Page 1 of 1

Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:10 pm
by CDavis7M
Rules:
MELE wrote: Mind: A character’s mind determines how many influence points (a Ringwraith’s general influence points or a character’s direct influence points) are required to keep this character in play.
...
You have a pool of 20 general influence points. At the end of your organization phase, the total mind attributes of your characters in play (not counting followers) must be less than or equal to 20.
...
If a character directly influencing a follower is removed from play, the follower remains in play and does not immediately count against general influence. However, during your next organization phase, you must discard the follower, place the follower under the control of another character in his company with enough available direct influence, or place the follower under the control of general influence (if enough is available).
...
If you have enough unused general influence points, you may move a follower from direct influence to general influence (or vice versa) during your organization phase.
...
You may play a non-Ringwraith character card. You must place him at his home site or at any Darkhaven site. If you do not have enough general influence or direct influence to control the character by the end of your organization phase, then the character is returned to your hand.
CRF - Organizing Companies wrote:Company composition changes that you choose to make, including bringing a character into play, must all be done at the same time during the organization phase. During this time no other actions may be taken.
Scenario 1 - At Rivendell, during the organization phase

Elrond (10 mind and 4 DI) uses Vilya (+6 DI) and controls Thranduil (9 mind)
Gandalf (10 DI) controls Glorfindel (8 mind)
Legolas (6 mind, 2 DI) with Elf-Stone (+2 DI) controls Elrohir (4 mind)

There is 4 free GI. No character was played this turn (e.g., Elrond used Vilya last turn as well).

Question - Can Thranduil be moved out from Elrond's DI into GI? This would exceed the GI. The MELE rules state "If you have enough unused general influence points, you may move a follower from direct influence to general influence." Does this rule mean that (1) you could NOT move a follower from GI to DI at all OR does it mean that (2) you could move a follower from DI to GI, exceeding the GI, but then you would be required to discard the character at the end of the organization phase (or return them to your hand if they were played this turn)? I think the MELE rule is not the complete picture, especially considering the CRF stating that company composition happens "at the same time." One reason you might do this is because Elf-Song is in play (while Elf-song is in play, no character at a Haven may be discarded or returned to its owner's hand for any reason).

I couldn't find any rulings on this specific point.

Scenario 2 - Same as above except that Elrond used Vilya last turn but not this turn
Elrond does not play Vilya and only has 4 DI. Presumably he cannot still control Thranduil despite the rule "If you have enough unused general influence points, you may move a follower from direct influence to general influence." So then, is Thranduil moved to GI?

Scenario 3 - Same as above
Can Glorfindel and Thranduil swap, such that Elrond controls Glorfindel and Gandalf controls Thranduil? (Again, despite the MELE rule). This seems OK because company composition happens "at the same time" per the CRF.

Scenario 4 - Same as above
Can Glorfindel be moved to GI and then can Gandalf play a new character under his DI? Or, can the character be played under GI and moved to DI?

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:17 pm
by Bandobras Took
Changes to general influence take place immediately, with a minimum of zero free general influence.
No moving of characters about in such a way that influence is exceeded. Switcharoos are fine, so far as I know.
Rules Erratum: You may play a character even if you do not have enough influence to control them. However, if there are any characters you do not have the influence to control at the end of your organization phase, the character you brought into play this turn must be returned to your hand.

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:29 pm
by CDavis7M
Thanks Brandobras. But I still have questions. And I found an older discussion on this.
Changes to general influence take place immediately, with a minimum of zero free general influence.
Presumably it is stating (1) changes to general influence takes place immediately after all company composition changes happen (which are considered to happen all at once) and (2) even if you exceed your general influence, you cannot have negative GI, it just goes to 0.
No moving of characters about in such a way that influence is exceeded. Switcharoos are fine, so far as I know.
What ruling is this based on? I looked and could not find it.

Anyway, I did a search on "Changes to general influence take place immediately, with a minimum of zero free general influence" from the CRF and found this thread discussing hazards and GI. http://www.meccg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1847.

From the discussion in that thread -- presumably, when Elrond controls Thranduil using bonus DI from Vilya, which lasts "until the end of the turn," then Elrond would lose control of Thranduil after the "end of the turn." Meaning that Thranduil is no longer following Elrond, though maybe he has not "moved into GI" yet, since Thranduil does not count against GI until the following organization phase. This example with Vilya doesn't cause any unexpected problems. But when a hazard forces a character out from DI (e.g., Rebel Talk), the ex-follower doesn't reduce GI to enable anti-GI hazards to work better, which seems odd.

Also, in that thread, the CRF "Changes to general influence take place immediately" refers to increases in Mind or actual changes to GI itself (e.g., Cruel Claw Perceived), not any change to GI based on an ex-follower (who is actually not controlled by DI or GI at all).


Some other notes:
URD wrote:You may not move a character out from under direct influence in order to cause such a shortage, but there is no rule that you must move a character under direct influence rather than discard them, provided that you did not move them out from under direct influence during the organization phase in the first place [CoE 61].
CoE 61 wrote:You said:
1) * This is not, in fact, legal. You must move the characters back under DI first to resolve your influence problems.
I assume this means that a player must be forced to maximize the most amount of mind under the most amount of direct influence before the end
of the organization phase (if it looks like he/she will have influence problems)?

*** Wim put this as well as I ever could:

Not in the general case.

When for some reason you come into the organization phase with influence problems you are not forced to put characters under DI, you can choose
to solve the predicament by discarding characters as well (or a mix of both).

However if during the organization phase you create an influence shortage yourself by taking characters out of DI, you have to solve it by putting them back under DI somewhere. You cannot use this self-created shortage as an excuse to discard characters outside the normal rules (that allow one character to be discarded per turn, if at haven or home site).
CoE 61 above was a clarification to CoE 60 below:
CoE 60 wrote:Old bit...
Can a player voluntarily decide to move characters out of direct influence during the organization phase so that his general influence is
exceeded? If so, at the end of the organization phase must the player:
a) discard characters until his general is resolved Or b) return characters to hand until his general is resolved?
*** You may move the character(s) as you describe, but at the end of the organization phase, you would have to first return any characters
played during that phase to your hand, then, if you are still over your GI, discard characters until you are legal again.
New bit...
*** This is not, in fact, legal. You must move the characters back under DI first to resolve your influence problems.


From my understanding, the URD doesn't reflect Wim's statement in CoE61, which states that you CAN take characters out of DI, thereby creating influence shortages (contradicting the URD statement), you just can't do this as an excuse to discard characters beyond the normal rules. Meaning, you can't both play a character and discard another, and you can't discard 2 characters. CoE 60 saying it is "not legal" is an incomplete picture the same as the same MELE rule. Of course you can move a character out from DI to GI beyond GI, but you must discard them (which is essentially the same as simply discarding them). And you can't discard the ex-follower if you played a character the same turn because that would go beyond the rules, so you must either (A) move the character back under DI or (B) return the newly played character to hand.


So, from all this reading, I now think this is how the scenarios above would work:

Scenario 1 - At Rivendell, during the organization phase

Elrond (10 mind and 4 DI) uses Vilya (+6 DI) and controls Thranduil (9 mind)
Gandalf (10 DI) controls Glorfindel (8 mind)
Legolas (6 mind, 2 DI) with Elf-Stone (+2 DI) controls Elrohir (4 mind)

There is 4 free GI. No character was played this turn (e.g., Elrond used Vilya last turn as well).

Question - Can Thranduil be moved out from Elrond's DI into GI?

Answer - YES, as long as you don't do this as an excuse to go beyond the rules that limit you to playing 1 character OR discarding 1 character (e.g., you discard Thranduil but do not play another character). However, this question is actually moot because at this point because Thranduil was no longer controlled by Elrond anyway once Vilya's effect ended at the end of the previous turn.

Scenario 2 - Same as above except that Elrond used Vilya last turn but not this turn
Answer - Same note as above. Thranduil was no longer controlled by Elrond anyway once Vilya's effect ended at the end of the previous turn.

Scenario 3 - Same as above
Question - Can Glorfindel and Thranduil swap, such that Elrond controls Glorfindel and Gandalf controls Thranduil?
Answer - Yes. Elrond with Vilya can control Glorfindel and Gandalf can control Thranduil. The original MELE rule is outdated and incomplete in view of the CRF and CoE rulings.

Scenario 4 - Same as above
Question - Can Glorfindel be moved to GI and then can Gandalf play a new character under his DI? Or, can the character be played under GI and moved to DI?
Answer - Yes, as long as you do not go beyond the rules that limit you to playing 1 character OR discarding 1 character (e.g., if they are at a haven and Elf-song is in play).


Bottom line - Do any organization you want ("at the same time") and reconcile GI at the end. If a character is played and another character would be discarded, then the played character goes back to your hand. If a character is not played and a non-follower character would be discarded, they are discarded. If a character is not played and more than 1 non-follower character would be discarded, you must attempt to control characters under DI such that no more than 1 character is discarded. But if 2 are discarded (e.g., due to lost influence or lost leaders), so be it.

If anyone disagrees, please let me know why.

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:31 am
by Bandobras Took
Okay, I found the cutoff point. Ignore my earlier post. ;)
MELE, Influencing (Controlling) A Character wrote:At the end of your organization phase, the total mind attributes of your characters in play (not counting followers) must be less than or equal to 20; this total is equal to your used general influence points.
The mind check happens at the end of the organization phase. It doesn't happen any other time, so far as I know. If the total mind exceeds whatever your GI is at this time, you must first return a played character to your hand, and then, if necessary, discard until general influence is satisfied.

However, further on in the same section:
If you have enough unused general influence points, you may move a follower from direct influence to general influence (or vice versa) during your organization phase.
You need to have enough unused general influence to move followers out. It is illegal to do so otherwise.

Now I'm trying to figure out why I believe that followers of two characters can be switched without either having to be moved to general influence first. I could swear that's how the game is played, but I don't remember where or why. :oops:

P.S. Good call on the "changes to GI" meaning. It is referring to cards that change GI, not to cards that count against it. I may be getting rusty in my old age. :)

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:00 pm
by CDavis7M
Bandobras Took wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:31 am
Now I'm trying to figure out why I believe that followers of two characters can be switched without either having to be moved to general influence first. I could swear that's how the game is played, but I don't remember where or why. :oops:
I think, because of this CRF for Organizing Companies:
CFR Organization Phase wrote:Company composition changes that you choose to make, including bringing a character into play, must all be done at the same time during the organization phase. During this time no other actions may be taken.

From this CRF rule, you may simply move a character directly from Elrond's DI to Gandalf's DI regardless of whether "you have enough unused general influence points" to account for that character's mind. In fact, it is not even possible to move a character from Elrond's DI to GI and then to Gandalf's DI.
Bandobras Took wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:31 am
You need to have enough unused general influence to move followers out. It is illegal to do so otherwise.
From the CRF above, this is not true. You do NOT "need to have enough unused general influence to move followers out [from direct influence]." You only need to "have enough unused general influence points" to "move a follower from direct influence to general influence" by the end of the Organization phase.

For example, say you have Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf at Rivendell with Gandalf controlling Glorfindel. Could you not swap Galadriel and Glorfindel such that Galadriel is under Gandalf's DI and Glorfindel is under GI? This MELE rule would prevent you from doing that if taken as being the complete story. The CRF rule that "company composition changes must all be done at the same time" completes the picture, enabling you to perform the swap.

Thinking more on it, it does seem that if you have have Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf at Rivendell with Gandalf controlling Glorfindel, you could not move Glorfindel to GI without also moving another character to Gandalf's GI (which is odd considering that you are allowed to play Glorfindel to GI from hand). Still, if the reason for the rule is to prevent "self-created shortage as an excuse to discard characters outside the normal rules," and you have Elf-Song in play preventing such discarding beyond the rules, then does the letter of the rule still apply when the intention is not subverted?


Another interesting twist involves transferring DI increasing items. If Galadriel controls Glorfindel using Elf-Stone and Magic Ring of Words, and she transfers these items to Elrond, then Glorfindel is immediately no longer under her DI (since Galadriel no longer has sufficient DI to control him, though he does not need to be controlled by GI until the end of the organization phase). There is no requirement (per CoE 61) that would force Glorfindel to be moved under Elrond's DI (unless another character would be discarded or returned to hand due to lack of sufficient DI).

And, if you have Elrond control Thranduil using Vilya last turn, and Galadriel controlling Glorfindel with Elf-Stone and Magic Ring of Words, and Galadriel transfers Elf-Stone to Elrond, then both Thranduil and Glorfindel would need to be discarded at the end of the Organization Phase by virtue of a "self-created shortage as an excuse to discard characters outside the normal rules" (discarding 2 characters instead of 1). Of course, transfer of items does not occur at the same time (which would break Emerald of the Mariner and Book of Mazarbul).

Given that the item transferring rules actually DO enable a player to make a "self-created shortage as an excuse to discard characters outside the normal rules," it seems odd that the company compositions rules would prevent "self-created shortages" that do NOT create "an excuse to discard characters outside of the normal rules" (e.g., moving a character from DI to GI at a Haven while Elf-Song is in play).

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 5:18 pm
by Theo
Thanks for kicking this off, CD!

Further, (as near as I could tell,) there is actually nothing in the rules that says that characters once made into followers do not stay followers regardless of whether direct influence becomes insufficient. It would simply be impossible for the controlling character to gain additional followers. Huge potential for exploitation with influence-boosting items.
Bandobras Took wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:31 am
Now I'm trying to figure out why I believe that followers of two characters can be switched without either having to be moved to general influence first. I could swear that's how the game is played, but I don't remember where or why. :oops:
I'm in the same dilemma. O_o As far as I've found, the only rules that allow a character to become a follower of another character are written only in terms of moving the follower-to-be from direct influence.

There is nothing about "must all be done at the same time" that implies allowance, only limitation.

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 2:00 pm
by Bandobras Took
Theo wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 5:18 pm
Thanks for kicking this off, CD!

Further, (as near as I could tell,) there is actually nothing in the rules that says that characters once made into followers do not stay followers regardless of whether direct influence becomes insufficient. It would simply be impossible for the controlling character to gain additional followers. Huge potential for exploitation with influence-boosting items.
Oh, crap . . .

There is this from MELE:
The total mind attributes of all of a character's followers may not exceed his direct influence.
However, there doesn't seem to be a process for what to do when such a violation is caused. Is the character immediately removed from direct influence?

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:18 pm
by Theo
Bandobras Took wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 2:00 pm
The total mind attributes of all of a character's followers may not exceed his direct influence.
To my reading, this statement is only one of the conditions under those that "must be met" in order to "take control of that other character". Outside of taking control of another character, I can't find any restrictions. O_o

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:10 pm
by Bandobras Took
You're right; it's only listed as a condition for taking control.

Ugh.

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:34 pm
by CDavis7M
Gwaihir wrote:As Rebel-talk says, Fatty can no longer be controlled by DI, so he immediately stops being controlled by DI. However, that does not mean you now have to control him with GI (you can't decide such mid turn even if you wanted to). He's just not controlled at all anymore. For the hazard player that kinda sucks, as he is essentially freeing influence up for his opponent first (which he could even use to try for a faction or such), well before he hopefully has him in trouble (when he has to clean up next turn).

You must reorganize in your next organisation phase. Before you end that, it has to somehow all fit again.

Your GI can indeed not go negative. If for example the mind of a couple of characters controlled by GI is raised, the available GI could drop to zero, but not below.

See digests 7, 28 and 67
^ This is from the MECCG.net post linked above regarding Hazards.

My understanding from this and review of the rules and CRF is that the character is immediately not-controlled when DI fails. But that GI is not used up until the following org phase (so you actually aren't more susceptible to Call of Home).

Bottom line, I think all the rules are just partial consiseratuons. I don't think there are any restrictions on moving followers in and out except that you must meet the requirements of DI and GI by the end of the Organization phase. As everything happens "at the same time" - any "restrictions" in the original rules before that CRF was issued have to take that into consideration.

So, no cheating and not removing followers unless the leader has sufficient DI. And no preventing someone from moving a follower to GI from DI (unless it's an attempt to bypass the 1-discarded character per turn rule).

For example, in Challenge Deck E Arwen will get a Lesser Ring to control Aragorn. If the player has 0 free GI, they clearly can move Arwen from Aragorn's DI into GI (and then move Aragorn into Arwen's DI) despite the MELE statement "forbidding" such action.

Equally as clear, if Arwen receives Choice of Luthien, Aragorn's normal 3 DI cannot control her.

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:01 pm
by dirhaval
There is a lot to speak of here.
My position is for less abuse if any.

1) Vilya helps until end of turn, then follower Thranduil II is not longer a follower and does not count against GI
and Elrond has more DI until next turn. It is limbo for Thranduil II.
2) If a controller is removed from play by the end of the turn, any followers must be first placed under
GI/DI by next End of Organization Phase. That is if Gandalf controls Elrond, Galadriel controlls Thrain, and
Thranduil controlls Cirdan&Elrohir with Thranduil being killed during site phase at Ovir Hollow, then Cirdan&Elrohir in
the simpliest example must seek unused Influence and cannot just be discarded for breaking GI (9+8+4). Here
Cirdan is under GI with Elrohir as his follower.

3) Hazards that change DI after the Organization can shift followers to be non-followers. Now, if hazards are thus
quickly removed, then these former followers stay as such until next Org phase, but controller has more DI, if possible.

4) During Organization, as said in this thread before, you can have all characters "under GI" with a total of 28 mind, then
reorganize companies to fit under GI.

5) only instances of using influence to take control of character outside of Org phase is with ACM/WHCTK or
influencing away a character and playing your own copy (which can then use GI or DI).
Thus, GI is only modified outside the Org phase using ACM/WHCTK or influencing away a character. Keep in mind
cards such as News of Doom if you play it after Thranduil is killed. You will have 2 free GI for News of Doom, not zero.
The only hazard that I know that indirectly/directly and immediately affects GI is Cruel Claw Perceived. Right?

Re: Organizing companies beyond General Influence

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:09 pm
by dirhaval
One more thing.
The only "abuse" that I like is playing a character during Org phase with obviously breaks GI/DI
to only use that character for something like taping to play Marvels Told. Now, that character
can be used to tap for corruption support on item transfer since "all actions to change companies"
happen at once. Okay, add this 25 mind character to a hobbit party only to tap to support
an item transfer. This 25 mind character is taken to hand at end of Org phase. A Mumak
can join a hobbit party at Bag End, the beast just cannot enter into the smial. Such a view
is why, I think, cards are played at end of Org phase like Secret Entrance. Else you can
play a Sage to break GI, tap to play Secret Entrance, remove Sage from play at end of Org phase,
but affect of event stays with his company.