file Hostile Takeover

31 Jan 2020 15:48 #98832 by Ankha
Replied by Ankha on topic Hostile Takeover
You won't find in this topic more than guidelines to help judging a situation, because all situations are different. So most of the questions cannot be answered absolutely.

The guidelines are the following:
  • the only absolute rule is the Play To Win rule.
  • if the judge is called because there is a suspicion a player is not playing to win, that player must convince the judge that it is not the case.

If you're in a position where you can't improve your result, or if you're in a position where you have won the game already, you can self-oust as it's always been the case.
(Pascal)

Otherwise, you cannot self-oust. A judge should be called if there is any suspicion of violation of the PTW rule. The player must explain privately if necessary why he's taking that course of action from his perspective.

The judge must take into account only the player's perspective based on public information (cards in play and in ash heaps or otherwise visible, lingering effects), vocal information that was shared between players, and private information the player has (cards in his hand, in his uncontrolled region etc.)

Some situations are "easier" to judge than others, for instance,
  • you can't play a concealed weapon to equip a .44 Magnum if you're at two pool with no way to reduce the cost
  • you can't play a DI if you're at one pool
  • ... unless there is already a Dark Influence in play that will cancel it
  • you can't play a Daring the Dawn with a vampire with Fame if you're at one pool
  • ... unless the action allows you to oust your prey and score 1 VP which maximizes your VPs


However, most of the cases are trickier. For instance: actions, since many things can happen and heavily depend on interaction between players.

A few examples:

You have a Reins of Power in hands that would hurt (but not oust) your prey but also oust you if your predator chooses their largest vampire. You cannot call it unless you have very convincing reasons why your predator wouldn't make the choice to oust you.

You have a vampire with a Condemnation: Doomed at DAI attached to it, and you are at 1 pool. Your predator has an unlocked vampire that can block. You cannot hunt for no reason in order to let your predator block you and oust you. You must have a very convincing reason to do so (for instance, stealth to cycle, and in reasonable amount to avoid being blocked based on the public knowledge you have).

You are at 2 pool and you take an action to equip with a .44 Magnum. You may do so if you have Black Cat with an Obfuscate skill, and a Mask of a Thousand Faces in hand (that you must play). Otherwise, you must have very convincing reasons for not being ousted.


Also, you cannot self-oust as part of a deal if you can still improve your score. For instance, you make a deal to score 2 vps, you cannot self-oust afterwards if you can score more (of course, if you can't, you can self-oust). Deals are void when there are two players remaining as usual.


I'll give clues for the following questions in a context where you cannot self-oust.

Whisker wrote: What I want to know is can a Methuselah make a bid exceeding his/her current pool?
And is this handled any differently for owner of the minion being bid for, who only loses half of the bid amount?


The controller can bid up to twice their pool amount minus 1. Other Methuselah can bid up to their pool minus 1. Doing otherwise would result in the player being ousted.

It will be very complicated to convince a judge that you have an agreement with another player who supposedly have a Life Boon in hand, but not impossible.
Of course, the judge suspects collusion, the decision should be rolled back and warnings/DQ should be issued.

jamesatzephyr wrote: This left us in a situation where there were several things that might be going on at a given point. I play .44 Magnum and I am on two pool.

1) I am doing this stupidly, because I foolishly didn't realise I was on two pool. I'd planned my turn out ahead of time, my predator had played an unexpected Anarch Revolt, and I paid a pool without realising it. So I will now oust myself, accidentally. Under the previous rulings, this was allowed if the judge reasonably believed that it was 'bad' play - that is, the player is just making a terrible mistake.

Per Pascal's ruling, it should be rollbacked.

jamesatzephyr wrote: 2) I am doing this intentionally, with the intention of ousting myself. This gives you:
2a) This is legal, if it is legal to oust myself. This requires me to be in a position where I can't reasonably improve my position (I have already got the Game Win, or have maximised my VPs, including the 'hold on for a timeout' half VP).

Correct.

jamesatzephyr wrote: 2b) This is illegal if it violates play-to-win. So, I am "forgetfully" ousting myself and it just happens to mean that my predator will win, and my grand-predator now won't make the final, and I really didn't want that deck in the final because it will be terrible for me.

Correct, if it's illegal, you cannot self-oust.

jamesatzephyr wrote: 3) I am intentionally doing this, because I think it's my best play. There is a lot of grey area here, but there are situations where I will "know" I can avoid paying the cost, and situations where I can "guess" I'm going to avoid paying the cost. But this will clearly get very, very blurry, because even if I think I can do something to avoid paying the cost (say, nuking my own minion mid-action somehow, or perhaps I want to start this action with Koko, but I will Mask it over to my Black Cat-with-Obfuscate to reduce the cost), someone else might DI it. Or I might think someone else will block me - in a hypothetical situation, it's obviously play-to-win for my prey to keep me in the game by blocking me, or else my predator stands a much better chance of stealing the GW from my prey, such as perhaps this means the best my prey can hope for is 2-2 in VPs (on a four player table) or 2-2-1 (on a five). But then my predator meddles in the block attempt somehow, such as DI-ing an intercept card.

If it's you're best play and you have solid arguments to convince the judge, it's legal. But it widly varies from "someone may DI my key card, but I have no way of knowing if it's going to happen" to "I know that my predator has a DI in hand and will play it to oust me", or from "I'm doing a risky action with my Fame vampire but I have plenty of stealth, or a combat ends and it's very likely my predator doesn't block and/or doesn't grapple me and send me to torpor" to "all my predator has to do is block without cards and send my Famous vampire to torpor with his gun".

jamesatzephyr wrote: But because telling the difference between position 1 (accidental bad play) and position 2b (fake bad play) was sometimes problematic, Pascal ruled:

Pascal wrote: As I can see it, there are only two possibilities:
a- Playing a card would oust the player.
b- Playing a card would not oust the player.


and

Pascal wrote: Now, a- is somewhat trickier.
There is only two situations where a player is allowed to self-oust. That's when that player has the won the game already, or when he can't get more VPs. In any other scenario, that play is invalid and should be fixed by the Judge (recommendation: rollback).

Yes, both stands.

jamesatzephyr wrote: Since playing the .44 Magnum would oust the player and we're assuming that the player hasn't already won/maximized VPs, we're in "any other scenario", and should be rolled back.

Correct.

kpram wrote: So... I can choose enough to self-oust with a Malkavian Prank/Game of Makavl, since I am not ousted by the choice, but rather by the effect of the choice. I can't bid that much in an auction, since that ousts me unless another player takes a specific action.

I guess that makes sense, sort of. I don't like saying it isn't "playing to win", but that is game theory semantics. Game rules is game rules.


You can't get ousted with a Malkavian Prank. As for Game of Malkav, you have to weight the odds.
For instance, imagine a situation where in order to oust your prey you can either:
  • bleed for 1 and oust him
  • play a Game of Malkav and try to win.

You must have very good reasons not to simply bleed, for instance, I'll probably be ousted before I have another chance to oust him and:
  • odds are high that he bounces all my bleed, so I have a better chance with a Game of Malkav
  • if I oust him with a Game of Malkav, I can oust a second prey during the same turn with my minions, so I would maximize my VP.


Please remember that these examples are only guidelines, not absolute rulings. Making mistakes for instance varies from "Playing a card ousts me", to "I should have done that and not that two turns ago".

Prince of Paris, France
Ratings Coordinator, Rules Director
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kushiel, kschaefer

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31 Jan 2020 17:20 #98833 by Kushiel
Replied by Kushiel on topic Hostile Takeover
Thanks for the comprehensive answer, Vincent!

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31 Jan 2020 23:27 #98847 by jamesatzephyr
Replied by jamesatzephyr on topic Hostile Takeover

Ankha wrote: You can't get ousted with a Malkavian Prank. As for Game of Malkav, you have to weight the odds.
For instance, imagine a situation where in order to oust your prey you can either:

  • bleed for 1 and oust him
  • play a Game of Malkav and try to win.


But the other players on the table aren't in the position to make that choice.

If you play Game of Malkav and I am on 1/2/3/4/5 (i.e. can be ousted by picking a "bad" number), what numbers am I allowed to pick? If I am on 1 pool, can I pick 5 because that might work for me - or do I have to pick one to definitely keep myself in the game? I'm assuming that I can't pick numbers for your play of Hostile Takeover that would lead to me being ousted - but what can I pick for Game of Malkav?

It's also worth bearing in mind that for the playing Methuselah, assuming there are 3+ players on the table, the decision isn't between "bleed to oust" or "play Game of Malkav to oust". Playing Game of Malkav can also give the Methuselah playing it pool - they can guarantee one pool out of it. That could be the difference between - say - being in range of Foreshadowing Destruction and not being in range of Foreshadowing Destruction.

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02 Feb 2020 07:53 #98857 by Ankha
Replied by Ankha on topic Hostile Takeover

jamesatzephyr wrote:

Ankha wrote: You can't get ousted with a Malkavian Prank. As for Game of Malkav, you have to weight the odds.
For instance, imagine a situation where in order to oust your prey you can either:

  • bleed for 1 and oust him
  • play a Game of Malkav and try to win.


But the other players on the table aren't in the position to make that choice.

If you play Game of Malkav and I am on 1/2/3/4/5 (i.e. can be ousted by picking a "bad" number), what numbers am I allowed to pick? If I am on 1 pool, can I pick 5 because that might work for me - or do I have to pick one to definitely keep myself in the game? I'm assuming that I can't pick numbers for your play of Hostile Takeover that would lead to me being ousted - but what can I pick for Game of Malkav?

You cannot pick a value that would oust you for sure (100%). But since there is no such value, you can play the card.
Choosing 1 has 100% success. Choosing other values have a random value of success. If you have a good reason not to choose 1, you can choose any value.

jamesatzephyr wrote: It's also worth bearing in mind that for the playing Methuselah, assuming there are 3+ players on the table, the decision isn't between "bleed to oust" or "play Game of Malkav to oust". Playing Game of Malkav can also give the Methuselah playing it pool - they can guarantee one pool out of it. That could be the difference between - say - being in range of Foreshadowing Destruction and not being in range of Foreshadowing Destruction.

As long as it isn't violating the PTW rule, you can do anything you want.

Prince of Paris, France
Ratings Coordinator, Rules Director

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