Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-10-2020, 07:28 AM   #31
RobW
 
RobW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
ITL page 106 says a player may shift 1 hex and still disengage. So, Chicken should still be allowed to disengage as long as he did not move more than 1 hex during movement.
That's not RAW. That was the point of that example I gave, that a figure disengaged at the time of its movement will be able to choose among the options (a)..(i), as long as not moved too far, etc. None of those options allow disengage, which is only available by option (n). Note, when I saw that's not RAW, it's a compliment, it's better than RAW. RAW in this regard is unambiguous, it's just not good.

Quote:
By the same reasoning, Defend should only be allowed if Chicken moved 1 hex or less. Not 1/2 MA. I know in the older versions of Melee this was allowed, but the new wording of these options puts Defend and Disengage on equal footing. Defend MA requirement has been discussed a lot and is still not a settled point but it makes sense to be consistent with both Defend and Disengage.
In Hexagram #4, where the issue of option selection and defending is explicitly discussed, SJ resolves this issue IMO. He created a new option, to allow a disengaged figure to move 1 hex and defend.
RobW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2020, 04:39 AM   #32
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobW View Post
The rules you cite from p102 do not contradict this. These are different points. One set describes conditions allowing change of options (from the pointless initial declaration), and the other describes the options you can change between.
That's not really true, or at the very least not exactly true.

Let's break down the problematic paragraph on 102:

"An option is a set of actions." -- there are multiple parts to an "option" and these are called "actions"...

"A figure may execute one option each turn" -- you get one set of actions... "and may not mix actions from different options." So you can't mix and match. You can't pick Attack and Defend, or Defend and Dodge, or Disbelieve and Change Weapons, because nowhere on the list can you find any of those paired within the same set. Of importance is that this prohibition on mixing has only been made is reference to actions, not to movement (which TFT treats as a separate thing).

"The options available to a figure depend on whether it is engaged, disengaged, or in HTH combat at the moment its turn to move comes." Yes, this is exactly true. When it's your turn to move, some options are unavailable depending on your engagement status. Really, really important here is that this rule does not speak to what options may or may not be available or what the criterion for those choices will be after your turn to move. Restrictions on your turn to act are impossible to make at this point, because everyone gets to move first -- positions, engagement status, range and other details are all in flux until the movement phase is over. This rule about "options available" is only speaking to the immediate, the movement part of the turn.

Now the juicy part: "During a turn, a player may change his mind about a figure’s option, as long as
• that figure has not yet acted, and
• that figure did not move too far to allow it to take the
new option." <- [note that is past tense]

Wait, why isn't this in contradiction of the rule against mixing actions from different options? Because no actions have happened yet. There's no rule against mixing movement and actions from different options, only against mixing actions with actions from different options.

There is the constraint, given in the second bullet point, that the action you do settle on has to be part of an option (that set of actions) that followed the same movement you already executed. You can't have moved too far. Whether or not that finished move was constrained by engagement status, and whether or not that engagement status has changed after everyone has moved, is not even brought up. It is immaterial.

Not once does this paragraph on ITL 102 say the action you are choosing now, after the completion of movement, has anything to do with your engagement status at the time you moved. Your move itself was already constrained by your engagement status at the time, and that's over and done. There is no double jeopardy. As long as the move you made agrees with the set of actions found in the option you want now, and that option is allowed under your current engagement status, you are fully entitled to pick it. The RAW doesn't prohibit this, in fact it's literally telling you to do it.
__________________
"I'm not arguing. I'm just explaining why I'm right." - Monty Python
Steve Plambeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2020, 09:51 AM   #33
RobW
 
RobW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

I appreciate the careful analysis. And for some reason I find this topic so engaging that I'm going to respond instead of work on the report I should be doing. Work from home, yay...

I've tried to read your analysis carefully, and I think I understand where I disagree with it. Where I think we agree:
  1. Options have a part that is executed during the movement phase, and a part that is executed during the action phase.
  2. During the movement phase, the options available to you depend on your engagement status. You declare your chosen option (pointless as you can later change it), and execute the movement part.
  3. After the movement phase is the action phase. You can now change your option, as long as you haven't already acted (eg Defended) or moved too far for that option.
Now we disagree.
4. What options are available to a figure in the Action phase?

Quote:
Not once does this paragraph on ITL 102 say the action you are choosing now, after the completion of movement, has anything to do with your engagement status at the time you moved.
But don't the rules they say exactly that? Three times?
Options available to you depend on engagement status at the time of movement. During play, you may change options, as long as...

Why would they also need to say:
And after you've moved, the above is still true, the options available to you still depend on your engagement status at the time of movement. You may change options, as long as...

I originally had a much longer reply (believe it or not), but I think the above gets to the crux of it.

I also give reasons in my previous post why I think this reading is SJ's (current) intention. But maybe that will change one day, and SJ issues a simple powerful erratum to the sequence of play: the options available to a figure depend on its engagement status during the action phase.
RobW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2020, 04:18 PM   #34
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

I've seen what seems like at least eight discussions on this forum just about the "at the moment its turn to move comes" wording.

I'm tired of arguing about it, and simply refuse to play that way unless it's an experiment to experience how awful the gameplay is when you play that way.

I encourage people who prefer that wording to playtest with that enforced, and see how awful it is. I've tried it. I hate it.

Previews:

* "Ok, remember what each figure's engagement status was when its time to move comes. Later engagement status will be irrelevant for option selection until next turn."

* "These two warriors just engaged each other this turn, but the one that moved to engage can't Defend because Defend isn't listed as a disengaged option. But the other one can because he moved second so he started his movement phase engaged."

* "Bob was engaged from behind at the start of his movement, but his foe then moved away. But Bob can't Dodge, because he was engaged at the start of his movement phase."

* "Can I use option (o) and attempt HTH as an action? Only if I was engaged with someone, anyone, not necessarily my target, when my turn to move came - not now."

Why?
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2020, 02:31 AM   #35
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I've seen what seems like at least eight discussions on this forum just about the "at the moment its turn to move comes" wording.

I'm tired of arguing about it, and simply refuse to play that way...
Oh I totally empathize Skarg! You have fought the good fight and more than earned the breather. I've been on the forum less than a year so I've seen fewer reruns than you. Even so, the next time this topic comes up, and we know it will, I'd better give it a rest too. I've found this go-round rewarding but the honeymoon is ending :)

Nor did I nor would I ever play with all those paradoxes going on. My group got so tired of these questions in our earliest years of play we banned the Defend option entirely, tore it up, burned the page, and made up our own rule -- on with the game!
__________________
"I'm not arguing. I'm just explaining why I'm right." - Monty Python
Steve Plambeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2020, 04:33 AM   #36
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobW View Post
I appreciate the careful analysis. And for some reason I find this topic so engaging that I'm going to respond instead of work on the report I should be doing. Work from home, yay...
And I'm dodging my taxes maintaining this exchange, but frankly this is a lot more fun!

And by way of a late confession, I must admit to having been behind in my reading -- when I replied to your first post in this thread I hadn't read your article in Hexagram3 yet! I hang my head in shame. Now having caught up, it was an excellent article I thoroughly enjoyed. I fear I over-explained my initial points because you'd obviously already considered all of them, and we've been in near total agreement all along. As to getting an option (b2) card added to Deck of Destiny, nicely done!

That completely solves any problem with Defend as far as I'm concerned, and we may hope SJ integrates that with all future printings of ITL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobW View Post
Now we disagree.
4. What options are available to a figure in the Action phase?
Yes we agree on the first 3 points, but we don't really disagree on this one either. That is, we agree on how we play the game, which is all that really matters to anyone. The debate is really over how much SJ might agree with how we reached our conclusions, and that's just an academic debate for the heck of it.

I'm taking this:

Options available to you depend on engagement status at the time of movement. During play, you may change options, as long as...

And bending it by saying it's intended to mean:

Options available to you at the time of movement depend on engagement status at the time of movement. During play, you may change options, as long as...

Am I right to interpret it that way? Maybe not! About all I can say in defense is that this interpretation brings current ITL into more agreement with Advanced Melee and the 1978 edition of Wizard. What was more likely, an intentional change in game mechanics, or an abbreviated choice of wording with the unintended consequence of raising questions about those mechanics?

I'm going to guess it was the latter. Of course this desire is heavily biased by the fact I really don't want it to be the former, because I don't want those paradox situations you listed in your article, and Skarg just echoed in his last post, to keep popping up. Not that it will deter any of us from playing it as we deem best.
__________________
"I'm not arguing. I'm just explaining why I'm right." - Monty Python

Last edited by Steve Plambeck; 05-13-2020 at 11:30 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
Steve Plambeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2020, 09:30 AM   #37
RobW
 
RobW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Great post, this feels like retiring to the drawing room, to smoke cigars, sip fine whiskey, and discuss the finer points of the game.
RobW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2020, 07:02 PM   #38
Jack O'All Trades
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

While I quite enjoy Hexagram, I'm not convinced its content always reflects the 'intentions' of SJ so much as highly optional content (and even mechanics) meant to facilitate subsets of players 'style' of interpreting TFT. For example, 'if you want to make Astrology real in the game, here's one writer's way of doing it!'

Because these rules aren't "canon," the rules aren't always going to be airtight. For example, by Hexagram 4, adding a bronze boss and rim to your small wooden shield makes it worthless (while a wooden shield is, on the first hit, as effective as an iron or steel-bossed and rimmed shield). There's a similar problem for comparing wooden armor with bronze chain-mail, IIRC. But, the article stands as one player and writer's efforts to represent more diverse material, and while it isn't air tight it gets far enough along the way that it certainly is a useful article for someone who likes handling material in a similar way: perfect for Hexagram.

Similarly, I wouldn't assume that SJ plays the way you are describing (in fact, I think if we searched through example play videos enough we could find explicit examples where he doesn't*) just because Hexagram produced an option card to help cover some issues with "your" (I recognize you don't actually play this way) interpretation. This is because, on the off chance someone is interpreting it this way, or wants defend against jabs, or is even just playing the game with the classic interpretation but wants a card reminding them of the move and defend option when they're looking at the board at the start of movement, hey, here's a card for them to use: perfect for Hexagram.

I do think it would have made more sense, given your own inclinations on the rules, to submit an article noting the same contradictions and using this to argue that the interpretation is simply wrong. Ironically, I think Steve might have said "good point, but it's errata" rather than published a full article in that case (although the card has uses regardless of the interpretation). As it stands, it seems that SJGames actually misunderstood the problem your article is about. Note that in the current TFT errata this is noted as a potential issue worth revising about defend which misses the wider point - under your interpretation a figure can be put into HTH during the enemy's move but be disengaged during their own move, so they get to Ready A New Weapon and get a dagger out for free instead of with the usual DX test, or disbelieve, or heck, they can take a Missile Weapon Attack if you similarly misinterpret the rules for firing from prone. Similarly they can defend if they were engaged at the start of their move, and option otherwise not available to figures in HTH. And don't even try to interpret what "One Last Shot" missile attacks are actually supposed to do when you're allowing regular disengaged missile attacks by figures in enemy's front hexes!

There's a reason new players and old players all play it the same way (every play example I've seen, at least). It's why there's all of these fine reimaginings of the options list as a way of *organizing* the fundamental flow of moves restricted by engagement, actions restricted by moves and engagement/HTH status:
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...27#post2284227
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=168290
It's just incoherent to interpret it otherwise and creates more weird rule ambiguity than it 'solves.'


*I looked and couldn't find any examples that would play differently either way, although the way SJ talks about it (he explains actions as having restrictions from how far you move) makes me believe that (if he is currently playing TFT) he plays actions the same way as they were intended in Classic TFT.
Jack O'All Trades is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2020, 02:58 AM   #39
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack O'All Trades View Post
While I quite enjoy Hexagram, I'm not convinced its content always reflects the 'intentions' of SJ so much as highly optional content (and even mechanics) meant to facilitate subsets of players 'style' of interpreting TFT. For example, 'if you want to make Astrology real in the game, here's one writer's way of doing it!'
Quite so, suggestive articles are just that, suggestions. When the editor of a 'zine is also the designer of the game or other content under discussion within the publication, well first and foremost that's a very gracious thing, being allowed "in" as it were to offer critique and suggestions -- the same goes for this forum. It's healthy for the game, and for the community that plays it. It also reflects positively on the designer's confidence -- there's a lot of authors out there that would have melt downs over anyone besides themselves proposing variants and modifications to their work! I know a software writer who literally rips the heads off his own customers at the merest hint his design could be less than perfect. But I digress.

Ringing endorsements of fan contributions aren't SJ's style, and probably with good reason. Publications outside the official rules aren't the place to accept changes to those rules, because not everyone reads or sees them. It's just fairer to everyone if there's only one official set of rules at a time. Maybe RobW's move and defend option for disengaged figures will appear in the rules someday, and maybe it won't. Maybe it'll just remain a house rule for those who want to use it. Either way, we can be sure SJ didn't hate the idea or the article wouldn't have made it into Hexagram in the first place! That in itself is an endorsement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack O'All Trades View Post
There's a reason new players and old players all play it the same way (every play example I've seen, at least). It's why there's all of these fine reimaginings of the options list as a way of *organizing* the fundamental flow of moves restricted by engagement, actions restricted by moves and engagement/HTH status:
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...27#post2284227
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=168290
It's just incoherent to interpret it otherwise and creates more weird rule ambiguity than it 'solves.'
I'm really not sure if that's a complement, criticism, or observation -- just wondering because the first link quoted is to one of my own articles. Any opinion is acceptable, just curious which it was -- well okay, I am kinda hoping "incoherent" wasn't a reaction I triggered :)

Anyone can think of this part of TFT's rules in a different sequence, and still be just as correct as anyone else. That's one of the things that's always been intriguing about TFT.

It's just like the question about the chicken and the egg. What came first? Engagement status? Movement? Action? You can say Movement distance is what determines options, but Engagement status determines restrictions on Movement. What restricts Actions, the distance Moved that was already restricted by Engagement? Or vice versa? Or all of the above? Now the result of an Action changes Engagement status... you can get dizzy thinking about it!

It all goes around in a circle, wheels within wheels, for as long as combat turns last. Superficially it sounds like a simple enough Turn Sequence, nothing to scare away a novice game player, but there are deep subtleties hiding in plain sight.

What comes first, what takes precedence, may be the wrong question. What comes next is the real question, the only one that actually matters.

And "next" is always determined by where you were last in the Turn Sequence. Whatever table helps you keep your thoughts organized is the right table for you.
__________________
"I'm not arguing. I'm just explaining why I'm right." - Monty Python
Steve Plambeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2020, 04:52 AM   #40
RobW
 
RobW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack O'All Trades View Post
I do think it would have made more sense, given your own inclinations on the rules, to submit an article noting the same contradictions and using this to argue that the interpretation is simply wrong. Ironically, I think Steve might have said "good point, but it's errata" rather than published a full article in that case (although the card has uses regardless of the interpretation). As it stands, it seems that SJGames actually misunderstood the problem your article is about.
I agree with everything you say, but especially this. Yes, you are right, that is what I should have done. TBF that is what I thought I was doing, in a kind of collegial way.

Its not too late though, maybe someone else can take this up? I think I'm now out of the running (although there's always pseudonyms).
RobW is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hand to hand, shield rush

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.