Well, Tom, the purpose of ‘rules’ is to generate the right effects. So let us ignore the actual wording of the TZ rule for the moment, and just concentrate on its effects:-
Question: do players think that a hard flanking enemy should influence a line of elements?
If yes, then explain how an enemy that cannot even reach an element (because someone else is in the way) is a ‘threat’?...a situation that only occurs because of the addition of X-Ray TZ, which was not in DBA before, has been added via a badly written rule.
If no, then play by the rules as they are written, the way Phil Barker intended, which is why he worded the TZ rule in the way that he did.
Neither I nor my mates were part of the development team, and none of us have ever met the author. Plus none of us (as far as I know) are telepathic, and able to directly read Phil Barker’s mind. So all we have to go on is the rules as they are written.
Still, if the DBA tournament community wishes to ‘pretend’ that the Threat Zone rules says:- “An element or group which is at least partly inside or whose front-edge enters an enemy TZ or touches its far-edge can move only...” ...then so be it.
What other of Phil Barker’s rules are we going to alter and leave out, just because we find them inconvenient and they don’t match how we individually prefer to play?
Are we going to play by Mr Barker’s rules, or distort them into some DBA 2.2-DBA 3.0 hybrid to suit ourselves?
I support the X-ray TZ - it is a BIG part of eliminating all the shuffling that used to go on around generating perfect matchups. But I agree that having the TZ X-ray itself all the way down a line, and prevent an element at its (the TZs) far edge from taking any kind of action seems dumb. Seems PB agreed, hence the wording we currently see.
But maybe X-ray should have been kept, but "at" 1 BW distance still allows maneuvering by say a LCh that recoils? I confess I don't know what the best approach is. Other than rules-as-written worked quite well I thought.
Declaring a War on Terror in response to 9/11 is like declaring a War on Torpedo Bombing in response to Pearl Harbour...
Along with Primuspilus, I too quite like the concept of X-Ray Threat Zones. It reminds us that our soldiers are not just radio controlled robots, but have minds of their own. (Imagine the effect on the morale of the front rank if the rear rank suddenly nips off and moves away. If I was in the front rank and saw my mates behind me leaving, I’d probably be off with them!)
Under HoTT, a hard flanking enemy would not affect a line of elements (no X-rays, and no nobody complains)... Under DBA 2.2, a hard flanking enemy would not affect a line of elements (no X-rays, and no nobody complains)... Under DBA 3.0, a hard flanking enemy would not affect a line of elements (if the new TZ rule is followed as written)...
The only way under DBA 3.0 to have a hard flanking enemy affecting a line of elements is to deliberately misinterpret, distort, or change the wording of the new TZ rule. And the reward for doing this?...to generate an unrealistic outcome, where an enemy that cannot even reach another friendly element (because someone else is physically in the way) is somehow perceived as a threat!
Now I must confess to being notorious for changing rules to create more realism. However, I don’t see the point of changing a rule in order to create less realism!