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Old January 21st, 2021, 12:21 PM
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Re: Remove one unrevealed Order Marker at random?

I was reading up on the conversation imbedded in The Book of the Mind Flayer Mastermind and I have to admit it is a very interesting topic to discuss and I love the idea of this poll.

I will start by stating that Heroscape in itself was not designed to be played competitively as is. Therefore, the designers did not anticipate any ruling such as this to be a big deal nor this thread to even have a reason to exist. Because of which, I feel it is the responsibility of the players, table, and event coordinator to decide what ruling should apply. For house games, informal events and the like, it would be best to "read the room" to set the competitive level of the games prior to any being played. Any rules set forth before play cannot be undermined like rules that are implemented mid-match or made by a judge ruling at such games because, once again, Heroscape is not a naturally designed competitive game. More specifically in each case I describe in detail below.

My argument stems from other competitive games and the notion to "Do as the card says". But in regards to the answer to the question it depends on the setting. I, however, find some answers to be wrong in any setting. For example, the answer I picked, Players MUST always roll a dice or shuffle the order markers and without either player looking. This answer is the closest ruling I can see to the nature of "random" in games. I agree whole-heartily with this answer except for the option to shuffle. No where does any card say they may shuffle the order markers. That being said the premise of responses 2, 3 and 4 namely Owner MUST shuffle/rearrange OMs but can look before the player chooses which he/she removes, Owner CAN shuffle/rearrange OMs and can look before the player chooses, but is not required, and Owner CAN rearrange OMs but MUST do while looking before the player chooses, but is not required. There is no shuffling/rearranging required nor stating in any power or ruling and so there is no option to shuffle/rearrange. Players cannot shuffle/rearrange order markers at any point period, whether prior to a "random" discard or no discard at all. Order markers are placed in any fashion, important note here, any fashion, and not removed until chosen from a power described in question or when used.

With these answers void that leaves 3 choices remain. I agree with answer 5 stating: Owner CANNOT shuffle/rearrange OMs before the player chooses. OMs must be placed strategically but this does not explain the methodology in which players would "remove a marker at random". I've shown sympathy to the last response stating: Depends on who you play with and mood players are in, but can be decided differently each game but with a caveat. In home games, informal and non-competitive matches where the only outcome is fun, this is acceptable as it maintains the level of fun and has no other consequences as long as all players are in agreement with the decision.

This leaves but one answer. To be honest my true answer would be a combination of Players MUST always roll a dice or shuffle the order markers and without either player looking and Owner CANNOT shuffle/rearrange OMs before the player chooses. OMs must be placed strategically given that players can arrange their order markers strategically at all times while also playing to the premise of "random".

Lefton4ya, I do not believe the intentions of the designers were to include the word "random" on some powers and be devoid of it on others, namely the Fyorlag Spiders' power. The difficulty of attaining the Fyorlag Spiders's power by having 3 adjacencies and rolling a 16 or higher (25%) grants the ability to remove an order marker not randomly, but systematically chosen. All other instances of similar powers (to my off-the-cuff knowledge) uses the word "random" which I believe falls under the definition better suited by your word "arbitrary" and was not intended to be ambiguous. The word random is more common, in language and in other games as described below, than arbitrary which I believe is the reasoning for its inclusion to reduce discussion and ambiguity as to the nature of the phrasing, but in the end only added, and is the sole reason for the discussion.

The video in question on The Book of the Mind Flayer Mastermind I can only describe as either a lack of judgement in "reading the room" as described prior given the competitive, or not so competitive nature of the event in this instance, a lack of moral character, knowing to chose at random but choosing with methodology to gain a malicious edge in game, or just a complete under-sight not realizing the ruling on the specific power tells you the method in which to chose the marker. Mistakes can be made and whether the result in this particular case, if the outcome of the match matters (mainly a competitive setting), I would call a judge (or other authoritative figure given the event calls for a judge if competitive) and correct the players actions. When playing competitively the game is not just for fun and so it is more serious than casual where rules need to be abided for sake of competition. In the event the event is not very competitive or if the result is minimal to the game I personally would brush it off, having caught it, taken the process of correcting the actions would be more time intensive than to just ignore the minor mistake and continue.

More on the term "random". I will need to include an example from another game for the wording. Forgive me, I really have no idea how to work links on this forum and would have included a picture of the card in question instead, it's been some time I've linked anything on the forums. In Magic the Gathering, a card game that uses the term "random" on multiple occasions, really hits home with the premise of the word. One card reads: "Target opponent discards a card at random" I have never heard of any argument as to how the card is chosen. The definition of random here is taken literally. Given that there are more likely more choices in other games than Heroscape, given a maximum of 4 order markers, and in this specific case referring to the discussion in The Book of the Mind Flayer Mastermind, only 2 choices, I feel the need for the word random to be taken literally to be of much more importance given the lesser of choices.

To sum up, I would just roll a die given the card says at random in this case. That's how I would personally understand this. This has no mention as to how those markers have been arranged by the opposing player. The ability to place order markers in any given fashion is not mandated in any form so I believe this option is up to the player, but this may be another discussion.

Keep doing what you're doing, but do it better. ~Self

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