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Subject: Sneak Attack (variant for any scenario) rss

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Berney P.
United States
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In this variant, enemies will sometimes perform sneak attacks. This introduces two new phases to Combat, identical to the Block and Assign Damage phases but occurring prior to the Ranged/Siege Attack phases.

An enemy performing a Sneak Attack uses its attacks during the Block Sneak Attacks and Assign Sneak Attack Damage phases, instead of during the regular Block and Assign Damage phases. If such an enemy is elusive and its attacks are fully blocked, it will use its lower Armor value in both the Ranged/Siege Attack phase and the later Attack phase.

Enemies can't be prevented from attacking during the Block Sneak Attacks phase.

By default, an enemy performs a sneak if it is a rampaging enemy and appears next the current player when that player performs the Explore action. (The enemy was well aware of the player and prepared an ambush, even though the player couldn't see the enemy yet.) If the enemy has Ambush, then it can perform a Sneak Attack at the ambush distance as well.

When this happens, the player is forced to end the Movement phase and begin the Action phase, but does have the option to additionally challenge other adjacent rampaging enemies. (Those other enemies do not have Sneak Attack.)

An exploring player may pay 1 additional Move when exploring (prior to revealing the tile) to scout for ambushes. The player is still attacked (and forced to end the movement phase) but the enemy's attack is handled normally.

An exploring player may pay 2 additional Move, instead of just 1 (prior to revealing the tile) to scout for ambushes and hide their tracks. This prevents the attack entirely (the player remains in the movement phase).

Effects which prevent rampaging enemies' attacks also prevent sneak attacks.

You may further vary this variant any of the following additional conditions for sneak attack:
* Any rampaging enemy which attacks a player has Sneak Attack. Rampaging enemies challenged by a player's option do not have Sneak Attack. The player may pay 1 extra Move to negate the Sneak Attack ability (per token if the move triggers multiple attacks)
* Enemies in Dungeons, Mazes, Monster Caves, Ruins, and the Core equivalent spaces (or choose a subset of these), have Sneak Attack. Here this is themed more as Trap-laying. A player can pay 1 Move to negate the Sneak Attack when using these actions (1 per enemy token) - this represents scouting for traps more carefully and must be paid before seeing the token.
** A token left face-up from an earlier attempt does not have this sneak attack.
* Enemies in fortified sites with the "not fortified" ability have Sneak Attack. They aren't fortified because they're outside the walls, sneaking up behind you.
** If the token was face-up prior to the assault, the player may pay 1 Move to negate the Sneak Attack ability. If the token was assaulted face-down, the Sneak Attack cannot be negated.
** Additional Variant: If a player moves next to a fortified site during the Day and finds such an enemy, the enemy attacks (like a rampaging enemy would) and has a sneak attack.
*** To mitigate this, a player moving next to the site may pay extra Move costs like when scouting a tile to negate the sneak attack ability itself (for 1 Move) or the attack entirely (for 2 Move), prior to looking at the token.
*** If the token is defeated, the player gets -1 Reputation (as though they'd assaulted the site) and the rewards for conquering the site.
*** Such a sneak attack is not triggered when a token is revealed at the start of a Day round, a player is moved involuntarily (PvP combat), or a player reveals the token at Night using the Amulet of Sun.
* Enemies with a particular ability also have Sneak Attack, e.g. Ambush, Elusive, or Assassination.
** If the token was face-up, the player can pay 1 Move (for each ability) at the start of combat to negate the ability. If one or more tokens are face-down, the player can pay 2 Move (before looking at the tokens) to negate the Sneak Attack abilities on all face-down tokens.
* Enemies with a particular ability never have Sneak Attack, e.g. Pursuit or Fortification.
* Enemies in fortified sites or attacked across walls, unless they have the "not fortified" ability, never have Sneak Attack.
* All enemies with multiple attacks have one sneak attack (the weakest? the strongest?) and the rest are normal attacks. The enemy isn't "fully blocked" until all of its attacks are blocked, as normal.

This variant has not yet received playtesting.
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corum irsei
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Sounds interesting. It reminds me a bit of Magic Realms: Unless you spend actions to hide, you risk getting ambushed by wandering monsters (and in Magic Realms that tends to be a recipe for disaster since most monsters are truly deadly).
What do you think about turning it into a potential benefit for the player?
I.e. spending additional movement to 'sneak' past rampaging monsters?

Naturally, either way, this variant would require quite a bit of playtesting.
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