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Old July 1st, 2020, 03:55 PM
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Movement powers that break (and do not break) engagement

Powers that use the "[move] over water without stopping, pass over figures without becoming engaged, and fly over obstacles such as ruins" wording always break engagement at the beginning of the move. Leaving engagement attacks may apply, and engagement strike-esqe powers get another crack at the figure, even if it moves from one spot next to that figure to another. These powers include:
  • Flying
  • Stealth Flying
  • Grapple Arm
  • Stealth Leap
  • Swing Line
  • Super Leap

By contrast, many other movement powers simply state that you may place a figure on another space. Most of these powers state whether leaving engagement attacks apply. However, leaving engagement attacks can only apply if placing on the new space moves the figure out of engagement. If a one of these powers moves a figure from one space adjacent to a Nakita Agent to another space adjacent to that same Nakita Agent, engagement is not broken, and engagement strike would not trigger.

A list of powers that work this way include:
  • Chain Grab
  • Elven Summoning Spell
  • Fey Step
  • Glacier Traverse
  • Knockback 14
  • Shadow Dance
  • Spear of Summoning
  • Swamp Water Tunnel
  • Tactical Switch
  • Talon Grab
  • Teleport Reinforcements
  • Teleportation
  • Throw 14
  • Thunder Step
  • Underground Movement
  • Water Tunnel

Last edited by dok; July 4th, 2020 at 02:42 PM.
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Old July 1st, 2020, 06:14 PM
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Re: Movement powers that break (and do not break) engagement

What rulings are there that back up this interpretation?

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  #3  
Old July 1st, 2020, 08:12 PM
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Re: Movement powers that break (and do not break) engagement

I already posted this in the Varkaanan Blade Dancer thread, but I figured I'd cross post here since I wasn't sure which thread it would be more appropriate to continue this discussion in. If I'm breaking etiquette by posting the same thing twice please just let me know and I'll delete whichever one is superfluous.

Looking at Swamp Water Tunnel, it would seem like that ability actually sets a strong precedent that figures do leave engagement when they start to use their "placement" abilities.

The wording for Swamp Water Tunnel reads:
Quote:
If a Marro Drudge ends its normal movement on a swamp water space, you may immediately place it on any empty same-level swamp water space within 5 spaces. If a Marro Drudge is engaged when it starts to tunnel, it will take any leaving engagement attacks.
The bolded section is worded exactly the same as Flying and other space-to-space movement powers that cause a break in engagement at the moment of activation. I could be wrong about this, but it seems pretty clear from the way this ability is worded that Swamp Water Tunnel is also intended to cause a break in engagement at the moment of activation ("when it starts to tunnel") rather than after a destination is selected? Am I misinterpreting this, @dok , @Scytale , @quozl ? If I am, what makes Swamp Water Tunnel different than Flying and other similar powers when the wording used to describe the timing of disengagement is the same?

Presumably, Swamp Water Tunnel isn't a completely different kind of placement than other placement powers; other placement powers just typically don't have to highlight this because they're not subject to leaving engagement attacks at all. This interaction suggests to me that all placement powers result in a break in engagement at the time of activation, regardless of their destination.
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Old July 2nd, 2020, 12:43 AM
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Re: Movement powers that break (and do not break) engagement

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Originally Posted by quozl View Post
What rulings are there that back up this interpretation?
The official FAQ, mainly. It specifically speaks to flying and "Leap Like Special Powers", which are grouped together in several rulings. It specifically covers how these powers create a special condition of leaving engagement from all figures when you activate the power.

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Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
The wording for Swamp Water Tunnel reads:
Quote:
If a Marro Drudge ends its normal movement on a swamp water space, you may immediately place it on any empty same-level swamp water space within 5 spaces. If a Marro Drudge is engaged when it starts to tunnel, it will take any leaving engagement attacks.
Yes, "any", as in "any leaving engagement attacks that apply."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
The bolded section is worded exactly the same as Flying and other space-to-space movement powers that cause a break in engagement at the moment of activation. I could be wrong about this, but it seems pretty clear from the way this ability is worded that Swamp Water Tunnel is also intended to cause a break in engagement at the moment of activation ("when it starts to tunnel") rather than after a destination is selected?
This is the same as for all movement. As the FAQ lays out:
Quote:
Originally Posted by offical FAQ
When does a figure actually receive a leaving engagement attack?
The leaving engagement attack occurs as soon as you declare that the figure is moving onto a space that is no longer adjacent. Remember, adjacency is checked only on spaces, not the area in between spaces. Once you do that, your opponent can take a leaving engagement attack. The figure is considered to be still on the adjacent space when it receives or doesn't receive the leaving engagement attack.
In other words, all figures take any leaving engagement attacks before they actually make the move that would trigger the leaving engagement. For a power like SWT, it's basically telling you to roll for the LEA at the normal time just as with other movement. If the Drudge is "moving to a space that is no longer adjacent" from a given figure, it is subject to a leaving engagement attack from that figure before it moves. But if it is not "moving to a space that is no longer adjacent" from a given figure, it is not subject to a leaving engagement attack from that figure. This interpretation is perfectly consistent with the wording in the power.

Sure, this could be interpreted to mean that you disengage from everything around you, but it's also how you would say it if that doesn't apply. So, absent any ruling that you do, there's no real reason to think it means mass disengagement. I default to the normal rules of Heroscape, which say that you leave engagement if you are going to move onto a space where you are no longer engaged.

Again, the FAQ specifically lays out that the flying/leaping/swinging powers have to mass disengage to begin movement. From my perspective it would be pretty strange if this interpretation was intended to extend to chain grabs and such but the FAQ chose to specifically refer to only a small set of powers when describing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
Presumably, Swamp Water Tunnel isn't a completely different kind of placement than other placement powers; other placement powers just typically don't have to highlight this because they're not subject to leaving engagement attacks at all.
Actually, nearly all the powers mentioned include extremely similar wording. It's just that the ones that ignore LEAs say "...will not take any leaving engagement attacks." It is likely that when SWT was drafted, this wording was used just for consistency with the many other placement powers that had been made by that point in the game's history.

(Before that wording became common, the previous "place" powers that did not ignore LEAs - Glacier Traverse and Grapple Gun - did not include this wording. This is almost surely a matter of the wording getting more consistent as Heroscape aged.)

Last edited by dok; July 2nd, 2020 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Corrected my multiquotes
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Old July 3rd, 2020, 04:11 PM
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I think it's worth noting that RotV Drake's Grapple Gun is not a "place" power, as it specifically lets him "move one space." That leaves Glacier Traverse as the only "placement" power that is both subject to leaving engagement attacks and does not include the phrase "If figure is engaged when figure starts to [Tunnel, Shadow Dance, etc.], figure will take any leaving engagement attacks." In my mind this just seems like a case of poor wording in the case of the Dzu-Teh that was subsequently fixed in every other "placement" power subject to leaving engagement attacks.

You mention that the FAQ specifically notes that Flying causes a break in engagement at the moment of activation but does not make a similar clarification for "placement" powers. In my opinion I don't think this necessarily means that "placement" does not also cause a break in engagement. I think the FAQ exists to cover questions that arise relatively often based on a reading of the card. Because the vast majority of "placement" powers aren't subject to leaving engagement attacks anyway, for most placement powers the question of whether engagement is broken just by activating the power is completely irrelevant (outside of extreme edge cases with engagement strikers). For this reason I'm not surprised that the FAQ doesn't specifically highlight that "placement" powers also cause a break in engagement, just like Flying.

I was also able to find a fairly extensive discussion on this exact issue in the book of Nakita Agents. The discussion starts with this post made seven years ago: https://www.heroscapers.com/communit...&postcount=167

At the time it seemed like opinion was relatively split regarding whether or not a figure placed next to a Nakita it was previously adjacent to would trigger Engagement Strike. Ultimately it doesn't seem like a consensus was reached regarding "placement" powers and engagement strike, with @dok , @The B.I.V. , and @Lyrgard arguing that placement does not cause a break in engagement, while @Scytale , @Aldin , and @Yodaking thought that the similarity of the wording at the end of Flying and at the end of the placement powers that are subject to leaving engagment attacks was enough to suggest that both Flying and "placement" powers cause an automatic break in engagement as soon as they are declared to be used (I apologize if I misrepresented the positions of anyone I tagged; if so please let me know and I'll edit accordingly!).

All that being said, most of the time it's a fairly irrelevant distinction anyway. The primary reason it's even being brought up again now is in the context of Motley Max. I also hope I'm not being annoying by continuing this discussion! I find rules questions like this very interesting and appreciate the dialogue, but I'll be happy to play with this whatever way the C3V rules team decides to follow (and if that consensus has already been reached by C3V, I'll stop bringing up counterpoints ).

Last edited by Dysole; July 4th, 2020 at 01:45 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2020, 02:50 PM
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Re: Movement powers that break (and do not break) engagement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
I think it's worth noting that RotV Drake's Grapple Gun is not a "place" power, as it specifically lets him "move one space."
Oh, quite right. I removed it from the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
That leaves Glacier Traverse as the only "placement" power that is both subject to leaving engagement attacks and does not include the phrase "If figure is engaged when figure starts to [Tunnel, Shadow Dance, etc.], figure will take any leaving engagement attacks." In my mind this just seems like a case of poor wording in the case of the Dzu-Teh that was subsequently fixed in every other "placement" power subject to leaving engagement attacks
I believe there was an actual ruling from the rules team stating that D-Ts don't break engagement when climbing around behind something. So, either this was intended to be a unique ruling, or it also applies to other placement abilities that don't move space-by-space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
You mention that the FAQ specifically notes that Flying causes a break in engagement at the moment of activation but does not make a similar clarification for "placement" powers. In my opinion I don't think this necessarily means that "placement" does not also cause a break in engagement. I think the FAQ exists to cover questions that arise relatively often based on a reading of the card. Because the vast majority of "placement" powers aren't subject to leaving engagement attacks anyway, for most placement powers the question of whether engagement is broken just by activating the power is completely irrelevant (outside of extreme edge cases with engagement strikers). For this reason I'm not surprised that the FAQ doesn't specifically highlight that "placement" powers also cause a break in engagement, just like Flying.
That the FAQ specifically calls out several swinging/leaping powers to also have this behavior somewhat weakens the "oversight" argument. They very easily could have brought up one of the many placement powers as well, but chose not too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
I was also able to find a fairly extensive discussion on this exact issue in the book of Nakita Agents. The discussion starts with this post made seven years ago: https://www.heroscapers.com/communit...&postcount=167
...OK, that's hilarious. I did not remember this discussion, but clearly some recess of my mind did because I managed to make the same argument again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
At the time it seemed like opinion was relatively split regarding whether or not a figure placed next to a Nakita it was previously adjacent to would trigger Engagement Strike. Ultimately it doesn't seem like a consensus was reached regarding "placement" powers and engagement strike, with @dok , @The B.I.V. , and @Lyrgard arguing that placement does not cause a break in engagement, while @Scytale , @Aldin , and @Yodaking thought that the similarity of the wording at the end of Flying and at the end of the placement powers that are subject to leaving engagment attacks was enough to suggest that both Flying and "placement" powers cause an automatic break in engagement as soon as they are declared to be used (I apologize if I misrepresented the positions of anyone I tagged; if so please let me know and I'll edit accordingly!).
Given that I summarized their positions at the time in that thread, I think you mostly have it right, although people's opinions may have changed since then of course. FWIW, as I say in the thread, I think Lygard's explanation of how it works seems really solid.
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