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Capt Chunk

Cloaking, Action Windows, and do words matter in X-wing?

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We had a situation arise today in a competitive event that I would like to get an official ruling on if possible.  It involves the timing of action windows and a players verbal statements during competitive play.  This is specifically for competitive play at the top tables a major event, not casual games.  
 

4 ships were involved, Player A had 2 high PS ships, one of which being a phantom with advanced cloaking device.  Player B had 2 low PS ships.  Player A’s  phantom shot and hit, but did not cloak using ACD.  Player A then declared that they were attacking with their next ship.  Players A's second ship only had one possible target at range 1 and Player B’s second ship was well outside range 3, allowing for only one possible target.  Just before rolling dice for the second ship Player A remembered that they had not cloaked and attempted to do so. Player B objected stating that the action window had passed to cloak when they declared the next ships attack.  At this time the TO was called as the cloaking would prevent the almost assured destruction of the phantom with only 2 hull remaining and all but end the game for player A.
 

The controversy came from defining the action window and intent of the player based on their statements in game play.  Player B contested that the Player  A had the opportunity to cloak during that ships attack phase and when Player A declared the attack of their next ship the opportunity to cloak had passed.   The TO stated that his belief was that the game state had not changed and therefore the Player A could in fact cloak.  Player B contested that the Statement of intent to attack closed the action window on the phantoms turn and open the action window for the second ship thereby not allowing the cloak. The TO's call stood and
Player A ended up winning the game with the Phantom alone 5 turns later.

 

So the question is, when does and action window close.  When the player states that the next ship is attacking or when dice hit the table?  Do words matter in X-wing or just actions? 
 

For reference In the Tourney rules it states

Missed Opportunities

Players are expected to play optimally, remembering to perform actions

and use card effects when indicated. If a player forgets to use an effect

during the timing specified by that effect, he or she cannot retroactively use it

without the consent of his or her opponent. Players are expected to act with

respect and not intentionally distract or rush an opponent with the intent of

forcing a missed opportunity.

 

Advanced Cloaking Device
After you perform an attack, you may perform a free cloak action.

 

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From a strict timing perspective, I'd say that once the next ship starts measuring for range/arc (or uses an ability that occurs when it's the active ship, such as Feedback Array), the window for "After attacking" and "After defending" abilities has passed. Casually saying who the next ship is going to attack, without actually doing anything, I would say hasn't closed the timing window. (EDIT: If Player B had some ability that triggered off of the declaration of an attack {e.g. Rebel Captive} and used it, then I'd say the window closed.)

 

If I was the TO (I'm not, and the TO has final say, even if it contradicts the FAQ/rules), that's how I'd rule in a  "Premier" event, I'd probably rule the same in "Formal" (the new name for competitive) events, in a "Relaxed" event I'd be more sympathetic to Player A. Personally, if I was Player B I would've allowed his cloak, but Player B also did nothing wrong by disallowing it (based on what you've said).

 

This and many other precise timing events are often blurred by the players (particularly in casual settings), so it's not surprising that players are thrown off when these situations occur. This is why I try to hold myself to strict rules play even in casual games, and try to make point of saying aloud the beginning/end of the phases.

Edited by FireSpy

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Strictly speaking, this was handled correctly - if the Phantom shot and forgot to declare ACD (or FCS, or to pick up a focus from Whisper), tough.  Opportunity missed.

However, if I were the opponent in this case, given that these are actions you'd basically never not do, I'd not have any particular problem letting you do them after the fact, as long as it's not *too* long after the fact.

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The TO was wrong based on the RAW.  The timing of 'after an attack' had passed and player B had every right to deny A the ability to cloak.  As soon as the game moves on to the next step, in this case player A starting the attack process he missed his opportunity to cloak.  The fact that the game state hadn't changed is meaningless.

 

Frankly this is an example of someone who shouldn't be a TO.  If you don't know the rules you shouldn't be the one making the call.  A TO should enforce the rules as written, not how they think the rules should work.

 

Now most people would likely of let A cloak, but B had every right to deny it and the TO made the wrong call.

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So if I am reading this correctly player A hadn't checked range or arc to anything with his second ship, there was a target that was obviously in range one, he picked up dice and said "This ship will attack that ship. Oh wait, I forgot to cloak after ACD."

 

Given that, I'd say it wasn't a missed opportunity. Nothing had changed about the game state and no new information was available to player A that could influence the decision to cloak. 

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Nothing had changed about the game state and no new information was available to player A that could influence the decision to cloak. 

 

There's never new info that can affect cloaking and the game state doesn't determine if an opportunity has been missed or not.

 

As soon as you declare an attack, you've moved out of the 'after an attack' window.  Now I again wouldn't of said anything if I were B, but A clearly had moved past the point in which he could cloak.

 

If it were player B's ship that activated and he picked up the dice to attack that uncloaked Phantom, assuming A had a suitable chance to cloak it, should B really be denied the opportunity to capitalize on A's mistake?

 

A TO's job is to enforce the rules, not correct a player's mistake.

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Frankly this is an example of someone who shouldn't be a TO.  If you don't know the rules you shouldn't be the one making the call.  A TO should enforce the rules as written, not how they think the rules should work.

 

That's a little rough isn't it? If we excluded every TO that makes a bad call then we'd have a hell of a lot less tournaments than we do. Can we please refrain from making statements regarding TO being unfit to serve, or at least reserve them for cases of gross misconduct?

Edited by WWHSD

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We had a situation arise today in a competitive event that I would like to get an official ruling on if possible.  It involves the timing of action windows and a players verbal statements during competitive play.  This is specifically for competitive play at the top tables a major event, not casual games.  

 

4 ships were involved, Player A had 2 high PS ships, one of which being a phantom with advanced cloaking device.  Player B had 2 low PS ships.  Player A’s  phantom shot and hit, but did not cloak using ACD.  Player A then declared that they were attacking with their next ship.  Players A's second ship only had one possible target at range 1 and Player B’s second ship was well outside range 3, allowing for only one possible target.  Just before rolling dice for the second ship Player A remembered that they had not cloaked and attempted to do so. Player B objected stating that the action window had passed to cloak when they declared the next ships attack.  At this time the TO was called as the cloaking would prevent the almost assured destruction of the phantom with only 2 hull remaining and all but end the game for player A.

 

The controversy came from defining the action window and intent of the player based on their statements in game play.  Player B contested that the Player  A had the opportunity to cloak during that ships attack phase and when Player A declared the attack of their next ship the opportunity to cloak had passed.   The TO stated that his belief was that the game state had not changed and therefore the Player A could in fact cloak.  Player B contested that the Statement of intent to attack closed the action window on the phantoms turn and open the action window for the second ship thereby not allowing the cloak. The TO's call stood and

Player A ended up winning the game with the Phantom alone 5 turns later.

 

So the question is, when does and action window close.  When the player states that the next ship is attacking or when dice hit the table?  Do words matter in X-wing or just actions? 

 

For reference In the Tourney rules it states

Missed Opportunities

Players are expected to play optimally, remembering to perform actions

and use card effects when indicated. If a player forgets to use an effect

during the timing specified by that effect, he or she cannot retroactively use it

without the consent of his or her opponent. Players are expected to act with

respect and not intentionally distract or rush an opponent with the intent of

forcing a missed opportunity.

 

Advanced Cloaking Device

After you perform an attack, you may perform a free cloak action.

Player A had not said who he was attacking.  He simply had said it's my next ships turn to attack.  No range had been measured, no arcs had been checked, and no dice had been rolled.

It was ruled as though a player had said he was going to focus, and then changed his mind and said he was going to evade, before putting any tokens onto the board.  The question really came down to is verbal binding?  Or, is an action binding?  Had Player A done anything other than simply stated it was his next ships turn to shoot, the TO would have ruled that the opportunity was missed.  

The Focus, no wait I'll Evade standard was used.  Is that a fair standard?  The question this raises is how binding is a verbal statement?

 

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Nothing had changed about the game state and no new information was available to player A that could influence the decision to cloak. 

 

There's never new info that can affect cloaking and the game state doesn't determine if an opportunity has been missed or not.

 

As soon as you declare an attack, you've moved out of the 'after an attack' window.  Now I again wouldn't of said anything if I were B, but A clearly had moved past the point in which he could cloak.

 

If it were player B's ship that activated and he picked up the dice to attack that uncloaked Phantom, assuming A had a suitable chance to cloak it, should B really be denied the opportunity to capitalize on A's mistake?

 

A TO's job is to enforce the rules, not correct a player's mistake.

 

 

 

Cloaking issue aside, if Player A had two ships on the board one at PS2 and one at PS6 and without measuring or checking arc from anything said "My PS2 ship is going to attack that ship. Oh wait, I need to attack with my PS 6 ship first." would you rule that the PS6 ship had lost it's opportunity to attack?

Edited by WWHSD

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That's a little rough isn't it?

Perhaps, but it bugs me when a TO makes a judgement based on how they think the rules should work when the rules are quite clear. But given the below...

The Focus, no wait I'll Evade standard was used.  Is that a fair standard?

If that's all that happened, perhaps. If it was literally "I'm going to attack... Oh wait let me cloak first' then yes I think I'd of ruled like the TO did in that case. I thought he had picked up dice and such already.

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Nothing had changed about the game state and no new information was available to player A that could influence the decision to cloak. 

 

There's never new info that can affect cloaking and the game state doesn't determine if an opportunity has been missed or not.

 

As soon as you declare an attack, you've moved out of the 'after an attack' window.  Now I again wouldn't of said anything if I were B, but A clearly had moved past the point in which he could cloak.

 

If it were player B's ship that activated and he picked up the dice to attack that uncloaked Phantom, assuming A had a suitable chance to cloak it, should B really be denied the opportunity to capitalize on A's mistake?

 

A TO's job is to enforce the rules, not correct a player's mistake.

 

What constitutes declaring an attack?  Does that include the target of the attack?  In the situation above it got a little blurry.  Player A's second ship only had 1 target obviously in range, but range hadn't actually been checked to anything.  Player A had not said who he was attacking, but it was fairly obvious who he was attacking.  Does this mean that he has declared an attack if he hasn't stated his target?  

 

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We had a situation arise today in a competitive event that I would like to get an official ruling on if possible.  It involves the timing of action windows and a players verbal statements during competitive play.  This is specifically for competitive play at the top tables a major event, not casual games.  

 

4 ships were involved, Player A had 2 high PS ships, one of which being a phantom with advanced cloaking device.  Player B had 2 low PS ships.  Player A’s  phantom shot and hit, but did not cloak using ACD.  Player A then declared that they were attacking with their next ship.  Players A's second ship only had one possible target at range 1 and Player B’s second ship was well outside range 3, allowing for only one possible target.  Just before rolling dice for the second ship Player A remembered that they had not cloaked and attempted to do so. Player B objected stating that the action window had passed to cloak when they declared the next ships attack.  At this time the TO was called as the cloaking would prevent the almost assured destruction of the phantom with only 2 hull remaining and all but end the game for player A.

 

The controversy came from defining the action window and intent of the player based on their statements in game play.  Player B contested that the Player  A had the opportunity to cloak during that ships attack phase and when Player A declared the attack of their next ship the opportunity to cloak had passed.   The TO stated that his belief was that the game state had not changed and therefore the Player A could in fact cloak.  Player B contested that the Statement of intent to attack closed the action window on the phantoms turn and open the action window for the second ship thereby not allowing the cloak. The TO's call stood and

Player A ended up winning the game with the Phantom alone 5 turns later.

 

So the question is, when does and action window close.  When the player states that the next ship is attacking or when dice hit the table?  Do words matter in X-wing or just actions? 

 

For reference In the Tourney rules it states

Missed Opportunities

Players are expected to play optimally, remembering to perform actions

and use card effects when indicated. If a player forgets to use an effect

during the timing specified by that effect, he or she cannot retroactively use it

without the consent of his or her opponent. Players are expected to act with

respect and not intentionally distract or rush an opponent with the intent of

forcing a missed opportunity.

 

Advanced Cloaking Device

After you perform an attack, you may perform a free cloak action.

Player A had not said who he was attacking.  He simply had said it's my next ships turn to attack.  No range had been measured, no arcs had been checked, and no dice had been rolled.

It was ruled as though a player had said he was going to focus, and then changed his mind and said he was going to evade, before putting any tokens onto the board.  The question really came down to is verbal binding?  Or, is an action binding?  Had Player A done anything other than simply stated it was his next ships turn to shoot, the TO would have ruled that the opportunity was missed.  

The Focus, no wait I'll Evade standard was used.  Is that a fair standard?  The question this raises is how binding is a verbal statement?

Changing your decision on what action to do is still within that ships actions action window. The issue here was that the player had moved on and began an attack with a totally seperate ship.

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The issue here was that the player had moved on and began an attack with a totally seperate ship.

See that's the whole point, I thought that it was a case of a target being declared and dice picked up... But since that hadn't happened yet, it could be argued that he's still in the 'after an attack' window.

Cases like this are really a gray area, and depending on the timing it may of actually been the correct call, it all depends on how far things had gone. As pointed out above, if someone says they're going to focus but change their mind that's fair, this sounds like a simular issue.

Edited by VanorDM

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You can absolutely stand on RAW here and say it is a missed opportunity. If I was the TO I would be asking pointed questions to the opponent. If they would not budge concerning consent, I would rule it as a missed opportunity. 

 

Every time I hear this phantom missed opportunity argument when nothing in the game state has changed, I always refer back to worlds.  I think it was 2014 and Morgan was running a mini swarm with phantom. at one point, he forget to recloak. His opponent, arguable considered the best player in the world, Paul Heaver, told him to cloak the ship because "I knew he intended to do so".  Now, he can't read minds, but it makes absolute sense that a phantom, especially a damaged one, and found in arc of opponents ships would cloak after the attack. I would always let my opponent cloak in this situation because I feel it is in the spirit of the game and I would the optimal experience. I don't want to win (or care enough about winning) to not be flexible enough to allow my opponent to correct an obvious lapse when the game state hasn't yet changed. 

 

That's just me (and Paul Heaver). The opponent in the above statement is in the RAW right, but I sure wouldn't like playing him. 

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You can absolutely stand on RAW here and say it is a missed opportunity

 

But can you, really? At what point have you actually moved on to the next ship's activation? Is it when you mention that the ship will be attacking, or is it when you actually take some action like measuring distance, checking arc, or rolling dice? 

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At what point have you actually moved on to the next ship's activation?

I think that's actually a good question, and the answer will depend on how strict you want to be.  In Chess as soon as you take your figure off the piece you're move is over.

 

In X-Wing there's no finger rule, but there has to be a point in which it can be said you're done thinking about that move and move on to the next step.

 

IMO the point really has to be when you declare something.  Most times people are fine with someone going back and changing things within a few moments of that decision, such as saying "I'm going to focus... No I'll evade"   In this case it could be argued that the Phantoms attack phase wasn't over, it wouldn't be over until a target for the next ship was declared, even if there's only one possible target, as soon as the attack is declared the attack phase for the Phantom is over.

 

The first step in the attack phase is declare target, so at that point you've started in on the attack phase of that ship.

 

So the question is... Was anything like that said?  Did the guy say he was going to attack with his next ship?  If so then strictly speaking and RAW yes it was a missed opportunity.  The impression I'm getting now is he didn't even go as far as declaring an attack, so that makes it a gray area... Even if he had picked up the dice I think you could argue that he hasn't actually declared an attack yet.

Edited by VanorDM

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 Even if he had picked up the dice I think you could argue that he hasn't actually declared an attack yet.

 

Is there any significance to picking up dice? I probably have dice in my hand during most of the combat phase.

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Is there any significance to picking up dice? 

I'd say no myself.  Because I often pick up my dice and bounce them in my hand while mulling things over.

 

The more I think about it, I think the standard has to be declared actions.  If you say you're going to do something you are to a point locked into that.

 

If I say I'm going to barrel roll left, I have to barrel roll left, unless the ship won't fit.  So I think that has to be the standard.  Sure you could argue that means if someone says they're going to focus, they have to focus, and can't change their mind.

 

Which strictly speaking is correct, even if I would never hold someone to that standard myself.

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You are not committed to anything until you start doing it. In the OP he caught the fact that he was about to forget to use ACD, and corrected himself, before he actually started the next attack. Simply saying something does not commit you to anything. It is simply thinking out loud. Something I think many players often do.

Imagine you have 2 PS 2 ships. You say ' I think I will attack with this one first' and point to one of the ships. Are you then forced to do so if you haven't measured range and chosen weapon and target? Or can you change your mind and choose the other one first?

Until you start measuring, all you have done is debate out loud with yourself what to do.

TO called it right IMO.

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At what point have you actually moved on to the next ship's activation?

I think that's actually a good question, and the answer will depend on how strict you want to be.  

 

It's one of the most important questions, and the answer not only depends on how strict the TO is, but also on the context.

 

The game state isn't a precise guide, but I think it's a good rule of thumb: once the game state has changed, it's definitely too late. If the game state hasn't changed yet, then it might not be too late, and I think TOs (and players, of course) should give a great deal of weight to exactly what the "offending" player has said or done. 

 

In this case, it would be pretty clear if Player A had said "Okay, that wraps things up for Whisper's activation. Now it's on to Omega Leader, and let me just measure for her attack... yeah, that's a Range 3 primary attack against your Corran, so I'm rolling 2 dice against 4. Remember, I have a target lock, so you won't be able to modify these. Oh, wait, can I still cloak Whisper?" Player A indicated that Whisper's turn was over, measured for range, declared a target, and determined how many dice to roll--so he or she is pretty well into Omega Leader's activation.

 

On the other hand, if Player A says "Okay, it looks like Corran is Omega Leader's only target... wait, can I still cloak Whisper?" that's very different, and in that case I'd probably come down on Player A's side. 

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If you based it purely on words, your opponent could state they were acting before you had time to finish stating your post-attack effects and then say he started his attack and your window has passed. Making Xwing into some weird version of the card game "Slap" where the first to blurt out what they're doing goes.

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If you based it purely on words, your opponent could state they were acting before you had time to finish

No the rules clearly state you must give someone time to complete their actions before you take yours.

So you can't try to jump in with your ships activation as soon as the other guy stakes a breath with the plan of costing them their action.

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In this case, it would be pretty clear if Player A had said "Okay, that wraps things up for Whisper's activation. Now it's on to Omega Leader, and let me just measure for her attack... yeah, that's a Range 3 primary attack against your Corran, so I'm rolling 2 dice against 4. Remember, I have a target lock, so you won't be able to modify these. Oh, wait, can I still cloak Whisper?" Player A indicated that Whisper's turn was over, measured for range, declared a target, and determined how many dice to roll--so he or she is pretty well into Omega Leader's activation.

 

On the other hand, if Player A says "Okay, it looks like Corran is Omega Leader's only target... wait, can I still cloak Whisper?" that's very different, and in that case I'd probably come down on Player A's side. 

 

 

This seems right.

 

The moment Player A measured ranged, Whisper's activation was over, and the opportunity for ACD was missed.

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