Profile photo of Kevin By Kevin On April 26, 2013 Posted In X-Wing Miniatures Game

FFG Response on Measuring

Profile photo of Kevin
April 26, 2013
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TC member ringo points me to an official FFG response on (some of the) questions concerning premeasuring and when it’s allowed.  The response is posted at the Spanish site Rojo Cinco.  The link there is through Google Translate, for us monolingual types.  Here are the questions and responses, via the translation.  Some of it is a bit odd, but the gist comes through pretty clearly:

  • Question: Can you measure the barrel roll Both the right and left in the same action or you can choose just one side to measure?
  • Answer: No. You should declare which direction you want to barrel roll down before Placing your template.

 

  • Question: If you declare a barrel roll, after measuring to see if the ship can do and can, can you change your mind and declare another action?.
  • Answer: No. You must perform the barrel roll in the Intended direction if possible. If it is impossible to do a barrel roll in That direction, you can barrel roll in the opposite direction or choose another action.

 

  • Question: The same With The target lock. When you declare a target lock after having Measured the distances and even having ships in range, you can change your mind and declare another action?.
  • Answer: No. If you announce a target lock action and confirm That you can lock your Intended target enemy, you must target lock him. The rule That lets you measure before Committing only Protects you from losing your action if you measure and discover That You’re out of range. Your opponent May allow you to choose another action, but he is not required to allow that.

These responses are interesting, to say the least.  Anyone who’s followed any of the “When can you measure?” questions on the various forums knows that I’ve taken a pretty hardline stance on measuring and what should be allowed, but this is harsher than even I had read it.

My position on measuring has always been that you could not measure unless the rules explicitly told you to, either by one of the “You may premeasure before committing to this action” clauses or an ability which required a range check.  But within those options to premeasure, I had read it as an unlimited chance to check and see what you want to do, see who all might be in range, etc.

This ruling turns that on its head.  This basically says that the “You may premeasure before committing to this action” means “Declare your action.  Measure it.  If you cant’ complete it, you can pick something else.”  That’s a big difference from the previous understanding of “Measure, declare and finish.”

Sadly, this doesn’t actually resolve all the other issues we might have.  It does answer some, though.

On the resolved side, we obviously now know when you can back out of an action.  Additionally, I think the answer relating to target locks puts the final nail in the coffin of unlimited range measuring.  If you could measure range at will, you’d never call a target lock that was out of range.  This also pretty much confirms that you can only make a measurement when you are actually using an ability, since you have to declare both action and target before measuring.

What we still don’t necessarily know, though, is whether the “measure before committing” clause is general, or only in those explicit actions and abilities that say you can.  And if it’s not general, then we don’t know what happens to an ability that you declare but is out of range, such as Squad Leader.

So what does this mean?  It’s certainly going to change up the feel of the game a bit, but I actually like it.  Many people had pointed out that our understanding of when premeasuring was allowed basically made any restrictions on premeasuring irrelevant, since you could check range to everything for a target lock.  This fixes that – declare the action, pick the target, measure for that specific target.  No “I’m going to check if I can target lock all 6 of your ships” any more.  In my opinion, it also makes the game more consistent.  When people would point to the “spirit” of the game in a debate over measurement, my response was typically that the “spirit” was a bit confused: movement was very harsh and relied on eyeball estimation, but actions and measurement was very forgiving.  This pulls the full game in the harsher direction.  Whether you think that’s a good thing or not will be personal, but it certainly does a lot to remove the disconnect.

 UPDATE

There’s been a lot of concern over the new interpretation, mostly centered around whether or not this contradicts the idea that you can measure before committing to an action.  It certainly does seem to, and I’ll admit that I’m a little uncomfortable with the reading, mainly because it’s not something I ever would have come up with.  Now that we know that this is how it’s supposed to be played, however, I’ve been taking some shots at interpreting what was written vs. how it should be played, and trying to figure out why it says what it says.  For brevity I’m going to focus on the barrel roll, but the same applies for target locks.

Here’s the rule as printed in the book:

The player may measure to see if his ship can perform a barrel roll before committing to this action.

The bolded part is, I believe, the key to understanding why this ruling doesn’t completely contradict the rule as it is printed.  If we focus on this restriction, then the ONLY reason that you can premeasure before is to see if your ship can complete the barrel roll.  If it can, but you decide not to do so, then you will have broken that rule.

There is undoubtedly a bit of conflict with the idea of “committing” to an action here.  If you’re forced into it once you measure, how can you not have committed?  The key to understanding, I believe, is that they are using the term “committed” to mean an action which cannot be taken back.  If you were forced to commit before measuring, but couldn’t fit to complete the barrel roll, then you would lose the action.

I’m certainly not trying to argue that it’s a well-written rule, given what they wanted it to mean.  But I do think that the reading is not completely alien to what is printed.

  1. Wow this is much more strict then I had thought. I’ve always been very easy going when it comes to measuring. This will change how I play a lot. I don’t think this is good or bad, just different.

    Interesting thing in Vassal when you check range it show’s you everything in your firing arc. I think we have to start using the range line tool to measure to your specific target.

    1. I think this might be better treated as an exception for playing in Vassal. Even if we used the range lines for range (which would be a pain in the ass) we’re still going to get the full range bands whenever we check firing arcs.

      It certainly does complicate matters a bit.

  2. I like this ruling… a lot. Checking for Target Locks always felt to me like a sneaky way of pre-measuring firing range, particularly for the YT-1300 (and I include myself as one of those being sneaky). I like the idea of committing to an action and if you can’t perform it, too bad.

    On a related note, I’ve never understood why it’s not possible to Barrel Roll or Boost into an asteroid. I can understand not being allowed to Boost into other ships but I think Barrel Roll and Boost should be risky near other obstacles.

  3. I’m not sure I like these rules. I mean competitively, I get it. I’ve got distances in my head based of the range finder. I can sneaky learn a lot of information that way. That being said I personally would be fine playing this way. But I’m a pretty friendly player and I can see a lot of bullying and rudeness with players who aren’t as forgiving. Those players when played against were already annoying.

    1. I’m not sure how I want to handle this for the vassal tournament. Sense this has come in the middle of round 1, I’m not going to make any changes for this round. If I do I will post something with the next round Match ups. Vassal adds it’s on complications too this which I will have to think on and figure out how I would like to handle.

    2. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying, kelvan, but I don’t know that I see the same potential for bullying. Or maybe I wouldn’t call it bullying.

      If your opponent moved Vader and tried to Evade twice, would you consider it bullying to stop him? I doubt anyone would.

      Measurement rules are still rules. While the presentation can certainly be rude, holding people to the rules is not inherently rude, and expecting them to play by the rules is not bullying.

      That said, the previous discussion of “When to Cheat” comes into play. If everyone in a game is fine playing a looser premeasurement standard, there’s nothing wrong with that. But I think it’s important for people to at least understand that they’re not playing by the official rules. If someone were to show up to a Regional and insist on unlimited measuring, I wouldn’t consider their opponent the rude one.

      1. A new and stricter paradigm appears.

        Imagine errata QUIETLY coming out, saying this:

        — Once you put a dial on the map, you can’t pick it up again. The maneuver chosen is considered final even if you’ve not yet chosen for other ships. You may still peek at it to see what you’ve chosen.

        — Once you touch a ship/dial, if that ship could move it must move if its PS says that ship could be the next one to move. You may not then choose a ship with equal PS and move it first.

        Now imagine you are mid-tournament and some guy across from you suddenly invokes the new errata to mess you up. It’s not that he’s just going by the rules — he could have mentioned the new errata up front or even had the tournament TO announce it. He timed it for an advantage in the game. He’s trying to SCREW you, and he’ll break out each new rule as an individual weapon vs each opponent he faces.

        That’s what Kelvan means I think.

      2. This more or less…

        I really don’t like it when you get CS responses without an errata or FAQ. Is it official? I’m getting D&D character optimization forum flashbacks all over again…

        Not to be rude, but I don’t exactly consider an article posted in the website “rojo Cinco” to be the official ruling of FFG. (just realized that means red 5… good for you spanish dude who did that.)

      3. If you are challenging whether FFG actually answered these questions, that’s dangerous accusation even if true. There’s zero evidence to suggest FFG wasn’t actually asked these questions or that they didn’t answer as shown.

        If you are saying that the answers to these questions are moot concerning “tournament rules play” because it’s not in the form of a FAQ… what is a FAQ? Frequently Asked Questions — consolidated into one place.

        No matter how you slice it, these answers are the law.

      4. I would very much like a statement from FFG saying that only things they release as FAQ or errata are official for tournament gameplay, and to disregard efforts they make answering questions elsewhere. Not being sarcastic AT ALL here — if they are going to answer questions elsewhere, they need to state how official it is instead of leaving it up to players to guess and form opinion on it.

        I’m suspect of the thought that FFG can publicly put out “unofficial” rulings on their own game. It’s their game, so how can what they say be unofficial in any way? It feels like pick and choose otherwise. What if I like the errata but want to ignore the FAQ?

        At the same time, I am suspect of my own stance here as well. There are likely a lot of voices over at FFG, and they might sometimes get things wrong. Only the released FAQ and errata will have necessarily been proofed for misinformation, so it’s the only 100% trustworthy source of FFGs non-book rules on how to play X-wing.

      5. Before we got the Night Beast ruling from FFG, a majority of people thought that he would get his free action even if he was stressed. Would you give that to an opponent because the ruling wasn’t official yet? Would you let them immediately detonate a proximity mine that landed on your ship?

        These rulings have the same not-real status as the one here. But we know they exist. Again, unless you’re going to question the honesty of the site, I don’t know how you can say “Yes, I know FFG has said it should be played like this, but they haven’t put it in the right document yet so I’m going to make you play it like that.”

      6. Totally agree… This reminds me too much of how WoTC screwed up rulings with Customer service reps disagreeing with each other in different letters.

        Plus I really don’t want to show someone at a tournament the translated to english rulings on the website rojo cinco (which is very possibly my new name) and then telling them that it’s the official ruling of FFG and they need to change how they play or lose their action. Puts me in a weird spot to either allow someone to cheat/play wrongly or me look like either a jerk or a wierdo. I don’t like it one bit.

        If this is the official stance and they put it in an errata or FAQ. Just makes my “focus is the best action” stance stronger. If you can’t be certain you can barrel roll out or boost out of an arc… just focus.

      7. So let’s talk accuracy of answer.

        Is FFG known to make statements like this, then go a different way when putting out their FAQ? If so, I think we must take these answers lightly as Kelvan suggests.

        If FFG known to answer questions correctly, then later consolidate those answers into an FAQ? If so, I think we must assume that all answers given by FFG anywhere are in fact official.

      8. A couple of things here…

        First, to my knowledge, responses on X-wing rules are coming directly from game designers. Both the Night Beast and Proximity Mines rulings are signed by them directly. The posting at Rojo Cinco didn’t include the signature line, but if a designer is answering emails directly it’s a safe bet that answers are flowing through them.

        In a tournament situation, this should NEVER be left up to individual players. Especially if it’s something that might be less well known, the TO should announce the way the ruling will go beforehand. If the ruling is too recent, they should put it off. I wouldn’t expect a TO at a regional tomorrow to go by this – give people a week, and hopefully notice. Regardless, though, that’s up to the TO on how to play it, and should not be up to two players arguing it out.

      9. As previously compared to the night beast ruling, I think that prior to the official FFG ruling, it was and should have been up to the individual TO, regardless of whatever private email they had received from anyone. Until a ruling is made public by FFG, I think that private interpretations are just that: private. It should be up to the individual TO to decide if they believe the post on a Spanish translated website or not. There is nothing proving it is an official ruling, other than their word. It is no different than if I were to say I had received an email, typed a few questions and responses, and published it in a blog. I could be totally telling the truth. I could be totally making it up. The’s no way for you to know. But either way, it is NOT binding to my opponent until it is either officially AND publicly released by Fantasy Flight, OR until the TO rules that it will be the official rule of the tournament we are playing in.

        And for casualy play, frankly, just be casual. Whatever you two want to do.

  4. So basically, this:

    — You choose an action before any measuring can be done.
    — You only measure if you choose TL, and only to the target.
    — If you cannot TL the target, you must try to TL a different target.
    — If you cannot TL any targets, you may choose a different action.

    and:

    — If you choose to boost or roll, you must choose direction.
    — If you then land on an asteroid, you are stuck there.

    and:

    — When firing, you only check range to the target.

    Those seem like pretty easy rules to follow. The targeting/range toggles on VASSAL are horribly glitched anyway and I will be glad not to have to deal with them anymore.

    I would add this “rule” in though:

    — If you can’t quite tell if something is in your firing arc (or your legal range), it is NOT. It has to be definitive enough that it can be easily demonstrated with the range ruler.

    That’s an important rule if we aren’t going to use the VASSAL arc/range toggles. Otherwise it’s too easy to argue back and forth since there is no VASSAL judge on hand. It also seems the natural rule for casual play.

    1. I read it a little different, Theorist. I think that when you declare an action, the target or direction is part of that declaration. So if you can’t lock that particular target (or roll in that direction) the entire action is canceled, and you can try something else.

      So:
      – You choose an action before any measuring can be done.
      – You only measure if you choose TL, and only to the target.
      – If you cannot TL the target, you may choose a different action

      On your second, you can’t land on an obstacle as part of a barrel roll. So:

      – Choose to boost or barrel roll Left or right (or straight)
      – Check to see if you can complete the move
      – If you can, you must complete it
      – If not, choose another action

      I’m not sure about your suggestion about firing arcs… Are you suggesting it as a general rule, or for Vassal? Or are you deriving that from these answers?

      1. According to the ruling, you may only change your action from TL if the opponent allows it. That means changing it is a granted courtesy, not a right within the rules.

        IF the opponent allows it, you may choose an action other than TL. But if you choose TL on an illegal target, the opponent has the right to force your action chosen to remain a TL. The only way you’d get out of it is to have no legal targets for it at all, in which case you’d get whatever action you instead wanted. SPELLED OUT explicitly in the answer to Q#3.

        I don’t have a clue what I was thinking concerning boot/roll landing on asteroids. I think you -should- be able to crash I suppose, and that affected me subconsciously. So basically this would be unchanged except that you can’t just take a look at all boost/roll positions before deciding where you are going.

        AKA — If you lay out a legal boost/roll, yer stuck there.

      2. I think you have to read that last line in the context of the question and response. The question is about whether you can declare a target lock against a target, measure it, and then decide not to do it. The answer to that is no, and I think if we cut out some of the middle it’s clearer:

        “If you announce a target lock action and confirm That you can lock your Intended target enemy, you must target lock him. …. Your opponent May allow you to choose another action, but he is not required to allow that.”

        The question is entirely about what happens if your target is in range, and does not address an out-of-range target.

      3. As an IRL casual rule, it’s already the only good way to handle iffy positions. The last thing I want to do is argue with a friend over some game. If it’s not clear to everyone upon demonstration, then it’s not callable in favor of the active ship.

        As a VASSAL tournament rule because we have no TO there to make calls, I think the rule will need to be in place. Otherwise there could be some bad blood over someone rolling a red to settle a disputed arc/range. We don’t need to take it there when we have a much more friendly option.

        I’m not necessarily advocating it for IRL tournament play. There is a TO (sometimes several) there to make the call on iffy arcs/lines in that case. If IRL tournaments did adopt an “it has to be easily demonstrable” rule? I think they’d be better off since the tournament realm would become a much more civil place.

      4. Rereading the question and answer, I can see that interpretation. That would leave me to believe that it’s in fact as you say:

        — You declare TL and target, measuring only to that target.
        — If you can TL it, you must. The opponent can make you.

      5. Short of questioning the honesty of the site in posting their response, I don’t see any reason not to consider this binding.

        Regardless of the means of publishing, it’s a response directly from FFG. Do they have some “Not official unless it’s in an FAQ document” rule that I don’t know? Not snarky there, BTW, I don’t tend to follow their other complex games…

        I also think we have to be careful not to disregard this simply because people don’t like it. I don’t recall anyone questioning the applicability of the Night Beast ruling, or wondering whether the recent response about proximity mine detonation should be considered binding.

        There’s certainly an issue with distribution of the information, which is part of why I reposted this… but that’s a separate issue than whether this should be considered binding.

      6. to be fair that’s a big part of it.

        I haven’t played a game where measurement is interpreted this way. I can play that way personally, but if I call someone out who is doing it I’ll get strange looks. Stranger when I show them a translated website that has the “official” ruling.

        I’m sure this is a real letter from an FFG Customer Service Rep. It probably is the official ruling. But I’ve seen CS reps give diffrent responses to many games before and I hate that these responses aren’t widely distributed on their website itself.

        It’s not hard FFG. Copy, paste, place response on website forum. hit publish.

  5. I find the target lock answer to be very interesting. When you look at pg 9 of the rules, it gives a demo on how to perform the target lock action.

    Here’s step 1- The rebel player measures 360 degree’s around the rookie pilot’s ship to see which enemy ships are at Range 1-3.

    hmm…this seems very different then what’s stated above. I’m posting this not because I think the new rulings are wrong, but that to me this is a big contradiction.

    I’m not sure I feel comfortable changing the rules in the tournament to these new rules, for a few reasons.

    First is, that many of the players are new to vassal, and that’s already a big learning curve for some.

    Second is, These rules would change play a lot, and add that to learning Vassal I’m not sure that makes for a fun tournament.

    Third is, I’m not a fan of big rules changes once an event has started.

    1. The example is definitely odd – it doesn’t fit the actual rules for the target lock process, which clearly require a target to be selected first. It’s easy to understand why we all had the “wrong” read on this, though.

      I’d actually tend to agree with not changing the rules for our tournament, for all the reasons you cite. Especially with the extra challenge of playing over Vassal in the first place, trying to hammer all that out mid-event just seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

      A lot of people wanted this format as a way to prep for regionals, but nothing stops them from adhering to the more limited measuring rules for the practice if they’re inclined to.

    2. I vote against changing rules mid-tournament. Some players may have built their squads with a certain (and correct) understanding of the rules… it would be unfair to affect players in an uneven way.

    3. I agree with that. Especially the third point about not changing mid tournament. For those that may have built their squads with a different notion of target lock and/or barrel roll (and likely boost), it seems unfair to have them change their team strategy and experiment with new ways and new skills in the middle. Maybe it would be worth it to them to avoid the issue and spent their points in different ways. Since the squads are locked in, though, they can’t.

      Also, FFG has stated that all expansions are legal for use in tournaments after they have been released for two weeks. I know that rules clarifications are different than new ships and can’t rightfully be deemed, “an expansion,” but it could have the potential to alter in-game decisions and I think that people should at least have the chance to get used to it for a bit before playing a game that counts.

    4. Good points, mrfroggies.

      My biggest hang up is that the word “may” is thrown around a lot in the Target Lock section, implying that you have choices (e.g. “If the enemy ship is at Range 1, 2, or 3, the active ship may acquire a target lock on that ship”)

      And another part is “The active player may measure to see if an enemy ship is within range BEFORE committing to this action.” Which says to me, you can measure and then decide NOT to commit if it doesn’t look so good.

      But despite the fact that they seem to go against the Core Rulebook, I REALLY like these new rules. It becomes less wishy-washy. Your pilots are sitting in their cockpits locked in life-or-death struggles and right now you can say, “First let me measure all the opponents in 360 degrees for a TL. …Nah, I think I’m gonna choose Boost to port instead….oh no, that will get me in trouble, I think I’ll go starboard.”

      No, these new limitations on measuring seem superior to me.

  6. I didn’t expect this answer from FFG at all after knowing Kevin already e-mailed them and they didn’t answer.

    But I really like this new direction in the game, since if you could measure everything in the game it would just come down to who has more luck rolling dice, and with harsher rules you have to think more about what you want to do leaving room to “outplay” your opponent.

    For me what makes this game fun is trying to predict where my opponent wants to go and who wants to attack and trying to move and attack in a way that he doesn’t expect resulting in my benefit of course.

    This also rewards more experienced players who will be more accurate eyeballing measures but for me that’s also a good thing , because again it takes some luck away from the game and rewards practice.

  7. Hello everyone.

    I’m Ricardo JUntas, the person responsible for Spanish web “Rojo Cinco” (Red Five in english)

    I like to visit this page often for all the quality of X-Wing articles that are published, especially Kevin articles, that I think are fantastic. It was a big surprise for me to see that you have commented here the news.

    With respect to mail FFG, little I can add to what you are saying. The only thing is to leave you the image of the original email so you can see all the original content, including the disclaimer.

    http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h238/Omadon86/X-wing_zps9505154d.jpg

    Regards

    Ricardo

      1. Well, the response explicitly says it’s not official (unless or until it appears in a FAQ).

        If you mean, instead, that it appears “genuine,” I agree … but I never really had any doubts about that.

    1. It says it isn’t official for the current tournament season. But there seems to be little doubt that this will be the law of the land soon.

      For tournaments, it was always up to the TO. For casual play, people can of course play however they want, but we now know the “right” way to play it.

      Thanks for the full email, Ricardo – it’s actually a big help. One of the responses from people unhappy with this ruling has been to pass it off as just a bad CS rep decision. Seeing Kniffen’s name on there is actually important, as it shoots that down. Knowing it came from him and was originally in English also answers any worries about bad translations.

      I expect we’re still going to see a lot of resistance to this one going forward, both before and after they add it to the FAQ. It’s just very different than the way a lot of people are expecting to play. I like it myself, but either way, it is what it is, and thanks for sharing it.

  8. Honestly, I’m shocked that so many people on this site are so ready to call this binding, official, etc. This was posted on a non-FFG website, without any kind of proof of connection to Fantasy Flight Games. There’s no employee signature, no screenshot of the email that was sent or received, just a blog post.

    For something like this to be official, it would need to either be posted somewhere on FFG’s actual site, either their news column, or their forums by an admin, or in an official rules document. Or someone would have to provide a screen capture of the claimed email response, so that we could see that it really was a FFG employee that responded, and which one it was.

    Claimed email responses should not be considered by the community as official or binding, for obvious reasons of a lack of legitimacy and availability. People who play the game shouldn’t be expected to have to go anywhere other than FFG’s website for online support, and those people would not be aware of these rulings unless they had visted a non-FFG website.

    I am TO’ing a tournament in two weeks, and I refuse to enforce these rulings until FFG posts something about it on their site.

    1. Trust but verify?

      Given that the bit concerning how to handle TL conflicts with TL-check instructions in the rulebook, I’ve become suspect as well. I believe that the question might have been answered incorrectly, regardless of who answered the question. Don’t blame you at all for sticking to things as they are currently played.

      1. I don’t think the ruling actually contradicts the rules for Target Lock. I think the example for Target Lock contradicts the rules for Target Lock, and the ruling contradicts the example, but the ruling doesn’t contradict the rules.

        Rules:
        1. Measure to range on target
        2. If ship is at Range 1, 2, or 3, continue
        3/4: Place red/blue token

        Example:
        1. Measure 360 to see what’s at 1-3
        2. Place red/blue tokens on desired target

        The actual rules are pretty clear – select a target, measure range. The example is problematic, but if the example doesn’t follow the rules, I’d stick to the rules.

      2. If that’s the case, then it’s always been that you declare a target before measuring and measure to that target.

        I’m not sure what to think about that.

    2. Rojo Cinco provided a screen shot of the email, linked above.

      I tend to trust people who post these things, mainly because I see little point in lying about it. What would they gain? They might have a bit of a chuckle out of trolling the community, but at what cost? Rojo Cinco has been running since last September, and seems to be a very active site for X-wing in the Spanish community. Why would they choose to ruin their reputation for a stupid prank? Anything’s possible, I suppose, but I really doubt it.

      I wouldn’t expect TOs to start using this for at least a few weeks, until work can percolate out, and wouldn’t have any issue at all with a TO who wanted to wait until it was part of an FAQ. But I see no reason to question the reality of this ruling; people can hold out as they will, and deal with a transition period as they will, but IMHO we’re better off getting used to it sooner rather than later.

    3. A final thought – I’m somewhat surprised there seem to be so many people so unwilling to accept this ruling, or so quick to think it’s somehow fake, or unofficial, or a screwup by an ignorant CS rep. We’ve had several rulings released to the community in this exact method, and I can’t recall anyone questioning the validity of the rulings or the integrity of those posting them. Maybe it’s just that people feel more strongly about wanting to premeasure, or players see their normal approach to playing the game threatened… Not entirely sure, but the reaction has been completely out of sync with other similar situations.

      1. To be very clear, I don’t feel straongly against the change in rules. If anything, I’m mildly *for* the change in rules.

        What I’m annoyed by is that people seem so willing to ignore the *English language* and call this a “clarification” or “ruling,” instead of what it actually — 100 percent, no wiggle room whatsoever — a *change* to what the rules say.

        If FFG and the people expressing support for this acknowledge that it’s a change in the rules, I’m fine with it.

      2. There are really two possibilities here. Either FFG meant something when they wrote the rule and changed their mind but refuse to admit it, or they meant what the email said, and wrote the rule badly.

        I certainly agree that it’s a very badly written rule, but I also believe that it is possible to find what they intended it to be in there, with the guidance we now have. That understanding can provide guidance for other similar rules situations. For example, I believe it’s a safe bet that you’ll have to declare a target when attacking, can only measure to that target, and unless the target is completely out of range you will attack that target. “may measure to verify that these conditions are met” reads very closely to “measure to see if his ship can perform a barrel roll” to me. They key to understanding the ruling is still, IMHO, accepting that the important element is the restriction on why you can measure, not beating on whether their choice of “commit” is unacceptable.

        “If FFG and the people expressing support for this acknowledge that it’s a change in the rules, I’m fine with it.”
        And if they (we, I suppose) don’t? What then?

      3. That is both unnecessary and unwelcome. I’m quite open to debates about what the rules mean and how to play the game, but if you can’t do it without the insults, or if the best you have to offer is pointless bitching, take it somewhere else.

      4. It’s not “pointless” to me.

        You keep responding as if I don’t “understand” the “ruling.” I understand it very well. The reason that the word “commit” is important isn’t because it keeps me from understanding this “ruling.”

        The reason the word “commit” is important is that it means this isn’t a “ruling.” It is a rules *change* — an erratum.

        It is actually important to the health of a game that there be a clear delineation between “clarifications” and “changes.” A rules change is much more important to codify into official documents and to disseminate to the game-playing audience … especially for a tactical/strategic game with a formal competitive environment. A clarification, on the other hand, is just … helpful. It isn’t vital to the function of the game.

      5. I’m trying to discuss the rule and how it fits with the wording as printed so that we can understand what it means going forward. Not everyone thinks it’s quite so clearly a complete deviation from the rules as they’re printed – someone thought to ask the exact question, after all, and they turned out to be right.

        You don’t seem to want to find any understanding. I’m not sure whether it’s because you’re so sure that your interpretation is the only way to read it that you’ve moved to the next step (flogging FFG for the clarification/errata difference) or vice versa – that you’re so eager to bash them for making it a ruling rather than an errata that you’re not willing to actually look at the wording. But either way, the constant assertions of your perfect correctness, complete with insults towards anyone who disagrees with you, is getting tiring.

        This is a space for discussing the rules of the game. If you want to discuss the rules – even THIS rule, and how it should be read – that’s fine. If all you have is a crusade against FFG for not matching your interpretation, please carry that on somewhere else.

      6. It’s not an interpretation: The e-mail directly conflicts with what the rules plainly state:

        The “Acquire a Target Lock Example” on page 9 shows the player using the range rules to run a circle around his ship with the text “The Rebel player measures 360º around Rookie Pilot’s ship to see which enemy
        ships are at Range 1–3.” SHIPS. Not ship. And 360 degrees, not active ship to declared target ship. There’s no room for interpretation left after that example: The rules clarification posted by Rojo Cinco directly contradicts the rulebook.

        Likewise the steps of combat, declaring target. The rules on page 10 state “During this step, the attacker (the active ship) must declare its target (the ship he wishes to attack). The target ship must be inside the attacker’s firing arc and within range. A player may measure to verify that these conditions are met before declaring a target.”

        Note the last sentence: You can verify BOTH that the ship you want to attack is within your firing arc, AND within range. There’s no room to interpret that in any other way than that you can pre-measure your attack, and if you decide to attack a different ship, you may, because you haven’t declared your target yet.

        I’m open to having someone explain to me how those two sections can be interpreted in any other way.

      7. As Bobb said, it’s not my “interpretation.” It is “what the rules flatly state.”

        As a lawyer, I am well aware that language can be ambiguous, and I’m trained in recognizing when it is. I’m also trained in using canon of construction to suss out how to interpret ambiguous language.

        The language in the rulebook is not ambiguous. It may not be what the developers intended, which is fine (although it’s difficult to see how a rule made it to print that is nearly 180 from what that intention might be), but it’s not *ambiguous*. It is, in fact, a fairly well-constructed and worded rule, as it was written.

        So there is a clear rule … and now there is a communication from FFG that is directly contradictory to that clear rule.

        That is an erratum. Again, I’m simply using the English language meaning of the word. I have no idea why you are so defensive about this. I’m making no judgment at all about the authenticity of the new rule, and nor am I attacking it from any basis of unfairness or unplayability. (In fact, I’m said the opposite.) I am simply saying that it is undeniably in contradiction to the language of the published rule — part of which Bobb demonstrated very clearly.

        And I’ll continue to do so if people continue to deny it. I’m not going to passively accept another game, in which I have heavily invested, destructively blurring the line between errata and clarification. It is bad for the game and bad for the competitive environment.

        It is, on the other hand, great for those players who plan to exploit the change against people who may not be as plugged into FFGs informal avenues of issuing errata.

      8. Bobb has checkmate in 2. We can play it out, but he’s got it. The rulebook is clear. The statements conflict.

        Let’s put conjecture and any inductive reasoning aside. What we know for certain is that we all play the game by the rules layed out in the rulebook, an entirely different way to play the action-declaration step was described on Rojo Cinco (by Kniffen? backed by Kniffen?) as the correct method even though it wasn’t, and that everyone just wants to know WHY.

        We can’t know why or the full weight of the statements.

        How to proceed?

        If I was looking at errata, I would say follow the errata. If I was looking at an FAQ, I would make it known to FFG that their FAQ was in conflict with their rulebook so they could put out errata if needed. This is neither of those things. This is double-speak. We are hearing the same voice say two opposite things — loudly with authority in the rulebook, and quietly on Rojo Cinco.

        I cast my vote this way:

        Ignore the statements on Rojo Cinco when playing. Regardless of what portent they might be, they don’t have the power to directly over-ride the rulebook until put into official errata. If there was no glaring conflict I might have a different opinion, but I see no other good way to proceed right now that doesn’t put us into perpetual ill-spirited debate.

      9. @Bobb: The example on Page 9 contradicts the rules on Page 9. Given the choice between the two, I’d consider the rules more authoritative.

        @Jeff: I deeply resent the suggestion that anyone involved in this debate and discussion would be doing so to try and exploit another player’s ignorance just to win a game. I’ve asked you more than once to leave off with the insults. Take it somewhere else.

      10. @Kevin — I hope that I’m not defending the guilty, but I interpreted other-Jeff’s (cuz I’m also Jeff) statement as a different point entirely. He never suggested you would do such a thing, only that some people will. We’ve all come across that guy before. He’s that rules lawyer guy I described in another post, who uses whatever he can to hose down highly skilled players so that he can beat them without having to outplay them. I’ve only met about 5 in my life… but they definitely exist.

        There is no conflict on page 9 as you assert.

        Ignoring the example, going by steps only:

        Step #2: “If the enemy ship is at Range 1, 2, or 3, the active ship MAY acquire a target lock on that ship.”

        …and again after step #4…

        “When measuring range for a target lock, the player may measure 360 (degrees) from the active ship. The active player may measure to see if an enemy ship is in range BEFORE committing to this action.”

        In step #2, I highlight the word “MAY” myself. You measure to a ship, and then have the option of TL. You aren’t forced to TL it if it is in range, which would allow you to measure to ALL enemy ships and then choose when you are done.

        In the after-text, the rulebook itself puts the word “BEFORE” in bold for emphasis. It means you can measure 360 from your ship then choose not to TL at all.

        The real debate here is whether a ship without TL is allowed to measure in this way. Is TL on a ship a planning advantage? It would go a ways to explain the power differential between Interceptors and A-wings. Maybe Interceptors and Fighters can’t do a 360 measure? It’s possible they can only measure to targets in front of them, in combat phase. Wouldn’t that be something?

      11. There is *nothing* in what I said that explicitly or implicitly accuses you of anything, or explicitly or implicitly insults you. I expressed a concern as partial explanation for why it’s so important for a competitive game to maintain a strict different between errata and clarification. (As Theorist pointed out.)

        What is going on? Did I accidentally run over your dog or something?

      12. The kicker I see is playing out the Rojo Cinco rule to it’s end: If your declared target is in range, you’re locked in. If it’s not, you’re free to declare an alternative target. The only situation where forcing you to declare and then measure is if your action is at risk if your target is not in range. Otherwise, the Rojo Cinco rule will allow abuse:

        Active ship has 3 potential targets. Target One is clearly within the firing arc, and clearly within range of that ship’s weapons. Target Two is clearly not only outside of the firing arc, but also clearly beyond range 3. Target Three is close to the same alignment as Target Two, but it’s marginal whether it’s within the firing arc or range. Under the Rojo Cinco rule, what’s stopping the active ship from declaring Target Two as the the subject of the attack, then using that check on range and firing arc to gain information on Target Three? The check will fail, but the active ship will learn if, say, Target Three is at range 2 or range 3. Then, with that knowledge, but having failed to declare a successful target, the active ship will get to declare an alternate target, and do so with the information gained to assist.

        All within the bounds of the rules, so there’s nothing illegal about it.

        But that’s all ignoring that the rules for TL and combat allow the active player to verify that the ship they want to target with their action/attack is legal, BEFORE committing to the action/attack. The Rojo Cinco rule invalidates that clause of the rule.

      13. Theorist, I think your last thought is correct. In order to measure for a TL, your ship needs to be able to take the TL action. Without it, you can only measure within your firing arc during the combat phase. So TIE fighters/Int. do indeed have to declare their action without the benefit of measuring range through the TL action.

      14. @Jeff: You have been nothing but insulting and denigrating to anyone who has read this any differently than you did from the very point we learned about it. If you didn’t intend the comment about exploiting unknowing players to be directed, fine. But given that anyone who disagrees with your crusade on this has been tagged as unable to comprehend English, outright dumb, and (at best) “formerly skilled” you’ll have to forgive me for thinking “exploitive jerk” was just continuing the same.

      15. I accept there is discussion about the TL action, but if you read what’s written in the rulesbook for barrel roll, here is what it says:

        “A ship cannot perform a barrel roll if this would cause
        its base to overlap another ship or obstacle token. The
        player may measure to see if his ship can perform
        a barrel roll before committing to this action.”

        I know most people have been quoting this paragraph as an obvious example why this is a change in the rules, but they have been quoting only half of it because that was in their interest.

        If you read the whole paragraph it’s very clear the only reason they allow you to premeasure a barrel roll is to avoid losing the action because of a collision (which would invalidate the action) so the only time you could premeasure it would be if there was a doubt that your ship would collide. But everybody used this to their advantage premeasuring the barrel roll when there was nothing near the ship or even better measuring it both sides and measure the fire arcs of others ships to see if they could attack you which is obviously not allowed. So the conclusion is that the rules is poorly written and allows you use the premeasure part to your advantage, and here is where this e-mail (and future official rulings) come to patch that hole and make it as they wanted it to be, a way to not lose your action instead of a measure-everything-just-because-I-can.

        So if we can agree that we have been over-reaching with the barrel roll action, what about imperials measuring the range of his ships to enemy ships before that ship had to attack? Because it’s very clear in the rules book when you can measure, only when the ship has to declare a target to attack, any other measure of range before or after that is illegal for imperials.

        As for the TL the wording in the rules book is very similar to that of the barrel roll, so the spirit behind them IMO is the same, you can measure to not lose your action.

        I know changes are perceived as bad things, but what happened is that everybody, me included, twisted the rules in their favor and played the game in a way it was not supposed to be played, so facing the crude reality that we have been wrong all along is hard, but in the end it shouldn’t change the game much and I invite you to try and play a game with these rules before completely reject them, I think you will discover it’s still the same exact game just that you have to think a little more before deciding what to do (which isn’t bad in itself) and that makes the game more strategic.

      16. But I don’t think we can agree that barrel roll has been over reached. What other meaning can “before you commit to this action” have, other than having the ability to declare, measure, then decide you don’t want to take the barrel roll action after all? If all it intends is to state that you can check after declaring to make sure you don’t lose your action, then you again face the same potential abuse that you could with TL: declaring a barrel roll that will clearly result in an overlap, because measuring in some way grants you a benefit.

        And since you can’t lose your action anyway, why penalize only the situation where there’s no overlap?

        Reading the rule that way makes it a bad rule, for these reasons. It also invalidates the “before you commit” clause of the rule.

        FFG may very well come out and declare that phrase to be poorly worded, and not reflective of their intent. Although again, I don’t see how you can read that phrase and (at least not without some mental gymnastics) reach any other conclusion that measuring outside the planning phase is very generously allowed in X-Wing.

      17. The rules as they appear are clear, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be misinterpreted — it’s always good to explain thing multiple ways, especially in a rulebook.

        You can measure toward each enemy ship in turn for TL — without committing to TL — if you have that action as an option. If you don’t have the TL icon, the rules don’t afford you another way to measure.

        You can measure out a roll/boost to see if you have legal places you could be — without committing to rolling/boosting — if you have that action as an option. You cannot do range checks or TL checks from this position too… this is where people are taking serious liberties with the rules as written, as they are checking to see if this gets them out of arcs or in/out of range. You are permitted only to eyeball that… not measure it.

        The words “before committing to” mean everything within the paragraph. You may check, and regardless of whether you can/cannot legally do that action are not bound to that decision. I would have preferred the words “without committing to”.

        The assumption that you have chosen that action and only get an undo if the action is impossible is… not baseless. The poor wording (stated above) leaves that window open. However, stating that you may choose a different action if the action you choose is impossible would have been n easy statement to have. It’s missing, and that means a lot as far as disproving the “choose first, then measure” assumption. The only way to read it is “measure first, then choose”.

    1. Yes, these interpretations of the rules seem to be referencing the non-existant step 0:” The player declares which action their ship will take before any measuring is done, and if it is then possible to take that action, no backsies”.

      But it doesn’t say that anywhere in the rulebook that a player has to commit to an action before doing any of the things described in that action. And yes, the rules for barrel even say that the player can measure for the barrel roll action BEFORE committing to that action.

      While it doesn’t contradict the ruling posted on Rocho Cinco, saying that measuring for a barrel roll means that you must then commit to that barrell roll (still technically following the barrel roll rules) creates a connection between measuring for an action and committing an action that is not explicitly denied in the rulebook, but is also not explicitly implied in the rulebook, which means that a leap in logic is required to come the conclusion found in Rocho’s ruling.

      1. No, we’re not creating any particular step zero.

        My interpretation is that the WHY you can measure is important. The rules don’t say “can measure for the barrel roll” – they say “measure to see if his ship can perform a barrel roll.” While it may be poorly phrased, and everyone seems to want to gloss over it, I think it’s the important point which underlies their ruling.

        Bobb has pointed out that the “don’t have to commit if it’s out of range” rule can be exploited by intentionally measuring stuff that’s out of range. He’s not wrong… but I think that’s the idea behind the ruling, too. If the only valid purpose is to see if you can fit, then measuring but not going through with it becomes an exploit.

        It certainly does require a leap of logic to get there from what is printed – not denying that at all. My main point is that if someone shows us where to jump, I think you can make it to the other side.

  9. Hello again.

    I know that in the USA are not known and I understand that we can doubt the veracity of this mail. It makes sense and does not offend me at all.

    Already I provided you the image of the original Mail and I think little more I can do.

    As Kevin said, Rojo Cinco (Red Five) began in September and we are a serious blog dedicated to the game X-Wing exclusively. We write articles, organize tournaments, do reports of events in Spain, etc..

    In any each draw their own conclusions.

    Hopefully FFG publish all this (and all the other questions that still remain to be resolved) in a FAQ as soon as possible so we can all have an official document with all these things.

    Regards

    Ricardo

    1. I don’t know that anyone doubts the veracity of the e-mail. It’s just that the content seems to be directly contrary to what the rules say, that people feel more like whoever from FFG sent that e-mail plainly is getting the situation wrong.

      http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=331&efcid=6&efidt=792174

      That’s the link to the official FFG rules forum for the most recent discussion on using the range template to measure things. It’s 2 pages long, and while there are only 11 posters to it, I think every one falls on the less restrictive interpretation of the rule.

      I think it’s also telling that this discussion was last active in March, and has fallen to page 7 on the FFG rules forum. It’s not a currently debated issue.

      My recommendation would be to take this to the FFG forums, post your information there, and get the discussion circulated before this weekend so players heading to the Star Wars weekend events at the FFG center can raise the issue there.

  10. I’d be very cautious on accepting this as any kind of official change: It’s from a Spanish website, translated, and through e-mail channels. I have seen FFG answer direct rule questions through e-mail, but never have I seen them be so contradictory to what’s printed in the rule books or FAQs.

    My take would be to discuss, but not make any changes to the way I play until we see something in a FAQ, tournament publication, or stated for certain next weekend.

    I can say this, though: If this is the way FFG wants to take the game, then I have even less incentive to play.

  11. Where do we stand now on Boost? I have a very hard time not leaning towards “You must perform the Boost in the intended direction if possible. If it is impossible to do a Boost in that direction, you can Boost in [another] direction or choose another action” as a RAI.

    I’ve found it difficult to play with Boost any other way; it seems there is a very consistent aspect across the base rules/FAQ/Clarifications: you never “lose” your action, it doesn’t fizzle if you try to do something that you’re not allowed to do. I know I’m venturing dangerously close to projecting intentions, but that’s the impression I have.

    I’m pretty ok with if you choose a boost or a barrel roll that is executable and you just don’t *like* it because it doesn’t give you the arc you wanted or there’s an asteroid that’ll be a problem next turn, well, you live with it.

    1. Boost is a confusing issue at the moment. Technically, as written, you pick the direction, and you go. If you can’t fit, it fails. There’s no “Measure before commit” in Boost.

      I honestly have no idea how to approach that. I expect that it’s intended to fall into the same category as barrel roll, and let you back it out if you can’t fit. But we don’t really have anything that says that.

      It might be worth noting that if you look at the boost rules, they’re actually pretty consistent with what the ruling presents for barrel rolls:

      1. Pick a template (left, right, forward)
      2. Place template
      3. Move ship

      You pick a direction, and go. I don’t think you could read these steps as allowing you to test and back out if you could complete the maneuver.

      The more I’ve been considering this, the more I think that a combination of poorly-phrased rules and how everyone wanted to play has led us to an understanding of the rules which was pretty far off from the rules as designed.

      1. Not explicitly.

        There are a few specific cases of “You may measure before committing” in the rules – target lock, barrel roll, and attack target selection. But there’s no guidance at all for any others, and no general rule to cover the case.

        So if you use Squad Leader, for example, and it turns out there are no ships in range, what happens? The rules say nothing.

        My general read is that if every ability check had a “measure before commit” option, there would be no need to call it out for those few abilities explicitly. But at the same time, FFG has expanded the “measure before committing” from barrel roll to include Expert Handling.

        So I honestly don’t know. It’s pure guesswork, with convenient clues to point either direction.

  12. Possible reasons that this information could be false:

    1. The employee that sent the response may have been covering for the person at FFG that actually makes rulings on these kind of things because they were busy, and tried to give the best answer he could, even though it is not consistent with the rulebook, all the time thinking “it’s okay if I get it wrong, nobody’s actually going to use this as an official ruling, we have FAQs and stuff for that.”

    2. FFG may be having an internal debate on whether the game should be played as it is now, with more leniency towards measuring for actions, or if they should crack down on measuring during the activation phase to make the game more about eyeball skill. An FFG employee that was not part of this internal debate but may have seen drafts/emails/memos about a possible new rules clarification/errata may have been forwarded Omadon’s letter, and replied using information that he thought was in-force but was actually still being debated.

    3. This was an April Fool’s joke by FFG that was rescinded for the obvious reasons that people might actually take it seriously, but was found by some naive new-hire FFG employee that didn’t know what it was and used it to answer Omadon’s email.

    4. Omadon, or Red Five or whoever, was getting frustrated that everyone interpreted the rules differently than him and was playing the game in a way he didn’t agree with. Frustrated with FFG’s slow response (or perhaps not even bothering), he decides to put out an “official FFG response”, in an attempt to get the community to start playing the game the way he believes it should be played.

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