file Form of Mist: Unplayable as currently ruled?

19 Nov 2015 09:04 - 19 Nov 2015 09:26 #74410 by Boris The Blade

Ankha wrote: Is it currently being blocked? Yes (continuous tense)

No. The block has already been resolved as successful. When you are in combat, the action is not being blocked, it is blocked, without continuous tense. Cf rules, section 6.2.3: "If the action is blocked,..." The opposing minion is called the blocking minion, but this has nothing to do with continuous tense, it is just the active form to build an adjective from a verb: no matter whether the minion is currently blocking, usually blocks, has blocked recently or blocked once, it is called the blocking minion.

"being blocked" is poor wording anyway because it does not match the wording used in the section 6.2.2 that it is supposed to refer to. There are no blocks at this stage, only block attempts. The wording issue seems to be that there is no good passive form for "attempt to block", so "attempt" got removed in passive form. See Section 6.2.2.1 for example:

"If the action targets one or more other Methuselahs (or things controlled by other Methuselahs), then the action is called directed, and only the Methuselahs who are targeted (or control the targets) may use their ready untapped minions to attempt to block the action (...) If the action is not directed at another Methuselah (or at something controlled by another Methuselah), then the action is called undirected and can be blocked by the acting Methuselah's prey or predator"

Final nitpick: Ke is right of course. The stealth rule belongs to the section that describes how to resolve block attempts, i.e. between action declaration and action resolution. There is no reason to even try to apply it to another phase.
Last edit: 19 Nov 2015 09:26 by Boris The Blade.

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19 Nov 2015 09:49 #74415 by jamesatzephyr

Boris The Blade wrote: Final nitpick: Ke is right of course. The stealth rule belongs to the section that describes how to resolve block attempts. There is no reason to even try to apply it to another phase.


It's the section of the rulebook that explains how stealth and intercept work. That is the reason to apply it. If you go this (very, very, very wrong) route, you end up saying "Hey, wait, I can play stealth and intercept however I like outside of a block attempt, because Boris the Blade says we should never apply 6.2.2.2 outside of block attempts, so let me just dump all this stealth clogging my hand outside of the block attempt." (There was, if I recall rightly, a brief period around 1995-6 when Wizards did rule something similarly bonkers.) If you can cope with the fact that the rules prevent you from playing Lost in Crowds on an action when no-one even attempts to block - say, you're the only minion on the table - then you're applying the same rulebook text outside of a block attempt you say shouldn't be applied here.

Note also the variety of cards that say "even if stealth is not yet needed" (or similar) that are played well, well away from block attempts. (For example, the fairly poor Stealth Ritus .) They have that text because it's long been established that without that text, you couldn't play them. See, for example, Fata Morgana, which now says at superior that you can play it either for bleed or bleed+stealth, but was originally printed as only bleed+stealth - meaning you couldn't play it without a block attempt.

It is also inevitable in a CCG like V:TES where cards are written in relatively free-form English(*) that the rulebook will not cover all interactions - it can't, so that's why we have rulings and clarifications. Nothing in the rulebook tells you what "continue an action as if unblocked" even means, even leaving out the stealth, so there have been rulings on that - for example, can the blocker-who-is-in-combat-with-you re-block? "as if unblocked" might have meant that that minion was considered to be back in a block attempt with you, or something like that, but it wasn't. The rulebook essentially only deals with stealth occurring in two places - inherently from an action/action card, or during a block attempt. It doesn't deal with Stealth Ritus. It doesn't deal with Form of Mist. It doesn't deal with superior Repulsion, which gives you stealth in a somewhat-indirect fashion (by being permanent). So there are rulings explaining how this works, because the rulebook doesn't. In general, LSJ and Pascal have leaned towards "Make unusual things behave the same way as usual things" - though doubtless we can all think of something that's made us go "Huh?" when a ruling has gone in a direction we didn't expect.

Why doesn't the rulebook get expanded to deal with every niche of the game, then? I for one would happily see a rulebook that included some more examples, or more optional examples (e.g. "click here to see some more examples", which unhides a few more thorny block attempt issues, or some more practical explanations of sequencing, or whatever). Back when it was a printed thing, it had to be kept short to fit in boxes - but I would happily have seen an online version that was the same text but with some extra examples in it (marked visually somehow as not being in the printed rulebook, for people who wanted to find them quickly). But leaving aside space constraints imposed by physical boxes, one purpose of the rulebook is to let people learn the game. If you make it a legal treatise, it becomes impenetrable for someone who doesn't know the rules at all. (That is sort-of what the Detailed Play Summary aims towards, though it's still only a summary.) If during the first couple of pages of the rulebook, it had to stop explaining the Object of the Game in simple terms in order to explain withdrawal (something that doesn't turn up until section 9.2), that you can also get victory points from Gambit Accepted, and that having an empty library doesn't just leave you "bereft of influence" but can also involuntarily oust you if someone plays Brinksmanship, it would be extremely hard work to read.



(*) The alternative, which would be perfectly workable for any given game, is to set down a bunch of completely defined rule phrases and any card must only use those phrases, and no card can ever do something outside the box. Easily doable for, say, a board game with a card element. Some CCGs tend more towards this end of the spectrum, too. But V:TES isn't one of them.
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19 Nov 2015 10:46 #74421 by Boris The Blade

jamesatzephyr wrote: "Hey, wait, I can play stealth and intercept however I like outside of a block attempt, because Boris the Blade says we should never apply 6.2.2.2 outside of block attempts, so let me just dump all this stealth clogging my hand outside of the block attempt."

That is not a consequence of what I said. The rules do not list the cards that cannot be played in each phase because the list would be too long, instead they tell which cards can be played. There is no rule that tells you that maneuvers can only be played during the Determine Range step, yet that is how it works, isn't it? Similarly, one does not need the stealth rule to know that stealth and intercept cards (i.e.: the basic template ones without specific timing instructions) are played in section 6.2.2, or at least one would not need it if it were not for bad habits of inconsistent standards in timing specification. Within that phase, the stealth rule imposes extra constraints.
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19 Nov 2015 14:05 #74434 by Jesper

Ankha wrote:

Jesper wrote: This reminds me of the most "this makes really no sense"

"I shot your raven spy doing combat and now I cant use FoM to continue, becouse I dont need the stealth anymore"

:-D

You're mixing "fluff lore" and rules.
Dogs are allowed to have bikes and guns per the rules. It doesn't make sense neither but it's how it is.


Okay let me rephase that then:

"You are in combat with me, becouse I blocked you with these cards generating intercept that I needed.

Now you take away one of these cards in the combat.

Now you have higher stelath then me and we are checking even we are in combat.

So no you cant be allowed to continue the action. Becouse I keep checking if you can play stealth.

So the card you played to continue the action you cant play now.
"


Ill bet that people have/are playing a FoM even when they killed a raven. Becouse they, and everybody else, belive that you would be able to.

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19 Nov 2015 15:05 #74436 by Brum
In fact, Boris has a point here.

People say Form of Mist is the greatest hoser of 2nd Trad, but this ruling makes it impossible to use against a vampire that just used a 2nd Trad to untap and block.
Why? Because now he's tapped, therefore can't block, therefore block related stuff is non sequitur???

A. My brain hurts.
B. Floppy and Ankha: there are hundreds of things that break the game in bad ways and I know you guys are taking care of face-lifting allot of stuff.
Instead of doing a gazilion changes (or not, while there's a possibility of reprints that could literary be game-changers), please do one or two little things (like you did with Psyche!).

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19 Nov 2015 15:05 #74437 by Ankha
Answer has been given, the troll has been fed, the topic can be closed.

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