We’ve got a survey to try and get a sense of what the community would like the judge policy to be. You can read below for context, or just follow the link to the survey.
Last time I wrote an article for Null Signal Games I announced a “small” change to the Organized Play Policies (OPP). The biggest update was meant to be formal rules for asynchronous tournaments. However, there were also updates to the missed trigger policy that were intended as a reasonable compromise between requiring both players to maintain a board state, and not overly penalizing anyone. However, we received feedback that people were unhappy with the rules as currently outlined. Concerningly, a player was able to demonstrate a pretty easy way to, by the rules of OPP, incur a game loss on their opponent for normal Netrunner play.
Given the known exploit in the system, we were not comfortable using the ruling contained in the OPP going into the World Championship, so, leading up to it, I discussed alternatives with members of Null Signal, and we came up with a ruling that we thought would work. I was hoping to publish this in advance of the tournament, but got tied up with other obligations and did not get the article shipped in time. So, on the day, we announced the following policy:
A missed trigger is when a mandatory ability that, when resolved, would change the game state meets its trigger condition, but the player controlling the ability does not demonstrate awareness. Unlike other infractions, missing a trigger is not an automatic warning. Warnings for missed triggers should only be issued if a player is missing a trigger that is detrimental to their play that they control.
- Is the trigger typically detrimental (in most cases would missing this trigger benefit the player who missed it)?
- No: Missed triggers are typically not a violation of any rule and do not carry a warning. A player is under no obligation to remind their opponent of triggers they miss due to their own card abilities. Once the game has moved past the point where the trigger would occur, the trigger is forfeit (a player may request a take-back to the point where the trigger is not forfeit, it is solely up to the judge’s discretion based on the take-back rules).
- Yes: Issue a warning to the player who missed their trigger. Then, resolve the downside at the next available opportunity. It may be worth investigating for unsporting conduct or cheating.
We chose this policy because it is used fairly broadly across other card games (both Magic: the Gathering and Flesh and Blood Organized Play policies were consulted). The other reason we landed on this policy for this event is the extreme difficulty of forcing a player to actually remind their opponent of triggers they missed. It’s detrimental to their own success, and extremely difficult to figure out if a player was intentionally not reminding, or was simply unaware because they were thinking about other things.
As expected from the first large in-person event in years, there were a lot of challenges with this rule that appeared over the course of the event. While I think, as the judge team, that we enforced these rules largely consistently, we also found many pain points with those rules. We’ve been discussing them internally, and have some ideas on revisions we would make going forward. But also we want to make sure we get a sense of the community’s perspective on this. So while this survey will not set the Organized Play Policy, it will help inform us what distinctions are worth drawing.
We are going to be looking at further revisions to the Organized Play Policy, including improving the formatting, fleshing out guidance on takebacks and slow play, creating a section for accommodations, and revisiting our tournament breakpoints. If there are any particular things you would like to see revised please let us know in the survey.
I will publish some commentary on the results after a few weeks of collection, thanks for reading this and thoughts on the future policies.