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[UEP, Accepted] Nazgul Auto Attacks

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:52 am
by Bandobras Took
Name: Nazgul Auto Attacks

Status: Accepted

Proposal maintainer: Bandobras Took

Categories: Consistency

Errata: Nazgul auto-attacks on Balrog sites are not detainment.

Problem: Nazgul auto-attacks on Balrog sites are by rule detainment.

Solution: Make them non-detainment.

Pros: Consistency.

Cons: Who goes to those sites, anyway? ;)

Rationale: All of those sites specify that creatures keyed to them are non-detain.  The auto attacks should follow suit.

Discussion: http://www.meccg.net/dforum/viewtopic.php?t=2494  This failed before because I tried to do too much with it; this is a much simpler version from the outset.

Voting started at: 06/10/09

Voting ends at: Roughly 07/10/09

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:34 pm
by Bandobras Took
I love the people who vote "no" just to keep something from being unanimous. ;)

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:52 pm
by Vastor Peredhil
Same here ;)

"Nay-sayer" reveal thyself ;)

and give some reason for your "no" on it

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:46 pm
by Ringbearer
Its not me, I actually voted "yes"

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:12 pm
by asphalt
Bandobras Took wrote: Cons: Who goes to those sites, anyway? ;)
This is a good point for not voting, which is exactly what I'll do. :P
Bandobras Took wrote: Rationale: All of those sites specify that creatures keyed to them are non-detain.  The auto attacks should follow suit.
I don't want to resume the topic about nazgul aa's being detainment or not, but I think that, as a rule of thumb, an aa is never detainment unless differently specified by the site card's text, no matter that the rulesbook says "nazgul attacks are detainment against minions": card texts override the rules. I think this UEP is superflous.

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:22 pm
by Bandobras Took
asphalt wrote: I don't want to resume the topic about nazgul aa's being detainment or not, but I think that, as a rule of thumb, an aa is never detainment unless differently specified by the site card's text
That's an interesting rule, but it is unfortunately not found in any rulebook or ruling I'm aware of.
no matter that the rulesbook says "nazgul attacks are detainment against minions":
I'm not sure how a nonexistent theoretical rule should take precedence over a rule that actually exists.
card texts override the rules. I think this UEP is superfluous.
Since none of the card texts in question state "non-detainment," none of them override the rule.

Non-existent card text does not override a rule.  Non-existent rules do not override existing rules.

Card text that makes a rule apply in the first place does not override the very rule that applies to it.

This UEP is in no way superfluous.  The instance in which it is vital is when playing against a Balrog CvCC deck -- I had a game in which a Balrog company came to CvCC me at Carn Dum, and my opponent was pleasantly surprised to find out that the attack was detainment.

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:00 pm
by asphalt
Actually my point was much simpler. What do all players do when they enter a site? They read the auto-attacks listed on the card, and then face them in the corresponding order. If the site card reads "detainment", the auto-attack is treated as detainment, otherwise it is assumed to attack normally. Why should the Balrog versions of the minion darkhavens work differently? ;)

Those Nazgul auto-attacks are IMO already normal attacks, that's why I'm saying that I consider this UEP as superflous. Actually, my point is to a certan extent more than in favour of this UEP's central issue :D

Btw, I'm still consistent in my abstention from voting. :P

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:51 pm
by Bandobras Took
asphalt wrote:Actually my point was much simpler. What do all players do when they enter a site? They read the auto-attacks listed on the card, and then face them in the corresponding order. If the site card reads "detainment", the auto-attack is treated as detainment, otherwise it is assumed to attack normally. Why should the Balrog versions of the minion darkhavens work differently? ;)
Because that's what the rules say:
The following types of attacks are detainment attacks:
· Card text will sometimes state that an attack is a detainment attack.
· Any Nazgûl attack against a minion company is a detainment attack.
· Any attack keyed to Dark-domains, Shadow-hold, or Dark-hold is a detainment attack.
· Any Orc, Troll, Undead, or Man attack keyed to Shadow-land is a detainment attack.
You are considering only the bolded rule; there are three other rules for whether an attack is detainment or not.  Even then, card text only sometimes states that an attack is a detainment attack.  It is not and has never been meant to be the sole guide.
Those Nazgul auto-attacks are IMO already normal attacks
But as I said before, your opinion is clearly contradicted by the rules; thus this UEP.

Also, if a covert minion company is at the Sulfur-Deeps and I play Whole Villages Roused, the Nazgul auto-attack should still be detainment -- on that basis alone your way to handle detainment automatic attacks is insufficient.

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:34 pm
by asphalt
Bandobras Took wrote:Also, if a covert minion company is at the Sulfur-Deeps and I play Whole Villages Roused, the Nazgul auto-attack should still be detainment -- on that basis alone your way to handle detainment automatic attacks is insufficient.
Nope, the auto-attack would be detainment because of the text of WVR. Any passive condition or ongoing effect which has effect on an auto-attack at the time of entering the site applies, I hoped that at least this point could be taken for granted. :roll:

I understand the argument you exposed. If you want to follow that paragraph literally, you should assume that all nazgul aa's are detainment. But the rules should be analized and interpreted within their context. We're talking about a paragraph which was written at the times of MELE, and is indeed flawed by poor wording and incompleteness, as it is shown by the several rules errata which followed, regarding agent attacks and attacks keyed to darkhaven.
The following types of attacks are detainment attacks:
· Card text will sometimes state that an attack is a detainment attack.
· Any Nazgûl attack against a minion company is a detainment attack.
· Any attack keyed to Dark-domains, Shadow-hold, or Dark-hold is a detainment attack.
· Any Orc, Troll, Undead, or Man attack keyed to Shadow-land is a detainment attack.
Let's analyse the 4 sentences separately: the 2nd, 3rd and 4th are clearly meant to refer to creature attacks, while the first sentence has a "residual" coverage, and it is meant to refer to all site cards where it is written that the site has a detainment auto-attack (e.g. Minas Tirith for covert companies) or creature cards where it is written that the creature attacks as detainment (e.g. Elf-lord against heroes).

There is no doubt that 3rd and 4th sentence only refer to creature attacks, since they talk about attacks keyed to something. But when that paragraph was written, no site with nazgul aa's existed, then ICE didn't bother to find a less ambiguous wording for the 2nd sentence, and they simply wrote "any nazgul attack" with the intent to cover all possible Nazgul creature attack, whatever it is keyed to, even keyed to nothing (e.g. Long Dark Reach).

When that poorly-worded and deficient paragraph about detainment attacks was written it wasn't even able to decently regulate the issue given the then existing card pool: agents attacked normally, and Spider of the Morlat and Shelob were able to storm respectively Dol Guldur and Minas Morgul, and make a bloodbath of minions moving to those sites.
Let alone when later sets came out and the card pool got broader :roll:

When a rule's wording clearly lacks of thoroughness you can't stick to literal interpretation, or you'll give birth to paradoxes, like a detainment nazgul attack at a site where nazgul creatures attack normally.  :?

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:41 pm
by Bandobras Took
asphalt wrote:
Bandobras Took wrote:Also, if a covert minion company is at the Sulfur-Deeps and I play Whole Villages Roused, the Nazgul auto-attack should still be detainment -- on that basis alone your way to handle detainment automatic attacks is insufficient.
Nope, the auto-attack would be detainment because of the text of WVR.
Alternatively, playable on a minion Shadow-hold or Dark-hold. The site has the automatic-attacks indicated on the corresponding hero site card (detainment against overt companies) but with +2 prowess.
As in the larger instance, the assumed text and the actual text are different. ;)
Any passive condition or ongoing effect which has effect on an auto-attack at the time of entering the site applies, I hoped that at least this point could be taken for granted. :roll:
Naturally, but I tend to take it for granted that people are reading the cards/rules in question. ;)
I understand the argument you exposed. If you want to follow that paragraph literally, you should assume that all nazgul aa's are detainment. But the rules should be analized and interpreted within their context. We're talking about a paragraph which was written at the times of MELE, and is indeed flawed by poor wording and incompleteness, as it is shown by the several rules errata which followed, regarding agent attacks and attacks keyed to darkhaven.
The fact that they felt no need to alter the phrase about any Nazgul attack even when they were looking at other situations creating detainment attacks speaks very well for its strength as a well-worded rule.  The problem here is not with the detainment attack rules, it's with the Balrog sites.
The following types of attacks are detainment attacks:
· Card text will sometimes state that an attack is a detainment attack.
· Any Nazgûl attack against a minion company is a detainment attack.
· Any attack keyed to Dark-domains, Shadow-hold, or Dark-hold is a detainment attack.
· Any Orc, Troll, Undead, or Man attack keyed to Shadow-land is a detainment attack.
Let's analyse the 4 sentences separately: the 2nd, 3rd and 4th are clearly meant to refer to creature attacks,
No.  The 2nd is not clearly meant to refer to Nazgul creatures.  This is mainly because it doesn't refer to Nazgul creatures, but also because it refers to any Nazgul attack.
But when that paragraph was written, no site with nazgul aa's existed
Sulfur-Deeps, Under-Courts, Under-Leas.  All hero sites, but sites with Nazgul auto-attacks existed, so ICE knew full well that they might make such possible against minion companies in the future, which they emphatically did with the Whole Villages Roused.
then ICE didn't bother to find a less ambiguous wording for the 2nd sentence, and they simply wrote "any nazgul attack" with the intent to cover all possible Nazgul creature attack, whatever it is keyed to, even keyed to nothing (e.g. Long Dark Reach).
Again, you're sticking in words that simply aren't there.  ICE intended it to cover ANY Nazgul attack, with no limiter about it being creatures.  There's no way to make it any less ambiguous than it currently is; a determined refusal to accept the text of the rules as they stand doesn't make the rule ambiguous.  I might claim that the rule about 20 mind of starting characters is ambiguous and really means 15 mind, but that doesn't change the rule or make the wording of the rule unclear.
MELE Rules wrote:A detainment attack from a creature is never defeated and the creature's card is always discarded after the attack is resolved.
ICE was completely capable of distinguishing between rules that generally apply to attacks and rules that apply only to creature attacks.  That they deliberately did not in the case of any Nazgul attack shows that they knew what they were doing.
When that poorly-worded and deficient paragraph about detainment attacks was written it wasn't even able to decently regulate the issue given the then existing card pool: agents attacked normally, and Spider of the Morlat and Shelob were able to storm respectively Dol Guldur and Minas Morgul, and make a bloodbath of minions moving to those sites.
Again, they added to the list, but they at no time subtracted from it.  You've failed to demonstrate at any point that ICE did not intend for all Nazgul attacks to be detainment.
When a rule's wording clearly lacks of thoroughness you can't stick to literal interpretation, or you'll give birth to paradoxes, like a detainment nazgul attack at a site where nazgul creatures attack normally.  :?
Which, if I'm not mistaken, is the entire point of UEPs.  You find an inconsistency in the rules and propose a change to be voted on by meccg.net.  If you want to actually change what's written in the rules, contact the CoE and ask them to change them.  If you want to interpret rules so that they don't say what they say, join the NetRep team. :roll:

(Edited for spelling)

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:16 pm
by Leon
This whole UEP is called for because current rules clearly state that all nazgul attacks against minions are detainment. And, as Brandobras states, UEPs exist in part to fix just this sort of problems. Good work.

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:52 pm
by asphalt
On the basis of the last answers, I think my point of view was misunderstood, I'll try to re-explain it as simple as possible...

What I mean is that, at the time when LE were released, the sentences
"Any Nazgûl attack against a minion company is a detainment attack"
(which is written in the LE rulesbook) and
"Any Nazgûl creature attack against a minion company is a detainment attack"
were perfectly identical as far as the practical effect was concerned, because there was no way for minion companies to face nazgul auto-attacks, given the existing card pool. Minion companies could only face nazgul auto-attacks after the release of WH. Therefore, the word "creature" was unnecessary in that sentence.

Now, there are two possible hypotesis:

1) ICE's intention was only making clear that nazgul creatures would always attack as detainment, no matter what they're keyed (or not keyed) to, and they resorted to the most concise wording necessary, thus omitting the word "creature", simply neglecting that in the future this wording could've included auto-attacks printed on site cards which were meant to attack normally.

2) ICE's goal was actually to include nazgul auto-attacks, because they knew that they were going to let minions face nazgul auto-attacks with the release of forecoming set and/or expansions.

Proving hypotesis 2 requires that, at the time of LE release, the WH set was already designed, the WH cards' texts were already written, and ready to be printed and retailed. As far as I know, at the time of LE release, the only AS set was ready, since the release of the AS expansion was anticipated in the LE rulesbook to justify those standard modifications written on some faction card, which referred to factions which were not included in LE set, and would've only been available after the release of AS.

On the other hand, the hypothesis #1 is bolstered by the fact that over the course of the years several official erratas were necessary to change card texts or rules which turned out to be in need for corrections. This proves that ICE made mistakes. They were human beings, after all. Though one may think that a cool CCG like MECCG is a divine gift... :)

On the basis of a teleological interpretation, the 1st of the 2 hypothesis is more likely to be correct, as it is clear that redundancies tend to be eliminated in all sorts of communication. Actually, misunderstandings arise when the communicating parties have different sets of assumptions which they take for granted, which leads to the same messages being given different meanings. It's worth underlining that rules are always written by people on the basis of a certain purpose, they do not descend from the sky. The interpretation of a rule must take into consideration, to some extent, the purpose which is at the origin of the rule. It is not about having rules which say what they don't say, it is about having rules which say what they mean.

Now, if the generally followed ruling is treating the nazgul auto-attacks on Hog sites as detainment, that's fine to me. I'm not willing to keep on arguing about a secondary issue which seldom comes up in a game. :P

But I hope at least that this discussion can warn people from the harmful effects of blind interpretations without critical thinking: you find yourself in need of an UEP (i.e. something which rarely finds application in a game) in order to correct a rules inconsistency which could be officially solved by means of a better ponderated interpretation.

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:12 pm
by Bandobras Took
asphalt wrote:On the basis of the last answers, I think my point of view was misunderstood, I'll try to re-explain it as simple as possible...
No, I understand it perfectly, but it's a point of view which is completely useless for understanding the rules.
the sentences
"Any Nazgûl attack against a minion company is a detainment attack"
(which is written in the LE rulesbook) and
"Any Nazgûl creature attack against a minion company is a detainment attack"
were perfectly identical as far as the practical effect was concerned, because there was no way for minion companies to face nazgul auto-attacks, given the existing card pool. Minion companies could only face nazgul auto-attacks after the release of WH. Therefore, the word "creature" was unnecessary in that sentence.
This is indisputable, but has nothing to do with interpreting the rules.
Now, there are two possible hypotesis:

1) ICE's intention was only making clear that nazgul creatures would always attack as detainment, no matter what they're keyed (or not keyed) to, and they resorted to the most concise wording necessary, thus omitting the word "creature", simply neglecting that in the future this wording could've included auto-attacks printed on site cards which were meant to attack normally.

2) ICE's goal was actually to include nazgul auto-attacks, because they knew that they were going to let minions face nazgul auto-attacks with the release of forecoming set and/or expansions.
3) ICE intended to cover all possible cases of a Nazgul attacking a minion company, including any that might be introduced in future sets.
Proving hypotesis 2 requires that, at the time of LE release, the WH set was already designed, the WH cards' texts were already written, and ready to be printed and retailed. As far as I know, at the time of LE release, the only AS set was ready, since the release of the AS expansion was anticipated in the LE rulesbook to justify those standard modifications written on some faction card, which referred to factions which were not included in LE set, and would've only been available after the release of AS.
On the other hand, the hypothesis #1 is bolstered
So we must prove hypothesis 2, but we only need to bolster hypothesis 1?  Put it on equal footing.  Proving hypothesis 1 requires the same thing as hypothesis 2 -- access to either design notes or statements from the designers.
The interpretation of a rule must take into consideration, to some extent, the purpose which is at the origin of the rule. It is not about having rules which say what they don't say, it is about having rules which say what they mean.
As soon as you can indisputably prove what was meant but not actually said, that will be a basis for interpreting rules.  Unfortunately, unless you are the author of said rule, you can't ever prove what somebody else meant -- only they can do that.

Therefore interpreting rules based on perceived intention is useless.
But I hope at least that this discussion can warn people from the harmful effects of blind interpretations without critical thinking: you find yourself in need of an UEP (i.e. something which rarely finds application in a game) in order to correct a rules inconsistency which could be officially solved by means of a better ponderated interpretation.
In other words, a person's private opinion of what ICE really meant when they wrote the rules as  opposed to what they actually wrote should be taken as the official rules.  I'm sure you can see how this is at the very least a biased standard for rules interpretation.  "Blind interpretations" is a misnomer for taking the rules as they are written; it applies rather to interpreting rules with a lack of any evidence whatsoever and using as supporting arguments only admittedly theoretical constructs.

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:34 pm
by Leon
Bruno, we do understand what you mean and if it was in any way possible to know what people mean with rules I would be glad to. Unfortunately, we have to make do with what is written in rules, card texts and CRF.

Whichever set a rule is from has absolutely no effect on whether it is still valid or not.


Our solutions are the UEP, which are fairly thorough discussions.

What you want and think you can include in house rules, which Nikolai does for his dream card expansions for examples.

This particular UEP is one of the few discussions where the rule as it exists is perfectly clear, no loopholes or contradictions whatsoever.

And if we could easily rewrite all rules and loads of cards, that would have already been done.l

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:50 am
by Sly Southerner
This is a very odd discussion. As far as I can see you guys all agree that the UEP is the way the rule should be.

Bruno, the bottom line is that there has been a ruling on this and the powers that be have been unable and/or unwilling to change any existing rulings.

The community came up with the UEP process at least in part to address rules that are thought to be silly.