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joeshmoe554

Nien Nunb vs Jam

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If a huge ship tries to Jam Nien Nunb while he has an enemy ship in arc at Range 1, who wins?  Or rather who should win since I'm pretty sure the rules as written result in an infinite loop stalemate.

For reference:

Nien Nunb: When you recieve a stress token, if there is an enemy ship inside your firing arc at Range 1, you may discard that stress token.

Jam Action: Ships with the [JAM] action icon in their action bar may perform the jam action. To do so, choose one enemy ship at Range 1-2 and assign it stress tokens until it has a total of two stress tokens.

As I said, I believe this results in an infinite loop since the Jam action continues to assign stress until there is a total of 2 stress and Nien Nunb will remove every stress token assigned to him.  So I was curious what people think the best resolution is for this?  Should the Jam action override Nien Nunb's ability or should the Jam action just give up and accept that Nien Nunb is unstressable.

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Super literal technical interpretation: it's a potentially infinite loop. Since Nien Numb's ability is a "may", the player controlling Nien can end the loop at any time by choosing not to use his ability and accepting the stress. This allows the Nien player to stall for an arbitrarily long period of time.

If I was a TO and saw this happening, I'd be torn between two responses:

  1. Jammer wins: The only way for the loop to end is for Nien to choose not to use his ability. Therefore, the player who controls Nien MUST accept the stress in order to not be in violation of rules against stalling and bad sportsmanship. If the Nien player refuses to accept the stress, they would be given a game loss. This is more of a "letter of the rules" answer.
  2. Nien wins: The Jam action against Nien is pointless in this scenario, similar to trying to Target Lock an enemy ship that is not in range. The Jam action cannot proceed in a way that creates a consistent game state. Therefore, the Jam action is canceled and the player who attempted to Jam Nien must choose a different target to Jam or a different action for their ship to take. This is more of a "spirit of the rules" or "I wish the rules worked this way" answer.

Without further clarification from FFG, I think either TO response would be valid and defensible.

Edited by EdgeOfDreams

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Yeah, you can put the onus on the Jammer player to trigger the state in the first place, or you can decide that Nien player must bite the bullet and accept that he have to break the loop...

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Not an infinite loop. You check the current stress on Nien ONCE at time of triggering the JAM action. This tells you how many stress to assign. You don't then go back to check again.

Now you assign the allocated stress to Nien, one at a time. Each stress assigned gives Nien an opportunity to trigger his ability.

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2 minutes ago, McLaine said:

Not an infinite loop. You check the current stress on Nien ONCE at time of triggering the JAM action. This tells you how many stress to assign. You don't then go back to check again.

Do you mind pointing to a reference for that?  As written the ability is "assign it stress tokens until it has a total of two stress tokens." which would imply that you keep assigning stress tokens until that ship has 2 stress tokens.

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So Nein winds up with 1 stress? Gets a stress, gets another stress Jam action ends, then Nien discards one. 

Or Nien gets zero stress? Jammer assigns 2 stress tokens, Nien discards 2 stress tokens. 

Edited by BlodVargarna

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Joeshmoe554,

There is no specific ruling, but if it becomes a point of confusion it will be FAQ'd

But this is a fundamental of X-wing. You check the conditions of a card once when you trigger it, then you apply the effect. You don't then go back and check the conditions again.

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2 hours ago, McLaine said:

Joeshmoe554,

There is no specific ruling, but if it becomes a point of confusion it will be FAQ'd

But this is a fundamental of X-wing. You check the conditions of a card once when you trigger it, then you apply the effect. You don't then go back and check the conditions again.

Except he's not going back to the card.  He never left it.  You assign stress one at a time until you reach two stress, and Nien Nunb's ability interrupts the adding of stress.

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Not going to argue with you Zefirus, as there is no concrete ruling that can be brought to bear.

I'm drawing on experience and precedent of how the game functions to draw a sensible conclusion.

You play it how you like. Have fun with your infinite loop, and enjoy all the arguments it will cause.

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14 minutes ago, McLaine said:

Not going to argue with you Zefirus, as there is no concrete ruling that can be brought to bear.

I'm drawing on experience and precedent of how the game functions to draw a sensible conclusion.

You play it how you like. Have fun with your infinite loop, and enjoy all the arguments it will cause.

Rules should be interpreted to avoid an absurd result. An infinite loop is absurd. 

It would make more sense for the Jam to hand out 2 stress, and Nien to discard. So don't Jam Nien if he has an enemy in r1 in arc. Simples, now you can play Epic without an absurd result. 

Maybe FFG should FAQ this, but until they do, there's no point to playing it any other way really. 

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30 minutes ago, BlodVargarna said:

Rules should be interpreted to avoid an absurd result. An infinite loop is absurd. 

It would make more sense for the Jam to hand out 2 stress, and Nien to discard. So don't Jam Nien if he has an enemy in r1 in arc. Simples, now you can play Epic without an absurd result. 

Maybe FFG should FAQ this, but until they do, there's no point to playing it any other way really. 

Infinite loops are absurd, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.  This one does.

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6 minutes ago, Willy Jarque said:

I'm not very used to epic format, but it seems to me that the wording is pretty similar to how huge ships manage stress tokens (discard them as soon as you get them).

How is Jam resolved against a huge ship?

There appears to be no ruling for that! I went looking in the Huge ship rules expecting Jam to say something like "Choose a small or large ship...", but it doesn't. It just says "Choose a ship..."

So, it appears that using Jam and targeting a Huge ship is another infinite loop, except this time there's no way to break out of it.

I am yet again reminded of how much I wish FFG would publish a proper Epic FAQ.

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You can't have an infinite loop in a game so you either have to set up to rules to not allow for it, or create an escape clause when it does.  I'm thinking I'll end up ruling in Nien Nunb's favor for the my upcoming epic event since assigning stress to him in that state is about the same as assigning stress to an epic ship and I would say that you can't assign 2 stress to an epic ship.  It also means that a good player can make Nien Nunb immune to Jam instead of it always working all the time.

I definitely wouldn't change the Jam action (other than make it small and large ship only) since I can think of at least one case where it would assign more than 2 stress total to arrive at 2 stress on the target ship and I think it should be immune to things like Electronic Baffle.

1 hour ago, EdgeOfDreams said:

I am yet again reminded of how much I wish FFG would publish a proper Epic FAQ.

Definitely, there are a lot of weird things in Epic that are never addressed because of the lack of attention it gets.

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Jam is already broken if the ship starts with two or more stress (or more than two if you're not into the distinction between a while loop and a do/while loop). I can see errataing it to say "if the ship has fewer than two stress tokens, assign it a number of stress tokens equal to two minus the number of stress tokens on it currently", but that's just one way it could go.

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