Hyperspace Trials: A few words on “fortressing” & being your best opponent
We can’t wait to see everyone at tomorrow’s Hyperspace Trial!
When it comes to big tournaments with a fair amount on the line for the players, we try to be as transparent as possible with rules and expectations—especially when it comes to nuanced rulings.
The goal of this event is, first and foremost, to create a fun and exciting play environment for every single player in the room. In fact, the Tournament Regulations for Formal Tier events like this one all but state that this should be our goal.
“The focus is a friendly competitive environment.”
So let’s talk about Fortressing
If you’ve never heard the word, then you can probably stop reading here—unless you’re interested.
For the purposes of the Hyperspace Trial on April 5, the tournament leaders have deemed the rules to specify that any act meant to intentionally stall a game for time will be treated as Unsporting Conduct.
This includes Fortressing, but may also include other actions meant to produce the same effect as Fortressing without fitting the exact definition of Fortressing (such as selecting maneuvers that prevent the movement of every ship except one—for two or more consecutive rounds.)
The full official definition and rules on Fortressing can be found at the bottom of this article, or in the X-Wing Tournament Regulations.
It is not our goal to trap someone who utilizes Fortressing and punish them. It is absolutely not our goal to punish someone for identifying an opportunity to get ahead by bumping everything for a couple of turns, and unintentionally falling into the definition of Fortressing.
Instead, it’s our goal to inform everyone ahead of time that certain time-stalling tactics can ruin a game for the person across the table (perhaps even ruin the rest of a tournament), and that FFG has taken actions to dissuade these tactics.
Hopefully in this way, we are able to intercept such actions before they’re taken.
Beyond that, each individual scenario and ruling will be handled on an individual basis.
If you have questions about your plans for the Hyperspace Trial, or if you would like additional clarification on fortressing and unsporting conduct, feel free to ask your tournament leaders before the event begins.
As defined on Page 6 of the Tournament Regulations
“Fortressing” is conduct violation relating to a game state in which one or both players are using the rules for overlapping ships to prevent the movement of their own ships. It is considered a form of stalling, as it seeks to create and exploit a stalemate.
The act of fortressing can only be determined by a marshal. At the end of any Activation Phase, a player may request that a leader check their opponent’s ships for fortressing. If the leader confirms that the criteria are met, a marshal then makes the determination whether or not player is fortressing.
The criteria in the game state for fortressing are as follows:
- Due to the maneuvers that a player has selected, all of that player’s ships have overlapped one another in such a manner that none have changed positions on the board for two or more consecutive rounds.
- That player could have selected maneuvers that did not result in the same game state. If the leader determines that these criteria are not met, they should inform the players and consider the matter resolved.
If the leader confirms that the situation fits the above criteria, they should call for a marshal to deliver a final ruling.
If the marshal determines that a player is trying to use fortressing to their advantage, they should inform the player of this fact and instruct that player to plot maneuvers that end the fortressing board state. If the player fails to do so, at the end of the next Activation Phase, all of their ships are destroyed and the game ends.
Alternately, if the marshal determines that a player has reached this state unintentionally, they should privately ensure the player is aware of maneuvers they can select to free their ships from the collision. If the player then fails to select to free their ships, at the end of the next Activation Phase, their opponent may again request the leader check for fortressing.
Players should not request a check for fortressing unless the above criteria are met, as repeatedly doing so could be considered unsporting conduct.