Today I’ll be touching on the concept of Player Priority (優先権). Simply put, Player Priority is the right to play cards and therefore determines which effects can be activated first. Since Precious Memories is a game where the timings can make or break you, you can probably understand why Player Priority is such a big issue.
However, Player Priority can be pretty complicated in Precious Memories, and therefore this article (translated from the Japanese PreMemo Wiki with some changes) aims to clear up any doubts about the matter. Since this is Advanced Rulings, do take time to slowly read through it to avoid confusion.
In all Phases, the Turn Player has the right to play the first card in that Phase.
The Turn Player can play Characters, Supports or Events, and use the effect of card texts.
Should the Turn Player choose to relinquish that right, then the right is moved to the Non-turn Player.
After that, following the pattern Turn Player→Non-turn Player→Turn Player… and so on and so forth, the right to play cards and use the effect of card texts is alternated between the two Players.
(Extracted from Precious Memories Official Rulebook Ver.1.2)
Player Priority has become a basic concept in allowing the game to progress smoothly.
This article is to help Players avoid misunderstandings regarding the transition of Phases too.
Precious Memories’ rules about Player Priority is a little special, and has a number of differences from the concept of Player Priority in other TCGs.
Mistakes are often made because Players are too used to resolving Player Priority using the rules of other TCGs, so it’s only fair to alert new PreMemo Players about the differences in resolving them.
Below are several examples to highlight;
Start of the Phase
At this point Player Priority lies with the Turn Player.
The Non-turn Player cannot play cards at the start of the Phase without waiting for the Turn Player to declare an action.
* (Example): The Non-turn Player wishes to use <<My Secret>> (Bakemonogatari 01-094) at the start of the Main Phase, to ban the Turn Player from using Events that turn.
In this Example, the Non-turn Player must wait for the Turn Player to play a card, or declare that he/she is choosing not to play anything, before he/she can use <<My Secret>>.
Transition of Phases
When the Turn Player plays a card and the Non-turn Player chooses not to play anything in response (thus relinquishing Player Priority), the Turn Player then has two choices; to play another card OR to move on to the next Phase.
At this point, if the Turn Player chooses to move on to the next Phase (relinquishing Player Priority), the Non-turn Player CANNOT request to roll back the actions to return to the previous Phase.
Conversely, if the Non-turn Player plays a card and the Turn Player decides not to play anything (relinquishing Player Priority), then the Non-turn Player similarly can choose to play another card OR to move on to the next Phase.
* (Example)： The Non-turn Player wishes to use <<Mail>> (K-On! Part 2 02-095) at the end of the Main Phase to search for a card.
You have to infer when the Main Phase is going to end from the Turn Player’s Hand Size or other factors, and thereby make your own judgments.
* (Example 1): The Non-turn Player wishes to use <<School Dismissal>> (K-On! Part 1 01-116) 2 times to pump his character participating in Prevent twice.
* (Example 2): The Non-turn Player wishes to play <<Natsume>> (Hidamari Sketch 01-034) with “Freedom of Entry” during the Turn Player’s Approach Phase.
(“Freedom of Entry” is an ability that some characters have that allows them to come into play outside of your Main Phase.)
When one of the Turn Player’s characters participates in Approach, <<Natsume>> can be played after Player Priority is passed to the Non-turn Player.
However, should the Turn Player decide NOT to participate in Approach this turn with his characters, the Approach Phase is not conducted and therefore there are no [Play an Event/Use the effect of card texts] timings. In this case, the Non-turn Player CANNOT play <<Natsume>>.
Player Priority will be resolved exactly the opposite here.
The card that was last played and the card with Interrupt will be played alternatively.
Supplementing the Points Above
For Player Priority in Precious Memories, you may consider it as a straightforward game of Catch The Ball.
The Turn Player first has the proverbial Ball (Player Priority). He/She can perform any action while holding the Ball, then Throw the Ball to the Non-turn Player. The Turn Player could ALSO simply Pass the Ball to the Non-turn Player without doing anything else (relinquishing Player Priority).
Similarly, the Non-turn Player will then perform any action while in possession of the Ball, Throwing or Passing the Ball back to the Turn Player afterward.
Repeating this chain of action, the Players move on to the next step only after 2 consecutive Passes.
During each round of Catch The Ball the Turn Player (or Non-turn Player) can only choose 1 action while he/she possesses the Ball, and therefore each Player cannot perform several actions in a row.
During the Game…
After so much has been said about the topic of Player Priority, during actual gameplay various confusing terminology may be used. This will simply confuse both Players.
Therefore while playing the game, it is important to ask your Opponent things like “Are you playing anything?” or “Am I good to continue?” after playing cards, and continuing the game ONLY after receiving their response.
However, Players may mistake “Are you playing anything?” as a sign that Player Priority will be relinquished, and so do take note of the tone and words chosen.
In any case, if any trouble occurs, Players should call the Judge/Referee over immediately to resolve the situation.
I certainly hope this article helped you to understand Player Priority better. Given the clarification via this article, we now know that it is NOT allowed to ask your Opponent to tell you when he/she is about to end his current Phase.
Also, unlike the Approach Phase, should the Turn Player choose not to play anything in the Main Phase, the Non-turn Player CAN play cards in that Phase.
While I can go on and on about the rulings, it is only through playing and asking questions that we can learn more from this concept. If you’re still unclear about Player Priority, do be sure to drop a comment on this post or simply raise the question the next time you drop by Rapidculture and see the crew there. We’ll be more than happy to answer your questions and clarify your doubts about the matter (´▽`)
Next up is our report on the August Monthly Tournament and the OreImo Memorial Cup. Also, do stay tuned as announcements will be made about the Madoka Memorial Cup that will held next week!
Till next time, Good Night, and Good Luck.