Joel Uckelman on 29 Mar 2003 18:48:01 -0000

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Re: [eia] Spanish Reinforcement Phase (Sept. 05)

Thus spake "J.J. Young":
> I guess the question is; does the definition of "physically possible to
> invade" include what a player _could_ do in their reinforcement phase, or
> not ?  If it does, then Danny is perfectly justified in doing what he's done
> (i.e., he's under no compunction to actually invade), and if not, then he
> shouldn't have been able to declare war in the first place, and it must be
> undone.  We should decide this definition as a group.
> Personally, I think it makes more sense to define the "physically possible"
> at the time war is declared; in other words, only considering forces on the
> map _before_ the current turn's reinforcement phase.  In this case, although
> I cringe at suggesting a backtrack, Spain's declaration of war on Morocco
> could not have taken place.  What do the rest of you think ?
> -JJY

General usage points me in a different direction. Consider the following

   If I walk on the ice, it's possible I'll fall through.

If we were standing on the shore of Lake Mendota and I said this, what time
would you expect the possibility to be indexed to? I contend that every
competent English speaker would take me to be talking about the possibilities
at the time I spoke the sentence. This sentence would be true if I said it
today (I think). But suppose you disagree, you think the sentence is false.
It would be to no avail for you to object "You won't fall through the ice,
it will be six inches thick next January!". It would be incumbent on you,
instead, to point out some reason why I won't fall through the ice *now*, e.g.,
that March has been unusually cold this year. Taking the possibily to be
indexed to a time other than the time of utterance leads to some very strange
results when interpreting sentences---unless there is a clear marker that the
sentence is meant to be taken otherwise.

This is analgous to the DoW rule. The "time of utterance" for that rule is
the time when it is activated---and that's during the DoW segment. Hence,
this is why I think for Spain's DoW to carry through all he needs to show is
that it was possible to enter Morocco during the turn, at the time when war
war was declared.
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