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When is it legal to measure ZOC?

Discussion in 'Rules' started by inane.imp, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Slightly odd debate that I wasn't expecting. But there seems to be some honest disagreement on this.

    FAQ 1.1.1 makes it explicit that you can measure ZOC of the active trooper at Step 2.1 and 4.1 of an Order.

    So, during the last order of a Nomad player's turn they Move + Move my Moran, they measure ZOC in all directions and their opponent has the opportunity to see them do so.

    During their opponents, a Yu Jing player, activates a Su Jian and declares Cautious Move. The Su Jian starts outside of the Moran's ZOC. During step 1.2 of the OES, while executing the Cautious Move, can the YJ player re-measure the Moran's ZOC to ensure that the Su-Jian finishes its Cautious Move outside of the Moran's ZOC and therefore successfully execute Cautious Move?

    A. No. You are only permitted to measure ZOC when specifically permitted by the OES (ie at Step 2.1 and Step 4.1).

    B. Yes. Once the ZOC has been measured it becomes 'knowable' and therefore is Open Information; you can re-check Open Information at any time.
     
    #1 inane.imp, Nov 23, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  2. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    B, for the reasons articulated by @RobertShepherd here: https://forum.corvusbelli.com/threads/mines-zoc-aro-gotchas.40613/#post-421917

    That said, I think there may be a legitimate question if the Su-Jian player is trying to be ultra-precise - like, I measure 8" out from the Moran, then place my Su-Jian 8.1" away from it to maximize my movement distance. That might constitute re-measuring the ZoC at a time it's not allowed, as opposed to us both reminding ourselves about open information that was measured in the past.

    The Su-Jian player can avoid the issue by re-checking the Moran's ZoC and then moving the Su-Jian to like an inch or so outside it, a play that could clearly have been made based on a reminder of a measurement rather than a current precise measurement.

    Personally I would allow the 8.1" placement by an opponent, but wouldn't try to do it myself.
     
  3. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Either it's legal to re-measure ZOC so you can do precise 8.01" movement and everyone should be doing it; or your can't, and no-one should (and players need to perform their movement based on the imperfect memory of previous measurements).

    //

    I think it's A because we weren't allowed to re-measure ZOC before FAQ 1.1.1 and the only thing that changed in FAQ 1.1.1 was when you're allowed to measure ZOC (it shifted from Step 6 to Steps 2.1 and 4.1).

    Fundamentally, I'm not aware of anything in the rules that stops you measuring any distance whenever you want unless we read the OES as specifically ONLY allowing measurement under certain timing constraints. Throughout the rules you're told when and how (usually quite explicitly) to perform measurements.

    I honestly disagree with @RobertShepherd understanding of Private and Open Information: nothing in the rules of Open and Private Information says that you can re-check measurements of 'known' distances outside of times permitted in the OES. Rather the rules of Open and Private information says that it is knowable, not that it can be reconfirmed with precision at the will of either player.

     
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  4. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Strictly by the rules, answer is no.

    Just like if my Lunah is shooting at a distant Nadhir, you can't re-measure the range on your turn if you forgot and you certainly can't stick the measuring tape the distance to check a different midway distance for an unrelated measurement (which is exactly what the Su-Jian is doing here).

    The rules make it very clear that you're not allowed to do any of this by stating nothing may be measured except where detailed otherwise. Game is meant to be about incomplete information and not pre-measure, whether we agree this is good or not is a different conversation. If we forget we can negotiate with our opponent, of course, but I honestly think they're entitled to say "no" without having to feel like a dick for doing so.
     
  5. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    My view on it is this: if we don't allow reminders of known information, then the game becomes (a) unwieldy and annoying, and (b) a test of memory instead of tactics.

    To take a very common example, A shoots at B, then we quickly measure the range and resolve the shot. A couple of orders later, one of the players can't recall the range, so we re-measure it since it's already a known distance. Everyone does that, and it's necessary to make the game work. Otherwise, in every shot, players would have to carefully measure the range and commit it to memory, in case they needed to recall it later. The best practice would be to write it down. The game would be painfully slow.

    I agree that the Open and Private Information rule doesn't apply - that rule is about information on a player's Army List. Rather, it's simply that once something is known, we should cooperate to keep it known so that we don't have to each wait while the other memorizes and recalls it.

    ZoC checks should be the same, with the proviso that arguably we're not entitled to remember the exactly precise boundary of the ZoC, hence my concern that allowing an 8.1" placement might be going too far. Arguably, we should only allow reminders of what players could legitimately have remembered.
     
  6. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Agree 100%. Equally agree that in a situation where we didn't measure range I often permit my opponent - or request myself - to measure it at a later point (but not too much later).

    But this is agreeing to break the rules because it's a fun cooperative game. I'm completely OK with this; but it's not the rules.

    And - my POV - is that remembering that the range between two points on the table was just under 24" is fundamentally easier than remembering exactly where on the table ZOC reached to. The first is something that is relatively easy to do; the second is only a little bit easier than just estimating the ZOC.

    We gain nothing except a memory test from the first; we gain meaningful ambiguity from the second.

    For better or worse, CB wants that sort of ambiguity in their game.

    //

    The other POV is the ZOC is more like templates than the range between two points. As an example, imagine that a Vostok has been hit by an Impact Template Weapon ARO and is now Unc. An EVAder Eng moves into S2S and back away again; the EVAder then successfully engineers the Vostok. Would you allow the Nomad player to check whether the EVAder is outside Impact Template coverage before they decided whether or not to activate the Vostok again?

    The Impact Template coverage vis-a-vis the Vostok is known. But estimating whether you think you managed to move the EVAder outside of the Impact Template or not - and making a decision based on the risk you got it wrong - is absolutely part of the game.

    To me this example has far more in common with measuring ZOC than with measuring the distance between two points.
     
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  7. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Where does it actually say this? I honestly can't remember it being so unambiguous.

    My memory is that we don't have a blanket prohibition on measuring unless permitted; rather we just have a set of explicit instructions on when to measure.

    Edit:
    This is the best I can find - and the argument is 'you've already been permitted to measure this distance once, so you are permitted to know it, therefore you can re-confirm it at any future time as this is not pre-measuring'.
     
  8. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    That's basically it. That and together with permissive ruleset means you're only really allowed to measure stuff when and if the rules tell you to.

    Keeping in mind that making points of known measurements is how Warmahordes 2e got boiled down to how people who can handle trigonometry (and geometric transposition) played with pre-measuring while people who couldn't played without pre-measuring. I do think that with prior knowledge it isn't hyperbole to say that when you start allowing re-checking you might as well do full pre-measuring as by that point you've significantly altered the reason to have a no-pre-measure rule set.
     
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  9. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    This is a good point. I think it's actually pretty similar to the scenario I was suggesting where a player wants to place a unit 8.1" from a unit that recently activated.

    The Vostok gets hit with the template, we place the template and see exactly where the boundary is. Then we remove the template. The very next order, I move my Evader and now want to know whether it's still inside the area where the template was. Since the template was on the table so recently, I can remember the boundary pretty well, but if the difference is very small then I won't know for sure. So I think it's comparable to my suggestion that the Su Jian gets to avoid the Moran's ZoC, but maybe not if he wants to avoid it by such a small margin that he would have to place it based on an exact measurement rather than from memory.

    The template example is also complicated by some other considerations:
    - We can't actually place the template on the table since the Vostok is in the way. We're probably going to hold the template above the Vostok and look down. But, since I know I might be moving my Evader next turn, I'm entitled to insist on seeing the exact placement of the template at the time that we place it - which will be physically hard to arrange. So if I'm not allowed to re-check the template after moving the Evader, it's hard to see a way for me to exercise my right to have seen, one order previously, exactly where my Evader would be safe.
    - The diameter of the template is known to be 4.7", and the Vostok's base diameter is also known. When I measure the distance the Evader can travel, the only way for me to do it is measure the exact distance to reach the Vostok, subtract that from the Evader's MOV, and then move the remaining distance away. Consequently, if I move directly away from the Vostok then I can calculate with certainty whether I'll still be inside the template. But not if I move away at an angle.

    So it's actually a non-trivial question of how best to cooperate on this one. If the opponent insists that the template can't be re-checked after the Evader moves (and I take your point that he probably can insist), then the Nomad player can either insist that we place the template with complete precision during the first order, or that he measure the Evader's movement with complete precision, both of which are time-consuming. Re-checking the template actually seems like it might be the better option here, although it should be discussed when the template is first placed, rather than waiting until the Evader's order.
     
  10. solkan

    solkan Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that you don't have the right to know this. Because you're asking to measure something which no longer exists.

    It's the same issue as private information. If you have a trooper that re-enters camouflage, there's a very obvious fact in the game which you're no longer allowed to ask the player what the answer is. Yes, everyone paying attention will know what the answer to the question is, but being able to figure out the answer to a question about private information doesn't make that information public.

    I think, practically speaking, the practical statute of limitations for measurements has to basically be the current order.
     
  11. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    Right, we agree on that - but see the rest of my post for the consequences. To recap: I don't have the right to know at order 2 where the template was at order 1. But I did have the right to know it, with exact precision, at order 1, so that I could remember. If we're strict about order 2, we just force me to be extra tedious at order 1.
     
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  12. toadchild

    toadchild Premeasure

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    I think you're broadly correct, as far as designer intent goes. Infinity 1-3 were always seen as no-premeasuring rulesets, based on the game being very specific about when you were allowed to measure things, and the inclusion of consequences for times that you failed to correctly estimate distances.

    The errata to ZoC checking significantly changes the game by adding a free opportunity to measure some relevant ranges during order specification. At this point it becomes an etiquette question as to whether or not we allow players to re-check ZoC of models that haven't moved. Remember, in almost all cases, except possibly if Guts movement is involved, we should know the extent of the ZoC of every model that has been activated at least once, including if other models are within it.

    I would probably practice something similar to what @QueensGambit proposes - I would be happy to remind my opponent of the approximate bounds of the ZoC, including a quick/rough measurement if neither of us is confident, but I would probably get slightly frustrated with an opponent who spent too much time trying to do incredibly precise ZoC measurements.

    That all being said, I like the addition of some amount of premeasuring into Infinity, and would honestly be very happy to accept more. I'm less concerned about people having access to information than I am about slow play, and in my experience, more information doesn't tend to encourage slower play. In most games with premeasuring, it's not necessary to plot out exact measurements for most activations on most turns, and Infinity already has a portion of your planning that involves bending down and spot-checking LoF to various points; doing a quick 8" range band bracket measurement to verify that an attacker can leverage a position wouldn't actually make that any slower.
     
  13. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    In my experience, for the kinds of players who make decisions inefficiently, it really does. Allowing them to premeasure is just going to increase the time they take to make a decision exponentially.
     
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  14. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    So I have no issues with re-checking whether a trooper is inside or out of ZOC if we've both forgotten, or just happened not to check near that specific trooper for some reason. If I remember and my opponent doesn't, I'd save us the hassle and just tell them.

    The same goes for 'What range band were we in on that last FTF? 16" or 20"?'

    It's the seeking precision where none really exist where I draw the line. Mostly because I play with that ambiguity all the time and consequently - and I think reasonably - expect my opponents to do the same (I've literally spent an order to Cybermask Jazz because the position I needed to fire a Pitcher from was *awfully* close to the edge of an enemy Repeater's ZOC - I declared my Move, ended up outside and fired the Pitcher).

    But equally, "hey I wasn't really paying attention when we checked ZOC for that Moran at the end of your turn - do you mind if we do a very quick ZOC check so I have a rough idea where it was?" isn't unreasonable (my response would probably be "ZOC extended to here *points very precisely at the table on a direct line between the Moran and the Su Jian*", or - if I hadn't paid attention to it - 'you were outside by a couple of inches, sorry, I didn't really pay attention to it any more than that either').

    I also see a lot of:
    "I Move to here"
    "No AROS"
    "I'm going to throw Smoke", *puts the Smoke blast focus onto the table to begin working out where they want it*.... "oh wait, we didn't measure ZOC" *measures 8" and moves the Smoke token to be inside it*
    *sigh* "Go ahead. But that's not actually how that works."
    "Oh really, that's how everyone does it."
    "Well, they're wrong. You're only allowed to measure ZOC before your opponent finishes declaring all their AROs. I don't mind overly much because practically in this situation it won't make much difference; but yeah going 'I throw Smoke', and then measuring ZOC to ensure you get your +3 band isn't how it's meant to work."

    Inevitably, this isn't even happening in a situation where they need a 7.9" throw, but usually in situations where a solid 6" throw would be more than good enough.

    I do agree with the state of pre-measuring in Infinity likely meaning that N5 will become full-premeasure. This will probably not change much, and in some ways will be a good thing: but importantly it isn't yet how the rules operate.
     
  15. Diphoration

    Diphoration Well-Known Member
    Warcor

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    When CB introduced the ZoC measuring, they killed the "skill" required to throw your smoke inside of 8" without any mistake. People just need to get over it and accept that you're always getting your +3 rangeband.

    The fact that they measure it 5 seconds or 0 seconds before they get to declare it changes litterally nothing.

    I personally think the measuring of the ZoC is a terrible design decision and that it accomplishes absolutely nothing other than letting you masure sure you are throwing in your 8" rangeband, but that's just how it is now.

    The rule changes timeline of N4 is hilarious to me.

    Post 1.1.1:
    You can declare any skill at any time.
    You measure ZoC to make sure you have an ARO before declaring one. (But this is completely irrelevant, because you can declare any skill at any time)
    Check at resolution if skills are valid.

    It introduced so much extra work (measuring every order) and silly interactions (like being able to measure your smoke before you throw them) and the only thing this actually changed is preventing people from exiting hidden deployment (which was so inconsequential). They honestly should've just let you reveal your hidden deployment stuff for free in state phase and be done with it. Give that marginal edge to HD trooper and not alter literally every single order you take so a niche play won't happen.
     
  16. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    I think I come down at around the same place. The smoke example kind of distills it to its essence. I don't place my 8" ruler on the table and place the smoke at the end of it; I place the ruler, pick it up again, then place the smoke at around 7.5" or so to reflect that I technically can't have the ruler on the table when I place the smoke, and don't want to risk overshooting.

    That said, it could at least be argued that the rules don't prevent you from using your finger to mark a spot on the table. Measure ZoC, place finger at 7.9", remove ruler, wait for ARO declarations, declare smoke, place smoke at finger.

    So I don't think it would bother me if my opponent did it with precision, but I don't do it with precision myself.
     
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  17. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I don't mind the Smoke interaction with the finger on the table or any equivalent action. Because really, your opponent can only do that for the next short skill and meh, reliably remembering a single point on the table from one short skill to the next is so trivial as to not be an issue. With ZOC measurement you should absolutely nail your Smoke 100% of the time on your active, as @Diphoration says. Whether you still nail it 10 orders later on your reactive is a marginally more questionable.

    It's why I don't actually care about people who measure ZOC after putting their smoke blast focus onto the table in their active - it's practically irrelevant. What I DO care about is that they clearly don't understand the rules because they don't realise that they're doing it technically wrong.

    So tl;dr "re-measuring ZOC is not allowed by the rules, but under certain circumstance may be allowed as a matter of etiquette but certainly shouldn't be expected" - that's basically where we ended up, right?
     
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  18. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    I would say "re-checking ZOC is not explicitly allowed by the rules, but may sometimes be preferable as a matter of etiquette and efficient play."

    We haven't really pinned down exactly when it should or shouldn't be allowed by etiquette, and to what extent (e.g. precise measurement vs. general area). But I think it would be premature to try to nail those issues in this thread. It'll be case-specific.

    In practice, I think it's a matter of cooperation, i.e. if you want to re-check, state what you're doing - "we didn't do the ZoC check last order, let's correct that" - so that the opponent understands your reasoning. And if you don't think it should be done, state why - "I think that on this order we're only allowed a general memory of where the ZoC was, not a precise measurement."

    It should be possible to work out specific cases at the table, on the guiding principles of "avoid having to strictly carry out every measurement on every short skill, and also avoid gaining unauthorized information."
     
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  19. toadchild

    toadchild Premeasure

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    I have no doubt such people exist, but I’ve fortunately never had to deal with this situation myself.
     
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