This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  SashkaRSulw 3 weeks, 4 days ago.

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    Y’all finally got me to register for the website with your latest episode.

    A little background on me. I played Magic: The Gathering (MTG) for approximately 15 years. I participated in everything from home games to local store tournaments to regional Pro Tour Qualifier (PTQ) events. I’ve been playing tabletop miniatures (Warmachine/Hordes) for almost 9 years; going to local tournaments, as well as national conventions. I have seen a lot of adjudication in this time, and have a reasonable expectation for what would be appropriate in Keyforge if someone were to fail to announce “Check!” during “Step 5: Draw Cards” of their turn.

    As a personal note, the guy who believes it is a “suggestion,” I want to say his name is Nick, sounds like a complete jerk and a nightmare to have to play a game with. My feelings/opinion are based solely on the way he talks about playing games, which continually sound like he is attempting to pull a fast one on his opponent, such as this issue, where he believes it is his opponent’s job to identify that he has enough Aember to forge a key. Like, calling check, even IF IT WERE a courtesy (it is not, but more on that in a bit), sounds like something Nick would never do just to get an edge on his opponent and hope they missed the fact that he has enough Aember to forge a key.

    That being said, let’s dissect this whole announcing “Check!” in the rules, what the rule book says, and what possible penalties would be enforced for failure to follow the rules. On page 5, as stated by Steve on your cast, the 3rd BULLET POINT (so important, it literally has it’s own bullet point) reads, and I’m going to quote it here for Nick, “When a player’s turn ends, if that player has enough Aember in their pool to afford a key, the player announces “Check!” so that their opponent knowns the forging of a key at the start of that player’s next turn is imminent.”

    There is no “may,” or “can,” or “should,” or “might,” or “courtesy” in any of that text. It isn’t part of the “Quick Start Guide” or a “suggestions for the game” section. This is in the Official Rule Book both online and on the Keyforge App. The wording states, in clear language, if you have enough Aember to forge, you say “Check!” (with an F’ing exclamation point). Nowhere in any of the wording does it even imply that saying “Check!” is optional or a courtesy. Here are some reasons why saying “Check!” is a requirement, not an option:

    1. There is no single required Aember tracking method Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) requires for Keyforge. As such, I can use an app on my phone to track my Aember. I can use a set of multi-colored-glass crystals of varying sizes to track my Aember. I can use home made paper cut-outs to track my Aember. Any number of these methods may be difficult for your opponent to know the exact number of Aember you have.

    2. Keyforge is an open information game. Aside from sealed-deck tournaments, you will always know, and always have access to your opponents deck list, discard pile, etc. It is not a “gotcha” game where the goal is to fool your opponent and win via external treachery.

    3. You aren’t an a-hole. As a good steward of the game and an honorable player, you should be winning the game by your skill at building combos and outracing your opponent to forging 3 keys. Stacking a bunch of Aember in a pile and hiding a token or two behind the others, and then not saying anything, should not be your key to victory. Saying “Check!” is not a courtesy, but it does courteously inform your opponent that you’ve met the requirements to forge a key.

    4. Key forging Aember requirements are variable in any given game. It isn’t always 6 Aember necessary to forge. A Titan Mechanic that you play on a flank and then pass turn while having 5 Aember on the board, means your opponent may not have seen Titan Mechanic before and/or know what it does. They may not be aware that you have the capability of forging a key. Likewise a Jammer Pack suddenly means your opponent’s keys cost (at least) 8 Aember to forge. Lash of Broken Dreams, Iron Obelisk, Pocket Universe, Grabber Jammer, Safe Place, The Sting, and Murmook all adjust the total Aember required to forge a key, or in the case of The Sting, prevent you from having to forge a key with your Aember. Expecting your opponent to always know when you’ve reached whatever variable number is required for forging a key, or assuming they saw you discard The Sting and that your Aember is now available for forging just shouldn’t be the norm we are going for. The goal is a clean game, and calling “Check!” when you’ve reached whatever quantity of Aember is required for forging a key ensures open, accurate information for both (all) players at the table.

    The second discussion you all had was about what the penalty would/should be for not declaring “Check!” when you have enough Aember to forge a key. There is a very simple answer, and this applies typically in high-level play (Vault Access/Regional/National/International/Store Championship) tournaments. At your local Chainbound store event, you can probably get together with your locals and discuss your own internal repercussions for cheating/perceived cheating.

    At a high-level tournament/event for a player’s first offense, a judge is called, a warning is given, and (hopefully) the judge places some type of marker on the table to indicate that they were called to the table. The second offense by a player is a disqualification from the tournament. That’s it. Very clear cut. After a player has been warned by a judge to adhere to the rules of the game in a high-level event, it is up to that player to make sure they follow the rules. The judge can’t just wag a finger and tell players they just “need to remember these rules,” and walk away over and over. Neither can a judge give multiple warnings (there are only 3 keys to be forged, if the player was warned twice, the final one is the end of the game win). I always want to assume my opponent has the intention of playing a clean, fair, and above-board game. But after a certain point in high-level competition, you need to leave the ruling with a judge. Otherwise you walk away from the game with a bad taste in your mouth and questioning whether your opponent was attempting to pull a fast-one on you.

    The caveat to this is you can make your own assumptions at the table based on your opponents expressed/indicated experience level. If your opponent is reading through cards and fumbling through rules, maybe you help them by letting them know they missed calling “Check!” at the end of their turn. Maybe beforehand, you and your opponent agree that you’re *so* good at the game that saying “Check!” isn’t necessary, and you both agree to forego saying it at all. There is always an exception to the rule, but the golden rule is, if you cannot determine your opponent’s intention, leave it to a judge to make the call. Judges are at the event to make those calls and oversee these types of rulings and determine what penalty is applied in a case-by-case basis. You don’t (and shouldn’t) be saying anything to your opponent such as “You didn’t say Check! I’m calling a judge to get you disqualified!” You should merely be stating “I’m not sure about this rule. Let’s call over a judge so we can both be clear about future expectations and how this rule works.” This way you aren’t lording your “knowledge” of the game over another person and making them feel like you are rules-lawyering them to death, but that you simply are not sure about the ruling either (whether you are or are not), and both of you should have a judge come over to insure the game is being played properly.

    Second caveat is that you don’t just call a judge because your opponent didn’t say “Check!” right away. The first thing you should always do is ask your opponent if they have enough Aember to forge a key. If they affirm they do have enough Aember, you can let them know that they’re “REQUIRED” (by the rules as written (RAW)… Nick) to announce “Check!” when they have enough Aember to forge a key. You can even point them to pg. 5 of the rule book, where it is clearly laid out, with a bullet point… Nick, that in no uncertain terms, should you skip saying “Check!” when you have enough Aember to forge a key. After that point, if your opponent continues to forget (specifically to the detriment of your game where you end up missing the fact that they could forge a key and that information would have altered your actions on a turn), then a judge should be called to handle the issue and inform players of the rules or dispense whatever penalty is deemed applicable at the time.

    Just remember these are high-level events where any player there *should* have the experience playing Keyforge to be competent at the game, and understand all of the rules. I would find it unlikely (an exception rather than the rule) to be playing a complete newbie to Keyforge at a FFG regional event. For emphasis, I will restate this point – you and your opponent should be having a discussion prior to the start of your game to lay out expectations for the level of cleanliness, openness, and communication expected during your game. Only when either player deviates from that expecation is a judge necessary to determine the outcome of your disagreement.

    Thanks for the podcast all. Nick, stop being a jerk. Cheers



    #3 is great.

    Good write up.



    Heh, thanks. You as well. I also wish they would have a section of their forums devoted to their podcast episodes. Such controversy!



    Wow. Got me to register, too.

    For what it’s worth, my husband has played MtG for a very long time. I brought this issue up to him, and he didn’t understand the confusion. He said almost exactly the same thing as Steven.

    Him: So, is it in the rulebook?
    Me: Uh…I guess, yeah, it’s officially a rule.
    Him: Then it’s a rule, and if you don’t do it, you lose the match. There could be a warning or something for the first time, but it’s a forfeit if you break a rule. And if it’s a tournament, you might be in violation of the tournament policy for cheating.
    Me: That seems harsh.
    Him: What if your opponent draws eight cards? Are you just going to let that slide, too? Are the other rules just suggestions for most fun play so that you can follow them or not at your whim?
    Me: …

    On another note, MtG players have screwed me over on super specific rule tedium, and now I have to be the a-hole double checking everything. (Are you actually declaring that as a blocker, or are you pushing that creature toward my attacking creature for the fun of it?)



    Agree 100%, it’s definitely not a suggestion, but I’m not surprised that Nick jumped to that conclusion and then pointed out a few negative ways that it could give you an advantage, as his role on the podcast seems to be generally negative. To each their own, but I’d rather be overly clear about the info I’m required to allow my opponent to know and approach the game in a positive manner, i.e. your rule 3 above.




    Thank you TrekI am still all very new at all thisJust doing my best at ministering to others as Peter says we are too, I thank you so much for the correctionGod Bless

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