Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Errata issued by the CoE, open discussion of candidate rules for errata, and submissions for the Annual Rules Vote.
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CDavis7M
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Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Post by CDavis7M » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:16 am

CoE Clarification #24 was accepted and the vote is here: https://councilofelrond.org/forum/viewt ... 144&t=3392

I did not see any discussion on this ballet item in the REFERENCE TOPIC: http://forum.councilofelrond.org/viewto ... 143&t=3339.

I am wondering why this clarification was needed. The topic states "It is not clear when exactly the beginning of a phase/turn ends and when exactly the end of a phase/turn begins and ends." But the rules seem pretty clear that the resource player that is taking their turn decides the start and end of each phase (MELE FULL PLAYER TURN SUMMARY, p. 93 and 94).

Furthermore, the "timing" of the beginning and end of the phase only matters in the M/H phase (because your opponent can also play cards during this phase). But the beginning and end of the M/H phase are further defined in Annotation 25 in the MELE Companion and CRF:
Movement/Hazard Phase wrote:
  • Annotation 25: A company is considered to be at the site given by its site card at all times except from the moment their new site card is revealed during their movement/hazard phase until their old site card is discarded during the same movement/hazard phase. During this period a company is considered to be en route between sites and not at any site.
  • Annotation 25a: A company's movement/hazard phase is concluded when a moving company removes its site of origin and both players agree to reconcile (discard down to/draw up to) their hand sizes. No resources (and obviously no hazards) can be played, and no resource effects can be activated, until the site phase or until both players have drawn cards for the movement of a following company.
  • Annotation 25b: Players drawing cards when a new site is revealed is synonymous with the resolution of the new site being revealed. It happens immediately, not in the following chain of effects.
This post and the reference topic did not explain why these statements in the rules were unclear. It seems clear enough to me.

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Second, this topic states that because the start/end of the phase/turn are unclear, "it is unclear when exactly actions that may be taken only at (or are triggered by) the beginning/end of a phase/turn may be (or are) declared." But Annotation 9 on passive conditions already requires that actions triggered by the end of the phase become the first action declared in the following chain of effects. And Annotation 10 states that actions triggered by the same passive condition are declared in the order chosen by the player taking their turn.
Passive Conditions wrote:Annotation 9: If a card specifies that an action is to occur as a result of some specific passive condition, this action becomes automatically the first action declared in the chain of effects to immediately follow the chain of effects producing the passive condition. The passive condition must exist when this resulting action is resolved in its own chain of effects, or the action is canceled. Note that actions in the strike sequence follow a different set of rules.
Annotation 9a: If a card is required to be discarded by some passive condition, the card is discarded immediately when the condition resolves, not in the following chain of effects.
Annotation 10: If more than one action is required to be the first action declared in a chain of effects, the player whose turn it is chooses the order in which they are declared. No other actions may be declared in this follow-up chain until the multiple required actions have been declared.
This post and the reference topic did not explain why these statements in the rules are unclear. Furthermore, the CRF clarifications on the "End of" are based on the rules on for passive conditions:
CRF wrote:End-of-Turn Phase
End-of-turn effects are triggered by the ending of the End-of-Turn phase. Once both players are done with all actions in the End-of-Turn phase, all End-of-Turn effects are declared and resolved in the order chosen by the current player. No further actions may be declared that turn.
CRF wrote:End (at the end of...)
When an action specifies it must be taken at the end of a phase no actions may be taken after it in that phase that do not also specify that they must be taken at the end of said phase.
Besides actions triggered by passive conditions, there are a handful of cards using active conditions (instead of passive conditions) to declare actions "at the beginning/end of" some phase. Like Saruman, Wizard's staff, some of the MELE Magic Rings, etc. It seems clear from the Rules and CRF that these actions are declared in the same chain of effects that the actions declared as a result of passive conditions are declared, since these actions all occur at the same time (e.g., "at the beginning/end of" the phase).

Did I miss something? Is there there a reason why all of these actions would not be declared in the same chain of effects?

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Third, this CoE clarification does not seem to allow for other hazard events to be played in response to hazard actions triggered (as a result of a passive condition) by the start of the movement/hazard phase. However, ICE Digest 115 has ruled that hazard events can be played in response, without requiring that "the only actions that may be declared in response to ABP are other ABP and actions that target a dice-rolling action and actions that target declared events" as stated in this CoE clarification. Here is the part of the CoE clarification raising this issue:
Shapeshifter wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 7:21 pm
Beginning of a phase/turn:

This period begins at the start of a phase/turn and ends when all players announce that they will not declare any ABP starting a chain of effects and when all triggered ABP are resolved.
The only actions that may be declared in response to ABP are other ABP and actions that target a dice-rolling action and actions that target declared events.
Triggered ABP are declared before ABP that may be taken by players.
This states that most hazards may not be played in response to an action triggered by the start of the movement/hazard phase. This CoE clarification requires all triggered ABP to be resolved before other hazards can be declared. However, Snowstorm is an "ABP" -- an action that may be triggered by the beginning of the M/H phase when a site/region card is revealed. Typically, hazards may be played in response to the return-to-origin action triggered by Snowstorm at the start of the movement/hazard phase (see ICE Digest 115). Otherwise the company would return to their origin and the M/H phase would end immediately without the possibility of playing hazards.

Was this CoE clarification intended to prevent hazards from being played in response to Snowstorm's return-to-origin effect?

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Re: Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Post by Theo » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:15 am

I don't think the return effect of "Snowstorm is an "ABP"". It is triggered off the reveal of the site path, not the beginning of the movement/hazard phase.

[edit: insert "the return effect of""]
Last edited by Theo on Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Post by CDavis7M » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:16 pm

I think that (A) any drawing of cards and (B) any revealing of a new site are synonymous with (C) starting the M/H phase, based on the CRF Turn Sequence M/H Phase, Annotations 25 and 26, and the Full Turn Summary.
Annotation 26: If at the start of a player's movement/hazard phase, there are multiple effects in play such that their net effect depends on the order they are applied, the player who is currently not taking his turn (i.e., the hazard player) decides the order in which they are to be applied. Once this interpretation is established, all further actions are applied in the order they are resolved for the rest of the turn.
Annotation 26 covers ABPs at the start of a M/H Phase and the Companion gives the ordering of Fell Winter ( [-me_bl-] to [-me_wi-] ) and Morgul Night ( [-me_wi-] to [-me_sl-] ) as examples for Annotation 26. In this way, the Hazard Player determines the declaration-order of some ABP (Annotation 26) while the Resource Player determines the order of the rest of the ABP (Annotation 10).

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But still, I don't see what was unclear about the rules on starting/ending phases and how that would causes confusion for timing of effects. There was no explanation and no discussion. I suspect because the proposal seems reasonable. It seemed reasonable to me the first few times I read it, even though I never understood the rationale for it or problem to be solved by it.

And there is also the issue of Clarification #24 being a "clarification" while also imposing new limitations (ie "The only actions that may be declared in response to ABP/AEP are other ABP/AEP and actions that target a dice-rolling action and actions that target declared events.")

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Re: Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Post by Theo » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:53 am

Fell Winter and Morgul Night affect all of a type of region; establishing the order of their effects does not need to wait for the reveal of any regions.

And sure, Snowstorm card establishing it's effect is in the same set. But the return action actually being declared is based on revealed regions, which does not happen until the site is revealed (after all of the beginning of movement/hazard phase effects are resolved). [Attempting to clarify in my previous post.] After the site has been revealed (which is synonymous with drawing cards, courtesy CRF), there is nothing stopping the hazard player from being in "step 3" of the MELE phase summary, wherein they can play hazards.
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Re: Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Post by Theo » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:31 am

As for errata vs. clarification, I think the culprit (based on several of the ballots) is that the vast majority of players don't care about the difference. And in many particular cases the difference is contentious, often having to battle against the bias of decades of assumptions, and the ROC members are human and not immune to such bias.

As indeed, the ballot as written directly contradicted the CRF clarification:
CRF wrote:River
You have until the beginning of the site phase to tap a ranger, and you may tap the ranger at the beginning of the site phase without entering the site. You must tap one ranger for each river played on the site.
Although it also seems reasonable that this CRF entry derives from the River card wording plausibly making an exception to the normal rules.
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Re: Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Post by CDavis7M » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:50 pm

Putting aside the site-path dependent effects, do you know what was unclear about the beginning/end of phases and how that affected timing?

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Re: Questions on: CoE Issued Clarification #24 - Beginning & End of Phase & Turn

Post by Theo » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:42 am

I can only speculate. I do think there are numerous examples of the terms being sloppily used in the intervening years. Things like players asking about whether they can perform some action at the end of the turn when they really meant to ask whether they could perform it after reconciling their hand during the end of turn phase.

More likely, I think the rules are ambiguous about whether actively declared actions that are not ABP/AEP can be declared during such segments. Permissiveness would allow them anytime, but sanity might lean otherwise. CoE has ruled as such in the past. For example:
CoE #7 wrote:2. Can I play an "org phase" card in the "end of the org phase" slice of time?

*** No. Once "end of the org phase" cards are played, you may not play "org phase" cards. To do otherwise would make "end of the org phase" cards redundant.
So the vote was really just to generalize/formalize this.
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