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Is consciously activating all characters required?
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Author:  StorminNorman [ Wed May 23, 2012 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Is consciously activating all characters required?

I was at an event recently, and I saw something happen that I was very confused by.


Player A out-activated player B.

End of the game, player B is ahead on points.

Player B's last phase, and he activates his first piece and says, "OK - I'm out - do your worst".

Player A says, "Thanks, now I can kill your character"

Player B says, "Wait - I have one activation left. I just realized that I never activated that piece."

(This is confirmed by bystanders, and after counting all the pieces and going back through - it is agreed by both players that piece never activated in player B's squad)

Player A says, "But . . . It doesn't matter - you said you were done"

Player B says, "Yes, but before anything else happened, I realized I had one piece left to go and spoke up."

Nothing else had happened before it was caught, not a single activation, roll of the dice, etc.

Player B still had an activation in that phase, and so he would have had to immediately go with the remaining character.

There was no judge, so the call came down to player A and player B having to make a decision between themselves, and player B conceded to let his last piece remain unactivated (a virtual "spin" of his piece). Player A capitalized and killed that piece, thus putting himself ahead in points, and winning the game.




What's done is done, but I am more curious for the future if this or a similar situation happened, how would it be ruled by an actual judge?

From my understanding, activating is not an option. You must activate every piece (or have them activated by an opponents SA or FP). If a piece is missed, it is actually an illegal state of the game.

Now it would be different if several things happened and then it was realized, but in this situation nothing else game wise happened, and it seems to me that player B would HAVE to activate his last character before anything else happened.

Player B was disappointed, (and perhaps mad at himself) but amazingly calm about the whole situation. I would have been furious with the opponent, and in my estimation Player B actually won the game.


This seems to be a real judgement call - so how would everyone else rule this?

Author:  thereisnotry [ Wed May 23, 2012 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

That's a good question. As far as I know, I think that it's necessary for the player to actually activate each piece. Or else he can just say, "The rest of my guys will spin." But to say, "I'm out" is not the same thing as saying "This guy in the corner spins too."

IMHO, this is really an issue of poor sportsmanship on Player A's part. And as far as I can tell, the rules would push against him too.

Author:  Echo [ Wed May 23, 2012 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

StorminNorman wrote:
From my understanding, activating is not an option. You must activate every piece (or have them activated by an opponents SA or FP). If a piece is missed, it is actually an illegal state of the game.

Now it would be different if several things happened and then it was realized, but in this situation nothing else game wise happened, and it seems to me that player B would HAVE to activate his last character before anything else happened.



That's absolutely the way I would rule it. You're 100% that activating is NOT an option, so if you have 2 characters to activate and accidentally only activate 1, you've created an illegal game state. There are 3 ways to deal with illegal game states:


1) Fix it. This is almost always how I rule if nothing else has happened since the mistake was made. Your example pretty clearly falls into this case. If nothing has been done at all, there is no reason to go back and do it correctly, and as a judge I would require it. This actually came up in our Regional this past weekend; one player had used Bodyguard to reassign damage taken from Self Destruct. Bodyguard only works against attacks, so that was illegal. Another player called this to my attention, I went over to the table, they said that nothing else had happened since then, so I just had the original character take the damage instead of the Bodyguard. Both players were fine with this since nothing had happened.


2) Rewind it. This means going back to when the mistake happened, fixing it, and then continuing. This is usually how I rule if some things have happened since the mistake, but not much (or not much important). If you've activated one or two characters since the mistake and remember the exact game state (and both players can agree to the game state) when the mistake was made, just basically "take back" everything that was done up to that point, fix the mistake, and then go again. This is only feasible when it's a very small amount of stuff that has to be taken back.


2) Ignore it. This is usually the case if it's something minor that happened a relatively long time. If you realize "Oh wait, 3 rounds ago when you killed my Atton Rand I should have rolled Avoid Defeat!", it's too late to do it now. This is also the case if two players can't agree on the game state that you would rewind to. I hate ruling this way, because it means that the result of the game (whatever it is) was achieved through an illegal move. Sometimes it's necessary though because there just isn't a fair or timely way to fix the problem. Depending on what it was, both players might get a warning for allowing it to get to this state, but if nothing else the player primarily responsible (like the player playing Atton Rand if he forgot the Avoid Defeat) will certainly be sternly reminded, especially if it's a big tournament where the result of the game affects everyone.


Your example very obviously would fit into case #1. Keep in mind that this is just how I judge, and others might do it differently, but I don't see an argument at all for doing anything other than letting him make the move. He HAS to make the move, per the rules of the game. Him saying something like "I'm out" doesn't change that.

Author:  The_Celestial_Warrior [ Wed May 23, 2012 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

Activation is like Cunning, and thus not optional. I had a more lengthy response in a pm about the same situation, but the above posters pretty much covered it.

On a non-judge note, it absolutely was poor sportsmanship on Player A's part.

Author:  urbanjedi [ Wed May 23, 2012 3:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

As a participant in said game (being player A), I have a couple of things to add.

1. Player B's character was spun in the "activated" position

2. Player A (me) had counted out a couple of moves to draw an LOS to said piece that Player B had mistakenly determined weren't there earlier in the round. This was actually when it was determined that the character may not have activated that round.

This situation sucked for both me and my opp. Basically based on the assumption that he was out (his guys were all spun) and his stating that he was out and I was up with the rest of my dudes, I started counting spaces to see what I could shoot at. When it was discovered that I could draw LOS to a piece that Player B had thought safe it was the realized that he had somehow been incorrectly spun and may not have activated the last round. In all reality we don't know what player B would have done (he may have just spun him anyway) because he assumed he was safe.

Author:  fingersandteeth [ Wed May 23, 2012 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

Activating characters is mandatory and it falls to both players to govern this, failure to do so adequately is a game error and a warning to both players (in a tournament).

If no dice has rolled the situation should resolve itself, even if counting has occurred and plans are exposed.

It seems like here the contentious issue is that the fig in question is spun the wrong way, however, that's no reason to for someone to be deprived of an activation as spinning pieces isn't a legal method of characterizing pieces spun or not.

The above circumstance is probably the worst time for this error to happen and because of when and under the circumstances the error was caught you could try and argue that it was to player B's loss, but that's incorrect. The error was immediately resolvable and should have been.

I don't think its fair to throw around unsportsmanlike accusations in this situation, the decision was the fate of the game and any competitive player would be expected to argue his position. However, i still think the correct one was to just let player b activate.

The judge ruling should be final in these situations, right or wrong, to take the pressure off the players.

The major error i see here is that there wasn't an judge present to cast an impartial ruling and one player yielded.
That's why there are judges and playing without one in a competitive environment is asking for this kind of issue.

Author:  thereisnotry [ Wed May 23, 2012 6:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

fingersandteeth wrote:
I don't think its fair to throw around unsportsmanlike accusations in this situation, the decision was the fate of the game and any competitive player would be expected to argue his position. However, i still think the correct one was to just let player b activate.

Maybe we have different standards of sportsmanship then. IMO, sportsmanship includes doing what's right according to the rules of the game, even if it hurts you. The way I see it, to "argue your position"--even when you know it's wrong--is unsportsmanlike, no matter what. I've been on the "up" side and the "down" side of sportsmanship, and I think most of us have. It's all part of playing the game.


Now having said that, the initial post suggested quite strongly that Player A knew the situation (ie, that the piece had not been activated) but was pressing his case from a legalistic point of view anyway. That is, even though everyone agreed that B had not activated the piece, A was saying, "It doesn't matter - you said you were done." It is from that perspective that I/we made the statement about unsportsmanship; I do believe that if the story in the OP's first post was accurate, then the statement holds true.

It's one thing to say, "Well, didn't you say your guys were all activated?", and then have the discussion, but another thing entirely to hold someone to their "all out" statement when it's clear that there was a game mistake. The former is arguing your case with the intention of arriving at the truth, and the latter is ignoring the truth for the sake of your own advantage.

I think we can all agree that this kind of situation sucks for both players and desperately needs a judge on hand. Oh well, live and learn, I guess.

Author:  sthlrd2 [ Wed May 23, 2012 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

fingersandteeth wrote:
Activating characters is mandatory and it falls to both players to govern this, failure to do so adequately is a game error and a warning to both players (in a tournament).

If no dice has rolled the situation should resolve itself, even if counting has occurred and plans are exposed.

It seems like here the contentious issue is that the fig in question is spun the wrong way, however, that's no reason to for someone to be deprived of an activation as spinning pieces isn't a legal method of characterizing pieces spun or not.

The above circumstance is probably the worst time for this error to happen and because of when and under the circumstances the error was caught you could try and argue that it was to player B's loss, but that's incorrect. The error was immediately resolvable and should have been.

I don't think its fair to throw around unsportsmanlike accusations in this situation, the decision was the fate of the game and any competitive player would be expected to argue his position. However, i still think the correct one was to just let player b activate.

The judge ruling should be final in these situations, right or wrong, to take the pressure off the players.

The major error i see here is that there wasn't an judge present to cast an impartial ruling and one player yielded.
That's why there are judges and playing without one in a competitive environment is asking for this kind of issue.



I 100% agree with all of this statement. I don't think this post was brought up to call anyone out or try and make someone look bad, just simply that this situation occurred without a judge present and if that ever happened again we as players will know how to handle it correctly.

On a side note, I respect everyone who posted on this unfortunate situation and in my opinion I don't believe we should be throwing around the unsportsmanlike accusation as I don't believe it was either players intent to try and trick someone.

I think (if I remember correctly) that NickName said somthing years ago along the lines of Players sometime forget that we are not trying to beat others by tricking them but by strategic means.

At the very least we all know the correct way to rule this sticky situation now weather or not a judge is present at the time.

Author:  Echo [ Wed May 23, 2012 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

thereisnotry wrote:
fingersandteeth wrote:
I don't think its fair to throw around unsportsmanlike accusations in this situation, the decision was the fate of the game and any competitive player would be expected to argue his position. However, i still think the correct one was to just let player b activate.

Maybe we have different standards of sportsmanship then. IMO, sportsmanship includes doing what's right according to the rules of the game, even if it hurts you. The way I see it, to "argue your position"--even when you know it's wrong--is unsportsmanlike, no matter what. I've been on the "up" side and the "down" side of sportsmanship, and I think most of us have. It's all part of playing the game.


100% agree with all of this. I find it really difficult to even see an argument where Player B wouldn't be allowed to activate the character. The rules say that he MUST be allowed to, period. Which way the character is pointing, whether you have revealed plans or drawn line of sight, none of that matters one little bit. Sportsmanship absolutely involves following the rules even if they hurt you, and the rules are unflinchingly rigid in this case; you MUST activate all the characters you can. An illegal game state wasn't even created really, since nothing had even happened since Player B said he was "all out". Any talk, or switching the direction of characters, or drawing line of sight, or revealing plans, none of that effects actual gameplay or the flow of rules at all. The whole time he said "I'm out" and Player A was drawing LoS or whatever was all still during Player B's phase; it seems really unfair to basically say that "Oh, you said the wrong things, so your phase ends early". That's not a part of the rules anyway. The game is by no means a contest of who can keep track of their activations the best; you should get no reward nor penalty based on that unless a rule is broken because of it, and it's really obvious that no rules were broken by Player B.

I'm guessing now that this was the regional this past weekend. That's what I thought at first when I read the OP, but then I saw that there wasn't a judge and thought "Oh, nevermind, no way it was a regional then". I think this highlights that ALL large tournaments (Regionals, things like Coolecticon or the Capital City Champs, obviously any GenCon tournaments) MUST have a judge. It doesn't matter how experienced the players are, there has got to be an impartial person present who is well educated in not just the rules of the game but etiquette required. This should be 100% required to be considered a regional, no exceptions.

If this wasn't the regional and Jason just played in an event between now and then or this was from before then, then that's great. My point still stands, though.

Author:  TimmerB123 [ Thu May 24, 2012 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

OK - I have to speak up here.

A lot of discussion happened at the game shop after the out-of-towners left. Lexx and Norm and a few others were pretty worked up. Most of them don't even play SW minis anymore, but they are hardcore gamers and they understood what happened.

Norm asked if he could post what happened and at first I was reluctant to have anyone bring it up at all. He approached me again a few days later and I said that I would be ok with it only if it was anonymous, and it was for the purpose of finding out how this would be ruled with a judge in the future.

Well, unfortunately Jason called himself out and the rest was easy enough to figure out.

It was a rough situation for both of us to be in, and many mistakes were made on both sides for it to have even gotten to that point.

Let me start out by saying that I do not think Jason was unsportsmanlike. And I was there, on the other side of the table - so let's stop all those accusations right now.

Everything Jason said in his post is true, and Norm didn't get those little details, which may have colored the OP a bit in one direction.

Jason is an excellent player, and I respect him. We had a doozy of a game (2 that day actually), and it ended up being one of the closest games I have ever played.

I honestly believe in my heart of hearts that Jason did not know that Kaan had not activated. I don't think he was being shady or trying to cheat. I was my fault Kann was turned the wrong way. I do not know how that even happened. We went back through several times to confirm who activated, and Kaan had not.

I am mad at myself for making that mistake. I am also mad at myself for the 4 or 5 other ways I could have won the game in that last round alone. I could have just moved a full HP Revan in front of Han, and everyone would have needed to hit + 1 crit to kill him, AND I miss all my LS defense saves, and all that was very unlikely. I moved Revan away as to not take that risk.

When the ultimate decision had to bad made, I looked around and realized that I would have felt guilty to win by getting to activate the last piece that I had previously forgotten about, after he called attention to it by saying he could kill it. I outplayed Jason (barely) until the end, but that fatal mistake was my undoing (as it is in many tough games.)

It really did come down to who's side do we pick. If I got to activate Kaan, I move him 1 square and game over - I win Chicago regional for the 3rd time, and Sith get their first regional victory. If I did not get to activate him, and just left him where he was and let Jason activate-out, he needed to move several pieces to just the right place, open a door with Crix, attack and kill Lobot with Leia (Which I already conceded would happen, and I would still be ahead on points), then use Leia's CE to have Han attack and kill Kaan, and THEN have Han make the thought bomb save. Of course all of those things DID happen (ending with him rolling a 20 on the final save no less).

Once I made the call that I would leave Kaan where he was, it was out of my hands. I thought Karma might reward me for doing the right thing by at least having Jason fail the save roll, thus making me the winner - but alas, no. Jason even said at one point after the match that we could be co-regional champions, but I declined that for sure. He is the Chicago Regional Champion 2012.

I would have felt fine winning on a missed save, but not on a rewind after plans are revealed and we're both in an awkward situation. So I made the call. It was my decision in the end and I stand by it.

How many times do we make mistakes in a game that we wish we could take back? Well this time perhaps a rules loophole would have allowed me, but I did not want to demand it with the situation as it was.

If a judge was present, then there could have been an outside ruling. Our judge left early (I don't know why - if anyone knows him, you understand that there's no understanding him). I found out later that apparently he appointed someone else as judge - but I never knew that. The first judge should have made that clear to everyone before he left, but he didn't. And the new judge didn't speak up when the time came. I don't know if it was because he felt biased, didn't know what call to make, or didn't want to have to make the call. I can't blame him - I wouldn't want to make that call.

And more on judges - they are volunteers, and frankly hard enough to come by. It's really hard to demand anything from them.

I think we can learn several things from this that we can all take away.

1. Make sure the judge can stay the whole time.
2. If the judge has to leave due to emergency, they appoint another impartial individual and make sure EVERYONE involved knows who the new judge is.
3. Keep track of activations on both sides of the board. Be cognizant of making it clear who has and has not activated, and make sure your opponent does too.
4. Don't reveal your plans - just enact them.

I really am annoyed that this all came out in this way - that was never my intent. I hope there's no bad blood over it.

What's done is done - we just need to move on with the things we have learned from this.

Truthfully - I am surprised I did as well as I did with Sith. It is totally opposite from the style I am used to playing, and I was surprised I did well even vs some seemingly bad match-ups.

I guess Sith should at least be in the discussion for regional meta, if nothing else.

Author:  thereisnotry [ Thu May 24, 2012 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

Thanks for posting, Tim. Your post sounds a whole lot different than the first post. From the way your post is worded, it sounds instead like Player B (you) should receive the "uber sportsmanship" award, while Player A (Jason) was doing nothing wrong at all. The initial post made it sound like A didn't care whether or not the piece in question (Kaan) was activated or not, and was instead trying to manipulate the situation for his own gain...your post makes it clear that there were no such shenanigans involved.

So while I still think that Echo and I are correct in calling 'unsportsmanlike' in the situation we read about in the OP (as we understood it), it is clear that such was not the situation at the event. Jason wasn't being unsportsmanlike at all, but instead, the two of you found yourselves in a difficult position that was really unresolvable without either 1) a judge to make the ruling or 2) one of you saying, "Oh well, it's just a game. Do your worst" and likely sacrificing the match.

I do think the principle I articulated was correct...it just didn't apply to this situation, and so I humbly withdraw my claim of unsporstmanship on Player A (Jason's) part. It sounds like it was an epic match!

Author:  Lou [ Thu May 24, 2012 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

Tim if you are refuring to me he never mad it clear if i was to judge but he did say "they know the rules there will be no problems". If i would of ruled I dont know what I would of done. Its really hard when you did not speak up untill his plan was revealed but only one act happend between you and the move (the mouse droid to open the door for Han). If you guys would of asked my opinon If you would of not said I out do your worse I would of deffently ruled in your favor but with Kaan being spined and what being said it makes it much harded. After reading all the post I would of ruled in favor of you but I would of felt rally guilty about it because I would of taken Jason's only play away from him and not knowing where Kaan would of ended up if you did not know his plan makes a judge pick a regional winner.

Author:  TimmerB123 [ Fri May 25, 2012 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

Lou wrote:
Tim if you are refuring to me he never mad it clear if i was to judge but he did say "they know the rules there will be no problems". If i would of ruled I dont know what I would of done. Its really hard when you did not speak up untill his plan was revealed but only one act happend between you and the move (the mouse droid to open the door for Han). If you guys would of asked my opinon If you would of not said I out do your worse I would of deffently ruled in your favor but with Kaan being spined and what being said it makes it much harded. After reading all the post I would of ruled in favor of you but I would of felt rally guilty about it because I would of taken Jason's only play away from him and not knowing where Kaan would of ended up if you did not know his plan makes a judge pick a regional winner.


Well Jonny said after the fact that he made you the judge, but I am not surprised that was not clear to you. I would never ask a bystander to make that call - only an officially appointed judge. And since I had no idea Jonny had made you judge (and apparently you didn't either), I wasn't going to ask you or anyone else there make that call. I knew it was an insanely tough call, and the only way I would not end up being the bad guy was by making the call myself in Jason's favor. So that's what I did. I certainly wasn't blaming anything on you Lou - I was just pointing out that you had a look on your face that you knew it was a sticky situation, and I think we all had the same look.

Like I said - several lessons learned here. We will be careful not to make those mistakes again.

Author:  Chargers [ Fri May 25, 2012 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

thereisnotry wrote:
Thanks for posting, Tim. Your post sounds a whole lot different than the first post.


Agreed 100%.

thereisnotry wrote:
So while I still think that Echo and I are correct in calling 'unsportsmanlike' in the situation we read about in the OP (as we understood it), it is clear that such was not the situation at the event.


Agreed 100%.

I have the benefit of reading the thread up to this point and hearing both Jason's and Tim's sides. I respect both as players and people. Sounds like a hard-fought battle that had an innocent but unfortunate situation.

As a judge, I would rule that an error had been made (illegal game state) and that since nothing happened it should be fixed. Player B should activate.

If I were player B (and I've been in spots like that), I would concede my error, spin the figure, and take my lumps.

As Player A, I would have my opponent make the activation as required. But that is much easier to say when not in the heat of battle with a championship on the line. :>)

Author:  Grand Moff Boris [ Fri May 25, 2012 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is consciously activating all characters required?

Deri pretty much said everything I was thinking as I read the very first post.

Setting aside who's who among the players and speaking from a completely generalized standpoint, a game play error occurred when Kaan was turned backwards to indicate it had activated. This, in the WotC days and I presume this hasn't changed, prompts a caution for both players. For me the question about whether Kaan should be allowed to activate comes down to whether or not "player B" could have activated him on his final phase. If player B had 2 acts and made one and then said I'm all out, well then player A is free to open fire, as that indicates he didn't intend to do more than just activate Kaan and end his turn/phase.

However, if player B would have gotten a new phase in which to activate Kaan, then he should be allowed to do so, even at the expense of foiling player A's plans.

All of that said, once a die roll is made, there's no going back in a situation like this. The character is considered activated and that's that. It's still a game play error but it's rectifiable up until the moment player A forces a die roll, either through the use of a special ability that requires a save or by making an attack.

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