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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Combat sequence clarification rss

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Apan Arne
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Rules are very vague on this.

1) When do you use items, skills and overlord cards? If is before or during combat? Who uses his stuff first, attacker or defender?

2) Spend surges. When does the attacker spend his surges? For example, defender might not use items/skills/cards depending on when/what attacker uses surges for.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Here is the combat sequence given in the rulebook:

1. Declare Weapon and Target: The attacking player chooses which of his equipped weapons to use for this attack and declares the target of the attack (a space containing an enemy figure). The player then compiles his attack dice into a pool.
2. Roll Dice: The attacking player rolls his dice pool while the defending player rolls all necessary defense dice. If an attack affects multiple figures, each figure rolls its defense dice separately.
3. Check Range: When performing a Ranged attack, the attacking player must roll enough range to reach the target.
4. Spend Surges: After rolling the dice, the attacking player may spend any surge results to trigger special abilities.
5. Deal Damage: Any damage not canceled by defense dice or other effects is applied to each affected figure.

Different items, skills, and abilities have different triggers. Sometimes, they are before combat, sometimes they are during combat, and sometimes they are after combat.

Generally, if something says "before dice are rolled," it means after the attack is declared but before the dice are rolled. If something says "after dice are rolled," it means after dice are rolled but before the Check Range step (which is necessarily before the Spend Surges step).

If two abilities have the same trigger and two different players want to use them at the same time, then by one of the Golden Rules, the active player (the player whose turn it is) gets to decide the order in which they are resolved. So if the attacker and the defender both have abilities that would trigger "after dice are rolled," then the attacker (generally--there are some abilities that allow players to attack while they are not the active player) would be able to choose whether the attacker's or defender's ability is resolved first.

So if the attacker has an ability to add damage and the defender has an ability to negate damage, but the defender would only use the defender ability if the attacker were to use the attacker ability, the attacker can force the defender to decide if he is using the defender's ability before the attacker decides whether to use the attack ability. (Again, this is modified a bit if the attacker is not the active player.)

For the second question, Surges are spent during phase 4, which is necessarily after any "before dice are rolled" or "after dice are rolled" abilities. It is necessarily before any "after damage is dealt" or "after combat" abilities.

If you have specific questions about specific abilities, that may be less confusing to answer.
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Apan Arne
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For example, attacker has mana weave. When can you declare that you use it? Say defender has gauntlets of power (overlord item that absorbs 1 surge), and as overlord want to absorb the 1 surge from the mana weave.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Just given the text on the Gauntlets of Spite, I would say it triggers after dice are rolled. (It necessarily must trigger before Surges are spent, given its ability.)

So then, a hero with the Mana Weave attacks a Lieutenant with the Gauntlets of Spite. Hero rolls attack pool, Overlord rolls defense pool. This is the window in which either of those abilities would trigger. Since it is the hero's turn (presumably), he is the active player, and since he is the active player, he determines the order that things resolve. He asks the overlord if the overlord will exhaust the Gauntlets of Spite. The overlord makes his decision, after which the hero makes his decision. Naturally, if the overlord chooses to exhaust the Gauntlets of Spite, the hero would not exhaust the Mana Weave, and if the overlord chooses not to exhaust the Gauntlets of Spite, then the hero would choose to exhaust the Mana Weave. Regardless, the overlord cannot take back his earlier decision, or else we would get ourselves stuck in an infinite loop (which I'm sure is what prompted your question to begin with.

This gives more power to the active player when interactions like this come up. That's okay though.
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Clayton Threadgill
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Mana Weave is used after the dice are rolled, but before range is checked and before surges are used.

Gauntlets of Spite doesn't specify when you can use it, but obviously it has to happen after surges are generated and before they are spent.

The hero gets to determine the order of effects, but there's nothing stopping the overlord from waiting until after the Mana Weave to trigger the Gauntlets.
 
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Alexander Einich
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Dexter345 wrote:
He asks the overlord if the overlord will exhaust the Gauntlets of Spite.

...And the overlord would answer, "I can't, because I see no surge on the attack yet, and I can exhaust the Gauntlets only if there is a surge to cancel."

You can't use a card if the condition for using the card is not met. Your example doesn't work here.
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Darren Nakamura
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Ispher wrote:
Dexter345 wrote:
He asks the overlord if the overlord will exhaust the Gauntlets of Spite.

...And the overlord would answer, "I can't, because I see no surge on the attack yet, and I can exhaust the Gauntlets only if there is a surge to cancel."

You can't use a card if the condition for using the card is not met. Your example doesn't work here.


I guess the debate is one what the Gauntlets of Spite's trigger is. My assumption is that it is an implied "after dice are rolled but before Surges are spent," but your assumption is that its trigger is "when there is a Surge on an attack targeting you."

I don't think it's clear in this case, because it doesn't explicitly say either of those things.
 
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Alexander Einich
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Dexter345 wrote:
but your assumption is that its trigger is "when there is a Surge on an attack targeting you."

I don't think it's clear in this case, because it doesn't explicitly say either of those things.

When a card text says, "Exhaust to cancel 1 surge from an attack targeting you", I indeed assume that the trigger is 1 surge from an attack targeting me. A pretty safe assumption in my eyes.

Still, assuming you were right and the Gauntlets could be exhausted with no surge in sight, would you add the fatigue token on it ("Then place 1 fatigue token on this card")? It doesn't say the canceling of the surge has to be successful for that to happen. Would that mean the Gauntlets could be exhausted every turn to add fatigue tokens on it at will?

Truth is, the application of the Golden Rule when players do not want to play cards at the same time but conditionally (if you play this, I play that) is bogus. It solves no problem, prevents deeper tactical play (conditional play is chess-like: if you take my knight, I'll be able to take your queen, so you better not do it. In this case: if you add a surge with your Mana Weave, I'll cancel it with my Gauntlets and have a free surge in my next attack, so you better not do it), forces people to ask their opponents what their play will be (asking after every roll of dice "Do you use your Gauntlets now?" is annoying, lame and game-disruptive. Stop asking every two seconds and just react when I'm using them, by golly!), and sometimes even creates problems like this one. soblue
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