28 February 2013

Multiple Actions, Same Actions Explained!

I was playing a game last night with my friend Sean over Google Hangout and as it was his first game of X-Wing Miniatures, naturally, he had a few questions. 

One of the questions that cropped up had to do with Squad Leader, what Action could be declared with the Squad Leader Action and then, subsequently, what Action could be declared with the Pilot's native Action- namely, could those two Actions be the same? Or what about Vader and his dual Actions pilot ability? Could Vader declare the same Action twice?

As this is something I used to get wrong, I'm kind of sensitive to it, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about it here because it is a little convoluted. 

I find it's easier to use examples when talking about this stuff, but don't let it confuse you- even though I'm talking about Focus, the same would apply for any Action (and yeah, you could sub Target Lock throughout the following example and use Dutch Vander instead of Garven Dreis). 

Note also that a Free Action is defined by the rulebook as an Action that doesn't count against the one Action per Activation Phase rule. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less (top of page 8). 

First Example- 
Luke Skywalker has executed a maneuver and follows up with a Focus Action, completing his Activation Phase. Later, Wedge Antilles who has been upgraded with the Squad Leader Elite Pilot Skill, elects to give Luke a Free Action (per the Squad Leader card) from his Action bar. Can Luke select Focus again? 

In this example, no. Luke couldn't take Focus a second time because the rules explicitly state the same Action may not be taken twice in the same turn (Rulebook, bottom of page 9). 

Second Example- 
Luke Skywalker possesses a Focus token from his Activation phase when he declared Focus as his Action. As the game progresses through the Combat Phase, Luke still possesses his Focus after firing on another ship. Later in the same Combat Phase, nearby Garven Dreis uses a Focus token to modify his To Hit roll. Dreis has a special rule that allows him to pass the Focus token along rather than discard it. He elects to pass it to Luke Skywalker. Can Luke use both Focus tokens in this Combat Phase? 

Yes, in this example, this is totally cool. The reason? Luke has not declared the same Action twice- he has simply received a Focus token from Dreis. He then has two Focus tokens to help him fend off any attacks for the rest of that round.  

The key to understanding this is realizing where people get hung up- namely that the acquiring of a token and the spending of a token are not actually Actions, but the result of the Action.

Declaring an Action is the most common way of acquiring a token, but they're not the same thing. In other words, declaring a Focus Action gets you a Focus token, but just because you have a Focus token doesn't necessarily mean you declared a Focus Action. 

So long story long, if you're the beneficiary of a specific Action token from a special ability, maneuver, upgrade, etc., it doesn't matter what Action you declared back in your Activation phase and it doesn't matter what tokens you currently possess- you're good.

If however, you're the beneficiary of an additional Action, it does matter because you're declaring an Action and you can't declare the same Action twice in the same turn. 

Ya dig?