I ran across this in an old thread and it started me thinking. The conclusion I came up with is somewhat surprising:Zarathustra wrote:"A card's text does override the rules, yes, but only if there is no way to interpret the card's text without overriding the rules. If there is a reading of the card that is consistent with the rules, then that ruling is preferred over any reading that is inconsistent with the rules."
"Respect ICE-era rulings."
Respecting ICE-era rulings in the sense of never overturning or altering them is actually destructive to the game and dishonors their legacy.
This is because, quite frankly, such a philosophy on the rules of the game ignores the intent of the designers of the game, which was to make a fun, balanced collectible card game that would accurately mirror Tolkien's world.
The idea that ICE-era rulings and even card texts should be immutable violates ICE's intent for the following reasons:
Balance and Fun:
Broken things exist. They are always going to exist because no two players think the same way. By restraining the game to the state it was in when ICE departed, imbalances that are discovered are perpetuated instead of getting fixed. This leads to frustration and boredom (hence the link between balance and fun -- boredom diminishes fun.
Mirroring Tolkien's World:
We play this game to simulate things that might have happened in Middle Earth. But even that does not excuse the idea that Eowyn is better at killing a Balrog than Gandalf so long as that Balrog is a character manifestation rather than a hazard manifestation. A River will stop Radagast from flying, but a Snowstorm won't.
If we really want to respect the ICE era and they game they gave us, then it behooves us to continue their work -- as they were constantly altering rules and card texts in order to achieve balance and fun, so should we. As they wished to see new players drawn in rather than repelled, so should we.
What they absolutely did not do while they were around was inject the cards and rules with embalming fluids and place them a sepulcher to be revered but never touched or altered again. ICE never stopped going over the rules and cards to make them more balanced. Neither should we.
The counter argument has been that the introduction of new rules and errata could drive away players and confuse new players. This is fallacious. We already can drive away new players by pointing them to the CRF section on Passive Conditions. New players will not be any more scared of a list of errata from the people responsible for organizing tournaments than they are of pressing Ctrl+H in GCCG.
I'll post more thoughts later.