Heartseeker (because the other thread is locked)

http://www.alderac.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=375&t=115366&p=1489555&hilit=shooter+guard#p1489555 I sight this ruling because it clearly says two things. First, Shooters remain shooters until the end of the shootout round, even if they leave the posse. In this case, the dude cannot get control points while they are not in the posse, they get the control points if they reenter the posse.

“Shootout abilities can also only affect dudes or their attached cards if they are in a posse, unless that ability would bring a card into a posse.” -Slinging lead. Step 1.

If a dude is a shooter in a posse affected by Heartseeker that losses the round of the shootout, and is not in the posse when the winner is determened, they cannot be aced by Heartseeker, because;
“Shootout abilities can also only affect dudes or their attached cards if they are in a posse, unless that ability would bring a card into a posse.”

(I am not on the rules team, this is my interpretation of a very clear rule)

It is nothing to do with prevention. It cannot happen. It cannot happen because the the dude is not in the shootout. If the shooter is discarded, they will not be pulled from the discard pile and aced, because they are not in the shootout. Leaving the shootout is not a direct violation of Heartseekers prevention clause since the affect can only be determined after the winner is determined.

If it is ruled that heartseeker cannot be prevented even by the rules explicitly hard wording; If the shooter is in the discard pile (they are still the shooter until a new shooter is selected) will they be pulled from the discard pile and aced?

I am also not on Rules team (anymore!) but I was when heartseeker was being templated and designed.

The counter argument to what you raise (which is a valid concern), is that heartseeker “affects” the dude when they are selected as the shooter. At that point, they are most certainly in the shootout (or they couldn’t be selected as the shooter). Heartseeker creates a delayed and condiitonal effect that will cause the shooter to be aced if they lose.

Edit: new rules team may want to revisit that old ruling as well.

I disagree with the timing of it affecting the shooter when they are chosen. The first affect is lowering opponents casualties. The second affect “If you win this round, ace the opposing shooter.” is only checked at the moment there is a shootout winner.

Disagree all you want. I was just providing the argument.

If the shooter is in the discard, the card has no memory and the card is no longer the shooter, correct?

Correct, once it leaves play it’s not the same “card” anymore, even if it is the same physical card.

It was discussed in discord that it’s not the shootout winner that matters, it’s the round winner.
The round winner is determined in step 5.
The shootout winner is determined in step 7.

You can win the draw in step 5 where the winner is determined, and then flee in step 6. In step 7 it says the other posse won the shootout.

@jayjester Thanks for the follow up question! We’re currently reviewing, before providing an official answer to what you bring up.

What needs to be provided additionally, as @crx3800 points out in the other post, is a rulebook definition of what Prevention means in Doomtown, and all that it entails. This is something we’re currently looking at, and formalizing.

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With the link that you provide, the operative phrase on A Fight They’ll Never Forget is: “…shooter in the other posse…”. Should the shooter leave the posse (for any reason), A Fight They’ll Never Forget wont reward with a control point gain, since the shooter isn’t in the posse, but instead outside of it.

Back to Heartseeker, suppose we’ve got a similar kind of scenario. To get this stage we need the following to have had occur:

  1. Shooters were selected.
  2. We’re at Step 5 (Take Yer Lumps) within the shootout, and have determined the winner for this round, but before any casualties have been taken.

It is possible at this stage that the Shooter is either: a) in the posse, b) outside of the posse but still in play, or c) out of play either in discard, deck, or boothill already (coachwhip’d a harrowed dude, for example). These would be the following results:

a) If the dude is still in the posse, they would be aced.
b) If they’re not in the posse, but still in play (so outside of the shootout), they would also be aced. The reason for this part, is the “This acing effect cannot be prevented”. They’re still the shooter for this round, so they’re still eligible for this effect. It really does have everything to do with prevention here.
c) If the dude is no longer in play, there is no longer a shooter for Heartseeker to affect. (More to this case below)

They will not be. Once a card goes to the discard pile it loses any designation or memory of it having been in play, and any designators it may have had (shooter, mark, etc.). It’s kind of in the same way that if you lead Mugging on a dude with spells, if that dude was taken as a casualty (and thus the spells went to the discard pile), if after the job the succeeds those spells are not then aced from the discard pile.

In closing: You are absolutely right to question how that quote from Step 1 - Slinging Lead is relevant, for this card. Normally, shootout abilities can only affect those cards in posses, and this seems to be something with Heartseeker where it’s bending the rules a bit. The phrasing “This [something] cannot be prevented” is an incredibly powerful effect, and it’s the kind of thing that we’ve to be very cognizant about how this is used, and careful towards what its interactions are, with any cards now or forward that adopt that phrasing.

Hopefully this clarifies some, but feel free to ask questions if you have some additional ones. I only ask that if they pertain to a different set of interactions, to start a new thread for that one. It makes it a little easier to track the questions that come up, and aggregate solutions that may later on wind their way towards Rulebook or Compendium inclusion.


I think much of the issue is that nobody can reason out why it breaks Step 1, because it’s hard to directly come to that conclusion from the card and the rules text (presumably because “prevention” is not defined at all, as mentioned already).

“This acing cannot be prevented” can be read in two different ways: Either the ability cannot be prevented (which is what it’s being ruled as), or the effect cannot be prevented (e.g. no Lay on Hands or Harrowed dudes avoiding getting aced).

What are we missing that lets us know that the part that can’t be prevented is the ability itself? If the effect only couldn’t be prevented, the Hiding in that Shadows ruling still makes sense (Hiding in the Shadows cannot prevent an unpreventable effect), but where are the rules that say “This acing cannot be prevented” lets the ability itself out of the Step 1 restriction?

Great question. This will be upcoming from us: a clear definition of what Prevention is in Doomtown, and what are the kinds of phrasing that signifies what it is, and what are the bounds of it. It’s absolutely true what you and others say, ‘prevention’ hasn’t been explicitly defined. Even though it’s somewhat been around before, whether it’s Tyx, Yagn’s, or HitS, it’s never been fully clarified.

We want to make sure we do right by the rules, and by you all, in giving a clarified definition, and this will be in the rulebooks going forward. We don’t want a scenario in which the rationale for card rulings are obtuse and cannot be found in any of the official rules docs.

Bear in mind, there are times in which we have to make a call on a card and it’s interaction, specifically when it seems to be the case where the card is bending the rules of the game or isn’t fully clarified by the rules. This is one of those times, and we’ve made a call, but we still need to do due diligence and make sure our official docs also align.


We had a very long discussion regarding Hiding and Heartseeker on discord channel and for me the issue is that to my understanding the third sentence refers to the effect of an ability and not ability itself. So for me the dude with Hiding in the Shadows on them should never be affected by Heartseeker ability.

It seems, based on the ruling, that the all-powerful wording on Heartseeker should be “This effect cannot be prevented”. The word “acing” in there is the source of the confusion, for me at least. When I read the last part of Heartseeker as “This effect [that causes acing] cannot be prevented”, it makes a bit more sense.

Based on the ruling, I expect “Prevention” in Doomtown will be defined along the lines of “Any effect, from a card or the rulebook, that interrupts or changes the resolution of another effect”. This would keep the intended interaction while still allowing the ability to be ASM’ed.

“This effect cannot be prevented”, if printed on any other cards in the future, would be a cue to players to resolve the effect on the card exactly as worded, ignoring any other effects that might get in the way of it.

Thank you. I mean it. I apologize if the tone of my post was a bit strong or too forward. I got a bit triggered. Personal opinion aside, I understand if the wording is meant to supersedes the rule book, than I will accept it. Above all, thank you for cordiality.


No worries at all! And no need to apologize, it’s all good. In this case with this card, the wording and effect does supersede the rulebook. Kinda in a similar way in the following scenario in which you’ve a solo Mario Crane, you have a legal hand, but you’re losing the shootout round by 2 ranks.

Based off the rules, you must ace or discard enough dudes to match the 2 casualties required… however Mario cannot be chosen as a casualty. So which is right, Mario or the Rulebook? In this case, it’s Mario’s prevention trait supersedes what the rulebook says.

While the rulebook does contain the following in Section 2.1 of the Golden Rule - “Whenever a card seems to contradict the rules, the card is always right.”, we on the RT believe we need a more substantial definition and fleshing out what these Prevention effects mean, and it’s insufficient to just rely upon that quote as justification for Prevention in Doomtown. We absolutely need something more robust. In the same way we made a Rulebook/Compendium change with how some Traits can be active while that card is out of play, after seeing a similar issue with those cards (core deeds, experienced faction leaders, xiaodan li, the harvester, to name a few). We needed to provide a more robust definition, and will do the same with Prevention as well :slight_smile:

You must be a mind-reader, because this is pretty close to what we’ve been considering.