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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Pegasus Expansion» Forums » Rules

Subject: Rules Q -- rules priority rss

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Thomas Thompson
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This is a cross post from FF's forums, but I think there's more action here and I'm interested in feedback and a good discussion

We bumped into an issue last play through that I wanted to submit to the board and get some feedback on.

We had one player playing a cylon leader, Caprica 6. We had made it to the New Caprica phase and the cylon leader had been tossed into detention (still human/infiltrating). A crisis came up, skill cards were added (the maximum 2 cards by Caprica 6). However, after the skill check cards were revealed, Caprica 6 wanted to use her once per game ability to add more cards to the check. Obviously her once per game ability over rides the normal limitation of infiltrating cylon leaders adding only 2 cards to a skill check. However, does Detention stop her from adding more than the initial 2 cards to the check?

A similar situation came up with one player playing Gaias Baltar. Detector Sabotage came out and was failed. Can the failed detector sabotage block Baltar's once per game ability to look at someone's loyalty cards?

My instinct is that both Caprica's abilities (in this case) and Baltar's abilities will be blocked by other game rules, and that in general the most restrictive rule that applies to a particular case is the limiter. Baltar's ability would normally allow him to look at cards, but Detector Sabotage is a special rule preventing it. Caprica 6's ability would normally allow her to add extra cards to a check, but as she's in Detention she has to abide by the rules of Detention. This was however argued quite vehemently by Caprica 6 as she really wanted the check to fail. In the interest of disclosure, I was a human and was wanting the check to pass. I'd like to get some non biased opinions on the matter though
 
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Pierre Pinguet
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Baltar's case is a no brainer, the Detector sabotage card is very specific.

I'm less sure for Caprica 6, as it does seem to override the normal skill check restrictions. (She does play twice into the check doesn't she?)
 
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Dee's OPG faces the same issue. I'd rule that they could still add the cards even if they were in the brig/dentention.
 
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Thomas Thompson
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Pippin123 wrote:
Baltar's case is a no brainer, the Detector sabotage card is very specific.

I'm less sure for Caprica 6, as it does seem to override the normal skill check restrictions. (She does play twice into the check doesn't she?)
Yep, that's kind of the problem. Caprica's ability overides normal skill check rules, and Detention also overrides normal skill check rules. But can Caprica overide normal skill check rules and Detention and why? If you start going too far that direction, you start to ask why Baltar's ability doesn't override the Detector Sabotage card too.

We just went with a die roll at the time and called it good

 
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Baltar's ability doesn't override Detector Sabotage because the card SPECIFICALLY addresses that situation, which leaves no ambiguity. This is only a question because Caprica 6's OPG doesn't have text like "Even if in the Brig/Detention"
 
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I would say that the Detention rule (only add 2 cards) and the Brig rule (only add 1) only apply to cards played during the check on your turn. Caprica's OPG applies after the check is revealed, so is legal, as would Dee's be because it happens before the check.

Another thing to consider is that Cylon Leaders are always limited to a maximum of 2 cards even when infiltrating (or 1 when not infiltrating) and that rule would be just as binding as the limit due to detention. If you say the detention limit stops use of the OPG, then the limit due to being a CL should also apply (because it takes affect at the same time) at which point Caprica's OPG becomes Never in a game, which is clearly not what is intended.
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I'm going to agree with DaveD here - Six's ability applies once the cards have been revealed, Detention/Brig only limits you playing into the check. In this situation I would rule that Six can use her OPG ability.
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Twekkie wrote:
Once-per-game abilities are rule breakers (i.e. how is Adama allowed to pick up the used skill cards when the rules say they are discarded ?) so they should always take precedence unless explicitly denied.
Yeah, this is definitely the way to play it. Dee and Caprica Six can both use their abilities in the brig or wherever they please. OPG's are definitely rule breakers.

The detention doesn't "change the rules" per se, because the rules for detention are part of the game itself. So if you're in detention, its not altering the rules, the rules simply now say to only add 2 cards. Caprica Six's ability is a specific rule breaker, as there's never a chance to do what she does. She can definitely use her ability.
 
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feydjm wrote:
Baltar's ability doesn't override Detector Sabotage because the card SPECIFICALLY addresses that situation, which leaves no ambiguity. This is only a question because Caprica 6's OPG doesn't have text like "Even if in the Brig/Detention"
Wow, very surprised to see the responses thus far. I thought there would actually be some debate! I'm still not convinced, so I'll play devil's advocate

Detector Sabotage affects a range of abilities that look at loyalty cards, of which Baltar's OPG ability just happens to be one. While it seems more specific than Detention's rule at face value, after some thought, why is it?

Detention specifically states you may only add two cards to a skill check. Caprica's ability allows her to add cards to a skill check (exact words used). This sounds as specific as Baltar vs. Detector Sabotage.

Baltar's ability is obviously intended to break the normal rule that you can't look at someone's loyalty cards, but we seem to believe it can be shut down by another rule that doesn't allow loyalty cards to be looked at. Caprica's ability to add multiple cards to a skill check is obviously intended to break the normal cylon leader rule of two cards per skill check as well as when cards are added to the check, but we don't seem to believe another rule can override it. Sounds subjective

On a side note, I believe the Cylon Leader limit of two cards is irrelevent here. That rule is part of Caprica herself (being a cylon leader) and is obviously the rule that her OPG is intended to break. The intent in this case is obvious and in all cases OPG abilities must break some standard rule or they would not work. On the other hand, if you argue her ability breaks all rules that would prevent her once per game from working, you come back to why does Detector Sabotage stop Baltar's ability?

In any case, thanks for the input guys
 
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There's basically no question as to whether or not Caprica's ability lets her override other restrictions about playing cards into skill checks. During a skill check, every player gets a chance to play as many cards as they wish, face-down. The brig, detention, and cylon leader restrictions all apply to this step in particular. They don't say so explicitly, because it's quite a mouthful and it shows up all over the place and it's obvious by any sensible reading of the rules. Caprica and Dee's once-per-game abilities do not change what happens when that step of the skill check comes, they just give those characters an extra chance to play cards separately. Detector Sabotage is quite different; nowhere in the course of an abstracted round does anyone ever get to look at another player's loyalty card, but there are a number of special effects (a quorum card, a once-per-game ability, and several crisis cards) that cause this to happen anyway, except Detector Sabotage stays in play and says that they cannot.

If there were some normal step of a turn that had players look at loyalty cards - say, at the end of your turn you always get to look a random loyalty card belonging to the player of your choice - there'd be something to argue about.
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