High Noon and Jail

all about this expansion

Moderators: lucabil, Suzy Lafayette

Order of play at the beginning of a turn

Postby Marlin » 30 Sep 2011, 22:38

My own take on this:

Order of play at the beginning of a turn
All of the cards Dynamite, Jail, High Noon and A Fistful of Cards (and also A Darling Valentine in the Wild West Show expansion), along with the character Vera Custer, trigger at the beginning of a player's turn - all of them. There is really no intrinsic timing difference between them, that I can see, and never was. Although the timing is phrased slightly differently for each card, I find it frankly a bit ridiculous to try to determine a resolution order between them merely based on those slight differences in phrasing. ("When you start your turn", "before the beginning of your turn", "at the beginning of her turn" or whatever.) If we really were to go down that path, then I would take Jail to be resolved before Dynamite, which it isn't.

Dynamite before Jail
The only way to determine an internal resolution order between these effects is through explicit rules. Precisely this is done for Jail and Dynamite in the rules of the base game (under the Dynamite rule). And... it makes zero difference that the Jail effect duration was changed to include phase 3 (since 3rd ed.). The resolution timing rule has remained unchanged: "If you have both the Dynamite and a Jail in play, check the Dynamite first." Problem solved.

Character Abilities Last
Sadly, the timing of Vera Custer's ability is not at all clear from the rules, though. Still, from the FAQ, it can be discerned that it is to be resolved after any Jail. (Her FAQ entry, even in the English FAQ, is in untranslated Italian when I am writing this. But I found an earlier edition of the English FAQ quoted here, and, as far as I can tell – from cross-checking via dictionary – it seems unchanged except for the numbering.)

Event Cards First
This leaves us with the "event cards", High Noon and A Fistful of Cards. For them, no rule as straightforward as that for Jail and Dynamite was defined. But there is a rule, if a roundabout one. So the situation is actually better than for Vera Custer. At least in the High Noon rules of 2003, the following could be read:
daVinci - in the 2003 rules for High Noon - wrote:"At the start of his turn" means the card takes effect before any other action.

"At the start of his turn" happens to be the exact phrase used on the High Noon card. Interestingly, the same rule, defining exactly the same phrase, is there also in the rules for A Fistful of Cards - even the most recent ones, I believe - although the phrase used on the A Fistful of Cards card is actually slightly different. ("At the beginning of your turn.")

So what does "before any other action" in that rule mean? The answer to that is found in the FAQ for A Fistful of Cards. It primarily explains the phrase "at the beginning of the turn", but in the process also the phrase "before any other action":

Emiliano Sciarra - in the FAQ for A Fistful of Cards - wrote:Q15. What does "at the beginning of the turn" mean?

A. It means "before any other action", including the check for the Dynamite or the Jail.

So there you have it! According to the High Noon rule (of 2003) - and also according to the (present) A Fistful of Cards rule - when clarified by the (present) A Fistful of Cards FAQ, the High Noon card effect is resolved before either Dynamite or Jail! (And the same for the other event card: A Fistful of Cards.) Again, problem solved. Yay!

(Note, by the way, how Vera Custer is the only at-the-beginning-of-a-turn effect to be resolved after a Jail. Whether or not the Jail causes the turn to be skipped is thus entirely irrelevant for the others.) So the design of the game seems robust enough, with or without expansions, that almost any question can be unambiguosly answered (after some research). Even though in some cases, such as this one, the rules could clearly have been presented in a much better and more accessible way.


Or...?
Except, as Suzy Lafayette was saying, "Emiliano is the rule". And his ruling in this thread is entirely the opposite of what rules and FAQs are/were saying. So has the original High Noon rule been changed? And is the timing of High Noon now different from that of A Fistful of Cards? Why?

Also, like lucabil, I think in any case it would be nice to see this rule rewritten – so as to make it as straightforward as now is the case only for Dynamite and Jail (instead of requiring crosschecking of the phrasing of card texts with both rules and several FAQs). For instance:

At the beginning of a player's turn,

  • first resolve any effect of an event card in play (High Noon, A Fistful of Cards etc.),
  • then any playing cards that the player has in play – Dynamite before Jail
  • and finally any relevant character ability (Vera Custer),
before the beginning of his phase 1.


Or whatever similarly clear and straightforward rule is deemed to be the correct one.
Marlin
 
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Joined: 08 Sep 2011, 12:53
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