A rules conflict came up tonight when one of the players who was using the trickster alien tried to use his special power to manipulate the outcome of an encounter to be decided by fifty fifty chance.
The point of contention was that when he tried to use the ability (which is suposed to be used during the alliance phase, all the players had already chosen sides, and placed their ships in their support roles, and I as the defending player had already picked my encounter card and placed it on the table in the ready position. So im my mind, we were already in the planning phase, and thus I though he should not be able to use his special power (which again needs to be used during the alliance phase).
He contended that my choosing of a encounter card did not constitute movement to the planning phase. I am not sure how to delineate the end of one phase and the beginning of the next. Any ideas would be welcome.
Some additional information...
During the alliance phase, everyone committed their ships to one side or the other. After that, I started to look through my cards to see which encounter card I wanted to play as my defense. Once I chose one, I put it down in the ready position, and waited for what was probably about two minutes, at which point, I asked the active offense player if they were ready to play their encounter card (later they said they did nto hear me ask that, but I did, and at least one other person heard me). It was at least a minute (quite possibly more) after I asked him if he was ready to play his encounter card that he announced he wanted to use his alien's special power. So... this was not a situation where I was sneakily waiting fore the alliance phase to end so that I could quickly play an encounter cared to advance the phase thus cheating him out of the opportunity to use his special power (I agree that that would be an unacceptable way to play). Does this make any difference to how you think of this situation?
Thanks for your input