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Tokra

To stack or not to stack (a "X" Story)

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After so many discussions about stacking, not stacking, unit keyword and weapon keyword I would like to give my impression about the rules. If anyone disagree with this, please give at least a good explanation, and not just a “I don’t agree”.
This is more or less a list to see what keywords are really in question. And what do not need any ruling, because they dont matter.

At first some basics:

Unit keyword count for the whole unit.
A unit with this keyword can add the effect once. No matter how many minis are using the effect/trigger/attack…
For example Speeder 3 on the Speeder Bikes. The Unit has two minis, but you are using the speeder keyword only once at the start of the activation.
Even if there is a weapon keyword, there are even keywords for weapons/attacks flagged as unit keyword. The wording (unit and weapon) is only important for the source of the keyword, not how to handle it.

Weapon keyword count for each weapon.
A unit that use a weapon with this keyword can add the effect for each weapon fired with the keyword.
For example, the Speeder Bikes again. Their AX-20 Blaster Cannon has impact 1. So each mini who is firing this weapon add the impact 1 to the attack.
Another example would be a Stormtrooper unit (4 minis) with Impact Grenade and DLT-19 mini. If they are attacking with the grenade and the heavy with the DLT-19, the attack would roll 4 black and 2 red dice and have impact 5 (DLT-19 adding 1 and each grenade adding 1 as well).

Stacking (or "is cumulative") means that the same effect (same keyword name) from different sources will each add its part. If it is adding up or each resolved on its own is not clear so far, but beside a few cards it does not really matter how they stack (if they stack).

For example, precise. Just because this one is already possible.
Stormtroopers have precise 1 (unit keyword). And they can equip a scope that give the unit precise 1.
IF precise does stack, you have ether precise 2 or two times precise 1. This will result in the same effect. If you spend an aim token, you can reroll two additional dice.
IF it does not stack, it would not matter how often the unit has precise. Only the highest count and can be used. In this case the Stormtropper unit with scope has only precise 1.
What speaks against a “not stacking”? The fact that the upgrade comes with the stormtroopers. Adding a card to a unit that has no effect is not really common (not even for FFG).
What speak against "stacking"? I see nothing that speaks against it.

After everyone agree to this (I hope so, because so far it was RAW), we can come to the problem part. When and what could or would stack and where are the problems.

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No matter if it is a weapon or unit keyword, there are, as far as I can see, 2 different kinds of keywords.
Trigger and “always on”. Both can be with or without a value (“X”).
There are 35 keywords (26 unit and 9 weapon).
Keywords, without an "X" that are “always on” do not matter for stacking. Even if you have this keyword several times, it cannot stack. The effect is there or it is not. There is no improvement to these.
And even most trigger keywords without an “X” do not matter, because they work or don't work. There is no
superior working.

 

At first, I will list the keywords without “X”.

The “always on” keywords (and do not matter for this, because these cannot stack) are:
Weapon keywords: Blast, Cumbersome, fixed: Front/Rear arc, Immune: Deflect
Unit keywords: Armor, climbing vehicle, expert climber, full pivot, immune: blast/melee/pierce, nimble, unhindered.

The trigger keywords (and here I will explain a bit) are:
Weapon keywords:
Supressive: This is one of the few keywords that is explained in the RRG. This one does not stack (RRG page 42: Suppressive is not cumulative). Even if you have a weapon with suppressive and are able to fire this one more than once, the defender only receives one token, and not one for each weapon with the keyword.
Tow Cable: This one is as well important and makes a difference if several effects would stack. If you are firing two weapons with tow cable, are you able to pivot the target once or twice? Can you turn it only up to 90° or 180°? This one Is not solved via the RRG.

Unit keywords:
Charge, Steady and Relentless. These 3 all trigger after a move and allow an attack. For these it does not matter if they stack or not. Even if the unit has more than one charge, it does not change anything. They can only attack once after the move, because it counts as an attack action.
Deflect: This one is, once the trigger is fulfilled, always on. But still a bit different. And this one cause some big problems if it stacks. If a unit has two deflect keywords from different sources, you could suddenly cause two wounds for each surge icon you roll (if they stack). This keyword should not stack, and not only because of the double damage. But also because of the trigger. Does spending one dodge token trigger all deflect keywords or only one, does each surge icon only count for one deflect or for both, … This would be easier if it does not stack. But this is my own
opinion.

 

This leaves 16 keywords with “X”:

Weapon keywords:
Impact: This is the only “X” keyword that is explained in the RRG on page 30 (the x values of each impact x keyword are cumulative). This one does stack.
Ion, pierce: taking the ruling from impact, this one should stack, but there is no clear word in the RRG. After all, these are weapon keywords, and it can happen that you have several of this.

Unit keywords:
Arsenal, Cover, Guardian, Inspire, Master of the Force, Precise, Ready, Sharpshooter, Spotter, Take Cover, Weak Point: for all these keywords is no rule if they stack or not. But for all it does not matter how they would stack. No matter if they are adding up or working on their own, the result is the same. For example, precise (because this one is already possible). It does not matter if the unit has precise 2 or two times precise 1. It could (if it stacks) reroll two additional dice.
Taking the fact that I assume the intention was that they stack, I would say all these effects stack. But this is my impression.

Jump: This one does matter if and how it stacks. It is a big difference if a unit with jump 1 and jump 2 is handled. Will it be jump 3, or will it remain a jump 1 and 2 (and this is the same as not stacking).
Speeder: This one is a really important one. Because here it is not only a difference if they stack or not but as well how they stack (if they stack). Several speeder keywords would be added, it would stay at a maximum of speeder 3. Because there is no movement tool bigger than 3. But if they are not added, but have to be used after each other, it could be, that a unit with several speeder X keywords have to move several times. So far it does not matter, but it might with future cards.

These were the 35 keywords. For 18 it does not matter if they stack or not, or it is written in the RRG.
Out of the remaining 17:
13 could be handled in the same way as Impact. They could (and should imo) just stack.
4 are open for discussion but should (imo) receive a clear RRG entry.

These 4 are: Speeder, Deflect, Jump and Tow cable.

So, basiaclly when we talk about stacking or not stacking it comes only to the question if the 13, that are similar to impact, should be handled like impact. And what will happen with the 4 that are not clear defined.

 

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I’d sum it up as, if it has a number, there’s stacking potential.

That being said, we only have 3 keywords with numbers in any position to come up with the current upgrade cards:

Precise (stormtroopers and scopes)

Impact (lots of weapons)

Arsenal (AT-ST and Weiss)

 

Everything else is just future proofing. Even then, the only number keywords in question are those that apply to the unit.

And, even then it’s merely the absence of an affirmative statement in the RRG that seems to be fueling this “debate”, as the intent has been clearly demonstrated within articles.

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4 hours ago, toffolone said:

Actually what makes you think that keywords like arsenal or precise do stack. I don' t want an esplanation of why you think so. I would like you to point out page and line  with the actual rule. 

If there is no such rule, there is no discussion. 

 

 

You are correct in your insinuation that there is no actual rule. In the vacuum of RAW, it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that arsenal and precise (and others, but I'll just discuss these for now) do not stack.

Those of us who think they do stack are trying to say that is the clear intent of the designers. Why do we think this? Mostly a bigger-picture analysis of the game and FFG. In other words: "Why would FFG release a card that does literally nothing." (Talking about General Weiss.) Or "Why would FFG release a card in an expansion pack that applies literally no benefit to the unit in that expansion." (Talking about Targeting Scopes in the Stormtrooper pack.)

Why do we think stacking is the clear intent? Because there are 2 possible ways these keywords can work: stacking or no stacking. One of these ways (no stacking) makes content that FFG has produced useless. And I don't mean useless as in "man this card is weak; who in their right mind would take it?" I mean literally useless. In these cases, you've got to go with the other interpretation.

Given the above, I argue that the position that arsenal and precise do not stack is a wholeheartedly unreasonable one. Just making numbers up here, but I think RAW trumps RAI 99% of the time. This is clearly one of those 1% moments where intent is painfully obvious.

At any rate, I'm sure clarification on this will be included in the first update of the RRG.

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I do agree that PROBABLY the intent of the rule was for those keywords to stack.. But actually they don't. AND nobody has the right to invent rules on the basis that they think their reasoning is better than Others'.

YOu say "it is reasonable to think that..." . It is reasonable for YOU. 

I could think that Arsenal 2 is well enough for the ATST. or precise 1 is enough for stormtroopers. I could even make up some explaination about why AT ST cannot shoot with 4 weapons altogether.

I would really like things to be as you think. But I will never use Rule As (I think is) Intended instead of RAW.

Then of course as soon as FFG wakes up and write the obvious, then we will all gladly shoot the **** out of rebels with Arsenal 4 on ATST and Precise 2 on stormtroopers with scopes...

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9 minutes ago, toffolone said:

I do agree that PROBABLY the intent of the rule was for those keywords to stack.. But actually they don't. AND nobody has the right to invent rules on the basis that they think their reasoning is better than Others'.

YOu say "it is reasonable to think that..." . It is reasonable for YOU. 

I could think that Arsenal 2 is well enough for the ATST. or precise 1 is enough for stormtroopers. I could even make up some explaination about why AT ST cannot shoot with 4 weapons altogether.

I would really like things to be as you think. But I will never use Rule As (I think is) Intended instead of RAW.

Then of course as soon as FFG wakes up and write the obvious, then we will all gladly shoot the **** out of rebels with Arsenal 4 on ATST and Precise 2 on stormtroopers with scopes...

The problem is, that all take the rule out of the learn to play. And even worse, from the learning battle. The learn to play has all rules are are need for the learning battle, but not more. It was important to say that Impact stack, because the bikes have impact. But there was no need to say if precise will stack, because it was not important in the lerning battle.

 

You say that they don't stack. And you do so because, well... Why again do you say so? On what basic and with what reason? Just because it is not clear written in the rules?

 

I am saying that these are two different effects from two different sources. And each one can be resolved on its own. As long as there is not rule that each effect can only be resolved once, no matter from what source, i take the rule we have already (impact) for the other keywords as well.
Impact is similar enough to precise or Arsenal. Each Weapon with the impact keyword add his effect to the attack. Same keyword, different sources. They stack (or can be resolved, if you want to say it this way). Precise is the same. You have one precise 1 from the Stormtroopers and from the Scope. Same keyword, different source. Both can be resolved and both allow one additional dice to be rerolled when spending an Aim token.

The second reaons why they should stack is the same @nashjaee already said. because it is obvious when FFG is putting a card into the AT-ST that would be useless if it would not stack. Not even FFG would be so stupid to put a card into an expansion that has no effect for the expansion where it is in. At least they never did it so far, i really doubt they start it now.

You might say that suppressive does not stack, and that precise and arsenal should maybe handled like this one. But i disagree because of one reason. Suppressive is no "X" keyword. This one is more or less an "always on". If you defend against Suppressive weapons you get a token. And even if there are 10 weapons with suppressive, you still defend against it and get one token. If it would have been suppressive X it would be different. But this is my interpretation. I might be wrong with it, but the FAQ will tell (or the mail from Alex :P).

 

The problem is, that we have only two keywords so far that are ruled in the RRG as "are cumulative" (impact) and "is not cumulative" (Suppressive). All other keywords are missing this.
And you cannot take the learn to play as reference. Because in this case the "are cumulative" from the impact was not needed in the RRG. But it was in the learn to play just for this single reason (as i said already earlier). To show that the two bikes, with impact on the weapon, both count for the attack. This, and only this, is imo the reason for this "Weapon keywords are cumulative" in the learn to play.

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@toffolone There isn’t  much room to disagree about the intent of the rules. We have an article describing arsenal stacking as well as a video demo provided by the designer where he says precise stacks. Intent is pretty well known.

 

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I still think that you are applying a rule given for weapons keyword, to something different which is Unit's keyword.

Otherwise, Tokra, please show me where in the RRG it says keywords are cumulative. I don't remember seeing it. Maybe I'm wrong.

And I'm sorry, but articles or presentation videos, are not rules. Reason is they may be produced month before the final version of the rules, so maybe something was changed inbetween.

 

But unless oyu can show me Real rules, not your reasonings, I'll stand on my position. Which is: I'll let you go as you like cumulating rules, but that's not the proper way to play according to the rules, so if someone else deny that, I can only say they are correct.

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@toffolone Sincerely, good for you for defending a RAW interpretation focused on the rule book and not articles. I mean that honestly. 99% of the time, you are going to be correct and play the game correctly.

Today, however, you are wrong. :)

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9 hours ago, toffolone said:

I still think that you are applying a rule given for weapons keyword, to something different which is Unit's keyword.

Otherwise, Tokra, please show me where in the RRG it says keywords are cumulative. I don't remember seeing it. Maybe I'm wrong.

And I'm sorry, but articles or presentation videos, are not rules. Reason is they may be produced month before the final version of the rules, so maybe something was changed inbetween.

 

But unless oyu can show me Real rules, not your reasonings, I'll stand on my position. Which is: I'll let you go as you like cumulating rules, but that's not the proper way to play according to the rules, so if someone else deny that, I can only say they are correct.

I could ask you the same, show me a real rule. Show me the wording that they do not stack. There is non. That is the problem.

If it would stand in the RRG for all keywords, we would not have this discussion. :rolleyes:
 

In the RRG is only one entry about cumulative for Impact X on page 30:


•  If a unit performs an attack using multiple weapons that have the impact x keyword and those weapons contribute dice to the same attack pool, the x values of each impact x keyword are cumulative. 
 
For example, a unit that performs an attack using both a weapon that has impact 1 and a weapon that has impact 2 contribute dice to the attack pool, that attack is treated as using a weapon that has impact 3 which allows that unit to change up to three hit () results to critical () results.

And there is one part in the Learn to play on page 15. But, as i said already earlier, this seems to be mainly for impact, because it is for the learning game:


 Weapon keywords are cumulative; when performing an attack that includes two weapons that have the impact 1 keyword, these two keywords combine to add up to impact 2.

For all other keywords there is no word if they stack or not. And if you can trigger multiple same keywords from different sources or not. 

At last, the best part i found is unter keyword (page 31:


•  Each unit keyword provides a unit with an ability, including the timing of when the ability is used as well as the effect of the ability.
•  Each weapon keyword adds an ability to the attack pool in which it is included.

Each keyword give the unit the ability to resolve (or use, trigger, or whatever you want to name it) the keyword. Even with the timing. Precise allows a unit to reroll additional dice when it spend an aim token. Why can i not resolve both precise that i have? The timing is there, the unit has the ability, the trigger (spend an aim token) is done. So for what reason (what rule) deny me to resolve both precise? 

 

And just because it was not said often enough. This is all personal decision right now (from both sides!). Everyone will keep his attitude and opinion. And nothing might change this until there is a mail from the dev team or a FAQ.

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On 6/4/2018 at 10:56 AM, Tokra said:

The second reaons why they should stack is the same @nashjaee already said. because it is obvious when FFG is putting a card into the AT-ST that would be useless if it would not stack. Not even FFG would be so stupid to put a card into an expansion that has no effect for the expansion where it is in. At least they never did it so far, i really doubt they start it now.

QBT on the Quasar ;)

But I agree, though. 

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