Warning: This is pure wonkishness that probably will have no effect on how we play the game. But, still...
I've been thinking about how to conceptualize triggered events in Dominion, and I think it'd be useful for the Wiki if we have something up explaining it. I haven't put in references yet because I want to go to lunch, and besides, I feel like people will disagree with this anyway and I want to hear what they have to say -- but go ahead and ask if you want a reference to something.
Okay, so first a draft of the framework for timing questions.Timing
Almost all events in Dominion are already ordered by the game and thus do not conflict with one another. These happen at what could be called “regular speed.”
Exceptions to this can generally be called triggers, which take timing precedence over anything that would happen at regular speed. They happen at "triggered-speed" and take priority over anything that happens at regular speed.
Many if not most triggers are established by cards as "when" clauses on the bottom half of divided cards. (All Reaction cards have these clauses, but other cards do as well, such as certain Treasures from Prosperity or Actions from Dark Ages. Some cards have "while" clauses that make a when trigger conditional but which do not themselves create triggers.) Some triggers are established by the regular text of a card or even implied by the regular text in a card.
Most triggers involve revealing the card with the trigger, but others do not: Possession creates triggers that are in force for the rest of the following turn (which will be played by another player), and the triggers for Duchess, Embargo, and Trade Route are established by their mere presence in the game.
When two events are triggered and would happen at trigger speed, two considerations are used to order the triggered events.First,
If more than one player would execute triggered events (not necessarily because the cards triggering those events are controlled by them), then the players execute their triggered events in turn order, beginning with the player whose turn it is or whose turn it last was if it isn't currently someone's turn.Second,
if a single player must execute multiple triggered events, he or she chooses the order in which to resolve them.
The trigger is assumed to be operative -- and still triggering reactions -- until such a time as all players have resolved any events triggered by the trigger; new triggered events might actually occur in this span depending on new triggers that have taken place. In practice, this means you can respond to your own triggers.
(At this time, there does not seem to be any conflict between the timing of events triggered by other triggered events.)
This means that a player may in fact reveal a Moat in response to an Attack as many times as he or she wants to, although it has no effect. More importantly, the following might occur: A Secret Chamber can be revealed in response to an Attack that has been played, and, in the course of resolving the Secret Chamber, a Moat may be revealed, then returned (via Secret Chamber) to the deck. Similarly, a player may trash a Curse using Watchtower in hand, then discard a Market Square to gain a Gold in response to that Curse trashing. Or, as another example, a player may trash a Cultist, draw three cards, then discard a Market Square in response to the trashing, even if the Market Square was not in hand before he trashed the Cultist.Does Noble Brigand Jump the Moat?
Okay, article over, now I have a question to ask. It's kind of niggling, but I think it's logical based on recent rulings and discussions.
I feel like somebody will probably find something I'm missing, but I've thought this over and I don't know what it is.
Problem: How do you defend against a Noble Brigand?
On the one hand, we've decided that the triggered events of Possession are at the same speed as the triggered events of Fortress. So regular card text can establish triggered-speed events. [http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=5007.0]
But now, looking at the wording of Noble Brigand, I think it can be reasonably inferred that its entire text is actually a triggered event. This Noble Brigand problem has one boring but weird implication and one more significant implication.
The boring implication seems to me that the “when” events of Brigand actually happen before the attacking player get +$1. This has, as far as I can tell, no practical effect on the game, but unlike any other attack, technically the attacking would happen before the +$1.The significant implication
seems to me that since Noble Brigand's triggered event is triggered by playing itself, and the current player has turn-order priority, Noble Brigand’s attack ought to happen before any reactions can be exposed to defend against it. In other words, Noble Brigand jumps the Moat. In this thread -- http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=4535.msg104666#msg104666
-- DXV says that if you play another Attack after Urchin, you must decide whether you'll trash Urchin before anyone else can play a Reaction to the Attack, and that seems like the same situation here. (In short: "Urchin goes first - same trigger, different player, use turn order.") In fact, the only difference that I can see is that Noble Brigand doesn't have a line dividing it's "when" clause from the rest of the card text.
Clearly, this Noble-Brigand-can't-be-defended-against thing isn’t what DXV intended, so maybe he'll just make an ad hoc rule against it … but as is, this seems a little inconsistent to me. I notice the rules for Noble Brigand specifically say that certain Reaction cards can be used in response...but not that they necessarily have an effect before the Brigand's attack resolves. (Clearly not what he meant...but still...)