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0 cost actions


Tauwolf
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So, our playing group *just* realized that when an action costs "0", there is no flip necessary. We had been playing it as "flip a card and it only fails on the black joker".

Now, if that's the way it is then so be it, but wow, that really makes some zero cost actions powerful. I am not debating the way it is played, just questioning the game theory behind it.

It seems like there should still be card flip, for two main reasons:

1) Black Joker = Auto Fail

2) Even if there is no chance of failure (the black joker is in your hand), it seems that you should still have to pay the cost of advancing your deck one card.

Just tossing it out there for discussion.....

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Zero action spells, yeah. But I don't recall spells that require zero to cast. The OP is referring to flips, so it is about casting costs, not action costs.

Something is getting lost in translation here. There aren't Spells (capitol "S") in the game, just Actions and Abilities.

Abilities just happen. Actions have an associated cost. when you see:

Action Name (Action Value + Additional Cost)

sometimes you see the Action Value being "0" with no suits. Per the rules, when this is the case, you proceed directly to paying the Additional Cost and applying the Effects of the Action, skipping over any card flipping steps.

A Lady Justice example:

With My Eyes Closed! (0): Rg: 3, Effect: Move a Powerful Counter from this puppet to a Friendly Puppet that does not already have a Powerful Counter. LoS not required.

I believe we're all talking about the same thing, just trying to clear things up by using the correct terminology.

Edited by Tauwolf
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So, our playing group *just* realized that when an action costs "0", there is no flip necessary. We had been playing it as "flip a card and it only fails on the black joker".

Now, if that's the way it is then so be it, but wow, that really makes some zero cost actions powerful. I am not debating the way it is played, just questioning the game theory behind it.

It seems like there should still be card flip, for two main reasons:

1) Black Joker = Auto Fail

2) Even if there is no chance of failure (the black joker is in your hand), it seems that you should still have to pay the cost of advancing your deck one card.

Just tossing it out there for discussion.....

I was involved with development! I can talk about game theory! Yay, I feel useful!

Advancing your deck one card is not a cost at all. When you run out of cards in your deck, you reshuffle. The card which you "lose" has an equal chance of being a relatively useless 2 or a relatively valuable 13. If it's a low card with a suit you do not need, getting it out of your deck is actually a good thing because it thins your deck and leaves more of what you need. If it is a high card of a useful suit, then obviously that is a disadvantage. But since there is a completely equal chance of the (in itself minor) consequence being positive or negative, having the mechanic of uselessly flipping a card from your deck is a complete wash (after all, statistics are based on the probability that an action is positive or negative, and both outcomes are just as likely). Now, if running out of cards in your deck actually had some disadvantage associated with it, like you couldn't reshuffle and were just left with no cards (like in Magic the Gathering when you lose by being milled), you would have a very valid point.

As for the black joker: you are absolutely correct. 0 actions are slightly more powerful because the black joker can not auto fail them. But it is a very moderate advantage, because the black joker is only 1 out of 54 cards and is far more likely to be flipped in a multi card action (attack) or drawn into your hand. And basically we felt that the inconvenience of having to flip an essentially useless card outweighed the cost of 0 actions not being subject to the black joker (after all, games are about fun and being annoyed is...not fun. So mechanics which annoy players are inherently bad mechanics). Finally, it is balanced by the fact that all suits have relatively equal access to 0 actions, so while it does make 0 actions slightly more powerful as a whole, anyone can use them so it doesn't favor anybody.

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  • 1 year later...

Two more 0 point Action questions (having just read the rules to Unstitched and played a 1st time run-through):

Is a model limited to one 0 Action per activation (as in Malifaux)? I'm not sure if I missed that in the rules book somewhere.

If a model takes a 0 and a 1AP Action, do they just get the one Exhausted token or two?

Thanks.

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Two more 0 point Action questions (having just read the rules to Unstitched and played a 1st time run-through):

Is a model limited to one 0 Action per activation (as in Malifaux)? I'm not sure if I missed that in the rules book somewhere.

So called "Free Actions" (the 0 actions your asking about from the original rules identified by a Lighting bolt) seem to have been left out of the Unstitched Rule Book (they are supposed to be found on Page 20 according to the glossary).

Under the original rules though you could perform as many "Free Actions" as you had though could only perform each one once per animation (think of them as unique).

Under Unstitched Rules I dont believe "Free Actions" were something that was kept (as I cant find any of the "New" Puppets that have any.

If a model takes a 0 and a 1AP Action, do they just get the one Exhausted token or two?

Thanks.

Under the old rules a Puppet Received an Exhaustion Token when it animated (not when performing actions). Under the Unstitched Rules the wording is a bit wonky (page 16) however it is somewhat implied that the Puppet receives one Exhaustion Token during the animation (unless there is an ability that would give it at another time) when it has performed an action. So Pokey Viks Stab Happy ability would net her 2 Exhaustion Tokens if she performed both.

Edited by Omenbringer
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So called "Free Actions" (the 0 actions your asking about from the original rules identified by a Lighting bolt) seem to have been left out of the Unstitched Rule Book (they are supposed to be found on Page 20 according to the glossary).

Under the original rules though you could perform as many "Free Actions" as you had though could only perform each one once per animation (think of them as unique).

Under Unstitched Rules I dont believe "Free Actions" were something that was kept (as I cant find any of the "New" Puppets that have any.

Under the old rules a Puppet Received an Exhaustion Token when it animated (not when performing actions). Under the Unstitched Rules the wording is a bit wonky (page 16) however it is somewhat implied that the Puppet receives one Exhaustion Token during the animation (unless there is an ability that would give it at another time) when it has performed an action. So Pokey Viks Stab Happy ability would net her 2 Exhaustion Tokens if she performed both.

I'm glad that it wasn't just my lack of attention to the rulebook and an actual rules omission as regards 0 point Actions. In the absence of a definitive ruling/ FAQ, I will adopt your (?intended) suggestion and play them as the v1.0 "Free Actions".

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I've posted the same question on the BoardGameGeek Puppet Wars Unstitched forum:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1009352/0-point-actions

The perception there is that you can only take one Action per turn, regardless of it's cost. I'm sure that Omenbringer's clarification is closer to what the dev's had in mind with the (0) and (1)AP cost distinctions. However, it does illustrate the need for clarification as BGG users are the more likely target demographic for Unstitched (as opposed to regular Wyrd forum users) with the 'gateway' feel of Unstitched into the Malifaux universe. There is obviously some rules misinterpretation out there.

Being able to take (potentially) multiple Actions per turn (AP cost-dependent) vs only 1 (regardless of AP cost) makes for two fundamentally different games.

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It really depends on which version of the game you are playing.

Puppet Wars (initial release) is very different than Puppet Wars Unstitched, despite sharing a name and similar concepts. I believe the entries at Board Game Geek bleed the two editions in to one (not necessarily intentionally) causing a lot of misinterpretations.

The community there seems more inclined to fix things on their own rather than head over to the manufactures site to verify there interpretations of things.

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Further discussion with the non-Malifaux players at BGG has revealed a fatal flaw in my understanding (or lack thereof) of the Puppet Wars Unstitched rules.

I have confused the Malifaux concept of AP with the Puppet Wars concept of Action Value. Each model may only perform 1 Action per turn (possibly with one or two exceptions). The number in parenthases is the Action Value, the number required with a card flip (+- suit requirement) in order to successfully perform said Action. So, Standard Actions with a (0) after the Action title are merely automatic successes, not (0)AP or 'Free' actions.

It follows also that the old concept of the 'Free' Action, as alluded to in Omenbringer's previous post, has been abandoned in the current rules incarnation.

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