Jesse Stewart

Utah
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There are a few questions that have continually come up with using defense cards, which I thought was made clear in a previous Defense Timing question, but that specificity devalued the overall rule for some in our group.

1. With the Troop of Uruk-Hai, it mentions to destroy all cards in the path and all ambush effects apply to the group. Can you wait and see which cards are flipped or do you need to decide beforehand whether you'll defend? I think it's the latter option, but nearly everyone I play with says it doesn't matter so this needs to be cleared up.

2. The Witch-King with two players is a little unclear; say one player defends and the other does not. The other player destroys their courage and draws the cards. Do they then need to take that many corruption since the other player defended and the card says "That player may distribute that many corruptions among other players who didn't avoid the ambush"? Or is the distribution of corruption, both with 2 players and multiple players, a completely optional thing?

3. With the Seeing Stones card, once you play the card is it considered out of your hand or is it still a card in your hand and can therefore be placed on top of your deck?

Those were the main questions, but an overall rule for playing defense cards would be helpful. I attacked my husband and gave him a corruption, and it was after that he decided to defend, even though there was ample time after I read the attack for him to defend. Most of our disagreements stem from this issue.
 
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Darin Bolyard
United States
Oak Grove
Missouri
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1. Each ambush that drops into the path from the Troop is handled just as any other ambush that arises in the path, except that all players must resolve them. The rules do address when multiple ambushes arise in the path simultaneously--the player(s) affected resolve each of them in the order he/she/they choose. And so, if the Troop brings 2 or more ambushes into the path, each one must be dealt with individually just as if 2 or more ambushes had arisen for just one player. So one defense for all of them is not adequate nor correct. Moreover, just as in any other case of multiple ambushes arising in the path, each individual player may choose the order in which they are resolved for them individually.

2. Whether playing with 2, 3, 4, or 5, if only one player does not defend, that player resolves the group ambush to its fullest effect. And the wording "may" is there to specifically indicate that an effect is optional. There are many cases in which card effects, when played, are not optional. And just in case you have further discord when dealing with a group ambush such as Saruman, a lone undefended player will both take 3 corruptions and destroy their card, as their card is both the highest cost and the lowest cost...bummer.

3. The only way to play a card is to lay it on the table. It is no longer in your hand, and so it is impossible for seeing stones to go back on top of your deck unless one of the two cards you drew was another seeing stones card.

As far as defense cards go, I'm not sure what you're asking, nor how to interpret your example. If you're referring to the Witch King specifically, you may not throw out your 2 courage in hopes of having the most, only to discover that another player has 3, and then decide to defend against the ambush. You must defend against the entire ambush or none of it, even when there's a chance you may benefit from an ambush. This applies to all ambushes in the game. This seems quite obvious, so I hope I'm not insulting you by making a "duh" statement (though it feels like I am).
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Jesse Stewart

Utah
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Wait, with the Troop of Uruk-Hai, if you play your one defense card, it doesn't defend against all possible ambushes that are played into the path right then? Only one? Therefore, it's crucial to wait until all 5 cards are replaced in the path to decide whether or not you want to defend and which ambush to defend against? I need you to elaborate...the Troop is an archenemy so everybody is affected. I was under the impression that before replacing all 5 cards in the path, you had to decide if you wanted to defend or not. If you didn't defend, then all potential ambush cards affected you.

I understand what happens with the Saruman card, I'm still confused with the Witch-King. You mention if a player does not defend then the ambush continues to its fullest effect, but then you mention the wording of that specific card makes the negative aspect of if optional. Please clarify. With that wording on that card, a person does not have to distribute corruption if they do not want to?

Your last statement makes total sense to me and that was the argument I kept standing by when defense cards were played inappropriately (which makes your answer to number one even more confusing to me because that sounds like the opposite).
 
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Darin Bolyard
United States
Oak Grove
Missouri
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
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The Troop's card is unique in its wording. Notice that the red text reads as follows, and does not begin with the words "Group Ambush":
Quote:
When this Archenemy is revealed, destroy all cards in the Path and replace them all. All Ambush effects flipped this way count as Group Ambush effects instead.

You cannot prevent the path from getting replaced. There is no actual group ambush at all until an ambush is revealed in the path. Only then is there potentially a group ambush. It is not uncommon for the Troop's effect to produce no group ambush whatsoever. But the intention is for it to potentially produce multiple group ambushes.

And as for the Witch-King:
Quote:
Group Ambush: Each player reveals his hand. Each player who reveals the most Courage cards destroys them all and draws that many cards. Then, that player may distribute that many Corruptions among other players who didn't avoid the Ambush.

As for the option to distribute the corruptions by the player who revealed the most, he/she may distribute them to any player who didn't avoid the ambush, not any player who doesn't avoid the ambush. This distinction in the wording clearly indicates that players must have already defended in order to avoid ALL of its effects. Moreover, distributing the corruptions is not an additional ambush or attack, but an additional effect of the ambush. Unfortunately, the card is missing the word "Group" in front of the final word "Ambush." However, there is no occasion in the game where something a player does is referred to as an ambush. Players can only "attack" other players. The Witch King has one ambush with multiple effects.
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