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Author Topic: Draft of a Timing article for the Wiki ... and does Noble Brigand jump the Moat?  (Read 2655 times)

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Brando Commando

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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...)
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Donald X.

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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...)
Noble Brigand's "when you play this" is just like every other action's implicit "when you play this." The text box was not large enough to handle this another way. Fortunately no-one has ever been confused by it.
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popsofctown

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OP is actually right.  This is one of those cases of "Ok, clearly this is how the designer meant for things to work" overriding "Technically speaking, this is how things are supposed to work"

If other cards have an implicit "when you play this", then everything should be jumping the Moat.
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Donald X.

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OP is actually right.  This is one of those cases of "Ok, clearly this is how the designer meant for things to work" overriding "Technically speaking, this is how things are supposed to work"

If other cards have an implicit "when you play this", then everything should be jumping the Moat.
Actually it is one of those cases of "what do these words mean." The words "when you play this" mean, this is what happens when you play this card, just like how no text at all means that on most actions. It functions the way no text does on those other cards. To say it with no text on Noble Brigand would have required repeating the entire text (i.e. not making this card) or going with something like "when you buy this, play it" (which is how it worked at one point, but that actually created rules questions). It is not a trigger, it is telling you what the card does when played. Nomad Camp is similarly not a trigger, though it looks like one. In both cases the reason is, how do you phrase this so that it's understandable and fits on a card.
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Donald X.

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Rulebook:

Quote
Noble Brigand is an Attack card, and when you play it, players can use cards like Moat (from Dominion) or Secret Chamber (from Intrigue) in response. However, buying a Noble Brigand is not "playing an Attack card," and so cards like Moat cannot respond to that.
That ruling is surely clear enough for anyone.
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AJD

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OP is actually right.  This is one of those cases of "Ok, clearly this is how the designer meant for things to work" overriding "Technically speaking, this is how things are supposed to work"

If other cards have an implicit "when you play this", then everything should be jumping the Moat.
Actually it is one of those cases of "what do these words mean." The words "when you play this" mean, this is what happens when you play this card, just like how no text at all means that on most actions. It functions the way no text does on those other cards.

I mean, of course that's what that means.

And so it turns out to be the case that "When you play this" on Noble Brigand and "When another player plays an Attack" on Secret Chamber etc. don't actually seem to refer to the same time, even though it sounds like they should.
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Brando Commando

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Actually it is one of those cases of "what do these words mean." The words "when you play this" mean, this is what happens when you play this card, just like how no text at all means that on most actions. It functions the way no text does on those other cards.


By the way, anybody who's reading...more than anything, it would be good to get feedback on the Timing bit, since that might get posted somewhere else. (If anybody even really cares about this...   :P)

Anyway, of course, I'm fine with ignoring this whole fake Brigand thing...but on a different premise that what DXV is laying out here.

You've already said that Urchin's "when you play an attack" ability triggers at what I called "triggered speed" -- which is to say, with the same priority as any Reactions triggered by that Attack, before regular game events.

So this "when" clause stuff ought to hold, unless you're making a distinction between below-the-line and above-the-line text (which you don't seem to). But now you're suggesting that all Attack cards have an implicit "when" clause for their regular effects. That just seems to make this problem all the worse, as it would apply to all attack cards.

So if anything, we probably don't want to assume that every attack card implicitly includes the phrase "when you play this attack, do XXX" because that would make them all invulnerable...unless we nullify that whole Urchin ruling. I think a simpler solution would be if Noble Brigand were assumed to read (regardless of actual text) "when you buy this, do XXX without playing the card," as a trigger, maybe in below-the-line text, and then have "Do XXX" as the main above-the-line text.

It is not a trigger, it is telling you what the card does when played. Nomad Camp is similarly not a trigger, though it looks like one. In both cases the reason is, how do you phrase this so that it's understandable and fits on a card.

Uh oh. So if the divide line and the "when" clause don't tell you about a trigger...how do we know what a trigger is? Especially since (if not explicitly stated) before it seemed like we were saying all of Possession's effects were based off triggers. I mean, if "when"  doesn't define a trigger, then how are any of the trash-based effects of Dark Ages cards triggers? If they're not triggers, how do we prioritize them?
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() | (_) ^/

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« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 10:36:49 am by () | (_) ^/ »
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Brando Commando

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...

...

...

I really like you, BC, but I'm so lost here.  Sorry, matey, you've gone where I can't follow.  Nothin' but love, though. (The head-scratching, "whaaaa?" type of love.)

Dude, I'm like a dog with a bone on this subject of triggers. I just can't seem to leave it alone. Guilty as charged.

Seriously, though, does the first half of my OP -- the stuff about timing -- make sense? I think it might be good to at least lay it out in the Wiki so that we have something to refer to.
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Donald X.

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Uh oh. So if the divide line and the "when" clause don't tell you about a trigger...how do we know what a trigger is? Especially since (if not explicitly stated) before it seemed like we were saying all of Possession's effects were based off triggers. I mean, if "when"  doesn't define a trigger, then how are any of the trash-based effects of Dark Ages cards triggers?
Triggers - not a defined term in this game - are things that say "when," unless they are exceptions.

Things that say "when x happens, do y" happen when x has just finished happening, unless two or more such things need to happen at once, in which case they are ordered Somehow.

However Nomad Camp to be friendlier says "when" but is just explaining where the card goes. This was a judgement call; I thought this way was clearer. It has proven to not confuse people who are not desperately seeking out confusion.

And Noble Brigand, to fit the text on the card, says "when you buy or play this."

Treasures that do things when played say "when you play this" because people weren't expecting treasures to do things when played and so that seemed clearer than just saying "Reveal cards from your deck" etc. in an unusual place.

Again, I can repeat this all day, the point was not to make the cards incomprehensible computer programs that would prevent normal people from playing the game while perfectly explaining everything... but rather, to make the game as playable as possible, which does include making card interaction resolutions as clear as possible, but in some cases means making concessions.

If they're not triggers, how do we prioritize them?
Things that cards do when played happen at the usual time. Nomad Camp goes to your deck at exactly the moment it would normally go to your discard pile.
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michaeljb

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So I'm pretty interested in the Timing of things in Dominion as a whole, and a while ago I sought out some software and started making a flow chart. I think I got the Action phase and the Buy phase pretty well covered, and got a start on a flow chart for the "Gain a card" event.

The plan was to wait until I felt it was all complete (maybe even making similar charts for things like setting up the game--dealing with Black Market/Young Witch weirdness) before posting it, but since I'm busy with school, and there's interest in a timing article for the wiki (from at least one other person! :)) I figured I'd share it now.

warning - it's a pretty big image, and the export made it kind of fuzzy, so it's probably best viewed when not zoomed all the way in. Also it's not laid out very nicely, or colored in an interesting away.

All that aside, here's a link since it's definitely too large to embed here.

**FWIW following the flow chart as I've arranged it means players can block Noble Brigand :P
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dondon151

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I feel like a timing article would be more intuitive when arranged like this: http://www.smogon.com/bw/articles/priority

The problem is that having a huge flowchart with specific examples like if Contraband or Copper are in play is that it misses the big picture and makes the entire chart cumbersome and unhelpful.
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colormage1

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All that aside, here's a link since it's definitely too large to embed here.

Love that! However, there is the word "Action" where "Treasure" should be in the buy section.



I think this timing is reading too much into the technicality of the wording of Noble Brigand. It just seems like it is semantics. Dominion isn't entirely consistent in all its wording. And I don't think that this is necessarily something that needs to be changed. I have to reread a bunch more times to see.
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Drab Emordnilap

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Brando: I understand what you're saying. You and I, for our own sanity, can pretend together that there's been official errata to Noble Brigand and Nomad Camp, and that now they say:



Noble Brigand - $4
Action - Attack

+$1

Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his deck, trashes a revealed Silver or Gold you choose, and discards the rest. If he didn't reveal a Treasure, he gains a Copper. You gain the trashed cards.

--------

When you buy this, each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his deck, trashes a revealed Silver or Gold you choose, and discards the rest. If he didn't reveal a Treasure, he gains a Copper. You gain the trashed cards.

________________

Nomad Camp - $4
Action

+$2
+1 Buy

--------

When you would gain this, gain this, putting it on top of your deck instead.



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Qvist

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So I'm pretty interested in the Timing of things in Dominion as a whole, and a while ago I sought out some software and started making a flow chart. I think I got the Action phase and the Buy phase pretty well covered, and got a start on a flow chart for the "Gain a card" event.

The plan was to wait until I felt it was all complete (maybe even making similar charts for things like setting up the game--dealing with Black Market/Young Witch weirdness) before posting it, but since I'm busy with school, and there's interest in a timing article for the wiki (from at least one other person! :)) I figured I'd share it now.

warning - it's a pretty big image, and the export made it kind of fuzzy, so it's probably best viewed when not zoomed all the way in. Also it's not laid out very nicely, or colored in an interesting away.

All that aside, here's a link since it's definitely too large to embed here.

**FWIW following the flow chart as I've arranged it means players can block Noble Brigand :P

Nice chart, but a little bit confusing. I thought about including something like that in the wiki too.
But AJD did already that: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=4651.msg105446#msg105446
This I like much more. A variation of that - as a flow chart - should be fitting.
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Brando Commando

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So I'm pretty interested in the Timing of things in Dominion as a whole, and a while ago I sought out some software and started making a flow chart. I think I got the Action phase and the Buy phase pretty well covered, and got a start on a flow chart for the "Gain a card" event.

The plan was to wait until I felt it was all complete (maybe even making similar charts for things like setting up the game--dealing with Black Market/Young Witch weirdness) before posting it, but since I'm busy with school, and there's interest in a timing article for the wiki (from at least one other person! :)) I figured I'd share it now.

warning - it's a pretty big image, and the export made it kind of fuzzy, so it's probably best viewed when not zoomed all the way in. Also it's not laid out very nicely, or colored in an interesting away.

All that aside, here's a link since it's definitely too large to embed here.

**FWIW following the flow chart as I've arranged it means players can block Noble Brigand :P

Nice chart, but a little bit confusing. I thought about including something like that in the wiki too.
But AJD did already that: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=4651.msg105446#msg105446
This I like much more. A variation of that - as a flow chart - should be fitting.

I see the use of both of these charts, but it does seem like we need to talk about the principles that prioritize events in the game. Michaeljb's flowchart is really thorough, but Dark Ages doesn't look like it's in there yet, and that's where in particular some of the new timing questions have happened, since trashing can trigger both Market Square and another card. AJD's list is great, but I don't see how you'd use it to answer a timing conflict.

I'm not saying my article is the solution...but maybe something with more of an overview to answer questions would help. I'm a little worried people will be daunted by a flowchart if they actually want to answer a game question. (That would be the worst: if somebody had a genuine question, looked at the potential answer, and just said, "Oh, nevermind." Although that's possible no matter what you give them...)
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Jeebus

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In my FAQ (http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Complete_and_All-Encompassing_Dominion_FAQ) I have actually not prioritized triggered events before "normal" events. I don't think any rule or ruling says that they are (nor that they aren't). But I get that the reason you have done so, is that events that trigger off "when you/another player plays an Attack card", happen before the played card's effects happen. This is absolutely certain. The way I phrased that in the FAQ though, is that other cards' when-play abilities happen before the played card's ability happens, as a special case:

Steps of playing a card

1. The card is announced and placed in the play area.
2. Other cards' when-play abilities happen. As of currently published cards this only includes cards' abilities that happen when you or another player plays an Attack card. This is a special case since these abilities happen before the current player resolves the actual abilities from the played card.
3. The played card's abilities happen.


Following this, it doesn't matter whether a card says "when you play this" or not; we can assume every card says so.

But it might be that this is not the correct way of thinking about it, that we should rather say that triggered events in general happen before "normal events". I don't think it matters though (except when it comes to parsing "when you play this" text), since I don't think there are any other "normal events" that can happen simultaneously with a triggered event other than a card being played (and actually only an Attack card).

Brando Commando

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In my FAQ (http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Complete_and_All-Encompassing_Dominion_FAQ) I have actually not prioritized triggered events before "normal" events. I don't think any rule or ruling says that they are (nor that they aren't).

I see what you're doing, and yes, this is another solution to the problem that makes everything internally consistent. I guess all I'm looking for is some consistency, and it just seemed like "when" would be a useful word to help order events, but it doesn't look like that is how it was designed.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 05:55:54 pm by Brando Commando »
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