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Desperate Alliance

Desperate Alliance
Type: Event Sphere: Spirit
Cost: 0

Action: Choose a hero you control. Until the end of the phase, give control of that hero and all resources in that hero's resource pool to another player. (Limit 1 per phase.)

"Come!" called Gandalf. "There is yet time for council." - The Hobbit
Set: OtD Number: 10
Quantity: 3
Illustrator: Magali Villeneuve


Dec 04 2016 11:35 AM

FAQ 1.8: (Section 1.51) Limitations on card effects
When a card with a triggered effect has a limit on the number of times that effect can be triggered (i.e. “Once per round,” “Limit 3 times per phase,” etc.), the limit is specific to that card.


So how would a limit be relevant for an event (eg this event)?

It would seem that another copy of this event is a different card, so would be unaffected, making the limit kind of pointless?


(Also I know CoC differentiates between 'limit once per' and 'limit 1 times per', but I can't find a lotr rule mentioning this).

I have no rule or FAQ to quote right now and if this bothers you, skip the rest and ignore this post.


Per my understanding of the rules, an effect is a combinations of player/game actions like 'take a token here, move it there' that resolve one at a time. A specific combination of such steps is called 'Action' by the game and can only be performed as a whole, therefore is unique in its' existence. Each such effect is assigned to a single game unit, be it a token, a dial or a card (in other games a die, or you can assign the damage function/action to a die) so it can be used in the game. However, the above means that while each such effect is unique, there is no inherent difference between two effects that involve the same steps, no matter if they are on different physical cards. All copies of that card share the effect, so they are the same effect, but boosted.


Imagine a Treachery that says 'Northern Tracker can't trigger his Response this round'. Yes, it is really specific and full of card hate, but it is possible, and the way I see it, it refers to the specific Action of the Northern Tracker no matter on how many cards it is printed. It targets that unique combination of steps that we know as 'exhaust, place a progress token on a Location in the SA, repeat until there are no more locations'.


The above example targets a non-unique card so you can see how it would affect the game logic. My interpretation of the 'Desperate Alliance' limitation is that the same player can't execute the process of 'choose a hero, move that hero card to another player, take him back at the end of the phase' again this phase, even if by some effect another copy of this card loses its' title. It still carries the same effect, part of which is the limitation.


Interestingly enough, I couldn't find anything (that I thought of) in the FAQ that is against this idea. Even the self-referential text explicitly says that a card may refer to itself only by title and ONLY THEN it means this card and no other card, even if it has the same title. The effect however is a different feature and it is even more unique than the card title. Just see how many Aragorns are there but each of them has a vastly different text box.


So, TL;DR - the limitation is for the effect after it is listed. Once you play it, another copy of that effect is immediately a subject to that limitation. The card, cardboard, the title or whatever else elements there is on it is not affected by this limit.

© 2011 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced without specific permission. Middle-earth, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises. Fantasy Flight Games, Fantasy Flight Supply, and the FFG logo are trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.