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Asaverino1019

Autopilot Drone Charges

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If an autopilot drone loses its last charge then docks, is it still destroyed at the end of activation, and if so is the carrier ship damaged?  

 

Also if it deploys with a charge left, does it lose a charge on the turn it deploys, or does it wait until the next systems phase to lose its last charge?

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Docked ships are in Reserve.  Abilities on ships in reserve are inactive unless they specify otherwise.  Therefore the Autopilot drone will not be destroyed while docked even if it has no charges.

 

You get to choose.  Since losing the charge has the timing of "During the System Phase" and deploying also happens during the System Phase (on the carrier ship's initiative, if I'm not mistaken) you can choose to resolve them in either order.

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Short answers: 1. No, because abilities are inactive while in Reserve (when a ship docks it goes into reserve.) 2. Is less clear cut, but I would rule yes you remove a charge and splode, because of timing.

Further explanation below and here's a pic of the card since I couldn't remember the wording for Rigged Energy Cells (REC):

Card_Pilot_229.png

Ok, with that out of the way let's look at the relevant lines from the Rules Reference (1.0.2).

For the first question: When a ship is docks it goes into reserve as per this passage right under Dock on page 10:

"If a card ability instructs a ship to Dock with a carrier ship, the docked ship is placed in reserve."

Then going to Reserve on page 16 these two bullet points apply to answer the first question:

"• The abilities of a ship in reserve are inactive unless the ability explicitly allows it to be used while it is in reserve.
• A ship that is docked is placed in reserve."

1. Since REC does not reference being in reserve it will not be able to trigger while docked.

For the second question: I'll start by acknowledging that the timing of Deploy and of the "lose 1[charge]" clause of REC are both "during the system phase". It seems like Timing on page 18 would be a good place to start, but FFG unfortunately neglected to define "during". However during is a literal synonym of (and included in the reference definition of) While so I have to infer that same window applies which can be summed up as covering the whole of the referenced window. Then they give this particularly relevant example of narrowing down timing when "While" has been used:

"◊ For example, in the context of an attack, if the ability rolls additional attack dice, the ability triggers during the Roll Attack Dice step. If the ability modifies defense dice, the ability triggers during the Modify Defense Dice step."

The definitions of System Phase from page 18 allow us to use the above passage from "While" to narrow down when exactly deployment and losing the charge occurs:

"The System Phase is the second phase of a round. During this phase, the sequence of play starts with the ship with the lowest initiative and continues in ascending order.
During this phase, each ship gets an opportunity to choose and resolve any abilities that are explicitly resolved during the System Phase."

So now we know that both deployment and REC trigger at initiative 1 when the sequence of play reaches the Autopilot. Next we take that info and look at the Ability Queue on page 3 where we get this final piece of the puzzle:

"• If there are game effects that share the same timing window as a player’s ability, the game effect is resolved first.

◊ For example, if a ship performs a red barrel roll and the ship has an ability that triggers after it performs a barrel roll, the ship gains a stress token before the other ability is resolved."

2. And that seals the drone's fate a taking its last charge. Deploy is a game effect that comes from the Rules Reference which must occur before the player effect from your ship ability and causing you to lose the last charge from REC.

(That was way too long with all those quotes, but I can't figure out how to slim it down :( )

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Posted (edited)

Half ninja'd by @lordvorkon. I agree completely with your answer for the first question, but I believe you are mistaken on the second.

23 minutes ago, lordvorkon said:

...

You get to choose.  Since losing the charge has the timing of "During the System Phase" and deploying also happens during the System Phase (on the carrier ship's initiative, if I'm not mistaken) you can choose to resolve them in either order.

You must deploy then lose the charge, order of those two is not optional. Deploying happens during the docked ship's initiative as per the last bullet point of Dock on page 10 which is a game effect, which means it must resolve before the player effect of "lose a [charge]"

"• During the System Phase, the initiative of the ship docking or deploying is used, not the initiative of the carrier ship."

It's super easy to miss, tucked away in the middle of the next column like that (upper right of page 10). Would have been nice of FFG to include that somewhere in this opener:

"A docked ship is able to Deploy from its carrier ship during the System Phase by performing the following steps..."

I wavered back and forth on whether it was player choice until I remembered the last line of the Ability Queue on page 3:

"• If there are game effects that share the same timing window as a player’s ability, the game effect is resolved first."

Edited by nitrobenz
Proofread

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3 minutes ago, nitrobenz said:

You must deploy then lose the charge, order of those two is not optional. Deploying happens during the docked ship's initiative as per the last bullet point of Dock on page 10 which is a game effect, which means it must resolve before the player effect of "lose a [charge]"

Yeah... good call on whose initiative is used, but I don't agree that deploying is a game effect.  It is a thing that a player can choose to do (or not do) which makes it a player effect in my mind.

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3 hours ago, lordvorkon said:

Yeah... good call on whose initiative is used, but I don't agree that deploying is a game effect.  It is a thing that a player can choose to do (or not do) which makes it a player effect in my mind.

Fair point, the Rules Reference neglects to call out what constitutes a "game effect" vs a "player effect". Although the interpretation of "Rules Reference=game & card=player" is what makes sense to me and I'm accustomed to, I can totally understand and cannot refute "mandatory=game & choice=player". If the latter is the case then it would always be "lose 1 charge" first and opportunity to deploy second.

On the third hand there's the "mandatory RR(such as stress after red action)=game & everything else=player" which is also just as valid as the above and would make the trigger order here optional.

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i think the ability is an ongoing game effect, since its checking wether you are docked or not and destroys you at the end of activation if you have no charges and the ability is active (as in, you're not docked).

you can dock the same systems phase you loose your last charge, since loosing a charge is not optional and should therefore be considered a game effect and trigger first. if you do, you won't be destoyed at the end of that rounds activation, since the ability is not active when you're docked.

you will always loose a charge the same round you undock as well, though, since checking if you are not docked and loosing a charge is a continuous effect. obviously nothing happens if you have no charges left.

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5 minutes ago, player2072913 said:

Do you have a reference for this? 

no, not really. even if it isn't considered a game effect, it's not optional and so has to be resolved. essentially, it might as well be a game effect

the effect is ongoing and continuous. it checks during the system phase. even before you would get the option to dock, so wether it's really considered a game effect or a player effect is irrelevant for the interaction. it will still resolve.

the only reference i have is the card itself and what the RR says about timings and the systems phase.

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39 minutes ago, meffo said:

no, not really. even if it isn't considered a game effect, it's not optional and so has to be resolved. essentially, it might as well be a game effect

the effect is ongoing and continuous. it checks during the system phase. even before you would get the option to dock, so wether it's really considered a game effect or a player effect is irrelevant for the interaction. it will still resolve.

the only reference i have is the card itself and what the RR says about timings and the systems phase.

I like this interpretation, but I can't think of any precedent or rules in 2e that confirms the application of "must be done at any time in the specified step". I can see the argument that REC should have a fully open timing window where it doesn't matter if it's first or last as long as it happens...

Kinda like 1e Hotshot Co-pilot, it didn't matter at what step the focus was spent as long as it was spent during the attack.

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2 minutes ago, nitrobenz said:

I like this interpretation, but I can't think of any precedent or rules in 2e that confirms the application of "must be done at any time in the specified step". I can see the argument that REC should have a fully open timing window where it doesn't matter if it's first or last as long as it happens...

Kinda like 1e Hotshot Co-pilot, it didn't matter at what step the focus was spent as long as it was spent during the attack.

there is a timing a and requirement for the ability. if those are fulfilled, it triggers. if you have other abilities that have the same timing window, of course you could let them trigger first. it would also be optional if it was an ability that said you may, but this doesn't. it's mandatory.

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22 hours ago, nitrobenz said:

I like this interpretation, but I can't think of any precedent or rules in 2e that confirms the application of "must be done at any time in the specified step". I can see the argument that REC should have a fully open timing window where it doesn't matter if it's first or last as long as it happens...

Kinda like 1e Hotshot Co-pilot, it didn't matter at what step the focus was spent as long as it was spent during the attack.

Yeah, I don't agree that the drones effect *must* trigger. The timing for its removal of a charge, and docking with a carrier ship are the same. Since both of those are on the drones initiative, im of the side that it can choose which to resolve first (in this case, docking with the carrier ship). This would then disable the drones abilities, preventing it from loosing a charge. 

My reasoning follow exposed damage cards. If you have multiple exposed damage cards that trigger in the same timing window, to my knowledge, you can resolve them in any order. Even further, once an exposed damage card is repaired (flipped face down), its abilities no longer resolve. 

Lets take Damaged Sensor Array as an example.

 

Quote

You cannot perform any actions except the [focus] action and actions from damage cards.

Action: Repair this card.

Ok, now lets say this card is exposed on Vader or Poe, or an A-wing or any similar ability ship. They can, during their perform action step (or even after being coordinated) use an action to repair the card, then chain a 2nd action from that. That 2nd action isn't limited to focus or damage cards. The cards "abilities" are no longer active even tho a 2nd action was 'put into the queue' while it was active. 

So yes, a drone would still technically need to put the loss of a charge in the ability queue, but once its docked, that ability would no longer be active, and fail to resolve. 

At least that's how i see it. 

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Posted (edited)

that's very interesting. i like that interpretation a lot, @Lyianx.

i've noticed i've started always going for the harshest and most limiting interpretation possible. my thought was the ability just went to the queue as soon as the systems phase starts, before ships start resolving their abilities in initiative order. probably because this effect is non-optional and so didn't in my mind fit very well under this description of the systems phase from the RR:

"During this phase, each ship gets an opportunity to choose and resolve any abilities that are explicitly resolved during the System Phase."

with your interpretation (that i actually think has a more solid basis in the rules), the player could, as you point out, just use the docking ability of the ship before loosing a charge - and if the player did, the charge wouldn't be lost because the ability would no longer be in play.

an even simpler example of a similar interaction with damage cards is repairing a wounded pilot. you don't have to roll for stress even if you took an action, since with that action, you put the effect out of play.

it still comes down to the timing of the ability, though. 

i'm kind of torn. on one hand, it's worded a lot like a continous ongoing effect. on the other hand, it's a pilot ability, which normally means the player controlling it can choose when to trigger it.

also, this ship is still missing a crew slot.

Edited by meffo

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