Battle for Baghdad Rules Questions

Designer Responses to Battle for Baghdad Rules Questions

Responses by MCS Group

Questions by Harvey Mossman and Mark D.

Q: What are the Political Point Values of the Zones used for? They are mentioned in the rules in passing but nowhere in the rules or Example of Play are we told what their use is.

A: This is the number of points you place in a zone when an Arab Street card calls for it.

Q: Can a player play his Collateral Damage card to affect a battle he is not involved in? The card wording just says play “after a battle” but does not specify that you must be a participant in the battle to play it.

A: No.

Q: If I play the “Oil Ministry” card, which requires each player to pay me 2 Political Points, can I immediately play an InfoWar card that doubles income from any “source” to increase my income to 4 Political Points per player?

A: Yes, but the extra PP are drawn from the bank. You get double the points, but your opponents would not pay double the price.

Q: Another question involving InfoWar cards that double income – Can I play two of them back to back and quadruple my income? Here’s a specific example that occurred in our game tonight:

1. U.S. player wins a battle, killing 17 Shiite units for a total of 17 Political Points earned.
2. U.S. player plays an InfoWar card which doubles income; collects another 17 Political Points.
3. U.S. player plays a second InfoWar card which doubles income; collects 34 more Political Points.
Total Political Points Won by U.S. Player: 68

Is this correct? Can you play two of these in a row? If yes, should the second card have netted him 34 additional points or only 17?

A: That sounds like the US crushed the entire Sadr army in an epic battle, and had CNN and Al-Jazeera to sing its praises. Yes, there is a Santa Claus, and you were given Baghdad for Christmas.

Q: If Initiative is won by means of the “Surge/Jihad” card, what is the cost for an Arms Bazaar Card on that turn? Would it be 1 Political Point? Or would it be the highest bid that was made before the “Surge/Jihad” card was played?

A: The relevant rules read: “The player may also purchase the top card from the Arms Bazaar deck at a cost in Political Points equal to the number of Political Points bid by the winning player for Initiative. If no players bid for Initiative, then the cost per card is one Political Point.”
Thus, one Political Point, because the player who won Initiative paid zero (first paragraph), and the cost is one PP when the winner pays zero (second paragraph).

Q: Is the following sequence of events allowable?

a. Player plays InfoWar card to double political points for winning a battle.
b. Player then immediately plays “Back Alley Deal” card to retrieve the InfoWar card just played.
c. Player than immediately plays the InfoWar card again to double points again.

A: “a” and “b” are legal plays. “c” is not.
As soon as the Back Alley Deal card is played, the link between the battle and further card play, like the recovered InfoWar card, is lost. The Back Alley Deal is a new “effect stream”, and only one effect stream can exist at a time. The existence of one effect stream permanently breaks players’ abilities to interact with all previous effect streams.
If a Command Control was played by another player to cancel the Back Alley Deal, then that effect stream would not exist, and players could then interface with the previous effect stream at the end of the battle.

Q: Spawning rules – does “uncontrolled” really mean “non-enemy controlled”? We had a situation where the Jihadi player spawned an Infrastructure unit in the University zone while it was completely empty (and hence, uncontrolled). On the following turn, it was technically no longer “uncontrolled” because Jihadi himself controlled it. Is he still allowed to spawn new units there?

A: A Faction can spawn forces in the following Zones:
* Infrastructure in any Zone the Faction Controls that contains the Faction’s Security forces.
* Security in any Zone the Faction Controls that contains the Faction’s Infrastructure forces.
* Any Zone and conditions explicitly described on the Factions screen.
So, yes, the Jihadi player could Spawn Security forces in the University Zone on the following turn. If some of the Security forces remain, the Jihadi player could spawn additional Infrastructure on subsequent turns.