagement was never initiated and is a golden rule unaffected by card effects.

Although, there doesn't seem to be an Action window between Declare Objective and Declare Attackers, maybe immediate reactions could cause this questionable situation where you can initiate a combat and Declare Objective but be unable to Declare Attackers…

 

Here's another one:

***A card with one or more focus tokens is considered exhausted. A player cannot focus an exhausted card.***

Can definitely see some card effects that might seem as if they could bend this rule, but it CANNOT be broken!

This just reiterates my point about limiting design space. As I read over this, several ideas for cards/card effects came to mind that would not be possible, or would have to be reworded in a more wordy fashion in order to work within the confines of these "cannots". Neither situation is good from a designer standpoint.

I'm not trying to say this golden rule is devoid of usefulness. It can be reassuring for a designer to know that if they somehow ever design a card that does something they didn't want any card to ever do, it won't work because they've already covered their backside. It'll just look kinda dumb.

However, I honestly don't know that that is worth the compromise of giving up some potentially useful/interesting/valuable design space.



#11 qwertyuiop

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

It's just over worded for clarity.  This may be due to an abundance of instances of the word 'cannot' in the SWLCG rule book.

The word 'cannot' is absolute. There's not much more to it unless someone finds a card that gets confounded by this.



#12 Toqtamish

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:34 PM

It's over worded in an effort to help avoid the over done errata/FAQ that other FFG games seem to suffer from. They have been getting better with Netrunner and now Star Wars in their wording in the rules.



#13 MarthWMaster

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

TheRealLeo said:


 

However, I honestly don't know that that is worth the compromise of giving up some potentially useful/interesting/valuable design space.

 

 

For the most part I think this is fine, however, this means there can never be an objective set containing only 5 cards, with the objective having the text: "When constructing your deck, choose a unit that is associated with an objective that is not in your objective stack. Treat that card as though it were associated with this objective." The rules state that "[i]ndividual cards cannot be removed from or added to an objective set." Ah well.


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#14 dbmeboy

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

 I don't know about that. You could argue that you weren't adding a card but instead selecting a card that counts as always being part of it (not added). Makes the wording harder, but probably not impossible. *shrugs*



#15 Drealin

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

 Personally I'm glad that they have these restrictions.  Without enough restrictions then it could get too tempting to start adding cards that change the game.  Allowing the game to grow into an "everything is possible" type of game, I feel would ruin this game.

I own many different types of games, and the ones that I switch between are different in how they play, and most importantly, how they feel.  I very much hope that they never try to make an objective set with only five cards, that you can pick any other one to go with it, that would open it up to completely creating your own objective sets, and that would ruin the flavor of this game.  I like ketchup with my fries, but I would never want ketchup with my milkshake.

Race for the Galaxy I think is a good example of how adding too much isn't always a good thing.  It is a very fun game, but once you add in all of the expansions it can get a bit diluted, especially with the take over powers, which I never play with anymore because it's just extra garbage tacked on to try and appeal to more people.

Having restrictions up front with an expandable game is a good thing, and helps keep the game what it is, unique and fun in it's only way.  In the same way I'm glad that they redid this game instead of keeping it too similar to their LotR game, because then I probably wouldn't want to get this game.  I want variety in my games, and I don't want them to be able to blend into the same thing.  I don't want to move my chess pieces like checkers pieces.

 

</rant>



#16 TheRealLeo

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:31 AM

Drealin said:

 

 Personally I'm glad that they have these restrictions.  Without enough restrictions then it could get too tempting to start adding cards that change the game.  Allowing the game to grow into an "everything is possible" type of game, I feel would ruin this game.

I own many different types of games, and the ones that I switch between are different in how they play, and most importantly, how they feel.  I very much hope that they never try to make an objective set with only five cards, that you can pick any other one to go with it, that would open it up to completely creating your own objective sets, and that would ruin the flavor of this game.  I like ketchup with my fries, but I would never want ketchup with my milkshake.

Race for the Galaxy I think is a good example of how adding too much isn't always a good thing.  It is a very fun game, but once you add in all of the expansions it can get a bit diluted, especially with the take over powers, which I never play with anymore because it's just extra garbage tacked on to try and appeal to more people.

Having restrictions up front with an expandable game is a good thing, and helps keep the game what it is, unique and fun in it's only way.  In the same way I'm glad that they redid this game instead of keeping it too similar to their LotR game, because then I probably wouldn't want to get this game.  I want variety in my games, and I don't want them to be able to blend into the same thing.  I don't want to move my chess pieces like checkers pieces.

 

 

Fair enough. I also have had experiences with games where the designers tried to do too much, and in the end, it just lowered the quality of the gameplay experience for no really good reason, so I understand where you're coming from.

… and yes, prestige was a horrible idea.

Drealin said:


</rant>

 

 

 

I don't agree with this though. You present a fair and honest opinion. Suggesting it is only a rant cheapens its value.






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