Spider of the Morlat

Any rule erratum or clarification submission for the upcoming 2019 ARV should be posted here.
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the Jabberwock
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Spider of the Morlat

Post by the Jabberwock » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:56 am

I propose the following clarification be issued for Spider of the Morlat:
Spider attacks from Spider of the Môrlat played
as a permanent-event award no Kill marshalling points and do not
discard Spider of the Morlat from play if defeated.
Thanks to Moriquendi for the language suggestion.

Reference topic: https://councilofelrond.org/forum/viewt ... f=16&t=354

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Konrad Klar » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am

I would prefer rather:

"Spider attacks from Spider of the Môrlat played
as a permanent-event award no Kill marshalling points and do not
remove Spider of the Morlat from play if defeated."

Phrase "discarded from play" is used in texts of cards Alliance of Free Peoples, Pallando the Soul-Keeper and has different meaning than "removed from play".
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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Theo » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:28 pm

Beyond believing that the proposed errata would go against the intentions of ICE as made explicit in METB, it is (in my opinion) unnecessary and overpowered.

There are only two permanent events in the game that create attacks during the movement/hazard phase. As a permanent event, this means the attack threat can persist indefinitely, and occurring during the movement/hazard phase means that the attacks effect EVERY qualifying company without that company trying to play anything (in contrast to attacks that trigger on entering the site, say). The other such card, Mordor in Arms, has zero effect on minion players, is localized to one of the most known dangerous regions for hero characters in the game, serves no purpose outside of its localized area, and cannot protect itself from a sufficiently-prepared company. In contrast, Spider of the Morlat permanent attack under current rules texts is already widely useful against hero and minion companies, has a much broader region of impact in much less unusual regions, the card itself it extremely versatile with both a globally impactful permanent modifier as well as an option for situational burst threat, and the permanent attack can not only protect itself from any overpowered company but can repeatedly duplicate itself with minimal risk with zero hand requirements by replay against weak companies.

My point here is that the card is plenty powerful without needing any additional boost in power. The proposed change eliminates the one incidental drawback to the card of needing to be cautious (which it can be!) against strong hero companies, and goes against the intent made explicit in METB.
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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Theo » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:02 pm

Thematically, I think it makes sense that a good hero company scourging the forests of Morlat spiderlings (prompting the hazard player to return the card to hand, or, *gasp* defeating the spiders) would be adequate cause for reducing the numerousness of spiders more globally (losing the +1 strike bonus).
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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by the Jabberwock » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:45 pm

Konrad Klar wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am
I would prefer rather:

"Spider attacks from Spider of the Môrlat played
as a permanent-event award no Kill marshalling points and do not
remove Spider of the Morlat from play if defeated."

Phrase "discarded from play" is used in texts of cards Alliance of Free Peoples, Pallando the Soul-Keeper and has different meaning than "removed from play".
Accepted, thank you. Your language is certainly more accurate. Although after reading rezwits' comment in the sister thread about Dream Cards, I am debating whether or not to change this proposal to globally affect Creature/Permanent Events which create attacks from the perm-event state.

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by the Jabberwock » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:27 pm

Theo wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:28 pm
Beyond believing that the proposed errata would go against the intentions of ICE as made explicit in METB, it is (in my opinion) unnecessary and overpowered.
I have to wholeheartedly disagree with you here on both points. ICE systematically used imprecise language or language that didn't factor in every possibility. There is no chance ICE was thinking of SotM when they wrote the Balrog language. Do you really believe that ICE intended one to receive 4 Kill MPs for defeating 3 strikes at 10 prowess with no body!?

To be fair about ICE's game design intentions, let's look at a few similar hazard creatures:
- Ambusher: 2 strikes at 10 prowess, attacker chooses defending characters - awards 1 Kill MP.
- Assassin: 3 attacks of one strike each at 11 prowess, attacker chooses defending character - received errata to change from 1 Kill MP to 2 Kill MP because it was deemed too powerful.
- Trolls from the Mountains: 3 strikes at 12 prowess and 5 body - awards 2 Kill MP.
- Wild Fell Beast: 3 strikes at 12 prowess and 6 body, attacker chooses defending characters - awards 2 Kill MP.

Now we have Spider of the Morlat baby spiders: 3 strikes at 10 prowess (no body, no "attacker chooses defenders") - awards 4 Kill MP.
Really? You think this was ICE's design? :?

If you feel that SotM is an over-powered card and is detrimental to the game, then by all means, make a proposal to balance it a bit. Personally, I feel like it is a fairly strong hazard, but not over-powered. There are many hazards which are much more powerful. It is also susceptible to Marvel's Told. Suggesting that 4 Kill points should be awarded for defeating an attack of 3 strikes with 10 prowess and no body is not a good way to "fix" the card even if it was too powerful.

A final point: my proposed clarification is meant to bring absolute clarity to the way this card has historically already been played by a majority of players (and certainly how it has been played in organized events), as well as how it has been viewed by judges and experienced players in the past. So I am not proposing anything new and wild, but rather closing a loophole which might be abused by some.

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Theo » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:53 am

Your language suggests that you did not actually read or comprehend my post. To your points:
* None of your "hazard creatures" examples attack EVERY company moving in those fairly common regions, attack through stealth/sneakin, can attack multiple times per turn, can be fizzled by attacker if opponent removes other attack boosting cards from the game making the attack too weak for the company, have even one let alone multiple alternative ways to play the card (maybe the tapping of Wild Fell Beast[/i]), etc.
* I don't need to "make a proposal to balance it a bit." Current rules text leaves zero doubt of correct interpretation in my mind, regardless of inability of some players historically in appreciating them.
* It is absolutely NOT susceptible to Marvel's Told other than by hazard limit reduction or a careless player. The one card that returns itself to hand, remember?
* If you want to be a Lemming, at least have the insight to admit that by accurately stating this is an Errata to the Rules. There is no such thing as a "clarification" for how some people choose to play.
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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Sam.Gamdschie » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:45 am

Hi All,

although previously SotM has been played as a permanent-event without granting Marshalling Points, Theo’s arguments in conjunction with the ruling in the ME:BA booklet are quite convincing.
Also, as SotM is mentioned as Spawn, ICE had likely this card in mind while writing the Balrog rules.

The reason not granting MPs is that it is not written on the card itself and that before publishing ME:BA there was no such rule. But still we are twenty years on...

If you compare SotM to Shelob it far more powerful as an event, so comparing it to other cards is complicated in terms of balancing.

So for me it’s an erratum and if voted against a clarification should be added that the defeating the attack from the event will give MPs.
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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by CDavis7M » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:42 pm

I agree that the rules say one thing and the card was intended to be played, and is played, a different way. And so errata (not clarification) is the proper solution.

I tried to look at similar cards. Of course, all the dragons At Home have their own rules in The Dragons rules. We also have:
The Wizards: Balrog of Moria - Hazard: Permanent-event - 5 Kill MP (b/i emphasis added) wrote: Unique. The Balrog appears in Moria. The Moria site gains a second of 1 strike with 18 prowess and no body. If this 2nd automatic-attack is defeated, this permanent-event is removed from play (i.e., the Balrog is defeated). If your opponent defeats this 2nd automatic attack, he receives the marshalling points.
In addition, unless Galadriel is at Lórien, or she is not in play, Lórien is considered a Free-hold [[-me_fh-]] (for the purposes of healing and playing hazards). +2 prowess to all at sites in Hollin, Redhorn Gate, and Wold & Foothills.
We could take this language from The Balrog of Moria and "flip it."

Proposed errata to Spider of the Môrlat:
Dark Minions: Spider of the Môrlat - Hazard: Creature/Permanent-event - 4 Kill MP (underline shows additions) wrote: Unique. Spider. May be played as a hazard creature (with two strikes) or as a permanent-event. As a creature, she may be played at Dol Guldur and The Sulfur-deeps. If Doors of Night is in play, she may also be keyed to Southern Mirkwood, Heart of Mirkwood, or Woodland Realm; or at any adjacent site of The Sulfur-deeps.
If played as a permanent-event, all Spider attacks receive +1 strike. Additionally, any company moving in Southern Mirkwood, Heart of Mirkwood, Woodland Realm, Dagorlad, or Brown Lands faces a Spider attack of 2 strikes with 10 prowess. If this attack is defeated, this permanent-event is not removed from play (i.e., the Spider of the Môrlat is not defeated). If your opponent defeats this attack, he does not receive the marshalling points.
You can return Spider of the Môrlat as a permanent-event to your hand-which counts as one against the hazard limit.

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by the Jabberwock » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:49 pm

Theo wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:53 am
Your language suggests that you did not actually read or comprehend my post.
I did both read and comprehend your post. If I did not reply in kind to every point it was merely for time purposes of being as efficient with available time as possible. My apologies if this was received poorly by you.
Theo wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:53 am
* None of your "hazard creatures" examples attack EVERY company moving in those fairly common regions, attack through stealth/sneakin, can attack multiple times per turn, can be fizzled by attacker if opponent removes other attack boosting cards from the game making the attack too weak for the company, have even one let alone multiple alternative ways to play the card (maybe the tapping of Wild Fell Beast[/i]), etc.
I suppose our disagreement here stems from differing opinions on what should determine how many Kill MPs are awarded for defeating any given attack. I believe the determinant should be how hard the attack is to actually defeat (once strikes are assigned). You seem to be of the opinion that the versatility and overall effectiveness of the hazard which creates the attack should factor into the number of Kill MPs awarded once said attack is defeated. With your interpretation, I think Cave-drake certainly deserves to award 2 Kill MPs. Very versatile and effective. I of course disagree with your assumptions though, respectfully.
Theo wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:53 am
* I don't need to "make a proposal to balance it a bit." Current rules text leaves zero doubt of correct interpretation in my mind, regardless of inability of some players historically in appreciating them.
My point is that if you feel SotM is over-powered enough to warrant granting 4 Kill MPs for defeating 3 strikes at 10 with no body, then I feel the best course is to address the card being over-powered, not to award 4 Kill points for defeating such a weak attack.
As to your point about the rules text... what is more important to you: To have fun playing this game with others? Or to rigidly follow a set of rules as written, even if it means sacrificing fun and enjoyment for others? We aren't in a court of law. ICE was known to have poorly and sloppily written rules at times, even despite their intentions to say something else or their failure to predict how a rule as written might be exactly applied. I do not believe that prior judges nor those who have frequented the tournament scene for 20 years are dim-witted or simply couldn't read the rules as written correctly. I think they chose to interpret the rules in the way that made reasonable good sense, and if something didn't pass the sniff test, it was overlooked. Furthermore, SotM was surely being used in tournaments back in the day when ICE was still overseeing things and I imagine if SotM was supposed to be interpreted the way you are proposing, we would have heard something about it via ruling or digest.
Theo wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:53 am
* It is absolutely NOT susceptible to Marvel's Told other than by hazard limit reduction or a careless player. The one card that returns itself to hand, remember?
1) Hazard limit reduction.
2) Insufficient hazard limit to begin with (there have certainly been times I wanted to bring SotM back to my hand and could not due to no H/L remaining).
3) Removal outside of the M/H phase (this card is easy to remove during any other phase and the hazard player can do nothing about it; not sure about other players, but I don't typically hold this card in my hand waiting for a company to move through the affected regions, I play it as soon as possible to free up hand space).
Theo wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:53 am
* If you want to be a Lemming, at least have the insight to admit that by accurately stating this is an Errata to the Rules. There is no such thing as a "clarification" for how some people choose to play.
A lemming? :o
I do my own thinking and have no problem being a lone wolf if that is where it leads me. I also believe in balance, ensuring that others are having fun as well as myself, and looking at the "big picture" when necessary. My opinion is that 4 Kill MPs for defeating 3 strikes at 10 prowess with no body is not reasonable, nor fun, nor balanced.... regardless of how dynamic the hazard is that creates such an attack.
I don't think there is any hard set rule as to what can or cannot constitute a "clarification." We have issued prior clarifications when a card has had contested interpretations of how it should be played. Nonetheless, I respect your opinion, and perhaps a more global erratum is better anyhow, as Konrad and rezwits previously suggested in the sister topic. I amend my proposal to:

Rules Erratum
Change This:
Balrog, Clarifications, Defeating a Permanent-event wrote:Certain hazard permanent-events indicate that they give “kill” marshalling points (e.g., Dragon “At Hunt” and “At Home” cards, the “Spawn” hazards from ME: The Balrog, etc.). Each of these cards has an attack associated with it. If such an attack is defeated, treat the associated card as a defeated creature.
To This:
Balrog, Clarifications, Defeating a Permanent-event wrote:Certain hazard permanent-events indicate that they give “kill” marshalling points (e.g., Dragon “At Hunt” and “At Home” cards, the “Spawn” hazards from ME: The Balrog, etc.). Each of these cards has an attack associated with it. If such an attack is defeated, treat the associated card as a defeated creature. A card that is both a creature and an event that creates an attack is not eliminated if an attack created by it as an event is defeated, unless the text of such card states otherwise."
Reference Topic: https://councilofelrond.org/forum/viewt ... f=16&t=354

EDIT: I like the erratum proposed by CDavis7M above, thanks. However, I think a global erratum is perhaps better so that there is a trickle effect to Dream Cards as previously discussed in the linked topic above.

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Theo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:29 am

the Jabberwock wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:49 pm
I suppose our disagreement here stems from differing opinions on what should determine how many Kill MPs are awarded for defeating any given attack. I believe the determinant should be how hard the attack is to actually defeat (once strikes are assigned).
A suppose it might. However, I also believe that a card that can fizzle its own attack if it's support cards are lost or its strikes are reduced is inherently harder (nearly impossible from a thoughtful player) to "actually defeat." From my seat, it seems that most of the discussion of the SotM permanent attack being underpowered for 4 MP seem to be ignoring the self-fizzle, yours included.

In terms of determining kill MP, why are you not then proposing that, for example, a one-strike 15/9 Nazgul should be worth the same as a one-strike 15/9 Elf Lord Revealed in Wrath that also gets +4 prowess against Ringwraiths? 2 MPs is a pretty big difference. I would argue that the Nazgul card has many other uses. The extra flexibility comes at a cost that the risk for using that flexibility is greater.
the Jabberwock wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:49 pm
My point is that if you feel SotM is over-powered enough to warrant granting 4 Kill MPs for defeating 3 strikes at 10 with no body, then I feel the best course is to address the card being over-powered, not to award 4 Kill points for defeating such a weak attack.
Point taken. I suppose we disagree philosophically here as well. I like the notion that cards that are overpowered in some ways come with their own weakness. Long-event hazards are a great example of that; potentially huge detriments to opponents, but require a lot of care to avoid those same detriments against yourself.
the Jabberwock wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:49 pm
As to your point about the rules text... what is more important to you: To have fun playing this game with others? Or to rigidly follow a set of rules as written, even if it means sacrificing fun and enjoyment for others? We aren't in a court of law.
When I'm playing the game, having fun playing the game is important. When I'm discussing rules, correctly understanding the rules is important. Nothing stops players from continuing to play however they'd like to play. Now, looking back at it, the Council of Lorien Tournament policy seemed like a useful distinction as a way to capture how people wanted or expected to play in practice, unmingled with the core rules.
the Jabberwock wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:49 pm
I do not believe that prior judges nor those who have frequented the tournament scene for 20 years are dim-witted or simply couldn't read the rules as written correctly. I think they chose to interpret the rules in the way that made reasonable good sense, and if something didn't pass the sniff test, it was overlooked.
There are multiple examples of players having overlooked rules for years, or changed a previously made ruling. I also don't think that this was because all of those players were dim-witted or couldn't read, but there are complexities and subtleties involved. Players choosing to interpret the rules in the way that makes reasonable good sense in the moment is a GREAT solution. I call this a stopgap, though, not the actual rules. Or a house rule if it is adopted even knowing the true-rule interpretation.
the Jabberwock wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:49 pm
I don't think there is any hard set rule as to what can or cannot constitute a "clarification." We have issued prior clarifications when a card has had contested interpretations of how it should be played.
It may be in my head alone, but my language usage pairs:
"clarification" to aid with rule ambiguity
"errata" to change an original rule

My point was that how players choose to play is just how they choose to play. The Council has no control over that. Without an official judge system, no one does but those players. So issuing a "clarification" to "bring absolute clarity to the way this card has historically already been played by a majority of players" is (1) overconfident, given that there could be millions of players unknown to the Council, (2) outside of the rules scope. If you want the Council to be in the business of issuing statements about how situations are handled by a majority of corresponding players, or something like that, call it something else. A "declaration", or an "affirmation" or whatever you want. But in my opinion that should occur through separate surveys, not mixed up in the Annual Rules Vote. But I see you changed the proposal in this thread to an errata, so I suppose this is a point for a future situation.
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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by CDavis7M » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:09 pm

4MP is way too much MP for 3 strikes at 10 prowess that you might only face twice if unprepared.

But also, not awarding any MP for defeating the baby spiders seems to make this "spawn" card have no risk for the hazard player compared to others.
Spider of the Môrlat wrote:You can return Spider of the Môrlat as a permanent-event to your hand-which counts as one against the hazard limit.
CRF, turn, strike sequence wrote:There is time between the strike sequences to take actions that are otherwise legal.
Thinking on it more, I think its best to leave the card as is. This makes the hazard player be cautious with the hazard limit so that they can return the Spider if things are going poorly in the first 2 strikes. And it require the player to spend hazards over this turn and the next, and waste hand space, if they want to keep Spider of Morlat in play without getting her killed.

Spider of the Môrlat already has a hiding mechanism that the other spawn cards don't have. If you waste your hazard limit against a prepared opponent, maybe you deserve to lose her.

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Vastor Peredhil » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:19 pm

again this is in total contradicting to how 99% of all people I play with play it though, the 4 MP are never awarded for the event!

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by CDavis7M » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:17 pm

I don't know anyone claiming the 4MP for defeating the baby spiders either. And certainly no one is claiming 9MP when Dwar of Waw is used on Morlat's generated attack.

There are many problems with the Balrog "Defeating a Permanent-Event (Clarification)" statement. It is a statement on permanent-events and yet it gives long-events as examples. And also, it is a "Specific Rule for Middle-Earth: The Balrog" instead of being listed in the "Rules Summary." But its not incorrect, only misleading.

This "clarification" is there in the rules, and presumably Spiders of the Morlat fits. I'm still open to changing Spider of the Morlat's text. But just less open because it already has a mechanism for stopping its own defeat.

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Re: Spider of the Morlat

Post by Theo » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:21 am

Vastor Peredhil wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:19 pm
again this is in total contradicting to how 99% of all people I play with play it though, the 4 MP are never awarded for the event!
Nothing is stopping you from continuing with your own house rules. :o

Thanks for not saying 100%, even if we never finished our game.
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