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Simultaneous Decision Rule (1E4)
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3495
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I can go for that. And, that is a valid interpretation, too. (Beyond the literal reading I and others were doing.)

So, let's go with this: When a player finishes declaring their fire, they implicitly state that they are done (i.e. "no more fire"). If they are not done, then they need to keep adding fire until they are done. If the other player declines to declare fire (or additional fire) of their own, then the fire declaration is over, as both players have then declared "no fire" and the phase moves on (as described in (1E4)).

Example 1:
P1: No fire.
P2: I fire my forward phasers.
P1: No fire.

Declaration is done; P2 may not add any more fire.

Example 2:
P1: I fire my forward phasers.
P2: No fire.

Declaration is done; P1 may not add any more fire.

Example 3:

P1: I fire my forward phasers.
P2: I fire my disruptors.
P1: I fire my photons.
P2: I fire my phasers.
P1: No more fire.

Declaration is now done; neither player can add any more fire (if they had any).

Example 4:

P1: No fire.
P2: I fire my phasers at P3.
P3: I fire my disruptors and phasers at P2.
P2: I fire my photons at P3.
P3: No more fire.

At this point, if P1 declares "no fire", the declaration is done, and the damage resolution starts. If P1 declares any fire, then both of the other players will have the opportunity to add more fire. (Also note that all three players can bid in any order. The fact that P1 was "skipped" once doesn't matter.)
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Last edited by mjwest on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Doyle
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul is absolutely correct. If this part of Me-Too firing isn't fixed and clarified, competitive games involving more than 1 ship will get bogged down.

The more ships involved the more slowly and painfully the game will go. I have experienced it many times now. The process, as is, really breaks down with more than 1 ship per side. 1E4 does not make it a faster, easier game in fleet action, it actually becomes a confusing and bookkeeping quagmire.

Also, as it is, it seems many people use a house rule to get around the fact that this slows the game down.

I happen to enjoy playing the game competitively. I enjoy that. Some don't and just want to push some ships around and see what happens, thats fine too. But for those of us that like (and are trying to develop the tournament) competitive games, please fix this.

THANKS!!!
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See my modified post above. Is that sufficient to clean things up?
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good. I'm happy with that.

Quote:
Also, as it is, it seems many people use a house rule to get around the fact that this slows the game down.


Just been re-reading 1E4.

Whilst 1E4 might assume that you will take it in turns declaring openly, it actually doesn't say you must declare in turns, nor say you can't declare simultaneously, nor that the declaration must be verbal etc. The rule is even called the simultaneous decision rule. The only real thing the rule is stating is that the declaration is open and that the other guy can react to the declaration. Simultaneously showing each other your list of weapons and targets seems to me to meet 1E4, each list is an open declaration and we then have the reaction part kick-in.

At other times, e.g accels etc which are no where near as complicated we just go with the take it turns declaring.

The rule seems allow in turn bidding or simultaneous declaration followed by me-to. The key aspect either way being that the other guy can see what you do and react accordingly.

NB - I'm not try to start a debate about whether that needing clarifying, just that on having a re-read I don't really see the way we play as using a house rule.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MJWest's proposed ruling makes sense, but there will still be the problem of incrementally adding small amounts of fire in battles with multiple ships. Therein lies the problem of the game bogging down.

What can be proposed to take care of that?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things:

1) The players are announcing fire, not the ships. So, announce the fire of all your ships or risk your opponent "no firing" and that being it.

2) If both players are adding weapons a phaser at a time, then I don't see a problem.
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Patrick Doyle
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Two things:

1) The players are announcing fire, not the ships. So, announce the fire of all your ships or risk your opponent "no firing" and that being it.

2) If both players are adding weapons a phaser at a time, then I don't see a problem.


On point 1, think that is an important thing to clarify if the rule is updated, that its players not ships declaring.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Doyle wrote:

On point 1, think that is an important thing to clarify if the rule is updated, that its players not ships declaring.


I'd go a stage further - and state it is 'sides' declaring and not players. I often play with 2 people on the same side (e.g. one with a D7 and the other with an F5) vs 1 player. Whilst I doubt we'd have a problem, to cover all bases it should probably be written that in such a case the 2 players on the same side declare together so that they can't ensure that one of them can declare something to keep the bidding going if the opponent says no fire.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Doyle wrote:
mjwest wrote:
Two things:

1) The players are announcing fire, not the ships. So, announce the fire of all your ships or risk your opponent "no firing" and that being it.


On point 1, think that is an important thing to clarify if the rule is updated, that its players not ships declaring.

It does. I checked the rule before answering. The rule unequivocally states "player", not "ship".
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JonPerry
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Doyle started this whole discussion by saying this

Quote:
The KEY POINT here was that if one person revealed too much info too early the other would have an advantage.
For example, this becomes especially important if one player has 4 units in a single hex. If I can determine which 3 ships are firing at me, then I can concentrate firepower on the 4th ship to destroy it before it ever gets a chance to fire (due to rule 4A3 Blocked Targets).

Does MJWest's rewording (at least of the examples) address this? If so, how?
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The_Rock
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonPerry wrote:
Patrick Doyle started this whole discussion by saying this

Quote:
The KEY POINT here was that if one person revealed too much info too early the other would have an advantage.
For example, this becomes especially important if one player has 4 units in a single hex. If I can determine which 3 ships are firing at me, then I can concentrate firepower on the 4th ship to destroy it before it ever gets a chance to fire (due to rule 4A3 Blocked Targets).

Does MJWest's rewording (at least of the examples) address this? If so, how?


Well, this didn't really need addressing, per se, but yes Mike's ruling changes the dynamic.

The situation is still the same in that the 4-stack needs to remain cautious about revealing too soon. The key here is that now the player attacking the 4-stack needs to announce sufficient fire to be happy with the result if the opponent responds "no [additional] fire." This just means you won't end up with one player slowly announcing incremental phasers/HW with the other repeating "no fire." Whether there is a 4-stack or not, a player announcing fire must now announce enough fire that they would be satisfied with the result if bidding ended.

The example from the game Patrick and I played.

My 4-stack (2 MHK, 2 RNG) one hex away from his DN and 3 hexes away from his DD and CW.

Patrick: DN fires 4 ESGs.
Me: MHK1 fires 4 Fusion, 2p-1, 4p-2 and 8 p-3 into DN.
Patrick: Some small incremental fire into one of my 3 remaining ships.
Me: No fire.

Now, in the game we played, Patrick and I went through several steps of him adding some small amount of fire, me considering whether enough fire had been added to compel a response and me mostly saying "no fire."

The result is that one fire decision step took us nearly an hour to resolve (resolve, not declare).

Under the new and improved ruling, Patrick would have needed to announce a lot more fire at step 3 (and actually possibly more at step 1), because failing to do so would have left me with a situation where I could have happily said "no additional fire" and come out ahead on the exchange. So instead of announcing fire a couple weapons at a time, Patrick would have announced enough weapons to force a response. The end result would have been the same, but we could have cut out about 25 minutes of bidding.
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pmiller13
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Joined: 12 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also remember that no rule operates in a vacuum, they all interact. In this discussion the other rule that seems to be the key point (forgive me I do not have my book with me to site the rule number) is the rule that limits firing to 3 units in a hex. Note earlier the talk about trying to nail the 4th ship that could not fire this impulse and hence eliminate its ability to fire ever. We should not be looking for a way around this. The rule limiting fire to 3 units was put in the game to try and eliminate super stacks. In the SFB this was taken care of with explosions which FC does not have. There is supposed to be a draw back to stacking more than 3 units together and that draw back is that some of those units maybe destroyed/damaged before they get to fire.

I do agree that the rule needed to be clarified as I had always assumed it that if I only fired 2 phasers and my opponent declined to fire I could not add more fire.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point of this ruling is not to protect that "fourth ship". It is to prevent a "tactic" of dribbling out fire declaration in order to find that exact point your opponent will finally respond. There is now risk in firing too little.

The other point of the ruling is to clean up an ambiguity. Some played it exactly as the ruling states (including you). Others played it where you needed a blank "no fire" from both sides. This ruling is intended to clean up that ambiguity. (At least for competitive situations.)
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never saw the usefulness of the headgames --
I know what I want to fire and when I want to fire it --
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be very clear on the 4-stack thing, this ruling does not change the outcome or risks of putting more than three ships in a hex, it just gets you to the end-point faster.

That statement, however, assumes reasonably equal skill. With the old ruling, it was possible for a better skilled player to use the "slow draw" to get the opponent to over-commit and thus reveal more information than should have been revealed.

In my game against Patrick, for example, I knew when I got to R0 or R1 (I chose R1) to his DN I was going to fire a full cruiser's armament at him no matter what. After that, it was going to take substantial firepower to change my mind to fire more. So it really did not matter if Patrick declared a bunch of fire or dribbled out a few phasers/disruptors at a time. I was completely aware of my issue with 4 ships stacked. I chose that situation to deal with ESGs and was fine with the result.

If, however, I was a less skilled player or if I was just impatient, when Patrick started dribbling out fire, I might have just announced fire for more than I should have and allowed Patrick to fire on the ship that didn't fire.

Had the ruling been what it is now, Patrick would have committed more fire earlier and we would have wound up in exactly the same place we did, only we would have saved 20-30 minutes getting there. But, since that was not the case and Patrick could not just assume I would not make a mistake, he was tactically compelled to dribble out fire allocation to see if he could gain an advantage.

This ruling does nothing more than take that option away. It will certainly mean that in games where there is a skill mismatch, the better player will no longer be able to create these opportunities for mistake, but given the very significant time savings, I think this is a good trade.
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