Questions About Game Rules & The Pirate Code

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  • #14030
    Luke Menzie
    Participant

    So given that Sea Monsters and Titans cannot be rammed, what is the point of the ability text of Empress (crew) and Hanc*ck (ship)? “If this ship wins a ram roll against a sea monster or titan, remove two segments instead of one.” I just can’t imagine a completely useless ability, a niche one sure, but not an invalid one.

    I had to censor the ship name because the profanity detector went off. *=o

    #14031
    Woelf
    Moderator

    So given that Sea Monsters and Titans cannot be rammed, what is the point of the ability text of Empress (crew) and Hanc0ck (ship)? “If this ship wins a ram roll against a sea monster or titan, remove two segments instead of one.” I just can’t imagine a completely useless ability, a niche one sure, but not an invalid one.

    That ability is just plain broken.   I think a ruling/errata had been made for it once, to make it playable, but I can’t recall what it was.   Most likely, it was that the ability could override the sea creature rule and did allow you to ram Sea Monsters and Titans (but still not Sea Dragons or Krakens/Octos).

    #14034
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    Question from the Discord.

    Can Sea Dragons be used to build a fort? Not as the ship that explores, but as the friendly ship docked at a previously explored island.

    “Sea Dragon Keyword”

    A sea dragon has a base move of D, meaning that it has unlimited movement. It ignores all terrain, islands, and ships when moving, but cannot end any movement overlapping a ship.

     

    “Pirate Code, Sea Creatures”

    Any game piece with the Sea Dragon, Sea Monster, Titan, Kraken, or Octopus keyword printed on its deckplate card is considered a sea creature, even if the effect of that keyword has been cancelled.

    A sea creature is docked if any part of it (including a segment) touches an island.

     

    “Pirate Code, Sea Dragon”

    A sea dragon is considered docked if it touches any part of an island.

     

     

    It seems like they could be used to build a fort, is there something we’re overlooking that would prevent them from being able to do this?

     

    #14035
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Can Sea Dragons be used to build a fort? Not as the ship that explores, but as the friendly ship docked at a previously explored island.

    It seems like they could be used to build a fort, is there something we’re overlooking that would prevent them from being able to do this?

    Sea Dragons technically count as ships, so as long as one is touching a wild island it’s considered docked, and that’s enough to build a fort there (assuming you also meet the other standard requirements like gold, nationality, etc.).

    It’s funny to think about what might be happening thematically, but as far as the rules are concerned, it is legal.

    #14044
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    The Code:

    “Named crew have only the abilities printed on their cards.  They do not gain any other abilities based upon their name, title, or flavor text. However, named crew may still be used to trigger other abilities that refer to a specific name or title.”

     

    Does this mean that Capitaine Chevalle for example, would satisfy the condition for the Black Pearl (025)? I’ve always interpreted those abilities as needing a crew with the captain ability to trigger, is that not the case?

     

    Also Odin’s Revenge seems to be missing from the Code. Would revealing Odin’s Revenge cause a derelict ship to sink?

    #14045
    Woelf
    Moderator

    The Code:

    “Named crew have only the abilities printed on their cards.  They do not gain any other abilities based upon their name, title, or flavor text. However, named crew may still be used to trigger other abilities that refer to a specific name or title.”

    Does this mean that Capitaine Chevalle for example, would satisfy the condition for the Black Pearl (025)? I’ve always interpreted those abilities as needing a crew with the captain ability to trigger, is that not the case?

    That sort of situation is exactly what that entry is meant to cover.  He doesn’t have the move & shoot ability, but he does still count as a “captain” for abilities that refer to one.

    Also Odin’s Revenge seems to be missing from the Code. Would revealing Odin’s Revenge cause a derelict ship to sink?

    Odin’s Revenge only removes masts, so a derelict ship would be unaffected.

    #14063
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    If abilities that have the same trigger but are different, what happens?

    For example, lets say that Bonny Peel is on the Fool’s Hope and the ship wins a boarding party. Which ability may be used?

    #14064
    Woelf
    Moderator

    If abilities that have the same trigger but are different, what happens?

    For example, lets say that Bonny Peel is on the Fool’s Hope and the ship wins a boarding party. Which ability may be used?

    As long as their end effects are different, you can use them together.

    With that particular combination, Bonny’s ability can grab one crew, AND you can pick two options from the ship’s ability.    Bonny gets to choose the order they’re applied (generally you’d probably want to use hers first, but there might be a situation where the opposite is preferred).

    #14165
    Ben
    Keymaster

    Q2) Davy Jones (DJC) copies the Fog-Hopping ability and moved into a fog. Since his ability is reset on the next turn, can the ability be recopied and ‘hop’ out of another fog with a move action? Does the ability need to be recopied or is it carried over from the last turn?

    Copied abilities generally do not carry over, so he would have to copy it again to exit from a different fog bank.   If he doesn’t use it on that next turn, he can only exit from the fog bank he started in.


    @Woelf
    : Just confirming that a copier would indeed need to copy the Fog Hopper ability on the turn prior to hopping in order to use it?

    Also, why does the Code expand on the main rules for forts regarding their shooting? (rules first, Code second below)

    Lines of fire drawn from forts are not blocked by other ships, sea creatures, or islands.

    Lines of fire drawn to and from the fort are not blocked by ships, the island, or any part of the fort itself, but they are blocked by fog banks and icebergs.

    This means that ships essentially have the “shoot through ships” ability when targeting forts. Is this because Wizkids was supposed to put that clause in the original fort shooting rules?

    Also, just confirming that you cannot voluntarily eliminate cargo?  (such as dumping equipment overboard)

    #14167
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Q2) Davy Jones (DJC) copies the Fog-Hopping ability and moved into a fog. Since his ability is reset on the next turn, can the ability be recopied and ‘hop’ out of another fog with a move action? Does the ability need to be recopied or is it carried over from the last turn?

    Copied abilities generally do not carry over, so he would have to copy it again to exit from a different fog bank.   If he doesn’t use it on that next turn, he can only exit from the fog bank he started in.



    @Woelf
    : Just confirming that a copier would indeed need to copy the Fog Hopper ability on the turn prior to hopping in order to use it?

    Correct.   Because of how it’s written, the fog-hopping ability has to be active when you enter the fog (more technically, when you end your turn in it) AND when you exit.

     

    Also, why does the Code expand on the main rules for forts regarding their shooting? (rules first, Code second below)

    Lines of fire drawn from forts are not blocked by other ships, sea creatures, or islands.

    Lines of fire drawn to and from the fort are not blocked by ships, the island, or any part of the fort itself, but they are blocked by fog banks and icebergs.

    This means that ships essentially have the “shoot through ships” ability when targeting forts. Is this because Wizkids was supposed to put that clause in the original fort shooting rules?

    I don’t recall all of the details or discussion that went into it, but essentially yes, ships can ignore other ships while shooting at a fort.

    From a gaming/balance perspective, there may have been issues at one point with players purposely parking ships in a way that made a temporary shield around a fort.

    Thematically it also makes sense, because if you’re firing at a large, stationary target up on an island, you’re not going to be aiming anywhere near whatever ships are parked around the shoreline even if they are technically in between.

    Also, just confirming that you cannot voluntarily eliminate cargo?  (such as dumping equipment overboard)

    Correct.  You can only dump cargo if an ability specifically allows it, or if another player does something that forces you into an illegal situation that has to be resolved.

    It’s not so thematic, but prevents some gamey issues, especially around the capturing rules, where players might otherwise attempt to toss stuff just to prevent an opponent from getting it.

    #14265
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    Potentially silly question.

    Under point reducers and modifiers, The Code says:
    -The point cost of a crew cannot be reduced below zero.

    Can a crew be reduced to zero points? For example, an oarsman on the same ship as Countess Diana Doone. Is the point cost of the oarsman reduced to 0 or does it stay at 1?

    #14278
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Potentially silly question.

    Under point reducers and modifiers, The Code says:
    -The point cost of a crew cannot be reduced below zero.

    Can a crew be reduced to zero points? For example, an oarsman on the same ship as Countess Diana Doone. Is the point cost of the oarsman reduced to 0 or does it stay at 1?

    Yes, you can absolutely reduce crew to zero points.

    It’s not silly all, and in fact was the direct source of one of the biggest rules disputes back in the very early days of the game.    The “infinite oarsman trick”, primarily used with Captain Blackheart, resulted in the controversial (at the time) ruling that point reducers didn’t apply to your build total.   That along with repeated reminders that the no-stacking rule applied to the oarsman ability just like any other ability shut down that massive game-breaker before it could become a widespread problem.   (As much as I’d like to take credit for the ruling, it was before my time as the RA.   Might have even been before Tony/Piranha.)

    #14282
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    Timing question. Let’s say that Commander Temple (SM 068) and Peter Miles (FN 050) are on the Maui’s Fishhook. The Fishhook uses her Hoist arm to explore an enemy derelict. Which ability is applied first? Would Miles be able to steal most of the treasure on the target ship before Temple’s ability kicks in? Or would Temple’s ability take precedence over Miles’s?

    #14289
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Timing question. Let’s say that Commander Temple (SM 068) and Peter Miles (FN 050) are on the Maui’s Fishhook. The Fishhook uses her Hoist arm to explore an enemy derelict. Which ability is applied first? Would Miles be able to steal most of the treasure on the target ship before Temple’s ability kicks in? Or would Temple’s ability take precedence over Miles’s?

    Miles would have to wait until after the explore action was complete, because that action was what caused the ships to touch.   However, in this case that timing doesn’t actually matter because you’re allowed to transfer cargo between the ships as part of the explore action, before sending both home.

    #14308
    Shamsy
    Participant

    Hi all. On our last game there were about a half dozen rule questions raised. The Pirate Code solved most of these, but I do have a timing question. When you move into contact with a derelict ship, you can tow her. She, her crew and treasure are then part of your fleet and can take actions, other than move or shoot (that’s what I remember from the Code).

    So if I were to cause a ship to become derelict with one ship, then tow it with another, does the towed, derelict ship (now part of my fleet) then get an action, as it is now part of my fleet and yet to take an action on my turn?

    Likewise, if I am towing and successfully dock at my home island, does the derelict ship (after being moved to a docked position on the home island) then get an action on my turn?

    Example 1) where you were towing and the derelict ship being towed had a shipwright aboard, could the derelict repair itself while being towed? Repair is not a move or shoot action.

    Example 2) where you dock your ship at a home island and it is towing a derelict, could the derelict (when it is placed in the docked position at the home island) take a repair action the turn it was docked?

    Example 3) can your ship initiate a tow and then you immediately try to scuttle the ship you just started to tow?

    Apologies if this has already been answer, which I’m sure is somewhere in the Code given how comprehensive it is.

    EDIT: I had one more question as I couldn’t find an answer… can you ‘stack’ generic crew and benefit from an ability more than once? Specifically, I’m thinking having multiple Musketeer and Helmsman. I get that multiple captains would be pointless and that cannoneers can be stacked but only one per cannon on the ship.

    #14309
    Ben
    Keymaster

    @Shamsy: For your towing questions, the answer is YES to all!  If you give the towed ship a repair action, I believe that would immediately break the tow because the towed ship would no longer be derelict, and the Code states “If a ship is considered derelict it can be towed, even if it is still capable of movement.”  Once a mast is up the ship is not considered derelict, so you may want to give the towing ship an action before the repair occurs.

    EDIT: I had one more question as I couldn’t find an answer… can you ‘stack’ generic crew and benefit from an ability more than once? Specifically, I’m thinking having multiple Musketeer and Helmsman. I get that multiple captains would be pointless and that cannoneers can be stacked but only one per cannon on the ship.

    Nope, it’s known as the No-Stacking rule.  Page 16 of the Code covers it. Cannoneers cannot be stacked either.

    #14310
    Shamsy
    Participant

    Thank you, Ben. We had a couple of instances where players returned a towed ship to their home island and we assumed (correctly it seems) that it could then repair the same turn it was returned/docked. That then led me to consider other ways you could on your turn repair a derelict (in the unlikely event it was captured with a Shipwright crew on board), or ways you may want to stop a towed ship from being recaptured (since you cannot shoot at your own ships to sink them).

    #14311
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Ben covered it well.  Just a couple extra clarifications that often come up:

    Likewise, if I am towing and successfully dock at my home island, does the derelict ship (after being moved to a docked position on the home island) then get an action on my turn?

    Generally speaking, the ownership change from towing/capturing an opposing ship takes effect immediately.  Because it is now a ship in your fleet, and hasn’t yet been given an action that turn, you can give it one.  (Being derelict of course limits the specific actions available.)

    Example 1) where you were towing and the derelict ship being towed had a shipwright aboard, could the derelict repair itself while being towed? Repair is not a move or shoot action.

    When the repair happens, the ship is no longer derelict, so that breaks the tow immediately.   If you’re looking to tow the derelict any further, you’ll have to make sure to move it with the towing ship before you start repairs.

    Example 3) can your ship initiate a tow and then you immediately try to scuttle the ship you just started to tow?

    You can make an attempt every turn while the ship is being towed, but if successful, the derelict still will not sink until your following turn.

    #14312
    Ben
    Keymaster

    Woelf, do you know if there’s a specific reason that crew on scuttled ships are eliminated rather than removed from the game?  I’m not sure if I really grasped that until rereading the rule just now.

    #14314
    Shamsy
    Participant

    Thank you, Woelf. I have shared the answers with my group for our next game. Hopefully this weekend if I can keep the momentum up.

    #14315
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Woelf, do you know if there’s a specific reason that crew on scuttled ships are eliminated rather than removed from the game?  I’m not sure if I really grasped that until rereading the rule just now.

    Most likely it was just an “oops” when the rule was written and no one ever noticed it, but play it as written.   There are a few very specific abilities which could be triggered by that elimination, but for the most part the distinction isn’t going to matter.

    I don’t think it was deliberate, considering how frequently “removed” and “eliminated” get interchanged (when they really shouldn’t) elsewhere throughout the rulebook and ability texts.

    #14345
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    “If this ship wins a boarding party, she may capture the crew with the highest point cost instead of eliminating it. A captured crew becomes cargo worth its point cost in gold when unloaded at your home island.”

    How would this interact with the gold bonus ability, or other affects the modify gold values?

    “One of this ship’s treasures is worth +2 gold when she docks at your home island.”

    For example, what would happen if Bonny Peel and Genny Gallows are on the same ship. Would Genny be able to give a bonus to any captures that Bonny Peel has made? Or would Peel’s own ability prevent that, since captured crew are “cargo” and not “treasure”.

    #14347
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    Black Mark makes the crew and the ship that crew is on cursed. The keyword states that any other crew on the ship retain their original nationalities. Would they be able to use their abilities once the ship becomes cursed or would some other ability need to be present to allow the other crew to use their abilities?

    For example; Jacques duc de Valois (snape :D) is assigned to Le Bonaparte. Black Mark is declared to be in use. Jacques and the Bonaparte are now Cursed. The captain and helmsman that were also on the ship stay French. Can those two crew still use their abilities?

    #14348
    Woelf
    Moderator

    “If this ship wins a boarding party, she may capture the crew with the highest point cost instead of eliminating it. A captured crew becomes cargo worth its point cost in gold when unloaded at your home island.”

    How would this interact with the gold bonus ability, or other affects the modify gold values?

    “One of this ship’s treasures is worth +2 gold when she docks at your home island.”

    For example, what would happen if Bonny Peel and Genny Gallows are on the same ship. Would Genny be able to give a bonus to any captures that Bonny Peel has made? Or would Peel’s own ability prevent that, since captured crew are “cargo” and not “treasure”.

    The captive becomes “cargo worth … gold”, but doesn’t actually convert it into treasure, so gold modifiers won’t apply.

    #14349
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Black Mark makes the crew and the ship that crew is on cursed. The keyword states that any other crew on the ship retain their original nationalities. Would they be able to use their abilities once the ship becomes cursed or would some other ability need to be present to allow the other crew to use their abilities?

    For example; Jacques duc de Valois (snape :D) is assigned to Le Bonaparte. Black Mark is declared to be in use. Jacques and the Bonaparte are now Cursed. The captain and helmsman that were also on the ship stay French. Can those two crew still use their abilities?

    The ship becomes fully Cursed while the BM crewmember is on board, so crew matching the ship’s original nationality will not be able to use their abilities unless something else allows them.

    In your example, if you need the ship to be Cursed, you’ll have to replace the captain and helmsman with Cursed versions if you want to use them.  The French ones will only work if you use Snape without activating Black Mark.

    #14350
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    The ship becomes fully Cursed while the BM crewmember is on board

    Does that imply that should the BM crew leave the ship, it would revert back to it’s original faction?

     

    The captive becomes “cargo worth … gold”, but doesn’t actually convert it into treasure, so gold modifiers won’t apply.

    Ah shucks. I take it then other abilities that modify gold wouldn’t work as well, such as UT effects like Jade, Spices, Smuggled Goods, etc.?

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