supporting a fleet into Spain

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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby WHSeward » 02 Jan 2018, 21:00

The other place it matters is unwanted moves, say for example, Italy is willing to support England to Spa nc, but is unwilling to support to sc. Does Italy have the ability to specify how its support is given or not?

@Jay, I have to disagree with you that the PlayDip implementation is even "technically going against the original rules of the game." No version of the rules have ever been specific on this point. This is a known ambiguity that lots of FtF tournament rules specify how they will handle, precisely because it needs clarification.

In FtF, there is an ethos (an ethos that is framed by the rules themselves) to allow minor misorders when writing orders to still work. In the context of hurriedly written orders, that makes a lot of sense. In an online interface where players are walked step-by-step through entering orders, the same kinds errors and ambiguity can be avoided.
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby super_dipsy » 02 Jan 2018, 21:32

jay65536 wrote:On this site, the engine has been programmed not to allow this, and to invalidate support orders that don't match the coast, technically going against the original rules of the game (albeit in a small way).

Note page 7 of the Wizards/Avalon Hill rules:
Snip20180102_3.png
Snip20180102_3.png (12.57 KiB) Viewed 1849 times

So we are clearly not going against the rules of the game according to p7. of course, you can legitimately point to
Snip20180102_4.png
Snip20180102_4.png (9.97 KiB) Viewed 1849 times

which would suggest that we are going against p3 of the rules.

all we learn from this is that this is just one of the many places that the Rules as written are contradictory / silent / ambiguous etc.. :D
If anyone wants to see some of these examples, they are listed here http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=646&t=41661 which is where we list our interpretations where there is confusion. I note that this one isNOT there, I should probably add it!

jay65536 wrote:Under the real rules, this is not possible; I'd have to order support for Con-Bul and hope Turkey doesn't go to the "wrong" coast.

And again, this is probably one of the reasons WHY they put p7 in place. Because without demanding an exact match, you are opening up issues like this ;)
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby asudevil » 02 Jan 2018, 22:35

Yeah, the poorly written order that only has one meaning should be accepted...is something that we can't allow here either. F MAR-SPA even without a coastal clarification SHOULD only mean one thing...but we can't just allow all kinds of "misorders". It's too hard for an online judge.
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby Custer » 03 Jan 2018, 00:54

Ahhhhhhh........common sense people.

Then again, common sense isn't common.

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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby Malarky » 03 Jan 2018, 01:11

jay65536 wrote:You are not missing anything. According to the official rules, you only need to specify a coast when moving, not when supporting. F Mar S MAO-Spa is a valid order by the official rules, and it remains valid regardless of whether the move MAO-Spa contains a coast in the order or which coast it is.

Can someone show in the rules where it says you don't need to specify a coast when supporting movement? I may have missed it.

The rules do say, in the summary at the end of the Wizards rules, that:
8. A unit not ordered to move can be supported by a support order that only mentions its province (emphasis mine). So, F Spa(nc) H, F Mar S Spa H would be legal. This type of order is not possible on Playdip, I believe, which makes sense to avoid confusion.
9. A unit ordered to move can only be supported by a support order that matches the move it is trying to make. So F MAO-Spa(sc), F Mar S MAO-Spa shouldn't be acceptable, as the support order doesn't match the move order exactly... but, as acknowledged, this isn't always the case with a human GM.

Just to be clear (in case anyone reads it this way) F MAO-Spa, F Mar S MAO-Spa would never be legal, as a reading of the above may seem to suggest:
jay65536 wrote:F Mar S MAO-Spa is a valid order by the official rules, and it remains valid regardless of whether the move MAO-Spa contains a coast in the order or which coast it is.
This is because the move F MAO-Spa is never legal, as a fleet in MAO could move to either coast; ambiguity is always illegal. Similarly, F MAO-Spa, F Mar S MAO-Spa(sc) or -Spa(nc) wouldn't be legal because the move order is illegal.

jay65536 wrote:Another example:
Under the PlayDip rules, if I'm Russia and I'm trying to work with Turkey, and he has a fleet in Con, I can say "I'm ordering support for Con-Bul/sc. If you try to go to the east coast, the move will fail."
Under the real rules, this is not possible; I'd have to order support for Con-Bul and hope Turkey doesn't go to the "wrong" coast.

This, however, is clearly wrong. If the support order was written as, say, F BLA S Con-Bul, if Turkey's order was F Con-Bul(sc) or -Bul(ec), if the coast definer in the support isn't needed, then yes, the order would be legal.

However, if Russia ordered F BLA S Con-Bul(sc) and Turkey ordered F Con-Bul(ec), the support order would not be allowed. This is because the support order does not match the movement order (regardless of any rules about a missing coast in support orders).

Which pretty much shows that needing to specify the coast in a support order should be the standard anyway, I suggest.
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby jay65536 » 03 Jan 2018, 21:40

I was trying to avoid full-on rules nerdery here, but it seems I failed, while trying to explain this:

Nibbler wrote:Can someone show in the rules where it says you don't need to specify a coast when supporting movement? I may have missed it.


The following quote is from the 2000 rulebook, although it or something almost exactly like it appears in every edition:

If a fleet is ordered to [Bul/Spa/StP], and it is possible for the fleet to move to either coast, the order must specify which coast, or the fleet does not move. [Emphasis mine]


I bolded the key phrase. This is the key phrase because...why is it there? What would this rule look like without its inclusion? Without including this phrase, the rule would state that any fleet moving to a dual-coast province must specify the coast or it does not move. So the inclusion of this phrase clearly indicates that when a fleet is ordered to a dual-coast province, and the fleet can move to only one coast, the coast need not be specified. That means moves like Bla-Bul, Mar-Spa, or Bar-StP are legal moves.

This also clearly implies that moves like Wes S Mar-Spa are legal and valid as well. So that is a very clear example of one time when you don't have to specify a coast when supporting movement.

But of course this is not the issue. The issue is that the rules clearly state that MAO-Spa must specify a coast or the move is invalid. Does that mean the supporting units also have to specify a coast or that support is invalid?

While I admit that this is not as cut and dry as I remembered it being, I am still pretty sure the best answer from reading the rules is no, and here's why. Every pre-2000 edition of the rules contains almost exactly the following quote (I pulled this from 1992):

A unit may give up its movement in order to support a unit trying to hold or enter a space. This space must be one to which the supporting unit could have moved if not opposed by other units;
that is, the space which is the destination of the action being supported must be adjacent to the space in which the supporting unit is located... . To order a support...write the location of the supporting piece...and both the location and destination of the piece receiving support. [Italics in original, bold mine]


So by this rule, if we're trying to consider whether F MAO-Spa/nc is allowed to be supported by F Mar, we have to ask whether the "space which is the destination" is Spain, or if it is specifically the north coast of Spain. If it is specifically the north coast, then the support should not be allowed, since Marseilles cannot move there. However, we do know--and I don't think anyone here disputes--that such a support is legal. (It is explicitly said earlier in rules that it is.) To me this is a clear indication that the "destination" is Spain. Hence, by the above quoted rule that only requires the "destination" to be written, F Mar S MAO-Spa should be considered a valid order. (That of course does NOT imply that MAO-Spa is ever a valid order, as you said earlier.)

The language that the support order must "match" the move order is actually not present in any rulebook other than 2000; earlier versions all use the location/destination language. In reading the 2000 rules I noticed a lot of probably unintended changes in exactly this area--I think this is why this topic raised/raises such a big debate. I learned the game with the 1992 rules, and until reading this thread it was always clear in my mind that the rules do not require the coast to be specified in a support order.

EDIT: An extremely close reading of the 2000 rules does imply that in that version, support orders given to moves requiring a coast must also specify a coast.
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby WHSeward » 03 Jan 2018, 23:43

Some of us dig rules nerdy threads. (Rules lawyering, not so much.) But Jay, what you have written above doesn't show what you say it shows.

Your effort to equate "space" as "destination" in the pre-2000 rules is not correct. While "is" can signify identity, it isn't operating that way in the sentence you quote. "Is" is predicating of the space in question as the one that the piece is going to. What you are doing is akin to reading "I am going to my brother's house, and the city that is my destination is New York" as meaning the entire city of New York is identical to my brother's house. That might be what I meant, but it doesn't have to be because my destination may be more specific than a city; it is a house.

What is more, you are (as others have above) conflating what is a legal to do with what is necessary for an order and trying to draw inferences that aren't there.
The sentence that reads "...the space that is the destination..." is telling us about the restriction on where a support order can be made; support is made to spaces.
The sentence that reads "To order a support, it is necessary to write... both the location and destination of the piece receiving support" is telling us how to write orders; you must write the moving piece's destination.
Crucially, the second sentence does NOT read the "destination space" which would have supported your interpretation. Perhaps it does not because sometimes to know a piece's destination, you have to know more than just its space...?

I agree with your edit, a literal reading of the "must match" language in 2000 does mean coasts must be specified in supports. It is only the "can support another Army or Fleet into that province (in this case Spain) without regard to separate coastlines" that muddies the water, but strictly the later is about what is legal to do, while only the former is about how to order it.
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby jay65536 » 04 Jan 2018, 00:37

WHSeward wrote:I agree with your edit, a literal reading of the "must match" language in 2000 does mean coasts must be specified in supports. It is only the "can support another Army or Fleet into that province (in this case Spain) without regard to separate coastlines" that muddies the water, but strictly the later is about what is legal to do, while only the former is about how to order it.


This is a digression from the thread, but in fact that sentence in the 2000 rules about "without regard to separate coastlines" actually has no impact on the mechanics of the rules, as it is implied by earlier rules. In fact, the effect of that sentence in my reading of the rules is that it calls into question whether (for example) Mar S Gas-Spa/nc is a legal order, since it singles out areas that could have moved to either coast as being special in that they can order supports without regard to separate coastlines. That is specifically why my edit said "an extremely close reading": because a non-close reading would have suggested that the legality of Mar S Gas-Spa/nc is ambiguous under the 2000 rules, but in fact it is not; it's still legal.

I agree with your overall point that the pre-2000 rules aren't airtight about supporting my interpretation. That's why I said that it was not as cut and dry as I remember it being, and also that I thought my interpretation was the "best" one--meaning not the only reasonable one.
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby WHSeward » 04 Jan 2018, 01:03

I hear you about that sentence having "no impact", but if someone wants to argue about what is required in an order, they will (as the OP did) go straight to that sentence. And while it would be nice to hand waive it away, when people want to argue about rules, it is hard to convince them with "those words in the rules that you think support your point, no, they don't mean anything at all, they are just redundant." Even my assertion that the sentence is about what is a legal order, not how to write an order is not air tight. After all, it is a one sentence paragraph in a section entitled "How to Support." What exactly is intended takes some... divining.

I'd reiterate my first post in this thread: this is a point of ambiguity in the rules and it is one of the more controversial ones. Different human and automated judges handle this case differently. I think the PlayDip approach is a good one as it is certainly the simplest interpretation of the rules to understand and implement online.
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Re: supporting a fleet into Spain

Postby Custer » 04 Jan 2018, 01:20

You guys are killing me......will The real Perry Mason please stand up, please stand up!

LoL

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