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Imperial Power Fist - does it need a second unit?


Best Answer ktom , 26 May 2016 - 03:22 PM

Consider neutral cards and their affiliation. They have no affiliation, so while they would qualify as "non-Eldar" cards, they would not qualify as cards with "a faction other than Eldar."

 

Similarly, consider Weirdboy Maniak ("Reaction: After this unit enters play, deal 1 damage to each other unit at this planet.") and 

Aun’ui Prelate ("Reaction: After you deploy this unit, each other [Tau] unit you control at this planet gets +1 ATK until the end of the phase."). If either of those were alone at a planet when they entered play, you would not be able to trigger their Reactions because there would be no change in game state. 

 

Both of these situations seem to indicate that a valid comparison cannot be made when "other" ends up referring to an "empty set" value. In other words, "other" as a game terms presupposes that something is actually there for "other" to refer to. As such, I would say that Eiji's reasoning is the rule to follow - unless and until we hear differently from FFG - and that if a unit with Imperial Power Fist is alone at a planet, it effectively cannot gain the +5.

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14 replies to this topic

#1
Asklepios

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Imperial Power Fist:

Attach to an army unit you control.

While each other unit you control at this planet is exhausted, attached unit gains +5 ATK.

 

 

If I control an army unit (let's say Blood Angels Veterans) alone at a planet, and it has Imperial Power Fist attached, does it gain the +5 attack.

 

Intuitive reading to me is yes, but another has presented a decent counterargument:

 

 

It does sound like it needs at least one other unit to be there and exhausted to work.

 

If the powerfist unit is alone and the conditional check is "Are all other units you control at this planet exhausted?", the answer is "No, there are no other exhausted units".

 

If it had said something like "While there are no other ready units you control at this planet" then it would work solo.

 

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#2
Khudzlin

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In a mathematical context, my answer would be yes: each element of the empty set satisfies any and all conditions. So you would need another unit to turn off the bonus, but not to turn it on. But rules are not always mathematical, so I can't be sure.



#3
ktom

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✓  Best Answer

Consider neutral cards and their affiliation. They have no affiliation, so while they would qualify as "non-Eldar" cards, they would not qualify as cards with "a faction other than Eldar."

 

Similarly, consider Weirdboy Maniak ("Reaction: After this unit enters play, deal 1 damage to each other unit at this planet.") and 

Aun’ui Prelate ("Reaction: After you deploy this unit, each other [Tau] unit you control at this planet gets +1 ATK until the end of the phase."). If either of those were alone at a planet when they entered play, you would not be able to trigger their Reactions because there would be no change in game state. 

 

Both of these situations seem to indicate that a valid comparison cannot be made when "other" ends up referring to an "empty set" value. In other words, "other" as a game terms presupposes that something is actually there for "other" to refer to. As such, I would say that Eiji's reasoning is the rule to follow - unless and until we hear differently from FFG - and that if a unit with Imperial Power Fist is alone at a planet, it effectively cannot gain the +5.


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#4
Asklepios

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Thanks for the reply, ktom. Have pinged it to FFG, as I remain uncertain of that chain of reasoning.

 

To me Maniak and Prelate are triggered abiltiies, and they need a change in game state to be allowed to initiate. In contrast, this is a continuous passive effect, that is just checking its conditions are met, which is the case mathematically, as has been observed.



#5
steinerp

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I'll try to get Brad to answer this as well as I agree with Asklepios.  If the power fist had read "While every unit except this one is exhausted" it is clear from a mathematical view that an empty set would satisfy this condition.  And I don't see a logical difference between "every other" and "every except this one."



#6
ktom

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The difference that may be applicable here is that in order to compare two things, you actually need two things to compare. 

 

For example, if there was an effect that said, "Destroy a target card with a printed ATK of 2 or lower," you could not use it on, say, an attachment or support which has no "printed ATK" at all. You can't compare a "printed ATK" of "null" to the number 2 to see if it is the same or lower. This sort of comparison presupposes that the target card must have a "printed ATK" to begin with.

 

Effectively, if a card or other game element does not have a particular characteristic, that card or game element cannot participate in comparisons that involve that characteristic. This is the sort of reasoning that stops neutral cards from counting when counting up your cards from "non-Necron factions," for instance (because they have no factions to compare to "Necron" to determine if it is a non-Necron faction). 

 

This "cannot include 'null' sets in comparisons" reasoning occurs in most of the LCGs, to my knowledge. The question for IPF thus becomes whether or not this sort of condition is treated as a comparison, and whether or not "other units you control at this planet" would be considered the type of characteristic (of the planet) that could not be referenced if null.

 

So there is a pretty decent reasoning overall. Whether or not it applies in this kind of determination of conditional constants is unclear, though.



#7
steinerp

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Brad got back to me.  There must be at least one other exhausted unit for it to apply.  My math brain will hurt on this one for a while.
 

The use of the word “other" here does mean that there must be atleast 1 other exhausted unit at the planet for the attached unit to get the bonus. 

Brad Andres
Associate LCG Designer
Fantasy Flight Games

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#8
Asklepios

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I think ktom had convinced me with his second post there, but good to hear it from the designer. Cheers for that.



#9
estyles

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The FFG rules team needs to take a course on formal logic. Or just one class - this kind of thing is covered on the first day. The empty set trivially satisfies predicates of this form (it trivial satisfies "All n are p" or "No n are p", but it does not satisfy "One or more n are p" "One or more n are not p").  

 

I've hear it said that you have to read the cards precisely, but increasingly, a precise reading of cards gets you the "wrong" answer - instead you have to invent some twisted logic in order for them to make any sense at all.



#10
Skyknight

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The FFG rules team needs to take a course on formal logic. Or just one class - this kind of thing is covered on the first day. The empty set trivially satisfies predicates of this form (it trivial satisfies "All n are p" or "No n are p", but it does not satisfy "One or more n are p" "One or more n are not p").  

 

I've hear it said that you have to read the cards precisely, but increasingly, a precise reading of cards gets you the "wrong" answer - instead you have to invent some twisted logic in order for them to make any sense at all.

I don't quite agree with you that the logic of the design team's rulings is increasingly twisted estyles. For players who subscribe to a strict mathematical logic that might be the case, but from a semantic point of view I'd would argue that Eiji and ktom's reasoning is certainly much more logical, otherwise the card might as well have read:

"if attached unit is the only unit you control at this planet, or if all other units you control at this planet are exhausted, etc."

 

Slightly similar case was to be had regarding Clogged with Corpses. Back then some players argued from the mathematical point of view that X could be zero, which of course is true in algebra, but such a reading totally disregarded both the idea behind the card (to clog a support with dead bodies into breaking down) and the semantical meaning of the word 'sacrifice'..

Happily the design team clarified this as well.

 

If we reduce the game to a purely mathematical one I think we would risk diminishing it greatly in the process :)


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#11
phillosmaster

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I always hate when this is FFG's answer to that ever present empty set question.  It's just not intuitive at all to me.  As an engineer ZERO is always a valid quantity to compare against and ZERO can be equal to ALL.  It is what it is I guess.

 

In the future they really should anticipate these questions because it comes up every single time a card is worded this way.  There is extra space on that card to explicitly state the clause that at least one other exhausted unit needs to be present at the combat.  Even just a passage about this sort of scenario in the rulebook would be helpful to guide us in our interpretations.


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#12
Turquine

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(Sentiemental Marine) As a lawyer I would have drafted the ability as follows:

 

"While you control other unit(s) in this planet and they are all exhausted, the attached unit gains +5 ATK."

 

If there are two conditions, they must be satisfied both. Linguistically, the current wording is silent on what would happen if there are no reference units whose situation should be checked.


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#13
phillosmaster

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I would love if that text was on the card. 



#14
Dietzen

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At this planet rather, else it would mean they'd have to specifically be inside the planet.

#15
Kaloo

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At this planet rather, else it would mean they'd have to specifically be inside the planet.

 

That takes the definition of "Deep Strike" to a whole new level ....


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