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Author Topic: Ranking Card: why's it important?  (Read 6161 times)
James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« on: June 07, 2006, 02:57:16 PM »

I am reading the PDF version of "With Great Power..." and did not immediately understand the importance of the "ranking card" in a conflict scene.

As I understand it: the first card played in a panel starts out as the Ranking Card, and is on the side of whoever initiated the conflict.  Players (including the GM) can respond in one of three ways:

*Escalate, by playing a higher ranked card of the same suit.  This becomes the Ranking Card of that suit, and it's on the side of whoever played it.

*Cancel, by playing a card of the same rank and suit.  This becomes the Ranking Card of that suit, and it's on the side of whoever played it.

*Switch Categories, by playing two cards of a new suit and discarding the higher one.  As I understand it you can only switch categories if you would have the Ranking Card of the new suit on your side. 

Is this the only function of the ranking card business: to prevent people from switching categories all over the place?  As I read the rules, having the ranking card has no direct influence on who wins the conflict, or anything else. 

Am I missing something?
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Brand_Robins
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 04:07:51 PM »

If its your turn to go and the ranking card isn't on your side and you can't beat the ranking card or change arenas (or can't beat the ranking card in any arena) you lose.

The purpouse of it is that when you're on the button you have to beat the ranking card, make a new area to be ranked in, or give.

So, I have just played the Ace of Clubs and a King of Hearts earlier on. You have in your hand clubs (no ace, but a king and a queen) and some hearts (a queen, jack, ten) and no other suit and aren't willing to take more suffering to get more cards. I have ranking card in both areas, and you're about to suck it down and lose the conflict because you've got nothing to play.

It's like seeing a raise in Dogs. Either you gots to get up to or past that ranking card, switch the conflict to someplace where you get the new ranking card, or fold.
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- Brand Robins
Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 11:07:03 AM »

Hi, James.

Brand's right on the money. You must have the Ranking Card on your side after you've played your Panel. If you can't do that with the cards in your hand, you don't even bother play your Panel, you must simply yield the conflict.

Does that help?
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 01:45:53 PM »

Hi Michael, yes, that's what I thought.  The ranking card does not directly determine the winner, but it does so indirectly by preventing others from changing suit, thus "trapping" them in a situation where they cannot make a move.

As I understand it, there might be as many as four ranking cards in a long conflict, however--one for each suit.  It's just that only one of these is active at a time.

Also: when you escalate, must you beat the opponent's recently played card, or the ranking card?  Let's say you've just switched to Hearts, playing 4H and 5H (since discarded)--and the ranking card is on your side, 9H.  Can I escalate by playing 6H to beat the 4H you just slapped onto the table??  Or must I use my JH to beat your ranking 9H?

I presume that when cancelling, you play a card equal to the card just played, not the ranking card of that suit (if it's not on your side). 
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Brand_Robins
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 03:37:25 PM »

To escalate you must always beat the opponent's ranking card.

When you cancel you will use exactly the card they just used (not their ranking card) -- and because they had to be playing a card higher than your ranking card (or else they couldn't be taking action against you) that card will become your new ranking card.

The one tricky about this is that, if I understand this right, you don't have to beat your own ranking card -- only your opponents. So if you have the Ace of Hearts out and your opponent switches to Clubs and you switch back to Hearts with a two and a three of Hearts - because that will still leave you with the ranking card (your Ace) in Hearts.
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 08:09:18 PM »

Yeah.  I think WGP is generally quite clear, but this isn't as clear (to me) as it needed to be.  It's unfortunate, since it's pretty much the heart of the conflict system, and the conflict system is pretty much the heart of the game. 
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2006, 08:49:40 AM »

Also: when you escalate, must you beat the opponent's recently played card, or the ranking card?  Let's say you've just switched to Hearts, playing 4H and 5H (since discarded)--and the ranking card is on your side, 9H.  Can I escalate by playing 6H to beat the 4H you just slapped onto the table??  Or must I use my JH to beat your ranking 9H?

You must beat my ranking card, the 9H in this case.

Quote
I presume that when cancelling, you play a card equal to the card just played, not the ranking card of that suit (if it's not on your side). 

No. You must cancel their Ranking Card.
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Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
Brand_Robins
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2006, 09:16:43 AM »

No. You must cancel their Ranking Card.

Damn, I'd been doing that part wrong. I hate to say it, but you might want to do a FAQ point on that one -- as in the book it does say "just played" and not "ranking card."

Oh well, not like it's a huge thing.
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