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Director of Operations
By JeBuS (Brian S)
 - Director of Operations
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Socialite
#586596
According to the glossary[1], Dead End, if placed on a mission, does not prevent subsequent Borg scouting attempts. This glossary ruling should be changed or eliminated entirely, to make it clear that Dead End does prevent Borg scouting attempts. Changes to the glossary and rulebook would have multiple net-positive effects upon the game. The rules would become more consistent due to the rulebook and glossary coming into alignment. The rules would become more new-player friendly due to aligning with plain meaning. The balance of the game would benefit due to another pace-setting mechanism.

The glossary entry for Dead End[1] states "Although it will 'stop' a Borg scout on initial encounter, it does not prevent later scouting." This ruling has long hinged upon the concept that Borg "scouting" is a distinct concept from "mission attempting" that all other affiliations use.

However, in recent years, the terminology of the game has changed. Today, the rules for scouting[2] state that Borg scouting attempts are "a kind of 'attempt'", while calling out that "it is not a 'mission attempt'".

The rules state that "missions are irrelevant". This is misleading at best, entirely incorrect at worst. What is actually irrelevant to the Borg is "solving missions". Most Borg Objectives still require missions in order to "complete objectives". Missions are the only Locations which can be targeted by Borg Objectives that allow scouting.

Missions are locations.3 Other types of locations exist, however, they are not targetable by the current array of Borg Objectives which allow for scouting at that location. When the Borg begin a scouting attempt at a mission, they are allowed to do so because that mission is a location.

The rulebook also alludes to "mission scouting (by [Bor])".[4] This would lead any normal reader to assume that missions do have scouting attempts.

The text of Dead End states that the mission Dead End is placed upon "may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points." As has already been established, missions are a subset of locations. Dead End, upon a reading of plain meaning and set theory, says that this location may not be attempted.

The text of the Dead End does not read "the player may not begin a mission attempt". It does not say that "the player may not begin a scouting attempt". It uses terminology which encompasses both of those and more: the player may not begin or continue an attempt of any sort targeting that location. An article from October 2020 elucidates that "cards that prevent you from scouting prevent you from starting scouting attempts, not merely from completing scouting".[5]. If you were to invent terminology today that would prevent both mission attempts and scouting attempts from beginning or continuing at a mission while using the fewest words possible and being unambiguous, you could not do so any better than "the mission may not be attempted".

"The mission may not be attempted" should no longer be construed as applying only to "mission attempts". New players should not need to read side-bars and the glossary in order to discern that "an attempt is an attempt, except when it's not". Old players should not have clearly conflicting wording in the rules documents playing havoc with their memories.

The last benefit provided by such a change would be to provide one more mechanism for slowing the pace of the game. Recent tournaments[6][7][8][9][10] have shown that Borg are now pace-setters for the "meta" of the game. Introducing this change would allow for one more piece of "tech" to slow down the Borg, when most others do not. The Borg are capable of ignoring almost every dilemma in the game. Introducing one single Unique dilemma which they could not ignore could go some ways toward setting a healthier pace for First Edition.





I have laid out my case for the benefits of these changes. I have not yet come across any instances where cards would break due to the change. Some other cards, such as Radioactive Garbage Scow would begin to affect the Borg. But, that's not necessarily a downside, either. Can anyone else think of something that would break if this change were to be made?

There is one phrase which would be made redundant: "cannot be attempted or scouted". This change wouldn't break it, but simply make the "or scouted" redundant.
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By geraldkw
 - Beta Quadrant
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1E The Neutral Zone Regional Participant 2022
#586598
JeBuS wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 3:57 pm According to the glossary[1], Dead End, if placed on a mission, does not prevent subsequent Borg scouting attempts. This glossary ruling should be changed or eliminated entirely, to make it clear that Dead End does prevent Borg scouting attempts. Changes to the glossary and rulebook would have multiple net-positive effects upon the game. The rules would become more consistent due to the rulebook and glossary coming into alignment. The rules would become more new-player friendly due to aligning with plain meaning. The balance of the game would benefit due to another pace-setting mechanism.

The glossary entry for Dead End[1] states "Although it will 'stop' a Borg scout on initial encounter, it does not prevent later scouting." This ruling has long hinged upon the concept that Borg "scouting" is a distinct concept from "mission attempting" that all other affiliations use.

However, in recent years, the terminology of the game has changed. Today, the rules for scouting[2] state that Borg scouting attempts are "a kind of 'attempt'", while calling out that "it is not a 'mission attempt'".

The rules state that "missions are irrelevant". This is misleading at best, entirely incorrect at worst. What is actually irrelevant to the Borg is "solving missions". Most Borg Objectives still require missions in order to "complete objectives". Missions are the only Locations which can be targeted by Borg Objectives that allow scouting.

Missions are locations.3 Other types of locations exist, however, they are not targetable by the current array of Borg Objectives which allow for scouting at that location. When the Borg begin a scouting attempt at a mission, they are allowed to do so because that mission is a location.

The rulebook also alludes to "mission scouting (by [Bor])".[4] This would lead any normal reader to assume that missions do have scouting attempts.

The text of Dead End states that the mission Dead End is placed upon "may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points." As has already been established, missions are a subset of locations. Dead End, upon a reading of plain meaning and set theory, says that this location may not be attempted.

The text of the Dead End does not read "the player may not begin a mission attempt". It does not say that "the player may not begin a scouting attempt". It uses terminology which encompasses both of those and more: the player may not begin or continue an attempt of any sort targeting that location. An article from October 2020 elucidates that "cards that prevent you from scouting prevent you from starting scouting attempts, not merely from completing scouting".[5]. If you were to invent terminology today that would prevent both mission attempts and scouting attempts from beginning or continuing at a mission while using the fewest words possible and being unambiguous, you could not do so any better than "the mission may not be attempted".

"The mission may not be attempted" should no longer be construed as applying only to "mission attempts". New players should not need to read side-bars and the glossary in order to discern that "an attempt is an attempt, except when it's not". Old players should not have clearly conflicting wording in the rules documents playing havoc with their memories.

The last benefit provided by such a change would be to provide one more mechanism for slowing the pace of the game. Recent tournaments[6][7][8][9][10] have shown that Borg are now pace-setters for the "meta" of the game. Introducing this change would allow for one more piece of "tech" to slow down the Borg, when most others do not. The Borg are capable of ignoring almost every dilemma in the game. Introducing one single Unique dilemma which they could not ignore could go some ways toward setting a healthier pace for First Edition.





I have laid out my case for the benefits of these changes. I have not yet come across any instances where cards would break due to the change. Some other cards, such as Radioactive Garbage Scow would begin to affect the Borg. But, that's not necessarily a downside, either. Can anyone else think of something that would break if this change were to be made?

There is one phrase which would be made redundant: "cannot be attempted or scouted". This change wouldn't break it, but simply make the "or scouted" redundant.
I agree with this change for rules clarity.

For balance I mostly agree as well that the Borg are well above average among the affiliations and won't become as bad as say [1E-DS9] [Fer] which no one seems to think are bad enough to deserve help.
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First Edition Rules Master
By BCSWowbagger (James Heaney)
 - First Edition Rules Master
 -  
Contender
Community Contributor
1E North American Continental Runner-Up 2022
#586599
JeBuS wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 3:57 pm However, in recent years, the terminology of the game has changed. Today, the rules for scouting state that Borg scouting attempts are "a kind of 'attempt'", while calling out that "it is not a 'mission attempt'".
Point of clarification: this terminology is not new. "Scouting attempts" have been the legal name for "the thing Borg do to face dilemmas" since at least 1999. (Search for "scouting attempt" in Glossary 1.6.) The phrase has appeared on cards since Your Galaxy Is Impure in 2001. [Bor] have always engaged in attempts -- just not mission attempts.

Many players have the impression that [Bor] ignore certain dilemmas because they don't "attempt," but, as we can see from those old Glossaries, this impression is wrong. Borg do attempt. The reason they ignore certain dilemmas is because (according to Decipher's ancient rulings) the thing they are attempting is not a mission.

I express no opinion on JeBuS's proposal, as that wouldn't be appropriate for me to do at this stage. There are certainly both pros and cons, both of which have their attractions. The proposal itself seems coherent to me, although it needs more research before the R.C. can consider it: we'd need to identify all the cards affected, not just Dead End and Scow. ( [Bor] also ignore Linguistic Legerdemain, but that's off the top of my head.)

I just wanted to clarify the current state of the rules a little better before the community starts a discussion about whether it would be a good idea to change them.
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Director of Operations
By JeBuS (Brian S)
 - Director of Operations
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Socialite
#586600
Here's a list of all cards which say "attempt" in gametext.
Some of them would not be affected at all. Some of them would open up new possibilities for the Borg to use. Others would provide uses against the Borg. Others still could be slightly modified to be more concise text, or to be affected by the change.
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 - Gamma Quadrant
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Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Socialite
1E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
2E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
#586601
I think this issue is simple:
it's been ruled that Bij and Buried alive ends a Borg scouting attempt because it just says "attempt ends" - ruling that Dead end prevents Borg scouting attempts because it also just uses "may not be attempted" means that the glossary entry just comes into line with everything else without messing with any other cards.

Then rules can go over stuff for everything else. But I think the bottom line here is that rules has already answered this and at least dead end and scow have just been played wrong and the glossary entry(s) conflict and is/are wrong.

"A Borg scouting attempt is an attempt" were James exact words were they not?
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By Armus (Brian Sykes)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
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Goateed
Community Contributor
2E Cardassia Regional Champion 2022
#586602
I'm open to considering the merits of this change (though I'm not sure I'm 100% there *yet* - I can think of a few counterpoints, though I'll save those for now), but I recommend we table it until AFTER WORLDS so nobody gets curveballed over a sudden change to a 25 year precedent - ESPECIALLY since Rules already said they aren't changing any Rules in October as it is.

Nobody wants a Rules Lawyer World Champ. That's no fun.
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First Edition Rules Master
By BCSWowbagger (James Heaney)
 - First Edition Rules Master
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Contender
Community Contributor
1E North American Continental Runner-Up 2022
#586604
Just to affirm what Armus and JeBuS are saying, with my Rules hat on:

There is absolutely no chance that there will be any change to how these cards are officially ruled at any time this month, much less this week.

As of today -- so, both at Worlds 2022 and for the foreseeable future afterward -- Dead End, Scow, Linguistic, and the rest of them all work the way they have always worked. This proposal is just one player's suggestion for a possible future rule change, which is a kind of healthy public discussion that advances the game's long-term health. It's a good discussion-starter, but not an official proposal.

(A rough timeline for a proposal of this nature coming to fruition would be: 1 month waiting to put it on the Rules Agenda, 3 months discussion among Rules, 2 months waiting to see what Balance thinks, 4 months playtesting, 2 months final preparation for release. What's that add up to, a year? And that's assuming all goes well. The wheels of the Rules Committee grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine.)

Now, please do continue the discussion! Like I said, it's healthy and, if the idea is well-received and seems to have no problems, it could go somewhere!
it's been ruled that Bij and Buried alive ends a Borg scouting attempt because it just says "attempt ends" - ruling that Dead end prevents Borg scouting attempts because it also just uses "may not be attempted" means that the glossary entry just comes into line with everything else without messing with any other cards.
The difference between BiJ and Dead End is that BiJ ends "an attempt." Dead End/Scow/Linguistic, parsed correctly, only prevent mission attempts. Borg scouting attempts are attempts, but they are (traditionally) not considered mission attempts.

At some point, a large fraction of the community internalized the logic "Borg don't attempt. They scout, and that's why it's different." (Decipher encouraged this misconception in certain documents, including the FC rules supplement, so the error is understandable.) But [Bor] do attempt. They just don't attempt missions. So the current rule is that any card which blocks a mission attempt, specifically, is ignored by the Borg -- but any card which blocks "attempts" in general blocks both mission and scouting attempts.
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Director of Operations
By JeBuS (Brian S)
 - Director of Operations
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Socialite
#586605
BCSWowbagger wrote:But do attempt. They just don't attempt missions.
But they do attempt at missions. Which makes the rule so fine a parsing as to be plainly unreadable.

A normal person would read "mission may not be attempted" to equal "attempts may not be made at this mission".
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 - Gamma Quadrant
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Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Socialite
1E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
2E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
#586606
JeBuS wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:02 pm
BCSWowbagger wrote:But do attempt. They just don't attempt missions.
But they do attempt at missions. Which makes the rule so fine a parsing as to be plainly unreadable.

A normal person would read "mission may not be attempted" to equal "attempts may not be made at this mission".
Time for some armus approved, technical correction:. "it may not be attempted" is the exact wording on Dead end. So it's even more equatable that its stopping attempts of all kinds at this mission.
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By Armus (Brian Sykes)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
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Goateed
Community Contributor
2E Cardassia Regional Champion 2022
#586607
Hoss-Drone wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:18 pm
JeBuS wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:02 pm
BCSWowbagger wrote:But do attempt. They just don't attempt missions.
But they do attempt at missions. Which makes the rule so fine a parsing as to be plainly unreadable.

A normal person would read "mission may not be attempted" to equal "attempts may not be made at this mission".
Time for some armus approved, technical correction:. "it may not be attempted" is the exact wording on Dead end. So it's even more equatable that its stopping attempts of all kinds at this mission.
Ok, so if we're getting into the merits and technicalities...

I'm not entirely sold on this idea on the merits.

Here's the ENTIRE Text of Dead End:
Unless you have at least 50 points, cannot get past; place dilemma atop mission; it may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points. (Unique.)
It's all one really long sentence, but grammar rules apply.

Unless you have 50 points, cannot get past;

This part is straightforward enough... if you have 50 points lolnope the dilemma and move on, if you don't, well...

place dilemma atop mission;

This part is also straightforward, put the card on top of the mission. Cool.

it may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points.

This is the catch. "It" is a reference to the object of the sentence in the previous clause, the mission. It can logically be read as "[Mission] may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points."

For non-Borg players this is and has been unambiguous: Go somewhere else, come back when you have 50 points.

But it's unambiguous BECAUSE attempting *missions* is what non-Borg do, so OF COURSE a card saying "mission can't be attempted" shuts them down.

Was the basic language of Borg Scouting Locations ever changed? It may have been, but I'm not aware of it. Assuming it hasn't, initiating a Scouting attempt is terminologically different than attempting a mission, even if it's mechanically the same (flip dilemmas, deal with them, get to the end of the stack, good things happen). As such, a Scouting attempt IS NOT a Mission attempt.

"Mission may not be attempted" is NOT the same as "no attempts at this mission"... the former doesn't affect Borg, the latter does. Dead End is the former.
 
By phaserihardlyknowher (Ben Daeuber)
 - Beta Quadrant
 -  
1E Andoria Regional Champion 2022
#586609
Armus wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:34 pm
It's all one really long sentence, but grammar rules apply.

Unless you have 50 points, cannot get past;

This part is straightforward enough... if you have 50 points lolnope the dilemma and move on, if you don't, well...

place dilemma atop mission;

This part is also straightforward, put the card on top of the mission. Cool.

it may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points.

This is the catch. "It" is a reference to the object of the sentence in the previous clause, the mission. It can logically be read as "[Mission] may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points."

For non-Borg players this is and has been unambiguous: Go somewhere else, come back when you have 50 points.
Since we're really getting into the weeds on this one, I'd like to point out the object of "place dilemma atop mission" is the dilemma. Mission is the object of the preposition and largely incidental to the verb that's acting on the direct object. If you said "Place the chair on the ground; you may not sit on it", most people would assume you meant you cannot sit on the chair, not the ground. By your largely unimpeachable logic, the dilemma may not be attempted.
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By Armus (Brian Sykes)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Goateed
Community Contributor
2E Cardassia Regional Champion 2022
#586611
phaserihardlyknowher wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 7:05 pm
Armus wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:34 pm
It's all one really long sentence, but grammar rules apply.

Unless you have 50 points, cannot get past;

This part is straightforward enough... if you have 50 points lolnope the dilemma and move on, if you don't, well...

place dilemma atop mission;

This part is also straightforward, put the card on top of the mission. Cool.

it may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points.

This is the catch. "It" is a reference to the object of the sentence in the previous clause, the mission. It can logically be read as "[Mission] may not be attempted by a player with less than 50 points."

For non-Borg players this is and has been unambiguous: Go somewhere else, come back when you have 50 points.
Since we're really getting into the weeds on this one, I'd like to point out the object of "place dilemma atop mission" is the dilemma. Mission is the object of the preposition and largely incidental to the verb that's acting on the direct object. If you said "Place the chair on the ground; you may not sit on it", most people would assume you meant you cannot sit on the chair, not the ground. By your largely unimpeachable logic, the dilemma may not be attempted.
And this is why I was never an English major. :P
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By Professor Scott (Mathew McCalpin)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
1E World Participant 2022
#586613
Also a point of note, @JeBuS suggestion would affect most [Bor] but not all, and even then only some of the time.

[1E-TNG] [Bor] don't care that the dilemma is now on the mission, especially if it was the final one.

Also to clarify, I don't think it is [Bor] , but [1E-TNG] [Bor] that is setting the pace, so this may not be a big a speed bump as you'd hoped.

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