24 July 2013

Just the FAQs, Ma'am. Well, and Tourney Rules too!

My goodness, I finally have something new to talk about on here that doesn't feel completely forced to my internal editor mechanisms. 

Yesterday (well, two days ago by the time you read this, but yesterday while I'm writing it- ah screw it, July 22nd in any case) FFG updated both the X-Wing Miniatures FAQ and the X-Wing Miniatures Tournament Rules. Let's take a peek and see what's up, shall we? 

First, because it's much shorter, the Tournament Rules addendum.  Here's the short versions of the new stuff- 

Tournaments must now have at least one TO who is not playing. 
I think this is great. I remember reading a thread on the FFG forums where a guy kind of felt like he got the shaft playing against one of the TOs. I don't remember the whole scenario, but I think it was something along the lines of the TO wasn't making people use asteroids, this dude called him on it, and the TO was a bit whateva about it. Again- I might have that wrong, but it was something along those lines. It wasn't anything like obviously bad, but it was enough to put a bad taste in this poster's mouth and I remember posting something like, "They should just not allow TOs to play in the tournaments they're TOing." 

Y'all may have read the blog long enough to read between the lines and realize that I'm a big soccer/ football fan. To me, being a TO that plays in his own tournament is like being the visiting team while Howard Webb refs your match against United at Old Trafford. 

You have no idea the self control I'm exhibiting right now not just posting another 20 Webb United pics for my own personal amusement

You can use 3rd party rulers and templates are still allowed, but bases, ships, and card proxies are not. 
You may recall in the previous edition of the FAQ, FFG allowed for 3rd party rulers and templates, but made no mention of the bases, ships, and cards, except to say you couldn't proxy and you had to have a copy of ever upgrade you were representing in your list, etc., etc. 

The only real difference I see here is they make a really big deal out of not continuing your turn without a ship on a base. Man, I didn't think he'd be that mad. They go on to remind us of what's in the rulebook about taking a peg off the base if your models are going to touch if the bases aren't, etc., etc. Again, I get the point I guess, but the reality is this is kinda clunky if you thought you weren't going to touch, you move your ship, ah jeez, they do actually touch, hold on, let me move back along my movement template, now let me remove a peg, now back forward along the template enough so that our bases are now touching. Sheesh. 

They still have the bit about using a single set of rulers and templates if you think somebody is gaining an advantage, but they added in this is all up to the TO now. 

Squad Deployment Procedure must be used before the start of each game, and may be used before the tournament round. 
The fifth time I read this, I think I finally got the point- you and your opponent can perform the 7 Squad Deployment steps before the clock starts on the actual game. If you think about it, this is kind of a big deal, especially if you're in a tournament that only allows the bare minimum of time for each round. Deployment doesn't have to take a long time, but I'd bet on average in a tournament setting, performing your Squad Deployment step before the match would save you a good 5 minutes. Doesn't seem like much, but they're the ones at the end where it's going to matter, y'know? Where you can get three full game turns in 5 minutes easy. Could potentially make a pretty big difference. 

Point total calculations
The last bits are about scoring and the red ink is spread out enough it kinda won't make sense if I quote it directly the way I have the other topics. Suffice it to say, I think they're just clarifying wording. I don't see anything in there that's different from how I've played it or told you guys to play it. You add up how much stuff you killed from the other guy's list (including upgrades). Higher score gets a Match Modified Win, if you killed 33 or more points than the other guy, it's a straight Win, if you both killed the same amount of points, it's a draw unless you're in a championship bracket round in which case the guy with initiative wins. 

That's it for the Tournament Rules, so let's move along to the FAQ. There's a ton of stuff in the FAQ, and I'm not going to hit all of it- much of it is just clarifying the way you probably already play it, but there are a few things in here that made my eyebrows go up, so I'll talk about those a bit. 

Daredevil wording change
I can't decide if this is a big deal or not, probably because I wasn't one of those guys who made a case for Daredevil not actually giving a Stress Token because it happened in the Action phase which is actually after the "Check for Pilot Stress" step happens, and blah, blah, blah. In any case, the wording on the card has been changed from doing a red 1 turn right or left to a white 1 turn right or left, then take a Stress Token. Note that only replaces the first sentence- the second part (the part about if you don't have the Boost Action roll two dice...) is still in play. 

Boost Action wording change
Again, this is probably how you were already playing it, but in case you were only not Boosting when your actual ship base was going to overlap an obstacle/ other ship, to clarify- yes, your template counts too. If your Boost Action will make your ship base or your maneuver template overlap, you can't perform the Boost Action. 

Barrel Roll wording change
Basically, same as above regarding Boost Action. Or to put it in internet speak, "Also barrel roll." 

If two ships are oriented so that their closest edges are parallel, there is no single closest-point-to-closest-point line between the two ships. If one ship attacked the other, could it choose which line to use?
I don't think this has ever happened to me in an actual game, but I can see the potential for it occurring especially if you play X-Wing via Vassal. Long story short, the attacking player can choose the path that doesn't cross over an obstacle if the above condition (100% parallel bases) occurs. 

When a ship executes a maneuver, is the entire width of the ship considered to be moving along the maneuver template and possibly hitting obstacles?
I'm pretty sure I've talked about this on here before, but it kinda seems like it wasn't in an article; most likely somebody asked about this in the comments or maybe they even emailed me the question. In any case, yeah, as strange as it may seem, ships in X-Wing just kinda magically go from one end of the maneuver template to the other without actually crossing the space in-between. 

This really only comes into play if your maneuver template just barely misses touching an obstacle or other ship. If that happens, you're still good assuming of course your base doesn't overlap. 

During an attack, can the defender choose not to roll defense dice?
This is kind of a big deal because of the way FFG chose to clarify Kath Scarlet's ability interacting with an Ion Cannon later on. Simply put, the answer to this question is "No." You gotta roll the dice if you have them available. 

Are a bomb token’s movement guides considered when measuring range or when a ship overlaps them?
This one jumped out at me because I swear I read on a rules forum somewhere there was some precedent for another rule that seemed to indicate the opposite. Answer according to FAQ though? They count. 

Are bomb tokens obstacles?
This is another one of those wishful thinking, "Well, it doesn't say they aren't, so maybe they are", kind of questions. Answer? No. 

If a ship with the Stunned Pilot Damage card executes a maneuver in which only its maneuver template overlaps an obstacle, does the ship suffer the effect of the Damage card?
Ok, so this one kinda surprised me. There was really no precedent for this, I just usually play stuff that can go either way in the most negative fashion for me so nobody can complain that I cheated, but the answer here surprising is "No." Stunned Pilot apparently only activates if you actually overlap the obstacle with your ship base. 

Can “Dark Curse” be the target of a secondary weapon attack that requires the attacker to spend a focus token?
I thought this one was kind of interesting because I've never had it come up in one of my games, but after thinking about it for a moment, it seems like it would come up all the time. In any case, the answer is "No." Take that torpedo aficionados and future HWK-290 players!

If “Night Beast” has a stress token when he executes a green maneuver, is he able to perform a free focus action?
Ok, here's one I've almost certainly gotten wrong and allowed other people to get wrong. The answer here is, "No." The reason given? Night Beast's ability triggers before the Check Pilot Stress step. Which, I guess, reading between the lines, clarifies for future reference when your ship actually loses its Stress Token. I'd always played it that you lost it right after you pull a green, but apparently that wasn't accurate. 

These next two really, really surprised me- 

If a ship equipped with R2-D2 executes a green maneuver and moves through or overlaps an obstacle, does it recover a shield before rolling for damage?

If a ship equipped with R2-D2 executes a green maneuver and moves through a proximity mine token, does it recover a shield before rolling for damage?

Surprisingly, to me at least, the answers here are not the same. The first question, FFG says, that R2-D2 recovers a shield before rolling for damage. The second question, he does not. 

I suspect if I really looked closely in the book at the timing of Actions versus the book text for moving through/ overlapping an obstacle versus the card text of the Bombs card and the Proximity Mine card, there's some differences there, but I never noticed it before. 

If Kath Scarlet attacks with Ion Cannon, obtains a <unfilled explosion> result, and then the Ion Cannon’s effect cancels all dice results, does Kath Scarlet’s ability trigger?
Ah, so here's the big one. Answer? "No." The explanation goes on to say the <unfilled explosion> result has to be cancelled by a Defense die, Evade token, etc. 

When a ship uses Daredevil, does the ship follow all of the normal maneuvering rules?
Long story short? Yeah. It's a maneuver, after all. Says so on the card. So you're free to go overlapping if you want and anything that triggers upon executing a maneuver kicks on here too. 

If a ship equipped with Nien Nunb or R2 Astromech suffers the ion token effect and must execute a white [ 1] maneuver, can he treat it as a green maneuver?
This one really kind of f@cked me up. I have always played this as a white maneuver, too bad, so sad. I swear I remember reading rules debates on this that quoted the rulebook and previous incarnation of the FAQ that made this white instead of green a fully foregone conclusion. As of the new FAQ though? Nope! You pull a green instead of a white if you've got Nunb or R2 Astro along for the ride. Still can't believe that's how this works. 

This next one is kind of a two parter- 

If a ship using Cluster Missiles hits with the first attack, but then misses with the second attack, can he still use Gunner/ Luke Skywalker even though the first attack hit?
If a ship using Cluster Missiles misses with the first attack and then triggers Gunner/Luke Skywalker, can it still perform the remaining attack granted by Cluster Missiles? 

The answer to the first question is a "Yes", while the answer to the second question is a "No." They're that way for the same reason- the Luke Skywalker Copilot card text. 

The first scenario is acceptable because Cluster Missles is two separate attacks on the same target, so even if you hit with the first, but missed with the second (and again- missing here is missing as in not hitting per the rules definition of the word), Luke or Gunner triggers a primary attack (which doesn't have to be at the same target). 

The second scenario doesn't work because the last bit on Luke or Gunner is "You cannot perform another attack this round." 

The rest of the FAQ addresses some finer points about declaring Target Locks, Barrel Rolls, and Boosts. To be honest, these clarifications won't affect the way 99% of you play because they really don't matter much. It's like, the Target Lock thing is technically you declare your intended target first.  Is that exactly how you've been playing it? Probably not. You probably throw your range ruler out on the table, check to see if the ship you want is in range, then you declare him TLed. Does it make a functional difference? No, because the rules go on to say if the ship isn't in range, if after measuring you find you're out of range, you can then opt to declare a different target or declare a wholly different Action. Long story long, it's the same outcome. Maybe there's some stuff in Wave 3 that'll make this more significant, or maybe there's some scenario already out there I've never heard/ read/ though about, but as it stands, it seems as though they're just nailing down floorboards to make sure the house doesn't creak. 

So there ya go. Like I said, there's more stuff in the FAQ than what I've mentioned, but a lot of those things are either pretty self-evident upon a close look at the rules or I've already clarified them on here in Bikini Battle Basics articles, Veteran Instincts articles, ship articles, or upgrade articles. If you think I've missed anything though, by all means, call it out in the comments and we'll talk. 

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