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Bilisknir

Abuse of target lock in measuring range

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Would you consider it an abuse of the rules to measure for a target lock (for example) that you know CANNOT be made during the activation phase?

 

I ask this because it came up in a game last week. My opponent was attempting to target lock a ship well out of range (was at range 5 ish). Normally I wouldn't see this as much of an issue, but the only reason he was doing it was to get an idea of the range to another of my ships. He wanted to find out what was the range to that ship to decide on the action he should take.

 

Now clearly within the rules it states you may measure for a target lock. In this instance I see it as an abuse of the spirit of the rule.

 

Now clearly target lock is not the only action that could be abused like this. Anything where you have a range on an action could be used like this (Most obviously Intelligence Agent and Squad Leader).

 

What are peoples' thoughts on this?

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Yes it's an abuse. If you are trying to measure to a particular ship, you should measure to that ship.

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I would classify that under unsportsmanlike conduct.  As a TO, if brought to my attention, I would tell him not to do that anymore.  And if he continued measuring blatantly out of range ships, then I would disqualify him.

 

Magadizer - the reason you don't measure to the particular ship is that if it is in range, then you are required to follow through with the TL on that ship.  By measuring to a different ship (say Howlrunner at the back of the swarm instead of the academy at the front) you get to bring the ruler onto the table and have a visual aid of how close the academy is, without committing to it.  

 

An example of whether this would be beneficial or not is if you're in an A wing, and you really want to see whether you're in range of ship that can shoot you so you know whether or not to evade.  And if you're not in that persons range, then you'd focus to attack the guy who you're tailing at R1 but clearly out of his arc (or TL on him).  A TL on the ship you're concerned about would be a bad decision since you're not going to be shooting it anyways, but you want to make sure you keep your stealth device, so taking an evade is more important than getting extra hurt in on the guy you're attacking.

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then you are required to follow through with the TL on that ship.

That's only true if you use the Competitive Play Rules. The standard rules don't actually require that you do that.

Standard rules let you measure 360 degs around your ship and you aren't forced to TL on anything if you don't wish to.

Competitive Play rules requires that you declare a target before you check and you can only measure to that target. Then if it's in range you are forced to TL on it. But even then if you declare a target that is out of range you don't lose your action. So I can pick a target that I know is out of range and measure to it anyway.

I'm not making a comment about if checking for a ship that's out of range, or one you have on intention of gaining a TL on is good or bad. But the rules are quite clear.

As a TO, you're walking on somewhat thin ice if you tell someone that they can't target something out of range and check the range. Since the rules clearly allow it. Of course as the TO you're allowed to do pretty much anything you want, but you are then entering realm of houserules.

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I would classify that under unsportsmanlike conduct.  As a TO, if brought to my attention, I would tell him not to do that anymore.  And if he continued measuring blatantly out of range ships, then I would disqualify him.

 

Magadizer - the reason you don't measure to the particular ship is that if it is in range, then you are required to follow through with the TL on that ship.  By measuring to a different ship (say Howlrunner at the back of the swarm instead of the academy at the front) you get to bring the ruler onto the table and have a visual aid of how close the academy is, without committing to it.  

 

An example of whether this would be beneficial or not is if you're in an A wing, and you really want to see whether you're in range of ship that can shoot you so you know whether or not to evade.  And if you're not in that persons range, then you'd focus to attack the guy who you're tailing at R1 but clearly out of his arc (or TL on him).  A TL on the ship you're concerned about would be a bad decision since you're not going to be shooting it anyways, but you want to make sure you keep your stealth device, so taking an evade is more important than getting extra hurt in on the guy you're attacking.

 

I fully understand the reasons someone might wish to do that. I'm saying that you should only check range for target lock to a ship you intend to target lock, if possible. I think that's the most reasonable way to interpret the intent (yes, I know I said "intent") of FFG at this time, given the combined wording of the FAQ and the original Rule book.

 

Now, this has been debated many times on this and other forums. The rules are not completely unambiguous. If you only strictly read the rules that come in the Core set Rulebook, there is no explicit prohibition of using the range ruler basically at any time, AND you can basically do a "360-degree sweep" around your ship when considering a target lock, whether or not you wish to commit to that action.

 

The "Competitive Rules Addendum" in the FAQ tightens up the restrictions considerably, but not without some ambiguity.

 

I think that measuring for a target lock should only be done in order to see if you can acquire a target lock legally, not to gain some different information, especially if you had no intent of acquiring a target lock anyways.

 

Otherwise, you are abusing the rules. That being said, I personally let my opponents check range/firing arcs during the action step all the time, and don't complain. I don't do it myself anymore after the publication of the most recent FAQ, though earlier in the game's history I used to. I play friendly games, and would rather have fun than argue about minutiae of rules. I would speak up however if this sort of abuse was going on intentionally during a major tournament like Worlds. (If I was ever able to attend such an event! LOL)

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If it's a friendly game, and they're not requiring a TL if you're in range, then there's no point to measure to some other ship when you really want to know the distance to another target.  So from that piece of info, I deemed they were playing tourney rules.  Regarding the unsportsmanlike activity:

 

"Players are expected to behave in a mature and considerate manner, and to play within the rules and
not abuse them. This prohibits intentionally stalling a game for time, placing components with excessive
force, abusing an infinite combo, inappropriate behavior, treating an opponent with a lack of courtesy or
respect, etc. Collusion among players to manipulate scoring is expressly forbidden. The TO, at his
or her sole discretion, may remove players from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct."

 

I would consider this an abuse of the rules.  The rule is clearly there to prevent measuring to a ship for the sake of measuring.  The only reason you're allowed to measure when you declare a TL is to ensure that the ship is in range.  As such, measuring to a ship that is knowingly out of range in order to estimate how close a different ship that IS in range is a manipulative abuse of the rules, and as such, unsportsmanlike, and reason for being removed for the tourney.  Now, with that being said, everyone goes to a tourney to have fun, so if the opponent wasn't complaining, I wouldn't bother getting involved.   

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The most amusing out on this, if your opponent does it to you:

 

"Oh, yeah, that's totally in range, you don't even have to measure it."

 

Just to watch the look on their face as they consider arguing with you that it's out of range.

 

As a TO, I'd consider it abusive and unsportsmanlike to measure to ships that are clearly and obviously out of range.  It's not explicitly against the rules (hence the sportsmanship issue) but I'd have no heartburn saying that in those cases the range can be measured without the need for the ruler to hit the table.

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I actually preferred when the rules for measuring were looser. What was fairly generally accepted was basically: "Only use maneuver templates when you are moving the ships, but you can use the range rulers to check arcs/range any time except during the planning phase."

 

I think that's easier to manage, more fun, and more thematic (sensors and pilot awareness let you have this info in real time).

 

But the Tourney rules being what they are, I try to hold myself to a stricter standard of measuring.

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then you are required to follow through with the TL on that ship.

That's only true if you use the Competitive Play Rules. The standard rules don't actually require that you do that.

Standard rules let you measure 360 degs around your ship and you aren't forced to TL on anything if you don't wish to.

Competitive Play rules requires that you declare a target before you check and you can only measure to that target. Then if it's in range you are forced to TL on it. But even then if you declare a target that is out of range you don't lose your action. So I can pick a target that I know is out of range and measure to it anyway.

I'm not making a comment about if checking for a ship that's out of range, or one you have on intention of gaining a TL on is good or bad. But the rules are quite clear.

As a TO, you're walking on somewhat thin ice if you tell someone that they can't target something out of range and check the range. Since the rules clearly allow it. Of course as the TO you're allowed to do pretty much anything you want, but you are then entering realm of houserules.

 

 

The OP was that someone could pick a target that was obviously out of range to try to check a target that could be in range. I would mention it to the player that I thought he was being unsportsmanlike and abusing the TL action and not to do it again. If he ignores my warning I would bring it to the attention of the T.O. for further action.

 

I had an opponent at a tournament measure distance with his two fingers, prior to picking his maneuver for that ship. I told him that it was simply a substitution for the actual maneuver template and that it was not a good idea to do that again. He apologized and never did it again.

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It may be an "abuse" of a rule but I'm personally not a big fan of the rule it is abusing.

 

The reason I'm not a big fan of disallowing measuring is simply because of the huge advantage it can give certain players.  "What huge advantage?"  The one that a player with good to excellent spatial awareness has over a player who could actually measure something and STILL get it wrong.  I'm sure practice helps but there are some people who could just look at a board and tell you how far apart two things are and such a person of course has almost no need to "cheat" my physically measuring.  You also have people who can "measure" effectively using other clues without dropping down the range finder. 

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The problem with measuring is that if there are ANY halfway measures, it's going to have the potential for abuse.  It's almost as easy to check maneuvers using the range ruler as it is to check range.  So unless you open it up completely and allow anything, the limit is going to be abusable.

 

There's nothing wrong with spatial perception being part of the game.  Yes, it means some people are going to be stronger at that skill (we once had a guy locally who worked in a print shop - he was univerally hated in Warhammer for his ability to "guess the cannon distance" to within a quarter inch anywhere on the board).  But is there any particular reason it shouldn't be?  There are any number of natural abilities/skills that go into playing any number of games.  Spatial perception and reasoning is just as valid as any other.

 

And I say that as someone with literally ZERO depth perception (severe amblyopia).

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The problem with "obviously" out of range it that what is obvious to some one might not feel so obvious to some one else. How do you determine if something is obvious or not?

 

Any way, I'm one of thouse who don't like the non measuring rules any way. In casual games I allow measuring anything as long as it's not in the planing phase. In a tournament, I would follow the rules and try my best to not abuse any allowed measurements.

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I suppose I should point out that my opponent agreed the ship was not in range to target lock, but felt the rule allowed him to measure anyway.

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I prefer the basic rules covering this measure what you want, just don't use maneuver templates.  With the exception of the action phase of course.  As one of the "spatially gifted" crowd I do not need to measure to estimate my moves and lining up my shots.  I have no problem with my opponent using a range ruler to check multiple ranges.

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The problem with "obviously" out of range it that what is obvious to some one might not feel so obvious to some one else. How do you determine if something is obvious or not?

 

Any way, I'm one of thouse who don't like the non measuring rules any way. In casual games I allow measuring anything as long as it's not in the planing phase. In a tournament, I would follow the rules and try my best to not abuse any allowed measurements.

Well if your ship is in one corner of the board, and his ship is in the other extreme corner, diagonally across a 3x3 play space, I suspect you can eyeball that and realize the range ruler ain't gonna make it.  If there's a ship you're reasonably certain is in range 3, and another ship that is quite a ways back past him, that ship is more than likely 'obviously' out of range.  He just means stupidly, blatantly, 'use a few range rulers end to end and MAYBE you reach him' obviously out of range.

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The original comment suggested it was at range 5.  Seeing as each range is about 4'', that means that the guy was well over 6'' outside of the 12'' range.  If that's not clear to your opponent, then you really shouldn't have any issue beating the guy anyways.

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The original comment suggested it was at range 5.  Seeing as each range is about 4'', that means that the guy was well over 6'' outside of the 12'' range.  If that's not clear to your opponent, then you really shouldn't have any issue beating the guy anyways.

 

Simplified - there were 4 ships in the scenario (others were in play but are irrelevant). 2 of mine (1 TIE Int of PS 4 on 3 Hull and 1 TIE Bomber) and 2 of his (1 B-wing of PS 4 and Sensor Jammer + Proton Torp on 2 Hull / 0 shield and Kyle Katarn around somewhere with a Focus to pass off). Rebels had Initiative

3 ships were approximately in line. Distance between B-wing and Bomber was about range 5. TIE Int was between these 2 ships, approximately range 2 from the B-wing. This is after B-wing move and before action. TIE Int and Bomber have both moved.

Now B-wing had no TL. TIE Int had stress from Korrigan. TIE Bomber was facing away (and mostly irrelevant). KK was at Range 3 from B-wing and out of range of everything else.

 

He wanted to measure to the TIE Bomber (which as I say was CLEARLY out of range) for TL. This would have shown him range to the TIE Int. This would have allowed him to decide whether to either TL and try to kill the TIE Int with Proton if already at range 3, or Barrel Roll out to range 3 so as to reduce chance of dying (ie 2 def dice + jammer + Focus vs 3 attack dice).

 

So the choice of action does make quite a difference. If he isn't sure about the range - then he goes for the safer option and the TIE Int is most likely to survive and might do some damage. But if he knows he is already at range 3 he can TL and go for the kill with the Torp and Focus.

 

There ensued an argument which continued for a number of minutes. He eventually won after some good dice rolling on his behalf and terrible on mine.

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Am I the only one that doesnt see this an abuse? The rules allow it, and it can be helpful to know.  Sure, you could say that if it is "obvious" they are using it to be able to measure and that could be considered an abuse I guess, but as has been stated, its one of those border-line house rules if you tried to enforce it.

 

The part that makes me think it is not an abuse is that the basic out of the box rules would let you check 360* around you, and the tournament rules force you to declare a ship and if it is in range you have to stick to it. Obviously in the original game they planned on people being able to measure to determine if they wanted the lock or not, and the only reason they adjusted that for tournaments was to prevent people from declaring every action (barrel roll, boost, TL etc) and checking them all prior to actually doing one. The intent of the more strict rules was to reduce the possibility of abuse, not increase it.

 

The most obvious reason to do this is to pre-plan your maneuver for the subsequent turn, which you have multiple opportunities to do. Once it is the ship's turn to shoot you are allowed to check what ships are in your arc/at what range prior to determining a target, so either way you will be able to measure in advance in a lot of cases, making this kind of moot.

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I suppose I should point out that my opponent agreed the ship was not in range to target lock, but felt the rule allowed him to measure anyway.

And he was right.  Both the Rulebook included in the box and the FAQ Tournament rules allow him to do so, even if it is obvious to both players....

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Honestly, I wish they would just get rid of the "Competitive Play Addendum".

 

It didn't speed up play, it didn't simplify the game, and it didn't add any new strategies or tactics.  All it did is provide rules-lawyers a chance to abuse the measuring rules in ways like this one.  Or, if they are on the other side of the table they have a chance to make otherwise friendly games a morass of objections and inconveniences that affect new players dramatically while having virtually no effect on competitive play.  If we didn't have that stupid addendum, the guy could just measure and be done with it, causing no hard feelings or suspicions of underhanded play.

 

The "Competitive Play Addendum" should have been recognized as the "adds nothing but trouble" mess that it is and been left in the editors trash bin.

Edited by KineticOperator
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Honestly, I wish they would just get rid of the "Competitive Play Addendum".

 

It didn't speed up play, it didn't simplify the game, and it didn't add any new strategies or tactics.  All it did is provide rules-lawyers a chance to abuse the measuring rules in ways like this one.  Or, if they are on the other side of the table they have a chance to make otherwise friendly games a morass of objections and inconveniences that affect new players dramatically while having virtually no effect on competitive play.  If we didn't have that stupid addendum, the guy could just measure and be done with it, causing no hard feelings or suspicions of underhanded play.

 

The "Competitive Play Addendum" should have been recognized as the "adds nothing but trouble" mess that it is and been left in the editors trash bin.

I totally agree about the "competitive rules", but either way I don't think this specific example is an abuse of the rules. Either the Original rules or the Competitive ones allow you to measure in this case.

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Either the Original rules or the Competitive ones allow you to measure in this case.

Yeah the only thing the competitive rules really did, was force you to use a use a TL action if you check and can get one. Other then that, there's not a huge amount of difference between the normal and competitive rules.

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